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 monitoring is a fairly common feature these days. It's especially helpful during sleep tracking or when you're at high altitudes. Not to mention, it can alert you to potential issues such as sleep apnea and other respiratory 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 to users who love details. We've rounded up some of 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 designed 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 GPS Running Smartwatch

A great running watch

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

Best value: Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 Heart RateSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

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. Not to mention that you'll have an easier time finding replacement Fitbit Versa 3 bands. However, keep in mind that old Versa bands won't work with the new system.

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 since the Fitbit Versa 2. 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 and 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 Health & Fitness Smartwatch

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 Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2 6Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

The Venu 2 is one of the newest releases from Garmin. It's an upgrade from the predecessor in many ways. For starters, you'll be able to choose between a 40mm and a 45mm model. The larger version comes with an extra day of battery life for a whopping total of eleven days on a single charge. Another new feature is the battery saver mode that allows your watch to last for an additional day. Don't forget that you also have rapid charging, which means the Garmin Venu 2 can reach a full day of battery after a mere 10 minutes on the charger.

As far as the features go, you'll enjoy all of the Garmin essentials, including onboard GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, activity/sleep/stress tracking, 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. Some new features include fitness age, sleep score, Health Snapshot, and additional activity profile.

It's nice to see Garmin making an effort with its successors. The Venu 2 is an impressive upgrade with many new features. You also have two sizes to choose from and double the battery life of the previous models. Unfortunately, these watches are pretty expensive for what they are. If you're sold on the design, battery life, and new features, you might be willing to splurge.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Up to eleven-day battery life
  • Garmin Pay & music storage
  • Excellent health/activity tracking
  • Sleep score and fitness age
  • 5 ATM water resistance

Cons:

  • 45mm has fewer color choices
  • 40mm isn't more affordable
  • Extremely expensive

Best battery

Garmin Venu 2

Garmin Venu 2 GPS Smartwatch

A stunning watch that does it all

Want a stylish watch that offers stellar battery life? TheVenu 2 is ideal with GPS, Garmin Pay, music storage, and more.

Best premium pick: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Hands OnSource: Android Central

One of this year's most anticipated releases, the Galaxy Watch 4, is officially available for preorder. While it's not the only Samsung smartwatch with blood oxygen tracking, there are many other benefits to this new wearable. Not unlike its predecessor, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers two size options, optional LTE connectivity, ECG readings, and advanced health/fitness tracking. While it's only expected to get 40 hours of battery life, it's an improvement from other Wear OS watches that require daily charging.

Users will also appreciate the new 3-in-1 BioActive sensor. This technology made it possible for Samsung to use a single chip containing three important sensors, which include optical heart rate, electrical heart (ECG), and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) for measuring overall body composition. The company also noted that the placement of the chip puts the measurement tool closer to your skin, which should increase measurement accuracy. The BioActive sensor can take a heart-rate reading, record an ECG measurement, and measure your blood oxygen levels.

While sleep tracking isn't a new feature, Samsung has improved its accuracy and detail quite a bit. In addition to providing you with an advanced Sleep Score and tracking your blood oxygen levels during sleep, your compatible smartphone can now detect the sound of your snores. This gives you a better look at the bigger picture, which can help you determine how to improve your sleep quality over time. If you're not deterred by the price tag and the limitations of the new operating system, this is one of the best smartwatches for blood oxygen monitoring and other types of detailed tracking.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Optional LTE
  • Samsung Pay, Google Pay
  • Improved health/fitness features
  • New Wear OS 3

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • No compatibility for iOS users
  • Some features only work for Galaxy phone owners

Best premium pick

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Premium features and performance

If you want the newest tech, the Galaxy Watch 4 may appeal to you. Blood oxygen tracking is just one of many great health perks.

Best for outdoor enthusiasts: Garmin Fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6 Source: Garmin

The Fenix 6 Series is 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 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 absorbs 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, ensuring accuracy and allowing 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 Premium Multisport GPS Watch

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 also Fitbit Pay. This is yet another Fitbit smartwatch with 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, also known as AFib. You also get the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, measuring 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 you to take care of 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 Advanced Health & Fitness Smartwatch

For health nuts

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

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 results from 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. You'll also be glad to know that this model will be eligible for upgrade to Wear OS 3 in the near future.

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 GPS Smartwatch

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 for Apple users: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 reviewSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

If you're an Apple user, you might prefer the Apple Watch Series 6. This model offers a few improvements over the predecessor, including blood oxygen monitoring and built-in sleep tracking. These might not seem like much, but health enthusiasts will appreciate the upgrades. As usual, the Apple Watch is available in 40mm and 44mm models. The finish options include aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.

As far as activity/health tracking and other smartwatch perks are concerned, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers a lot of the same features you can find on previous models. Some examples include deta9ped health and fitness tracking, built-in GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, Apple Pay, and smartphone notifications. This smartwatch can measure your blood oxygen saturation levels and take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, which can detect irregular heartbeats that may be a sign of an underlying condition.

If you're familiar with these smartwatches, you know that the battery life is mediocre at best. You'll need to be prepared to charge it daily. Not to mention that the Apple Watch Series 6 is still pretty expensive. Finally, Android users won't be able to take advantage of this smartwatch with blood oxygen monitoring as it only works with iPhones.

Pros:

  • Onboard GPS
  • Activity/sleep
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Apple Pay
  • ECG and SpO2

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Android phones
  • Too expensive for some
  • Mediocre battery life

Best for Apple users

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

Get healthy

Health enthusiasts will appreciate the Apple Watch 6 for its built-in sleep tracking, ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, and much more.

Best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring: How to choose

It's no secret that smartwatches are becoming more and more advanced as time goes on, which is why so many new smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring are hitting the market. The options on this list are a good place to start, and we'd venture to say there will be plenty more to come. The Garmin Forerunner 245 has remained a top pick in this category for many reasons. Not only does it offer extensive tracking abilities, built-in GPS, and long battery life, but it also has a Pulse Ox sensor for tracking blood oxygen saturation levels with great accuracy.

There are more affordable options on this list depending on what your needs are. Perhaps you're not a frequent runner or you're simply more focused on the physical design of your watch. 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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