Smartwatches are a quick and easy Christmas gift that can help streamline someone̵7;s everyday life, whether they are a student, a professional or a total fitness nerd. But all smartwatches look the same and claim to support the same features. To make life easier, here are the best smartwatches available and iOS or Android devices.
What to look for in a Smartwatch
All the smartwatches in this gift guide have the features you would expect from a modern laptop. They notify you when you receive text messages, they track your sleep and they count your steps. But if you’re shopping for a gym rat, health nut or tech nerd, you may want to spend some money on premium smartwatch features.
Here is a quick overview of the smartwatch features that can influence your shopping decisions:
- Operating system: Apple Watch does not work with Android phones. And while third-party smartwatches Can working with iPhones, they often lose many of their key features in the process. If you are buying for someone else, it is important to know what telephone system they live in for that reason.
- Training tracking: The smartwatches in this guide offer basic fitness functions such as pedometers, heart rate sensors and GPS for running or cycling. They are also waterproof and swim-safe and have built-in training plans. That said, the more expensive options offer tracking for more activities and exercises, and often offer a more robust set of guided workouts.
- Health tracking: If you want more than a basic fitness tracker, the smartwatches in this gift guide are filled with heart rate sensors, fall detectors and sleep trackers. But if you are shopping for someone who wants an ECG or blood oxygen sensor, be prepared to pay a premium.
- Quality of life features: Keep an eye out for small features like smartwatch battery life, screen quality and customizable dials. These little features can make a big difference, especially if you are buying a smartwatch for someone who wants their smartwatch all day every day.
- LTE / wireless features: An LTE smartwatch saves you from carrying your phone anywhere, which is useful when you are on the go, cycling, swimming or even at the gym. Several of the smartwatches in this gift guide are available in offline or LTE variants, in addition to Fitbit Versa 3 and Garmin Venu.
- Shopping for children ?: Do you want to buy a smartwatch for a child or for someone who does not own a phone? Apple’s Family Setup system allows a family member who does not own an iPhone to use an Apple Watch to make calls, send text messages, or share their location with you. Just buy an LTE Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 6 to get started.
Oh boy, there’s a lot to think about! Without further ado, let’s look at some smartwatches.
The best overall for the iPhone: Apple Watch SE
The new Apple Watch SE is an all-in-one powerhouse for fitness, health, communication and sleep tracking. It’s not the best Apple Watch available today (it would be Series 6), but the Apple Watch SE has most of the premium features you’d expect from Apple’s latest and greatest products. A heart rate sensor that is always on? Verify. A high-resolution retina display? That is where. Fall detection, emergency, an 18-hour battery, fitness assistants, apps, sleep sensors, Apple Pay and SMS? You already know.
Still, some people may prefer the latest and greatest. Apple Watch SE lacks any features that can appeal to fitness freaks on your wish list – such as an ECG, a blood oxygen sensor and a screen that is always on. For that, you have to drop another hundred dollars on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Best Smartwatch for iPhone
Premium choice for iPhone: Apple Watch Series 6
Hardcore health and fitness nuts need a hardcore smartwatch. That’s the idea behind Apple’s state-of-the-art laptop, the new Watch Series 6. It has the same features as the cheaper Apple Watch SE, but with one always on display, a blood oxygen sensor, faster charging, an ECG and a brighter screen when outdoors.
Apple Watch Series 6 is available in more colors than any of its predecessors, including gold, silver, navy blue and Apple’s popular (PRODUCT) RED shade. Consider paying extra to add LTE features to the Series 6 Watch, that way your giftee can train without their iPhone in tow.
The best overall for Android: Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit’s Versa 3 smartwatch has plenty of fitness tracking and health monitoring features behind a large screen that is always on. But do not let the brand fool you – Versa 3 is not just for health nuts. It brings apps like Uber and Spotify to your wrist and gives you notifications for calls and text messages. You can even use Versa 3 to pay in cash registers with Fitbit Pay, or program Google Assistant or Alexa to take questions and commands from your wrist.
When it comes to health and fitness, Versa 3 offers heart rate tracking 24/7, activity tracking all day, built-in GPS and over 20 goal-based training modes. In addition to Fitbit’s fantastic app, six days of battery life and advanced sleep tracking features, what more could the average person need?
If you do have a person who needs more on your list, but you should check out Fitbit Sense. It does everything that Versa 3 does, along with ECG, tracking and even skin temperature monitoring. It is the most advanced health watch you can buy today.
Premium Pick for Android: Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is basically an Apple Watch Series 6 for Android. It’s sleek and customizable, with a blood oxygen sensor, ECG, a 48-hour battery and one always on screen. It has a rotating frame that helps you quickly navigate the Watch interface and dig through apps, NFC payments via Samsung Pay and a lot of fitness and health tracking features through the fantastic Samsung Health app.
Like other Samsung products, the Galaxy Watch 3 fits “seamlessly” with Samsung phones and tablets. Samsung users who are not super tech can have an easier time setting up the Galaxy Watch 3 than the other Android smartwatches in this gift guide. But make no mistake – Samsung’s smartwatches work with all Android phones, not just those made by Samsung.
Best premium watch for Android
Best athletic smartwatch: Garmin Venu
Garmin Venu is an outrageous fitness animal. It can track almost any activity, including niche exercises such as skiing, pilates, mountain biking and rowing. Its many sports profiles, strength training exercises and built-in workouts help you stay motivated and informed, while the large AMOLED screen and quality of life features allow you to quickly scan text messages, check Spotify and make contactless payments on the go.
Garmin’s fitness-focused smartwatch is an obvious win for gym rats and fitness freaks in your life. But it is also a solid choice for people who want a tough smartwatch. With its six-day battery life and durability to handle all situations, the Garmin Venu is a certified winner.
For users who do not need any of the more advanced features available on Venu – such as a barometric altimeter or AMOLED screen – Venu SQ or SQ Music is a good choice for less money.