Best Smartwatches for Fitness Android Central 2019

If you're looking for a smartwatch that delivers powerful fitness tools, a great design, and won't hurt the wallet too much, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. It has a stunning OLED display, built-in GPS, full waterproofing, and even NFC for mobile payments with Samsung Pay. It's as fully-featured of a smartwatch and fitness tracker that you'll find, plus it comes in at a price most people will be quite happy with.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Announced in February alongside the Galaxy S10, Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active is the company's latest smartwatch on the market. It's a decidedly less capable version of the regular Galaxy Watch (more on that in a bit), but the few compromises that were made for the affordable price tag result in this being the very best fitness smartwatch you can buy in 2019.

The Galaxy Watch Active is one of the more compact smartwatches around, meaning it fits just fine on small wrists unlike a lot of its competitors. Samsung also built the Active incredibly well and outfitted it with a really stunning 1.2-inch OLED display.

On the fitness side of things, you've got access to all-day activity and sleep tracking, a 24/7 heart rate monitor, and a variety of exercise modes. The built-in GPS allows you to map outdoor runs without bringing your phone, the watch is waterproof up to 50M, and local music storage means you can locally save all of your favorite tunes (even ones from Spotify).

Add that together with an NFC chip for Samsung Pay, a good app selection, and a price tag that's fairly easy on the wallet, and it's easy to see why this is our top pick.

Pros:

  • Stunning OLED display
  • Fits well on small wrists
  • All-day activity and sleep tracking
  • 24/7 heart-rate monitoring
  • Built-in GPS
  • 50M waterproofing
  • NFC for Samsung Pay
  • Good selection of apps

Cons:

  • Might be too small for some wrists
  • No rotating bezel like past versions

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

The best fitness smartwatch for most people.

We think most folks will be quite happy with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. It's got a built-in GPS, 50M waterproofing, and activity/sleep tracking.

Best Value: Amazfit Bip

While we're confident with our pick of the Galaxy Watch Active as the best overall option, we do understand that it may be a bit too pricey for some of you reading this. If you really want to maximize your bang-for-buck, we'd strongly recommend the Amazfit Bip.

Created by Huawei subbrand Huami, the Bip is a small, plastic watch with an IP68 rating for resistance against dust and water. It has a built-in GPS chip, activity/sleep tracking, and can receive notifications from your phone. The display isn't the sharpest we've ever seen, but it is surprisingly readable in direct sunlight.

You can track walking, running, and cycling on the Bip, but there's no option for swim tracking or automatic workout detection (two things the Galaxy Watch Active has). Also missing here is an option to interact with the notifications you receive from your phone.

However, when you factor in the features the Bip does have, its legendary 30-day battery life, and the fact that it costs as little as it does, it's a really enticing option for any penny-pincher out there.

Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Battery lasts up to 30 days
  • Built-in GPS
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • IP68 dust/water resistance
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Not the best screen we've ever seen
  • Limited apps/watch faces
  • Looks and feels a little cheap

Best Value

Amazfit Bip

Lots of features for a meager price.

If you want to maximize your features-to-price ratio, the Amazfit Bip shines. It does activity/sleep tracking, has built-in GPS, and 30-day battery life.

Best Fitbit: Fitbit Versa

Fitbit has established itself as one of the best fitness/health brands in the tech space, and if you're eager to join its growing community, the Fitbit Versa is the watch to get.

Similar to the Galaxy Watch Active, the Versa is very compact and lightweight — allowing it to be comfortable on any wrist. The squircle design looks excellent at either the gym or a nice dinner, and the crisp LCD touchscreen display is a joy to look at and use.

You'll find just about every fitness feature you could want on the Versa, including activity, sleep, and swim tracking, on-device Fitbit Coach workouts, heart rate monitoring, automatic workout detection, reminders to move throughout the day, and even a powerful female health tracking system.

All of this information is synced to the fantastic Fitbit mobile app through which you can see all of your stats, compete in fitness challenges with friends, and connect with other Fitbit users from around the world for tips, best practices, and motivation.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, comfortable design
  • 4+ day battery life
  • On-screen workouts
  • Automatic workout detection
  • Local music storage

Cons

  • No GPS
  • NFC only available on Special Edition
  • Small app selection

Best Fitbit

Fitbit Versa

Fitbit's most complete smartwatch to-date.

Outfitted with a great design, battery life, fitness features, and access to a huge online fitness community, the Fitbit Versa brings a lot to the table.

Best With Wear OS: Fossil Sport

Google's Wear OS platform has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, and if it's your smartwatch OS of choice, the watch we recommend checking out is the Fossil Sport.

The Fossil Sport does all of the usual fitness features you'd expect, including activity tracking, built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor, and access to Google Fit for tracking Move Minutes and Heart Points each day as a way to gamify your physical activity. Unfortunately, there is no sleep tracking.

Where the Fossil Sport really shines is with its extra "smart" features. You can download a large selection of apps/watch faces, store all of your cards and passes in Google Pay, quickly interact with notifications from your phone, and even talk to the Google Assistant.

While the Fossil Sport is expensive, it's still an excellent pickup for people that value a good mix of smart and fitness features in one sleek package. Just be aware that battery life is simply okay and performance can be bit inconsistent.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Tons of apps
  • GPS
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Swim-proof
  • NFC for Google Pay

Cons

  • Lacks sleep tracking
  • Poor battery life
  • Inconsistent performance

Best With Wear OS

Fossil Sport

The best fitness watch powered by Wear OS.

When it comes to Wear OS, the best watch you can currently buy is the Fossil Sport. It has activity tracking, GPS, the Google Assistant, and more.

Best Battery: Withings Move

Not ready quite yet for a full-fledged smartwatch? The Withings Move might be the perfect fit. Rather than having a touchscreen display and on-device operating system, the Move takes the form of a traditional watch with physical hands. Despite the discrete look, the Move is actually a well-rounded fitness companion.

With the Withings Move, you get 24/7 activity tracking, sleep tracking, automatic workout detection, and waterproofing up to 50M for use in the pool if you want to track your swimming. The lack of built-in GPS is a bummer, but you can still map outdoor bikes/runs as long as you bring your phone with you. All of your data is synced to Withings' Health Mate app, which can then sync with Google Fit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Apple Health.

All of that brings us to the real star of the show — battery life. The Withings Move can last up to 18 months with no charging required, meaning it handily beats out every other watch in these regards by a long shot.

Pros

  • Battery lasts for 18 months
  • Doesn't need to be charged
  • Looks like a normal watch
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • Waterproof
  • Automatic workout detection

Cons

  • Doesn't have built-in GPS
  • No heart-rate sensor
  • No apps or phone notifications

Best Battery

Withings Move

The fitness watch with the best battery life.

The Withings Move has a battery that lasts for 18 months with no need to be charged at all during that time, meaning you can use it however you like.

Best Premium Option: Samsung Galaxy Watch

For our last pick, we wanted to highlight a smartwatch that really goes all out on just about every front. It's big, packed with every feature you could ask for, and costs a pretty penny. It's the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Where the Galaxy Watch Active is a small, affordable watch made for everyone, the regular Galaxy Watch is for those with deeper pockets that don't want to sacrifice a single thing.

You've got access to the same fitness features as the Galaxy Watch Active, including activity and sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, automatic workout detection, and reminders to move and breathe. Your data is readily visible on the Galaxy Watch, in addition to the Samsung Health companion app.

The Galaxy Watch has a pretty big, bulky design, but because of this, you gain a military-grade durability rating in addition to waterproofing up to 50M. The bezel around the screen also rotates as a fun way to navigate menus rather than touching the screen, and with Samsung Pay, you can use NFC and MST for payments — allowing you to pay for things with the Galaxy Watch at virtually any store you go to.

Pros

  • Available in two sizes
  • Rotating bezel
  • Big, colorful OLED screen
  • Military-grade durability + waterproof
  • Activity and sleep tracking
  • Heart rate monitor
  • NFC and MST for Samsung Pay

Cons

  • It's H U G E
  • Expensive

Best Premium Option

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Every feature you could imagine, and then some.

The Galaxy Watch is big, bulky, and expensive, but for people that want the most feature-rich fitness watch out there, it's the way to go.

Bottom Line

Any of the smartwatches on this list will serve you well, but at the end of the day, we think the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is the best all-around choice. We've already given a lot of praise for it here, but let's reiterate why it's our winner.

On the fitness side of things, there's something here for everyone. You'll get activity/sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, reminders to move throughout the day, guided breathing sessions, and automatic workout detection. All of your fitness stats are readily available on the watch, and the Samsung Health app that this syncs to gives you even more detail on it.

However, fitness is just one side of the smartwatch equation. When you aren't breaking a sweat, the Galaxy Watch Active is just a really good smartwatch, too. Its OLED display is a joy to look at, battery life is pretty good, and Samsung's Tizen operating system is easy to use with plenty of apps to choose from.

Add all of that together with an accessible price tag, and it's the fitness watch we happily recommend to just about everyone.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Joe Maring Joe is Android Central's News Editor. He loves talking about all things tech, but smart wearables are what get him really excited (just ask the drawer of smartwatches in his office). He also likes coffee and goes to Starbucks far too often. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@mobilenations.com or hit him up on Twitter @JoeMaring1

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