Best smartwatch 2024: Top picks for every budget

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. 

You can refer to our smartwatch buying guide for more tips on finding the ultimate wearable for you. And be sure to look at the best cheap smartwatches if you're on a mission to save some dollars.

Written by
Kate Kozuch
Written by
Kate Kozuch

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.

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The best smartwatches you can buy today

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The best smartwatch overall

The best smartwatch overall

Specifications

Sizes: 41mm, 45mm
Battery Life (Rated): 18 hours
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
LTE: Optional
Mobile Payments: Apple Pay
Compatibility: iOS

Reasons to buy

+
Siri works offline
+
Double-tap gesture is awesome
+
New UWB chip helps find your phone
+
First carbon-neutral Apple device

Reasons to avoid

-
Find iPhone feature only works with iPhone 15

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.

Latest news

Due to a patent dispute between Apple and Masimo, the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are banned from sale with the blood oxygen feature. That said, you can purchase them now and we'll update this story if that changes.

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 best smartwatch for Android

Specifications

Sizes: 40mm, 44mm
Battery Life (Rated): 40 hours
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
LTE: Optional
Mobile Payments: Samsung Pay

Reasons to buy

+
Slimmer display bezels
+
Improved interchangeable band mechanism
+
Satisfying physical bezel on Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Reasons to avoid

-
Unimpressive battery life

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 best smartwatch for Pixel smartphones

Specifications

Sizes: 41mm
Battery Life (Rated): 24 hours
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
LTE: Optional
Mobile Payments: Google Wallet

Reasons to buy

+
Stress-detection sensor
+
Safety Check feature
+
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Big bezel
-
No wireless charger

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is the best smartwatch for Pixel phone users. 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 will still deter some users in terms of design. Luckily, an improved battery life compared to the original Pixel Watch makes up for it. Plus, we love the reassurance offered by the new Safety Check feature that shares your location with emergency contacts when you might need their help most.

Read our full Google Pixel Watch 2 review.

The best value smartwatch

The best smartwatch value for iPhone users

Specifications

Sizes: 40mm, 44mm
Battery Life (Rated): 18 hours
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
LTE: Optional
Mobile Payments: Apple Pay
Compatibility: iOS

Reasons to buy

+
Lower price than previous Apple Watch SE
+
Color-matched bottom case
+
Same chipset as Apple Watch Series 8

Reasons to avoid

-
No always-on display
-

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

The best smartwatch from Fitbit

Specifications

Sizes: 40mm
Battery Life (Rated): 6 days
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
LTE: No
Mobile Payments: Fitbit Pay, Google Pay
Compatibility: iOS, Android

Reasons to buy

+
Proactive stress management with cEDA
+
Comfortable design
+
Robust fitness and health tracking with Fitbit Premiums

Reasons to avoid

-
No third party apps

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 best fitness-tracking smartwatch

Specifications

Sizes: 41mm, 45mm
Battery Life (Rated): 14 days
GPS: Yes
Swim-Proof: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
LTE: No
Mobile Payments: Garmin Pay
Compatibility: iOS, Android

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive sleep and workout advice
+
Borrows features from high-end Garmin watches
+
Up to 14 days of battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Not enough third-party apps

The Garmin Venu 3 is one of the best Garmin watches that’s both a capable workout companion and stylish lifestyle device. The $449 Garmin Venu 3 maintains Garmin’s reputation for thorough fitness tracking and accurate GPS, while having the smarts of mirrored notifications and an on-wrist voice assistant.

Though Garmin still lacks a large third-party app store and continues to steer clear of LTE support, nap-tracking and a new sleep coach work on tracking your rest while daily summaries offer behavioral insights. An abundance of sport profiles, added Recovery Time suggestions, and on-watch interval creation keep you tuned into your activity, too. What's more with a 14-hour battery life, you rarely need to stress about keeping the Garmin Venu 3 charged.

Read our full Garmin Venu 3 review.

The best smartwatch for safety

The best smartwatch for safety and sports

Specifications

Sizes: 49mm
Heart Rate: Yes
GPS: Yes
LTE: Optional
Battery Life: 36 hours
Swim-Proof: Yes
Mobile Payments: Apple Pay

Reasons to buy

+
Best battery life of any Apple Watch
+
Action Button
+
Emergency siren

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life doesn’t compare with competitors

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 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 2 review.

The best smartwatch for runners

The best smartwatch for runners

Specifications

Sizes: 42mm, 46mm
Heart Rate: Yes
GPS: Yes
LTE: No
Battery Life: 24 hours with GPS
Swim-Proof: Yes
Mobile Payments: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Two sizes available
+
Bright, beautiful AMOLED screen
+
Accurate GPS

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a ton of "smart" features

Our pick for the best running watch is the Garmin Forerunner 265. This lightweight device gives you everything you’d want in a running watch, from accurate tracking to music controls to the ability to create custom workouts, for the price of an Apple Watch. The device also offers access to Garmin’s wide range of training metrics, which help you not only plan workouts but also recovery time.

During testing, we found the Garmin Forerunner 265's beautiful AMOLED display to be bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. It also has a touchscreen, which makes it easy to navigate around the watch. The battery is long enough to last through a few workouts, even with music playing. 

 he Forerunner 265 has inherited some of the more advanced health features usually reserved for Garmin’s more expensive running watches. It also now has the ability to track multisport training sessions in the triathlon mode, and Garmin's Training Readiness Score. It's a fantastic improvement on an already fantastic watch, and a great buy for all levels of runner. 

Read our Garmin Forerunner 265 review 

The best smartwatch for step counting

The best smartwatch for step counting