Just over five years ago Apple brought the most capable smartwatch to the market, and thanks to the company’s capacity for annual upgrades, the iconic Apple Watch has remained the leading choice among the best smartwatches.
Apple's latest model, the Apple Watch Series 5, takes home the Tom’s Guide Award for the top smartwatch to get.
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In addition to its large app library, bright OLED display and LTE capabilities, Apple’s edge in the wearable ring is how consistently it improves its health and wellness tools.
In 2018 the Apple Watch Series 4 introduced an FDA-approved electrocardiogram that alerts you when you experience irregular heart rate readings, as well as fall detection sensors that have saved lives by calling emergency assistance automatically.
Then in 2019, the Series 5 added an always-on display and compass for outdoor expeditions, while the watchOS 6 software welcomed the Noise app for real-time measurement of the sound around you in decibels and Cycle Tracking app for keeping tabs on your menstrual calendar.
When the Apple Watch 6 debuts later this year, it’ll likely replace the Series 5 in our rankings with a new kind of sensor (rumored to be an SpO2 monitor), plus benefit the most from the watchOS 7 update.
That’s not to say the competition isn't strong. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a close contender, and when the new Galaxy Watch 3 arrives Apple’s best smartwatch title will certainly be challenged. Fitbit's fitness smartwatches are also quite good.
But Apple has still set the bar for smartwatches incredibly high — even for itself. Aside from lasting more than a day without a change, you’d be hard pressed to find something the Apple Watch Series 5 can’t do, or that other wearables do better.