When smartwatches emerged in 2013, they were mostly worn by men. The thick, dark straps and clunky clockfaces didn’t hold much appeal for women. No wonder it’s taken so long to compile a list of the best smartwatches for women.
Between 2014 and 2016, manufacturers began adding diamantes to watchstraps and changed clockfaces from black to pink. But most women still didn’t get excited by smartwatches.
Thankfully, we saw a sea change in early 2017 when the big players began designing chic smartwatches that women actually wanted to wear. Not only that, but these contemporary smartwatches collect health data that is relevant and interesting to women.
Best Smartwatch Features for Women
So, which of the current smartwatches are best for women? In today’s market, women can benefit from the following smartwatch features:
- Analogue-style smartwatches that are discreet enough to wear on any occasion.
- Smaller watch faces and slimmer straps to accommodate slender wrists.
- Lightweight watches that don’t weigh the arm down.
- Female menstrual cycle tracking (offered by Apple, Garmin and Fitbit).
- Health tracking features that may be of more interest to women such as stress monitoring and sleep monitoring.
- The ability to track a variety of activities including yoga, swimming, and dynamic gym workouts.
In fact, with so many great ladies’ smartwatches on the market, making the right purchase can be difficult. To help you out, here are five of the best smartwatches for women. Our top five picks offer most – if not all – of the features listed above!
Fossil Ladies’ Hybrid Smartwatch (‘Jacqueline’ Models)
This stylish watch looks nothing like a conventional smartwatch because it has an analogue clock face and a thin, feminine strap. This means it’s discreet enough to wear in the office and chic enough to wear on an evening out. Compared to other smartwatches, Fossil’s Hybrid Smartwatch offers quite basic functionality, but it can receive smartphone notifications, control music, and track activities. Best of all – it doesn’t need charging!
- A beautiful, classic design. The ‘Jacqueline’ Fossil smartwatches are probably the most stylish ladies’ smartwatches available on the market.
- A thin strap – suitable for slender wrists.
- The battery lasts for 6 months so there’s no need to charge it every couple of days (but a new battery does cost around £5).
- Fossil’s health app is intuitive and easy to use. It provides some useful output data, such as steps taken, calories burned, and distance travelled. The app also allows you to set health goals.
- Very affordable compared to other smartwatches.
- No fancy features such as GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, or smartwatch payments.
- You cannot export your health data to other apps.
So, choose Fossil’s Hybrid Smartwatch if you want an affordable, stylish smartwatch that doesn’t need to be charged.
Samsung Galaxy 4G Smartwatch
The Samsung Galaxy 4G smartwatch is popular amongst women because the smaller (42mm) version looks great on slender wrists. Not only that, the watch can track a range of activities including swimming, yoga and even dynamic gym routines like squats. This is an improvement on earlier smartwatches which could only track walking, running, and cycling. This watch is £100 dearer than Fossil’s Hybrid smartwatch, but with superior sensor technology, GPS tracking, and Samsung Pay, you can see why.
- Again, it’s an analogue-style watch that looks fairly discreet. It comes in rose gold, black, or silver and the straps are interchangeable, so you can match this watch to your outfit.
- Smaller 42mm screen to suit thinner wrists.
- One of the few smartwatches that syncs with Spotify.
- In-built GPS – This is a great feature considering the price of this watch.
- It uses an accelerometer, altimeter and heart rate monitor to accurately track a variety of activities.
- It needs charging at least once every four days (much sooner with heavy usage).
- The design of the watch is a bit bland compared to some other ladies’ smartwatches.
Choose this watch if you want a reliable, technologically advanced smartwatch that doesn’t look out of place on a slender wrist.
Garmin Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch
The original Garmin watches were quite masculine and clunky, but we’ve seen some lighter, more feminine models in recent years. What’s more, Garmin added menstrual cycle tracking to several of their smartwatches – including the Vivoactive 4S.
Garmin watches are predominantly fitness trackers (but with some of the techy features you would expect from a smartwatch). So, if you are looking for a female-friendly fitness tracker that has all the basic smartwatch capabilities, the Garmin Vivoactive 4S offers superb value for money. You get music, energy tracking, pulse ox levels and guided workouts.
- This is a quality piece of hardware comprised of many different sensors including: an accelerometer, thermometer, altimeter, heart rate monitor and more. This means it can accurately capture health data.
- This smartwatch allows you to track your monthly cycle via the app. You can see your menstrual data on the watch itself and record symptoms throughout the month. When it comes to reviewing your menstrual data, you’ll be able to view it alongside other health markers such as stress levels, heart rate, activity levels, calorie intake etc. Women who are interested in their reproductive health will no doubt find this feature useful.
- It has the appearance of a normal watch so it can be worn on any occasion.
- Stress monitoring – great for those with busy lifestyles.
- Built-in GPS.
- The app offers very detailed health/fitness data – great for fitness enthusiasts.
- Although the watch is supposed to allow you to make payments, many customers have experienced problems with this function. Having said that, Garmin do have a very responsive customer support team.
- This watch may not measure weightlifting/dynamic movements as well as the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch.
Choose the Garmin Vivoactive 3 if you are a budding athlete (especially a runner, cyclist or hiker) looking for an attractive smartwatch you can wear on all occasions.
Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 2 is the second generation of the popular original Fitbit Versa. It has a significant number of upgraded features over its predecessor that make it worth the cost. Alexa compatibility and Fitbit Pay make life so much more convenient.
At 41mm in diameter, the Fitbit Versa 3 is a similar size to the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. The watch face is big enough to show notifications and updates but not so big that it feels clunky. Like the Garmin Vivoactive 3, the Fitbit Versa is predominantly a fitness tracker, but it can receive smartphone notifications, send quick replies (on Android phones) and make contactless payments – so it’s far from basic. The Fitbit Versa has connected GPS so you will need to keep your phone close-by if you wish to use the GPS tracking.
- This device offers female monthly cycle tracking.
- Fitbit Pay is widely accepted
- Compatible with Alexa
- The design resembles the more expensive Apple Watch
- It offers heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and a vibrating “silent alarm” to wake you gently.
- The output data is very easy to interpret – many people love the simplicity of the Fitbit app.
- If you are a runner/hiker/cyclist, you might prefer a device with in-built GPS, so you don’t have to carry your phone with you.
- Though the Fitbit Versa 2 is not as futuristic or plasticky as other Fitbits, it is still quite informal in design so might not be suitable for all occasions.
(It’s worth noting that the Fitbit Ionic has in-built GPS and a more stylish design – but it costs quite a lot more).
All in all, choose the Fitbit Versa if you want a good-quality smartwatch that provides useful and easy-to-understand data insights.
Withings/Nokia Smartwatch Hybrid for women
The final watch in our line-up is another classy hybrid that looks nothing like a conventional smartwatch. The Withings/Nokia Smartwatch is a minimalist, analogue-style watch that competes with Fossil’s smartwatches in the style stakes. Although this watch doesn’t have GPS, it does have a heart rate monitor so it can provide useful fitness and sleep data. The best thing about this watch is its battery life. Because it doesn’t have GPS, it can last for around 25 days before it needs recharging!
- Unlike the Fossil Hybrid smartwatch, this watch captures heartrate data – this is rare in a smartwatch that looks so much like a traditional watch.
- There is a smart alarm that wakes you with a gentle buzz.
- Great battery life.
- Syncs with many other health tracking apps so you have more control over your data.
- There is no payment capability.
- No GPS tracking.
- Once synced, this watch alerts you to smartphone notifications, but the alerts are very subtle (Having said that, some people appreciate the fact that the alerts are not too disruptive).
Choose the Withings/Nokia Smartwatch if you want to track your heart rate and steps, but you are not too fussed about tracking your routes/distances.
Smartwatch manufacturers must be doing something right because recent reports show that 40% of smartwatch users are women (compared to just 26% a few years ago).
The best smartwatches for women?
It’s no surprise given that ladies smartwatches have come such as long way that now we get in substance and style. So, now that you’ve seen what’s out there, which smartwatch will you choose?
Last Updated on December 13, 2020
A highly experienced writer, with expertise in health and technology.
Rachael had a masters degree in psychology (with distinction) and a bachelors degree in English literature (with first-class honours) from reputable UK universities. Rachael has worked for two years as a research associate and reporter for a high-profile UK media company.