Smartwatches are a great way to receive notifications from your phone and track your health, right from your wrist. We've used and reviewed all of the latest smartwatches for Android and iPhone, and here we've ranked ten of the best.
The Apple Watch Series 7 may seem like the obvious choice for iPhone users, but there are loads of great rivals to choose from via Huawei, Amazfit and others. Add in hybrid smartwatches from the likes of Withings and Fossil, and you're bound to find something that suits your style and has the features you need.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic - Best overall
- Pros: Best Wear OS experience yet | Tactile design | Great performance
- Cons: Full functionality for Samsung Galaxy users only | Classic styling costs extra
Samsung's Galaxy Watch line was already the best smartwatch foil to the Apple Watch, but 2021's Galaxy Watch 4 series also represents a huge shift in the wider wearable landscape.
The Watch 4 Classic may look like the previous year's Galaxy Watch 3 – complete with that signature rotating bezel – but Samsung's long-standing use of Tizen OS has ended, and through a partnership with Google, a new incarnation of Wear OS (with some signature Samsung tweaks) is what you'll find on the Watch 4 series.
Beyond the premium user experience, the Watch grants Samsung Galaxy users access to new health data, like body composition analysis, as well as an ECG feature and AFib (irregular heart rhythm) detection.
Running on Wear OS, the Watch 4 also has access to a wealth of watch faces and third-party apps that previous iterations simply lost out on.
The Watch 4 Classic is best experienced if you're a Samsung Galaxy user, and you pay a premium for that Classic styling but it's still a great fit for the wider Android user base, after a premium wearable experience.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review
Apple Watch Series 7 - Best for iPhone users
- Pros: Fast charging | Minimal bezels | Feature-packed
- Cons: No new sensors | No battery improvements
While the Series 7 is only an incremental upgrade over 2020's Series 6, that doesn't stop it from being one of the best smartwatches you can buy; if you have an iPhone, that is.
Along with all of the additions and improvements from the previous year's Apple Watch – namely an always-on altimeter and blood oxygen monitoring – the Series 7 also incorporates fast charging, that's 33% quicker than before and a new display that's 20% larger, while bezels are around 40% thinner; giving the Watch a more cutting-edge look while retaining compatibility with existing Apple Watch straps.
Running watchOS 8 out the box also means newfound support for workout activities like pilates and helpful new safety features, like fall detection whilst cycling.
The Apple Watch SE is also still a viable alternative for those that aren't too fussed about features like ECG and blood oxygen monitoring, and want to save a bit of money on an Apple Watch.
Read our full Apple Watch Series 7 review
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 - Best value
- Pros: Best Wear OS experience yet | Customisable design | Great performance
- Cons: Full functionality for Samsung Galaxy users only
If you're not a fan of the Watch 4 Classic's physical rotating bezel (or the added price premium that comes with its distinct design), then the standard Watch 4 is the perfect remedy.
Like the Classic, it's also available in two casing sizes but comes in a far wider range of colours for greater personalisation. The whole design is more contemporary, complete with a digital bezel that uses haptic feedback too.
Functionality and that new Wear OS 3-based user experience, otherwise remain unchanged – in comparison to the Classic; meaning the Watch 4 is another premium feature-packed smartwatch with the Google Play Store, ECG functionality (again, for Samsung Galaxy users only) and support for a wealth of third-party apps.
It also comes with a significantly lower starting price versus the Watch 4 Classic.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review
Fitbit Sense - Best for fitness & well-being
- Pros: Nice design | Good display | Well-rounded
- Cons: Some featured gated behind Premium subscription | Pricey
Replacing the Ionic as the most well-rounded Fitbit, the Fitbit Sense adds a lot of new health features at the top-end of the company's range.
You could call it the hypochondriac’s smartwatch, it’s so full of warning signs, but there’s a lot here that will help indicate serious health problems that you will have the chance to improve.
Mindfulness might seem a little kooky to some and a concern for those with too much time on their hands, but there is no denying that stress can affect us all, and managing it will quickly bring not just mental but long-term physical health benefits.
For all-round physical and mental health tracking, the Sense is the Fitbit with it all; provided you can swing the high price.
Read our full Fitbit Sense review
Polar Grit X Pro - Great for hiking
- Pros: Feature-packed | Durable, lightweight design | Great battery life
- Cons: Overwhelming amount of metrics | Lacklustre touch input | Pricey
In 2020, Polar branched out into the Great Outdoors, with its Grit X multi-sport watch, which it then improved upon with 2021's Grit X Pro.
It sports a familiar rugged design, with a toughened sapphire glass front and a MIL-STD-810G-certified housing, promising 40 hours of battery life with both GPS and heart rate tracking enabled.
On top of the suite of features carried over from the original Grit X – like running power, sleep tracking, smartphone notifications, turn-by-turn navigation and more – the Pro offers up always-on dashboards, making key information more glanceable when you're out on the trail, like a compass, sunrise/set times and more.
Polar Flow (the company's training management tool) and the insights the Grit X Pro are able to generate together are extensive, to say the least. However, the sheer depth of data on offer might be a little intimidating to newcomers.
Read our full Polar Grit X Pro review
Oppo Watch - The Apple Watch for Android users
- Pros: Great performance | Attractive design | Superb screen
- Cons: Proprietary straps | Average fitness functionality | Unoriginal design
Considering Oppo's never released a smartwatch before, the global version of the Oppo Watch – in both its 41mm and 46mm incarnations – is a pretty brilliant first attempt.
The larger 46mm model leads with its evolved Apple Watch-inspired aesthetics and optional cellular functionality but beyond that, both sport a rich feature set.
Expect superb performance (thanks to a smart processor pairing and plenty of RAM), swim proofing and one of the best Wear OS 2 experiences out there; in spite of the operating system's misgivings.
We just wished the heart rate sensor was a little more accurate during workouts.
Read our full Oppo Watch review
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro - Great for affordability
- Pros: Slim design | Inexpensive | Superb display
- Cons: Temporarily hampered third-party app support
Zepp's most ambitious smartwatch yet, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro boasts a sharper display than its similarly-named sibling (the GTR 3) and supports a higher refresh rate, making for smoother user interaction.
The new Zepp OS will soon gain access to third-party app support but for the time being, comes with 150 watch faces (some of which are animated) and support for 150 trackable activities, as well as an improved BioSensor that even works when swimming.
Voice assistant support is also part of the equation, with Alexa when the watch has an internet connection or a basic offline alternative when it doesn't.
Read our full Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review
Fossil Gen 5 - Best for design
- Pros: Versatile design | Smooth performance | Fast charging
- Cons: Won't be getting Wear OS 3 | Ageing internals
Fossil's Gen 5 is a great all-round smartwatch, powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor with tweaks to Wear OS's power management, granting it greater control over what gets to sap power from the Gen 5's 310mAh fast-charging battery.
While the improved Fossil Gen 6 is currently in for review, that doesn't detract from the fact that the Gen 5 offers a genuinely smooth user experience; something that can't be said for any of its predecessors.
The Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch may still trump the Gen 5 in terms of performance but it unquestionably narrows the gap and better yet, it offers some of the most adaptable and flexible styling and aesthetics of any smartwatch out there.
Read our full Fossil Gen 5 review
Huawei Watch GT 3 - Most elegant
- Pros: Extensive activity tracking | Premium materials | Stylish design
- Cons: Pricey | Poor third-party app support | Ageing internals
If its luxurious design, not to mention the promise of up to 14 days battery longevity, isn't enough to convince you, the Huawei Watch GT 3 also brings some of the most robust fitness tracking to the series yet.
It includes support for over 100 workout types; tracking everything from heart rate and VO2Max, to altitude and pace. The AI-powered running coach and Healthy Living Shamrock are also on-hand to help improve both fitness and well-being too.
Available in a range of designs and two casing sizes (46mm and 42mm), the GT 3 series presents itself as an impressively flexible smartwatch offering, right now.
Read our full Huawei Watch GT 3 (46mm) review
Suunto 7 - Great for runners
- Pros: Rugged design | Extensive activity tracking | Adaptable user experience
- Cons: Expensive | Underwhelming battery life
This capable outdoor-centric smartwatch may cost a pretty penny but that's not without reason.
The Suunto 7 is well suited to all-weathers, it's surprisingly thin and lightweight, boasts superior GPS accuracy for route tracking and Suunto's own fitness apps offer a far more robust experience than the base Google Fit app that comes with Wear OS.
We just wish battery life surpassed its two-day maximum.
Read our full Suunto 7 review
Your buying guide to the best smartwatches in 2022
Why do you need a smartwatch?
There's an interesting theory that smartwatches are to the smartphone what wristwatches were to the pocket watch. Picture the way the average gentleman used to have to rummage through his pocket for his watch prior to the 20th century. Now skip forward 100+ years and the average smartphone user still has to dive into his/her pocket to check their phone.
The kicker now is that your smartphone holds far more information than a pocket watch ever did, all of which is still locked into your pocket.
Smartwatches aren't for making phone calls – although some can – instead, they (among other things) provide a quick and easy way to check your phone's notifications, so you can decide whether it's worth delving into your pocket or searching around your bag to fetch your smartphone and properly action any.
What type of smartwatch should you look for?
There are two types of smartwatches around at the moment: those with a colourful touchscreen – similarly to what you'd find on your phone – and those which combine a regular analogue watch with smart features.
These are known as 'hybrid' smartwatches; some have the smart bits almost completely hidden, while some give you information via a small integrated display (the Withings ScanWatch is a good example of a hybrid watch).
While a fully-fledged smartwatch can do a lot more, that juice-guzzling screen results in shorter battery life. Hybrid watches benefit from longer battery life with some even having separate cells for the watch and smart features.
If you're an Android user then a Wear OS smartwatch is the obvious choice but it's not necessarily the best for everyone. Google's OS tweaked for wearables also plays nicely with iOS (up until Wear OS 3, at least) but with cut-down functionality, so iPhone owners will get more from an Apple Watch. Read more on how to use Android Wear with iPhone.
What makes a good smartwatch?
When testing for the best smartwatch, the important factors to consider are 'how many of your smartphone's functions can it perform?', and 'how well does it handle each task?', the final attribute is obviously style – it's still bling after all.
You'll also want to make sure it's compatible with your smartphone - some are only for iPhone or Android while others support most phones. Note that Wear OS 2 includes iOS support but, like we already said, the experience is cut down in comparison.
Fitness fans will want to look for a device with a heart rate monitor and built-in GPS, even though they often can't compare to a chest-worn monitor in terms of accuracy. Many also come with NFC which can be used for contactless payments, via services like Google Pay.
We consider the important factors of a smartwatch to be level of notification detail, battery life, style, water resistance, device compatibility and additional features, such as microphones and WiFi support. Find out how we test wearables for more information.