Smartwatches are here to stay. These wrist-worn phone companions can receive calls, texts, emails and social media notifications. Many attempts have been made, some more successful than others, some much better looking than others and some smarter than others.
If you're looking to take the smartwatch plunge, you've come to the right place. We have rounded up the best out there that we have had the pleasure of reviewing in full.
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This feature covers smartwatches on various platforms, from Google's Wear OS to Apple's watchOS. If you are only interested in Wear OS smartwatches or Apple Watch options, we have separate features you can read to find the perfect smartwatch for you.
Best smartwatch: our top recommendation
Here's our recommendation for the best all round smartwatch on the market.
Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 takes a step beyond the Watch Series 3 with a bigger and more immersive display, along with a thinner build and other design tweaks. There's no battery improvements over the Series 3 but as the Series 4 did, the Series 5 adds a few extra features including an ECG monitor, advanced processor, and the straps from the previous generations are still compatible despite the new 40mm and 42mm case sizes.
As a smartwatch all-rounder, there is nothing better than the Apple Watch Series 5 for iOS users, especially now it has an Always On Display. It offers a great design and it's a very accomplished smartwatch. If you're not fussed about the Always On display or built-in compass, you might consider the Series 4 - but you'll need to find it.
Best of the rest smartwatches
The Apple Watch Series 5 isn't for everyone though, especially if you're on Android, and there are plenty of other great smartwatches to consider whatever budget you are on. Here are the ones that you should also consider:
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Like Samsung's previous smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch is well-made, easy to use, durable and attractive. It comes in 42mm and 46mm models, both of which offer a solid stainless steel casing for a premium finish. The Tizen OS lacks apps compared to the likes of Google's Wear OS and Apple's Watch OS but it is user friendly.
Like Apple's Series 5 and 3 smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch offers built-in GPS and waterproofing and it has NFC for use with Samsung Pay too, allowing payments from your wrist. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is one of the few very strong competitors to the Apple Watch. It is as smart a watch as it is a sports watch and the 46mm model offers an excellent battery life, far exceeding the Apple Watch.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active features a lighter, sportier design to the Galaxy Watch, ditching the rotating bezel and reducing the case size down to 40mm. There is waterproofing up to 50-metres, good sports tracking features and great performance, though it isn't as feature rich as the Galaxy Watch Active 2 that arrived a couple of months after the Active.
As it runs on Tizen like the Galaxy Watch, rather than Wear OS, there is still a lack of third party apps and this isn't an amazing choice for iPhone users either. If you're looking for a smartwatch to go with your Android device that also happens to be a great fitness and activity tracker though, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is a very compelling device to consider but consider the Galaxy Watch Active 2 as well.
Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch
The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch is one of many smartwatches offered under the company's umbrella - most of which offer the same features. The Gen 5 isn't a small smartwatch but it offers a good performance over previous Fossil smartwatches, interchangeable straps, a solid build quality and it comes with a heart rate sensor and built-in GPS.
It will be a little too big for some, but the interchangeable straps are great, the quicker battery charging is good and if you're on Android, the Wear OS software will work as well as it can with your device.
Michael Kors Access Runway
The Michael Kors Access Runway is the perfect smartwatch for those after stylish wrist-wear with solid performance and plenty of features. Succeeding the Access Sofie and Access Bradshaw, the Access Runway introduces built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring, whilst also offering plenty of apps thanks to Google's Wear OS platform.
Its battery life isn't the best out there and despite a range of fitness features, it's definitely a more fashion-focused device but for the Michael Kors fan, the Access Runway is a fabulous smartwatch and everything you could want.
Michael Kors Access MKGO
The Michael Kors Access MKGO is an excellent smartwatch for the active Michael Kors fan. It offers a lightweight and sporty design, a lovely display and a great feature set, including waterproofing, built-in GPS and NFC for Google Pay payments from your wrist.
It's not as premium as the Michael Kors Access Runway (above), it doesn't have the best battery on this list and there are a couple of performance issues here and there, but overall, the MKGO and its customisable Michael Kors faces and heavy MK branding will be perfect for some Kors fans.
Huawei Watch GT 2
The Huawei Watch GT 2 has a fantastic OLED display, coupled with all the hardware you could need to track pretty much any activity. It is an ideal modern fitness partner that offers great all round performance and well-organised information, as well as a great design.
The Watch GT 2 needs some more third party app support to reach its full potential and the refresh rate could do with speeding up a little, but the Always On display is a welcomed addition over the original model and the Watch GT 2 has a brilliant battery life making it well worthy of consideration.
Skagen Falster 2
The Skagen Falster 2 has a fabulous Scandinavian design, offering a simple and minimalist look that's perfect for those after a subtle smartwatch.
It doesn't have the best battery life of those on this list, and it runs old hardware too so it does suffer some lag issues here and there. The software experience is great though, as is the display and the sophisticated design makes it a great option to consider.
Fitbit Versa 2
The Fitbit Versa 2 is a little different to other smartwatches on this list in that it is primarily a fitness device, with smartwatch functionality coming second. You still receive smartphone notifications on the Versa, but you are limited to read only, unless you're on Android, in which case there are Quick Replies supported.
The Versa 2 has built-in Amazon Alexa though, is a great fitness tracker, offers brilliant sleep monitoring and while the platform lacks third-party apps, it is improving. There's a lovely, solid design too, along with interchangeable straps and an Always On display.
Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch Series 3 takes all the features introduced on the Series 2 model and adds more power and capabilities, including the option of 4G connectivity. With built-in GPS, a more capable processor, water-resistance and a much greater focus on fitness than the Series 1 and 2, the Apple Watch Series 3 has stacks of potential, even if it isn't quite as accomplished as the Series 5.
From notifications and Apple Pay, to heart-rate monitoring and fitness tracking; the Apple Watch Series 3 can also act as a remote to control your HomeKit smarthome devices, quickly unlock your Mac or make and receive calls without your phone. It's also a really great price now, following the launch of the Series 5.
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is a lovely smartwatch - one of the best looking you can buy - even if it is from 2017. There is a newer model in the Connected Modular 41 if you're looking for a smaller casing so bear that in mind. Both drip in quality and their focus is firmly seated in fashion, reflecting the brand's Carrera watches with an added emphasis on personalisation.
The Connected Modular devices not only offer watch face customisation, but physical customisation too - and there is a huge range of options so you can get exactly what you want... if you can afford it. Armed with the credentials to be a wear anywhere premium smartwatch, the 45 and 41 also bring GPS and NFC to boost its digital skills, although they are not as fully-loaded as some rival devices. What's most important however, is that these premium smartwatches feel like a premium smartwatch. There's really nothing that matches the Tag Heuer Connected Modular range's luxury position - and the modular approach is unique.
Tic Watch Pro
The Tic Watch Pro is a very versatile smartwatch. It isn't just an attractive smartwatch that can be worn to work and to work out, but it's also a Wear OS smartwatch with a fantastic battery life. It's quite chunky and there is no LTE connectivity but the Tic Watch Pro is comfortable to wear and it is much more affordable than its competitors.
It's hard to think of many smartwatches at this price point that offer anything as complete as the Tic Watch Pro offers.
Diesel On Full Guard
The Diesel On Full Guard offers a great display and a fashionable, very Diesel, design. It's a very chunky smartwatch so if this isn't you're style then the Diesel On Full Guard probably isn't for you but if you are a fan of the fashion brand, this smartwatch is as Diesel as you can get.
It isn't perfect, but if you're looking for a smartwatch with Wear OS that's heavy on design and not necessarily all the features, the Diesel On Full Guard is ideal. It is worth bearing in mind that there is a new Diesel smartwatch with upgraded internals available too so if you're into the Diesel look, check the On Time out too.
Michael Kors Access Sofie
The Michael Kors Access Sofie is a stunner of a smartwatch, combining beauty with brains, especially when paired with an Android rather than iOS device. It offers a luxurious and waterproof design, enough bling to make it stand out from the rest of the Wear OS crowd, while also offering a decent performance.
It misses out on a couple of the extra features introduced with the newer Micheal Kors watches, but the Access Sofie still offers customisable Michael Kors watch faces that make this smartwatch feel that little bit more special than some competitors, while the customisation options and the way "Looks" are organised is excellent, especially for those who like to match their watch to their outfit. For the MK fans who love the signature, chunky and blingy watches from the company but want them connected, the Sofie is a great option.
There's a lot to like about the Casio WSD-F30, which is Casio's third generation dual-screen outdoors watch. It's fast, fluid, responsive and very feature-rich. It delivers a solid and durable build, always visible time thanks to the dual-screen technology and loads of sensor data for hiking and outdoor sports.
There's a few things missing - a heart rate sensor and a companion app for activity syncing and viewing, but the Casio WSD-30 has a great battery life and like its predecessors, it's one of the best Wear OS watches designed for outdoor sports (though there are better for running). The flip side of that is that Wear OS isn't necessarily the best platform designed for outdoor sports.
The Nixon Mission succeeds where many smartwatches fail in offering a great design that feels nice to wear. The rugged build is also a big sell, meaning you don't have to worry about water, so it's well suited to being worn in rough conditions, like surf or snow.
The Nixon Mission is a good-looking watch for those who are happy with a larger-scale device. It carries a lifestyle charm to it with rugged looks and, in the case of our review sample, eye-catching looks. There are better choices for those wanting an active sports watch, but sometimes, looking good is good enough.