The best smartwatch is on this list
The smartwatch market is relatively new, but it's already fallen into the same pattern as mobile phones.
So there are a large number of watches using Google's Android Wear, up against a choice of two Apple Watches, one large and one small, in a variety of finishes, but all running the same operating system, watchOS.
Then there's an outlier, but as Microsoft only makes this, that role falls to Kickstarter-funded Pebble, with its growing range of versatile smartwatches.
Here at techradar, Smartwatches go through the same intense reviewing processes as our phones and tablets, as we weigh up everything from design and features, to interface and price. That means we can bring you what we believe is THE comprehensive list of the best smartwatches around, telling you which watch offers the best balance of function, performance, style and value for money.
Recent improvements to Android Wear, the release of the far more feature-packed Apple watchOS 2 and updates to the Pebble make smartwatches more competitive and appealing than ever. All of them deliver important information, from texts messages to email alerts, without the need to get your phone out. Most also offer fitness tracking, and apps then open up a wide range of additional functions.
The question is, who out of Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, Asus et al makes the best Android Wear watch, where does Pebble sit, and does that little wearable made by Apple deserve its position as the number one selling watch/Watch?
10. Alcatel One Touch Watch
No, the OneTouch Watch from Alcatel is not an amazing product, but it's a passably good, entry-level one, which can now be had for around £99/$149/AU$215.
It's also Apple iPhone compatible, and choices are limited for iOS fans who don't want or can't justify the cost of an Apple Watch.
It's not unattractive, and if all you want are basic text notifications and the ability to tell the time, this will do the job. It's also easy to charge, thanks to a built-in, standard USB input and fully waterproof.
On the debit side, the screen is fairly poor and it feels sluggish to use. Fitness tracking features and a heart rate monitor that doesn't work very well at all if you take it running round out the package.
9. Pebble Steel
The Pebble Steel outclasses its plastic-clad predecessor with a stainless steel frame that surrounds its 1.26-inch e-paper LCD and the silver or matt black casing comes with a leather band in the box. A matching steel band to complete the look costs extra, but given that the Pebble Steel can now be had for around £130 or as low as $120 (about AU$220), that's not so bad.
So you get all of the usual texts, emails and notifications at a glance for less than most Android Wear watches, but you do miss out on the brilliant colour display that make Android watches shine.
The flip side of the underpowered screen is that the Pebble Steel has much better battery life. It can last at least four days between charges.
Like the Alcatel OneTouch, this compatible with both iOS and Android phones. It's got a decent supply of swappable bands for every stylistic situation and has a 5ATM water resistant rating. Pebble's limit of eight installed apps is annoying, though.
If the Steel is a bit rich for your liking there's always the plastic clad, original Pebble to fall back on - it doesn't look anywhere near as nice, but it still has pretty much the same features and is now cheap in the UK at £80-£90, and dirt cheap in the US at $75 (around AU$105).
8. LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R got one thing right, being one of the first Android Wear smartwatches to actually look like a watch. It's like a sportier Moto 360.
The arrival of LG's more premium Watch Urbane put this firmly in the shade, and when the new Moto 360 models and Samsung Gear S2 arrive, this will surely vanish from our list. However for now, its perfectly reasonable spec - 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 410mAh battery - make this at least somewhat worthy of consideration.
The display is worth shouting about, with a higher resolution than the original Moto 360, and P-OLED screen tech that makes colours really pop. There's also a heart rate monitor, barometer and compass, although no GPS.
If you want an LG smartwatch then in our view the sexier, more mature Watch Urbane is a better option, but what really makes the G Watch R problematic to recommend at this point is that unlike other smartwatches of its generation, the price remains high at around £230/$290/AU$415.
7. Samsung Gear Live
Samsung recycled its boxy smartwatch design when it made the Samsung Gear Live, but that was enough to make it our favorite Android Wear watch early on. That's because it conformed to the wrist with curves lugs, unlike its more slab-like peers. A tasty, 1.63-inch, 320x320 Super AMOLED display also helped.
Now available for around $149/£199/AU$285, it surprisingly has Wi-Fi built in and so can take advantage of the latest Android Wear update, which allows it to connect to your phone from anywhere. Gear Live also sneaks in a so-so pulse tracker.
If you can find this cheap on eBay or elsewhere, it may still be worth considering, but like the G Watch R, don't expect to find it hanging around this list much longer once the new smartwatch wave arrives this autumn.
Read the full review: Samsung Gear Live
6. Moto 360
Motorola's Moto 360 is a bit of a looker, defined by a 1.65-inch circular display, choice of stainless steel or black frame and a premium leather band from Horween.
This was the first Android Wear watch that could really pass itself off as a stylish designer timepiece. Everything else before it was square and plastic. Moto 360, like the slightly newer LG G Watch R, doesn't come off as a computer strapped to your wrist. It analogue watch faces really blend in.
It's not all good news, as the Moto 360 has an inefficient processor that sometimes stunts swiping through these Android Wear menus, and the battery is enough to bring it limping to the end of the day, but seldom any further.
Of course, the new Moto 360 and 360 Sport will blow this away. But at the moment, priced around £120/$150/AU$215, this remains a great budget option.
Read the full review: Moto 360
5. Pebble Time/Pebble Time Steel
While the always on, e-paper color screen still isn't as vibrant as we'd like, Pebble has consistently rolled out updates increasing the brightness, thus enhancing the display. Timeline is also a snappy function with fun little transitional animations that provides a uniquely Pebble experience.
The bezel is also a tad excessive, but Pebble Time undeniably has a certain retro-techy charm.
At £180/$199/AU$285, the Time isn't too pricey for a smartwatch, especially when you consider its cross-platform appeal and wide array of apps. It can't do as much on iOS as it can for Android, but the Pebble Time is still the best alternative to its pricier Apple counterpart.
Also available is the Pebble Time Steel. This is more attractive but also more expensive at £230/$250/AU$360. However, you also get an improved ten-day battery life, so it's not just a matter of paying more for a bit more sex appeal.
The Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel are probably the most polarising smartwatches in the techradar offices; our editors tend to either have a massive soft spot for them, or feel they're a misfire. One thing's for certain: they stand out from the crowd.
4. Asus Zenwatch
If you're after a stylish smartwatch that does your basic range of Android Wear things, the ZenWatch is worth a look. There's little difference from the other similarly priced Android Wear watches, but it's well put together and looks good.
It doesn't stand up to the Sony Smartwatch 3 in terms of battery life or general ruggedness, and if you prefer a round face, well, clearly this isn't for you. However, this timepiece is in the top tier of rectangular Android Wear watches on the design front.
There are better Android Wear watches out there for a similar price, but if you are personally fond of the ZenWatch's stylings then it won't let you down. Like the Moto 360, a new version is on the way this year, so the price has come down to a not unreasonable £180/$150/AU$215.
It's worth bearing in mind that Android Wear updates mean that this and other previous generation smartwatches will remain near the cutting edge for longer, although eventually the processor will presumably struggle to keep up with the demands of new features.
3. LG Watch Urbane
LG's reaction to the Apple Watch is the Watch Urbane, its own premium smartwatch which uses the G Watch R as a base, but sports a thinner bezel and new colors for a smarter look.
It's more expensive than the Watch R and most other Android Wear watches, at around £200/$280/AU$400, but that's still cheaper than even the entry-level Apple Watch Sport.
One of the few Android Wear watches you'll feel comfortable wearing to upmarket dinner gatherings rather than tech meet-ups, the LG Watch Urbane is the watch you should get if you want a premium looking G Watch R.
It's also the only officially supported watch for the iOS version of Android Wear. However, that app is so lacking in key functionality at present that we'd struggle to recommend that you buy it to accompany your iPhone.
2. Sony Smartwatch 3
The Apple Watch's huge-and-growing arsenal of apps, plus the added functionality provided by watchOS 2, mean the Sony Smartwatch 3 is perhaps not the best smartwatch overall. However, it still offers the best price-to-features ratio of any wearable, and is the best Android Wear watch you can get, although the new Moto 360 models and Samsung Gear S2 may have something to say about that.
The Smartwatch 3 can now be snapped up for just £120/$188/AU$270, or about £190/$270/AU$385 in its more handsome, steel incarnation. When you consider that you get GPS, NFC and Wi-Fi on top of the standard Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage and Bluetooth, that's a great deal. Compared to the Apple Watch, it's practically a give-away price.
The GPS means it can double as a running watch that doesn't require you to carry your phone, while its dust- and water-resistant body means you can jump in the shower without having to take it off.
Sure, it's not as nice to look at as the Apple Watch or LG Watch Urbane, but it's not ugly, and for the money it's very difficult to knock.
Ultimately, the Smartwatch 3 has proved that third time's a charm, at least in Sony's Smartwatch series. Its implementation of Google's wearable OS is pretty much identical to the other watches of its generation, but the price, styling and - especially if you're into tracking outdoor exercise - the addition of GPS put it top of the Android Wear tree.
1. Apple Watch
You couldn't really claim that Apple knocked it straight out of the park with Apple Watch as it did with the iPad, but its late arrival to the smartwatch party has grown in stature since the launch.
That's down to the arrival of watchOS 2, which means it is now more than just a glorified second screen for your iPhone, the proliferation of apps, and the addition of the highly convenient Apple Pay. The range of options, with two sizes (38mm and 42mm), three main finishes (plastic Sport, steel Watch and gold Edition) and a huge range of bands, is hard to argue with, too.
Unlike Android Wear watches, you aren't going to find any deals on Apple Watch, though. It starts at $349 (£299, AU$499) for the entry-level Sport version, middles out at £520/$599 for a large, steel Watch with basic strap, and then heads towards silly money when you hit the gold version.
Fitness tracking is better with watchOS 2, although you still need to carry your iPhone if you want GPS tracking. You can now send emails as well as texts and Siri's abilities have expanded. It can get on to Wi-Fi on its own, rather than piggy-backing on your phone's connection.
The main thing Apple has got right here is to bring so many app developers on board, expanding the horizons of what a smartwatch can do. That fact means Watch's desirability will continue to grow over time, as devs take advantage of the new goodies in watchOS 2