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Best Wear OS watch 2022

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 tiles
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

If you're choosing an Android smartwatch that'll integrate well with your phone, it makes sense to start your search with Wear OS watches, especially those that have or will receive the new Wear OS 3. If you want to enjoy the new platform now, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the best Wear OS watch — at least until the Pixel Watch arrives to complicate things. Until then, here are our top selections.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 record ECG

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)
Best overall

Reasons to buy

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GPS, HRM, NFC, SpO2, BIA, temperature
+
Launches with Google Assistant
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Great performance
+
Improved charging over GW4
+
Several size options
+
Sapphire glass display

Reasons to avoid

-
Not many upgrades over GW4
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Some features limited to Samsung phones

One year after the Galaxy Watch 4 exploded onto the Wear OS scene with some major improvements, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 took that template and improved on it in a few key areas, mainly in terms of hardware. The specific Galaxy Watch 5 vs. 4 improvements include a larger battery, speedy 10W charging, sapphire glass protection on the display, and a built-in skin temperature sensor for better sleep tracking results — though the latter isn't active on the watch yet.

Our Galaxy Watch 5 reviewer was generally quite impressed with the watch, calling it the "best Android smartwatch available today, and it's really not even close." It doesn't quite live up to Samsung's claim of a 40-hour battery life despite the upgrade, but you can recharge it 50% in a half-hour, so you'll rarely run into issues.  While it's thicker than the 4, it has redesigned sensors that sit more closely on your wrist for more accurate results.

As for its Wear OS experience, it launches with Google Assistant, which can be set as the default always-listening assistant instead of Bixby, along with other new Google apps like Google Wallet. Its Tiles experience is seamless to use, and newer Wear OS 3.5 features like a QWERTY keyboard have improved the UI as well. Plus, we're hoping new features that launch with the Pixel Watch will quickly come to the Galaxy Watch 5 once Google stops holding them back.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sitting on tree leaves, showing app tiles.

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
Best premium Wear OS watch

Reasons to buy

+
GPS, HRM, NFC, SpO2, BIA, temperature
+
Titanium case & sapphire glass
+
3-day battery life
+
10W charging speed
+
New .GPX hiking maps

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive, heavier than GW5
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Very thick design not suited for sleep tracking

Most Wear OS watches will last a day at most with features like continuous heart rate active. But the massive Galaxy Watch 5 Pro genuinely lasts three days with all health sensors and sleep tracking active, and it has the same speedy charging as the standard Galaxy Watch 5. The only issue with it, as our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review explains, is that the extra battery capacity corresponds with a very thick and heavy design that not everyone will enjoy.

With the same size display as the Galaxy Watch 5 44mm, the Pro model is much more expensive and doesn't have too many upgrades over the base model aside from the battery. Its Titanium case should handle whatever damage you encounter, and the Pro design has an elevated case that protects the display from scratches.

Along with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra (another pick on this list), the Pro is a watch that you'll buy specifically because of how long it lasts per charge. It doesn't have the rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, relying on the same digital touch bezel of other Galaxy Watches. If you'd prefer that, you may want to downgrade to the last generation. 

With all the same Wear OS software perks as the GW5 listed above, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro gives you enough battery life that you can enjoy tools like AOD or always-listening Google Assistant without it constantly dying on you.

TicWatch E3 watch face

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Best value

Reasons to buy

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GPS, HRM, NFC
+
Activity/health tracking
+
Built-in mic/speaker
+
Google Assistant
+
Ultra-smooth performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky bezel
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Mediocre battery life
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Still waiting for Wear OS 3

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 runs on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, which ensures it's eligible for the Wear OS 3 upgrade sometime in the "mid to second half of 2022." Generally speaking, if you see an affordable Wear OS watch running the Wear 3100, it's not due to receive Wear OS 3, and may not get the best software support once developers fully move on. With the TicWatch E3, you're getting the promise of support and longevity on a value-priced model.

Our TicWatch E3 review lays out all the simple perks of this model. For starters, you get a large and bright 1.3" HD display. It is encompassed by a rather large and bulky bezel that you'll either love or hate, depending on your preferences. Fortunately, the watch is compatible with 20mm interchangeable bands, so swapping it out for a new one is never an issue. It offers IP68 water resistance and is suitable for pool swimming.

Thanks to the Wear 4100 chip and 1GB of RAM, we found "little to no delay in opening apps or loading up the Play Store on the watch," while the battery life lasts 1.5 days even with 24-hour HRM and SpO2 tracking, AOD, and sleep tracking. Or you can use Essential mode, which uses tilt-to-wake and still tracks heart rate and sleep, and extend your battery life to a full 20 days per charge (in our tests).

You get more than your share of features on the health and fitness side of things. The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 offers onboard GPS, activity tracking, heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. There are a few extra perks, including Google Assistant and Google Pay. These are all fantastic perks, but the short battery life is a drawback. This is not unheard of for Wear OS watches, though. If you can live with that and the chunky bezel, this is an incredible value that's hard to beat. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic taking a BIA sensor reading

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)
Former best, now discounted

Reasons to buy

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GPS, HRM, NFC, SpO2, BIA
+
Thinner, more comfortable than GW5
+
Classic design has rotating bezel
+
Huge array of health sensors
+
Several size & bezel options
+
Cheaper, same chipset as GW5

Reasons to avoid

-
No temperature sensor
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Poorer materials than GW5

The Galaxy Watch 5 is the best Wear OS watch, but it doesn't make that many upgrades over the Galaxy Watch 4, which also runs Wear OS 3 and has the same Exynos W920 SoC combined with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage as its successor. Now frequently on sale for much less than its launch price, the Galaxy Watch 4 hasn't lost its edge and is worth buying if you're looking to save money without compromising on quality.

In our Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review, we praised the performance, design, health features, and battery life, but had a complicated view of its Wear OS integration that stuck pretty close to the Tizen template. But Samsung has made plenty of upgrades since then, and it now runs the same One UI 4.5 Watch OS as the Galaxy Watch 5, with Google Assistant support.

It may not have a temperature sensor like the Galaxy Watch 5, but that's still inactive on the newer model, and it otherwise has the same tools: A 3-in-1 BioActive sensor measures optical heart rate, electrical heart (ECG), blood pressure, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) for a holistic look at your health, including body water and fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, and more. 

Plus, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic kept the rotating bezel that Samsung popularized with the older models — something totally abandoned by the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro design. The digital bezel works, but it lacks the precision of a physical dial, especially if you're working out and have sweaty fingers. Our GW4 Classic reviewer said that "there's something just so satisfying about whizzing through notifications, tiles, and menus without tapping the display at all," making it the superior way to navigate the Wear OS UI.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 health data

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
Best style

Reasons to buy

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GPS, HRM, NFC
+
SpO2 tracking
+
Sleek, attractive design
+
Built-in mic/speaker
+
Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
No Wear OS 3 yet

Skagen has a knack for delivering stylish wearables, and the Scandanavian-inspired Falster Gen 6 design is no exception. It comes in a sleek 41mm stainless steel case and works with 20mm bands. The 1.28-inch AMOLED display is accompanied by two push buttons on the side and a rotating home button. Thankfully, the updated Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor doesn't just offer smooth performance; it ensures the Skagen Falster Gen 6 will upgrade to Wear OS 3 sometime in mid-to-late 2022. 

Our Skagen Falster Gen 6 review broke down the many perks that come with this Fossil spin-off. We like the Fossil Wellness app that showcases data from automatic sleep tracking and the new SpO2 sensor, with the results broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly stats. Thanks to the processor, we found it has "smooth navigation and relatively quick app startups," even with the older Wear OS 2.3. And the watch can go from zero to 80% charged in about 30 minutes, which compensates somewhat for the strict one-day battery life.

This smartwatch comes with both a microphone and a speaker, which means using Google Assistant is more enjoyable, and you can take Bluetooth calls on your wrist.

While the Skagen Falster Gen 6 is nearly identical to the Fossil Gen 6 in every way, the design is where the two differ. Some users want a subtle yet stylish design, which Skagen is all about. When you're headed to the office after an intense workout at the gym, you'll be glad to know your watch is made for both occasions. We'd love to see an improvement in battery life, but fast charging helps soften the blow.

Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra Gps Lifestyle

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)
Best upgrade pick

Reasons to buy

+
GPS, HRM, NFC
+
Stellar performance
+
More durable design
+
Customizable backlight
+
Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty expensive
-
Only comes in one color
-
A bit large for some wrists
-
No Wear OS 3 yet

The name TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS should clue you in that Mobvoi designed it as a premium smartwatch, with all the bells and whistles. It lasts a full three days in smartwatch mode — including HRM, SpO2, GPS, and sleep tracking — or 45 days in Essential mode, about double that of the TicWatch E3. And the Wear 4100 coupled with 8GB of RAM gives you reliable performance, along with the promise of Wear OS 3 at some point.

You might wonder why it isn't the 4100+, but as we explained in our TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review, Mobvoi actually paired the 4100 with an in-house co-processor that, like the Plus, handles less power-intensive tasks to preserve battery life. In fact, this co-processor clocks at a higher speed than the Snapdragon (2.0GHz vs. 1.7GHz) and works with a newer Bluetooth standard (5.0 vs. 4.2). So you're definitely getting the best available until the Wear 5100 arrives. 

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS doesn't make too many changes over the standard TicWatch Pro 3, but Mobvoi redesigned the casing to make the display flush with the stylish two-tone bezel, and added a MIL-STD-810G rating and built-in GPS, making it equipped to handle your intense workouts and rugged adventures. But both models offer a new customizable backlight feature, with 18 different vibrant color options.

Another improvement is the launch of new software features for the TicHealth suite. The Pro 3 Ultra GPS assesses your fatigue via heart rate variability (HRV), the same metric used by fitness brands like Garmin and Fitbit. If you're a frequent health and fitness tracking user on your smartwatch, you'll appreciate this upgrade.

Suunto 7 Wear OS

(Image credit: Android Central / Russell Holly)

SUUNTO 7

Best for fitness buffs

Reasons to buy

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GPS, HRM, NFC
+
Durable, sporty design
+
Superior activity tracking
+
Full-color mapping
+
Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Gigantic
-
Mediocre battery life
-
Too expensive for some

If you're a fitness buff, you're probably looking for more features than a typical Wear OS watch provides. Not to worry: the Suunto 7 fits the bill. It comes in a large, durable case, but it's also packed with fitness features that will likely meet all of your tracking needs. It might not be as popular or well-known as some of the other options on this list, but our Suunto 7 hands-on impressed us with the amount of fitness tools on display, in addition to classic Wear OS tools like Google Assistant.

Not only do you get built-in GPS, NFC, altimeter, and compass with full-color accurate mapping software, but you also have access to more than 70 sports modes. We should also mention that with the apps available from Suunto, you can view helpful metrics that go into further detail than what's available on Google Fit, such as training load, training recovery, and much more. This watch is 5 ATM water-resistant.

These features are undeniably great, especially if you're a hardcore fitness buff. However, make sure that you're content with only two days of battery life in smartwatch mode. At 70g, it's nearly twice the weight of most fitness smartwatches, in exchange for more advanced software and apps than you'd typically get. And unlike the other picks on this list, the Suunto 7 won't receive Wear OS 3 because it used the Wear 3100 chip.

Wear OS logo on a Fossil Gen 6 watch

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)
Best lifestyle watch

Reasons to buy

+
GPS, HRM, NFC
+
Multiple design options
+
Improved health tracking
+
Google Assistant
+
Fast charging speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
No Wear OS 3 yet
-
Short battery life

Perhaps you're interested in finding a wearable that blends stunning design elements with a solid set of smartwatch perks. If so, the Fossil Gen 6 may be what you're searching for. This latest release from Fossil offers improved performance, fast charging speeds, accurate health tracking, and more. Keep in mind that this smartwatch is one of the lucky Wear OS devices that will upgrade to the new platform later this year. Gamers may want to consider the limited-edition Razer X Fossil Gen 6 variant, which offers all the same features plus exclusive Razer watch faces.

One of the most notable improvements to the Fossil Gen 6 is that it's equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset, so performance is smooth and seamless. Additionally, the 1.7GHz co-processor allows this watch to use always-on health metrics without negatively affecting performance or draining the battery life. You'll get more detailed heart rate readings, more precise sleep tracking, and better health statistics all around.

While the Fossil Gen 6 is an excellent lifestyle smartwatch, there's one thorn in this wearable's side that has yet to go away. If you're familiar with Wear OS watches, battery life has always been an issue. The Fossil Gen 6 is estimated to last around 24 hours on a single charge. While smart battery modes can help a bit, there's nothing groundbreaking. Fortunately, Fossil offers ultra-fast charging on the new Gen 6 models. Users can charge their watch up to 80% after only 30 minutes on the charger.

Choosing the best Wear OS watch for you

As you can see, Wear OS covers quite a bit of ground in the wearable market. While it might be slightly different from the Wear OS experience you're used to, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (or Galaxy Watch 4 Classic) is the best option for most people. Whether you opt for a physical bezel or a digital one, or whether or not you add LTE connectivity, you're still getting the latest Wear OS features and apps from Google. Add in Samsung's distinct Tizen spin, and a bevy of health tools for an in-depth look at your body composition, and no other Wear OS watch can match it.

Still, if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn't quite what you're looking for, you'll have several other options that should update to Wear OS 3 within the next few months. If you can wait that long, you'll have more options if you're looking for different features or don't own a Samsung phone. Whether you're a serious athlete, a budget shopper, or someone who wants to stay connected with LTE, you'll be able to find the best Wear OS watch for your needs.