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Best Android smartwatch 2022

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 pairing 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: 25.9 grams (40mm) / 30.3 grams (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, thanks in part to its debut of Wear OS 3. It combines Samsung's Tizen UI expertise with an improved app selection from Google and Wear OS, packaged in a compact, lightweight design that caters to active individuals. Our Galaxy Watch 4 review called it a "peerless" Android watch when it launched in August 2021, and nothing has changed since then.

It features an extremely sharp and vivid touch display that's easy to navigate, and the signature capacitive touch bezel makes navigating menus very straightforward. 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.

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.

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 lasted 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

(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. As our TicWatch E3 review explained, buying this watch now offers "delayed gratification" because it hasn't come into its own as a Wear OS 3 watch yet, but we've received assurances that it will soon.

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 Classic fitness

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / 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

Samsung used to split its "Active" watches out as separate releases. But in 2021 the company made the standard Galaxy Watch 4 the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active 2 — using the same touch bezel for navigation — while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the successor to the Galaxy Watch 3 with an actual rotating bezel. 

In most other aspects, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offers the same features as the Galaxy Watch 4 while costing and weighing more. Still, our review makes it clear that no other Android watch offers as satisfying of an experience: "there's something just so satisfying about whizzing through notifications, tiles, and menus without tapping the display at all."

The Classic model also arguably looks more aesthetically pleasing than the standard variant, with 42mm and 46mm cases that come in stainless steel — making them heavier and more premium-looking. 

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.

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.

Starting a workout on the Garmin Forerunner 255

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Garmin Forerunner 255 Music

Best for runners

Specifications

Storage: 4GB
Display size: 46mm / 1.3-inch, 260 x 260 MIP
Band size: 22mm
Weight: 49g
Battery life: 14 days / 30 hours GPS
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

While we haven't had the Garmin Forerunner 255 for long enough to write our review, our future reviewer is already satisfied enough with the performance and new features to call it the best running watch available today, with much better smarts and performance than its popular predecessor, the Forerunner 245.

Compared to the last model, it essentially doubles its battery life from 7 to 14 days and 16 to 30 GPS-tracked hours, adds tap-to-pay and an altimeter to properly measure hill effort, and gives you two size options in the 1.3-inch 255 and 1.1-inch 255S. It also includes all-systems multi-band GPS, which tracks you across all three GNSS systems (GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO) and across multiple satellite frequencies at the same time for the most accurate location tracking possible today.

If you want storage for about 500 songs from Spotify, Amazon Music, or Deezer playlists so you can leave your phone at home and hit your personal bests with high-BPM tunes on your wireless earbuds, the Music version will cost you just $50 extra.

Our reviewer finds the watch to be comfortable, visible in direct sunlight, and (so far) as accurate and long-lasting as Garmin advertised. With 24/7 heart rate monitoring with heart rate variance for stress and sleep tracking, along with all the data on your maximum performance and race readiness you could want, it's a fantastic watch for athletes with Android phones.

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

(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, the TicWatch Pro 3, 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: one layer has a customizable backlight with 18 vibrant color options that makes things easy to read, while the other enables a longer-lasting battery option. As our TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review explains, you can easily get 3 days of use between charges with "24-hour heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen tracking, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sleep tracking, notifications, and even a workout or two." That's not something any other Wear OS watch can offer.

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, which will receive Wear OS 3 sometime in 2022. Other than this delay, some users may also shy away from the giant case size that enables its long battery life.

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

Fitbit makes some of the best wearables in the industry, and while the Fitbit Versa 3 is a fitness smartwatch first and foremost, it's also undeniably an Android watch in a way other trackers aren't. It has a stunning squircle AMOLED display, easy-to-access smartphone notifications, music storage, NFC tap-to-pay, a limited 3rd-party app library, and (most importantly) a mic and speaker for talking to Google Assistant, responding to text messages, or answering calls on your wrist.

Of course, as our Fitbit Versa 3 review explains, it's "comfortable, stylish, and does just about everything that I want a smartwatch to do," while also giving you the fitness tools that typically sit in far uglier and less usable devices. 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, and it offers on-screen workouts that you can follow. 

Add in a 6-day battery, lightweight and attractive design, and a ton of health sensors like ECG, EDA, skin temperature, and SpO2, and the Versa 3 is one of the best Fitbit smartwatches you can buy. It may not be overflowing with higher-end features you'd find on a Garmin watch, but it's easily the best mid-range option for casual trackers who don't want to spend a fortune on a wearable. 

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

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
Best fitness/lifestyle hybrid watch

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

Most companies either lump fitness tools into lifestyle watches or go all-in on fitness tech to the detriment of the design. With the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, it strikes a delicate balance, giving you all the tools you'd expect from the best Garmin watches in a more aesthetically pleasing and premium package, though with a price tag to match.

Both it and the older Garmin Venu 2 give you a gorgeous AMOLED touchscreen with a stainless steel bezel, along with music storage, tap-to-pay, enduring battery life, and all of Garmin's usual software tricks. But it's the combination of touchscreen and buttons that's unique, as most Garmin watches rely solely on button navigation, making them less user-friendly.

The Venu 2 Plus improves on its predecessor by adding a mic and speaker to answer calls or speak with Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby. It also adds a fifth button for an extra shortcut, which lets you access tools like Garmin Pay or your assistant more quickly. The new tech cuts the battery life estimate to 9 days, but that's still miles ahead of what most Android watch batteries can offer.

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 very expensive compared to the other Android watches available. You'll have to decide if the additional perks are worth the money. But as our Venu 2 Plus review explains, it's a great option for serious athletes who will use the HIIT timers and on-screen workouts for cross-training, and then want something stylish and comfortable to wear outside of workouts.

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 app list

(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 thanks to the Snapdragon 4100+ chipset paired with 1GB RAM. As our Fossil Gen 6 review details, battery life consistently lasts well beyond a day even with sleep and workout tracking, and it can recharge to 80% in just 30 minutes of charging. Plus, compared to the bulky TicWatches, the Fossil Gen 6 looks thinner and more attractive on your wrist.

The 4100+ has a 1.7GHz co-processor that deserves recognition for the Fossil Gen 6's success, as this enables the device to use always-on health metrics without hindering performance or draining the battery life. Users will receive more detailed heart rate readings, more accurate sleep tracking, and better health statistics overall.

Of course, our review detailed plenty of frustrations with the onboarding process and software limitations. It, too, will receive Wear OS 3 soon, which means it'll rely on a proper Fossil companion app (something our reviewer said was sorely needed for quick off-watch customization). But you'll have to be patient.

Otherwise, you may want to check out the Skagen Falster Gen 6, a Fossil Gen 6 spin-off with the same features but a unique design. 

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

-
Very limited smart features
-
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.

Other great features of Garmin's Instinct 2 Solar include a 10ATM water rating, a comfortable silicone strap, Garmin Pay, the revamped Elevate v4 sensor for accurate heart rate tracking, and MIL-STD-810G drop protection.

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. In practice, our Garmin Instinct 2 Solar reviewer found it actually lived up to Garmin's estimates, but that you'll get the most benefit out of its solar panel if you're someone that spends plenty of time outdoors. Otherwise, its lavish price and fitness-focused display would be extravagant.

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.

White Garmin Vivomove Sport smart watch

(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, if you're someone "longing for a traditional watch" that looks retro but has all the core smart features of an Android watch, the Garmin Vivomove Sport should be your first choice. As our reviewer says, it's a watch that offers "the best of both worlds," even if 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, one that our reviewer called the best fitness smartwatch available under $100

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 or the upcoming GTS 4 Mini 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 and Galaxy Buds 2

(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. There's a huge difference in price and comfort between the Galaxy Watch 4 40mm and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46mm, for 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 255 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 Vivomove Sport. 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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