Best Smartwatches for Android in 2022 – Futurism
If you’re an Android phone user, there’s a good chance that you’ve felt a bit excluded from the smartwatch revolution, but there are plenty of good smartwatches for Android available. Apple doesn’t have a monopoly on wearable tech, and that’s for good reason. Whether you’re looking for a smartwatch that’s compatible with Samsung or for something that simple that will track your fitness and look good while doing it, there are a plethora of high-quality smartwatches out there to choose from.
That said, while the expansion of heart monitoring and other advanced tracking technology has reinvigorated the Android smartwatch market, finding the right one for your needs amidst the crowd can be a challenge. This is only compounded by the fact that there are numerous models that are no longer being produced still in circulation as new or refurbished products. That’s where we come in; we did the required research and product testing to determine the best smartwatch for Android users of all budgets and needs.
— Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
— Best Budget: Fitbit Versa 2
— Best for Fitness: Fitbit Sense
— Best Rugged: Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Edition
— Best for Running: Garmin Forerunner® 255 Music
We cast a wide net during the research process to ensure that by the time we narrowed down our final recommendations, each one had a unique, justifiable reason for earning a space on our list. To get started, we relied on our previous experience reviewing smartwatches in general, as well as the top Samsung smartwatches, and used our prior findings to conduct our investigation in earnest. In addition to considering dozens of verified Android smartwatch reviews, specification sheets, and independent third-party testing, we got our hands on the Garmin Forerunner 255, Garmin Tactix 7, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Versa 2 for testing. I put each of these watches through a series of tests in a variety of conditions to determine their versatility, functionality, and overall value. Throughout the process, we paid particular attention to the quality of the screen, the length of the battery life, the ease of use of the interface, and the durability of materials used in construction.
Why It Made The Cut: Although it’s not the newest Samsung smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic remains a standout smartwatch for Android because it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end smartwatch with the look of a classic timepiece.
— Case Sizes: 42mm and 46mm
— Battery Life: 361 mAh; up to 40 hours
— Onboard Storage: 16 GB Internal Memory
— Durable stainless steel case
— Updated Wear OS interface is easy to use
— Appealing design
— Clear, bright digital display
— Some features only work with Samsung phones
— Carries a premium price tag
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic gives you the best of both the traditional and futuristic worlds in one simple package, making it a top choice as the best Android smartwatch for men. The smooth but eye-catching stainless steel case includes a mechanical bezel that you can twist like a chronograph and enjoy that all-satisfying tick. Overall, the looks are masculine yet professional. If you already wear a mechanical, automatic, or quartz watch, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic makes making the switch easy and enjoyable. This is no small part due to the fact that Samsung seems to have hit a sweet spot between advanced technological features and ease of use with this iteration of the standard Wear OS system they’ve relied on in the past.
This is one of the few smartwatches on the market that combines classic styling with true, high-performance health, fitness, and mobile device features. You can do everything from control your music and send texts to track your sleep, monitor your heart rhythm, and measure your blood oxygen levels during exercise, regardless of the intensity. You can get all of this without anyone knowing that you’re wearing anything more than a standard watch. However, you may not be able to take advantage of all of these features if you don’t have a Samsung phone, but who can blame them, it’s not as if Apple Watches mesh right into non-Apple devices.
Why It Made The Cut: The Fitbit Versa 2 packs loads of high-tech features into an affordable, well-designed package that can be worn by anyone with any phone.
— Case Size: 40mm
— Battery Life: 165 mAh; up to 6 days
— Onboard Storage: 2.5 GB Internal Memory
— Long battery life
— Advanced tracking and monitoring technology for a low price
— Minimalist design is versatile
— Equipped with Fitbit Pay
— No built-in GPS
— Alexa integration is spotty
Although the Fitbit Versa 2 isn’t strictly for Android users, it allows you to get the most out of your Android, whether it’s made by Samsung, Google, LG, or a less well-known company at a budget-friendly price, which makes it one of the best smartwatches to get for your kids as well. Plus, the Versa 2 is a lot more than a mere fitness tracker; I wore it from dawn until dusk during the week I tested it. You can download many of your favorite or most frequently used apps onto this watch, from Google to Spotify. The Versa 2 also has Fitbit Pay, which allows you to use contactless payment without needing to touch your phone or wallet, which should be a little bit fatter with the money you save by getting this cheap smartwatch for Android phones. However, this feature isn’t compatible with all banks, so make sure to check with your bank if that’s going to be a deal breaker. Perhaps most importantly, the Fitbit Versa 2 doesn’t skimp on high-end features in exchange for manufacturing savings. In addition to the step, heart rate, and sleep tracking that you’d expect from a baseline smartwatch, the Versa 2 comes with women’s health tracking, stress monitoring, and even blood oxygen saturation levels, which is a favorite for endurance athletes. As I tested the Versa 2, I found the oxygen saturation level confusing at first, but ultimately motivating once I understood how to read it.
Why It Made The Cut: The Fitbit Sense is the company’s flagship fitness tracking smartwatch, and it recently had its price lowered because of the introduction of a new version, the Sense 2.
— Case Size: 40.5mm
— Battery Life: 266 mAh; up to 6 days
— Onboard Storage: 4 GB internal memory
— Water resistant up to 50 meters
— Lightweight and appealing design
— Long battery life
— Advanced GPS and accelerometer tracking
— Can’t send customizable text messages, only from a pre-written list
— Electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor requires you to hold your hands together for two minutes
Don’t let the fact that there’s a newer edition of this Fitbit with a slightly higher price tag fool you: The Fitbit Sense is the best fitness smartwatch for Android for the price. The Sense 2 offers little in the way of health and fitness tracking upgrades, so it will be hard to tell where the extra cost is going for people who want to use their watch for exercise first and foremost. The Fitbit Sense can track nearly anything you can think of in terms of fitness. Here’s a short sampling of the data you can collect: steps, heart rate, active time, rest time, blood oxygen saturation, stress levels, workout intensity, and even the extent to which you’re reaching your goals. On that last note, the Sense also automatically adapts your fitness goals based on your recent data and personal historical trends. Fitness tracking doesn’t get any more advanced at this price.
However, the Sense is lacking in some important areas. For example, you can’t send customized text messages through voice or by typing on the watch. Also, the onboard GPS app is slow, and it can take a while to transfer your fitness data from your watch to your app, which I experienced while testing the Sense. When I finished my workout, I was anxious to see what I achieved; one of the great things about smartwatches is that they turn intangible activities into numerical data, and having to wait for them was unusually painful.
Why It Made The Cut: If you’re after durability, reliability, and downright impressive performance in all categories, including those you didn’t know you needed, look no further than the Garmin Tactix 7 Pro Edition.
— Case Size: 51mm
— Battery Life: 475 mAh; Up to 37 Days
— Onboard Storage: 32 GB
— Solar charging
— Built-in flashlight
— Sapphire crystal lens is resilient to scratches and dings
— Titanium bezel and case protect the built-in topographic map software
— Industry-topping performance comes with a steep price tag
— Large, bulky fit isn’t compatible with most professional attire
Although this watch is expensive, when you consider its capabilities it starts to look more and more like a good deal. The Tactix 7 lineup from Garmin arguably features the most capable smartwatches on the market, and they’re certainly some of the most durable. Premium materials such as titanium and sapphire crystal are usually found on watches from bigger brands that cost thousands of dollars more. However, build quality is about all the Tactix 7 Pro has in common with a traditional high-end watch. If you thought heart rhythm monitoring and built-in GPS were impressive, take a look at what the Tactix 7 has on offer. It provides improvements on the standard tracking technology, by measuring your pulse every second instead of every 2, 3, or 5 seconds like most other smartwatches for example. This watch also boasts advanced features that you can’t find anywhere else. For example, the Tactix 7 Pro has a dual-color built-in flashlight that you can use for camping and can help you find your way anywhere in the world thanks to the fact that the GPS uses multi-GNSS satellite reference as well as onboard sensors to help you navigate. If you’re really an adrenaline junkie, then this watch is for you. It comes with unique features such as jump-starter mode, which is designed to help time your parachute opening during a skydive, or dual-position syncing software that allows you to see your location and that of others superimposed on the Universal Transverse Mercator and military grid reference system in real time.
I tested the Tactix 7 Pro and was thoroughly impressed with its performance. There’s no doubt that it was the sturdiest smartwatch I’ve used (including my Apple Watch), but also the bulkiest. But since this is the best Android-compatible smartwatch for outdoors people, the bulkiness shouldn’t matter too much. Furthermore, the features that seemed gimmicky on the surface, such as the flashlight, turned out to be functional and equally high quality. However, the advanced features, such as the topographical mapping, were outside of my wheelhouse but provided great entertainment. While I don’t knock Garmin for this, it solidified the fact that anyone who gets this watch and doesn’t use those features is paying a hefty premium.
Why It Made The Cut: As the name implies, the Garmin Forerunner 255 is ideal for runners, but that’s not all; Garmin has turned the 255 into a fully-fledged Android smartwatch for sports enthusiasts.
— Case Sizes: 41mm and 46mm
— Battery Life: Up to 14 days
— Onboard Storage: 4 GB internal storage
— Strong Gorilla Glass 3 lens
— Memory-in-pixel (MIP) display is easy to see in the sun
— Waterproof up to 50 meters
— Onboard music support doesn’t require WiFi
Garmin is known for building advanced, but bulky watches. The Forerunner 255 Music represents a welcome departure from the design tradition yet maintains Garmin’s focus on performance and quality. The Forerunner 255 Music has an appropriately sized case that makes it easy to use, but also able to be worn by people of all sizes. The case isn’t too big, which means that this is the one of relatively uncommon Garmin watches that you actually want to wear all the time, regardless of what activity you’re doing. In fact, I detest running as a form of exercise on its own, but enjoyed wearing the Forerunner 255 at work, and while doing my preferred cardio workouts on the stair stepper or indoor bike. I utilized the Vo2 max feature while working out and also while walking on the sunny streets. The watch easily recorded my measurements and I was able to see the screen in all cases.
The Forerunner 255 Music also feels great on your wrist thanks to the premium materials used for all the important touch points. The silicone strap is comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and sweat-resistant, which is imperative for a versatile wearable. However, I was disappointed to learn that 4 GB of internal memory only gets you about 500 or so downloaded songs. While I certainly don’t listen to all 500 in a single workout, it means that you’ll likely have to switch them in and out as your taste changes and new music is released. Still, with its sleek design and capabilities, this is a serious smartwatch for Android.
Before investing in a watch for your Android phone, here’s what you should factor into your decision:
Intended Use: While this may seem obvious, the world of Android smartwatches for men and women is far more specialized than that of their Apple competitor. Rather than taking a do-it-all-in-one approach like Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and other major smartwatch brands that rely on the Android operating system have chosen to offer a range of general-purpose and specialized watches. Consider the extent to which you want your watch to operate as a fitness tracker; if health monitoring is a top priority it may be worth investing in a higher-end watch that has the latest sensors. If you’re looking for something to wear all day, every day, you should consider a watch with long battery life and versatile looks. Take stock of what you want to get out of your watch, and the number of choices will drastically narrow, which ultimately makes your search easier.
Design: When shopping for a good smartwatch for Android, it can be easy to forget that you’re going to be wearing it on your wrist, likely all day. It’s important to factor this in, especially if you regularly find yourself in formal settings. You don’t want to get something that you can’t dress up in your daily work clothes if you go into the office, and should consider watches with traditional designs, slim profiles, and smooth surfaces. If you’re looking to make a fashion statement first, send texts second, and follow your fitness third, finding the right design is all about preference. Otherwise, make sure to consider the aesthetic boundaries of your day-to-day activities.
Screen Size: Although we’ve become increasingly used to tiny touchscreens, smartwatches present a unique dexterity challenge because of their small size. Even for young people who were raised in front of a screen, navigating a smartwatch screen with precision can be a challenge. If you have large fingers or find yourself struggling to use your cell phone, you should choose the biggest watch you are comfortable wearing.
Battery Life: Perhaps the biggest drawback of a smartwatch in comparison to a traditional timepiece is that you have to charge it. Automatic watches never need to be charged and can be wound on the fly if need be, and quartz watches can last years on a single battery. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of any smartwatches to date. Keep your eyes peeled for watches with rapid charging and extended battery life so you can maximize the time it spends on your wrist. Steer clear of watches with less than 10 hours of battery life.
Purchasing the best smartwatch is no easy feat, but you won’t go wrong by picking our “best overall” recommendation, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
The best brand for Android smartwatches is Samsung because of its extensive experience in technology manufacturing and the sheer size of its lineup. There’s a Samsung smartwatch for every type of user.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the Android smartwatch that is most similar to the Apple Watch.
Yes, not only can you buy refurbished smartwatches for Android, it can be a great way to get the latest technology without emptying your wallet. Check out the manufacturer's website or Amazon to find reputable refurbished resellers.
The Samsung equivalent to Apple Watch is dependent on the model in question. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the most similar to the Apple Watch Series 6, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, the flagship, is comparable to Apple Watch Series 7.
You can send and receive texts with all of the watches on our list; however, you may not be able to do so without connecting to your phone. Furthermore, you should consider screen size limits and voice-to-text capability if this is a priority.
There are a number of great smartwatches for Android to choose from at a variety of price points and with an array of intended uses. However, the fact of the matter is that most people who spend more than $100 on a watch want to be able to wear it more often than not, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the only watch on this list that doesn’t scream “digital wearable” without costing an arm and a leg. The use of high-end materials such as stainless steel also enhances the strength of the watch and therefore increases its usability outside of formal spaces, such as at the gym or on a hike. All in all, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offers a favorable performance-to-value ratio and a versatile set of capabilities.
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