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Best Android smartwatch 2022

Best Android Smartwatches hero
Best Android Smartwatches hero (Image credit: Marco Miranda)

Right now, the best Android smartwatch is easily the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. While you'll have the best experience when you pair it with a Samsung phone, it runs quite well on all the best Android phones. It also has all the smartwatch perks and fitness features you'd expect from a Samsung wearable. 

While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 might be a slight departure from previous models now that Wear OS 3 is in the picture, that shouldn't deter you. It's lightweight, compact, and stylish; the perfect wearable trifecta for fitness enthusiasts who want to experience the best of both worlds. But if you're not too fond of that choice, there are many other amazing options, from Garmin to Fitbit to Mobvoi, and many more.

These are our picks for the best Android smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 close-up

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Best smartwatch overall

Specifications

Processor: Samsung Exynos W920
RAM: 1.5GB
Storage: 16GB
Display size: 40mm / 44mm
Band size: 20mm
Weight: 25.9g (40mm) / 30.3g (44mm)
Battery life: 40 hours
OS: Wear OS Powered by Samsung
Colors: Silver, Black, Green, Pink Gold
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: Yes, Optional
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: ✔️ (Qi)

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive, thoughtful design
+
Optional LTE connectivity
+
Easy-to-use capacitive bezel
+
Comprehensive health/fitness tracking
+
Excellent performance and app support

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life is just OK
-
Health tracking not as accurate as Garmin

You'll find that the Galaxy Watch 4 provides the most well-rounded wearable experience for Android users right now. The thoughtful design is compact and comes in a lightweight aluminum design that caters to active individuals. It also features an extremely sharp and vivid touch display that's easy to navigate and fun to use, thanks to the company's signature capacitive bezel. The debut of Wear OS 3 has been mostly impressive. The performance is smooth, and there's better app selection, including Google Pay, Google Maps, and messages by Google.

The Galaxy Watch 4 may not have the "Active" name as its predecessor, but it's still a fitness smartwatch. It has GPS built-in and features automatic workout tracking, sleep tracking, and heart-rate monitoring. Many of the key sensors are housed in the new 3-in-1 BioActive chip. These sensors include heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (also known as BIA). The latter uses a weak electrical pulse to measure body composition, including skeletal muscle and fat percentage.

If you mainly wear a smartwatch for notifications, the Galaxy Watch 4 will be highly satisfying to use. You'll appreciate having excellent support for Android's notification system. You can reply using your voice, the built-in keyboard, or one of the many quick answers. These are just a few reasons that the Galaxy Watch 4 is the best Android smartwatch you can buy right now.

Finally, we have to consider battery life. While battery life wasn't otherworldly on previous Galaxy Watch models, the Galaxy Watch 4 will only get about 40 hours per charge. Still, this is better than past Wear OS watches that hardly last a day. It's also nice to easily charge your watch with a compatible Qi wireless pad.

Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 might feel familiar to Tizen loyalists, but it's easy to see the game is changing. Wear OS is the biggest change, but there are still hints of Tizen present. The stunning design is accompanied by endless smartwatch features and health/fitness tracking perks. You get optional LTE connectivity, GPS, heart-rate monitoring, ECG, and much more.

Ticwatch E3 Lifestyle

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Best Wear OS watch

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100
RAM: 1.GB
Storage: 8GB
Display size: 44mm / 1.3-inch HD Display, 360x360
Band size: 20mm
Weight: 25.9g (40mm) / 30.3g (44mm)
Battery life: Up to 3 days
OS: Wear OS
Colors: Panther Black
Water-resistant: ✔️ IP68+Pool Swimming suitable
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Simple, straightforward design
+
Built-in GPS
+
Heart-rate monitoring
+
Google Assistant
+
Google Pay

Reasons to avoid

-
Design may be too simple for some
-
Proprietary charger can be finicky

There are quite a few reasons to consider the TicWatch E3 when weighing your options. First, some people want to enjoy the perks of owning a smartwatch without having a loud fashion statement on their wrist. Second, the TicWatch E3 has a straightforward design that consists of a light polycarbonate case and a curved high-density (HD) display. It may not be as crisp as AMOLED displays, but it's sharp and visible even in direct sunlight.

With a simple design and attainable price tag, you might not expect much from the TicWatch E3. However, Mobvoi decided to include the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor under the hood. Combining that with 1GB of RAM allows you to expect slick performance for an overall seamless experience.

This Wear OS watch is complete with GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Google Assistant, Google Pay, heart-rate monitoring, and more. It also provides users with a microphone and a speaker. Considering all the features you'll be using, the battery will last for up to three days in SmartWatch Mode. 

There's also Essential Mode, which helps preserve battery life by disabling key features. Fortunately, the watch can still track your sleep in Essential Mode. You can adjust the settings, so your device automatically switches to Essential Mode at a certain battery percentage, or you can manually activate it.

If you're not concerned about having a fancy watch on your wrist and looking for something reasonably priced, the TicWatch E3 is an excellent option for Wear OS users. One of the most important things to consider when buying a Wear OS watch these days is what the future holds for your device. The good news is that the TicWatch E3 will receive the Wear OS 3 update, but be prepared to wait until sometime this year for it to be available.

Bottom line: With all the changes happening to Wear OS watches, users might be hesitant to consider buying one right now. However, a select few are already confirmed for the new platform, including the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. It doesn't cost a fortune, and it has several key features, like GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, and Google Pay.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best upgrade pick

Specifications

Processor: Samsung Exynos W920
RAM: 1.5GB
Storage: 16GB
Display size: 42mm / 46mm
Band size: 20mm
Weight: 46.5g (42mm) / 52g (46mm)
Battery life: 40 hours
OS: Wear OS Powered by Samsung
Colors: Silver, Black
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810G)
LTE: Yes, Optional
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: ✔️ (Qi)

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional design
+
Optional LTE connectivity
+
Physical rotating bezel
+
Solid health/fitness tracking
+
Outstanding performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive starting point
-
Only two color options

If you're trying to understand where the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic sits in the lineup, you're not the only one. This is because Samsung did things a bit differently with this release. While the standard Galaxy Watch 4 is the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the successor to the Galaxy Watch 3. That said, the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are identical in terms of features and tracking capabilities.

Why might you choose to upgrade to the pricier Galaxy Watch 4 Classic? Many people will find this watch more aesthetically pleasing than the standard variant. It follows the size trend of the original Galaxy Watch models so that you can choose between a 42mm and 46mm case. Both cases come in stainless steel, so they're heavier and more premium-looking. 

Another significant difference between the two is these models offer a physical rotating bezel rather than a capacitive one. It's a matter of personal preference, but there's something highly satisfying about navigating the UI with an actual bezel.

Other than that, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is loaded with all the same great improvements as the standard variant. You get Wear OS 3 and incredibly smooth performance with the upgraded RAM and storage. It also has the new 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor so that you won't be missing out on any of the impressive tech.

Again, the main factor to consider when choosing between the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is whether you want to spend more on the premium variant. You'll also want to consider whether the 42mm and 46mm size options will meet your needs. It's an excellent choice if you're looking for the best smartwatch with LTE that also happens to be quite the style icon.

Bottom line: If you're looking for the latest tech, but you'd like to take the style factor up a notch, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has your name written all over it. Aside from flawless performance and comprehensive health tracking, you get a premium design bound to turn heads.

Garmin Forerunner 255 Multi-band GPS

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Best for runners

Specifications

Storage: 4GB
Display size: 41mm / 1.1-inch, 218 x 218 transflective
Band size: 28mm
Weight: 39g
Battery life: 12 days
OS: Garmin
Colors: Black, Whitestone
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️ (Garmin Pay)
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced workout tracking and guidance
+
Incredible battery life
+
Sunlight-friendly transflective display
+
Music streaming
+
Extremely comfortable strap

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited smartwatch features
-
Basic design may not be for everyone

There's a wearable for every Android user type, and the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is an outstanding running watch for anyone who runs, bikes, or swims. It's not the best smartwatch, but it does receive notifications from your phone. If you don't need much more than that — and who does these days — the Forerunner 255 makes up for it with incredible 12-day battery life, or 6 hours with GPS enabled, which is more than enough for a marathon (or two if you're really good).

Better yet, the transflective screen means that the Forerunner 255 Music is easily visible in direct sunlight, making it perfect for extended outdoor excursions. There's also 4GB of built-in storage for your music and the option to stream from Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer, which is seriously great if you're trying to hit those personal bests. Add in 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, advanced workout capture, and advanced features like VO2 max estimation a recovery advisor, which is a wonderful option.

Bottom line: If running is the name of your game, the Garmin Forerunner 255 Music is easily the best choice. It has a transflective display that is easy to read in direct sunlight. It has a comfortable band, stellar battery life, and unmatched workout tracking.

Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra Gps Lifestyle

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Best for premium performance

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100
RAM: 1GB
Storage: 8GB
Display size: 48mm / 454x454 AMOLED + FSTN
Band size: 22mm
Weight: 41g
Battery life: 3 days
OS: Wear OS
Colors: Shadow Black
Water-resistant: ✔️ (IP68)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in GPS
+
Great performance
+
Improved dual-layer display
+
Excellent durability
+
Better battery life
+
Google Pay

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Too bulky for some wrists

We never know what we're going to get when a company releases a so-called improved model, but the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS does a superb job of maintaining everything good from the previous model, while also offering helpful improvements.

First, you'll appreciate the refined design that features a new customizable backlight for the top layer of the display. Mobvoi also launched new software features for the TicHealth suite, which is helpful for those who take advantage of these tracking features. It's also more durable than the previous model, thanks to the MIL-STD-810G rating.

One of the most attractive features is the dual-layer display. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS offers battery life that lasts for up to 72 hours in smart mode and 45 days in Essential mode. Now, users can customize the backlight of the top display by choosing 18 different colors. This makes things much more vibrant, easier to read, and plain fun to look at.

Nowadays, a common concern when buying a Wear OS watch is whether or not it will be eligible to upgrade to the new platform. Fortunately, this isn't an issue with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until sometime this year for the upgrade. However, if you don't mind waiting, this watch will get even better when running Wear OS 3. Other than this drawback, some users may also shy away from the giant case size.

Bottom line: If you're familiar with Mobvoi, you won't be surprised to learn that the new TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is larger than ever. There's more to it than that, though. This smartwatch offers an improved dual display, ultra-smooth performance, and solid battery life. So if you loved the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, this is even better.

Fitbit Versa 3 Leaderboard

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)
Best smartwatch for casual athletes

Specifications

Storage: 4GB
Display size: 40mm / 1.58-inch, 336x336 AMOLED
Band size: Custom, OSFA
Weight: 40g
Battery life: 6+ days
OS: FitbitOS
Colors: Black, Soft Gold
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in GPS
+
Sleek, attractive design
+
Excellent battery life
+
Solid smartwatch features
+
Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited app selection
-
Old bands won't work with Versa 3

Everyone knows that Fitbit makes some of the best wearables in the industry. Right now, the all-new Versa 3 is one of the best Fitbit smartwatches you can buy. It cleverly provides the perfect amount of smartwatch features and fitness-tracking perks into one handy device. It's slim and lightweight with an attractive design. You'll get at least six days of battery life, which is pretty impressive. That's especially true when you realize that it has a stunning AMOLED display that's crisp and bright. One of the most important upgrades is the addition of onboard GPS.

You'll be happy to know that all of the Fitbit features you've familiarized yourself with over the years are here. You have 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, all-day activity/sleep tracking, and automatic workout detection. You'll also receive reminders to move throughout your day. It also offers on-screen workouts that you can follow. 

Previously, the proprietary bands were a hassle to change. The new infinity bands offer an easy-to-use quick-release system. The bad news is that any old Versa bands you purchased won't work on this new watch.

It's not uncommon for some Fitbit products to lack the smartwatch features that users crave. However, the Versa 3 is one of the company's most capable fitness smartwatches yet. You'll have smartphone notifications that are easy to navigate and an app store with popular names such as Spotify and Starbucks, and you can talk directly to the voice assistant and hear responses. If your ears perked about Spotify, the good news is that there is storage for 300+ songs on the Versa 3. Let's not forget that Fitbit Pay is a standard feature as well.

It may not be overflowing with higher-end features, but the Fitbit Versa 3 is easily the best smartwatch for casual trackers who don't want to spend a fortune on a wearable. However, if you have money to spare and want more sensors and health data, you should consider the Fitbit Sense.

Bottom line: As one of the most popular names in the wearable world, Fitbit is always a good option. The Versa 3 is centered around health and fitness tracking, ideal for workout enthusiasts. You have built-in GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and Fitbit Pay.

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus Quick Settings menu

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
Best lifestyle smartwatch

Specifications

Display size: 43mm / 1.3-inch, 416x416 AMOLED
Band size: 22mm
Weight: 51g
Battery life: 9 days
OS: Garmin
Colors: Slate, Silver, Light Gold
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: 🚫
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning AMOLED touchscreen
+
Phone calling and voice assistants
+
Advanced activity/health tracking
+
Up to nine days of battery life
+
Garmin Pay & music storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Extremely expensive
-
Only one size option

Some companies focus on offering a lifestyle wearable or a fitness watch, but Garmin has done a fantastic job of merging the two. The Venu 2 Plus is a premium wearable that offers plenty of health/fitness features while also focusing on smartwatch perks, so you don't miss out on anything. It's the most expensive model in the Venu lineup, but you might find that the price tag is appropriate given all the features. It offers a gorgeous 1.3-inch color AMOLED touchscreen and a sturdy 43mm stainless steel case. The battery can last for up to nine days on a single charge, and stretch further with battery saver mode.

So, how does the Venu 2 Plus differ from some of the more affordable models in the lineup? The most important upgrades are phone calls and voice assistants. These features have been widely available on other smartwatches, but Garmin is just now joining the party. While it's not an LTE smartwatch, it's a step in the right direction. The built-in microphone and speaker make it easy to take calls on your wrist. It also supports various voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby.

The premium perks are wonderful, but the Venu 2 Plus goes deeper. You'll still have tons of features to track your health and fitness, including onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, and more. There's no denying that this is a great smartwatch, but it's insanely expensive. You'll have to decide if the additional perks are worth the money. If not, you could opt for one of the more affordable models in the lineup, such as the Venu 2 or Venu Sq.

Bottom line: Those who want a premium lifestyle smartwatch that can track health and fitness may prefer the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. It's not exactly cheap, but there's a reason for that. In addition to having many essential features such as GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, it also offers extra perks such as phone calls and voice assistants.

Fossil Gen 6 Music

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)
Best for fashion

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+
RAM: 1GB
Storage: 8GB
Display size: 42mm or 44mm / 1.3-inch, 416 x 416 AMOLED
Band size: 22mm
Weight: 43g
Battery life: 1-2 days
OS: Wear OS
Colors: Black, Silver
Water-resistant: ✔️ (3ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: 🚫
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive, stylish design
+
Two size options
+
Improved health tracking
+
Excellent quality display
+
Ultra-fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty expensive
-
No Wear OS 3, yet

If you want a watch with a classic design packed with features, the Fossil Gen 6 might be what you're looking for. You'll receive great performance, better battery life, precise health metrics, and ultra-fast charging speeds. While it's not on the new Wear OS 3 platform just yet, it will be eventually. These watches join the other handful of Wear OS devices that have to wait until sometime in 2022 for the upgrade.

We all know that Wear OS has been lagging for years. If this has been a thorn in your side, you'll be pleased to learn that the Fossil Gen 6 lineup is here to change that. Most importantly, this Fossil smartwatch launches with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset that remedies many previous problems that users often experienced.

The 1.7GHz co-processor deserves recognition as this enables the device to use always-on health metrics without hindering performance or draining the battery life, which is a massive step in the right direction. Users will receive more detailed heart rate readings, more accurate sleep tracking, better health statistics overall.

Speaking of health statistics, the Gen 6 is loaded with health sensors that are great for daily use. If tracking is one of your reasons for investing in this watch, you won't be disappointed. While the battery life isn't as long as some of the other Android smartwatches, the Fossil Gen 6 offers ultra-fast charging. You can get up to 80% of battery life in just 30 minutes of charging.

Bottom line: The Fossil Gen 6 is the first Fossil wearable to have the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset. So, in addition to being a highly fashionable smartwatch, you can also expect better performance. You'll also be able to choose from two different sizes this time around. There are still plenty of health and fitness tracking features, too.

The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
Battery life beast

Specifications

Display size: 0.9-inch, 176 x 176 AMOLED
Band size: 22mm
Weight: 53g
Battery life: 2-day
OS: Garmin OS
Colors: Graphite, Electric Lime, Mist Gray, Tidal Blue
Water-resistant: ✔️ (10ATM), MIL-STD-810G
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: ✔️
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: ✔️ (Solar)

Reasons to buy

+
Charges using solar power
+
Up to 65-day battery life
+
Different special editions available
+
Excellent activity tracking
+
Water-resistant up to 10ATM

Reasons to avoid

-
No storage space for music
-
Unable to take calls from watch
-
Extremely pricey

One of the biggest complaints that we have when it comes to the majority of smartwatches is the proprietary charging cables that we have to use. Many of the best Samsung smartwatches rely on Qi charging, but outside of those, get ready to deal with cables with connections you've never seen before. But what if we told you that there was a smartwatch that could be re-charged with just the sun?

That's where the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar comes in, offering the ability to literally put your watch on a window sill and let it get juiced back up. Of course, you won't enjoy a "traditional" smartwatch interface, as many of the best Garmin smartwatches make use of Garmin's own operating system. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the Instinct 2 Solar has plenty of ways to keep track of your workouts and various fitness metrics with ease.

But what truly makes this one of the best smartwatches is the battery life. According to Garmin, the Instinct 2 Solar will last for up to 28 days in normal use, up to 65 days in "Battery Saver Watch Mode," and up to 30 hours if you're constantly using GPS. But all of those numbers can be thrown to the wayside since your watch can just get more juice when it can capture some sunlight. 

Other great features of Garmin's Instinct 2 Solar include a 10ATM water rating, a comfortable silicone strap, and MIL-STD-810G drop protection. Pricing for one of the latest Garmin smartwatches may be a bit high if you're just looking for a new smartwatch. And you won't be able to leave your phone behind while using the Instinct 2 Solar to play some music. But there are more than enough benefits for the workout enthusiasts out there.

Bottom line: The Garmin Instinct 2 Solar pairs its impressive Elevate 4.0 sensor with better health and fitness tracking, with absolutely incredible battery life, all without actually needing to charge it back up using a proprietary cable if you don't want to.

Garmin Vivomove Sport Ivory

(Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)
Best hybrid smartwatch

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100
RAM: 1GB
Storage: 8GB
Display size: 40mm / 72x154 hidden OLED
Band size: 20mm
Weight: 33.8g
Battery life: 5 days
OS: Garmin
Colors: Ivory, Cool Mint, Cocoa, Black
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: 🚫
NFC: ✔️
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: 🚫
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Hidden OLED display
+
Heart-rate monitoring
+
Body Battery, Pulse Ox
+
5 days of battery life
+
Garmin Pay

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks onboard GPS
-
Hidden display is small

If you prefer the look of a traditional timepiece, but you still want some extra perks, you might benefit from a hybrid smartwatch. These wearables are unique in many ways. Most importantly, you often can't tell it's a smartwatch. The Garmin Vivomove Sport is an excellent example. It offers just enough perks to claim the "smart" title, but it's not quite a full-blown smartwatch.

The lack of onboard GPS is the main difference between this hybrid smartwatch and the other options on this list. With that said, your watch can use your smartphone's GPS to track your route during an activity. It still has many other key features that fitness enthusiasts swear by, like heart-rate monitoring, detailed sleep tracking, stress monitoring, and many others. You'll also have smartphone notifications and music controls. The battery life will last up to five days in smartwatch mode, which can be stretched to six days in regular watch mode.

Another difference is that you won't have a color AMOLED touchscreen. Considering this is a hybrid smartwatch, it's understandable that the display works a bit differently. In this case, you'll have a hidden OLED touchscreen on the bottom half of the display you can wake a double-tap or by lifting your wrist. This is more than you get on most hybrid wearables, which usually have an E-In display. However, it can take time to get comfortable navigating such a small display area with only tapping and swiping.

Bottom line: The Garmin Vivomove Sport is a hybrid smartwatch that delivers a perfectly balanced experience. You'll enjoy superior health and fitness tracking and some great smartwatch perks. This wearable comes with heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, Body Battery, contactless payments, and smartphone notifications.

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Review

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
Best budget smartwatch

Specifications

Display size: 40mm / 1.55-inch, 354x306 AMOLED
Band size: 20mm
Weight: 19.5g
Battery life: 1-2 weeks
OS: Amazfit OS
Colors: Midnight Black, Flamingo Pink, Sage Green
Water-resistant: ✔️ (5ATM)
LTE: 🚫
GPS: ✔️
NFC: 🚫
Heart rate monitor: ✔️
Automatic workout tracking: 🚫
Sleep tracking: ✔️
Wireless charging: 🚫

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight, modern design
+
Built-in GPS
+
Activity/sleep tracking
+
Heart-rate monitoring
+
1-2 weeks of battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks voice commands
-
No music storage
-
Can't take Bluetooth calls

Not everyone is willing to drop a few Benjamins on a smartwatch. Some options make it possible to enjoy smartwatch features without paying top dollar. One example is the growing lineup of Amazfit smartwatches. The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is an excellent budget smartwatch to get the most bang for your buck.

You might notice that the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini makes for a great Apple Watch alternative for Android users. It has the modern rectangular design that so many users love, but it's also packed with features that make it a desirable wearable for those who want a smartwatch experience without having to spend a fortune on it.

The battery life on the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini will vary depending on how you use it. You can expect the battery to last for seven days for heavy usage. However, it can last for up to 14 days with typical use. At under 20g, this is easily one of the most lightweight smartwatches out there, ideal for fitness enthusiasts. You also get built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, more than 70 sport modes, and blood oxygen monitoring.

It's a lot like the original Amazfit GTS 2, but it's not quite as robust when it comes to features. You won't have a built-in microphone or speaker, so you won't be able to use voice commands to start workouts or take Bluetooth calls on your wrist. The other feature left off the Mini is music storage. The budget-friendly price tag and the attractive design will make up for these missing features for some users. If you want to land somewhere in the middle, the newer Amazfit GTS 3 might be what you're looking for.

Bottom line: The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini looks good on your wrist, and it handles activity/health tracking nicely. However, the main attraction is the low price tag and lightweight design, making it both appealing and affordable for those on a budget who want to enjoy some smartwatch perks.

How to pick the best Android smartwatch for you

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The good news about wearing a smartwatch in 2022 is that there are tons of options on the Wear OS side. If that's not quite your speed, you also have some fantastic options from other leading companies such as Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is an outstanding choice for most people, and has received our most coveted best overall recommendation for multiple reasons. It's the first watch on the new Wear OS 3 platform, so that in itself is pretty exciting. You'll also have optional LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, activity, sleep, heart-rate tracking, smartphone notifications, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, etc. It doesn't get much better than this. Considering all of the improvements and upgrades, it's priced reasonably.

Of course, everyone has their preferences. If you're unsure how you feel about Wear OS 3, or are not particularly fond of Samsung Health, your choices certainly don't stop there. You'll have your pick of many other wearables, whether it be from Fitbit, Garmin, Mobvoi, or any other brand that has captured your attention.

There are plenty of factors to consider when shopping for a smartwatch. Whether this is your first wearable or you've been around the block a time or two, you'll want to narrow down some key aspects before deciding. Here are the main factors you should focus on:

1. Size and design preferences

First and perhaps most importantly, you'll need to determine what size watch you're after. Smaller watches are often a bit cheaper than their larger counterparts, and some watches may be too large or small for your wrist, which will quickly thin out the herd. The not-so-cheap Suunto 7 is a good example.

And, of course, we can't forget about aesthetics. After all, you're still shopping for a watch, and it should be compatible with your style. You can always opt for one of the fashionable options. If you're looking for the best smartwatch for women, you might prefer something more subtle like the Fitbit Versa 3 or Garmin Vivomove Sport.

If you're more concerned about having a comfortable fit than a stylish design, other options might catch your eye. For example, runners will love the simplistic look and feel of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. If you're intrigued by the idea of a minimalistic design, but prefer something slightly more appealing, the Fossil Gen 6 is elegant enough for daily wear.

2. Consider your must-have features

You'll also need to weigh the importance of features like GPS, fitness and sleep tracking, cellular connectivity, heart-rate monitoring, and mobile payments. Fortunately, it's not hard to find a watch that has a bit of everything these days. With that said, your list of options will be much shorter if you're set on having a watch with cellular connectivity. You'll only find three models on this list with that feature, so the pickings are rather slim. Not everyone is buying a smartwatch for LTE connectivity, so this won't be a deal-breaker for most users.

Some of the more common features on most smartwatches these days include GPS, fitness tracking, and heart-rate monitoring. Some models still have yet to jump on the built-in GPS wagon, so you'll have to decide how much this means to you. You'll be pleased to learn there are many smartwatches and fitness trackers with GPS to pick from. Granted, you can still use connected GPS via your smartphone, but it's not nearly as convenient. This is a more common issue on trackers than smartwatches. Some of the best fitness trackers don't offer built-in GPS. Fortunately, most of the Android smartwatches on this list have onboard GPS.

Another feature we see more and more of is NFC for mobile payments. In fact, more than half of the wearables on this list have it. For example, you won't find it on the more niche watches, like the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. However, that's mainly because those models are geared toward a different user type.

3. Which OS do you prefer?

Choosing an operating system can be tricky, especially now that you have to factor Wear OS 3 into the equation. If you're new to the smartwatch world, you might be indifferent on the matter, but it can affect your overall experience, so it's worth mulling over. One of the most common concerns is how well your smartphone will work with your smartwatch.

Is it easier and more fluid to have an Android smartwatch paired with an Android smartphone? Absolutely. Should that be the deciding factor? Not necessarily. You can use an iPhone with some Android smartwatches but be prepared for some hiccups. There can also be certain limitations, like not using the quick reply feature to respond to a text message from your watch.

A recurring complaint from Samsung users is that Tizen OS doesn't always do a great job of displaying notifications on its watches. It's not that they fail to appear but that the options for how they appear are somewhat limited. As a result, you might have an easier time scrolling through notifications on a Wear OS smartwatch. Fortunately, this isn't a problem on the Galaxy Watch 4, thanks to the new Wear OS 3 platform.

Other smartwatch companies such as Garmin and Fitbit use their own operating systems. This can involve a bit of a learning curve in some cases, but it just might be worth it. For example, if you're a passionate runner who frequently tracks your workouts and other stats, Garmin is an excellent choice. On the other hand, casual athletes might find the simple nature of FitbitOS to be user-friendly and easier to navigate.

4. How smart is a hybrid smartwatch?

If you're learning about hybrid smartwatches for the first time, you might be wondering just how smart they are. You get a nice blend of a traditional timepiece with some smartwatch perks sprinkled in. However, don't buy one of these wearables expecting premium features. These watches are designed to focus on the basics so that you won't find many advanced perks.

The Garmin Vivomove Sport, for example, offers some standard features that you've probably come to expect, like heart-rate monitoring, basic activity tracking, music controls, and smartphone notifications. You won't have a bright AMOLED display, voice assistants, or onboard GPS. Those who want a taste of the smartwatch world without going all-in might find this an excellent place to start.

5. What about battery life?

Some users can't stand having to take their watch off every 24 hours to charge it. Luckily, there are many multi-day battery life picks on this list. You can also go for a model with advanced technology that helps extend battery life, like the dual-layer display on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS.

Other models offer battery-saving modes that turn off certain features to prolong battery life, but this isn't always ideal. Alternatively, when you choose a watch such as the Fossil Gen 6 that offers rapid charging, it might not be as much of a hassle to charge your wearable more frequently. Simply set your watch to charge in the morning as you get ready for the day, and it'll be fully charged by the time you're prepared to leave.

If you're still determined to find a watch with superior battery life, Garmin and Fitbit offer some of the best options for a week or more of battery life. For example, you can get a full nine days of battery with Garmin Venu 2 Plus and a solid six days with the Fitbit Versa 3.

Once you've hammered out these essential details, you should be able to form a general idea of what type of Android smartwatch you should buy. No matter which option you choose, you can look forward to owning a nifty piece of tech that will help you track your health and fitness while also giving you a fun accessory to pair with your style.

What are the best Android smartwatches?

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

If you're currently in the market for the best Android smartwatch, you should consider our best overall pick, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. This wearable is loaded with many features that users are looking for while maintaining an attractive design. However, if you don't mind spending a bit more money on a premium watch, you should consider upgrading to the fancier Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. These are some of the most impressive Android wearables to date.

What makes the Galaxy wearables so great is the new Wear OS 3 platform mixed with beautiful hardware. For example, the Galaxy Watch 4, like the Galaxy Watch Active 2 that came before it, has a "virtual" bezel that lets you move around the software by rotating around the edge of the vivid AMOLED display.

Samsung Health has also improved immensely over the last couple of years and features a well-rounded selection of workout tracking options as well as a built-in GPS for monitoring outdoor runs or bike rides. Battery life tops out at around 40 hours, and the included sports bands are comfortable enough that you'll forget you're wearing anything on your wrist at all — until a notification comes in, which is easy to activate or dismiss.

The latest Galaxy wearable is optimized for Samsung phones but can also be worn with other Android devices. There's no support for iOS users, though. Now that Samsung and Google have merged to create Wear OS 3, the user experience will be slightly different. It's the first watch to launch with the new software, so it's somewhat of a guinea pig. With that said, not all existing Wear OS watches will get the update. As for existing Galaxy wearables running Tizen OS, Samsung plans to provide at least three years of software support from each product's initial launch date. So when shopping for the best Android smartwatch, you want to make sure you consider the software.

If you're not interested in a Samsung smartwatch or simply prefer how Google does things, we recommend the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. It's one of the most affordable Wear OS watches you can buy. Luckily, this is one of the existing Wear OS watches that will eventually be eligible to upgrade to the new Wear OS platform. It offers a simple but efficient design with a high-density display and a thick bezel around the edges. It runs smooth thanks to the Qualcomm 4100 chip paired with 1GB of RAM for fluid performance. If you want the premium version of this, you can spend a bit more and get the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS, which will also be eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3.

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

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