The smartwatch is the mother of all smartphone accessories. Of course, it can tell the time. 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 perform a ton of novel tricks, too, like searching the internet with your voice, tracking your exercise over GPS, and check-out at the grocery store without grabbing for your wallet. Oh yeah, and lot of them 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 watch OS, and more, it has never been a better time to strap up with wearable technology.
Choosing the smartwatch that's right for you isn't never easy, but we hope to make the exciting process of getting paired up with your next (or first!) smartwatch as simple as possible.
8. Pebble Time
A simple, clean and slightly smart smartwatch
OS: Pebble OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 64-color e-paper display | Processor: N/A | Case dimensions: 37.5mm diameter, 9.5mm thick | Onboard storage: N/A | Battery: 7+ days | Charging method: via proprietary charger | Waterproofing: 3ATM | Connectivity: Bluetooth
As a successor to the Pebble, the Pebble Time excels. As a smartwatch on its own, it feels like a digital watch with some extra tricks, but not much more.
Some people may really enjoy the limited, but fun functionality found in the Pebble Time. But, its feature-set pales in comparison of pricier wearable devices stocked with Android Wear and watchOS.
Then, there's the Pebble Time Steel. It's the same experience, but it's wrapped in a much sleeker, stainless steel body. Of course, it'll set you back a little more: £230/$250/AU$360, to be precise
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, so those with small wrists need not apply. Also, we feel that the offering 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
6. Asus ZenWatch 2
A fantastic, budget-friendly Android Wear option
OS: Android Wear | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.63" AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Case dimensions: 40mm diameter, 9.3mm thick | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery: 2 days | Charging method: via proprietary USB charger | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
The ZenWatch 2 is good, but not great. It's far better than the original ZenWatch, which puts it much closer to the other, fully-featured Android Wear wearables.
Simply put, if you want to test out Android Wear, but you're on a budget, there currently isn't a better starting point. Even if this isn't your first smartwatch, there's a lot to like here.
Read the full review: Asus ZenWatch 2
5. 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 and a high price tag watering down the gorgeous presentation. But, 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
4. Sony SmartWatch 3
A powerful, affordable and well-equipped 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
The Sony SmartWatch 3 stands out from much of the 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, despite an imperfect implementation.
This wearable nails the tricky blend of being a smartwatch with competent fitness tracking capabilities.
Read the full review: Sony Smartwatch 3
3. Moto 360
Moto's latest 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 new Moto 360 certainly wins as the best-looking smartwatch that's come out this year. It's also 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 newfound comfortable fit (along with the added customization to the design), brings it all together as one of the best smartwatches of 2016.
Read the full review: Moto 360
2. 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 over the high price, it 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 exercising or in another situation where grabbing your phone isn't easy.
The new enhancements from Apple Watch OS 2 really do help this smartwatch leap forward though. 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.
Read the full review: Apple Watch
1. Samsung Gear S2
Samsung is finally a real smartwatch contender
OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android | 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 sAMOLED screen on the Samsung Gear S2 is also a real standout feature, it's incredibly sharp, vibrant, and fully circular. 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.
Read the full review: Samsung Gear S2
Article continues below