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 the high-powered Samsung Galaxy Watch to the up-and-coming Google Pixel Watch and the premium-tier TAG Heuer Connected, we tested, reviewed and ranked all smartwatches here 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 we review them. We wear smartwatches to bed and for exercising and generally spend a lot of time with them before making recommendations.
Below, we listed the best smartwatch options for every budget from every manufacturer worth knowing about right now. 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.
The best smartwatches you can buy right now
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The Apple Watch Series 8 builds on this and further refines what makes the Apple Watch the best smartwatch. We thoroughly enjoyed using this wearable – it's as sleek as it's always been and more keenly priced than the Apple Watch Ultra (which, let's admit, will be used by suckers more than adventurers).
What we appreciate the most of all the upgrades are the improved health and fitness features. The Apple Watch Series 8 can be used for tracking sleep just as well as 'proper' sleep trackers, and the new-and-improved workout metrics and views bring the watch ever so close to being used for running training. It even has Track Running and Triathlon workout modes now!
Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 8? If you have any other Apple Watch than the predecessor of this wearable (the still ever-so-amazing Apple Watch Series 7) or any other wearable in general, we'd recommend at least entertaining the idea of investing in Apple's latest non-rugged wearable. It's a premium smartwatch experience like no other.
Read our full Apple Watch Series 8 review
The first lovechild of Google and Fitbit, the Google Pixel Watch, falls short of being the ultimate Apple Watch competitor in only a few categories. Battery life would be longer, and including fast charging on a smartwatch in 2023 feels like a no-brainer to us – we wonder why they didn't include this feature here. On a more positive note, we appreciated the automatic exercise tracking, sleep monitoring, heart rate and ECG tracking features during testing, all of which can be viewed in the Fitbit app on your phone.
All that said, what we wanted the Google Pixel Watch to be, it is; an excellent Apple Watch alternative to people with Android smartphones. We wonder where Google and Fitbit will take the Pixel Watch concept and how those minor issues will be ironed out. The Pixel Watch is undoubtedly a wearable to experience at least once, and by trying the first iteration, you can say you were there when the Google wearable revolution started. If it ever will.
Read our full Google Pixel Watch review
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a modern, stylish take on a smartwatch - it’s slim, and we found it very comfortable. It's made from tough armour aluminium, so it’ll be able to withstand knocks and bumps, oh, and it’s waterproof too.
The latest generation of Samsung's smartwatch impressed us with its new 'BioActive Sensor', which is able to track everything from your heart rate to blood pressure and ECG, you can use it to measure your rough body composition. It takes a matter of seconds, and you’ll be able to see data about your skeletal muscle, BMI, body water and fat percentage.
The only downside here is battery life, which we found at 40 hours, it’s not the longest-lasting on this list, and that goes down a fair amount when you’re using the GPS or workout tracking features. It’s still good enough for most people, though. Find out more in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review but long story short, this is one of the best smartwatches if you're an Android user.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review
Be sure to check our Samsung discount codes to get a great deal.
If you're after an Apple Watch Ultra alternative, maybe because you're an Android user or want a smartwatch that looks more like a classic diving watch, the Huawei Watch Ultimate is your best bet. This ultra-premium wearable is similar to other Huawei watches in that it does everything Apple's wearables do but a little better.
It isn't cheaper than the Apple Watch Ultra, which is unusual for Huawei, but looking at those specs, we're not surprised. You get a tougher case, longer battery life, and more health and fitness features (e.g. arterial stiffness). The AMOLED display is also positively humongous.
During testing, we grew to love the adventure feature and appreciated the premium feel of the Watch Ultimate. It's a sleep watch with a hefty price tag that will certainly delight its owners with its beauty and features, even if they aren't Arctic explorers.
Read our full Huawei Watch Ultimate review
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 like flashy wearables, and those people will like Mobvoi's latest watch.
Read our full Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 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
If you've got an iPhone and don't want to spend lots of money on the Apple Watch Series 8, then the Apple Watch SE is a great alternative. Despite being 'the affordable' smartwatch from Apple, we think the SE is a truly excellent smartwatch. You won't notice where Apple has made cutbacks in general use, making it feel like a full Apple Watch experience, with all the advantages that bring in convenience, fitness tracking, and health and safety features.
From screen to design to sensors to being more future-proofed thanks to its faster processor, the latest Apple Watch SE is an excellent update over previous iterations of the wearable. These translate into better health features, including more accurate heart sensing (important for detecting irregularities) and fall detection.
Read our full Apple Watch SE review
As a stylish lifestyle smartwatch, the Garmin Venu can't really compete with the market's more established smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, but it excels where these devices don’t – through some impressively detailed fitness and health tracking features, performance and battery life. This, coupled with a brilliant and vibrant display that no other Garmin watches have, makes it one of the best smartwatches you can get your hands on right now, especially if you're tracking multiple sports. In our Garmin Venu 2 review, we called it a 'stunning fitness watch with amazing battery life and a beautiful AMOLED screen'.
Read our full Garmin Venu 2 review
The Watch GT 3 is a brilliant update over the Watch GT 2, and considering the modest retail price, you would be a fool not to get one today. The Huawei Watch GT 3 surprised us with a set of robust fitness features, and it's simply mind-blowing how long the battery lasts, considering a watch with such a huge and bright AMOLED display.
We thoroughly enjoyed testing the Huawei Watch GT 3, and we can wholeheartedly 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 nevertheless.
Read our full Huawei Watch GT 3 review
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
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.