We’ve reviewed everything from smartwatches to fitness trackers, Bluetooth rings, and sleep-logging wristbands to Bluetooth rings. These are the best wearables to buy, no matter if you love Apple or hate Android.
The summer 2021 buying forecast: Android smartwatches are set to experience a major shift in their purchasing habits. Google and Samsung revealed at this year’s Google I/O that they are working together to create a unified platform which combines the best of both their smartwatch platforms, Wear OS and Tizen OS. Android users should wait until Samsung unveils its next-generation smartwatches in August before purchasing anything new. Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatch is also possible. We expect to see a new flagship Fitbit in late summer/early autumn, and the Apple Watch Series 7 will likely be released in September. It’s best to look for deals in the late summer right after product announcements. Check out this shortlist, crafted by IBuyEssay.com.
Smartwatches that are all-around the best
Who are you?
You only want the best, and are willing to pay for it.
Our Choice: Apple Watch Series 6 (400-$1,500).
Although it’s cliché to say that the Apple Watch has the best features, the Series 6 update is an extremely iterative one. The new SpO2 sensor provides blood oxygen monitoring, a brighter display and a faster processor. We liked watchOS 7, but not all features are great. Some, such as the native sleep-tracking and cycling directions, were just okay. With Family Setup, you can now set up an Apple Watch to be used by children or parents with disabilities. The Series 6 won yet another award for best overall watch but the competition is much closer than it was in previous years.
The Apple Watch SE is a great option for Apple Watch users. The Apple Watch SE is $120 cheaper than the Series 6 and has the same motion sensors as the Series 5. It also comes with the same processor, $280, and has the same processor. While you will lose an all-on display and advanced health functions like ECG or blood oxygen-monitoring you may want to prioritize savings if you are young and healthy. You can also search for a Series 5 at a discount while supplies last. This only applies to iOS users. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (starts from $400) is a great option for Android users, especially if your Samsung Galaxy phone has it. It is stunning and the best Android smartwatch. The Fitbit Sense ($330) is also worth considering. This is the best option for you if you don’t care about LTE connectivity or don’t own a Samsung smartphone.
The Best Fitness Smartwatch
Who are you?
You wake up every morning consuming protein shakes, and you are determined to achieve your 10,000 step goal each day. A wearable that has enough battery life to support your lifestyle is important to you.
Our Pick: Suunto 7 ($500)
The Suunto 7 smartwatch is big and heavy, with a high price tag. It’s also a powerful fitness tool. The fitness tracker is extremely accurate and can be downloaded offline. It also tracks 70 sports. Heat maps are available, which allow you to see the locations of other Suunto users who like to run, hike and cycle. You don’t miss out on advanced smartwatch capabilities. NFC is available for mobile payments and you have access to all apps in the Google Play Store. This is something that Polars and Garmins don’t have with their closed ecosystems. It’s also quite lightweight, at 50mm, and it’s not ugly.
Garmin and Polar are solid choices if you love to work out and need your watch to be accurate. Both smartwatches provide detailed metrics and, while they are small in number, Garmin and Polar have loyal fans. The Polar Ignite ($230), and the Polar Unite ($150), are better suited for “casual” athletes interested in how recovery affects their performance. Garmins’ Fenix 6 series is the best, but the Venu ($300) is a great touchscreen watch. The Timex Ironman GPS R300 ($120), which is accurate and affordable, has a tremendously long battery life.
The Best Android-Friendly Smartwatch
Who are you?
A person who owns an Android phone and needs a smartwatch that communicates with it.
Our Choice: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (starts from $400)
Samsung, you finally achieved it! This smartwatch is comprehensive and Android-friendly. It can spot check your blood oxygen levels, and it has an FDA-cleared ECG application. Samsung has added a number of new features to its sleep-tracking system, including a new VO2 Max App and advanced running metrics. Your Samsung TV can be used to cast workout videos and have your metrics overlayed on the workout. This sounds a lot like Apple’s Fitness+ service. It’s also a gorgeous round smartwatch that features a rotating bezel and intuitive navigation. It also fixed software issues we had with previous Samsung smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch 3 is compatible with Samsung smartphones. Some features, such as ECG, will not transfer to non-Samsung Android phones.
Update: Samsung and Google announced that they will be collaborating to create a single smartwatch platform built on Google’s WearOS. Tizen OS devices such as the Galaxy Watch 3 will be supported for three years starting at launch. However, you might want to wait to see what the next generation Android smartwatches have in store before making any major decisions. Samsung will announce its next smartwatch during an August event.
The Best Hybrid Smartwatch
Who are you?
Someone who is proud of their appearance and requires a smartwatch to match. A person who prefers classic design and basic functionality to advanced features.
Our Pick: Skagen Jorn ($195)
The Skagen Jorn, which is essentially the minimalist Scandinavian cousin to the Fossil Hybrid HR, is the Skagen Jorn. The Skagen Jorn has the same gorgeous E ink display as the Fossil Hybrid HR and a 2-week battery life. However, we think it is in a better package. Fossil, which owns Skagen, has also updated the app with GPS maps, real time weather, challenges and activity-tracking software. The Skagen Jorn is a smartwatch that offers simplicity and elegance. However, it lacks NFC payments.
The Best Tracker that’s not a Watch
Who are you?
A person who doesn’t like watches but needs something to track their fitness and activity.
Our pick: Oura Ring ($300).
The smart ring is gaining a lot more attention lately as medical researchers are using it to test if it can detect covid-19 earlier. It is primarily a sleep monitor. You get detailed breakdowns of how well you slept, and your “readiness”–basically a score measuring how well you’ve recovered. The device doesn’t track activity like other wearables. It focuses mainly on achieving a daily calorie burning and minutes spent at low, medium and high intensity levels. This app is great for taking a holistic, macro view of your activity. You can also log mindfulness sessions in the app.
The Best Budget Fitness Tracker
Who are you?
You don’t need a fancy fitness tracker, but you still want it to be basic.
Our Pick: Amazfit BIP S ($70).
Although it looks more like an Android smartwatch than a fitness monitor, the price is hard to beat. It comes with a good companion app and extremely accurate GPS. The price is about half that of the Fitbit Charge 4 and it still has GPS. It can be swapped for custom watches faces and has a 15-day battery life. You can even get up to 40 days if you adjust the power-usage settings. This watch is a steal at a fraction of the price of old Pebble watches.