Best smartwatch: the top smartwatches you can buy in 2017

Your wrist only deserves the best companion

The smartwatch is the ultimate smartphone accessory. It can tell the time, of course, but it can also beam important notifications straight to your wrist, and run native apps.

What's more impressive is that many of today's best models can also perform a ton of novel tricks, such as enabling you to search the internet with your voice, tracking your exercise over GPS, and letting you check-out at the grocery store without reaching for your wallet.

Oh yeah – and they look absolutely stunning to boot.

For some time, jumping into the world of smartwatches was a risky move. But now, with competent efforts put forward from Google with Android Wear, Apple with watchOS, and more, there's never been a better time to strap up with wearable technology.

Choosing the smartwatch that's right for you isn't easy, but we hope to make the exciting process of getting paired up with your next (or first!) smartwatch as simple as possible.

1. LG Watch Sport

Google's Android phone on your wrist

OS: Android Wear 2.0 | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.38" OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Band sizes: Fixed large band | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 16 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Calls and data without a phone
Excellent strength training
Appealing design despite big size
Battery life falls short
Standalone apps still coming
Phone calls (US only) require a SIM card

LG Watch Sport is the smartwatch to beat right now simply because it's a full-featured fitness tracker wrapped in a smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0. While other smartwatches can do "fitness tracking" that just amounts to logging runs and calories burned, this watch tracks your all-important strength training, too.

It's also one of the few smartwatches that supports an LTE connection, meaning, if you pop a SIM card into the back of the watch, it can make and receive calls and data – without your smartwatch nearby.

It doesn't have the best battery life, despite its bigger-than-normal size, and apps are still being announced for Google's newly refreshed platform. But it's a proper step up for Android Wear and smartwatches in general.

Read the full review: LG Watch Sport

2. Apple Watch 2

Fitness takes over the Apple Watch

OS: watchOS 3 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.53" OLED | Processor: S2 dual-core | Band sizes: Varies drastically per watch size | Onboard storage: 8GB (only 2GB and 75MB allowed for music and photos, respectively) | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IPX7 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Water-resistant
GPS onboard
Expensive
Lack of useful apps

The Apple Watch 2 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. It's water-resistant, which means it's more durable than most of the other devices on this list and you won't have to worry about getting it wet in the rain when you're out for a jog.

There's GPS onboard to make running that little bit easier plus it comes running the newest watchOS 3 software. Design wise it's looking very similar to the original Apple Watch. Be warned though, the Apple Watch 2 is expensive.

If you already own an Apple Watch, the Apple Watch 2 may not be worth the upgrade, but there are a few solid improvements that mean it's worth spending that bit extra if this is your first wearable from Apple.

Read the full review: Apple Watch 2

Samsung Gear S2

3. Samsung Gear S3

Samsung's latest goes big against Apple - literally

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.3" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: S (105 x 65mm) L (130 x 70mm) | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 3 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G

Intuitive interface
Great activity tracking
Very large on wrist
Severe lack of apps

Despite a serious lack of original apps, the Samsung Gear S3 is one of the best smartwatch options on the market.

The intuitive controls and Super AMOLED screen from the Samsung Gear S2 are back in full form here. Plus, GPS makes its debut on the Gear S3.

While its look is more executive than the Gear S2, it rocks a IP68-protected build and can last up to 3 days of use before needing a charge.

Samsung recently made the Gear S3 (and Gear S2, for that matter) compatible on iOS. So, if you're looking for a more traditional-looking alternative to the Apple Watch, you may have found your match.

Read the full review: Samsung Gear S3

Sony SmartWatch 3

4. Sony SmartWatch 3

A powerful, well-equipped wearable and super cheap wearable

OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android | Display: 1.6" LCD | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Case dimensions: 36mm diameter, 10mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: via microUSB | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS

Slick performance
Built-in GPS
Not super-stylish
Counterintuitive charging port

Surprised to see the Sony SmartWatch 3 so close to the top? Well, you shouldn't be.

The Sony SmartWatch 3 stands out from many of today's competition, with its impressive performance, a good screen and solid battery life, not to mention the inclusion of GPS, which makes it a better fitness accessory than most smartwatches.

This wearable just about nails the tricky blend of being a smartwatch with competent fitness tracking capabilities and the price keeps on falling, making it a real bargain.

For something a bit more premium, there's the Sony Smartwatch 3 Steel, which is basically the same, but with a metal body and face, along with a higher price tag.

Read the full review: Sony Smartwatch 3

Moto 360

5. Moto 360 (2nd Gen)

Moto's smartwatch is a thing of beauty

OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.37" or 1.56" LCD | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Case dimensions: 42mm or 46mm diameter, each 11.4mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 1.5-2 days depending on size | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Beautiful design
Improved performance
Battery life remains iffy
Flat tire bezel is back

The second generation oto 360 certainly gets our vote as the best smartwatch when it comes to look. Plus, it's also one of the most comfortable wearables around.

The new size options give the Moto 360 the extra reach it needed the first time around. That, and the new-found comfortable fit (along with the added customization to the design), brings it all together as one of the best smartwatches of 2016, and still a strong option in 2017.

Read the full review: Moto 360

Asus Zenwatch 2

6. Asus ZenWatch 3

ZenWatch grows up with its third iteration

OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 AMOLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Case dimensions: 44mm diameter, 9.9mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: via proprietary USB charger | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Gorgeous display
Excellent battery life
Lacks heart rate sensor, NFC, GPS
Proprietary straps

If you’re in the market for an Android Wear smartwatch, the Asus ZenWatch 3 should be near the top of your list. It has a great display, useful hardware buttons and good battery life. 

It’s styling might not be for everyone, and it's lacking in a few sensors, but Asus did a commendable job designing a watch that looks more like a premium watch than a piece of lifeless technology.

Read the full review: Asus ZenWatch 3

Huawei Watch

7. Huawei Watch

Huawei's wearable debut makes a striking entrance

OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.4" AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Case dimensions: 42mm diameter, 11.3mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Premium build and materials
Sharp and fully-circular screen
Only comes in one size
So-so battery life

The Huawei Watch is not perfect, with iffy battery life watering down the gorgeous presentation. 

But the once high price is rapidly dropping and it's a near seamless blend of fashion and technology, and edges closer to earning the 'smartwatch I'd actually wear' title.

Read the full review: Huawei Watch

LG Watch Urbane

8. LG Watch Urbane

It's beautiful and deluxe, but not for everyone

OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.3" P-OLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Case dimensions: 45.5mm diameter, 10.9mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Fashionable
Passable battery life
A bit bulky
No GPS included

LG's fetching smartwatch nails the look, with its classic circular face and simple timepiece feel.

It's rather large, though, so those with small wrists need not apply, and we feel that the Urbane is a bit light on features. But if you can nab this on a deal, you won't regret it.

Read the full review: LG Watch Urbane

9. Apple Watch

The iPhone-tailored smartwatch is expensive, but convenient

OS: watchOS 3 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.53" OLED | Processor: S1 System-in-Package (SiP) | Band sizes: Varies drastically per style | Onboard storage: 8GB (only 2GB and 75MB allowed for music and photos, respectively) | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IPX7 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Stylish design
Clever interface
Expensive at any level
Battery life is one day

Once you get past the high price, this is a genuinely useful thing to have around at times. Being able to check when you've got a message, or see who's calling and be able to make snap decisions, feels like the future, especially when you're exercising or in another situation where grabbing your phone isn't practical.

The new enhancements from Apple's watchOS 3 really do help this smartwatch leap forward, even if the hardware is over a year old. It's now faster, more usable and comes with watch faces that make it feel more personal. 

And as more app developers use the new tools, there will be loads more to come too.

Plus, with the Apple Watch 2 now out it's not quite as expensive as it once was.

Read the full review: Apple Watch

Samsung Gear S2

10. Samsung Gear S2

Samsung is finally a real smartwatch contender

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: S (105 x 65mm) L (130 x 70mm) | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 1.5 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Innovative rotating bezel
Works with Android and iOS
Too few apps

The Samsung Gear S2 is one of the best smartwatches on the market. It really feels like a step forward in smartwatch design. Plus, its rotating bezel and Tizen OS are genuinely useful innovations.

The Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Gear S2 is also a real standout feature, it's incredibly sharp, vibrant, and fully circular. In fact, it's the sharpest screen available on a smartwatch, equal to the Apple Watch's 302ppi.

This is definitely worth considering over similarly priced Android Wear devices, and is now compatible on iOS.

Read the full review: Samsung Gear S2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones, Tablets and Wearables UK Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and wearables. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week, John hasn't looked back since.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron is the US mobile editor at TechRadar, covering the tech that's in your pocket, wrapped around your wrist, and strapped to your face. He's based in New York City.

Find him on Steam, or listen to some of his favorite tunes on Google Play Music.