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Best smartwatch 2020: the top wearables you can buy today

Best smartwatch
(Image credit: Samsung, Apple)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

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.

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. 

Apple Watch SE

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Watch SE

The best smartwatch... but you'll need an iPhone

OS: watchOS 7 | Compatibility: iOS | Display: 1.78" OLED | Processor: Apple S5 | 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

Premium design
Great price for Apple Watch
Lacks always on display
Battery could be better

The Apple Watch SE is the best smartwatch money can buy right now, but it's only the right choice for you if you own an iPhone. Scroll down for our second choice in this list if you've got an Android phone.

If you do have an iPhone, you may wonder why the Apple Watch 6 doesn't take our title of the very best smartwatch? That's because the Apple Watch SE does almost everything that smartwatch can, but for a much lower price.

The Apple Watch 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, 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

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The best smartwatch for those on Android

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 if you own an Android phone is the Galaxy Watch 3 from Samsung. It also works with an iPhone though, and this 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)

3. Apple Watch 6

The top tier Apple Watch for those willing to spend

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

The Apple Watch 6 hasn't taken the top spot in our best smartwatch list, but this is absolute best device you can get if you own an iPhone. Why isn't it ranked above the Apple Watch SE? Because it's a lot more expensive than that option.

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. 

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

Fitbit Versa 3

(Image credit: Fitbit)

4. Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit's best smartwatch is a great choice for fitness

OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.58" AMOLED | 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

Built-in GPS
Lightweight and comfortable
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, and this latest 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, the design is 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.

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

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. 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 Lite

(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 and 3, 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

Fossil Sport

(Image credit: Fossil)

7. 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

(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

TicWatch Pro 3

(Image credit: Mobvoi)

9. TicWatch Pro 3

The watch with two screens

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

Big battery lasts 3 days
Fast chipset
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 the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset with 1GB of RAM, and we found this smartwatch to be one of the most powerful devices of 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.

Plus, the price means it undercuts a lot of other top-end smartwatches as well so it's a touch cheaper than many other options on this list.

Read the full TicWatch Pro 3 review

(Image credit: Apple)

10. Apple Watch 3

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