Best Smartwatch Reviews [2021]


best smartwatches

Top 5 Best Smartwatches 2021:

  1. The Apple Watch Series 5
  2. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
  3. Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
  4. Fitbit Versa Lite Smartwatch
  5. Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro Smartwatch

Smartwatches are not just an extension of your smartphone – they are packed with useful features that can help you organize and perform better. 

The best tech companies have worked hard to design best smartwatches that will not only outperform their predecessors but also be the best latest version among their rivals. It is not an easy task!

Unfortunately, you won’t find choosing the best smartwatch for you easy either. The market for smartwatch shoppers can feel a bit overwhelming even for professional buyers as an array of different options can lead to the choice overload.

I’ll try to simplify the process, but you have to do your part too. First of all, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why do you want a smartwatch in the first place?
  2. What features do you value the most?
  3. Do you always have to own the latest technology, or you value functionality and performance rather than the date of release?

Once you answer these questions, read what I have to say. I have tried hard to offer all the insight you need to find an ideal smartwatch worthy of adorning your wrist.

Related: The Best Smartwatch For Women

best smartwatches

How To Choose The Best Smartwatch?

If you buy a smartwatch that you will not wear comfortably every day, you have wasted your money, so choose wisely. Consider the following:

1. Design And Comfort

  • If you are a high-end businessman and you buy a sporty smartwatch, you are likely to take it off every time you head to your office or some important dress-code type of event. Therefore, choose the appropriate design and level of comfort so that your smartwatch can stay with you throughout your entire day. Most smartwatches double as fitness trackers, and it is thus even more important to wear them all day long so that you can monitor your heart rate as well as keep track of your activities.
  • The good news is that manufacturers have finally realized that smartwatches need to look good and, as a result, the choice of styles is far more diverse than it was a couple of years ago. Many famous fashion brands have already added touchscreen smartwatches to their ranges too.

2. Built-in LTE

  • If you want your smartwatch to be a genuine stand-alone device, make sure that it features a built-in LTE. Such a device will enable you to enjoy decent cellular connectivity and call quality on its own without a single smartphone in its proximity.

3. Battery Life 

  • It would be best to test a smartwatch in your usual everyday scenario and see how it performs. The most important thing is that your smartphone can get you through your day — including your work, commute, workouts, social events, etc. If your battery is full in the morning and your smartwatch still needs to recharge in the middle of the day, that watch is not for you. 

4. Durability

  • Being on your wrist, a smartwatch is prone to damage. It is inevitably going to be knocked against things and get wet, but most smartwatches are built to withstand such “normal” handling. 
  • However, if you require more than that and you know that your line of job or choice of sport is going to expose your smartwatch to harsher conditions and more danger, you should choose models that meet higher (or even military) standards for toughness.
  • Most smartwatches nowadays are water-resistant, but make sure that the level of water-resistance suits your needs. When it comes to scratch-resistance, it is best to buy a smartwatch with a sapphire crystal over the screen. This adds an extra level of protection to your screen as well as sleek reflective sheen. The pleasure will cost you a few extra bucks, though.  

5. GPS

  • Most modern smartwatches have GPS, so it has become a piece of standard equipment. People who need to track their routes, and do not want to bring the distracting smartphone to their daily runs, will benefit from this feature the most.  
  • If you do not require a GPS, or you already use it on your phone, it would be best to turn that feature off as it tends to drain the battery.

6. Compatibility

  • Make sure that the smartwatch you buy can work with your model of phone, primarily if you use an older model of smartphone. If you own an Android or iPhone that is less than four years old, you should not expect any compatibility issues, but for anything older than that, you should best check the requirements of the watch before you buy it.

7. Operating System

  • Every smartwatch has a different operating system. Some smartwatch platforms are more user-friendly than others, while some offer better features. There is no such thing as perfect software simply because we all require different things. 
  • A sound operating system is easy to operate and navigate as well as quick and effective when launching apps. It goes without saying that app support needs to be as high as possible. There should be no pointless menus nor long lists that could lead to your frustration.

See Also: The Best Triathlon Watch


5 Best Smartwatches In 2021: Detailed Reviews

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Galaxy Watch Active 2 smartwatch is one of the best options for Android phone users. It wears comfortably as it is rather compact and lightweight, and it does not scream that its primary purpose is exercise tracking so you can wear it to work and other not-so-casual events too.

The Super AMOLED touch screen is very sharp and vivid. The intuitive interface allows you to navigate trouble-free and makes this smartwatch fun to use too. Samsung’s Tizen operating system runs smoothly and does not drain the battery too fast. On the downside, the third-party app compatibility could be better. Don’t worry, though; all the essential apps like Spotify and Strava are there.

Besides an onboard GPS, this smartwatch features automatic workout-tracking, as well as a heart rate sensor, sleep, water, food, and caffeine consumption tracking. The improved Running coach feature will not only provide you with real-time pace metrics but also alert you if you are inactive for too long.

There is superb support for the Android notification system, which gives you three options to reply – using your voice, the provided keyboard, or by choosing one of many offered quick answers. All the audio cues can be heard through the built-in speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

Considering its size, the battery life of the Galaxy Active 2 watch is more than satisfactory. It can last up to three days, but you can also use it with the Galaxy S10’s Wireless PowerShare feature.

Pros

  • Compact and sleek – blends with any look
  • Feature-packed 
  • Great user interface
  • Comes in two sizes (40mm or 44mm case and a 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch screen)
  • A range of apps available through Samsung’s app store. 
  • Built-in running coach
  • LTE support 
  • 4GB of internal storage space
  • IP68 rated 
  • Waterproof up to 5 meters

Cons

  • Limited third-party app support

2. The Apple Watch Series 5

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t look much different than its predecessor, nor is its battery life much improved; even the price is almost the same. So, what’s new?

There is a new processor for snappy performance and new apps and features that should improve your experience and keep this Apple watch ahead of its competition. There is no doubt that the newly added Compass app, Cycle Tracking app, Noise measuring app, and an International Emergency Calling feature, are all useful. Still, the most significant change is the always-on display. Now you can see all the vital info at a glance, without interrupting your work or exercise routine.

Thanks to the polysilicon & oxide display, a display driver that requires minimal power, and an ambient light sensor, this smartwatch has the same battery life as its forerunner. It means that it can stay on for about 18 hours of regular use, and that should be enough to get you through your day on a single charge.  

I would also like to acknowledge the new Activity Trends app designed to provide you with a long-term overview of all your activities and progress. Speaking of apps, the good news is that 

WatchOS 6 brings along a new App Store too and allows you to browse & download apps right from the watch instead of having to rely on your phone. The selection of compatible third-party apps is as big as ever and unparalleled in the smartwatch realm.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Large onboard storage
  • Apple’s new S5 chip 
  • Apps load very quickly
  • Feature-packed WatchOS 6
  • Useful new apps
  • Always-on display
  • Ambient mode adjusts the screen to your environment
  • Excellent fitness tracking

Cons

  • No sleep tracking 
  • Hefty price tag
  • No improvements in battery life

3. Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch has kept everything good from its predecessor, including the good looks, but has added a few extra features to become one of the best Android-compatible smartwatches you can currently buy.  First off, there is an always-on AMOLED display, then the Fitbit Pay feature, and last, but not least, a microphone for Amazon Alexa. 

Alexa, when connected to your phone or Wi-Fi network, can answer your questions and follow your voice commands. Unfortunately, there is no speaker, and Alexa is, therefore, voiceless. All the responses appear as text or graphics on the watch screen. The pinhole microphone for using Amazon Alexa is located on the right edge.

Fitbit Versa 2 is feature-packed, feels good on your wrist, and looks attractive, and yet it costs only a fraction of the cost of an Apple Watch. The battery life exceeds all the usual expectations.

Versa 2 appears to be thicker than the original version, but it is mostly due to its rounded edges and curved Amoled face and underside. Interesting choice of colors and wrist straps allow you to match this smartwatch with your personality. Additional straps can be bought separately and come in a variety of colors and different materials such as silicone, leather, fabric, steel, etc.

 Pros

  • A new, always-on AMOLED screen
  • Choice of hundreds of different watch faces through the Fitbit app
  • The microphone lets you use Amazon Alexa 
  • Supports a variety of on-watch apps
  • Fitbit Pay NFC payment system
  • Can last up to five days on a single charge
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • All the standard health and activity tracking features

Cons

  • The screen is not as bright as on the original version 
  • Alexa can respond with text only

4. Fitbit Versa Lite Smartwatch

Image Credit: Amazon.com

If you like the already reviewed Fitbit Versa 2, you will be happy to hear that it has a low-priced relative. Of course, you’ll need to make some compromises, but if you keep your expectations realistic, you are sure to be satisfied with your purchase. 

So, what are you giving up on?

The good news is that the Lite version is as sleek and comfortable as the original model. It also provides you with all you need to track your activities and health on a daily basis, except for a small number of advanced features. Advanced users might not be able to work around this, but if you are a beginner, you won’t even need most of these missing features in the first place.

The features that are at your disposal include the accelerometer, SPO2 sensor, heart rate monitor, and an ambient light sensor. You’ll have to do without the altimeter, gyroscope, the Fitbit Coach app, onboard music storage, and NFC for Fitbit pay. There is no Wi-Fi, either.

In comparison to Versa 2, the color options are limited. Still, all Versa accessories are compatible, and you can thus use the same additional silicone bands I have mentioned earlier and customize your watch.

The square 1.34-inch LCD screen has the same resolution (300 by 300 pixels). The colors are vivid, and the screen is bright enough and responsive. Lite version is compatible with Android and iOS, too, and runs the same Fitbit 3.0 operating system. You can pair it with your smartphone via Bluetooth and use the Fitbit app to customize the settings and control notifications. Fitbit’s quick replies allow you to answer texts directly from your watch.

The 45mAh battery should last up to four days. 

Pros

  • Least expensive
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Intuitive interface 
  • Tracks all standard everyday health and fitness activities 
  • A decent range of downloadable third-party apps
  • 5ATM water resistance
  • Excellent battery life 

Cons

  • Lacks advanced fitness features
  • No Fitbit pay

5. Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro Smartwatch

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Mobvoi TicWatchcompany is a new kid on the block, but it has already taken hold of its share of the market, mostly thanks to the stylish design and high-quality specs. The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro is its most premium product with a few innovative features. 

The first innovation is the display, as this smartwatch features a face with two screens combined. The Essential mode screen is a transparent LCD. It is used in low power mode and displays data like time & date, heart rate, and your step count.

The second OLED screen lies underneath the LCD. It offers higher resolution (at 400×400 pixels) but consumes much more power as well. You use it to navigate through apps as well as for other critical functions in Smart mode. 

If you mostly stick to the Essential mode, you’ll be wowed by the battery life of this smartwatch. Namely, in this mode, the battery can last up to a week. Unfortunately, Essential mode limits 

access to the apps and features.

There are more things that need to be worked on in order for this watch to stand neck to neck with the Apple, Samsung, and Galaxy smartwatches. For starters, the Ticwatch Pro is not as comfortable and feels a bit heavy. It is not as user-friendly as these other watches either. The featured Wear OS could be further improved, and the LTE version offered. 

On a brighter note, it is compatible with Android 4.3+ and iOS 8+. Tracking functions are more than okay too. The only complaint in this department is the water-resistance level as it cannot handle anything more than a shower.  

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Double screen (OLED & LCD)
  • Compatible with both Android and iOS 
  • 4GB online storage
  • Week-long battery life in Essential mode
  • Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity
  • IP68 rating

Cons

  • Feels a bit heavy
  • No LTE connectivity
  • Smart mode drains the battery much faster

Final Verdict

We all know that Apple smartwatches are the creme de la creme of wearable technology. Therefore, go for the Apple Watch Series 5 – if you can afford it, of course.

If not, Fitbit watches are a reasonably-priced alternative worth considering.  You can opt for either the upscale Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch or its budget-friendly relative Fitbit Versa Lite Smartwatch, depending on how thick your wallet is.

Any of the reviewed smartwatches is sure to help you track your activities and keep your health in check, so you should better start sooner than later!

Recent Posts