The best smartwatches are those smartwatches that are compatible with the devices you already have to easily access all features and applications. The best smartwatches in 2021 can track calls, text messages, calendar and integrated fitness features such as heart rate sensor.
Good smartwatches combine modern design and quality materials with powerful software and useful functions, all with the aim of making your daily life easier and better. Among the most common features are monitoring of steps, heart rate and exercise. Many of the options available on the market are waterproof, while others also work as music players, with support for popular services such as Spotify, Apple Music and iHeartRadio. If you are looking for a smartwatch then Apple, Fossil, Samsung, Garmin and Fitbit are among the top brands that you need to consider.
To help you find the best smartwatch for you, Nea Placut publishers have studied the most popular options on the market and created a list of our favorite smartwatches. So, if you are ready to make the leap into the world of high-tech technology and want to save some money, read on for the best smartwatch deals available right now.
The Best Smartwatches in 2021
Apple Watch 5 – Apple
Samsung Galaxy Watch – Android / Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 – Sport
Fitbit Versa – Medium Budget
Samsung Galaxy Fit – Cheap / Low Budget
Xiaomi Amazfit Beep – Chinese
Apple Watch is the best smartwatch of the moment. It's been at the top of our list of the best smartwatch watches for a while, so it should come as no surprise to see the latest model back in the top spot. It is by far the best smartwatch and a device that offers the same wonderful design as the Apple Watch Series 4, but also brings a handful of new features.
Like its predecessor, the Apple Watch 5 comes in two sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm. We recommend the body made of 100% recycled aluminum, but if you want something more special, there are variants in stainless steel, titanium and ceramic.
The new feature for the Series 5 is the permanent display. You no longer have to lift your wrist to bring the screen to life. The Apple Watch Series 5 runs the WatchOS 6, which brings a variety of new apps, a dedicated app store to help you find them, and a few new, fully customizable watch faces to take advantage of that permanent display.
Fitness features have also been improved, so in addition to GPS, heart rate sensor and electrocardiogram, there are activity trends that show you progress and warn you if you become less active, the option to track cycles for women and a new noise app that can warn you when you risk hearing damage. The house is resistant to swimming, and pre-built training plans include cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking and more. All this combines to make the Apple Watch 5 a comprehensive fitness tracker, easy to use and extremely accessible, with lots of motivational alerts.
A new S5 processor powers the 5 Series watch for super smooth performance and higher efficiency than the S4. If there's one downside it's battery life, something that's not unique to the Apple Watch. The 18 hours of use mentioned are approximately correct, although it can be extended for a few more hours with limited use, plus there is an energy saving mode that turns everything off except the clock. It is also quite expensive, especially if you opt for a more durable case and cell support.
No matter how much you spend, the functionality is the same and all Series 5 models come with 32 GB of internal storage, compared to the 4 Series where we had a maximum of 16 GB. Whatever you choose, enjoy knowing you're wearing the best smartwatch available right now and one of the best Apple products.
The Samsung Galaxy smartchwach is the successor to the Gear S3 and is available in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm. Still compatible with Android and iOS, but the watch does not run Google Wear operating systems, so be careful if you have a phone with Google operating system.
The watch uses its own software, Samsung Tizen, a system based on a rotating frame, which helps you zip through menus in a quick and easy way, instead of struggling on a small touchscreen for each interaction. The bezel rotates with a satisfactory click, plus minimizing touch on the screen helps keep the AMOLED screen without too many fingerprints. The watch itself is the most elegant of those produced by Samsung so far. It departs from the sporty style adopted for the Gear S3 and Gear Sport.
Despite the change in style, there are plenty of fitness features, including a heart rate sensor, automatic workout recognition, fitness tracking, integrated GPS and a range of fitness apps available through the Samsung app store. However, it's not as optimized or easy to use as the Apple Watch Series 4. It has 4GB of internal storage, supports Spotify music playlists, and can connect to headphones via Bluetooth so you can use it without a phone.
You can use the Galaxy Watch with almost any Android phone with the Samsung Gear app, as well as with iOS, although there are quite a few features missing (that's why we recommend iPhone 4 owners a Series 4 watch).
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the best smartwatch you can buy if you have an Android phone, whether it is made by Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei or any other brand. It is not the best Wear OS smartwatch because it does not run Wear OS. It uses its own Tizen software from Samsung and here is a little known information – Tizen is better than Google Wear OS at the moment.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two sizes, with a 40mm or 44mm case and a 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED screen that is tough, bright, vibrant and sharp. The rotating bezel that we liked so much in the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and that helps you click menus quickly and easily, instead of swiping and swiping your finger on a tiny touch screen for each interaction, is back, but it's digital in Watch Active 2 rather than mechanical.
With a small and elegant design, Watch Active 2 is able to associate with your look and even offers a "My Style" feature that uses a selfie on your phone to generate clock faces that match your clothing.
One of the highlights of the Watch Active 2 is the fitness features, which include a heart rate sensor, automatic workout recognition, fitness tracking, on-board GPS and a number of fitness apps available through the Samsung app store . There is also an integrated trainer, alerts you if you are sedentary for too long, and Samsung has an ECG function in the works, which can warn you about possible heartbeat irregularities.
There is LTE support if you are willing to pay a little more and you can browse YouTube and Twitter or use Google Translate directly from your wrist. It has 4GB of internal music storage, supports Spotify music playlists, and can connect to Bluetooth headsets so you can work without a phone. It is also rated IP68 and can withstand depths of up to 5 meters.
A disadvantage would be that the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is not as focused or easy to use as the Apple Watch Series 5, but it is quite cheap. You can use Galaxy Watch Active 2 with any Android phone with the Samsung Gear app. Although you can use it with an iPhone, it lacks several functions in this use and we still recommend an Apple Watch to iPhone owners.
The company's second smartwatch essentially replaces the Fitbit Blaze, and if a low-budget smartwatch is what you're looking for, then this Fitbit is for you. Versa offers a lighter and more curved look than the Ionic (the other smartwatch from on Fitbit), with a 1.34-inch display. You can choose Versa in black, gray or rose gold in its standard edition, and charcoal or rose gold in a more expensive iteration – Fitbit Versa Special Edition.
It is important to be aware of a major omission on the specification sheet – the GPS function. This is completely missing but when the watch is connected to the mobile phone, the phone's GPS can be used. However, those who want dedicated GPS tracking will have to choose the sportier, but also more expensive alternative – Fitbit Ionic.
As for the software, it is almost identical to the one on Ionic. You'll get the same four-day battery life, access to the Fitbit, Fitbit Coach and Fitbit Pay App Gallery, while the new Fitbit women's health tracking feature is now live and available for use.
In our opinion, this is the smartwatch that best combines the high quality of materials, increased functionality and a low price.
Samsung Galaxy Fit is the best cheap smartwatch. It excels in the basics, making it an exceptional choice for the casual athlete looking for a reliable tracker.
The first thing you notice is Fit's bright, colorful 0.95-inch AMOLED screen. Although small, the use of colors in the closed screen with Gorilla glass makes it easy to distinguish metrics while exercising. Fit has a touch screen interface that is responsive and easy to navigate. We wish we could touch the screen to wake up the tracker, but this is not achievable, a negative aspect from our point of view. You can lift your wrist slightly or press the side button if you need to illuminate the screen.
Fitness tracking is another aspect of the Galaxy Fit . There are over 90 different workouts you can add to your watch and six that you can watch automatically. Automatic detection was one of our favorite features. It allows you to start exercising without facing the clock. It shows you data such as distance, pace and elapsed time. We also appreciate the inactivity notifications that easily reminded us to get out of our chair and spend some time moving.
With a fairly low price, the Samsung Galaxy Fit is not only the best fitness watch for Android users; it is also one of the best value for money of the moment.
Xiaomi Amazfit Beep is the best Chinese smartwatch. If you are looking for a good smartwatch with a very affordable price, perhaps the most important option to consider is the new Amazfit Bip.
The beep skips many extra features in favor of a low-cost design with basic features, perfect for active users looking for something more than the standard digital clock (look at it as a G-Shock with a heart rate monitor, a customizable face, and smart connectivity).
This cheap smartwatch is compatible with Android and iOS devices and can sync wirelessly with your phone to upload and track fitness values through the accompanying Mi Fit app. The case is dust and water resistant and, most impressively, the internal battery can last up to 30 days before charging is required. Amazfit Bip is one of the most affordable smartwatches on our list, with a modest price of 360 RON on eMAG.
Questions and answers
After all, unlike a smartphone, no one really needs a smartwatch. However, as manufacturers finally come to the realization that smartwatches need to look good in order to buy one, smart watches are much more tempting than they once were. One-day battery life and a one-touch touch screen are still hard to swallow for some people, but that's why hybrid smartwatches were invented.
The Apple Watch Series 5 works without a phone, to some extent, and the Wear OS is a much more wearable operating system than it once was. The choice of models, both for men and women, is much larger than it was a year ago. Many big name fashion brands add full touch screen smart watches to their ranges, garnering considerable praise with them. We also see improvements as the next generation of Wear OS watches appear, using Qualcomm's updated Snapdragon 3100 chip. Now is a great time to enter the smart watch market.
However, if you are not ready to dedicate yourself to a smartwatch with a touch screen, but still want to try some smart features, the wide range of hybrid watches is at your disposal. They often cost half of what you pay for the cheapest Apple Watch, connect to any smartphone, and offer the traditional look of a traditional watch paired with the smart connection experience.
If you are tempted by a smartwatch, we think you should try one.
Every smartwatch operating system is different. The Apple Watch operating system and Samsung's special Tizen system for Galaxy Watch series watches are the two best smartwatch platforms in terms of design, features and ease of use. Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS and began addressing its software issues; has become more usable, but still not as friendly and easy to use as WatchOS or Tizen.
Apple's WatchOS is super simple, as is Samsung's Tizen. Both offer full monitoring, which is easy to access with intuitive interfaces. On the Galaxy Watch, rotate the scope in a circle to navigate through quick-launch apps, the full app library, and settings. Each application is designed to fit the circular operating system, so navigation is easy. You always have a "back" / "back" button if you get lost in the menus. The addition of Samsung Pay also takes Samsung watches to a new level in terms of mobile payments.
The same can be said about the Apple WatchOS. It's attractive, apps are easy to find with a click of the digital crown and you have access to quick launch apps in the Dock at the touch of a button. Apple Pay also works on WatchOS. WatchOS 5 is even simpler than Samsung's interface now that Apple has reduced some unnecessary menus and improved the company's application.
Google's Wear OS system is in development and works with Android and iOS devices, supports Google Pay and is controlled by push-and-swipe; but often the menus are slow and the lists are long, which can lead to frustration.
In terms of application support, Apple's operating system has the best and most abundant applications we use on a regular basis. Wear OS has a decent number of apps from the Google Play Store, and the Samsung app store is a distant third position. There aren't a lot of useful apps on Tizen.
If the smartwatch is connected to your phone via Bluetooth, then all the data you request comes from your phone at no extra cost. This changes if you buy a 4G LTE smartwatch, such as the Cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 4 . When a smartwatch has its own data connection, it can be used alone, without being connected to the smartphone, ready to make calls, receive messages and much more.
However, you will have to pay extra for the privilege. At the time of writing, Orange Romania is the only local operator that offers the eSIM service, about which you can find more details on their website .
If your iPhone or Android phone has been purchased in the last three or four years, then the answer is almost certainly yes. To make sure, we list the requirements below.
ForGoogle Wear , your Android phone must have version 4.4 or later installed, and if you have an iPhone, it must have at least iOS 9.3.
Apple Watch varies slightly . The 3 Series and later versions with cellular connection require an iPhone 6 or later to work. If you buy an Apple Watch Series 3, 4 or 5 without a cellular connection, they will work with an iPhone 5S or any newer version.
Samsung's Tizen operating system , found on the Galaxy Watch and others, requires Android version 5.0 or later, and on an iPhone requires iOS 9.0 or later installed on at least one iPhone 5. Galaxy's 4G LTE version The Watch is only compatible with Samsung Phones and may also only work with certain carriers.
The difference between smart watches and fitness bracelets comes down to whether you want a wearable designed to help you communicate more easily and receive notifications, or one that keeps track of your exercise and health.
The biggest strength of smart watches is their ability to connect notifications on your smartphone, such as text messages, calls, emails, directions, calendar appointments, and social media, in a comfortable and stylish. The best models allow you to easily view and respond to notifications, dictate text or email responses, or send "smart" responses, and the majority should at least deal with the basics of fitness, and of activity tracking.
Smartwatches are driven by their operating system – so choosing one that is well-developed, such as Wear OS (made by Google) or watchOS (made by Apple) means you're more likely to see updates and useful apps that can help improving functionality.
At a basic level, a fitness bracelet can give you insight into your day-to-day activities, such as tracking the number of steps taken and the number of steps taken, counting calories, or quantifying sleep quality. More advanced devices support certain types of exercise or sports, such as running, cycling, swimming or golf. Others offer multi-sport tracking – so you can track your entire workout from the treadmill to the pool. Some offer more advanced tracking sensors, such as heart rate monitors and some basic smart notifications, such as text or email. Those with a built-in GPS are able to work independently of your phone, which means you can leave it at home during a running or gym session.
Although it sounds like a complicated question, the answer is surprisingly simple. If you have an Android phone, you can use a model with Tizen operating system – Samsung's native OS on smart watches – or a Google Wear OS watch. The Apple Watch only works with iOS software for Apple.
If you have an iPhone, all smart watches work with your phone as long as you use the special Samsung or Google application to sync the two devices. However, be aware that neither Wear OS nor Tizen watches will offer the same level of functionality as when connected to an Android phone. This is because Apple restricts the third-party device's access to iOS software. For this reason, and many more, we do not recommend iPhone owners to buy a smartwatch other than the Apple Watch .
For Android phone owners who want a smartwatch, the decision may be reduced to the design of different models, but we still prefer the way Tizen works on the Samsung Galaxy Watch , to the detriment of many Wear OS smart watches.
Because they sit on the wrist, smart watches are exposed to danger. They are easy to hit with all sorts of things and can get wet easily. That shouldn't scare you, though. Some smart watches, such as the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 and Mobvoi Ticwatch S2 , meet military standards for toughness and will withstand harsher treatment than other models.
Although many smartwatches are water resistant today, from the Apple Watch Series 4 to the Samsung Galaxy Watch , few models offer screens with sapphire crystals. It is advisable to treat your smartwatch carefully, even with these additional levels of protection, but no more than you would with a traditional watch.
If you are a runner and intend to use your smartwatch to track your routes and, crucially, you do not want to take your phone with you, then yes, the GPS of a smartwatch can be very useful. Most modern smart watches come with standard GPS, so you may find that the option is ready and already waiting for you. If your smartwatch doesn't have GPS, then it can still use the phone's GPS when connected, but it will be slower to react. One thing to keep in mind is that using GPS will drain the battery from the watch faster than usual.