Smartwatches have become very popular in recent years and for good reason. These wrist devices are packed with useful features that allow users to do everything from controlling music playback to answering phone calls without having to reach for their smartphone. The fact that most smartwatches also have fitness tracking capabilities only makes things better.
However, choosing a smartwatch to pair with your Android smartphone is not exactly a walk in the park, as there are many options with different features. Some of them use Google’s Wear OS, while others rely on proprietary software platforms. Get confused, but we’re here to help. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best Android smartwatches on the market right now.
Best overall: Motorola Moto360 (3rd generation)
Launched in 2014, Motorola’s original Moto360 has become one of the best-selling wearables of its time. Fast forward to the present, we have the brand new Moto360 and it’s probably the best Android smartwatch you can buy today. Interestingly, this third generation model is not manufactured by Motorola, but by an independent company through a brand licensing agreement. It has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
The Moto360 sports a 1.2-inch circular AMOLED display with a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels and comes with an “Always On” feature. In terms of connectivity options, the third-generation Moto360 includes 802.11bgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and GPS (GLONASS, Galileo and Badious support). Google’s Wear OS-based smartwatch gives you access to a wide range of apps from Google and third-party developers. All standard features such as smartphone notifications, activity tracking, mobile payments (via Google Pay) and voice control (via Google Assistant) are also supported. The whole package is backed by a 355mAh battery that can be fully charged in just 60 minutes.
Best overall, number two: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
If you are looking for a powerful and versatile Android smartwatch, look no further than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2. It is powered by an Exynos 9110 processor with 1.5GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. The wearable device’s 1.4-inch circular Super AMOLED display has a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels and features “Always On” functionality. For connectivity, the mix includes 802.11bgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, A-GPS, and LTE (which support all major carriers in the US).
It’s worth noting that the Galaxy Watch Active2 is based on Samsung’s Tizen platform and not (Google’s) Wears. However, you still have access to many popular apps like Spotify and Strava. The smartwatch is also great for fitness tracking, with features like a built-in Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) and useful information on different parameters (e.g. running style, sleep quality). Other notable features include voice control (via Bixby), mobile payments (with Samsung Pay), and easy navigation via the touch-enabled side panel.
Ideal for those who exercise: Fitbit Versa 2 Fitness Smartwatch
While nearly all Android smartwatches have some fitness-centric features, none come close to the Fitbit Versa 2’s arsenal. Designed for diehard sportsmen, it can comprehensively track and analyze (with detailed insights) nearly all activity-related metrics. that come to your mind. This includes heart rate (24 x 7 with rest tracking and trend), a wide range of exercises (e.g. running, cycling, yoga) with automatic tracking and statistics based on goals, pace and distance, floors climbed, quality of sleep (time spent in deep, light and REM phases), menstrual cycle and much more. Plus, get personalized activity reminders (when you want to train, stay hydrated, etc.), workout intensity maps, personalized cardio results, and total calories burned throughout the day.
The Versa 2 has a 0.98-inch color touchscreen (with “Always On”) and connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and GPS (via a paired smartphone). While not WearOS-based, it supports all standard features like mobile payments (via Fitbit Pay), offline music streaming and playback, and smartphone notifications.
Best design: Skagen Falster 3 “
Definitely one of the best Android smartwatches around, Skagen’s Falster 3 features a stainless steel case and a metal mesh strap that further accentuates the minimalist design. However, there is a lot more to wear than just good looks. With a resolution of 390 x 390 pixels, the 1.3-inch round OLED display looks sharp and bright in all conditions. Under the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In terms of connectivity, everything is included, from Wi-Fi 802.11bgn and Bluetooth 4.2 to NFC and GPS.
Based on WearOS from Google, Falster 3 gives you access to a wide range of official and third-party apps. In addition to that, all standard features are also supported, such as smartphone notifications, mobile payments (via Google Pay), activity tracking, offline music streaming and playback, and voice control (with Google Assistant). The smartwatch also has a built-in speaker so you can answer calls instantly without a smartphone.
Best Splurge: Movado Connect 2.0
Combining the art of Swiss watchmaking with modern technology, Movado’s Connect 2.0 is perfect for those who want a high-end Android smartwatch but don’t mind paying dearly for it. The luxury wearable features an ion-plated stainless steel case (ceramic back) that looks as premium as you get.
The smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor supported by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. Navigation in the user interface is done via the rotating crown (right), flanked by two pushes that can be customized to launch a specific app or setting. This is a design element common to many Android smartwatches and it works well. Since Connect 2.0 is based on WearOS, you can use numerous applications that work with Google’s platform. All the usual features like voice control, activity tracking, and mobile payments are also supported.
Best value for money:
Fossil’s fifth-generation Carlyle is an all-round smartwatch that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It has a simple yet elegant design and features a 1.28-inch circular AMOLED display with a resolution of 416×416 pixels. The panel is quite sharp and bright and the display elements are visible in all types of lighting.
In terms of hardware, the wearable comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It’s based on Google’s Wear OS platform, so there’s a huge range of apps (official and third-party) to choose from. As you’d expect, all standard features like voice control (with Google Assistant), activity tracking, and mobile payments (via Google Pay) also work well. Speaking of connectivity options, the fifth generation of Carlyle includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS connectivity. Other noteworthy features include a built-in speaker and water resistance up to 30 meters.
Durable enough: Casio Pro Trek WSD-F21HR
Casio’s Pro Trek wristwatches are known for their solid build quality (second perhaps only to the legendary G-Shock line). That’s all right, but what if you have the same durability for all seasons in the form of an Android smartwatch? Say hello to Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F21HR, which offers you just that. Intended primarily for outdoor adventurers, it features a sturdy resin body and 3D bezel to protect the screen from damage.
The display is easily the title of the smartwatch. This is because the Pro Trek WSD-F21HR features a 1.32-inch “dual layer” display consisting of a monochrome LCD and a color TFT-LCD. The former offers better outdoor readability and uses limited battery power, while the latter offers a more immersive viewing experience like other smartwatches. Based on Google’s WearOS platform, the wearable device includes 802.11bgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS (with GLONASS and QZSS support) as connection options. It can track multiple activities (e.g. trail running, paddling) and you can also get heart rate zone alerts and VO2 Max readings.
Each of the Android smartwatches described above is exceptional in its own right, with many unique individual features. However, our overall recommendation is the all-new third-generation Moto360, as it manages to strike the right balance between performance and functionality.