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Best Samsung watch 2019: see our top smartwatch choices before buying

Samsung Watch

Samsung is one of the very best smartwatch makers on the planet competing against the greatest devices on the market including the likes of the Apple Watch 5, Garmin Fenix 6 and Fitbit Versa 2.

The company has been making smartwatches since 2013 when it introduced the square-faced and (by today's standard) woefully lacking Samsung Galaxy Gear. We've seen various iterations of its wristwear over those last six years, and the company has since come into its own with its latest series of rebooted Galaxy wearables.

Tizen is the name of the software you'll find running on these devices, and it offers a similar experience to the Apple Watch range and Wear OS watches

Third-party app support is a little more limited on Samsung watches than on other choices, but a lot of the big apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Spotify are available on these devices.

What is a 4G smartwatch?

Some smartwatches come with 4G connectivity (also known as LTE) that allows your watch to access the internet when you're away from your phone.

This can be useful in some scenarios - think about how you may want to go running without your phone weighing you down - but you'll also have to spend extra to get a 4G model. 

So far, the only Samsung watches to include this feature are certain models of the the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Unlike the Apple Watch, you'll be able to use this with Android devices (but it'd also work with an iPhone too). Samsung watches generally offer strong battery life too, as well as a plethora of top-end features.

Below we'll walk you through the very best Samsung watches that you can buy right now, which includes the likes of the perennial favorite Samsung Galaxy Watch, the sportier Galaxy Watch Active 2 and even some of the Gear series from a couple years ago.

We only include products that we've reviewed in this list below, and they're all ranked in terms of functionality. We take into account what you can do with each watch, its design, the price and much more when curating this ranking.

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Amazon Prime Day

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1. Samsung Galaxy Watch

The sporty Samsung watch gains some style

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" or 1.3" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.15GHz | Band sizes: 22mm or 20mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 4 days on 46mm / less on 42mm | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Impressive battery life
Useful rotating bezel
Annoying charger
Bixby isn't great

The very best Samsung smartwatch we've tried is the Galaxy Watch. This is undeniably Samsung's most well-designed smartwatch, and it comes in two different variants.

If you're looking for the largest watch, you'll want the 46mm version that comes with a bright 1.3-inch display. Then there's also the smaller (yet thicker) 42mm variant. 

Both watches feature a rotating bezel that you can spin to navigate through menus and certain features on the smartwatch. It's a more tactile way to travel through the watch's operating system and features.

Both versions of the Galaxy Watch also feature Samsung Pay - that's a service that allows you to make mobile payments from your wrist - as well as GPS for tracking your location.

The design is also waterproof so you can track swimming, and we found the fitness features to be impressive considering this is a premium looking timepiece as well. The larger version of the watch also comes with around four days of battery life from a single charge too.

If you're certain you want a watch that sports Tizen software, your best choice right now is the Galaxy Watch.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch review

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2. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

What the original Galaxy Watch Active should have been

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
Digital bezel dial
Price bump puts it closer to Apple Watch
Still limits features with iOS

Samsung released the Galaxy Watch Active 2 half a year after its predecessor and it includes a few coveted features we thought were missing from the original Galaxy Watch Active.

Samsung's Active line of devices are designed to be slimmer than the Galaxy Watch and therefore more appropriate for those who want a device specifically for working out. How is it slimmer? It has dropped the rotating bezel that you find on the Galaxy Watch.

The company has instead included a digital rotating bezel that you can run your finger around to navigate through features on the watch. It doesn't have the tactility of the bezel on the device above, but we found the feature to work well nevertheless.

If you're after a sporty smartwatch and you want one that comes from Samsung you'll like this as it's comfortable to wear when you're working out. It features a heart rate monitor, can automatically track workouts, there's GPS and there's also storage so you can upload tracks to your watch and listen on Bluetooth headphones. If you don't want to do that manually, you can use the Spotify app on Tizen instead.

It features a 1.2-inch 360 x 360 display, which may sound small on paper, but we found it big enough to interact with and apps looked great on the screen.

While its list price increased nominally (into older Apple Watch territory), the Active 2 is still more affordable than the most expensive smartwatches on the market. If you're after a smaller watch that will suit both working out and everyday wear, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a great choice.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review

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3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

The original Galaxy Watch Active is now cheaper

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.1" 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

Competitive price
Lots of features
Lacks rotating bezel
Limited storage

This device isn't dissimilar to the one you've just read about above, and that's mostly because it only came out six months before the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

You can still buy the original Galaxy Watch Active, but it lacks mobile internet or the digital rotating bezel that we've seen on the newer version of the smartwatch that you've just read about.

You may still want to consider it instead of the Active 2 as you can offer find it for less now there's a more recent device from Samsung. 

It still offers strong battery life and the same set of fitness features that you'll find on the device above, so if you find this for a more affordable price you may want to opt for the older Watch Active.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review

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Samsung Gear Sport

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4. Samsung Gear Sport

Cheaper (but lesser) than the Galaxy Watch

OS: Tizen OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 Super AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1GHz | Band sizes: 22mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Sleek design
Effective software
Limited exercise tracking
GPS can be erratic 

On paper, the Samsung Gear Sport doesn't sound all that different to the Galaxy Watch but if you were to compare the two watches you'll notice a lot of differences. 

The company smoothed out a lot of the problems with the Gear Sport, but you may be fine with them considering how discounted the price of the Gear Sport now is.

A lot of what you get on the newer generation is here alongside the latest in Tizen software, so you've got access to all of the apps that you'll get on products like the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

The screen on the watch is large and easy to navigate around. The watch can track your location when you're running, and you can upload music to your watch and listen to it through Bluetooth headphones; overall there's lots to love here.

If there's a big downside, it's that the overall visual design isn't as slickly implemented. All of that said - it's still a good-looking watch that you may want to have on your wrist if you''re after one of the best Samsung watches but you don't want to spend lots of money.

Read the full Samsung Gear Sport review

 Photo illustration: TechRadar; Samsung