We’re not gonna lie. When Steve Jobs first unveiled the Apple Watch back in April 2015, we didn’t expect the market to get so damn big to the point we have to count down the top 10 best smartwatches in 2021.
Clearly, Mr. Turtleneck and sneakers was onto something well before anyone knew what the next big thing would be. And now every tech company and their dog are selling their own version of a smartwatch.
While most smartwatch owners will stick with either iOS or Android, others may want to look at various other options out there that might be more suitable depending on their smartphone of choice. Then it’s really just a matter of understanding both your wants and needs in a wearable device.
Do you need a smartwatch with all the bells and whistles or a smartwatch that’s just really good at watching every step you take, like The Police? Maybe you need access to golf course maps, health monitoring features, or accurate timekeeping. Or perhaps you just want a fancy way to tell the time.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll be certain to find the perfect smartwatch companion for you in our top 10 list of the best smartwatches in 2021.
1. Fitbit Versa 3
You might think we’re nuts for not putting a Steve Jobs creation at the number one spot. While he was undoubtedly the first to establish the market, after investigating all the incredible features the Fitbit Versa 3 offers, we can’t think of anything more deserving of our Best Choice pick.
Sitting comfortably between affordable and premium, the third edition of the Fitbit Versa 3 offers GPS tracking, a 24/7 Heart Rate monitor, Alexa Built-in, and Google Assistant compatibility, plus over six days of battery life. Claiming to be a smartwatch that puts motivation directly on your wrist, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a remarkable device that allows you to leave your phone at home while still tracking pace and distance during exercise.
Whether your running, riding, or gliding, you can keep track of your workout intensity via the Fitbit app. The Fitbit Versa 3 can also keep an eye on your sleep habits, giving you a better understanding of your deep and REM sleep.
Coupled with its ability to reach a full charge in just 12 minutes, it’s no wonder we adore the Fitbit Versa 3 and its incredible functionality. And with so many color options, it looks damn good, too, no matter what your aesthetic is.
2. Apple Watch Series 6
Don’t worry, Apple fanboys. The Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t too far behind our number 1 choice, and as our first Premium Pick, you can tell it was a tough decision to make. That being said, you know precisely why the Series 6 is here. Building on close to half a decade of smartwatch design and functionality, Apple has been ahead of the curb in more ways the one.
With the Apple Watch Series 6, you can measure blood oxygen levels, monitor heart rates, see fitness metrics and keep a watch over your sleeping schedule. And with the enhanced Always-On Retina display, you don’t have to do that stupid flick movement to check the time.
Still, an obvious choice for the best smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the poster boy of the market, and unless you’re with Android, it’s a no-brainer.
3. Amazfit Bip S Fitness
You didn’t think Amazon would leave all the fun to Apple and Samsung, did you? As part of the big three, the Amazfit Bip S Fitness Smartwatch may not be as fully featured as its rivals; it certainly has the gusto to compete with the big boys at such an affordable cost.
The Amazfit Bip S Fitness boasts a whopping 40-day-long battery life, 5 ATM water-resistant, built-in GPS tracking, a BioTracker PPG Heart Rate Monitor, smartphone connectivity across Google Android and Apple iOS, and a highly colorful always-on 64 gamut display. As a substantial upgrade from its predecessor, the Amazfit Bip S is a terrific choice for first-time smartwatch users.
4. Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition
Sporting a vibrant color display, a slate aluminum bezel, and a plethora of attractive features, the Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition is a suitable alternative to the markets’ typical smartwatch offering.
Providing health and wellness monitoring up the wahzoo, music playback without your phone, 20 preloaded sports apps, and workout tracking for yoga, strength training, cardio, and even pilates, the Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition can do it all. Just be careful about that battery life; it only lasts six days in smartwatch mode, up to 14 hours in GPS mode, and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Fulfilling every definition and expectation, the flagship wearable device from Samsung features everything you could ever need in a smartwatch and much, much more. Coming seven long years after the arrival of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung has undoubtedly stepped its game up to match its fruit-bearing rivals.
While it’s not likely to replace your smartphone entirely, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 enables a host of valuable functions like fitness tracking, health monitoring, and quick access to notifications when you can’t be bothered to pull your phone out of your pocket. Where the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 differs from its rival is in the rotating bezel. Taken from the classic chronograph, it’s used to navigate the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 interface.
If you’re a Samsung simp and you love the tactile feel of a chronograph, then we can’t recommend the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 enough. It’s got every feature possible in a smartwatch, and it’s even compatible with iOS. So if you’re feeling traitorous, perhaps you should give it a go with your iPhone.
6. TicWatch Pro Smartwatch
Preloaded with 4G/LTE connectivity for Verizon phone plan users, the TicWatch Pro Smartwatch is, quite frankly, one of the few genuinely phoneless smartwatches on this list.
Boasting 1GB of RAM for buttery smooth operation, an IP68+ waterproof rating (depth of 1.5 meters), GPS + GLONASS + Beidou and Galileo positioning, sleep tracking (via the TicSleep app), and a low power consuming LCD display on top of an AMOLED display for always-on functionality. And with those chronograph-inspired lugs for operating the watch, you don’t have to forego the mechanical aesthetic from your favorite timepiece.
7. Montblanc Summit 2+
Keeping with the mechanical aesthetic borrowed from the likes of Seiko and Rolex, the Montblanc Summit 2+ is an exceptional smartwatch that also comes with a rather hefty price tag.
Based on Google Wear OS, this cellular luxury smartwatch offers LTE/4G connectivity, in addition to contemporary technological features. Being the Montblanc Summit range flagship model, if you can stomach the cost, you won’t be disappointed.
8. TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41
Did someone say expensive? Because the price tag on the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41 is crazy for a smartwatch, but when you compare it to your standard TAG Heuer chronograph, it’s like chalk and cheese.
Rocking a rechargeable battery-operated Quartz Movement, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41 attempts to stay true to the chronograph form factor; however, with a relatively bare facade and surprisingly standard features, we think we’ll take the more expensive mechanical version instead.
9. Fossil Sport
Finally, a brand that takes a chance with its smartwatch design. Much like a wedding, Fossil takes a little bit of the old, with the tachymeter-inspired three-lug button array on the right-hand side of the case, with a bit of the new in its captivatingly circular 43mm case size. But instead of going with a bit of blue, we happen to prefer the Fossil Sport in Spruce Green.
Packed full of features to rival even our premium picks, the Fossil Sport is a damn good choice if you’re after something a little different. Ultra-lightweight and ridiculously good-looking, you can’t go wrong with the Fossil Sport smartwatch.
10. Motorola Moto 360 3rd Gen
We haven’t heard much from Motorola beyond the return of the Razr. But if you happen to own one, then perhaps you should consider the third-generation Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch.
Meticulously designed and bursting with premium engineering, this exceptional piece of tech features industry-leading scratch-resistant glass, the latest heart rate monitor, a 3ATM rating, and a SUS316 stainless steel body sealed with titanium screws. Coated in an ultra-hard scratch-resistant PVD coating, the Motorola Moto 360 3rd Gen is guaranteed to last a lifetime.
What is a smartwatch?
A smartwatch is a wearable device that takes the form of a watch, which provides a touchscreen interface for daily use with associated smartphone applications.
What features should you look for in a smartwatch?
A critical smartwatch feature is an always-on display, which avoids the need for gestures to turn the watch on and off when not in use. Other essential features include fitness tracking, smartphone connectivity with iOS and Android, GPS, and water resistance.
How much should you spend on a smartwatch?
How much you spend on a smartwatch is related to the kind of features you require. More advanced smartwatches start at around $400, while other more affordable options cost less than $100.
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