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Best smartwatch 2022: the top wearables you can buy today

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
One of the best smartwatches on a colorful background
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The best smartwatch doubles as both a miniature wrist-mounted companion to your smartphone, and a useful health tool for counting your steps or monitoring your workouts - depending on your needs, you might weigh one or the other of those functions as most important.

There are plenty of smartwatches on the market, so finding the absolute top choice for you isn't easy. That's even more true when you remember all the other factors: fitness features, specs, design, smartphone compatibility and price are all things you need to bear in mind.

Fortunately for you, we at TechRadar have tested most of the available options, and we've included the best we've reviewed in this guide, ranked according to our preference.

In particular you should check whether the smartwatch you're looking at even supports your phone – if you're using an Android phone then you can't use an Apple Watch, and while Wear OS watches are compatible with iPhone, they're not as good with it as Apple's own wearables. 

Some of Samsung's watches also have extra features that are only available to Samsung phone owners. If you're in the market for a new handset, be sure to check out our best smartphones guide.

You should also consider whether a wearable has GPS, an ECG, or other features that you might care about. For each entry though we've included a full specs list, along with an overview from our review and the key good and bad points, so you won't have to do much research to round the choices down. 

Our preference might not be your preference though, so it's worth looking into all the options below – or at least reading our reviews so you know which ones to rule out.

If you do want to learn more though, make sure to tap through to our full review of each smartwatch. And make sure to check back soon, because new wearables keep on arriving.

Best smartwatches you can buy right now

Apple Watch 7 on a person's wrist

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best smartwatch... but you'll need an iPhone

Specifications

OS: watchOS 8
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.69 / 1.9" OLED
Processor: Apple S7
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 18 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Brighter, larger screen
+
Faster charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Workouts are varied, but basic
-
Battery life needs to be longer

"With a decent display, good fitness tracking and easy-to-read notifications, Apple is slowly ironing out all the reasons not to buy one of its wearables" we wrote in our Watch 7 review. 

However, it's a flagship smartwatch that's in some ways more of the same, as this isn't a whole lot different to the Apple Watch 6. 

It has essentially the same chipset and little in the way of new features, but what new stuff the Apple Watch 7 does have is useful, especially its larger screen, which is 20% bigger and yet only a tiny bit larger on your wrist, thanks to smaller bezels.

That extra size makes all the difference when interacting with the Apple Watch 7, and the wearable also charges faster than ever. With those things added to the still-excellent Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch 7 is undeniably a great wearable, and the best smartwatch available today - so long as you have an iPhone.

In our review we noted better battery life and improved fitness features would have made this wearable even better, but what's here still seriously impresses.

Read our full Apple Watch 7 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 on a person's wrist

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best Samsung smartwatch

Specifications

OS: Wear OS
Compatibility: Android
Display: 1.2" 396 x 396 / 1.4" 450 x 450 Super AMOLED
Processor: Dual-core 1.18GHz
Onboard storage: 16GB
Battery duration: 3 days on 44mm / less on 40mm
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: IP68
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE (for extra)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance
+
Interesting new software

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited compatibility
-
Lacks rotating bezel

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 had a lot of hype around it with the return to Wear OS, having used Tizen for recent models. But this isn't Wear OS as you might know it – it's a new take on the operating system, designed alongside Samsung, and with a very Tizen-like skin on the top.

That means you get the best of both worlds, with the functionality and apps of Wear OS, coupled with the look and feel of Tizen.

In our review we highlighted the "good fitness features, strong battery life and a comfortable design" thanks to a lightweight build and interesting new body composition measurement tools.

But some of its features require a Samsung phone, and there's no support for iPhone, so the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn't something we can recommend to everyone. It also arguably isn't worth upgrading to if you already own a recent Galaxy Watch.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review

A Memoji on the screen of the Apple Watch SE

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best affordable Apple Watch

Specifications

OS: watchOS 8
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.78" OLED
Processor: Apple S5
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 18 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Premium design
+
Great price for Apple Watch

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks always on display
-
Battery could be better

The Apple Watch SE is one of the best smartwatches money can buy right now, but it's only the right choice for you if you own an iPhone.

As we wrote in our review, "it's got all the useful features of the Watch 6, but it's much cheaper, and thus one of the best smartwatches around."

The SE comes with some top-end specs, a high-end design and a great range of features that you can't get on every other smartwatch right now.

The battery life isn't the best on the market based on our tests, and there isn't an always-on display, but if you're after a great value for money choice for your next wrist companion you should opt for the Apple Watch SE.

Read the full Apple Watch SE review

Fitbit Versa 3 sitting next to an iPhone and towel

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best Fitbit

Specifications

OS: Fitbit OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.58" AMOLED
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: N/A
Battery duration: Up to 6 days
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: Water resistant
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in GPS
+
Lightweight and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor side button
-
No offline Spotify

Don't want something from either Samsung or Apple? The Fitbit Versa 3 may be best for your wrist, as this smartwatch from the company is one of the best wrist companions for those who want to focus on fitness features.

There's built-in GPS, we found it comfortable to wear, and the display is easy to view with a crisp image. Like previous Fitbit smartwatches, this is mostly focused on fitness and won't be for everyone.

As we mentioned in our review, "the Fitbit Versa 3 is an excellent wearable, though it's more a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, with very limited productivity apps on offer."

But for general wearable fans, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a good option, and it's more affordable than some of the other options on this list too.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 3 review

A hand adjust the dial of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
The best Tizen smartwatch

Specifications

OS: Tizen OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.2" or 1.4" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED
Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz
Onboard storage: 8GB
Battery duration: 3 days on 45mm / less on 41mm
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: IP68
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE (for extra)

Reasons to buy

+
Great, premium design
+
Rotating bezel is useful

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery could be better
-
Tizen apps are limited

The Galaxy Watch 3 is still one of the best smartwatches for Android owners - and it also works with iPhone.

The Galaxy Watch 3 features a unique rotating bezel that makes navigating around the smartwatch a joy. We found that a lot easier than trying to tap and swipe the display, which is something you have to do on a lot of the other best smartwatches in this list.

Apps available on the watch are more limited than Wear OS or watchOS - two rival smartwatch operating systems - but it still offers the core basics and Samsung has provided a watch that's good at fitness as well as sporting a great design and lots more functionality too.

Features are more limited if you're using this with an iPhone, but it's still compatible with those devices. We'd recommend considering an Apple Watch though if that's your phone of choice. 

While it's been succeeded by Galaxy Watch 4, the Watch 3 is still a strong offering, as we concluded in our review, saying "it's one of the better smartwatch experiences on the market, with a dazzling design and top-end spec."

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review

The Fitbit Sense on a wrist with the time displayed

(Image credit: Future)
The second best Fitbit

Specifications

OS: Fitbit OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.58" AMOLED
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: 4GB
Battery duration: 6+ days
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: Water resistant to 5ATM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in GPS
+
Lightweight and comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor side button
-
No offline Spotify

The Fitbit Sense is both stylish and impressive, packing in advanced health and fitness features like an ECG, stress monitoring, heart rate zones, and skin temperature measurements. As we said in our review, the Sense is "a stylish smartwatch to help you cope with the stress of modern life."

It's an interesting feature set, and it's paired with all the basics you'd expect from a fitness-focused smartwatch, including tracked workouts, GPS, a voice assistant (with the choice of Alexa or Google Assistant), and meditation tools.

With a stainless-steel case and a sharp screen too, the Fitbit Sense really feels like the full package, except that sadly some of its tools are hidden behind the Fitbit Premium paywall. 

If you're happy to subscribe to that then this is a top option, but if you'd rather just make a one-off purchase then be aware that you won't be able to access everything this watch has to offer.

Read our full Fitbit Sense review

A finger tapping the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

(Image credit: Future)
A top fitness-focused Tizen watch

Specifications

OS: Tizen OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED
Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz
Onboard storage: 4GB
Battery duration: Around 2 days
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+
High-end design
+
Rotating digital bezel

Reasons to avoid

-
Few features for price bump
-
Still limited functionality with iOS

The Watch 2 Active is a slim, sporty, light and comfortable smartwatch that's slimmer, lighter and, arguably, more comfortable, and features a rotating digital bezel and an LTE version.

It may not be the the most recent smartwatch on this list (it launched in 2019), but it's still a quality smartwatch at a decent price. 

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display which we found - during our review process - to be bright and beautiful yet small enough to be strapped around your wrist than a lot of the other devices in this list.

It still comes top-end fitness features you'd expect from Samsung's Tizen watch range, with 39 workout modes, a heart rate and ECG sensor, and health app with stress and sleep monitoring. There's even a way to monitor your blood pressure. 

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review

A red Apple Watch 6 on a wrist taking a heart rate reading

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best older Apple Watch

Specifications

OS: watchOS 8
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.78" OLED
Processor: Apple S6
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 18 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Great color additions
+
Always-on display

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks a headline upgrade
-
Battery life needs to be longer

The Apple Watch 6 works seamlessly with Apple's phones, and it's well worth considering if you plan to stick with the iPhone range for at least a few years, but can't stretch to the newer Watch 7 which sits atop this list. 

At launch, it was an incremental upgrade over the Watch 5, so if you're still rocking the fifth generation wearable it's not worth the upgrade. It does have a few additional features like blood oxygen monitoring and an upgraded chipset, but largely it's a similar device with the exact same screen and design.

That said, the Watch 6 is still plenty capable, and as we mentioned in our review "the Watch 7 doesn't include any new health sensors or features, so you're not missing much by opting for the slightly older Apple Watch 6 instead."

Read the full Apple Watch 6 review

Honor magic watch 2 on a wrist

(Image credit: Future)
The best for battery life

Specifications

OS: LiteOS
Compatibility: Android , iOS
Display: 1.2-inch / 1.39-inch 454 x 454 AMOLED
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: 4GB
Battery duration: 7 days / 14 days
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: Water resistant
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC

Reasons to buy

+
Strong suite of fitness features
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited non-music features
-
Attracts dust

"If you like to run a lot, the Honor Magic Watch 2 might be one of the best smartwatches you can buy. It's affordable, lightweight, and has a genuinely impressive slate of features" - that's the glowing summary from our Watch 2 review.

The Honor Magic Watch 2 tracks a range of sports with detailed information, and can even provide workout advice and feedback for certain activities. It's great for people looking to get fitter.

The watch also lasts for a long time without needing to be charged in our tests, up to a week or two weeks depending on which version you buy, and it looks pretty sleek too.

There are a few issues with the watch like its relative lack of non-fitness features, the fact its design can often get very dusty and need cleaning, and the fact lots of its fitness features aren't available on iOS, but even then we can still recommend it as a good smartwatch.

Read our full Honor Magic Watch 2 review

Close-up of the exercise modes on the TicWatch Pro 3

(Image credit: Future)
The best Wear OS watch for battery life

Specifications

OS: Wear OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.4" 454 x 454 OLED paired with LCD screen
Processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100
Onboard storage: 8GB
Battery duration: Up to 72h, 45 extra days in Essential mode
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: IP68
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC

Reasons to buy

+
Big battery lasts 3 days
+
Fast chipset

Reasons to avoid

-
Sometimes poor interface
-
Sleep tracking isn't the best

The TicWatch Pro 3 is one of the best Wear OS watches - you can use this with your iPhone or Android phone - and it offers some solid battery life as well as some intuitive functionality.

This uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset with 1GB of RAM, and we found this smartwatch to be one of the most powerful devices on this list. Apps load quickly, and we didn't find any time where you'll be left waiting for something to boot up.

Battery life is where this smartwatch truly sings though with the smartwatch able to last for over a month in what the company calls 'Essential Mode'. Want to keep your smartwatch features running? You'll still get three days from a single charge of this smartwatch.

The price means it undercuts a lot of other top-end smartwatches, so it's a touch cheaper than many other options on this list and its all-round package impressed during our review period with the wearable, and we dubbed it "a quality smartwatch with three-day battery life, great speed, and a sleek design".

Read the full TicWatch Pro 3 review

How we test smartwatches

Every smartwatch on this list has been fully and extensively reviewed by the expert team at TechRadar, so we know exactly what makes them tick.

Our review process involves using the devices as if they were our own personal wearables, ensuring every smartwatch gets fully tested in the real world. A comprehensive sweep of features takes place, and usage is varied over multiple days to give us a clear idea of how battery life performs.

Using that knowledge we've then ranked them, while also factoring in their price, performance, value, and core specs.

What should I look for when buying a smartwatch?

The first thing to check is whether your phone is compatible with it - you can't use an Apple Watch with an Android phone, and you can't use a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 with an iPhone. Beyond that, consider the battery life and the features - how often will you be happy charging it, and what do you need out of your watch?

Which is the best smartwatch?

The best smartwatch changes all the time, but typically you'll find an Apple or Samsung smartwatch topping the list, as these tend to be packed full of high-end features and polish.

Tom Bedford
Tom Bedford

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.


He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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