9 best smartwatches that do much more than tell the time

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

We considered health tracking, battery life, wearability and value for money (iStock/The Independent)

The current smartwatch market is confusing and full of economic jeopardy when it comes to finding a dud. For every Apple Watch, there are three rotten alternatives.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Happily, however, the top end of the market has become established, to the point that there are a few safe bets. Even at the lower end, there are brands that are making names for themselves for producing reliable, smart(ish) watches.

Your choice depends entirely on your focus. Even the top watches in this category may not be able to track your monster fitness sessions in the way you want – be sure to select a sports-specific model over a more general-purpose product if you’re undertaking an ultramarathon, for instance. For most of us there’s a balance to be found between the fitness-focused and general-use wearables: one that’s simultaneously becoming simpler to achieve and more difficult to commit to with every new release.

How we tested

Global Tech News Daily

We tried to test each of our contenders in a range of settings and under the strain of different demands. Could we go from a slow jog to the shower and straight out to dinner without the smartwatch buckling under the pressure?

Look and comfort were also vital considerations: a smartwatch is an accessory, after all. Could we wear each watch the entire day, or longer?

    Global Tech News Daily

    Finally, we tested the more nuanced features of each, from mindfulness apps and sleep tracking to automatic exercise detection and 24/7 heart monitoring. While we’ve tried to come up with a definitive list of the best smartwatches, one thing’s for sure after all this testing: we need a rest.

    The best smartwatches for 2022 are:

    • Best overall – Apple Watch series 7: £399, Currys.co.uk

    • Best Android smartwatch – Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: £249, Samsung.com

    • Best Fitbit smartwatch – Fitbit sense: £279, Currys.co.uk

    • Best newcomer – Huawei Watch 3: £279, Huawei.com

    • Best analogue smartwatch – Withings scanwatch: £249.95, Withings.com

    • Best sports smartwatch – Garmin venu 2: £262.49, Garmin.com

    • Best budget sports smartwatch – Honor magic watch 2: £89.99, Hihonor.com

    • Best higher-end budget smartwatch – Xiaomi mi watch: £119.99, Mi.com

    • Best budget smartwatch – Realme watch: £49.99, Realme.com

    Apple Watch series 7

    Best: Overall

    Rating: 9/10

    • Display size: 41mm/45mm (case size; display is smaller)

    • Battery life: Up to 18 hours

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, irregular heart rhythm notification, mindfulness app

    Apple has become the highest-selling watch company in the world, outstripping even traditional watchmakers to become the leader in wearable timepieces – at least by volume. The series 7 is the latest smartwatch that proves Apple means business in the sector. It’s a beauty: a bright, clear, comfortable watch that gives its user pretty much everything you could want from a smartwatch, including ECG and blood oxygen monitors and the (more expensive) option of a data plan, meaning you can leave your phone at home.

    There are definite improvements when compared to the series 6. You can most clearly see the difference in the screen: the borders have been reduced, increasing screen size by about 20 per cent over the series 6, and 50 per cent more than the series 3. The extra space is used well, giving you more information at a glance and the opportunity to type your messages with a diminutive keyboard. The screen is also one of the clearest on the market, remaining bright without the bleed you sometimes see when brightness is turned up in other products.

    If you have the series 6, it might be worth holding onto it for a little longer, as the differences are admittedly slight. However, there’s a noticeable direction of development that means the series 7 is by no means a case of slapping a new label on the front of the box (besides the characteristically poor battery). Consistency is key, and refinement is the name of the game here: the series 7 is the best all-round smartwatch you can buy. Be aware, however, that it’s only compatible with iPhones.

    Buy now £399.00, Currys.co.uk

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

    Best: Android smartwatch

    Rating: 8.5/10

    • Display size: 30.4mm

    • Battery life: Up to 40 hours

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: ECG, accelerometer, geomagnetic sensor

    The Galaxy Watch 4 builds on Samsung’s laudable wearable history, ending up as the latest of its products to lead the pack. The Watch 4’s overall offering is the best Android option around: the breadth of features once again makes a Samsung smartwatch the smartest Android watch we’ve tested. It’s also unbelievably sleek, with a unique silhouette and design ethos, and like the series 7, Samsung has included the option of a dedicated 4G data plan.

    The AMOLED screen is exceptional, the fit is comfortable, and connectivity is seamless. Samsung has decided to get rid of the rotating bezel, which is a shame as this was one of the Watch 3’s highlights, and the lack of iPhone compatibility is a misstep, but this is still the best Android smartwatch you can buy.

    Buy now £249.00, Samsung.com

    Fitbit sense

    Best: Fitbit smartwatch

    Rating: 8/10

    • Display size: 40.5mm

    • Battery life: Up to six days

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: ECG sensor, EDA scanner, SpO2 tracker, skin temperature sensor, guided mindfulness and breathing sessions, sleep tracker, menstrual health tracking

    It wouldn’t be a wearables round-up without Fitbit making an appearance. The tracker superbrand has a strong range of options, from the classic charge series to the fashion-conscious (and high-tech) luxe, but when it comes to the smartwatch market, the Fitbit sense is king: in fact, it’s among the most versatile smartwatches available.

    Health still comes first with the sense: it offers one of the widest skillsets in the industry, putting you in as much control as possible. Many of the tools necessitate a Fitbit premium account, but each sense comes with six months free, giving you a little try before you buy. The sense also serves as a great companion to your smartphone, offering the usual notifications and controls, along with an impressive array of watch faces and supremely comfortable strap. It’s a classic smartwatch from a brand that continues to find its place at the head of the pack.

    Buy now £279.00, Currys.co.uk

    Huawei Watch 3

    Best: Newcomer

    Rating: 8/10

    • Display size: 36.3mm

    • Battery life: Up to three days, 14 days in ultra-long battery life mode

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: 24/7 heart and blood oxygen monitors, 100+ sports modes, skin temperature detector

    Huawei has improved on its promising Watch 2 with the straightforwardly named Watch 3. It’s the first smartwatch to use Huawei’s HarmonyOS, and it really takes advantage of this, providing a clean experience and smooth performance. The AMOLED display is crisp and bright, and fitness options are pretty comprehensive. It’s not yet on a par with the very best wearables due to a slight lack of apps, but these are surely coming soon in future updates and the potential is huge. A real contender for Android users.

    Buy now £279.00, Huawei.com

    Withings scanwatch

    Best: Analogue smartwatch

    Rating: 9/10

    • Face size: 38.4mm/42mm

    • Battery life: Up to 30 days normal usage, with an extra 20 days in power reserve mode

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: Heart rate, blood oxygen, ECG, step counter, elevation tracker

    Just because you want the benefits of a smartwatch, doesn’t necessarily mean you want the neon colouring, fake watch faces and modern stylings that sometimes come with them. Enter Withings and its French eye for style. The scanwatch does much of what the best health trackers can achieve, with an impressive partner app that gives users clear information, ranging from oxygen saturation to heart rate. Mental health is a focus of the app, with useful tips and tricks for reducing stress, and even a stress tracker.

    To look at the scanwatch, you wouldn’t expect there to be smarts underneath the face: during testing, multiple people noted their surprise that this was a smartwatch, thanks to the small smart screen switching off when not in use. This is the watch that brilliantly bridges the gap between the beauty of traditional timepieces and the usability of a smartwatch.

    Buy now £249.95, Withings.com

    Garmin venu 2

    Best: Sports smartwatch

    Rating: 8.5/10

    • Display size: 33m

    • Battery life: Up to 11 days, up to 12 days in battery saver mode

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: Heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness age, body battery energy monitor, stress, sleep, hydration, women’s health

    While Garmin might have the rugged subsection of the wearables market pretty wrapped up, it also offers some great “prettier” watches for when you’re not on your ultramarathon training runs. The best smartwatch the brand currently produces is the venu 2, an all-powerful sports watch that doubles as a very good smartwatch. Garmin’s class-leading GPS is on show, along with the brand’s classic almost-indestructibility. The screen is fantastic, and manages to cram in a phenomenal amount of information. It also looks fantastic, fitting in nicely with the more delicate rivals in this list. It’s the smartwatch that would continue being useful at the end of the world. It’ll outlive us all.

    Buy now £262.49, Garmin.com

    Honor magic watch 2

    Best: Budget sports smartwatch

    Rating: 8/10

    • Display size: 35.3mm

    • Battery life: Up to 14 days

    • Water-resistance: Splash- and waterproof

    • Health tracking: Heart rate and blood oxygen monitors, stress monitoring, 15 fitness modes

    Honor’s improved magic watch 2 manages to look the part of a “proper” watch, designed with a traditional slant while providing a good-sized screen and bright display. The design is particularly reminiscent of some of Huawei’s previous-generation smartwatches, with comparable dimensions and a light feel on the wrist.

    Its fitness package is impressive, giving athletes – and you – everything needed for professional tracking. Its range of more lifestyle-led apps isn’t the widest on this list, but for anyone who wants to focus on health and fitness while benefiting from a decent level of smartwatch features, the magic watch 2 is great value.

    Buy now £89.99, Hihonor.com

    Xiaomi mi watch

    Best: Higher-end budget smartwatch

    Rating: 7.5/10

    • Display: Size: 35.3mm

    • Battery life: Up to 16 days, up to 22 days in power saving mode

    • Water-resistance: 50m water resistant

    • Health tracking: Heart rate, 24-hour heart rate monitor, blood oxygen, breathing, stress, sleep

    Xiaomi continues to produce good-quality tech at enviable prices. The Mi watch is a solid option for a lower budget: it looks the part, taking design influence from some of the bigger hitters, and delivers a clean user experience. It certainly focuses on health – in-built GPS and 117 workout modes will do that for you – but with extras such as music control and message notifications, along with a big screen, it works well as a no-nonsense smartwatch.

    Buy now £119.00, Mi.com

    Realme watch

    Best: Budget smartwatch

    Rating: 7.5/10

    • Display size: 36.5mm

    • Battery life: Up to nine days, 20 days on power saving mode

    • Water-resistance: IP68 dust and water resistant (up to 1.5m)

    • Health tracking: Heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep detection, 14 activity modes

    Realme produced one of the best mid-range phones of the year in the Realme GT: a high-end handset for a ludicrous price. The Realme Watch might not pull up the same trees as the GT, but it still performs at a level above its price bracket, with most of the bells and whistles (watch faces, call and text notifications, music and camera controls) of the top dogs.

    It also provides an intelligent activity tracker and real-time heart monitor, along with a very handy 36.5mm colour touchscreen. If you’re not sure about wearable tech and want to try something a little less risky for your pocket, Realme has you covered.

    Buy now £49.99, Realme.com

    The verdict: Smartwatches

    There’s never been a better line-up of quality smartwatches than the crop we have now. The Apple Watch series 7 offers the best experience you can find in a smartwatch, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 runs close, although a lack of compatibility from both loses some marks from us. For a classic look, the Withings scanwatch is a fantastic fitness tracker in a stunning case, while the traditional stylings and colour screen of the Huawei watch 3 make it a top option for the traditionalists among us that want some mod-cons.

    Voucher codes

    For offers on smartwatches and other tech products, try our discount code pages:

      If you’re looking for exercise-focused model, read our review of the best fitness trackers

      News Related

      OTHER NEWS

      Fiverr International (FVRR) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

      In the latest trading session, Fiverr International (FVRR) closed at $81.01, marking a -0.52% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. – ... Read more »

      Sterling Construction (STRL) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

      Sterling Construction (STRL) closed at $27.51 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.63% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. – ... Read more »

      Boise Cascade (BCC) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

      Boise Cascade (BCC) closed at $77.20 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.69% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. – ... Read more »

      CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

      In the latest trading session, CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP) closed at $62.36, marking a +0.76% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. ... Read more »

      Bausch Health (BHC) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

      Bausch Health (BHC) closed the most recent trading day at $24.39, moving -0.53% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. – Zacks ... Read more »

      ETF Strategies to Consider for February as Fed's Rate Hike Nears

      Wall Street has been mostly kind to investors so far in February after a tough January. Market participants are upbeat about improving U.S. economic conditions as reflected by encouraging fourth-quarter ... Read more »

      Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

      Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) closed at $73.75 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.78% move from the prior day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of ... Read more »

      Fox (FOXA) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

      Fox FOXA is set to report second-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Feb 9.For the quarter, the company’s current Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at breakeven against a loss ... Read more »

      Generac Holdings (GNRC) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

      In the latest trading session, Generac Holdings (GNRC) closed at $279.97, marking a +0.01% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 0.37%. – ... Read more »

      Spirit And Frontier Announce $6.6 Billion Merger

      Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NYSE:SAVE) and Frontier Group Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:ULCC) have announced a $6.6 billion merger to create one of the largest low-cost airlines in the U.S. The new airline ... Read more »

      First Trust Energy AlphaDEX Fund (FXN) Hits a 52-Week High

      The First Trust Energy AlphaDEX Fund FXN is probably a suitable pick for investors looking for momentum. FXN hit a 52-week high and is up 59.6% from its 52-week low ... Read more »

      Stock futures inch higher after S&P, Nasdaq fall to start the week

      U.S. stock index futures crept higher during overnight trading Monday, after the major averages moved between gains and losses during regular trading as the market awaits key inflation data later ... Read more »

      Immunovant (IMVT) Reports Wider-Than-Expected Loss in Q3

      Immunovant, Inc. IMVT reported a net loss of 36 cents per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended Dec 31, 2021), wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of ... Read more »

      Buckle's (BKE) Sales Run Continues in January, Comps Gain 4.2%

      The Buckle, Inc. BKE looks well poised on the back of its robust strategic efforts, including strength in e-commerce business and an impressive sales trend. BKE has been putting up ... Read more »

      6 Best-Leveraged ETF Areas of Last Week

      Wall Street put up a moderate show last week with the S&P 500 (up 1.6%), the Dow Jones (up 1.1%), the Nasdaq Composite (up 2.4%) and the Russell 2000 (up ... Read more »

      Interpublic (IPG) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

      The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. IPG is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2021 results on Feb 10, before the opening bell. – Zacks Let’s check out how things have shaped ... Read more »

      Mednax (MD) Buys Night Lite Pediatrics to Boost Portfolio

      Mednax, Inc. MD and its affiliated practices Pediatrix Medical Group recently acquired Night Lite Pediatrics, LLC in Orlando, FL. Night Lite is a private 13-clinic pediatric urgent care practice. The ... Read more »

      Best Growth Stocks to Buy for February 7th

      Here are three stocks with buy ranks and strong growth characteristics for investors to consider today, February 7th: – Zacks Apple AAPL: This company whose business primarily runs around its ... Read more »

      Gol Linhas (GOL) Stock up 16.2% in a Month: More Upside Left?

      Shares of Gol Linhas GOL have displayed an uptrend on the bourses over the past month, gaining 16.2% against its industry’s 3.1% decline. – Zacks Image Source: Zacks Investment Research ... Read more »

      Top Research Reports for Bank of America, Coca-Cola & salesforce

      Monday, February 7, 2022 The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today’s Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Bank ... Read more »

      Sanofi's (SNY) Enjaymo Gets FDA Nod For Rare Blood Disorder

      Sanofi SNY announced that the FDA has approved its monoclonal antibody, Enjaymo (sutimlimab-jome), to decrease the need for red blood cell transfusion due to hemolysis in adult patients with cold ... Read more »

      The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, T-Mobile US, Advanced Micro Devices, Mondelez International and Chubb

      For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – February 7, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the ... Read more »

      iOS 15.4 beta allows users to disable notifications for Shortcut automations

      AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content. Apple ... Read more »

      IRS to stop using facial recognition for identity verification

      Signage outside the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images The IRS on Monday announced it will stop using a controversial third-party service for ... Read more »

      Why Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

      Whether it’s through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But when you’re an income investor, your primary focus is ... Read more »

      Surging Earnings Estimates Signal Upside for Xilinx (XLNX) Stock

      Investors might want to bet on Xilinx (XLNX), as earnings estimates for this company have been showing solid improvement lately. The stock has already gained solid short-term price momentum, and ... Read more »

      BCB Bancorp (BCBP) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

      Whether it’s through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But when you’re an income investor, your primary focus is ... Read more »

      The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AbbVie, Merck, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer

      For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – February 7, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the ... Read more »

      BankUnited (BKU) Stock up 3.4% on New Share Repurchase Plan

      BankUnited, Inc. BKU has announced a new share repurchase plan. The company’s board of directors has approved the repurchase of up to $150 million in shares of BKU’s outstanding stock. ... Read more »

      TEGNA Inc. (TGNA) Soars 7.4%: Is Further Upside Left in the Stock?

      TEGNA Inc. TGNA shares rallied 7.4% in the last trading session to close at $21.34. This move can be attributable to notable volume with a higher number of shares being ... Read more »

      Can BCB Bancorp (BCBP) Run Higher on Rising Earnings Estimates?

      BCB Bancorp (BCBP) could be a solid choice for investors given the company’s remarkably improving earnings outlook. While the stock has been a strong performer lately, this trend might continue ... Read more »

      Earnings Estimates Moving Higher for Marathon Oil (MRO): Time to Buy?

      Marathon Oil (MRO) could be a solid choice for investors given the company’s remarkably improving earnings outlook. While the stock has been a strong performer lately, this trend might continue ... Read more »

      Transport ETFs to Buy on Solid Q4 Earnings

      The fourth-quarter earnings picture for the transportation sector has been robust. This is especially true as earnings of 95.2% of the market capitalization of the sector that has reported so ... Read more »

      The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: STMicroelectronics, BP and Asbury Automotive Group

      For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – February 7, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the ... Read more »

      Earnings Estimates Moving Higher for Robert Half (RHI): Time to Buy?

      Robert Half (RHI) could be a solid choice for investors given the company’s remarkably improving earnings outlook. While the stock has been a strong performer lately, this trend might continue ... Read more »

      Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) Could Be a Great Choice

      Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor’s dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow ... Read more »

      Comcast vs. ViacomCBS: Which Stock is a Better Buy for 2022?

      The entertainment industry is growing rapidly, with surging demand for over-the-top (OTT) content and other services. Therefore, prominent industry participants Comcast (CMCSA) and ViacomCBS (VIAC) should benefit. But which of ... Read more »

      Here's Why You Should Add Quidel (QDEL) Stock To Your Portfolio

      Quidel Corporation QDEL has been gaining on the back of its strong diagnostics portfolio. A solid third-quarter 2021 performance, along with solid potential in In-Vitro Diagnostics (“IVD”) products, is expected ... Read more »

      Why State Street Corporation (STT) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

      Whether it’s through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But when you’re an income investor, your primary focus is ... Read more »

      Labor Department tries to prevent states from clawing back unemployment benefits

      Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images States can forgo clawing back pandemic-era unemployment benefits in a broader set of circumstances than previously allowed, the U.S. Department of Labor said Monday. In ... Read more »