Garmin Forerunner 245Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Best Smartwatches that can Measure Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels Android Central 2021

If you've got your finger on the smartwatch pulse, you know that blood oxygen tracking is a common feature these days. It's useful during sleep monitoring or when you're at high altitudes. It will also alert you to potential issues such as sleep apnea or other breathing conditions. The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a superior running watch on its own, but it also has a built-in SpO2 sensor, which makes it even more appealing. We've rounded up the best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring.

Best Overall: Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 245 ShoesSource: Android Central

Whether you prefer to run, bike, or swim, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is an excellent choice. It has the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels, which can help gauge how your body is absorbing oxygen. It also comes with built-in GPS, heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and seven days of battery life.

We'd be remiss not to mention that this watch also has the company's exclusive Body Battery feature, which is design to track your energy levels throughout the day. This feature will help you determine the optimal times for activity and rest. With so many features to enjoy, it's no wonder the Forerunner 245 continues to be one of the best Garmin smartwatches you can buy.

You won't have more advanced features, like mobile payments with Garmin Pay or onboard music storage, but this watch is made to focus on fitness. It's worth noting that you can pay a bit more for a musical version of this watch if you consider it a must-have feature. That being said, this watch is a perfect opportunity to experience everything Garmin has to offer without spending a fortune.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • A week of battery life
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Pulse Ox sensor and Body Battery
  • Menstrual tracking

Cons:

  • Lacks mobile payments
  • Music version is more expensive
  • No altimeter

Best Overall

Garmin Forerunner 245

Garmin Forerunner 245

A great running watch

This is one of the best Garmin running watches out there with a variety of tracking metrics for monitoring your progress.

Best Value: Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 Source: Fitbit

Fitbit has made a name for itself as one of the most trusted names in the world of fitness trackers and the Versa 3 is no exception. As usual, you'll enjoy impeccable sleep tracking but you also have the added benefit of a built-in SpO2 sensor for more insightful data. It maintains the unique squircle design with a modern twist and an improved band system that's much easier to use.

Did we mention the built-in microphone and speaker? As you can imagine, using the voice assistant options is more enjoyable with this new addition. you can also dictate text replies and take Bluetooth calls on your wrist. You also have access to Fitbit Pay so you can leave your wallet at home. Most importantly, onboard GPS is now available, too.

Overall, the Fitbit Versa 3 has a lot to offer for the price. It may not be an advanced smartwatch with premium features, but it makes up for it in other areas. It's come a long way compared to its predecessor. For instance, the innovative on-screen workouts offer helpful data, the battery life has improved, and you have local music storage Let's not forget about the convenience of having Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant on the wrist. If you want to save money on a wearable, you can also find a built-in SpO2 sensor on the Versa, Versa 2, and the Versa Lite.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • On-screen workouts
  • 6-day battery life
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons:

  • App selection needs work
  • Old Versa bands aren't compatible

Best Value

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3

It doesn't get any better

The Versa 3 offers some amazing improvements, like onboard GPS, longer battery life, Active Zone Minutes, and much more.

Best Battery: Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4Source: Garmin

The Vivoactive 4 is one of the newest releases from Garmin. You'll be able to choose between a 40mm and 45mm model. The larger version comes with an extra day of battery life for a whopping total of eight days on a charge. Keep in mind though it'll last for only six hours in GPS mode with music.

As far as the features go, you'll enjoy onboard GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, hydration/sleep/stress tracking, and heart-rate monitoring, music storage, and Garmin Pay. You also have the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor that gauges your blood oxygen saturation throughout the day and as you sleep to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen.

There aren't too many things to complain about with the Vivoactive 4. If you opt for the larger 45mm model, you'll only have the choice of slate or silver. As stylish as the watch might be, it still has the standard transflective display that's found on most Garmin wearables. At this price point, it would also have been nice to see a higher quality display.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Up to eight-day battery life
  • Garmin Pay
  • Excellent health/fitness features
  • Hydration/sleep/stress tracking
  • 5 ATM water resistance

Cons:

  • 45 mm has fewer color choices
  • Display could be better
  • Expensive

Best Battery

Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4

A stunning watch that does it all

Want a stylish watch that offers plenty of perks? The Vivoactive 4 is ideal with GPS, Garmin Pay, music storage, and more.

Best Premium Pick: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 45mm BlackSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

As you may have heard by now, the Galaxy Watch 3, is one of Samsung's latest wearable releases. Unlike its predecessor, this model is much more than a lifestyle watch. While the fashion aspect is a hit this time as well, the main focus is on all of the new features. Those who want a premium smartwatch with advanced health and fitness tracking will love the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. It's available in two sizes and you can decide if you want to take advantage of LTE connectivity. The standard features include built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring activity/sleep tracking, ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and military-grade durability.

While there's a lot to unpack, two of the most important new perks are SpO2 tracking and VO2 max readings. If you're not familiar, a VO2 max reading tells you how much oxygen your body consumes during exercise. You also get an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for detecting irregular heartbeats and blood pressure monitoring. Active individuals will also appreciate the new built-in run coaching and recovery tools. Not to mention that you'll now have access to more than 120 home workout videos via the Samsung Health app.

The battery life on the Galaxy Watch 3 tops out around 2 to 3 days depending on usage, which could be better. If you're a beginner buying your first smartwatch, you might be taken aback by the price tag. Again, this is a premium option for those who want to take their wearable experience to the next level. For basic tracking, it might be too expensive. However, seasoned smartwatch users might not mind paying more for all of these features.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Samsung Pay
  • Superior health/fitness features
  • MIL-STD-810G durability
  • 5 ATM water resistance

Cons:

  • Too expensive for some
  • Mediocre battery life

Best Premium Pick

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 45mm Black

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Incredibly luxurious

If you want a watch with superior health/activity tracking that's premium inside and out, the Galaxy Watch 3 is the best choice.

Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts: Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6 Source: Garmin

The Fenix 6 Series is yet another powerhouse from Garmin that's loaded with features. This one is geared toward outdoor athletes who need all of the help they can get. The standard model is still a giant at 47mm. As you might've guessed, the higher up the ladder you go of the Fenix 6 Series, the more expensive the models will get.

Battery life can also vary, but you can expect it to last up to 14 days in smartwatch mode with the standard model. When you're in basic GPS mode, it should last 36 hours. You get more information from the Pulse Ox sensor with an advanced running watch like this. It's used for both altitude acclimation and sleep monitoring and lets you know how well your body is absorbing oxygen.

This watch isn't for the faint of heart. It's large and in charge — quite literally. You'll have GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, which ensures accuracy and allows you to track in more challenging environments. The obvious downside here is the steep price tag. Most ordinary people wouldn't think twice about spending this much on a watch. However, you don't buy a watch like this for ordinary tracking. The Fenix 6 is built for the outdoor enthusiast who spends most of their time adventuring and exploring. If that's you, then you can't go wrong with this watch.

Pros:

  • Advanced GPS tracking
  • 10 ATM water resistance
  • Military-grad durability
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Garmin Pay

Cons:

  • Too pricey for most people
  • Huge and not for stylish folks
  • Not many new features from predecessor

Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Garmin Fenix6

Garmin Fenix 6

For true adventurers

Outdoor enthusiasts will surely appreciate the Garmin Fenix 6 for its advanced GPS support and multiple activity profiles.

Best Health Features: Fitbit Sense

Fitbit SenseSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Perhaps you're familiar with the Fitbit ecosystem and that's what you're most comfortable with. The Fitbit Sense is one of the newest additions to the family. If you're looking for a smartwatch with advanced health perks, this is the best choice. It's more expensive than many other Fitbit watches, but it may be worth it. If you want built-in GPS along with other perks such as 5 ATM water resistance, six days of battery life, heart-rate monitoring, music storage, and more It also comes with Fitbit Pay. This is yet another Fitbit smartwatch that has the SpO2 sensor for monitoring blood oxygen levels, but it takes health tracking to the next level with other new perks.

There are new health features, including an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for checking your heart's rhythm. This sensor can be useful in detecting irregularities such as atrial fibrillation, which is also known as AFib. You also get the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, which can measure how your body responds to stress. Fitbit's goal is to provide you with a better understanding of your stress levels throughout the day while encouraging encourage you to take care of both your mental and physical health. Additionally, a temperature sensor offers minute-by-minute readings of how your body temperature changes while you're asleep at night.

You have to admit that these sensors are pretty impressive and offer a lot of important data. However, you'll have to decide if the expensive price tag is worth it. If you don't have much use for these advanced health sensors, you might be better off with the more affordable and simplistic Versa 3.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • ECG & EDA sensors
  • Six-day battery life
  • Fitbit Pay

Cons:

  • Awkward unattractive design
  • Prone to scratches
  • Limited smartwatch functionality

Best Health Features

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense

For health nuts

If you're a Fitbit fan seeking an advanced health smartwatch with stellar battery life, onboard GPS, and health features, choose the Sense.

Best for Runners: Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945 Source: Garmin

Those who are constantly thinking about their next run need a reliable GPS running smartwatch, like the Forerunner 945, for example. You'll notice that this model pulls a few key features from many of Garmin's high-end wearables and packs them into one highly powerful package. You can expect two weeks of battery life in smartwatch mode and 10 hours in GPS mode with music.

It might come in a slim and lightweight case, but it's still on the larger side at 47mm. It offers multi-sport tracking, updated training analysis, Garmin Pay, a built-in music player, and onboard GPS with full-color maps. Once again, Garmin has included the Pulse Ox sensor to track blood oxygen saturation levels, which supports advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation.

If you're fine with a big watch, you won't mind the 47mm case. Some people prefer to have options, but the Forerunner 945 only comes in this one size. It's also one of the more expensive options on this list, but not without good reason. Whether you're going on a standard long-distance run or a more complex triathlon, there are no limits to what you can achieve. Keep in mind that for the full experience, you'll need to invest in the Running Dynamics Pod. This gives you additional data, like stride length, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS with full-color maps
  • Activity/sleep/stress tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Stellar battery life
  • Garmin Pay

Cons:

  • Only one size option
  • Too expensive for some
  • Running Dynamics Pod needed or additional data

Best for Runners

Garmin Forerunner 945

Garmin Forerunner 945

Run your heart out

If running is the name of your game, you'll love the Forerunner 945 for its advanced running metrics and GPS with full-color maps.

Best for Wear OS Users: TicWatch Pro 3

TicWatch Pro 3Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central

If you're a fan of Wear OS and you want a smartwatch with blood oxygen monitoring, you should consider the TicWatch Pro 3. You'll love the dual-layer display, which has become a staple among the company's Pro models. Now, it's better than ever. The Dual Display 2.0 has received some noteworthy style improvements. You get a live seconds counter and a convenient backlight for better visibility. The battery life isn't too shabby, either. The TicWatch Pro 3 should last for up to 3 days in Smart Mode, but this will depend on your usage. Some of the other perks include built-in GPS, activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, new blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor, and Google Pay.

If you know anything about the previous TicWatch Pro models, you probably know that these aren't small watches by any means. Continuing with that trend, the TicWatch Pro 3 comes in a large 47mm case. The company states that it has redesigned this model, so it's about 30% lighter. This is a great improvement for active individuals who want a comfortable watch that won't get in the way of workouts. You'll also love the improved performance, which is a result of the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor. The existing apps have been refreshed as well, including TicExercise and TicPulse. Of course, you'll also have TicOxygen for blood oxygen tracking.

As you can see the TicWatch Pro 3 is an excellent choice for many users. In fact, it's one of the best Wear OS watches you can buy right now. If you're not bothered by the huge 47mm case size or the steep price tag, this could be the wearable you've been waiting for.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Dual-layer display
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Impeccable performance
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Only one size/one color
  • Bulky on small wrists
  • Expensive

Best for Wear OS Users

TicWatch Pro 3

TicWatch Pro 3

There's nothing you can't do

If you want a Wear OS watch with impeccable performance and SpO2 tracking, you'll want to check out the TicWatch Pro 3.

Best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring How to choose

As you can see, smartwatches are becoming more and more advanced with each new release. Rest assured, you can expect to see many more smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring on the horizon. Until then, all of these options are a good place to start. We've always been fond of the Garmin Forerunner 245 for its extensive tracking abilities, GPS, long battery life, and many other key features. The Pulse Ox sensor tracks blood oxygen saturation levels and helps provide more insightful sleep monitoring data, too. It's not outrageously priced, either, which is always a plus.

There are still cheaper options on this list depending on what your needs are. You can also go much bigger (and spend a lot more) if you're seeking a more ambitious wearable with more advanced features. Whatever the case, these are some of the best Android smartwatches for tracking your blood oxygen saturation levels.

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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