Since James Bond’s watch also worked as a pager in the 1977 film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the world has been fascinated by the potential of watches to do more than just tell the time. These imagined inventions became a reality in 1998 with the first smartwatch.
Today’s smartwatch options are leaps and bounds beyond those early smartwatches, and they reached new levels of popularity as complements to smartphones. In the past decade, smartwatches have merged with fitness trackers to link to our cellphones and provide society with more capabilities and technology that previously thought possible. With so many smartwatch options on the market these days, it’s hard to know which is which and which would be right for you. Here we break down some of the best smartwatch options on the market today.
Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa Lite
In the modern era of smartwatches, one of their most popular features is fitness tracking. What better watch to turn to for this function than one that started out as a stand alone fitness tracker that evolved into a smartwatch in 2011. That year, FitBit (already a well known fitness tracker) added a digital clock and Bluetooth technology to track steps, distance, calories, sleep and more. From their inception, Fitbit smartwatches have been compatible with both iOS and Android phones, so they’re a versatile choice for the fitness-conscious smartwatch enthusiast, regardless of cellphone type.
Fitbit’s latest smartwatch is the Fitbit Versa 2. As a fitness focused brand, there is limited productivity outside of fitness tracking, but the phone does come with messaging integration and calendar notifications as well as smart home controls and music playing abilities. This model also comes with an oxygen level monitor, which works to monitor blood oxygen levels as wearers sleep. The Fitbit Versa 2 is reasonably priced at around US$175 (HK$1356).
Fitbit lovers may also want to consider the Fitbit Versa Lite, which is similar to the Versa 2 with fewer features. There’s no Fitbit Pay or onboard GPS, but at the price point of US$125 (HK$969), it’s one of the most affordable smartwatches in the game.
Since 2015, the Apple Watch has been the quintessential wearable companion to the iPhone. It is still considered the best smartwatch for iPhone owners – one of its top attributes is its perfect sync across Apple devices. Most iPhone apps have a watch version available, which allows users to use their watch in lieu of their phone for many functions.
There’s more than just app compatibility to the Apple Watch. It also tracks active calories, standing hours, steps and exercise minutes. The latest version of the device is the Apple Watch 6, which has new additions like blood oxygen monitoring. It’s water resistant to 50 meters and charges wirelessly.
There are multiple models available including the Series 5 and the SE, so Apple offers more options at different price points. This smartwatch does function only with iOS, so this choice is not right for everyone (we’re looking at you, Android users). The Apple Watch 6 is also a pricier smartphone at around US$400 (HK$3100).
Samsung Galaxy Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
TechRadar ranked the Galaxy Watch 3 as the best smartwatch on the market today. It is a sleek option following up the Samsung Galaxy Watch original from 2018. One of its most standout and unique features is its rotating bezel (the piece around the watch face) that gives users a navigation option outside of a touch screen.
This watch also looks the most like a traditional wristwatch for those looking for a more classic style. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices, but there are not as many apps readily available for the watch. It also tips the scale at around US$369 (HK$2860), so it’s on the pricier side.
If the Galaxy Watch sounds good, but you’re more interested in fitness tracking, then the Galaxy Watch Active might be the ideal choice for you. It’s more affordable than the Galaxy Watch at around US$200 (HK$1550), and it’s thinner, slimmer and lighter. There’s a rotating bezel for navigation on this smartwatch as well. Overall, the Galaxy Watch Active is very similar to the original Galaxy Watch. If you’re a fitness enthusiast and sticking to a budget, then the Galaxy Watch Active could be the perfect smartwatch option.
From a company that’s been in the watch game for 36 years comes the Fossil Sport. At just US$99 (HK$767), the Fossil Sport is the most affordable smartwatch on this list. It’s Android and iOS compatible and features GPS with a lightweight design.
Similar to Samsung, it looks more like a traditional wristwatch than other choices. It also can go two full days without needing to be charged. In Fossil tradition, the wristband is swappable and compatible with nearly any 18 mm or 22 mm wristband – which allows for more customization that other smartwatches. Overall, this is a great budget choice for those not overly concerned with apps but more interested in a stylish, time-telling fitness tracker.
As the smartwatch market heats up, even more smartwatch options will no doubt become available – especially as we come into the holiday season. These are some of the best smartwatch options as they are some of the most popular and longest running on the market. Find one that’s best for you for increasing your productivity and tracking health data to take your daily routine to the next level.
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