Entertainment Best Android smartwatch: the best watches for the phones
Best Android smartwatch: the best watches for the phones
The best Android smartwatch are wearables that work well with the smartphone operating system. Many of these smartwatches run Wear OS, as it’s basically the wrist-based version of Android. However, there are a few that run on other operating systems that work well with your phone.
Despite the many options, choosing the ideal Android smartwatch for you isn’t as complicated a process as it seems. The key is to find one that allows you to take advantage of all its features and not locking you out of some just because of your choice of phone operating system.
We’ve tested hundreds of smartwatches, including the latest releases, and we’re here to help you narrow down your options. Below are our top picks of the best Android smartwatches that work well with Android phones, some of them making it into our best smartwatches guide.
Whether you’re looking for the best running watches or best cheap smartwatch, you’ll find an Android smartwatch below to suit your needs. Don’t forget to check out the full review on any that appeal before you finalize your purchase.
The best Android smartwatch 2022
The best Android smartwatch as well as one of the best smartwatches overall, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is packed with features. With an improved battery life over its predecessor, and some interesting new software in the form of One UI Watch 3, it’s a compelling mixture of features right down to its new body composition tools.
There’s limited compatibility if you don’t have a Samsung smartphone to pair it with and we miss the rotating bezel (although there is a virtual one), but you can’t beat the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 for all-round style and useful features. Its gorgeous display further helps here too with speedy performance keeping up with your plans.
It might not be the most highly-specced fitness watch out there. However, it’s a solid all-rounder for those keen to check on their heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more while looking good in their downtime too.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review
Now it’s time for one of the cheapest devices on this list, and it comes from Chinese manufacturer Mobvoi. The TicWatch E2 isn’t a huge improvement on the first-gen watch, but it offers some fantastic features considering its price.
We really like the two-day battery life and the fact you can get all of the features of Wear OS on a watch for this low a price. It’s quite an impressive feat, and that’s why it makes our best Android watch list.
There’s no NFC (so no Google Pay) but we can forgive that at this price, especially as you do get GPS and a heart rate monitor. Not sure on the design? Why not take a look at the TicWatch S2? It’s a remarkably similar watch, but it comes with a slightly different look.
Read the full TicWatch E2 review
The Fitbit Versa 3 is a superb smartwatch, especially if your focus is more on fitness than general smart features. It has GPS, SpO2 monitoring, 24/7 activity and heart rate tracking, guided breathing exercises, and numerous workout modes. Shell out for the Fitbit Premium subscription service and you’ll also get access to a Health Metrics dashboard, which lets you dive even deeper into your health and fitness stats.
There are other highlights beyond the fitness side though, with the Fitbit Versa 3 sporting a bright, crisp, and clear AMOLED screen, and up to six days of battery life in our tests. It’s not a huge upgrade on the Versa 2, its smartwatch features are slightly limited, and to make the most of its fitness tools you need a subscription on top of the already pricey hardware, but quality rarely comes cheap. We did find it lightweight too, so it’s a good choice for if you don’t want a bulky watch.
Read the full Fitbit Versa 3 review
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is packed with features, and is available in two sizes to suit different sized wrists. We love the return of the physical rotating bezel that you don’t find on the Galaxy Watch Active range. It makes zipping through the circular menus of Samsung’s Tizen software a tactile pleasure. The Watch 3 marries excellent, modern design with top tier fitness features like GPS and multisport tracking.
A slight downside is that it’s a distinctly one-day battery watch, but then again so is the Apple Watch. And, while it’s running on the same chipset that powered the original Galaxy Watch, we didn’t find this to be an issue when testing the smartwatch. And, the Watch 3 more than makes up for it with excellent software, all the fitness functions you could want, and a premium feel that justifies the high price.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review
The TicWatch Pro 3 is a good all-rounder that doesn’t necessarily excel in any one area. But it doesn’t need to because it’s also cheaper than top-end rivals.
And it does have a lot going for it. For one thing, it was the first smartwatch to use the top-end Snapdragon 4100 chipset, so performance is good in our tests. It also offers two to three days of battery life, or – if you switch it to Essential mode – it can keep going for up to 45 days.
The TicWatch Pro 3 also has a good screen – 1.4-inch 454 x 454 one that’s crisp, bright, and responsive, plus the watch has all the typical health and fitness features you’d expect from a smartwatch. Just don’t buy this for sleep tracking, as we found that wasn’t very accurate.
Read the full TicWatch Pro 3 review
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 improves on its predecessor, the Watch Active, with an updated design, great battery life, and a digital touch bezel, which was sorely missing before. The ‘Active’ branding means this is a smartwatch more suitable for workouts and fitness tracking compared to the regular Galaxy Watch, reflected in the great on-board coaching suggestions and reminders to move to reach your set goals.
So, this Android smartwatch is not only waterproof, but also suitable for running, swimming, and cycling among other activities. Performance-wise, we found it to be fast enough – despite still having the same Exynos 9110 dual-core chipset as its predecessor. We found it to be powerful enough to zoom around the interface. It also handles notifications well.
Its battery life diminishes with lots of activity. However, with typical use, our test unit lasted through two full days.
Read the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review
The Fitbit Sense has a design that’s quite similar to the Versa, listed higher on this list, and as a Fitbit it’s also quite similar to use. However, this Android smartwatch model comes wtih health features that go beyond the physical.
The Fitbit Sense has the… well, sense, to check in on some aspects of mental health too, logging your mood and stress, as well as providing meditation and mindfulness lessons. Its main issue is that you have to pay for Fitbit Premium for lots of its extra features. There aren’t exactly many other watches on this list that require you to keep paying after you’ve bought it.
Performance-wise, we found it to be impressive during testing. Putting the Sense through a pretty intense spin session, we didn’t see any unexpected dips in heart rate that indicate an issue with fitness trackers. It also vibrates to indicate when you’re moving between heart rate zones, which is very useful for training.
Read the full Fitbit Sense review
This is an affordable Android smartwatch that straddles the line between fitness tracker and watch. If you’re looking for a low-cost health-focused wearable, it’s a great choice.
As a great fitness tracker, it boasts plenty of health metrics, from heart rate and sleep to stress, and very detailed feedback to help you. Meanwhile, we found its battery life to average about eight days if you have typically busy days. During our test, that included a daily 15-minute exercise course, a half-hour run once or twice a week, constant sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, and notification handling.
The best fitness feature on the Honor Watch ES is the range of Fitness Courses. Each one walks you through a workout you can do at home and great for people wanting to improve their strength or fitness with guided exercises. Of course, there are also loads of other fitness features like run tracking, heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking.
Read the full Honor Watch ES review
Fitbit makes several smartwatches but the cheapest of the bunch is the Versa Lite. Despite its price though it’s still a great Android watch pick thanks to a raft of features.
While it lacks built-in GPS, you can connect it to your phone to record run routes and there’s all the sport tracking features you’ll find on the Versa 2 or Ionic. The battery life is first class in our experience and will last around five days even with steady use, and the unit itself is slim and light so it’s easy to wear it to bed for the sleep tracking features.
It lacks NFC so you can’t use Fitbit Pay but if you want the Fitbit experience in a watch for less then it’s a no brainer. We’d also recommend buying a new strap for it, as we found the in-box one a little uncomfortable.
Read the full Fitbit Versa Lite review
The Fossil Sport is arguably one of the first watches from the company that can keep pace with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch. We found it lightweight, so it’s comfortable for a variety of exercises and built with fitness in mind with GPS and an accurate heart rate monitor.
Despite its sporty focus, the design still feels premium and we found it noticeably slicker than some other choices. It’s one of the more powerful Wear OS devices as it comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset inside, which we found to be snappy. The apps felt nice and responsive during testiig.
Meanwhile, the always-on OLED screen allows the smartwatch to make it breakfast to bedtime with 30% battery remaining. Switching that off, and it’ll certainly last you even longer.
Read the full Fossil Sport review
How to choose the best Android smartwatch for you
First off, don’t buy an Apple Watch, as they don’t work with Android.
Beyond that it’s a case of picking one with the features you need. Do you care about being able to take an ECG or is basic heart rate monitoring enough? Are you into health and fitness or do you mostly just want notifications? Consider all that, along with what prices and styles suit you.
Do these smartwatches also work with an iPhone?
Most smartwatches that work with Android will also work with an iPhone. However, you might lose out on some functionality, and there are a few that won’t work at all, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. For the best results with an iPhone, stick to an Apple Watch.
How we test Android smartwatches
When testing a smartwatch we pair it to our phones and use it for days, so we can tell what it’s like for everyday use – this includes working out its true battery life, seeing how it handles notifications, and appreciating any extra features it has.
We also take it for workouts with us, so we can see if it’s accurate at measuring distances and time, and to see if the fitness modes bring any cool extras.
To create our ranking we considered our review score, the specs, features, performance, price, and how they stack up to alternatives.