Entertainment Best smartwatch 2022: the top wearables you should buy today
Best smartwatch 2022: the top wearables you should buy today
Track your activities and monitor your health with the best smartwatch. This wristwatch-slash-miniature companion to your smartphone is a useful tool especially if you’re trying to lead a healthy, active lifestyle or you’re on a wellness path. The more advanced models can even assist you in keeping an eye on some health concerns.
Finding the absolute best smartwatch for you is vital. Not only are there many on the market, but their features and functionalities – as well as size, shape, and smartphone compatibility – differ as well. And, you don’t want to end up with one that won’t meet your demands or pay a lot more for one that’s a bit of an overkill for your minimal needs.
We at TechRadar have tested and reviewed most smartwatch releases out there, from the more prevalent Apple Watches and older Samsung smartwatches to Fitbit’s offerings and Wear OS watches from brands like Fossil and Mobvoi. And, we’re here to guide you in choosing the most ideal smartwatch for you by gathering the best we’ve tested and ranking them here according to budget, use, and features.
For each entry though we’ve included a full specs list, along with an overview from our review and the key good and bad points. We’ve also included our price comparison tool so that you grab the best price available on the smartwatch you want. That way, you won’t have to do much research to round the choices down.
If you do want to learn more though, make sure to tap through to our full review of each smartwatch. And make sure to check back soon, because new wearables keep on arriving.
The best smartwatches 2022
“With a decent display, good fitness tracking and easy-to-read notifications, Apple is slowly ironing out all the reasons not to buy one of its wearables” we wrote in our Watch 7 review.
However, it’s a flagship smartwatch that’s in some ways more of the same, as this isn’t a whole lot different to the Apple Watch 6.
It has essentially the same chipset and little in the way of new features, but what new stuff the Apple Watch 7 does have is useful, especially its larger screen, which is 20% bigger and yet only a tiny bit larger on your wrist, thanks to smaller bezels.
That extra size makes all the difference when interacting with the Apple Watch 7, and the wearable also charges faster than ever. With those things added to the still-excellent Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch 7 is undeniably a great wearable, and the best smartwatch available today – so long as you have an iPhone.
In our review we noted better battery life and improved fitness features would have made this wearable even better, but what’s here still seriously impresses.
Read our full Apple Watch 7 review
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 had a lot of hype around it with the return to Wear OS, having used Tizen for recent models. But this isn’t Wear OS as you might know it – it’s a new take on the operating system, designed alongside Samsung, and with a very Tizen-like skin on the top.
That means you get the best of both worlds, with the functionality and apps of Wear OS, coupled with the look and feel of Tizen.
In our review we highlighted the “good fitness features, strong battery life and a comfortable design” thanks to a lightweight build and interesting new body composition measurement tools.
But some of its features require a Samsung phone, and there’s no support for iPhone, so the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t something we can recommend to everyone. It also arguably isn’t worth upgrading to if you already own a recent Galaxy Watch.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review
The Apple Watch SE is one of the best smartwatches money can buy right now, but it’s only the right choice for you if you own an iPhone.
As we wrote in our review, “it’s got all the useful features of the Watch 6, but it’s much cheaper, and thus one of the best smartwatches around.”
The SE comes with some top-end specs, a high-end design and a great range of features that you can’t get on every other smartwatch right now.
The battery life isn’t the best on the market based on our tests, and there isn’t an always-on display, but if you’re after a great value for money choice for your next wrist companion you should opt for the Apple Watch SE.
Read the full Apple Watch SE review
Don’t want something from either Samsung or Apple? The Fitbit Versa 3 may be best for your wrist, as this smartwatch from the company is one of the best wrist companions for those who want to focus on fitness features.
There’s built-in GPS, we found it comfortable to wear, and the display is easy to view with a crisp image. Like previous Fitbit smartwatches, this is mostly focused on fitness and won’t be for everyone.
As we mentioned in our review, “the Fitbit Versa 3 is an excellent wearable, though it’s more a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, with very limited productivity apps on offer.”
But for general wearable fans, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a good option, and it’s more affordable than some of the other options on this list too.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review
The Galaxy Watch 3 is still one of the best smartwatches for Android owners – and it also works with iPhone.
The Galaxy Watch 3 features a unique rotating bezel that makes navigating around the smartwatch a joy. We found that a lot easier than trying to tap and swipe the display, which is something you have to do on a lot of the other best smartwatches in this list.
Apps available on the watch are more limited than Wear OS or watchOS – two rival smartwatch operating systems – but it still offers the core basics and Samsung has provided a watch that’s good at fitness as well as sporting a great design and lots more functionality too.
Features are more limited if you’re using this with an iPhone, but it’s still compatible with those devices. We’d recommend considering an Apple Watch though if that’s your phone of choice.
While it’s been succeeded by Galaxy Watch 4, the Watch 3 is still a strong offering, as we concluded in our review, saying “it’s one of the better smartwatch experiences on the market, with a dazzling design and top-end spec.”
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review
The Fitbit Sense is both stylish and impressive, packing in advanced health and fitness features like an ECG, stress monitoring, heart rate zones, and skin temperature measurements. As we said in our review, the Sense is “a stylish smartwatch to help you cope with the stress of modern life.”
It’s an interesting feature set, and it’s paired with all the basics you’d expect from a fitness-focused smartwatch, including tracked workouts, GPS, a voice assistant (with the choice of Alexa or Google Assistant), and meditation tools.
With a stainless-steel case and a sharp screen too, the Fitbit Sense really feels like the full package, except that sadly some of its tools are hidden behind the Fitbit Premium paywall.
If you’re happy to subscribe to that then this is a top option, but if you’d rather just make a one-off purchase then be aware that you won’t be able to access everything this watch has to offer.
Read our full Fitbit Sense review
The Watch 2 Active is a slim, sporty, light and comfortable smartwatch that’s slimmer, lighter and, arguably, more comfortable, and features a rotating digital bezel and an LTE version.
It may not be the the most recent smartwatch on this list (it launched in 2019), but it’s still a quality smartwatch at a decent price.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display which we found – during our review process – to be bright and beautiful yet small enough to be strapped around your wrist than a lot of the other devices in this list.
It still comes top-end fitness features you’d expect from Samsung’s Tizen watch range, with 39 workout modes, a heart rate and ECG sensor, and health app with stress and sleep monitoring. There’s even a way to monitor your blood pressure.
Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review
The Apple Watch 6 works seamlessly with Apple’s phones, and it’s well worth considering if you plan to stick with the iPhone range for at least a few years, but can’t stretch to the newer Watch 7 which sits atop this list.
At launch, it was an incremental upgrade over the Watch 5, so if you’re still rocking the fifth generation wearable it’s not worth the upgrade. It does have a few additional features like blood oxygen monitoring and an upgraded chipset, but largely it’s a similar device with the exact same screen and design.
That said, the Watch 6 is still plenty capable, and as we mentioned in our review “the Watch 7 doesn’t include any new health sensors or features, so you’re not missing much by opting for the slightly older Apple Watch 6 instead.”
Read the full Apple Watch 6 review
“If you like to run a lot, the Honor Magic Watch 2 might be one of the best smartwatches you can buy. It’s affordable, lightweight, and has a genuinely impressive slate of features” – that’s the glowing summary from our Watch 2 review.
The Honor Magic Watch 2 tracks a range of sports with detailed information, and can even provide workout advice and feedback for certain activities. It’s great for people looking to get fitter.
The watch also lasts for a long time without needing to be charged in our tests, up to a week or two weeks depending on which version you buy, and it looks pretty sleek too.
There are a few issues with the watch like its relative lack of non-fitness features, the fact its design can often get very dusty and need cleaning, and the fact lots of its fitness features aren’t available on iOS, but even then we can still recommend it as a good smartwatch.
Read our full Honor Magic Watch 2 review
The TicWatch Pro 3 is one of the best Wear OS watches – you can use this with your iPhone or Android phone – and it offers some solid battery life as well as some intuitive functionality.
This uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset with 1GB of RAM, and we found this smartwatch to be one of the most powerful devices on this list. Apps load quickly, and we didn’t find any time where you’ll be left waiting for something to boot up.
Battery life is where this smartwatch truly sings though with the smartwatch able to last for over a month in what the company calls ‘Essential Mode’. Want to keep your smartwatch features running? You’ll still get three days from a single charge of this smartwatch.
The price means it undercuts a lot of other top-end smartwatches, so it’s a touch cheaper than many other options on this list and its all-round package impressed during our review period with the wearable, and we dubbed it “a quality smartwatch with three-day battery life, great speed, and a sleek design”.
Read the full TicWatch Pro 3 review
How to choose the best smartwatch
Perhaps the first thing you should check when buying a smartwatch is whether or not it supports your current phone. If you’re using an Android phone then you can’t use an Apple Watch, and while Wear OS watches are compatible with iPhone, they’re not as good with it as Apple’s own wearables.
You should also consider whether a wearable has GPS, an ECG, or other features that you might care about. If you want one of Samsung’s offerings, bear in mind that some of those watches also have extra features that are only available to Samsung phone owners.
Be sure to check on things like longevity or battery life per full charge, waterproofing, screen size, design, and comfort as well. Those things might not matter as much right now, but if you want to track your sleep, for example, you’ll want something that has a multi-day battery life, comes with a smaller screen size, and is comfortable to wear in bed.
How we test smartwatches
Every smartwatch on this list has been fully and extensively reviewed by the expert team at TechRadar, so we know exactly what makes them tick.
Our review process involves using the devices as if they were our own personal wearables, ensuring every smartwatch gets fully tested in the real world. A comprehensive sweep of features takes place, and usage is varied over multiple days to give us a clear idea of how battery life performs.
Using that knowledge we’ve then ranked them, while also factoring in their price, performance, value, and core specs.
What should I look for when buying a smartwatch?
The first thing to check is whether your phone is compatible with it – you can’t use an Apple Watch with an Android phone, and you can’t use a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 with an iPhone. Beyond that, consider the battery life and the features – how often will you be happy charging it, and what do you need out of your watch?
Which is the best smartwatch?
The best smartwatch changes all the time, but typically you’ll find an Apple or Samsung smartwatch topping the list, as these tend to be packed full of high-end features and polish.