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.
- Feeling active? Check out our Best Fitness Trackers
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.
- Looking for something running Google's OS? Here's our best Android Wear smartwatch round-up
1. 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
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.
2. 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
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
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
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
4. 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
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
5. 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
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
6. 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
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
7. 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
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
8. Apple Watch
The iPhone-tailored smartwatch is expensive, but convenient
OS: watchOS 2 | 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
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 watchOS 2 and beyond really do help this smartwatch leap forward. It's 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
9. 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
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
10. Tag Heuer Connected
Premium and powerful, with a price to match
OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.5" LCD | Processor: Dual-core 1.6GHz | Case dimensions: 46mm diameter, 12.8mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: via proprietary USB dock | Waterproofing: IP67 | Connectivity: Bluetooth
The Tag Heuer Connected is premium in every sense of the word, from its wallet-worrying $1,500/£1,100 (around AU$2,100) price, to its stylish design and beefy 1.6GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, which make it the most powerful smartwatch on the market.
It looks and feels like a truly premium wearable – or even like a piece of jewelry, as the best watches should.
The price ensures it will remain a niche device, and Android Wear feels at odds with such a high-class piece of hardware, but if you put style and prestige above all else the Tag Heuer Connected is tough to beat.
Read the full review: Tag Heuer Connected