The perfect smartwatches for 2023

Only a few years in the past, the case for getting a smartwatch was unclear. The market wasn’t as saturated as it’s at present, and options had been extra restricted. Right now, the wearable world is stuffed with varied high-quality choices, and some key gamers, just like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch and Fitbit Versa, have muscled their method to the entrance of the pack with their good options. Chances are high, in the event you’re studying this information, you’ve in all probability already determined that it’s time to improve no matter gadget’s in your wrist – be it a typical timepiece or an ageing smartwatch. No matter which class you fall into, the checklist of specs you’ll wish to contemplate earlier than deciding which is one of the best smartwatch so that you can purchase is a protracted one, and we’ll assist you make sense of it.

What to search for in a smartwatch

Google WearOS interface on a smartwatch.
Cherlynn Low


Apple Watches solely work with iPhones, whereas Put on OS gadgets play good with each iOS and Android telephones. Smartwatches made by Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit and others are additionally appropriate with Android and iOS, however you’ll want to put in a companion app in your smartphone.

The smartwatch OS will even dictate the kind and variety of third-party apps you’ll have entry to. Many of those aren’t helpful, although, making this issue a reasonably minor one within the grand scheme of issues.


The perfect smartwatches usually price between $300 and $400. In comparison with funds smartwatches, which price between $100 and $250, these pricier gadgets have superior working techniques, communications, music and health options. Additionally they usually embrace perks like onboard GPS monitoring, music storage and NFC, which funds gadgets usually don’t.

Some corporations make specialised health watches: These can simply run north of $500, and we’d solely advocate them to severe athletes. Luxurious smartwatches from manufacturers like TAG Heuer and Hublot can even attain sky-high costs, however we wouldn’t endorse any of them. These gadgets can price greater than $1,000, and also you’re often paying for little greater than a model identify and a few needlessly unique collection of construct supplies.

Battery life

Battery life stays certainly one of our largest complaints about smartwatches, however there’s hope as of late. You possibly can count on two full days from Apple Watches and most Put on OS gadgets. Watches utilizing the Snapdragon Put on 3100 processor assist prolonged battery modes that promise as much as 5 days of battery life on a cost — in the event you’re prepared to close off most options other than, you recognize, displaying the time. Snapdragon’s next-gen Put on 4100 and 4100+ processors had been introduced in 2020, however solely a handful of gadgets – a few of which aren’t even out there but – are utilizing them up to now. Different fashions can final 5 to seven days, however they often have fewer options and lower-quality shows. In the meantime, some health watches can final weeks on a single cost.

A number of smartwatches now assist quicker charging, too. For instance, Apple guarantees the Collection 7 can go from zero to 80 % energy in solely 45 minutes, and get to full cost in 75 minutes. The OnePlus Watch is even speedier, powering up from zero to 43 % in simply 10 minutes. (Thoughts you that turned out to be one of many solely good issues about that machine.)

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Any smartwatch value contemplating delivers name, textual content and app notifications to your wrist. Name and textual content alerts are self explanatory, but when these imply rather a lot to you, contemplate a watch with LTE. They’re dearer than their WiFi-only counterparts, however mobile connectivity permits the smartwatch to take and obtain telephone calls, and do the identical with textual content messages, with out your machine close by. So far as app alerts go, getting them delivered to your wrist will allow you to look right down to the watch face and see in the event you completely have to test your telephone proper now. 

Health monitoring

Exercise monitoring is an enormous cause why folks flip to smartwatches. An all-purpose timepiece ought to perform as a health tracker, logging your steps, energy and exercises, and most of at present’s wearables have a coronary heart charge monitor as effectively.

Many smartwatches’ health options embrace a built-in GPS, which is beneficial for monitoring distance for runs and bike rides. Swimmers will need one thing water-proof, and fortunately most all-purpose gadgets now can face up to no less than a dunk within the pool. Some smartwatches from corporations like Garmin are extra health centered than others and have a tendency to supply extra superior options like heart-rate-variance monitoring, restoration time estimation, onboard maps and extra.

Well being monitoring on smartwatches has additionally seen advances over time. Each Apple and Fitbit gadgets can estimate blood oxygen ranges and measure ECGs. However the extra inexpensive the smartwatch, the much less probably it’s that it has these sorts of in-depth well being monitoring options; if gathering these sorts of wellness metrics is necessary to you, you’ll should pay for the privilege.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active


Your watch can’t solely monitor your morning runs but additionally play music whilst you’re exercising. Many smartwatches allow you to save your music regionally, so you may join wi-fi earbuds by way of Bluetooth and take heed to tunes with out bringing your telephone. People who don’t have onboard storage for music often have on-watch music controls, so you may management playback with out whipping out your telephone. And in case your watch has LTE, native saving isn’t required — you’ll have the ability to stream music immediately from the watch to your paired earbuds.

At all times-on shows

Most flagship smartwatches at present have some an always-on show – some have it on by default whereas others allow you to allow it by way of tweaked settings. This good function means that you can look down at your watch to test the time and another info you’ve set it to indicate on its watchface with out lifting your wrist. This may little doubt have an effect on your machine’s battery life, however fortunately most always-on modes dim the show’s brightness so it’s not working at its peak unnecessarily. Cheaper gadgets gained’t have this function; as a substitute, their touchscreens will mechanically flip off to preserve battery life and also you’ll should deliberately test your watch to activate the show once more.


Many smartwatches have NFC, letting you pay for issues with out your pockets utilizing contactless funds. After saving your credit score or debit card info, you may maintain your smartwatch as much as an NFC reader to pay for a cup of espresso in your approach residence from a run. Needless to say totally different watches use totally different fee techniques: Apple Watches use Apple Pay, Put on OS gadgets use Google Pay, Samsung gadgets use Samsung Pay and so forth.

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Apple Pay is likely one of the hottest NFC fee techniques, with assist for multiple banks and credit cards in 72 totally different international locations, whereas Samsung and Google Pay work in fewer areas. It’s additionally necessary to notice that each NFC fee assist varies by machine as effectively for each Samsung and Google’s techniques.

Greatest general: Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has advanced into among the best wearables available on the market since its debut in 2015. It’s one of the best smartwatch for iPhone customers, and we wouldn’t choose you for switching to an iPhone simply to have the ability to use an Apple Watch. The newest mannequin, Apple Watch Series 8, has strong fitness-tracking options that may fulfill the wants of newbies and severe athletes alike. It additionally detects in the event you’ve been in a automotive crash, can perform electrocardiogram (ECG) exams and measures blood oxygen ranges. Plus, this Apple smartwatch affords NFC, onboard music storage and plenty of helpful apps, customizable options and methods to reply to messages.

There aren’t a ton of variations between the Collection 8 and the Collection 7 that got here earlier than it. The Watch design is basically unchanged, and whereas the Collection 8 runs on a more moderen S8 SiP, it did not really feel dramatically quicker in our testing. It lasted a bit of bit longer, and we had been impressed by the brand new low-power mode, which stored the watch going for an extra two hours after already being down to twenty % battery life.

The Collection 8 is one of the best Apple Look ahead to most individuals, however there are two different choices now on the reverse ends of the spectrum. The brand new Apple Watch Ultra might be overkill for most individuals, nevertheless it has a ton of additional options like further waterproofing to trace diving, an much more correct GPS and the most important battery of any Apple Watch thus far. Apple designed it for essentially the most rugged amongst us, however on your common individual, it probably has extra options than they’d ever want.

The $250 Apple Watch SE, then again, is much less feature-rich than the Collection 8, however it’ll in all probability suffice for most individuals. We really regard the Watch SE as one of the best smartwatch possibility for first-time patrons, or folks on stricter budgets. You’ll get all of the core Apple Watch options in addition to issues like fall and crash detection, noise monitoring and Emergency SOS, however you’ll should do with out extra superior {hardware} perks like an always-on show, a blood oxygen sensor, an ECG monitor and a pores and skin temperature sensor.

Buy Apple Watch Ultra at Amazon – $799Buy Apple Watch SE at Amazon – $249

Greatest funds: Fitbit Versa 2

Dropping $400 on a smartwatch isn’t possible for everybody, which is why we advocate the Fitbit Versa 2 as one of the best sub-$200 possibility. It’s our favourite funds watch as a result of it affords a bunch of options at an incredible value. You get all of those necessities: Fitbit’s strong exercise-tracking talents (together with auto-workout detection), sleep monitoring, water resistance, related GPS, blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring and a six-day battery life. It additionally helps Fitbit Pay utilizing NFC and it has built-in Amazon Alexa as a voice assistant.. Whereas the Versa 2 usually prices $150, we’ve seen it for as little as $100.

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Greatest smartwatch for Android customers: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Samsung might not have introduced many upgrades to the newest model of its well-liked Galaxy Watch, however that does not imply the Watch 5 is not nonetheless one of the best smartwatch for Android customers. Enhancements like a extra sturdy touchscreen and refined curvature do not sound thrilling, however they make the Watch 5 extra resilient and dependable. Plus, the Galaxy Watch affords essentially the most complete health and well being monitoring, together with physique composition evaluation, on Put on OS, and the corporate added a sleep teaching function this 12 months that’s meant to assist information you in direction of higher relaxation.

In the event you do not thoughts outsized watches, contemplate the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It is dearer at $450, however comes with a bigger 45mm titanium case, an additional sturdy touchscreen and a bigger battery. Although Samsung markets this Android smartwatch as an outdoor-oriented machine, you are higher off pondering of it as an enormous timepiece that lasts longer than the usual mannequin. It has all the identical smartwatch options because the 40mm and 44mm variations, besides it helps the GPX route format for exercises so you may get turn-by-turn instructions whilst you hike and bike.

All three watches are additionally water resistant to allow them to monitor swims or survive a sudden storm, and final greater than a day (with out the At all times On Show enabled). Additionally they run Put on OS 3.5, which is so much like Samsung’s earlier Tizen OS that longtime wearers will not want to fret about adjusting to a brand new system. Finally, the Galaxy Watch 5 collection is a succesful, well-rounded set of smartwatches that may serve most Android customers effectively.

Style-forward choices

Michael Kors Access Gen 5e MKGO at CES 2021

Sure, there are nonetheless corporations on the market attempting to make “trendy” smartwatches. Again when wearables had been novel and usually ugly, manufacturers like Fossil, Michael Kors and Skagen discovered their area of interest in fashionable smartwatches that took cues from analog timepieces. You even have the choice to select up a “hybrid” smartwatch from corporations like Withings and Garmin – these gadgets appear like normal wrist watches however incorporate some restricted performance like exercise monitoring and coronary heart charge monitoring. They continue to be good choices in the event you desire that look, however fortunately, wearables made by Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and others have gotten way more engaging over the previous few years.

Finally, the one factor you may’t change after you purchase a smartwatch is its case design. In the event you’re not into the Apple Watch’s squared-off corners, all of Samsung’s smartwatches have spherical instances that look a bit of extra like a conventional watch. Most wearables are provided in a alternative of colours and you’ll pay further for premium supplies like stainless-steel. When you resolve on a case, your band choices are infinite – there are dozens of first- and third-party watch straps out there for many main smartwatches, and for each bigger and smaller wrists, permitting you to vary up your look everytime you please.

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