Something all smartwatches have in common is that they can do cool tricks, so you need this best smartwatch buyer’s guide to help you navigate the good from the bad. It all depends on your requirements, be it fitness tracking, a voice assistant or reliable GPS.
These things work best when paired with a smartphone, but some smartwatches can do this independently, which is really handy.
We’ve looked at the best smartwatches in 2022 from Garmin to Fitbit and, of course, Apple. This best smartwatch buyer’s guide will go over devices on Wear OS, Tizen and Watch OS.
Take into account factors that will be important to you, such as price, design, battery life and features. Then look at the alternatives we mention and see which suits you best.
Without further ado, here is our best smartwatch buyers guide.
Apple Watch 7,8 or Ultra
The Apple Watch remains firmly at the top of most lists like this, and it is, without doubt, the best smartwatch for iPhone users.
The Apple Watch 7 and 8 work perfectly with Apple products, naturally. If you have an iPhone or even a Mac, you can benefit from having an Apple Watch. For example, you can use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac!
The 8 specifically, it’s not a lot different from the previous version, the Series 7. It also comes in 41mm and 45mm and adds car crash detection and skin temperature.
If you like the bells and whistles of a fitness watch with advanced data as well as incredible smartwatch features, the Apple Watch will always be one of the best choices you can make.
- Highly customisable
- Works perfectly with other Apple products
- No headline upgrade feature or design
- Battery life still needs improvement in duration
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant to buy the Apple Watch
|Apple Watch 8||Amazon||Check Price|
|Apple Watch 7||Amazon||Check Price|
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|Apple Watch SE 2||Amazon||View offer|
Apple Watch SE 2
The Apple Watch SE 2 was the second-best smartwatch on the market in 2022. Why? It’s like an Apple Series 7 or 8 Lite. Again, another sensational choice for iPhone users. If you’re an Android lover, don’t worry, we’re getting there.
The Apple Watch SE 2 does everything the 7 or 8 does, for the most part. And it costs far less. The SE comes with a top of the line spec, that iconic design and a host of features that you can’t get on most alternatives.
On brand for Apple, the battery life isn’t great. There’s no always-on display, and it doesn’t have the ECG and blood oxygen monitoring options. But, you can still use Apple Pay, it’s water-resistant to 50m and has all the motion sensors you could need.
If you’re after bang for your buck, you cannot go wrong with the Apple Watch SE.
- Iconic design
- Superb price for Apple Watch
- Lacks ECG, blood oxygen monitoring and always-on display
- Poor battery life (though this is always the case with Apple)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
The best smartwatch you can get right now if you’re on Android is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. It does not pair with iPhones too, though. It’s the successor to the Galaxy Watch 4 which was a very good watch as well.
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|Galaxy Watch 5||eBay||Check Price|
|Watch 4 Classic||eBay||Check Price|
|Galaxy Watch 4||Target||Check Price|
The Galaxy Watch 4 classic has a unique feature, a rotating bezel. This means navigation around the watch is a pleasure, especially so compared to using the display, which is typical for most smartwatches. The Galaxy Watch 4 (not classic) has a digital bezel.
There are plenty of apps available, though not as many as Apple or Google’s offering (Watch OS and Wear OS, respectively). You do get all the basics though, including some decent fitness, health and well-being tracking. It has a gorgeous sporty design, too.
If you’re an iPhone user, you should opt for an Apple Watch. Overall, the Galaxy Watch 4 is the real deal for Android users if you want something that looks good and has a host of fitness and smartphone features to boot.
- Premium look and feel
- The rotating bezel is unique
- Battery life could be better
Fitbit Sense 2
The Fitbit Sense 2 is the latest offering from Fitbit, and it’s a whopper. It has all the latest tech packed inside so you’re able to track fitness like never before. The Sense comes with a temperature gauge (which is unique, even the Apple Watch 6 can’t do this), SP02 counter, heart rate monitor and stress management support.
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|Fitbit Sense 2||Amazon||View offer|
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The battery is a winner; you’ll get up to 6 days so unlike either the Apple or Samsung offerings, you don’t need to worry about charging it every day.
What’s generous is the 6 months of free Fitbit Premium that comes with the watch, so you can enjoy all the advanced features like guided meditations and more in-depth data for a while before you decide to pay for it. Fitbit is reportedly, testing blood pressure monitoring with the Fitbit Sense.
- Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Fitness watch with smart features
- Position of side button means it’s often unintentionally triggered by your wrist
- Sleep tracking isn’t the best
Fitbit Versa 4
If you really don’t want something from Apple or Samsung, and the Sense isn’t within budget, don’t worry! The Fitbit Versa 4 could be a great choice for you. It’s one of the best fitness trackers on the market that comes with smartwatch features.
You get built-in GPS, a sleek design, and the navigation is a dream. As with all Fitbit watches, it’s more geared towards fitness, so don’t go for this if you’re more interested in features.
However, if you’re more experienced with fitness wearables, this is an affordable, comfortable and reliable option.
- Built-in GPS is a great feature considering the price
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Side button can be fiddly
- No offline Spotify
Fitbit Charge 5
The Charge 5 is a substantial improvement over the previous version and Fitbit’s best fitness tracker to date thanks to an always-on colour touch screen, a more streamlined design, and new health tracking features.
The latest Fitbit Charge model has round the clock tracking including activity and sleep, plus all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from Fitbit.
The built-in GPS is a pleasant surprise and is reliable, as is the touchscreen, even when you have clammy hands. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly fitness tracker that covers all the basics, this is a superb option. It’ll even give you VO2 Max, maps, and other cool statistics.
You’ll get seven days between charges but be careful when using GPS mode as this will drain it.
The Fitbit Charge 5 has a waterproof rating of 5ATM (50 metres).
- First Fitbit line with GPS included
- The display on this OLED device is stunning
- Solid performance
- Overnight HRV, breathing rate, SpO2, and skin temperature fluctuations are useful
- Supports contactless payments
- Lack of music control
- Expanding the variety of exercises available could help
- Pricey in comparison to the Charge 4 Daily Readiness Score requirements
- The clock faces of the Fitbit Premium Clock aren’t changeable
- There is no altimeter to keep track of elevation
- No physical button
- The display is too small
Garmin Epix 2
Taking Garmin’s most advanced sports tracking technology and packing it into a durable 47mm shell, the Epix 2 is the ultimate sports watch. This is the watch for you if the Fenix 7 doesn’t wow you enough. Although the Epix 2 has reasonable battery life, it falls well short of the Fenix 7’s due to its more energy-efficient design. It’s up to you to determine which is more important to you: appearance or durability.
- Advanced but accessible fitness tracking
- Accurate GPS and great maps
- Stunning AMOLED display
- Not as long as the Fenix 7’s battery life is
- No microphone for making phone calls
Garmin Venu 2 / Plus
One of the best watches now on the market is the Garmin Venu 2. With its combination of daily usefulness and fitness tracking apps, the watch succeeds in bridging the gap between a smartwatch and a running watch.
The Venu 2 Plus is an upgrade to the standard 2 in that it includes a speaker and microphone and allows 2-way communications with your phone for taking and making calls or using a voice assistant.
The Venu 2 reminds you to take care of your mental health with all-day stress monitoring and a running battery score, similar to many modern wearables. You can also monitor your sleep patterns as well as your daily steps, stairs climbed, and calories burned.
- Dozens of different workouts
- Display with AMOLED high resolution
- A variety of watch faces
- Updated strength training apps and new HIIT applications
- Internal music library
- Incredibly precise GPS
- Excellent battery life
- Excellent sleep monitoring
- Outstanding sports tracking
- iPhone users cannot reply to messages
- Meagre selection of third-party apps
- Nothing more than a smartwatch in the purest sense
- Not very good wrist rise
- No support for voice assistants
- Plastic casing
Garmin Instinct 2
Taking use of the greatest elements of its predecessor, the Instinct 2, the Garmin Instinct 2 reimagines the device to make it more enjoyable rather than drudgery-inducing.
Additionally, the watch comes in a smaller 40mm casing size and a slew of new colours, as well as improved fitness training capabilities and personalised exercise ideas. It’s not the best in mapping, but that’s a small price to pay for its long battery life. For those looking for a watch that is both functional and fashionable, this is it.
- Multiple sizes available
- Slimmer but tougher design
- Advanced training tools
- Excellent GPS tracking
- Extra long battery life
- Maps don’t look great in this app
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar
We couldn’t write a list of the best smartwatches on the market without talking about Garmin. The Fenix 7 Solar has a huge 1.2-inch display, considerably bigger than any others in the Fenix range. This is to host small solar panels to get its power from the sun.
Garmin means business when it comes to fitness tracking. You get advanced heart rate monitoring, altitude tracking, sleep tracking and advanced training support. On top of that, there is VO2 Max estimates, pace advice and over 200 sport modes.
- Built-in GPS
- Preloaded maps to use offline
- Garmin Pay
- Huge battery life up to 336 hours
- Smart notifications on your wrist
- Bluetooth and Wifi
- Military-grade resistance to water, shock and temperature
- Expensive compared to alternatives (but worth it)
Suunto 9 Peak
If you’re searching for a gorgeous smartwatch that’s made for the outdoors, look no further than the Suunto 9 Peak. Because of its high price, it doesn’t truly measure up to the competition in terms of features and performance. It’s possible to find better outdoor watches with a superior combination of design and software.
- Bezel and strap combination is beautiful
- Has a lot of sports modes
- Slow software
- Black bezel around the screen
- Better features elsewhere at the same price or less
Suunto 5 Peak
Despite being one of the lightest running watches on the market, the Suunto 5 Peak really shines thanks to its exceptional mapping and navigation capabilities. It’s a great timepiece for discovering new trails and varying up your workouts.
When it comes to a GPS watch with an AMOLED display, the Suunto 5 Peak’s battery life is significantly shorter what we’ve come to anticipate from a watch in this price range without an AMOLED display draining it.
- Accurate and reliable sleep tracking
- Lack of water resistant rating
- Plastic lens (not toughened glass)
- 10-day maximum battery life without GPS
TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is an awesome Wear OS watch that you can use with an iPhone or Android device and certainly deserves a place on a list of best smartwatches. It has a healthy battery life and some intelligent features.
Inside you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset. This has 1GB of RAM, so apps load and run quickly and smoothly.
Smartwatches typically don’t have a great battery life, so this wearable stands out. This device will go on for up to a month without needing to be charged. Of course, this varies with use, and you’ll optimise this by using it in ‘Essential Mode’. The price is less than most of the other brands on the list, which is another benefit considering battery life.
- Battery lasts up to 30 days in Essential Mode
- Latest and fastest chipset
- The interface isn’t user-friendly for everyone
- Sleep tracking isn’t as accurate as others on the list
We hope you’ve found this useful! We’ve put together what we think is the best smartwatch buyers’ guide, but we welcome your comments! Don’t forget to check out the individual reviews of the watches we’ve covered if you’re thinking about buying.
Last Updated on December 15, 2022
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