The best smartwatch for iPhone 2024: Apple Watch, Wear OS, Tizen for iPhone

The best smartwatch for iPhone including Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 5
(Image credit: Apple)

The best smartwatch for iPhone isn't always going to be the Apple Watch. If you can afford the premium Apple-watch wearable, then yes, by all means, invest. However, if budget is a little tight or you find that you don't like any of the options from the line, then know that there are other options that pair well with the iPhone.

Apple Watches are designed to work seamlessly with iPhones – so you get the most functionality possible when pairing the two. However, the crop of best smartwatches isn’t solely populated by Apple Watches, and a few of those offer iOS / iPhone compatibility too, with fitness-minded iPhone users in particular likely to appreciate the wider array of options.

We've reviewed and tested a lot of smartwatches over the years, and we know which ones work best with iPhones, including Samsung's Tizen-powered watches and Fitbit smartwatches. And we gathered the best of them here for you to choose from. Read on while we provide you with an overview, pros, and cons, and a link to the full review for each entry.

Keep in mind that we've seen more Wear OS 3 watches stop supporting iOS. These include the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 5, along with the Google Pixel Watch. That means watches below are running earlier builds of Wear OS. You miss out on some functionality by sticking with Wear OS 2 but they still play nicely with iPhones and provide a greater range of designs and styles.

The best smartwatch for iPhone 2024

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Apple Watch Ultra in use on wrist and on table

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best smartwatch for iPhone

Specifications

OS: watchOS 9
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.92-inch OLED
Processor: Apple S8
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 30 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 100m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Large, clear display
+
GPS tracking is fantastic

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could still be better
-
Odd lack of navigation features

The Apple Watch Ultra is the ultimate Apple Watch. It offers a large, bright screen that's perfect for looking at while you're on the move. A new customizable physical button is great for streamlining running workouts, while its highly-effective GPS is perfect for going off the beaten path. 

Battery life is far improved over other Apple Watches, even if it could be slightly better for long journeys. Rugged and robust, however, it's a watch that's otherwise built to last and keep up with your adventures, as well as a day in the office.

Read the full Apple Watch Ultra review

Apple Watch SE 2 worn by a man

(Image credit: Future)
The best value smartwatch for iPhone

Specifications

OS: watchOS 9
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.78-inch OLED
Processor: Apple S8
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 18 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Light and comfortable
+
Excellent mid-tier fitness tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
No always-on screen
-
No ECG built in

The Apple Watch SE 2 is typically the best Apple Watch for most people. While it lacks finer details, like an always-on display or built-in ECG, it still looks great and offers key features. Its display offers up to 1,000 nits of brightness - the same level as the Series 8 screen - and it's made from toughened glass. 

It also offers reliable workout options with good motion sensors for movement tracking, along with personal fall detection and car crash detection too. Irregular heartbeat warnings cover the essentials here, even if there's no oxygen sensor or ECG. With a few concessions, the Apple Watch SE 2 is still a strong performing smartwatch for iPhone.  

Read the full Apple Watch SE 2 review

The Apple Watch 8 on a blue desk and wrist

(Image credit: TechRadar)
A small but useful upgrade

Specifications

OS: watchOS 9
Compatibility: iOS
Display: 1.9-inch OLED
Processor: Apple S8
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: 18 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: Water-resistant to 50m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Temperature sensor for menstrual and ovulation tracking
+
Car crash detection 

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be better
-
Incremental upgrade over previous model

The Apple Watch 8 isn't the biggest of upgrades compared to the Apple Watch 7 but it's a respectable smartwatch for iPhone users. It has the same look as before but that means a fairly robust design with a strengthened display. 

It has comfortable workout options that kick in automatically along with a new temperature sensor that's ideal for anyone tracking their ovulation. It's a bit limited but a handy bonus if you're in the right situation, with the car crash detection similarly practical. Refinement rather than revolution, it's still a quality smartwatch that's likely more achievable than the Ultra for many.

Read the full Apple Watch 8 review

An Apple Watch 7, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best smartwatch for iPhones overall

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

The Apple Watch 7 was a flagship smartwatch at launch and one that took some real steps beyond the Apple Watch 6, most notably through its larger screen. The screen is roughly 20% bigger in fact, but thanks to smaller bezels the overall size of the smartwatch is similar. That extra space can make all the difference when interacting with the wearable, and this model also sports faster charging, which helps make up for its middling battery life.

We didn't find the Watch 7 to offer that design, battery life, and fitness overhaul to inspire an upgrade, as many other things about the Apple Watch 7 are similar to the Apple Watch 6. However, on test, the Watch 7 is a terrific smartwatch in its own right. Sporting lots of features (even if we’ve seen them before), a stylish design, speedy performance, and tight integration with the iPhone, this is a top choice for iPhone owners.

Read the full Apple Watch 7 review

The best Wear OS and Tizen watches for iPhones

There are some great compatible options that run either Google’s Wear OS or Samsung’s Tizen software. As you might expect, Tizen is only found on Samsung smartwatches (with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 using One UI Watch 3 and not compatible with the iPhone) but they are all excellent, offering attractive circular designs, top specs and good battery life. Wear OS is used by several manufacturers including Fossil and TicWatch, two brands who tend to make the best of Google’s platform.

Fossil Gen 6

(Image credit: Future)
The new best Wear OS smartwatch for iPhone

Specifications

OS: Wear OS 2
Compatibility: Android and iOS
Display: 1.28-inch OLED
Processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100
Onboard storage: 8GB
Battery: 24 hours
Charging method: Wireless
IP rating: 3ATM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design
+
Great display

Reasons to avoid

-
Short battery life
-
Nothing that truly stands out 

The Fossil Gen 6 offers a sleek design with a classy looking 1.28-inch AMOLED display. While its battery life is lacking compared to other Wear OS watches, it's fine for a daily wearable. 

Reasonably speedy and offering useful sensors, like blood oxygen tracking and an upgraded heart rate sensor, it's a reliable option for fitness tracking. Looking as good as it does, it'll suit relaxing evenings and wearing in the office too. 

Read the full Fossil Gen 6 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Samsung)
Previously the best Apple Watch alternative for iPhone

Specifications

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)

Reasons to buy

+
Great rotating bezel
+
Premium design

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life suffers
-
Bixby sucks

No longer the latest Galaxy Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 remains the best non-Apple smartwatch as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 aren't compatible. If you don’t like the aesthetic of the Apple Watch and prefer a circular watch then this is the one to get. The Galaxy Watch 3 comes in two sizes depending on your tastes and wrist size, with the smaller available in bronze or silver, and the larger in silver or black. Both are packed with fitness features like GPS, and top tier smartwatch functions. 

More importantly for fitness-minded users, we found that it brings a lot of fitness-focused features from the Active line to this main series, making it a much better proposition as a flagship. You can also get a 4G model so you could still take calls and receive messages if you were out without your phone. But pairing any version of the Watch 3 with an iPhone means you’ll lose out on some of the functionality that you’d get paired with an Android device. 

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Samsung)
A great Apple Watch alternative for sports-minded users

Specifications

OS: Tizen OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.4" 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

Reasons to buy

+
Top performance 
+
Two-day battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive 
-
Limited app choice 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a fine Tizen smartwatch with great battery life and solid performance. Its circular display might attract you compared to the Apple Watch’s squarish look, and the Active 2 has a clever digital bezel to navigate menus. Its fitness features are just as good as Apple’s but you’ll have to use the Samsung Health app for iOS instead of Apple Health.

It isn't that big of an upgrade from its predecessor, adding only digital rotating dial, bigger version, currently inactive ECG, and LTE option while also upping its price of entry. However, the digital haptic dial control proved to be terrific during our testing, and the two-day battery life it inherited is still much better than anything Apple has offered so far.

It’s also waterproof and can track tons of different workouts including outdoor runs using GPS. There’s even a 4G option. Just bear in mind that while it works with an iPhone, it won’t be as smooth an experience as an Apple Watch. 

Read the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review 

TicWatch E3, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Mobvoi)
Affordable Wear OS watch with solid health tracking

Specifications

OS: Wear OS
Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9.0
Display: 1.3" 360 x 360 High Density Display
Processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system
Onboard storage: 8GB
Battery duration: Around 48h
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: IP68
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5

Reasons to buy

+
Large display
+
Fast performance
+
Lots of health tracking apps

Reasons to avoid

-
Casing feels cheap
-
LCD screen, not OLED

If you haven't heard of TicWatch before, that's likely because the smartwatch industry is still dominated by giants like the Apple, Samsung, and Garmin. But, if you're looking for affordable options that won't scrimp on features, then the TicWatch E3 might just be the best smartwatch for iPhones you've been waiting for.

On test, we found it to be quite a capable contender, boasting not just a smooth performance, but also a great feature set. That's especially if you're looking for those general health and wellness functionalities like measuring stress, ambient sound, and sleep tracking. 

To be clear, there are compromises here – we didn't find its design eye-catching or its screen particularly enjoyable to use. However, to a lot of people, those don't matter so long as all the vital features are present and accounted for. If you're one of them, you'll definitely love this affordable option.

Read the full TicWatch E3 review

Other smartwatch alternatives for iPhone

There are quite a few devices you can use with your iPhone including some running Fitbit OS and others that you may not even refer directly to as a smartwatch. Read on about them all below:

Fitbit Versa 3, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Fitbit)
The best Fitbit smartwatch for iPhone and Android

Specifications

OS: Fitbit OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 1.58" 336 x 3336 AMOLED
Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz
Onboard storage: 4GB
Battery duration: Up to 6 days
Charging method: Proprietary charger
IP rating: 50M water resistant
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful display
+
Built-in GPS

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor design choices
-
Requires Fitbit Premium for full features

The Fitbit Versa 3 looks at the Fitbit Versa 2 and improves upon it. It finally has built-in GPS and there's still that gorgeous always-on display. We found its heart rate monitor to be more accurate than before as well, making it a more attractive option for the exercise enthusiast. 

Fitbit OS remains not as fully fledged as the Wear OS or Apple Watch devices in this list as there are still a fairly limited amount of apps available to you, but if you want to have a watch as a fashion piece that also focuses on fitness, the Fitbit Versa 3 is still a good option. Alexa is on board along with Google Assistant, and a six day battery life is very appealing, although it does require you to switch off the always-on display.

Read the full Fitbit Versa 3 review

Garmin fenix 7

(Image credit: Garmin)
Garmin's high-end sports watch

Specifications

OS: GarminOS
Compatibility: Android and iOS
Display: 1.3-inch 260 x 260 Memory-in-pixel
Processor: Dual-frequency GNSS
Onboard storage: 16GB
Battery: Up to 18 days
Charging method: USB
IP rating: 10ATM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for athletes and hikers
+
Extra-tough design

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor display
-
No mic for hands-free calls

Ideally suited for the active iPhone owner, the Garmin Fenix 7 tracks mostly everything possible. It comes with advanced workout tracking and training tools, along with exceptional navigation apps. 

It's not the most stylish of smartwatches and its display could be sharper, but it's effectively a personal trainer on your wrist, helping you understand your current fitness levels and work towards achieving your goals. 

Read the full Garmin Fenix 7 review

Garmin Instinct 2, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Garmin)
A sports-focused smartwatch for iPhone users

Specifications

OS: Garmin OS
Compatibility: Android, iOS
Display: 0.9-inch MIP
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: 32GB
Battery: up to 65 days on 45mm
Charging method: USB
IP rating: 100m
Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced training tools
+
Excellent GPS tracking
+
Extra long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't display maps well

The Garmin Instinct 2 takes the best features of its predecessor and stuffs them in a whole new package that gives the Instinct line a less somber, more fun spin. Expect, therefore, the super tough case, which is just the ticket for adventure-minded users whose devices always end up taking a beating, and the high-contrast dual-screen display to be back, only dressed in jazzier colors and a slimmer outfit.

This sports-centric smart watch comes with all the advanced fitness training tools and custom workout suggestions as well. We found its wide range of activities, plus multi-sports mode, and advanced tools for running, cycling, swimming to be practically unmatched. So, even if its screen proved to be lacking for mapping on test, it's a small sacrifice for all the other features you're getting. We found the battery life to be remarkable as well – up to 28 days if you're utilizing the smartwatch function – so it definitely makes up for that in a massive way.

Read our full Garmin Instinct 2 review

Withings ScanWatch Horizon, one of the best smartwatch for iPhones, against a white background

(Image credit: Withings)
A great hybrid smartwatch for iPhones

Specifications

OS: N/A
Compatibility: iOS 14+, Android 8.0+
Display: PMOLED screen
Processor: Unknown
Onboard storage: Unknown
Battery: 30 days
Charging method: Magnetic charging pad
IP rating: 10ATM (100m)
Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy

Reasons to buy

+
Looks like a classic analog divers watch
+
Doesn't skimp on intelligence
+
Impressive heart, blood oxygen, breathing, and ECG monitors

Reasons to avoid

-
No voice assistant
-
No GPS

Hybrid smartwatches are the perfect compromise for folks who want that smartwatch technology but still value traditional watches. Withings ScanWatch Horizon may have flipped the script, putting fitness in the backseat. However, on test, it's proven itself to deliver when it comes to its heart, blood oxygen, breathing, and ECG monitors. 

We loved its some powerful heart and health-tracking capabilities during our tests, but we also appreciated its incredible battery life of about a month. If you're the type to forget charging your devices, this longevity will be a boon to you.

Its retro look and feel is also great for folks who find the complexities of using a smartwatch to be tiresome, its basic controls useful but also refreshingly simple and effortless to use. On the other hand, this is also a big, heavy smartwatch that might not appeal to some people.

Read the full Withings ScanWatch Horizon review

How to choose the best smartwatch for iPhones for you

The best smartwatch for iPhone is still an Apple Watch, but since there are several iPhone models, there's still a matter of choosing the right one for your needs and budget. Take a look at the features, as the flagship models have more advanced ones than the budget ones.

If a WatchOS option isn't possible, then consider a Wear OS watch. There are some great compatible options that run either Google’s Wear OS or Samsung’s Tizen software. Wear OS based smartwatches can also look rather stylish compared to Apple Watches, so if style is your priority over functionality, you may want to snap one up. 

Fitbits and hybrid wearables from the likes of Withings are excellent smartwatches for iPhone users as well so be sure to consider those. That's especially if you're on a budget. All of Fitbit's smartwatches are incredibly affordable.

If you are going for a non-Apple Watch option, know that just like with Apple Watches, the flagship models will have more functionalities. However, make sure to be certain of the functionality you're getting when pairing one with your iPhone. Our reviews should help you with that, but take a look at a smartwatch's specs and list of features as well. 

How we test smartwatches for iPhone

Our smartwatch process typically involves using the device as if it were our own personal wearable. That's the best way for us to fully test it and see how if fares in the real world. We do a comprehensive sweep of its features, functionalities, performance, battery life, and ease of use, doing so over multiple days. 

Of course, since we also want to know how it performs and which features are available when it's paired with an iPhone, we make sure to squeeze that in our testing as well. Once we've collected all the data and information we need, we take all of it and compare it to the smartwatch's price, finding out if it's a great value for our readers before making a recommendation.

What's the best smartwatch for iPhone users?

Most smartwatches will track your basic health metrics such as steps and calories, while devices with built-in GPS make for perfect running, cycling and swimming companions. Many of the watches here also sync up so you'll receive notifications via your watch, saving you the need to dig out your phone as often.

We’ve fully worn, tested and evaluated all the watches in this list and ranked them based on software and which we think is best for most people. Bear in mind the watch at number one might not be best for you though depending on your needs, tastes and budget.