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Best Smartwatch (2023): Top Picks From Apple, Samsung, Garmin & More

While smartphones are arguably the most ubiquitous tech today, smartwatches have also gained popularity. After all, who doesn’t want to access essential information at a glance? Gone are the days when our favorite wrist accessories simply told us the time. The best smartwatches display notifications, track fitness metrics, inform you of your health, and even control smart home devices. So whether it’s the best-selling Apple Watch or a budget-friendly Fitbit, there’s bound to be a wearable for you. Below, we narrow down the best to just six.

Best Smartwatch Comparison Chart

ModelProduct ImagePrice
Garmin Forerunner 745
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
Apple Watch Series 8
Fitbit Versa 3
Withings ScanWatch
Garmin Fenix 7

Garmin Forerunner 745

Best fitness smartwatch

Best fitness smartwatch
The Forerunner 745 tracks running, cycling, and swimming β€” perfect for triathlons

Garmin enjoys a certain distinction among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and outdoor enthusiasts. And for a good reason. The company’s GPS smartwatches are best at tracking your workouts. However, the Garmin Forerunner 745 is our pick from Garmin’s expansive catalog. Although marketed as a running watch, the 745 offers advanced features for all types of fitness enthusiasts.

Similar to other Garmin smartwatches, the 745 has a robust polymer bezel and a Corning Gorilla Glass lens. It only comes in one size β€” 43.8mm to be exact β€” but is an excellent compromise between bulky 51mm watches and smaller but hard-to-use fitness trackers. The watch has a built-in GPS and a 24/7 heart rate monitor. It also boasts several other sensors for swimming, cycling, and indoor workouts.

While it’s not as premium as Garmin’s Fenix or Instinct lineups, the Forerunner 745 has most of the features needed for an active lifestyle. Users will appreciate the watch’s detailed workout tracking and analysis.

You also get access to advanced metrics to help you optimize your training sessions. Moreover, the 745 has decent smart features, from music controls to mobile payments.

Display: 1.2″ MIP | IP Rating: IPX7 | Battery Life: Up to 7 days

Samsung Galaxy Watch5

Best Android smartwatch

Best Android smartwatch
While it works with other Android phones, the Galaxy Watch5 integrates best with Samsung’s other Galaxy devices

The latest iteration of Samsung’s smartwatch succeeds its predecessor as the best overall smartwatch for Android users. Like the mobile OS, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 banks on its slew of customizations. It also works with other Android phones, although you’ll reap more of its benefits when paired with a Galaxy device.

With its bright round AMOLED display, the Galaxy Watch5 handles outdoor use with ease. And while it sports a similar aesthetic to the Galaxy Watch4, there are a few upgrades. For instance, the AMOLED screen on the Watch5 is now more durable, thanks to Sapphire Crystal Glass. It also boasts a 15% bigger battery than its predecessor.

Samsung’s smartwatch also runs on WearOS, which replaced the Tizen on the Galaxy Watch4. Running on Google’s OS, the Watch5 has several Google services onboard. Like its Galaxy phone counterparts, it also uses a One UI Watch4.5 skin. The overall user experience, however, remains seamless and intuitive.

For fitness enthusiasts, the Galaxy Watch5 tracks over 90 workouts. It can also assess body composition, track sleep, and measure skin temperature, among others.

Display: 1.2″ or 1.4″ AMOLED | IP Rating: IP68 | Battery Life: Up to 50 hours

Apple Watch Series 8

Best smartwatch for iPhone

Best smartwatch for iPhone
Apple’s Watch Series 8 is unmatched in its integration with the Apple iPhone

The Apple Watch Series 8 is the natural choice if you’re an iPhone user. Aside from its unmatched integration with iOS, the device is simply a stunning piece of hardware. It’s also available in two sizes β€” 41mm and 45mm β€” both of which sport a killer always-on Retina display. For the fashion-conscious, the Apple Watch Series 8 also comes in Hermes and Nike editions.

Apple’s latest smartwatch isn’t a huge upgrade from the Watch Series 7. Crash detection and a body temperature sensor are the notable additions to the Watch Series 8. Most of the upgrades come courtesy of the watchOS 9, including several fitness and health features. And while it’s not as rugged as the new Apple Watch Ultra, the Watch Series 8 is a better fit for daily use.

The Apple Watch Series 8 also enjoys a multitude of apps, from exercises and games to weather and travel essentials. For iPhone users, it’s really the perfect smartwatch to get – except for its cost and single-day battery life. You can wait for sales to get the unit at a bargain. And Apple shares that the Watch Series 8 has a low power mode to double the battery life.

Display: 1.69″ or 1.9″ OLED | IP Rating: IP6X | Battery Life: Up to 36 hours

Fitbit Versa 3

Best budget smartwatch

Best budget smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 3 tracks over 20 workouts and comes with an auto-detect feature

Fitbit is one the most well-known brands of wearables, and a lot of it has to do with the value the company offers. Fitbit smartwatches typically retail for less than $300. And while the Fitbit Versa 4 is one of them, it’s hard to argue against the $150 price tag of the Fitbit Versa 3.

Like other models in the Versa series, the Versa 3 sports a squircle shape and a decent-sized AMOLED display. And despite its price, the watch brandishes a sturdy aluminum case. While it isn’t as stylish as the Fitbit Luxe, it doesn’t look like a budget wearable. If you do want to change its look, you can replace the Versa 3’s default silicone strap with leather and knitted bands.

For a relatively affordable wearable, the Versa 3 is packed with features. Fitbit shares that the watch can track over 20+ workouts. It also boasts advanced readings, including active zone minutes and VO2 Max. For health, the Versa 3 offers heart rate tracking, SpO2 monitoring, and guided breathing sessions. Some features, however, are behind a paywall.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a smartwatch without connected features. The Fitbit Versa 3 is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It can also take incoming calls and has built-in Alexa and Google Assistant. Plus, you get Fitbit Pay for contactless payments.

Display: 1.58″ AMOLED | IP Rating: n/a | Battery Life: Up to 6 days

Withings ScanWatch

Best hybrid smartwatch

Best hybrid smartwatch
Withings’ ScanWatch is a low-maintenance hybrid watch that banks on accurate health readings

If an all-digital watch sounds overwhelming, consider getting a hybrid watch instead. Here, the Withings ScanWatch is one of the standouts. From afar, the stylish wearable looks more like a traditional watch, thanks to its analog dial and physical hands for hours and minutes.

However, a closer inspection reveals subdial PMOLED screen to display fitness and health metrics as well as phone notifications. And since the digital display is small, the ScanWatch is generous in battery life. Withings says it can last up to 30 days on a single charge.

The ScanWatch is also as sturdy as it is sophisticated. Its dial is crafted from brass, while the hands sport a metallic finish. You can get the watch in several color combinations, too, including a dressy rose gold.

With minimal screen estate to work with, the ScanWatch takes a different approach to your health metrics. Withings shares that the device offers one of the more accurate ECG features. Even its SpO2 monitoring has been subjected to rigorous testing. You wouldn’t expect less from a company that also sells smart scales and blood pressure monitors.

Display: 0.54″ PMOLED | IP Rating: n/a | Battery Life: Up to 30 days

Garmin Fenix 7

Best rugged smartwatch

Best rugged smartwatch
Even with satellite navigation features turned on, the Fenix 7 offers an impressive battery life

The 47mm Garmin Fenix 7 is an easy choice for outdoor and extreme activities. Sleek but rugged, this GPS adventure watch can handle the elements. It boasts a fiber-polymer reinforced case bordered by a stainless steel bezel. The watch’s rear cover is also made from metal, while its screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX.

Garmin shares that the Fenix 7 can withstand pressures equivalent to a depth of 100m. That’s twice what typical smartwatches can handle. It also works in temperatures from -4ΒΊ to 113ΒΊF. Unlike its predecessors, the Fenix 7 features a touchscreen. In situations touch navigation isn’t conducive, you can rely on physical buttons.

Garmin also packed the watch with sensors, including GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo for navigation. Staples like a barometric altimeter, compass, and gyroscope are also present. For health monitoring, the Fenix 7 features a heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor.

However, all these features wouldn’t matter if the battery drains fast. Fortunately, the Fenix 7 delivers in this area. In smartwatch mode, the wearable offers up to 18 days of battery life. Meanwhile, a battery-saver mode offers an impressive 57 days of power. And if you’re trying to save power while using GPS, an Expedition GPS mode delivers up to 40 days of battery life.

Display: 1.3″ MIP | IP Rating: n/a | Battery Life: Up to 57 days

Verdict

While all smartwatches reviewed come highly recommended, the Apple Watch Series 8 and Fitbit Versa 3 are standouts.

From comprehensive health and fitness tracking to serving as an extension of your smartphone, the best smartwatches are more advanced than ever. But while our picks come highly recommended, two are standouts.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is arguably the most popular smartwatch today. Although it only works with iOS, it remains a leading example of what a wearable can do. In the Watch Series 8, hardware and software meet to deliver an intuitive user experience. And while its battery life could be better, it has more features than you’ll need.

For a smartphone-agnostic smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa 3 stands head and shoulders above the rest. Recently acquired by Google, the Fitbit lineup offers some of the most affordable wearables today. The budget-friendly Versa 3 boasts a solid set of fitness and health features that work for beginners to full-on enthusiasts. The only caveat is that some features are behind a paywall.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ Does the Garmin Fenix 7 have smart notifcations?

Yes. The Garmin Fenix 7 supports smart notifications.

πŸ“Œ What is the water-resistance rating of the Fitbit Versa 3?

The Fitbit Versa 3 is water resistance up to a depth of 50 meters.

πŸ“Œ Can the Withings ScanWatch track daily activities?

Yes. The Withings ScanWatch offers activity tracking metrics, including steps, distance, elevation, and calories burned.

πŸ“Œ Can I store music locally on the Garmin Forerunner 745?

Yes. Garmin’s Forerunner 745 has support for music storage.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.