Kate Spade ScallopSource: Android Central

Best smartwatch for women Android Central 2021

While it can be fun to accessorize, sometimes it feels like an uphill battle to find the perfect blend of function and fashion. It's especially true when you're shopping for the best Android smartwatch for women. Fortunately, there are tons of options for women to choose from these days. The Fossil Gen 5 Julianna is our favorite, which offers premium features while boasting a classic, stylish design. It's just one of many options to consider when looking for the best smartwatch for women. We've rounded up the best picks to help you choose the right one.

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, you'll appreciate the Gen 5 smartwatches — including the gorgeous Julianna. It comes with a new stylish design, more RAM, and an external speaker. It also does everything you need: activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance (depth of up to 30 meters), Google Pay, Google Assistant, GPS, and notifications.

If this watch looks familiar, that's because it's the women's version of the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. You'll have the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which helps a bit 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 exactly the improvement we were hoping for.

However, thanks to the improved 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

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Smartwatch

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. So if you're a fashion-forward individual who wants a fancy watch that can track your activity, this might be the one for you.

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 receive 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 Runway

Michael Kors Access Runway Smartwatch

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 LTE: Fossil Gen 5 LTE

Fossil Gen 5 Lte Rose Gold Source: Fossil

If you're a fan of Fossil smartwatches but you've been waiting for LTE connectivity, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE might be just what you're looking for. The standard Fossil Gen 5 models, like the Julianna, aren't a whole lot different. But, as you might've guessed, the main difference is that you'll have LTE connectivity that allows you to leave your phone behind and rely solely on your smartwatch for calls, texts, notifications, and so on.

The design is reminiscent of the original Gen 5 models, consisting of a 45mm stainless steel case and interchangeable bands. The two color options are Smoke and Rose Gold. Most users will appreciate that the Fossil Gen 5 LTE offers new battery-saving modes, which can help extend battery life by shutting off certain features. The biggest improvement is, of course, the addition of LTE connectivity. This feature allows you to make calls, send texts, and stream music without your phone.

You'll have the same standard features on the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, including onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/health tracking, Google, Pay, and Google Assistant. The only problem is Verizon Wireless is the only supported carrier. Also, it's powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset rather than the new 4100. If you're set on having a watch with LTE connectivity, you might be able to get past the expensive price tag.

Pros:

  • GPS, HRM, NFC
  • Activity/health tracking
  • Google Assistant
  • Built-in mic/speaker
  • Two color options

Cons:

  • Short battery life
  • Expensive price tag
  • Only available on Verizon

Best LTE

Fossil Gen 5 LTE Rose Gold

Fossil Gen 5 LTE Smartwatch

Always connected

Those who want a connected smartwatch for women will appreciate the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It's both fashionable and efficient.

Best for basics: Garmin Lily

Garmin Lily My Day Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central

If it's a small but elegant timepiece you're after, you'll have met your match with the Garmin Lily. It's one of the company's latest releases and just so happens to be a smartwatch specifically made for women. It focuses on fashion first and features second, but it's still a great option for those who want both.

You get up to 5 days of battery life on a single charge, 5 ATM water resistance, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and much more. It comes in a Sport model with aluminum hardware and a silicone band, or you can choose the Classic model with stainless steel hardware and a leather band. You'll want to keep in mind that the Classic model is slightly more expensive. Both options are compatible with 14mm proprietary Garmin Lily bands.

There are a few missing features that might affect your decision. For example, the Garmin Lily does not offer onboard GPS, music storage, or NFC payments. Another common perk that's not present is the bright AMOLED display. Instead, you get a liquid crystal monochromatic touchscreen. It's still easy to read and use, but it's not quite the same as those attractive color displays that you might be used to. Another small gripe is that the bands are not compatible with standard quick-release straps. Instead, the Lily uses Garmin's proprietary T-bar lugs, so you'll need a special tool to change your Garmin Lily band.

Pros:

  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • SpO2 monitoring
  • Up to 5 days of battery life

Cons:

  • No color display
  • Lacks GPS and NFC
  • Proprietary straps

Best for basics

Garmin Lily

Garmin Lily

Keep it simple

The Lily is a solid pick if you prefer to keep things simple and want a smartwatch that focuses on looks before features.

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. The 41mm case is available in black, rose gold, gold, pink, and white. You can choose the band style you prefer, whether silicone, leather, or classic stainless steel.

Did we mention that it also comes with a 3ATM water resistance rating? This smartwatch estimates around 24 hours of battery life, depending on your usage. 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 processor, but it's a small compromise for all that you get. The good news is that the price has gone down some since the initial release. If you're not willing to settle when it comes to finding a stylish smartwatch, you'll love the Kate Spade Scallop 2.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Uses Snapdragon 2100
  • Short battery life

Best for fashion

Kate Spade Scallop 2

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: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

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

This smartwatch offers 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's 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. While the battery life is usually pretty good, using the always-on display feature will bring that figure down quite a bit. Without a doubt, this is one of the best smartwatches for women. Best of all? It has way more positives than negatives.

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

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch

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: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Galaxy Watch Active 2Source: Android Central

One of the best smartwatches for women is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, especially if you want excellent versatility. You'll have optional LTE connectivity and so much more. Again, while this wearable isn't specifically designed for women, plenty of color options can suit anyone's style. It's compatible with 20mm Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 bands, so you'll be able to wear it casually 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.

Some other features to 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 starting 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 and approximately two days of battery life, which can vary based on the model you choose and your usage.

This is another popular pick so that you won't find too many problems with it. However, be prepared to pay more if you choose to buy a model with LTE connectivity. On that note, the battery life will be slightly less when you have an LTE model and use other key features such as GPS and always-on display.

Pros:

  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Improved sensors
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Samsung Pay
  • Two size options

Cons:

  • Questionable battery life
  • Can get expensive with LTE

Best for versatility

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung 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 Wear OS users: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Hands OnSource: Android Central

One of the newest smartwatches for women to hit the market is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which happens to be the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It comes in numerous colors and sizes, so it's easy to find a match for your needs. The 40mm aluminum model is lightweight and compact enough that it won't cramp your style or weigh you down during workouts. You'll also be able to opt for a model with LTE connectivity if that's a feature on your wishlist.

Perhaps one of the biggest improvements is the revolutionary 3-in-1 BioActive sensor. Rather than designing a watch with multiple chips and sensors, there's one chip that contains three key sensors: optical heart rate, electrical heart, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). This allows you to take a heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) reading, plus blood oxygen level measurements. As for the BIA sensor, this new feature analyzes your overall body composition by taking key metrics, including body water and fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, and more.

We can't fail to mention the main attraction: Wear OS 3. Don't worry. This is still a Samsung smartwatch to the core, but you'll notice subtle changes reflective of the Samsung-Google union. For instance, some of the preloaded apps now include YouTube Music. Google Maps, Messages by Google, and Google Pay. Unfortunately, there's no compatibility for iOS users at this time. Another factor to consider is that you'll need to have a Samsung-branded Android phone to enjoy some of the best new features on the Galaxy Watch 4.

Pros:

  • GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Improved health tracking
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Better app support
  • Two size options

Cons:

  • Battery life is just OK
  • No iOS compatibility

Best for Wear OS users

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

The new Wear OS

Those who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Wear OS will want to check out the sleek and stylish Galaxy Watch 4.

Best for Apple users: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Apple Watch Series 6 is another superb choice when shopping for a women's smartwatch, especially if you're already an Apple enthusiast. This model provides a few subtle updates, most notably the addition of blood oxygen monitoring and sleep tracking. Believe it or not, the Apple Watch has not offered built-in sleep tracking until now. So 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 many 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. This smartwatch can also measure your blood oxygen levels and take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings to detect irregular heartbeats.

Not surprisingly, the battery life on this watch at all. You can expect the Apple Watch Series 6 to last for the better part of a day before it needs to be recharged. It's also worth mentioning that this wearable is for iOS users. Android users will need to choose another option on this list.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Best for Apple users

Apple Watch Series 6

New Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS, 40mm)

Improved health tracking

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

Best premium pick: Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2s Source: Garmin

When you think of Garmin, stylish smartwatches may not be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, the company is known for rugged wearables that are geared toward adventurers and runners. However, the new Garmin Venu 2 does things differently. It may still be new to the market, but it's on track to become one of the best Garmin smartwatches you can buy.

There are now two size options to pick from: the Venu 2 is 40mm, and the smaller 2S is 45mm. Both models are compatible with quick-release Garmin Venu 2 and 2S bands. Not to mention that battery life has doubled from the previous models and can last between 10 and 11 days, depending on the model you choose. One thing that's remained the same is the sharp AMOLED display, which is clear and easy to read.

A great feature for health enthusiasts is the addition of a sleep score. When you wake up, you'll receive a sleep score based on the quality and quantity of your previous night's sleep. You also have the option to review your sleep patterns directly on your watch. The new Health Snapshot feature lets you log a 2-minute session and record key health stats. Users can generate a report to share with their healthcare providers. The Garmin Venu 2 also has a fitness age feature that can estimate whether your body is older or younger than your actual age using key metrics. You'll receive tips on how to lower your fitness age if that's your goal.

Of course, with a premium design and solid set of features, there are bound to be some compromises. First and foremost, this smartwatch is expensive. Some people may not be willing to pay this much for a smartwatch. Second, you might expect the smaller-sized model to be a bit more affordable, but they're all the same price. Finally, the larger 45mm model only offers two color options. If you can live with these sacrifices, you might just fall in love with the Garmin Venu 2.

Pros

  • GPS, HRM, NFC
  • Two size options
  • Up to 11 days of battery life
  • Sleep score, fitness age, Health Snapshot
  • Onboard Music Storage & Garmin Pay

Cons

  • Extremely expensive
  • 40mm model is the same price as 45mm
  • Fewer color options for 40mm model

Best premium pick

Garmin Venu 2s Gold

Garmin Venu 2 Smaller-Sized GPS Smartwatch

Improved features

The Garmin Venu 2 brings two size options and numerous new features that take health and fitness tracking to the next level.

Best smartwatch for women: How to decide

The bottom line is that you really can't go wrong with any of these options. But, of course, it all depends on what you're looking for in a smartwatch. If you want a fashionable wearable that doubles as a fitness tracker, there are plenty of options out there. No matter which one you choose, you'll receive a stunning design with a solid feature set.

Before you make your final decision, think about what you want from your smartwatch. If it's a feminine look you're after, you can choose a smartwatch that is specifically designed for women. On the other hand, if you're craving a specific set of features more than a feminine design, you may want to opt for one of the unisex options that has everything you need rolled into one.

With all of that in mind, we find the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna to be the best smartwatch for women. The eye-catching design is nice enough on its own, but there's a lot under the hood that you'll love as well. This watch has 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

Author:

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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