The best smartwatches serve as outstanding fitness companions, designed to monitor your physical activity, log your workouts, and provide valuable health and recovery insights. However, their functionality extends beyond fitness tracking. Contemporary top-tier smartwatches seamlessly link to your smartphone, delivering notifications and even allowing you to answer calls directly from your wrist. Additionally, they grant you easy access to a plethora of applications, including meditation apps, timers, weather updates, and much more.
Wearing a smartwatch can significantly enhance your commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For many individuals, these devices serve as a source of motivation, offering essential exercise metrics such as pace, time elapsed, and calories burned during workouts. Some even issue reminders to stand up and take a few steps throughout the day.
Smartwatches aren’t just for fitness enthusiasts; they’re designed to cater to a wide range of people. Whether you’re looking for a workout buddy or simply want a fashionable timepiece with some additional capabilities, investing in a smartwatch is a fantastic choice. The exciting part is that today, there is a plethora of options available, including affordable smartwatches for those who are budget-conscious.
The best smartwatches for men
Apple Watch Series 9
The Apple Watch stands out as the ultimate choice when it comes to smartwatches available on the market. It boasts the top-tier operating system, WatchOS, renowned for its smooth performance and a rich selection of apps that reduce your reliance on your phone. The Series 9, which we recommend with a score of 7/10, closely resembles its predecessor, the Series 8. However, it introduces a significant improvement by processing Siri requests directly on the device, enhancing both speed and privacy (unless Siri needs internet access for an answer). This means you can swiftly inquire about your personal health data from the previous week through the voice assistant.
This enhancement is credited to the S9 chip, which not only operates more efficiently but also provides slightly better battery life, though you’ll still need to charge the watch regularly. An exciting new feature is on the horizon through a forthcoming software update called “Double Tap.” This feature enables you to perform various actions, such as accepting or rejecting calls, responding to messages, starting or stopping timers, and more, by simply tapping two fingers together on your watch hand. It’s an incredibly convenient addition.
Apple Watch incorporates a new second-generation ultra-wideband chipset, enhancing your ability to precisely locate your iPhone within an extended range (within limits). The watch’s health features remain robust, including a sensor to measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), which proves valuable for athletes training at high altitudes or individuals with underlying health conditions. Additionally, it features an FDA-cleared electrocardiogram sensor. For more detailed information, you can refer to our comprehensive Best Apple Watch guide, and if you’re interested in accessories, don’t forget to check out our Apple Watch Accessories guide.
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic
The Galaxy Watch6 and Watch6 Classic, both of which we recommend with a rating of 7/10, don’t introduce groundbreaking innovations, but they serve as excellent choices for individuals using Android smartphones (please note that they are not compatible with iPhones). Each model offers two size options, with the possibility to opt for an LTE-enabled version for continuous connectivity even when your phone isn’t nearby. However, certain health features, such as the electrocardiogram and irregular heart rate alerts, only function when paired with Samsung phones.
In my testing, I opted for the 47-mm size of the Watch6 Classic, which impressively lasted for a full two days, and even a day and a half with the always-on display active. It provides a user-friendly experience for checking notifications, responding to messages, and controlling smart home devices through SmartThings or Google Home. Notably, the Classic model features a mechanical rotating bezel that enhances navigation through the Wear OS interface, making it more enjoyable to use compared to watches that rely solely on touchscreen controls.
In terms of health and fitness capabilities, the Watch6 Classic offers satisfactory performance, delivering valuable sleep-tracking data and robust activity-tracking options. It also excels in auto-start and auto-pause functions. However, it’s worth mentioning that I observed some inconsistencies in heart rate measurements during specific workout sessions.
Please take note that Withings has recently unveiled its successors, the ScanWatch 2 and ScanWatch Light. We will soon be thoroughly evaluating these new models, and we recommend holding off on purchasing the current ScanWatch.
Withings’ ScanWatch, which we highly recommend with a rating of 8/10, offers a comprehensive array of features that cater to your needs, including heart rate and sleep tracking, in addition to basic notification alerts. What sets it apart is its FDA clearance for blood-oxygen and electrocardiogram measurements. The latter can be particularly useful in detecting atrial fibrillation and irregular heartbeats, although it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about the results.
This minimalist timepiece boasts an impressive month-long battery life—an appealing feature for users. Its durability and robust build are underscored by sapphire glass covering the watch face and a stainless steel case. However, one of the ScanWatch’s notable drawbacks is its OLED subdial, which is relatively small. Reading notifications on it can be likened to viewing a news ticker in Times Square, New York. Nevertheless, it excels at quickly displaying information like the date, heart rate, and step count.
Garmin Vivomove Trend
While fitness watches are often not as stylish or user-friendly as more feature-rich smartwatches, the Vivomove Trend (rated 8/10 and recommended by WIRED) exudes an air of sophistication. Notably, this is the first Garmin device to feature wireless charging, allowing you to bid farewell to the inconvenience of using a plug-in charger for your Garmin watch.
The Vivomove Trend offers a comprehensive set of features, including wireless charging, blood oxygen level monitoring, sleep tracking, automatic activity tracking, and Garmin’s highly regarded proprietary algorithms for assessing your fitness. While its operation might seem a bit cumbersome initially, you can easily adapt, especially when considering the watch’s impressive five-day battery life. For more fitness watch recommendations, be sure to check out our comprehensive Best Fitness Watches guide.
Google Pixel Watch 2
The original Pixel Watch lacked several features upon its release, but Google gradually incorporated them over a year. Consequently, the Pixel Watch 2 now essentially includes all desired features. It boasts auto-start and auto-stop workout detection, fall detection, SpO2 measurements, and a revamped Fitbit app with an appealing design. Google has introduced Safety Check this time, enabling you to share your location with emergency contacts if you fail to respond within a specific period. The new Body Response feature can identify both positive and negative stress, offering coping methods such as guided breathing sessions.
In my opinion, it remains the most aesthetically pleasing smartwatch and is exceptionally comfortable on the wrist. It excels in health and fitness features, providing reliable heart rate and sleep-tracking data, along with an improved workout screen that displays essential information at a glance, including heart rate zones. It allows for electrocardiograms and monitors irregular heart rates. Unfortunately, the battery life is merely satisfactory, lasting about a day, and the watch is not repairable. Any issues require a replacement under the one-year warranty. Additionally, I’m not thrilled about the use of another proprietary charger different from the original Pixel Watch charger, although it does charge the smartwatch faster.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
If you happen to own an Android smartphone, I found the TicWatch Pro 5 to be quite impressive. One standout feature is its exceptional battery life, surpassing competitors such as Google, Samsung, and Apple. With typical usage, I managed to squeeze out a solid three days of battery life, and what sets the TicWatch apart is its innovative dual-display technology. When actively using the watch, you interact with an OLED screen at the bottom, but there’s also a secondary ultra-low-power display on top for times when you’re not actively engaged with the watch. This top display conveniently shows the time, step count, and even heart rate data. Additionally, it benefits from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chipset, a newer and more efficient processor, resulting in minimal performance hiccups when operating this Wear OS 3 device.
The TicWatch Pro 5 incorporates a host of health-tracking features, including blood oxygen monitoring and sleep tracking, with results that closely align with those of the Apple Watch Series 8. Although it’s a substantial watch with a somewhat understated appearance, you can elevate its style by replacing the 24-mm straps with something more appealing. However, it’s worth noting that Google Assistant support is currently unavailable, and Mobvoi has yet to roll out Wear OS 3 updates to its previous watches, potentially resulting in a lengthy wait for this watch to receive the upcoming Wear OS 4 update.