Best smartwatch 2023: Quick links
00. Top 3↴
01. Best overall: Apple Watch Series 9
02. Best premium: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
03. Best affordable: Apple Watch SE 2
04. Best mid-range: Google Pixel Watch 2
05. Best for men: Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 5
06. Best for fitness: Garmin Venu 3
07. Best for battery life: Huawei Watch GT 4
08. Best for sleep tracking: Fitbit Sense 2
09. Best luxury: Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4
10. Best retro: Casio G-Shock DW-H5600
It's easy to get excited about the best smartwatches out there, only to be overwhelmed by all the choices. From the latest and greatest Apple Watch and premium Samsung Galaxy Watch to the sleek Google Pixel Watch and the premium-tier TAG Heuer Connected, we tested, reviewed and ranked all smartwatches worth knowing about to help you make the most informed choice about which one to buy.
With so many features, sensors and hardware functions available, you often have to spend weeks with these wrist wearables to thoroughly familiarise yourself with all they offer, which is precisely what we do when reviewing them. We wear smartwatches to bed and for exercising and generally spend a lot of time with them before making any recommendations.
Below, we listed the best smartwatch options for every budget from every manufacturer. For more information about wearables, check out T3's roundups of the best Apple Watches, best fitness trackers, best multisport watches and best outdoor watches.
Black Friday is upon us, and many of the best smartwatches listed here will be available to buy for less – in fact, they already are! Make sure you check out those price widgets below if you've been eyeballing a new wearable for a while. There are even deals on the new Apple Watch Series 9!
The Top 3
Best smartwatch overall
The Apple Watch Series 9 might look the same as the Series 8 or even the Series 7, but it provides a different user experience than those – in a good way. It has a brighter display, a faster microchip, exclusive features, and a somewhat more sustainable construction – what else can we ask for? The best smartwatch to buy right now.
Best premium smartwatch
There is a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. The new chip and the increased RAM help the watch operate buttery smooth and Wear OS 4 to perform at its best. The smartwatch looks stunning and radiates quality, not to mention the IP68 rating that ensures longevity and some durability. An excellent choice for Android users.
Best budget option
Best affordable smartwatch
We'd recommend the Apple Watch SE 2 to people who prefer to get their money's worth and seek long-term value. The Apple Watch SE range is on a by-yearly release cadence, so you won't feel out of the loop every year like mainline Apple Watch users. Plus, Apple tends to support their wearables with software updates years after their release.
The best smartwatches to buy right now
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The Apple Watch Series 9 might look the same as the Series 8 or even the Series 7, but it provides a different user experience than previous iterations of the wearable. It has a brighter display, a faster microchip, exclusive features, and a somewhat more sustainable construction – what else can we ask for? Maybe longer battery life, but that hasn't changed in the last 10 years.
We think the Apple Watch Series 9 provides the best smartwatch experience on the market today. There might be wearables, even on this list, with longer battery life or even more features, but we're yet to see any brand surpassing Apple's platform, which the brand has been building and refining for a long time.
If you have an iPhone, it's obvious you need the Apple Watch Series 9 wrapped around your wrist. If you're an Android smartphone user, you're better off picking an alternative watch from the list below – or a hybrid smartwatch if you like keeping it classy.
Read our full Apple Watch Series 9 review.
Also consider: Thanks to some seriously cheap offers knocking about these days, the Apple Watch Series 8 might be a better option for the price-conscious iPhone user. You miss out on the faster processor and gesture control, but you still get to experience that quintessential Apple user experience.
There is a lot to love about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. The new chip and the increased RAM help the watch operate buttery smooth and Wear OS 4 to perform at its best. The smartwatch looks stunning and radiates quality, not to mention the IP68 rating that ensures longevity and some durability.
The feature updates are only moderately exciting compared to the direct predecessor of the wearable, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but no one can fault the Galaxy Watch 6 for not having enough features, especially if your main goal is to track health. For fitness tracking, we'd still recommend the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro or one of the Garmin smartwatches listed in this guide.
It's hard not to like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, and it should be the first (only?) smartwatch you consider if you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Other Android users might want to look around, although it won't be easy to find another smartwatch with this many health features that look this good at this price point.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review.
Also consider: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 looks almost identical to the Galaxy Watch 6 and has a similar feature set, yet it can be yours for much less these days. If you're not too bothered with staying at the bleeding edge of the latest tech, you're better off getting the older model, which will be supported by Samsung for years to come.
Be sure to check our Samsung discount codes to get a great deal.
The corners Apple had to cut to keep the price of the Apple Watch SE 2 at an affordable level are more than forgivable. As a whole, the changes and updates might not feel significant compared to the first iteration, but there are some upgrades, both hardware and software, which make the second-gen Apple Watch SE all the more appealing. Better still, the Apple Watch SE 2 is cheaper than its predecessor and provides more features and better sensors!
We'd recommend it to people who prefer to get their money's worth and seek long-term value. The Apple Watch SE range is on a by-yearly release cadence, meaning your watch will go out of date slower (so to speak). Plus, Apple tends to support their wearables with software updates years after their release, which should give people more peace of mind.
One thing to remember is that the Apple Watch SE 2 isn't as capable as mainline Apple Watches, which shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's worth emphasising. The Apple Watch SE 2 is more suited for passive activity tracking, like Fitbits, as its position tracking isn't as accurate, and the wearable also lacks specific sensors that the Series 9 has (e.g. temperature sensor). If you're an iPhone user looking for a sleek mid-range smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE 2 is your best option.
Read our full Apple Watch SE 2 review.
The Pixel Watch 2 is on the right track to catch up with the Apple Watch... eventually. The new wearable is arguably better than its predecessor, but it needs to be further refined. The form factor is on point, and thankfully, Wear OS isn't a pain to use anymore, thanks to the fast processors and machine learning-optimised processes. Fitbit's tracking is on point, and the apps are improving, too.
The user interface is good on the watch, although the mixed tiles/scroll menu combination is a bit confusing. The tiles push Wear OS functions and hide others; ideally, we'd like to see all my main stats using the tiles, not just a few. Overall, the experience is far from terrible, and it's a pleasure to view the interactions unfold on the beautiful AMOLED display of the Pixel Watch 2.
Read our full Google Pixel Watch 2 review.
Also consider: The first lovechild of Google and Fitbit, the Google Pixel Watch, is very similar to its successor and offers dynamite features for Android smartphone users, particularly Pixel owners. Battery life would be longer, but it's a superb Apple Watch alternative.
Best for men
Wear OS has been struggling for years, mainly due to processors not being powerful enough to handle the operating system. Mobvoi has been on the case to make it work, maybe even more so than Google itself, and offered a viable solution in the form of the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3.
The new Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 Wearable Platform finally makes Wear OS work as it should. It offers effortless operation and fast loading times. Plus, the TicWatch Pro 5 has the most important Google apps on board, unlike Google's own Fitbit watches.
Unlike those, though, the TicWatch to 5 is anything but instantly recognisable. It hasn't got the sleek attitude of the Apple Watch nor the quirky charm of Fitbits. It's not hardcore enough to attract the diehard Garmin crowd, nor is it sexy enough to pose a threat to the Samsung Galaxy Watch.
Maybe this unremarkableness is what makes the TicWatch Pro 5 work. It's almost all substance and no style. And there is a market for those kind of watches. Not everyone likes flashy wearables, and those people will like Mobvoi's latest watch.
Read our full Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 review.
Best for fitness
The Garmin Venu 3 is a breath of fresh air for those used to the brand's performance wearables. It offers simple but effective health and wellness advice based on the myriad stats and metrics it silently tracks on a daily (and nightly) basis. If you want to delve deeper into the fitness stuff, Garmin offers up data for days within its Connect app, but if you prefer to keep things light and simple, the watch can simply act as a gym buddy to guide you through a healthy day.
The design is nothing to write home about, but it is very discreet and can be happily worn to a smarter get-together, as well as to the gym or pool. Above all else, it's probably the slickest user experience in the current Garmin stable, offering almost idiot-proof menus that surface the information you want with a few simple swipes. If you want a do-it-all watch that packs Garmin's legendary suite of health and wellness tracking, the Venu 3 is one of the best out there.
Read our full Garmin Venu 3 review.
Also consider: In our Garmin Venu 2 review, we called the predecessor of the Venu 3 a 'stunning fitness watch with amazing battery life and a beautiful AMOLED screen'. Even though the new model is out, the Garmin Venu 2 is still a solid choice for those smartwatch users who need a reliable training partner.
Best for battery life
The Huawei Watch GT 4 is a really good smartwatch. The battery life is nothing short of amazing, and the user experience has also been refined (although it's still not perfect). The Huawei Health app could use a bit of tender loving care, but it's not impossible to navigate and generally does what it's supposed to do.
With the new design language, Huawei can finally start work on refining the finer details, improving user experience, and generally breaking away from following trends. Some of the trend following is still present (e.g. the 'all-new' activity rings look suspiciously similar to Apple's rings), but we are generally on the right path here.
The price is on point, which might help entice more people to use Huawei watches. From what we've been told, the company will focus its attention more on wearables going forward, so we're expecting to see even more innovation coming to Huawei watches.
Read our full Huawei Watch GT 4 review.
Also consider: The Watch GT 3 is a brilliant update over the Watch GT 2, and it was an excellent value-for-money wearable even at full price, let alone these days. Like similar Huawei watches, we'd recommend it to people who aren't keen on getting a diehard running watch but would like to have the option to track their physical activities accurately.
Best for sleep tracking
The Fitbit Sense 2 is an excellent health smartwatch, even better than its predecessor. It has a better stress tracking system, a more user-friendly interface, a physical button, and the same handsome design we all admire. Better still, the watch didn’t change the features that worked well, including passive activity tracking, sleep tracking, etc.
Sadly, some of the changes aren’t as welcome as others. The exclusion of WiFi support is a big no-no, not just because it makes music listening on the watch impossible, but because it also takes longer to update the watch. The fact that the WiFi integration is in the watch but cannot be turned on is nothing short of infuriating.
That said, it’s hard not to recommend the Fitbit Sense 2 as it’s just so pretty and user-friendly. Sure, it might be slower than the most cutting-edge wearables nowadays, and it certainly won’t replace the Garmin Forerunner 255 as anyone’s go-to training partner, but as a health-forward smartwatch, it’d be hard to find a better and more handsome option as the Fitbit Sense 2.
Read our full Fitbit Sense 2 review.
TAG's latest attempt at a smartwatch, the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4, is handsome looking wearable, mimicking a traditional mechanical watch, with its fully circular display and sporty-looking case. The new model improved on previous generations by offering two sizes, 45mm and 42mm, longer battery life, brighter screen, and more sports tracking options.
The Connected is undeniably a class above its Android Wear siblings and aesthetically preferable to the most expensive Apple Watch variants, which are the only rivals in the 'luxe smartwatch' market. Out of all of the smartwatches we've tested, it feels the most 'watch-like'. Basically, if you're looking for a luxury Android smartwatch – this is the one for you.
Read our full TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 review.
Unless you're a G-Shock fan, you'll find better smartwatches for the same or less money than the Casio G-Shock DW-H5600. It's more like a digital watch with some smart features, like heart rate and basic exercise tracking, as well as notifications and breathing exercises. It's not much, but it's something.
If you are a G-Shock fan, the DW-H5600 is an exciting proposition, as it incorporates some health and fitness tracking and provides that same old-school G-Shock watch experience. If you like the look of the watch and wouldn't mind gaining access to some of your health data, by all means, get the watch. We'll be waiting patiently for an updated version that irons out the hardware and software issues. Hopefully, we won't have to wait for too long.
Read our full Casio G-Shock DW-H5600 review.
How we test the best smartwatches
We spend a lot of time reviewing the latest smartwatches, so when it comes to recommending what smartwatch to buy, you can be safe in the knowledge that we'll recommend the best options for you.
We'll usually spend a week or longer testing the latest smartwatches. We try out the very latest features to see if they work and if they're useful. This might be a new health monitoring tool, a new fitness tracking mode, or how comfortable a new strap is. We test everything in-depth, so if it's a new fitness feature, for example, we'll get our fitness editor to review it thoroughly.
All of these new features also get tested alongside everything a smartwatch should be classically good at, such as how bright and clear the display is, how reliable the smartphone connection is, how long the battery lasts, and how comfortable it is to wear every day.
Once the initial review period is complete, we'll publish a full review, give the smartwatch a star rating, and add an abridged review to this guide. If the smartwatch is then substantially updated after our initial review, we might choose to revisit that model to see if we need to change our verdict.
How to choose the best smartwatch for you
If you're struggling to choose a smartwatch, here are a few things to consider. In terms of compatibility, Apple Watches only work with iPhones, but smartwatches running Wear OS, Garmin and Fitbit are compatible with both Android and iPhone.
Smartwatch prices can range from very affordable to pretty expensive. Paying more will get you enhanced health and fitness tracking and build quality. Anything more expensive than an Apple Watch, and you're paying for prestige branding and exclusivity.
Battery life also varies from model to model, with the Apple Watch lagging behind the competition. If a maximum of 36 hours of battery life isn't good enough for you, then opt for Huawei, Fitbit or Garmin, which offer battery customisation options and often month-long battery life.
All smartwatches will do some level of fitness tracking these days, but if you're training for a marathon or triathlon then you'll want a more serious running watch from Garmin or Polar. Most smartwatches have at least a heart rate sensor, and some of them can measure ECG, blood oxygen, EDA (stress), monitor sleep etc. The Huawei Watch D can measure blood pressure on the wrist.
All smartwatches have Bluetooth and a few even boast built-in WiFi – that's how they connect to your smartphone. Some have a 4G/Cellular connection as well, which means you can stream music, and receive messages and calls, even if you've left your phone at home. It costs extra and probably isn't worth it for most.
If you're looking to buy a smartwatch for your child, then check out T3's guide to the best smartwatch for kids, because while an Apple Watch or Samsung might be okay for teenagers, they certainly aren't ideal for younger children.
And finally, while most of these smartwatches will count your steps, track your workouts, and measure your heart rate if you're really serious about exercise (like training for a marathon serious), then we suggest you take a look at the best running watches, best fitness trackers or best outdoor watches.