Kate Spade ScallopSource: Android Central

Best Smartwatch for Women Android Central 2020

It can be fun to accessorize but sometimes it's a battle to find the perfect blend of function and fashion, like when choosing a smartwatch. The good news is that there are tons of options for women these days. Our favorite is the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna, which offers premium features while boasting a classic, stylish design. This is just one of the options when it comes to choosing the best smartwatch for women. We've rounded up the best picks to help you choose the one that's right for you.

Best Overall: Fossil Gen 5 Julianna

Fossil Gen 5 JuliannaSource: Fossil

If you were a fan of the Gen 4 smartwatches from Fossil but hoped-for improvements, the moment has arrived. The Gen 5 smartwatches — including the gorgeous Julianna — come with a new stylish design, more RAM, and an external speaker. It also does everything you need it to do: activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance (depth of up to 30 meters), Google Pay, Google Assistant, GPS, and notifications. The new Snapdragon Wear 3100 is finally here, too, which helps with battery life. If you were hoping for a major upgrade, you might be disappointed; the Julianna has an estimated 24+ hours of life, which isn't a huge improvement from the previous generation.

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However, thanks to the new processor and battery-saving modes, you can get more usage between charges. Extended mode turns off nonessential features, like the always-on display, speaker, Wi-Fi, and touch to wake. Location and NFC are set to "on-demand" so those radios are only turned on when apps are using them. Time Only mode gives you a few extra hours when the battery is low by functioning as a watch only. In short, if you plan on taking full advantage of all of the features the Gen 5 offers, you'll need to charge it daily.

Pros:

  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • External speaker, more storage
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Display could be brighter
  • Battery saving modes limit functionality

Best Overall

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna

New and improved

Fossil fans will love this watch. It has activity and heart rate tracking, Google Pay, and GPS. It's lightweight and stylish, too.

Best Value: Michael Kors Access Runway

Michael Kors Access RunwaySource: Michael Kors

Sometimes you're aiming for the best of both worlds: a solid activity tracker with tons of features in the form of an affordable smartwatch. The Michael Kors Access Runway will check all of these boxes. You'll enjoy an estimated 24 hours of battery life, onboard GPS, activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance, Google Assistant, Google Play, and more. It comes in various colors, including gold, pink, black, silver, and rose gold. The beautiful design might make this watch seem like it's only about looks but that's not the case.

The Access Runway allows you to set customized fitness goals, track calories burned, and map exercise routes. There's a wide selection of activities to choose from, like elliptical, aerobics, boxing, circuit training, and more. The only real con is that iOS users will need to have the Wear OS app running in the background for the smartwatch to stay connected or you won't get notifications. When your phone is connected, you'll be able to accept or reject calls (there's no speaker, so be prepared to use headphones). Android Users can reply to texts but iOS users won't have that luxury.

Pros:

  • Various color options
  • Google Assistant
  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Customized activity tracking
  • Reply to texts; answer calls on Android

Cons:

  • Limited iOS functionality
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Design isn't ideal for intense workouts

Best Value

Michael Kors Access Runway

Best of both worlds

Want a stunning smartwatch full of impressive features and activity tracking perks? The Michael Kors Access Runway is a winner.

Best Slim Design: Fossil Gen 5E

Fossil Gen 5ESource: Fossil

For those who like Fossil watches but want something slimmer, you'll be interested in the new Fossil Gen 5E Venture smartwatch. It has most of the same great features as the Fossil Gen 5, including onboard GPS, NFC payments, multi-day battery modes, heart-rate monitoring, and activity tracking. The main difference is that the Fossil Gen 5E comes in a smaller and slimmer 42mm case, which is ideal for those with dainty wrists.

While it also has the Snapdragon 3100 Wear processor, you'll only have 4GB of storage rather than 8GB. Other similarities include a 3 ATM water resistance rating, a built-in microphone, speaker, and a stylish design. The multi-day battery modes are helpful when you're in a bind, it does limit the features you'll be able to use. Keep in mind that without using those modes, the battery will only last for 24 hours before it needs to be charged again.

Pros:

  • Activity and heart rate tracking
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Swimproof technology
  • Built-in mic/speaker

Cons:

  • Short battery life
  • Additional battery modes limit features
  • Less storage than Gen 5

Best Slim Design

Fossil Gen 5E

Small but impressive

If you want something a bit smaller for your dainty wrist, you'll love the Fossil Gen 5E and its stylish appeal.

Best for Basics: Michael Kors Access Sofie

Michael Kors Access SofieSource: Michael Kors

If it's a sparkly timepiece you're after, you'll have met your match with the Michael Kors Access Sofie. While it's more about looks than anything else, it still offers enough basic features that might win you over. You'll get an estimated 24 hours of battery life, smartphone notifications, 1 ATM water resistance (can withstand dust and splashes, but not suitable for swimming), personalized watch faces, Google Assistant, and activity tracking with Google Fit. You'll be able to track your steps taken and calories burned for running, walking, and biking.

While you'll be missing out on is GPS, heart rate tracking, and Google Pay, it's not a bad trade-off if you're in the market for a dazzling watch like this one with fewer features. Keep in mind the same concept applies here with accepting and rejecting calls and only Android users can reply to texts. At the end of the day, you can't beat the allure of this shiny wearable that's sure to complement any outfit or occasion. However, considering it's in the same price range as the aforementioned Access Runway, the only reason to go with this model is if you have no use for the features it lacks or you have a strong preference for its more glamorous design.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous design
  • Google Assistant
  • Basic activity tracking

Cons:

  • Limited iOS functionality
  • Lacks GPS and NFC
  • No heart rate monitor

Best for Basics

Michael Kors Access Sofie

Keep it simple

If you prefer to keep things simple and want a smartwatch for the looks rather than the features, the Sofie is a solid choice.

Best for Fashion: Kate Spade Scallop 2

Kate Spade Scallop2Source: Android Central

The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is a major step up from its predecessor. It offers a ton of features that weren't on the table before, including built-in GPS, Google Pay, and heart rate monitoring, not to mention there's an array of fashionable designs to choose from, including black, rose gold, gold, pink, and white. It also comes with 3ATM water resistance. This smartwatch estimates around 24 hours of battery life depending on your usage. Choose the band style you prefer, whether it be silicone, leather, or classic stainless steel.

You'll also be able to use Google Assistant, view notifications at a glance, control your music, customize watch faces, and more. Let's not forget about the basic activity tracking that lets you keep track of your steps taken and calories burned throughout the day while monitoring your heart rate and tracking your route. We're bummed it's still using the old Snapdragon Wear 2100, but it's a small compromise for all that you get. It's a bit on the pricey side, but for those who aren't willing to settle when it comes to fashion, it'll be well worth it.

Pros:

  • Activity tracking
  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Music controls
  • Great design options
  • Different band styles

Cons:

  • Uses Snapdragon 2100
  • Short battery life
  • A bit pricy

Best for Fashion

Kate Spade Scallop 2

Fashion at its finest

Looking to make a fashion statement while still having the functionality you need? Look no further than the Kate Spade Scallop 2.

Best for Sports: Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 Source: Fitbit

While the new Fitbit Versa 3 isn't exclusively for women, it can certainly pass as a women's smartwatch. You can make it rugged and durable with the right band when you head outdoors for an intense workout. When the evening time rolls around, switch to an elegant band for a night out on the town. A fitness smartwatch can be feminine if you want it to be! There are many improvements worth noting, especially the addition of onboard GPS as well as a whopping 6 days of battery life.

This smartwatch offers some other important upgrades from the original, like Google Assistant, a built-in mic/speaker, local music storage, and an improved proprietary band system. The mic/speaker means you can take calls on your wrist and hear your voice assistant responses. You'll have all of the basics you know and love on the Fitbit Versa 3, including activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, menstrual-cycle tracking, Fitbit Pay, and more. As always, app selection is rather limited, so don't expect much on that front.

Pros:

  • Improved battery life
  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Fitbit Pay, music storage
  • Built-in mic/speaker

Cons:

  • App selection is limited
  • Always-on display kills battery life

Best for Sports

Fitbit Versa 3

Exercise your heart out

The Fitbit Versa 3 is ideal for women who want a fitness watch with GPS, activity tracking, and heart-rate monitoring.

Best for Versatility: Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Android Central

Perhaps the most anticipated release of the year is the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which offers optional LTE connectivity with select models. Again, this wearable isn't specifically designed for women but there are plenty of color options that can suit anyone. It's compatible with 20 mm interchangeable bands, so you'll be able to wear it casual or dress it up as you please. Your watch will always match your outfit with the My Style color extraction app that lets you take a photo of your outfit so it can generate a selection of watch faces to go with it.

Other new features you can look forward to include a faster and more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor, advanced accelerometer, improved GPS, and an embedded ECG sensor. As far as activity tracking, the Running Coach feature now provides real-time pace metrics with a rundown of what to expect before you start your workout. Whether you're walking, jogging, or running, the feature coaches you with audio cues through the device speaker or your Bluetooth headphones. You'll also have 5 ATM water resistance with the new edition and a day or two of battery life, which will vary based on the model you choose and your usage.

Pros:

  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Improved sensors
  • Optional LTE connectivity

Cons:

  • Questionable battery life
  • Can get expensive with LTE
  • No major activity tracking updates

Best for Versatility

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Do it all

If you want a watch that can do it all and easily be tailored to suit various occasions, you'll love the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Best for Apple Fans: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The new Apple Watch Series 6 is another superb choice when shopping for a women's smartwatch, especially if you're already an Apple enthusiast. This new model provides a few subtle updates, most notably the addition of blood oxygen monitoring as well as sleep tracking. Believe it or not, the Apple Watch has not offered built-in sleep tracking until now. It's safe to say many users will be pleased with this upgrade. It's not much, but it puts it in a position to compete with other watches that offer these features.

As far as activity tracking and other smartwatch features go, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers a lot of the same. You'll still have in-depth health and fitness tracking, built-in GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, Apple Pay, smartphone notifications, and more. Battery life hasn't improved at all, so don't expect your Apple Watch Series 6 to last for more than a day before needing to hit the charger.

Pros

  • Onboard GPS
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • Built-in ECG
  • Optional LTE
  • Apple Pay

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Not for Android users
  • Very pricey

Best for Apple Fans

Apple Watch Series 6

Improved health tracking

The Apple Watch 6 has built-in sleep tracking as well as blood oxygen monitoring, which health enthusiasts will appreciate.

Best smartwatch for women How to choose

The bottom line is that you really can't go wrong with any of these options. Of course, it all depends on what you're looking for in a smartwatch. No matter which one you choose, you'll receive a stunning design with a solid feature set.

Make sure you think about what you want from your device before you make your final decision. If it's a feminine look you're after, you can choose a smartwatch that is specifically designed for women. If you desire a specific set of features, you can just as easily go for one of the unisex options that has everything you need.

With all of that in mind, one of the best smartwatches for women is the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna. The eye-catching design is nice enough on its own but there's a lot under the hood of this smartwatch, too. You'll have everything you need from activity and heart rate tracking to Google Pay to onboard GPS. Don't forget about the additional RAM and external speaker. To put it simply, it's what smartwatch dreams are made of.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.

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