Top 10 Smart Watches based on Performance, Price and Safety – Pros and Cons
Since their launch, smartwatches have never stopped evolving to become more and more useful. Whether it’s to track our physical activities or to serve as a daily assistant, these gadgets are now fully integrated into our modern lives.
Apple Watch Series 8
The best smartwatch overall
What we love:
- A sumptuous and very bright screen.
- Powerful processor.
- Improved sports tracking.
- Fast charging.
- Great autonomy.
- Rather advanced sports functions.
- Very accurate GPS tracking.
- Good heart rate tracking.
- Only four colors.
- No AC adapter in the box.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best smartwatch of the year. Although it offers few improvements over the Apple Watch Series 7, it does have some nice improvements such as a temperature sensor, but also accident detection, whether for falls or car accidents. In case of lack of response from you, it can directly launch an emergency call.
On the design side, Apple has kept the same recipe for its Apple Watch Series 8. This beautiful smartwatch is available in 41 mm or 45 mm, in aluminum or stainless steel. The steel model has a sapphire glass screen while the aluminum version is equipped with Ion-X glass. For the 41 mm version, we have an AMOLED screen with a diagonal of 1.69 inches, and 1.9 inches for the 45 mm version. The Apple Watch Series 8 offers a really bright screen, even in direct sunlight, and an always-on mode that allows you to always keep a dial displayed on the screen.
In terms of health features, the Apple Watch 8 does not do anything fancy with its particularly good ECG, the possibility of knowing the level of oxygen in your blood and especially a GPS mode that will complement the automatic detection of the sport done, without having to set it. As a bonus, the Watch OS 9 update offers advanced sports functions: you will have more accurate data during your workouts and will be able to choose the information displayed, such as distance traveled or heart rate. You will also be able to make calls, check all your notifications, answer messages, pay without contact thanks to the integrated NFC. However, the only small drawback of the Apple Watch is its poor battery life. Indeed, the Series 8 will hardly exceed 18 hours of use. On the other hand, this new model offers an energy-saving mode that deactivates the always-on mode to push up the battery life to 36 hours.
Google Pixel Watch
The best smartwatch for Pixel smartphones
- Successful design.
- Comfortable to wear.
- The very good GPS tracking.
- Compatible applications.
- Simple and fluid interface.
- Bright Amoled screen.
- Complete health functions.
- Low autonomy.
- Large borders.
The Google Pixel Watch made its mark with its sleek design. With its light weight of less than 50 g, you can easily forget that you have it on the wrist. It has a beautiful round 1.2-inch AMOLED screen of 450×450 pixels. This screen capable of displaying up to 1000 nits and an always-on mode that allows you to see the time at a glance. It is protected by a curved part in Gorilla Glass 5.
The Exynos 9110 chip on board allows you to run Google Wear OS 3.5 without any problem. This OS is easy to use and well thought out. By Combining Google’s Wear OS with Fitbit’s own features, the Pixel Watch offers all the functionalities you would expect from a high-end smartwatch. Notably, call/text, mobile payment and home automation control features. You can choose from 40 exercise modes and see how many minutes of active zone you’ve reached, as well as how your heart rate changes throughout the day. And with access to the Play Store, you can customize it with a wide range of third-party apps like Strava, MyFitnessPal and more.
Thanks to Google’s 2021 acquisition of Fitbit, the Pixel Watch also benefits from advanced health features you can only find on Fitbit smartwatches. In terms of sensors, there is a compass, an altimeter, a blood oxygen sensor, an optical heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope… And a GPS, which is very useful for finding your way around without having to take your phone with you. The 4G version of the watch also has two microphones and a speakerphone so you can make phone calls directly from your wrist. The autonomy of this smartwatch is around 24 hours depending on your use. You will therefore have to remember to recharge it every day.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
The best fitness-tracking smartwatch
- Nice Amoled screen.
- Accuracy of the sensors.
- Many Garmin apps.
- Complete sports tracking.
- Excellent autonomy.
- calls and voice assistant.
- fluidity in the interface.
- Limited IQ app.
Garmin, a company that is well-known and well-respected among athletes for its smartwatches, has designed a Plus version of the Venu 2. Even though athletes have praised the original model, the manufacturer wanted to make it even better, so they came up with the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.
One difference between the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and its predecessor that is immediately noticeable to the naked eye is the addition of a third button to the device. The button in question is not merely there for the purpose of improving the 43mm watch’s aesthetics; rather, it enables the wearer to make and receive phone calls when the watch is synced with a smartphone that is compatible with it. Additionally, the chassis has been improved, resulting in a gain of 2 millimeters in comparison to the Garmin Venu 2. This connected watch comes equipped with both a speaker and a microphone so that the wearer can take and make phone calls using the device. You can accept or decline a call using just your voice thanks to compatibility with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Additionally, you can use it to exercise control over the automated components of your home. Likewise, you are able to transmit messages by using voice dictation.
Garmin has equipped the screen with Corning Gorilla 3, which is resistant to scratches, in order to protect everything else. Because it has a 5 ATM certification, the Venu 2 Plus is suitable for use in depths of up to 50 meters when participating in aquatic activities. This device is compatible with more than 20 different sports, and you can even design your fitness profile using Garmin Coach. You also get sensor that will monitor your health and sleep quality. On the luminous Amoled screen that has a resolution of 416 by 416 pixels, all of the information can be seen very clearly. The battery life is also strong, it can last up to 9 days.
Apple Watch SE (2022)
The best value smartwatch for iPhone users
- The rotating crown to navigate.
- Two full days of autonomy.
- Excellent heart rate tracking.
- Good GPS tracking.
- Good cardio sensor.
- Amoled screen bright and good size.
- Smooth and pleasant interface.
- Perfect integration into the Apple ecosystem.
- No always-on.
- Only for iPhone.
The 2022 Apple Watch SE has most of the features of the Apple Watch Series and offers multiple features. You will benefit from a sport and sleep tracking option, a 2nd generation optical heart sensor, the ability to calculate your blood oxygenation rate, and more. It high-precision GPS is capable of retranscribing your route perfectly, but also to orient you. But we lose some features such as the ECG or pulse oximeter.
The OLED screen of 40 mm is not left behind (368 x 448 pixels). Its brightness can reach 1000 cd/m². This way, you won’t have any problem to see even if the sun is glaring. Nevertheless, the edges are not curved and not as thin as for the Series range. The watch is still light and will be easily forgotten. However, we regret the absence of the always-on mode. As for the autonomy, even if it is not the strong point of the Apple Watch, you can still count on about two days of use before having to recharge it. So, if you have an iPhone and want to stay with Apple products without breaking the bank, the 2022 version of the Apple Watch SE is definitely the right choice for you.
Best mechanical smartwatch
- Very complete measurements.
- A sober and elegant design.
- A long autonomy.
- ECG and sleep apnea measurement.
- Limited functions.
- Low-definition screen.
If you didn’t know Withings, you should know that it is a French brand specialized in health devices. With its slim design and beautiful lines, the Withings Scan Watch 42 mm looks like a classic watch. However, this hybrid model has a small AMOLED screen that proves the contrary by displaying several additional information: the number of steps, the ECG, your notifications, etc. This is still quite limited compared to a high-end smartwatch.
At Withings, health is particularly in the spotlight and the data is easily made available and popularized in the dedicated application. There is a very good ECG mode, information on your sleep, your daily steps, your blood oxygen level or even monitoring modes for some sports. The watch will even be able to identify breathing disturbances, signs of sleep apnea, and so on. On the other hand, the smartwatch does not have GPS, but it will give you an autonomy of up to 30 days of use. Neat and easy to use, the Withings ScanWatch will appeal to fans of classic watches who still want to take advantage of some additional features and accurate, reliable health sensors.
Amazfit GTR 4
Best budget smartwatch
- Stylish and practical design.
- Highly accurate dual-band GPS.
- Automatic recognition of the training.
- Accurate pulse measurement.
- Budget friendly.
- Limited functions.
- Screen not very resistant .
If you are looking for a fitness smartwatch with good value for money, the Amazfit GTR 4 is for you. In our test, the smartwatch convinced us with its highly accurate dual-band GPS and automatic workout recognition. The GTR 4 also displays an overview of the load of the muscle groups at the end of the workout, just like the much more expensive Garmin models.
The GTR 4 even allows you to connect third-party chest belts. If you prefer a square design, you can choose the GTS 4, which offers almost the same spec sheet. The main shortcoming of the GTR 4 is the lack of some smartwatch features. You’ll only get Alexa support, smartphone notification display and a handful of apps. Amazfit’s smartwath doesn’t have features like mobile payment or quick message replies. But if you’re really interested in the sporty side of things, you won’t be disappointed by the Amazfit GTR 4.
The Garmin Fenix 7
The best smartwatch for sports.
What we love:
- Navigation via the touch screen or the physical buttons
- 3 sizes and 3 types of screen to choose from
- New Stamina and Race Trend Predictor modes
- At least 14 days of autonomy.
- Accurate health and fitness sensors.
- The Coach need some improvements.
- No LTE version.
The Garmin Fenix 7 is a terrific smartwatch both in terms of its features and its components. If its smartwatch side in simple use is already at its peak, it is especially in the world of sports that it will release its full potential. Its GPS map and real-time tracking are among the best available on the market. This powerful GPS navigation features and full-color mapping that includes roads, bike and ski trails, and 42,000 golf courses worldwide. With it, you don’t have to carry your phone with you to check your route, since everything is done inside the watch.
For your workouts as well, the Fenix 7 will help you increase your performance with its real-time Stamina mode and give you a detailed report about it on your smartphone. To complete its sports functions and capabilities in standard use, very good health sensors are present like an ECG and SpO2 sensor. They work both during the day and underwater and while you are sleeping. This smartwatch is therefore a great companion in everyday life, especially for athletes. It’s almost like having a coach on your wrist. The Fenix 7 series comes in three screen types (standard, solar and sapphire solar). The “Sapphire Solar” features ultra-tough sapphire screen and solar-charged screen technology. the Fenix 7 is a watch you can wear almost anywhere. It has a superb water resistance of 10ATM. Finally, you can also navigate on the interface thanks to the physical buttons present around the screen, and you and you are entitled to at least 14 days of autonomy. It is also a great alternative to Apple Watch Ultra we reviewed on our blog.
Apple Watch Ultra
The best smartwatch for safety and sports
What we like:
- Resistant and waterproof watch.
- Top notch screen.
- A great connected watch.
- Effective dual frequency GPS.
- Accurate heart rate tracking.
- Good battery life for an Apple Watch.
- Underused Action button.
- No integrated mapping.
- The price.
In 2022, Apple expanded its smartwatch lineup with an ultra-high-end watch designed for athletes. The Apple Watch Ultra has all the qualities of the Apple Watch Series 8, with the added bonus of longer battery life. With it, you get up to 3 days of use.
The Ultra is also more robust and will be able to follow you in all circumstances, including if it is below 0 degrees! It has an IP68 certification and is waterproof to 100m. The screen is also much more imposing: a sapphire glass of 1.92 inches with a definition of 502 × 410 pixels. Thanks to its brightness of up to 2000 nits and a night mode, the Apple Watch Ultra is readable and pleasant to use in any weather. The always-on mode will allow you to display the dial permanently, but it will also eat up the battery faster.
Moreover, the Apple Watch Ultra is equipped with an Action button with a rotating crown on the side. If the Ultra version shares many technical features with the Series 8, it offers a better tracking thanks to the improved GPS, a more powerful sound thanks to the addition of a second speaker, a siren of 86 dB that is activated in case of danger, a diving mode, a Wayfinder dial that will help in finding your way in any circumstances, an excellent heart rate monitoring, and many great features that you will love.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro
The best smartwatch for Android and for battery life
- Beautiful Amoled screen which is protected by a sapphire glass.
- Pleasant to wear despite its thickness.
- Intuitive Google Wear OS 3.5 system.
- GPS accuracy and cardio satisfactory.
- around 3 days of autonomy.
- Must have a Samsung Galaxy to get some health functions.
- Android compatible only.
We continue with a sure value: the Galaxy Watch 5 from Samsung. It comes in two versions: the standard Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro. The standard Galaxy Watch 5 is a version that is suitable for both sports and fashion. The Watch 5 Pro is more for sports use or adventure.
The Watch 5 is available with a 40mm or 44mm aluminum case. The Watch 5 Pro offers a 46mm titanium case, lighter and more resistant. On the screen, there are two sizes of Super AMOLED panel: 1.2 inches for the 40mm version and 1.4 inches for the 44mm and 46mm versions. The Watch 5 offers a sapphire crystal protection and the Watch 5 Pro a sapphire crystal protection, even more solid.
Both versions are waterproof to 5 meters and certified IP68. At the sensor level, you get: heart rate monitor, an electrocardiogram, an accelerometer, composition and body temperature, gyroscope. But also, other sensors that allow you to obtain your body fat rate, measure your oxygen level or find your way thanks to the GPS. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have the Health Monitor application from Samsung to follow all these data. In addition to the sports tracking, which is done by alarm reminder to reach your goal, it is possible to call and receive calls, but also to answer your messages or consult applications. The Galaxy Watch 5 reaches 50 hours of autonomy and up to 80 hours for its Pro version.
Best for Small Wrists
What we like:
- Pulse oximeter and On-board pregnancy tracking
- Stylish design and Excellent companion app.
- Up to 5 days of battery life
- water resistance at 5 ATM.
- No onboard GPS
- No music storage
Garmin never misses an opportunity to address the concept smartwatch for women. The brand has surpassed all expectations with the Lily. With this new range, women are entitled to a watch that is well proportioned to their wrist, while some manufacturers still impose sizes that are too big.
In accordance with their mission statement, Garmin offers a simple and easy to use interface, but elegance is part of the game. Moreover, with this Garmin Lyli watch, you will benefit from an exceptional 5-day battery life. Therefore, it is the perfect choice for those who want to track their health and training with ease. Especially since the device was developed with the needs of users in mind, since it provides useful information for all kinds of activities. Among other things, a very accurate heart rate sensor makes it an ideal device for the most athletic. Similarly, the sleep tracking is both detailed and free of false readings.
However, while they bring a certain charm to this smartwatch, the patterns displayed on the screen can sometimes be distracting. Moreover, the use of a proprietary charger remains a point to be deplored, while the whole sector is pivoting towards standard solutions. Nevertheless, these small flaws cannot make the rest of the Garmin Lily falter. This smartwatch is a real gem of a balance between elegance and functionality.