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Best smartwatch 2020: the top wearables you can buy today

Best smartwatch 2020
(Image credit: Samsung, Apple and Fossil)

A new entry has taken the top spot in our best smartwatch ranking, and you can find out below the device that has taken the title of the best smart wrist wear you can buy right now.

One thing the best smartwatches all have in common is that they can perform lots of tricks, like searching the internet with your voice, tracking your location with GPS or even monitoring your heart rate to protect your overall health. 

These will likely work best when paired to one of the best smartphones on the market, but some of the models even work without a phone in tow.

We've tested all the top-end wearables you can buy right now from the Apple Watch to Fitbits to Garmin watches to Tizen-sporting Samsung watches. There's also Wear OS which is Google's own wearable operating system in the vein of Apple's watchOS - you’ll see it show up in a lot of these devices.

Looking for a cheaper deal? Black Friday is set for November 27 and Cyber Monday follows soon after, so now may not be the best time to buy a new smartwatch. You may want to hang on for a bit to upgrade your wristwear when sales are taking place as we'd expect there to be some great Apple Watch Black Friday deals and we may even see other discounts for other brands.

During our review process, we take into account the design, features, battery life, spec, price and more for each smartwatch, rank it against the competition and enter it into the list you'll find below. You'll also find plenty of cheap smartwatch deals available right now as well. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Our best smartwatch in the world right now

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" or 1.4" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band sizes: 22mm or 20mm | 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)

Great, premium design
Rotating bezel is useful
Battery could be better
High price

The best smartwatch money can buy right now is the Galaxy Watch 3 from Samsung, which is the company's most accomplished wrist wear yet. It's a sequel to the Galaxy Watch from 2018, and it keeps a lot of that device's design elements but refines them.

The Galaxy Watch 3 features a unique rotating bezel that makes navigating around the smartwatch a joy. We find that a lot easier than trying to use the display, which is something you have to do on a lot of other 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 the Apple Watch below though if that's your phone of choice.

Overall, the Galaxy Watch 3 is the full package if you're looking for a smartwatch to track your fitness, look good on your wrist and a whole lot more.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review

Apple Watch 6

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Apple Watch 6

The best Apple Watch money can buy

OS: watchOS 7 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78" OLED | Processor: Apple S6 | Band sizes: Varies based on watch size | Onboard storage: 32GB | Battery: 18 hours | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Great color additions
Always-on display
Lacks a headline upgrade
Battery life needs to be longer

Apple hasn't taken the top spot in our best smartwatch list, but this is the best device you can get if you own an iPhone. It 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.

The Apple Watch 6 – alongside the Apple Watch SE – is Apple’s latest wearable, and while the SE is relatively affordable, the Apple Watch 6 is the company’s top model. We've chosen Samsung's smartwatch as the best choice for everyone, but it's a very close race and if you're an iPhone user you may find this is the very best option for you.

It isn't a huge upgrade over the Apple Watch 5 though. There are new features like blood oxygen monitoring and an upgraded chipset, but largely it's a similar device with the exact same screen and design.

All of that said, if you're after an Apple Watch this is the best from the company ever and it may be made specifically for you to strap around your wrist and pair with your iPhone.

Read the full Apple Watch 6 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Adding in a digital rotating bezel for a nominal price bump

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band sizes: 20mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

High-end design
Rotating digital bezel
Few features for price bump
Still limited functionality with iOS

Samsung shrank the best parts of the the Galaxy Watch into this sportier smartwatch that's slimmer, lighter and, arguably, more comfortable - then released a second version months after the first that included a few coveted features, including a rotating digital bezel and LTE version.

Overall, not much has changed - which isn't a bad thing, as it's still a quality smartwatch at a decent price. Galaxy Watch Active 2 features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display that is 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 sporting all of the 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, but that won't be activated for some time. 

While it's still more affordable than the leading Apple Watch, the price was bumped up from the original Watch Active, shrinking its value compared to the competition. It's certainly not a cheap smartwatch, but when compared to the price of the Galaxy Watch 3 you may prefer to opt for this version that's remarkably similar.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review

Fitbit Versa 2

(Image credit: Fitbit)

4. Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit's best smartwatch

OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android , iOS | Display: 300 x 300 AMOLED | Onboard storage: 2.5GB | Battery duration: Up to 5 days | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: Water resistant | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC

Always-on display option
Good battery life
Lacks GPS
Doesn't work with third-party health apps

The Fitbit Versa 2 is the latest part-smartwatch-part-fitness tracker from Fitbit, one of the most famous wearable companies about.

The Versa 2 brings a host of upgrades to the original Fitbit Versa, including an always-on display, Alexa integration, and a slightly smaller body.

However if the original Versa wasn't quite right for you, the Versa 2 may not be the best either, as it's still fundamentally the same device, and it lacks some of the trappings of different smartwatches, like GPS functions or offline Spotify.

But for general wearable fans, the Fitbit Versa 2 is a good option, and it's more affordable than some of the other options on this list too.

Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review

Fossil Sport

(Image credit: Fossil)

5. Fossil Sport

Fossil's latest big smartwatch attempt

OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Band sizes: 22mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Two days | Charging method: Proprietary | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS

Lightweight design
Powerful watch
Lacks high-end features
GPS can be slow

Fossil has developed a lot of expertise in the wearable tech space over the last few years, and this has all culminated in the best smartwatch the company has made so far.

The Fossil Sport is a top-end watch with a lower price tag than the two devices above in this list. It features GPS, a lightweight - yet premium - design and at least two days of battery life from a single charge.

Fossil has packed a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset inside, which is the latest update from Qualcomm that offers a smoother experience than you'll get on a lot of older Wear OS watches.

It doesn't sport any truly unique features, but the overall package of the Fossil Sport may be the best watch for you. That'll especially be the case if you're looking for a fitness watch that comes with Wear OS software and won't look odd on your wrist when you're going about your day.

Read the full Fossil Sport review

fitbit versa lite smartwatch deals prices sales

(Image credit: Fitbit)

6. Fitbit Versa Lite

Lighter but not lesser

OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 300 x 300 LCD | Onboard storage: N/A | Battery duration: Up to 4 days | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: Water resistance to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Low price
Solid battery life
No GPS
Lacks on-screen workouts

The second best Fitbit on our list is the Fitbit Versa Lite, a more affordable version of the Fitbit Versa with a few of the features dropped.

The Versa Lite has a good range of fitness features, a battery that'll last you a good few days (and beat out lots of the other devices on this list), and a body that's quite small and light, and will fit on your wrist easily without you noticing it lots of the time.

Some of the features the Versa Lite misses over the Versa, or the Versa 2 listed later, include no Fitbit Pay, no on-board GPS and a slightly less impressive screen. If you're looking for a good smartwatch on a budget though, you might not mind some of these omissions.

Read the full Fitbit Versa Lite review

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

7. TicWatch E2

A fully-loaded Wear OS watch you’ve never heard of

OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 48h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Affordable price
Easily two day battery life
No NFC for payments
Bland design

One of the cheapest devices on this list, the TicWatch E2 is from a relatively small brand called Mobvoi but it has made a big splash with its latest couple of smartwatches.

The E2 is waterproof, comes with great battery life and it's all available for an affordable price. You probably won't fall in love with the design of this watch - it's not particularly premium - but we like the look considering how much it costs.

For health, the watch comes with built-in GPS, an accurate heart rate sensor and sleep tracking. All of the fitness features you'd expect are here, but make sure you note that it won't be able to do contactless payments as there's no NFC onboard.

Read the full TicWatch E2 review

Don't like the design? There's also the TicWatch S2. That's a remarkably similar watch to the TicWatch E2, but it comes with a slightly more rugged look for adventurers who want a watch that can take a beating. Check this out if you're happy to spend a bit extra.

(Image credit: Honor)

8. Honor Magic Watch 2

Magical – if you’re a fitness buff

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

Strong suite of fitness features
Great battery life
Limited non-music features
Attracts dust

If you're a fond exerciser but don't think a dedicated sports watch is for you, then the Honor Magic Watch 2 might be the right smartwatch for you thanks to its set of fitness features.

The Honor Magic Watch 2  tracks a range of sports which 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, 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

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

9. TicWatch Pro

The watch with two screens

OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.4" 400 x 400 OLED paired with LCD screen | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h, 5 extra days in Essential mode | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC

Innovative screen tech
Premium design
Limited app
No LTE features

One of our favorite Wear OS watches is the TicWatch Pro, which you can use with either an iPhone or with your Android phone. You may not have heard of TicWatch before, but the latest from the company it a top-end watch with a unique dual-screen feature.

There are two displays on this watch - one layered on top of the other. On the top is a transparent LCD display that can display the time, your heart rate and more when the battery is low.

Below that is a bright and bold full color OLED screen that will give you all of the benefits of Wear OS. That means you can have a normal smartwatch, which we found would last around two days, and then have the time and some other features still available when your battery is running low. Plus the low power mode also lasts for a whole 30 days too.

In terms of smartwatch features there's GPS, NFC for Google Pay, Bluetooth for listening to music and the top Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset in here running the watch as well. Then there's the price, which undercuts a lot of the other watches on this list.

Read the full TicWatch Pro review

(Image credit: Apple)

10. Apple Watch 4

The cheapest Apple Watch right now

OS: watchOS 7 (with update) | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.65" OLED | Processor: Apple S3 | Band sizes: Varies based on watch size | Onboard storage: 16GB | Battery: 1 to 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Cheapest Apple Watch
Clear, bright screen
Battery isn't amazing
Only for iPhone users

Wait, what is a three year old Apple Watch doing on this list we hear you cry? The Apple Watch 3 may not be the best piece of wristwear from the iPhone company, but it is the cheapest you can buy right now.

Apple continues to sell the Apple Watch 3, and the renewed price at its lowest ever has encouraged us to include the smartwatch on our list of the ten best again albeit right at the end.

The design is looking a little dated when compared to the Apple Watch 6 above - or the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5 - but it's still a gorgeous piece of wristwear with a lot of the tech you'd want.

It's also able to upgrade to the latest watchOS 7 software as well, making this a great addition to your Apple collection of gadgets. It isn't for you if you don't have an iPhone, but if you're after a cheaper smartwatch this may be perfect.

Read the full Apple Watch 3 review