Best Android Smartwatch Android Central 2020
Right now, the best smartwatch for Android users is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. It's optimized for Samsung phones but runs well on all Android devices and has all the smartwatch and fitness features you'd expect. It's compact and lightweight but still offers good battery life. But if you're not into that one, the good news is that there are so many other amazing options from Fossil to Garmin to Fitbit and more.
- Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Best Value: Mobvoi TicWatch E2
- Most Stylish: Skagen Falster 2
- Best Oversized: Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Best for Long-Distance Runners: Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
- Best for Casual Athletes: Fitbit Versa 2
- Best for Fashion: Fossil Gen 5 Julianna
- The Cheap Hybrid: Withings Move
Best Overall — Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
You don't have to use a Samsung phone to enjoy the benefits of owning a Samsung smartwatch, and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 provides the most well-rounded wearables experience for Android users right now. It's compact and lightweight but features an extremely sharp and vivid touch display that's easy to navigate and fun to use thanks to the new capacitive bezel. The Tizen OS is smooth and battery-friendly, unlike Google's Wear OS, and while the app selection isn't massive, the core tenets are there, like Spotify, Strava, and more.
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 contains its primary purpose in its name: exercise tracking. The watch comes with GPS built-in, and features automatic workout-tracking, along with sleep tracking, water, food and caffeine consumption tracking, and more. The Running Coach feature is improved, which now gives you real-time pace metrics and a rundown of what to expect from your workout before you start. You'll receive audio cues that can be heard through the watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.
If you mainly wear a smartwatch for notifications, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 delivers there, too, with excellent support for Android's notification system, letting you reply using your voice, the built-in keyboard, or with one of the many quick answers.
Finally, battery life, while not quite as good as some of the other larger watches on the list, is still pretty excellent, and the watch can be topped up with select Qi wireless pads or with the Galaxy S10's Wireless PowerShare feature.
- Compact and well-designed
- 2-3 days of battery life
- Automatic workout tracking
- Water-resistant up to 5ATM
- Built-in GPS and NFC
- Capacitive bezel
- Optional LTE
- Third-party app support could be better
- Tizen OS learning curve
Smooth, elegant, and smart(watch).
The Active 2 offers a pretty display, onboard GPS, ample activity tracking, and a unique capacitive bezel for easy navigation.
Best Value — Mobvoi TicWatch E2
Without breaking the bank, Mobvoi's TicWatch E2 is a killer smartwatch that doesn't cost an arm (you're not wearing your smartwatch around your leg, are you?). It rocks a big 1.4-inch display that looks way better than its price would suggest, along with all the fixings a smartwatch should have: great touch response, awesome battery life, waterproofing, a heart-rate monitor and automatic workout detection, and decent 1+ day battery life.
This smartwatch runs Google's Wear OS, which is excellent for a lot of things, including notification support and Google Assistant. And while Wear OS doesn't have amazing native fitness support, the TicWatch E2 supersedes Google here with its own TicMotion layer that automatically detects workouts and monitors swim performance and provides stroke analysis.
So why's it cheap? Well, it's not the most stylish or skinny smartwatch on the planet, so it's more for the person who wants utility more than aesthetics.
- Solid construction
- Automatic workout detection
- Excellent notification support
- Built-in GPS
- Not exactly stylish
- Did we mention it was pretty chunky?
- Built-in watch strap is kind of gross (but easily replaceable)
- No navigation crown
Gets the job done
This no-frills Wear OS-powered smartwatch does everything you need it to do — for a lot less than you'd expect to pay.
Most Stylish — Skagen Falster 2
Sometimes you just want a smartwatch to look like a ... watch. Simple design, excellent quality strap, and a finish that doesn't scream, "This is a piece of technology!" Well, the Falster 2 from well-known Danish watch brand Skagen is precisely that.
One of the Falster 2's main benefits is its three-button layout, which includes a rotating crown that helps to scroll through Wear OS without having to touch the screen — an enormous benefit once you start using it. You also get a beautiful stainless steel body, well-constructed straps in either leather, metal, or silicone in a variety of colours, and all the essential features you'd expect, like water resistance, GPS, a heart rate monitor, NFC, and more.
- Attractive, classic design
- Digital crown is fantastic
- GPS, NFC, water-resistance and heart-rate tracking
- Excellent quality display
- Built-in GPS and NFC
- Some performance issues with Wear OS
- Battery life is limited to one day
Day and night ready
The Skagen 2 is a perfect blend of style and sophistication in a smartwatch. It's one of our favourite versatile Wear OS watches.
Best Oversized — Samsung Galaxy Watch
If you love everything about the Galaxy Watch Active but want it in a larger size with Samsung's incredible rotating bezel to get around the Tizen interface, the Galaxy Watch is going to be your best friend. Samsung's spent a long time perfecting its smartwatch design, and the Galaxy Watch is an amalgam of all of the company's best ideas. A beautiful AMOLED screen available in either 42mm or 46mm sizes, the Galaxy Watch offers all of the tracking features you'd expect, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, GPS, NFC for Samsung Pay, and more.
The main difference between the Galaxy Watch and our best overall choice, the Galaxy Watch Active, is the included rotating bezel and its larger battery, which adds a few extra hours to the uptime. The downside, though? It's considerably bigger and not quite as universally accessible from a design perspective.
- Well-built and nicely designed
- Beautiful AMOLED display
- Rotating bezel is super useful
- Excellent multi-day battery life
- Large and a bit utilitarian-looking
A big hunk of smartwatch on your wrist
Available in 42mm and 46mm sizes, and a variety of colours, the Galaxy Watch is an outstanding smartwatch for any Android user.
Best for Long-Distance Runners — Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
There's a smartwatch for every type of Android user, and the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is an outstanding choice for anyone who runs, bikes, or swims. It's not the best smartwatch, but it does receive notifications from your phone. If you don't need much more than that — and who does these days? — the Forerunner 245 makes up for it with incredible 7+ day battery life, or 6 hours with GPS enabled, which is more than enough for a marathon (or two if you're really good).
Better yet, the transflective screen means that the Forerunner 245 is easily visible in direct sunlight, making it perfect for extended outdoor excursions. There's also music storage and the option to stream from Spotify or Deezer, which is seriously great if you're trying to hit those personal bests. Add in 24/7 heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, advanced workout capture and advanced features like VO2 max estimation, a recovery advisor, and more, this is an excellent option.
- Advanced workout tracking and guidance
- Incredible battery life
- Sunlight-friendly transflective display
- Music streaming
- Extremely comfortable strap
- Limited smartwatch features
- Basic design may not be for everyone
Best for Long-Distance Runners
A solid, slim GPS tracker.
Garmin's GPS tech is paired with a reliable heart-rate tracker in a slim watch that syncs to its app and other popular apps.
Best for Casual Athletes — Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit has gone to great lengths to convince the world that it's more than just a fitness tracker company. The Versa 2 is a fantastic, colourful product that combines the best of the company's athletic DNA with solid smartwatch features, a bevvy of useful apps, and nearly a week of battery life. The new Versa 2 also has a sleek modern design, a faster processor for smoother performance, a microphone so Android users can dictate replies to incoming notifications, and built-in Alexa support for when you need to know the weather or who won last night's game.
The best part of Fitbit is how seamlessly it interacts with your Android phone. You just wear it — to work, to bed, in the shower — and it uploads your results in the background, syncing with your phone and, potentially, your group of friends who are constantly keeping you challenged. Yes, that's the other best part of Fitbit: its social network. Enjoy weekly challenges, or compete with the company's many experts in pre-made discovery challenges and adventures.
While the Versa 2 lacks GPS, it makes up for it by including on-screen workouts and collecting plenty of useful data. Plus, if you're into sleep tracking, no one beats Fitbit for insights and accuracy.
- Low-profile, attractive design
- Excellent battery life
- Solid smartwatch features
- Lots of different colours
- Built-in Alexa support
- Limited app selection
- Installing new bands can be tricky
Best for Casual Athletes
A fitness tracker that's good at everything
The Versa 2 improves on everything over the original, including a sleeker design, better battery life, and built-in Amazon Alexa.
Best for Fashion — Fossil Gen 5 Julianna
Fossil has always been about fashion watches, which makes the Julianna, its latest smartwatch aimed at women, one of the most fashionable yet. But Julianna stands out for more than looks. It's built on the same modern platform as the Fossil Sport but has even more features. In addition to being waterproof and supporting 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, there's also GPS for tracking runs and a versatile digital crown for easy scrolling.
Then there are the features you'll barely see anywhere else in the Wear OS ecosystem: a built-in speaker for taking phone calls when connected to an Android device or iPhone, as well as an improved battery that provides up to three days of moderate usage. Finally, the 1GB of RAM ensures the fastest performance in the Wear OS ecosystem. (Fossil also has a Gen 5 smartwatch aimed at men called the Carlyle.)
It's not cheap, but the Julianna is one of the best Android smartwatch options out there.
- Fashionable and functional
- Excellent performance thanks to 1GB of RAM onboard
- Able to take phone calls with built-in speaker
- Supports any 22mm watch band
- Outstanding battery life for a Wear OS watch
Best for Fashion
Does it all
Fossil's latest smartwatch for women does it all, from fitness tracking to taking calls to using apps — and looks good doing it.
The Cheap Hybrid — Withings Move
Sometimes you don't need a screen — you just want to tell the time, track steps and sleep, and not charge your watch every night. The Withings Move is an outstanding value product — it offers a battery that lasts nine months while tracking steps, swims, and sleep in a fun, lightweight body. Given that it's so cheap, it's made of plastic, but the materials are hardy enough to withstand everyday life. The Android app that it syncs to is also excellent.
You should come for its simplicity but stay for one of the five colour combinations.
- Lots of fun colour options
- Simple, practical step and sleep tracking
- Months-long battery life
- Lacks a screen
- Doesn't support notifications or apps
The Cheap Hybrid
Cheap and cheerful
If you want a regular watch that can take a beating while also offering activity tracking, the Withings Move is your best bet.
The good news about wearing a smartwatch in 2019 is that while there are plenty of options on the Wear OS side of things, you have fantastic options from companies like Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is an outstanding choice for most people and has received our most coveted Best Overall recommendation. You can even enjoy it if you don't own a Samsung device. You'll have built-in GPS, activity, sleep, and heart-rate tracking, music storage, smartphone notifications, Samsung Pay, and more. It doesn't get much better than this.
Of course, everyone has their preferences. If you're not a fan of Tizen OS or Samsung Health, your choices don't stop there. You'll have your pick of many other wearables, whether it be from Fitbit, Garmin, Fossil, or any other brand that has captured your attention.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.
Jen Karner is a staff writer. She can usually be found playing games on her phone, buried with her nose in a book or taking long runs in the park with her rescue dog. You can follow her on Twitter
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