The best smartwatches we've tested are more advanced than ever. They're now everything in one: a comprehensive health and fitness tracker, digital wallet, and an extension of your smartphone, even if your smartphone is nowhere nearby.
Today's smartwatches can also measure your heart rate, detect elevations, and automatically connect you to emergency services if you have a fall. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood oxygen (SpO2) readings are perks of certain models, too.
That said, the best smartwatches go above and beyond, housing various features and apps while keeping up with your day-to-day needs. And of course, there's style: many smartwatches can be customized, from their straps to their faces, to fit your personality.
My name is Kate and I oversee our guides to the best smartwatches, best Android smartwatches, best Apple Watches, best Samsung watches and more. This means I usually walk around like a cyborg with multiple devices on my wrists. I've been testing wearable tech for Tom's Guide for more than 4 years, documenting my experience on the site, on our YouTube channel and on my Instagram.
The quick list
Here's a quick overview of the best smartwatches you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews. In-depth analysis on each of the products can be found further down this page.
Best smartwatch overall
The best smartwatch overall
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the most well-rounded smartwatch we've tested. It has first-rate communication, fitness, health and safety features, making it the best smartwatch for most people.
Best Android smartwatch
The best Android smartwatch
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the ultimate Android smartwatch, with excellent communication features, a full collection of health-tracking sensors and deep integration with other Galaxy devices.
Best smartwatch for Pixel
The best smartwatch for Pixel
The Google Pixel Watch is the first dedicated smartwatch for Pixel smartphone users, offering Google apps and the most Fitbit fitness tracking features. We like this watch's minimalistic design, too.
Best value smartwatch
The best value smartwatch
The Apple Watch SE (2022) offers an excellent smartwatch value, with many of the best Apple Watch features at a fraction of the price. It even comes in an LTE option, making it a low-cost watch for safety and connectivity.
Best Fitbit smartwatch
The best Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Sense 2 is one the most intuitive smartwatches you can buy thanks to a proactive stress-detection feature. It has robust fitness tracking and a handful of Google apps, even if it's not a true Wear OS watch.
The best smartwatches you can buy today
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The full list: Best smartwatches in detail
The Apple Watch 9 is the best Apple Watch yet. It’s not a major upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 8 in terms of features, but it does introduce some useful updates. What's new is the S9 processor, which is 25% more efficient before, powering a brighter 2,000 nit display and neat new double-tap gesture. The double-tap gesture makes it possible to navigate the watch one-handed, while a next-gen ultra-wideband chip helps you track down a misplaced iPhone more easily.
What's more, the Apple Watch Series 9 is one of Apple's first carbon-neutral certified devices. Using more recycled parts, less packaging, and coming with a 82% recycled yarn Sport Loop, the Series 9 takes a big step in an eco-conscious direction.
Otherwise, the Apple Watch Series 9 is a full-featured health tracker and communications tool. With watchOS 10, this smartwatch packs the latest and greatest of what the Apple Watch experience has to offer. Whether you want a smartwatch for working out, answering calls from your wrist, or using the best Apple Watch apps, this is the best smartwatch for you. As long as you have an iPhone, of course.
Read our full Apple Watch 9 review.
The best Android smartwatch
The Galaxy Watch 6 is the best smartwatch for Android users thanks to design improvements, refreshed built-in apps and added health features. While Samsung's smartwatch lineup has received mostly iterative updates in past years, the Galaxy Watch 6 presents some truly substantial upgrades.
Samsung continues to offer one of the most robust smartwatch collections on the market with not one, but two wearable devices. The Galaxy Watch 6 strikes a balance of sleek and sporty, while the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic elevates style with the fan-favorite physical rotating bezel. Larger displays and a new interchangeable band mechanism make for a more user-friendly design, too. Our comparison of Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can help you decide which is right for you.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review.
The best smartwatch for Pixel
The Google Pixel Watch is the best smartwatch for Pixel phone users, bar none. Though it’s a first-generation device, a clean design, a full collection of Google apps and fitness tracking powered by Fitbit’s platform make for a compelling smartwatch. In many ways, the Pixel Watch is the best of both worlds, pairing a top-notch Wear OS experience with Fitbit’s holistic health-tracking (which is further enhanced with a Fitbit Premium membership.) There are plenty of tools on-board for staying connected and getting active.
But there’s some room for improvement: the thick bezels and singular size option might deter some users in terms of design, while we found the battery life feels disappointing compared to that of other Fitbit smartwatches. Still, the Pixel Watch stands out enough from other smartwatches for Android, making for what we consider a successful first attempt based on our testing. Do check out our lowdown of the 3 reasons to buy and 3 reasons to skip the Google Pixel Watch.
Read our full Google Pixel Watch review.
The best value smartwatch
The Apple Watch SE is kind of a hybrid device, pairing an older Apple Watch design with the Apple Watch Series 8's chipset. The $249 smartwatch doesn't have all the Series 8's features, but still stands out for its great fitness tracking and safety features. It also offers an LTE option, making it a good choice for those interested in trying out Family Setup.
When choosing between the Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch SE (2022), your ultimate decision will be if you want to spend an extra $150 for a brighter display with an always-on option, an ECG monitor and skin-temperature, and a bigger display. If those tools aren't deal-breakers for you, the SE is a highly capable option for iPhone users. It even gets watchOS 9, the most up-to-date Apple Watch software with low power mode, fresh new watch faces, an upgraded workout interface, a redesigned compass tool and the new Medications app.
Read our full Apple Watch SE (2022) review.
The best Fitbit smartwatch
Compared to the original Fitbit Sense, the Sense 2 features an upgraded design, interface and EDA sensor, making for Fitbit's most holistic smartwatch yet. Thanks to advanced health analysis and deep integration with Fitbit Premium, the $299 Sense 2 also sustains an edge in fitness-tracking over many of the best smartwatches on this list.
An update to the stress-detecting EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor plays a large role in the device’s success: now called cEDA ('c' for continuous,) the sensor monitors stress levels or heightened responses throughout the day, prompting the user to take action on mood monitoring with Body Response notifications. However, added support for Google Wallet and Google Maps, while useful upgrades, won’t be available for the Fitbit Sense 2 at launch. There’s oddly no third-party app support, either. Still, for a smartwatch that helps you get in touch with how you feel, the Sense 2 succeeds.
Read our full Fitbit Sense 2 review.
The best fitness-tracking smartwatch
The Garmin Venu 2 was already a stellar fitness-tracking smartwatch. We consider it one of the best Garmin watches that’s both a capable workout companion and stylish lifestyle device. The $449 Garmin Venu 2 Plus introduces on-wrist calls and voice assistants. While it maintains Garmin’s reputation for thorough fitness tracking and accurate GPS, the Venu 2 Plus is now a stronger sell for those who want their smartwatch to act as an extension of their smartphone.
Though Garmin still lacks a large third-party app store and continues to steer clear of LTE support, embracing more communication tools is a major step towards mastering the complete smartwatch experience. 10 days of battery life is the cherry on top.
Read our full Garmin Venu 2 review.
Best safety features
The Apple Watch Ultra is the best smartwatch to buy if you're a serious athlete or prioritize safety features on your wrist. In addition to new watchOS running features, the Ultra has an extra third button — the Action Button, which comes in handy for workouts but also serves as a quick way to access safety features, such as Emergency SOS and the Apple Watch Ultra's Siren.
Its 49mm screen is huge while the entire watch built for adventure. The bezel is made from titanium, with a lip around the screen to add more protection. The display is made from sapphire glass, and the watch has an increased water resistance of 100m. With up to 60 hours of battery life (in low power mode), it also has the stamina to keep up. It's still not the best battery life option compared to Garmin's sports watches, but it's better than any other Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Ultra is a serious smartwatch. We found it's not for everyone, but depending on your needs, it could strike the right balance.
Read our full Apple Watch Ultra review.
Best for step counting
The Fitbit Versa 4 is the best smartwatch for step tracking based on our testing. We will say it's not the best smartwatch for fitness tracking overall, as it struggles to provide accurate heart rate readings. But if you're looking for something that will get you moving with hourly step reminders and alerts when you've reached your daily goal, this smartwatch is a great choice.
Not only that, the Versa 4 a lovely-looking smartwatch with a slim profile and sleek metallic finishes. It looks very similar to the Fitbit Sense 2, yes, but this is the better choice if you're on a tighter budget or aren't as interested in stress-tracking. The Versa 4 still has reliable sleep-tracking and other perks available via Fitbit Premium.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 4 review.
Best classic look
Despite there being a newer Galaxy Watch 5, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic remains available as the best smartwatch for those who like a traditional look. This ‘Classic’ version of watch features luxurious characteristics, namely the physical rotating bezel (starting at $349.99.)
Thanks to a 3-in-1 health sensor, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic measures heart rate, takes ECGs and reads body composition. And while it gets appealing Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Wear OS features, it still pays homage to Tizen, making it the ideal accessory for the best Samsung phones. Note that certain features are exclusive to Samsung users, so not all Android users will benefit from all the Galaxy Watch 4 can do.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review.
The best smartwatch with Fitbit fitness tracking under $200 is the Fitbit Versa 3. The Versa 3’s standout upgrade is on-board GPS. Now, even when you leave your phone at home, the Versa can track your location during outdoor exercise. A curvier, larger display is welcome, too.
Plus the Versa 3 has a great motivational workout feature, Active Zone Minutes. Now a staple of Fitbit devices, Active Zone Minutes monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising. Your goal is to earn the AHA’s and WHO’s recommended 150 Active Zone Minutes each week. Again you can use your Fitbit Versa 3 for phone calls and speak to voice assistants for queries, but note you can only enable one voice assistant at once.
We think the newer Fitbit Versa 4 is a slightly better smartwatch in terms of interface and design, however, the Versa 3 is still an excellent value, especially on deep discount.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review.
How to pick the best smartwatch for you
When looking at the best smartwatches for you, you're somewhat limited by the smartphone you own. If you want an Apple Watch, for instance, you'll need to have an iPhone. And while Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones, you get far less functionality when not connected to an Android device. There are plenty of differences between Apple Watch vs. Fitbit and Apple Watch vs. Garmin as well.
Samsung's smartwatches offer the greatest in terms of cross-functionality, but even here, Android phone owners will get more in terms of replies to notifications and the ability to make and receive phone calls.
After that, when picking a smartwatch, you also want to get one that fits your wrist comfortably. Those with smaller wrists may find larger smartwatches — ones with case sizes larger than 44mm — to be too bulky and cumbersome to wear. If you need features like cycle or pregnancy tracking, you might find our list of the best smartwatches for women helpful, too.
Similarly, you want to find a smartwatch that fits your style. Although the Apple Watch is limited to one shape, you can purchase it in different finishes. Samsung's smartwatches offer a little more choice, while Wear OS watches, which are made by a number of companies including Fossil, Skagen, Kate Spade, Moto, Tag Heuer, Diesel, and others, give you many more options when it comes to their design. Does your smartwatch come with a metal strap? Here's how to remove a link from a watch.
How we test the best smartwatches
We test every new smartwatch to gauge its design and comfort. If it’s not stylish and comfortable enough to get you from an early morning workout to the office to a night out, you probably won’t wear it every day. Most smartwatches are also fitness trackers, so we put all of its sensors to the test, from step counts to heart rate to GPS (when applicable).
We install apps and use them to see if the device’s app store is robust enough to elevate it to smartwatch status. If the watch has built-in LTE, we test cellular connectivity and call quality to make sure the device can actually stand on its own without a smartphone nearby.
And we measure battery life using everyday scenarios — including workouts, using apps, and getting notifications — to make sure you can get through an entire day without needing to charge up.
For more smartwatch tips, see our smartwatch buying guide.