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The Best Smart Watch

Last updated on January 28, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Smart Watches and dug through the reviews from 132 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, PC Magazine, Digital Trends, The Verge, Tom's Guide, Engadget, Wired, Consumer Reports, CNET, Laptop Magazine, Product Review, Tech Gear Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best Smart Watches.

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is the #1 trusted product review site. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Smart Watches and also dug through the reviews from 132 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, PC Magazine, Digital Trends, The Verge, Tom's Guide, Engadget, Wired, Consumer Reports, CNET, Laptop Magazine, Product Review, Tech Gear Lab and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Smart Watches.

Our Picks For The Top Smart Watches

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Apple

Watch 4

Overall Take

Although it boasts the highest cost, the Apple Watch Series 4 has all the bells and whistles, including Raise to Speak Siri and a less bulky screen. An Apple Watch will also give you a fuller selection of apps than watches that run on other operating systems.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tom’s Guide, Digital Trends, The Verge, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, CNET and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
"Big, beautiful display. Advanced health sensors. Faster processing power. Useful Raise to Speak Siri"
Cons
"The Apple Watch’s battery capacity is unknown, but Apple says it will last for around 18 hours before it needs a recharge using the included magnetic charging disk. The quoted time is on the conservative side, depending on your use...."

Samsung

Gear 3

Overall Take

With the Samsung Gear 3, you'll get a battery life of up to four days, compared to other watches that provide charge for only 18 hours. You'll also have access to Samsung Pay, which is now accepted at a wide variety of retailers.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, Tom’s Guide, CNET, Engadget, Consumer Reports, Product Review and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
"Animated always-on display. Great activity tracking. Intuitive interface"
Cons
"Very limited app selection. Heavy"

Apple

Watch Series 3

Overall Take

You can enjoy access to all of the Apple Watch's benefits without the high price by going with this slightly older model. You'll get a clear display, phone capabilities and access to the vast iOS app ecosystem.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Tom’s Guide, CNET, Engadget, The Verge and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Target and Amazon.
Pros
"Good smartwatch battery life. Clear, bright screen. Fantastic fitness features"
Cons
"LTE has a big impact on battery life. Needs more dedicated watch apps to make use of LTE. Need to wait for Apple Music streaming. Siri doesn't always work. No LTE roaming"
  The Best Value

Fitbit

Versa

Overall Take

If you're looking for a health tracking device, you can't go wrong with a Fitbit. The Versa provides advanced sleep tracking and health monitoring, as well as other conveniences, like the ability to read incoming texts.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Trusted Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Tech Radar, The Verge, Engadget, Wired and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
"Excellent battery life. Slick, comfortable design. Lots of tracking options. Swim-proof. Bright, clear screen"
Cons
"Small app store. No on-board GPS. Limited actionable notifications"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the smart watches available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

132

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, PC Magazine, Digital Trends, The Verge.

112,908

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart.

DWYM is the #1 product review aggregator. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Apple Watch 4

Expert Summarized Score
8.8
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
9 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

Although it boasts the highest cost, the Apple Watch Series 4 has all the bells and whistles, including Raise to Speak Siri and a less bulky screen. An Apple Watch will also give you a fuller selection of apps than watches that run on other operating systems.

What other experts liked
Big, beautiful display. Advanced health sensors. Faster processing power. Useful Raise to Speak Siri
- Tom's Guide
November 13, 2018 | Full review
Great design and build quality. Excellent, user-friendly software. Comprehensive, motivational health and fitness features. Can replace your phone for a short time. Plenty of colors, straps, and third-party accessories
- Digital Trends
October 5, 2018 | Full review
Great battery life. Huge, beautiful screen. Health-tracking features, not just fitness
- The Verge
September 19, 2018 | Full review
The design alone is a big upgrade, with the screen offering far more visibility, and while the health benefits are only going to help a subset of users, they're welcome and show the direction Apple is heading.
- Tech Radar
September 25, 2018 | Full review
Feels great to wear. Screen is gorgeous. Huge amount of strap options. Fantastic array of fitness and health features. It motivates you so well to be active
- Trusted Reviews
October 22, 2018 | Full review
The Apple Watch Series 4 offers a larger, crisp display that shows more with less bezel, superfast speed and a louder speaker. It adds high and low heart-rate detection, fall detection with SOS trigger, and (eventually) FDA-cleared EKG for more detailed heart readings.
- CNET
October 19, 2018 | Full review
The watch face is not only bigger but also flatter, making it less bulky. And, thanks to sleeker bezels, there's no big, black border surrounding the enlarged display. And, like earlier models, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a champ when it comes to readability in bright and low-light...
- Consumer Reports
October 23, 2018 | Full review
Bigger and improved screen. Long battery life. Much-improved performance. Accurate step tracking. Walkie-Talkie conversations are a blast. New heart features could save lives. Talking to Siri is easier.
- Engadget
September 27, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
ECG app not available at launch. Expensive
- Tom's Guide
November 13, 2018 | Full review
The Apple Watch’s battery capacity is unknown, but Apple says it will last for around 18 hours before it needs a recharge using the included magnetic charging disk. The quoted time is on the conservative side, depending on your use. If you’re using GPS, fitness tracking, or cellular, then 18...
- Digital Trends
October 5, 2018 | Full review
Siri is still unreliable. No always-on screen option. Complication options can be confusing
- The Verge
September 19, 2018 | Full review
If it had better battery life, and thus able to track sleep, the Watch 4 could have been the perfect smartwatch.
- Tech Radar
September 25, 2018 | Full review
It won’t last multiple days without needing a charge. Still won’t track sleep natively. No always-on display is irritating.
- Trusted Reviews
October 22, 2018 | Full review
Starting prices are higher than last year. Battery life still won't last past two days. Watch face options are still very limited in choice and function. Only works with iPhones.
- CNET
October 19, 2018 | Full review
People who wear reading glasses might still have trouble reading the display without them.
- Consumer Reports
October 23, 2018 | Full review
More expensive than ever. Transferring LTE service can be tricky. ECG feature isn't ready yet. Some watch faces feel like information overload. Rival watches have even better battery life.
- Engadget
September 27, 2018 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Fitbit Versa

Expert Summarized Score
7.8
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
3,990 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

If you're looking for a health tracking device, you can't go wrong with a Fitbit. The Versa provides advanced sleep tracking and health monitoring, as well as other conveniences, like the ability to read incoming texts.

What other experts liked
Excellent battery life. Slick, comfortable design. Lots of tracking options. Swim-proof. Bright, clear screen
- Trusted Reviews
October 20, 2018 | Full review
Sleek, lightweight design. Four-day battery life. Female health-tracking features. Insightful sleep analysis
- Tom's Guide
November 20, 2018 | Full review
Lightweight design. Fitbit’s most customizable wearable. Relatively low price
- Tech Radar
Flat, lightweight build. Compatible with iOS and Android. Tracks a wide variety of health / fitness stuff. Four-day battery life
- The Verge
March 26, 2018 | Full review
Best-looking Fitbit yet. Bright colorful screen. Affordable for what it offers. Long-lasting battery
- Engadget
March 26, 2018 | Full review
Unobtrusive and attractive. Affordable. Easy to accessorize and personalize. Accurate sleep, heart rate, and activity monitoring. Lots of useful apps like Relax, Weather, and Timer. Long battery life.
- Wired
Very accurate for counting steps. Excellent display readability in bright sunlight. Excellent display readability in low light. WiFi connectivity. In our water immersion test it passed the manufacturer's claim of 164 feet for 10 minutes
- Consumer Reports
The Fitbit Versa is a compact, lightweight smartwatch and fitness tracker with an improved interface for easier fitness stat readouts. It’s water-resistant to 50 meters, and works with iOS and Android. Many of the apps and watch faces are useful and fun. Multiday battery life beats the Apple Watch.
- CNET
April 22, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
No built-in GPS. Shortage of apps. Passive notifications
- Trusted Reviews
October 20, 2018 | Full review
Small app store. No on-board GPS. Limited actionable notifications
- Tom's Guide
November 20, 2018 | Full review
Rounded design won't suit everyone. Battery life not as good as Ionic. No GPS
- Tech Radar
Poor notification support. Swapping bands sucks. No data sharing with Apple Health or Google Fit
- The Verge
March 26, 2018 | Full review
No GPS built in. Lacks NFC payments
- Engadget
March 26, 2018 | Full review
Everyone will think it's an Apple Watch. No Spotify. Can't respond to texts, or even read most of them.
- Wired
No GPS tracking. Short claimed battery life of 4 days. Requires included proprietary charging cable or accessories which can be expensive and time consuming to replace. This base model does not have NFC, so to use Fitbit Pay you have to buy the more expensive Versa Special...
- Consumer Reports
Its battery life falls short of other Fitbit fitness trackers. The apps and watch faces aren’t always easy to load. Music transfer to the watch is complicated and limited. There's no on-board GPS and the charger is bulky. Tap-to-pay model costs a bit more in the US.
- CNET
April 22, 2018 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Apple Watch 4
Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

2. Samsung Gear 3
Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 10

3. Apple Watch Series 3
Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

4. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

5. Huawei
Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 5

6. Fitbit Versa
Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 11

7. Garmin 3
Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 8

8. Samsung Galaxy
Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 11

9. ASUS Zenwatch 2
Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 6

10. Samsung Gear 2
Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 7

An Overview On Smart Watches

Watches have gone well beyond merely telling the time. You can read incoming texts and emails, monitor your health stats and even make and receive phone calls, all from the device on your wrist. But there’s more than one smartwatch player in town, and the choices can be overwhelming.

Chances are, one of the top deciding factors when choosing a smartwatch is the type of smartphone you own. If you have an iPhone, you’ll find the best compatibility in an Apple Watch. If, on the other hand, you own an Android-based smartphone, an Android-based watch like the Samsung S3 may be a better choice. While most watches can pair with other operating systems, you’ll get the most out of one with the same operating system as your phone.

Then there’s the Fitbit line of fitness trackers. Once merely designed to measure the steps you take each day, these wearables have gotten much more sophisticated over time. Models like the Fitbit Versa have a few of the same features as the iOS- and Android-based watches, offering functions like texting and contactless payment.

Your choice of smartwatch will probably be driven by your needs. If you just need health tracking, for instance, you may not get enough out of the other features to make it worth the extra expense. However, the price variations are minimal — especially if you’re open to an older model, like the Apple Watch Series 3, rather than needing to have the latest and greatest.

With smartwatches, many features are driven by the available apps. You can play games on both Apple and Samsung watches, for instance, but you’re limited by the apps that have been created for those versions. The Apple Watch is by far the top choice in this arena since third-party developers are lining up to make apps that work with the technology. Before you buy, make sure the apps you want are available for whichever watch you’re considering.

After searching the app store, you’ll also want to consider the look and feel of each of the watches. The Samsung Gear S3 has a more traditional watch look, but you may find more bands you like in the Apple Watch. Since the faces of both types of watches are customizable, you’re sure to find a look that works with your own unique tastes.

DWYM Fun Fact

Like other wearables, smartwatches are expected to continue to expand their functionality in the coming years. The field of medicine has especially been interested in the technology, wanting to move beyond heart rate and step tracking to keep patients healthy. Wearables can already help wearers track their menstrual cycles to know when they’re ovulating, as well as tracking moods to help with stress. But medical professionals hope to eventually refine the technology to monitor glucose levels and warn wearers when there might be a heart-related health issue. Smartwatches can also be built to sense when you’re driving and reduce notifications. Apple is reportedly also looking at ways that users could use hand gestures to control their watches, which will effectively reduce the current reliance on voice commands.

The Smart Watch Buying Guide

  • You’ll be wearing your watch every day, so appearance is important. Taste plays a big part in this, but Apple Watches have a very basic look. The Samsung Gear S3 looks the most like a traditional watch. With Apple’s watches and the Samsung Gear S3, though, you can change out the digital watch face to suit your mood — or to match your outfit.
  • The Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S3 and the Fitbit Versa all build in advanced fitness tracking, although this is one area where Fitbit outdoes all others. You’ll get accuracy and more information with a dedicated fitness band. Samsung’s tracking is the least accurate of the three watch groups.
  • If you choose a watch with cellular built in, you’ll be able to accept and make calls and texts even when you’re away from your phone. You’ll have to pay an additional monthly fee for that, though, in addition to paying more for the watch. Only the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 and the Samsung Gear S3 have this feature. To use this phone capability, you’ll need to have a device that’s compatible with the watch you choose, which means a phone with iOS for the Apple Watch or an Android-based one for the Samsung watch.
  • In addition to phone functionality, you’ll also need the right smartphone to take full advantage of the Apple or Samsung watch’s features. The Fitbit can sync with either iOS or Android, allowing you to accept texts and connect to the Fitbit app.
  • When you put your smartwatch on, you want it to run on battery power for at least the entire workday. The Apple Watch Series 3 or 4 will run for up to 18 hours on a charge. Both the Samsung Gear S3 and the Fitbit Versa promise battery life of up to four days, but this will vary depending on use.
  • If you own a smartphone, you’re probably already aware of the apps that are available for your operating system. The same situation will apply to your smartwatch. Apple has far more apps than Samsung, although both manufacturers suffer from a shortage of apps specific to smartwatches. Fitbit’s bands are even more limited, with these bands primarily used to track health data.
  • Since you’re wearing it on your wrist every day, it’s important to find a band that won’t weigh you down. Apple’s smartwatches are the lightest, with the Series 3 weighing 1.12 ounces and the Series 4 weighing 1.69 ounces. Samsung’s Gear S3 weighs slightly more, at 2.24 ounces, while the Fitbit Versa weighs 5.1 ounces.
  • In addition to weight, it’s also important to consider how much real estate the watch will take up on your wrist. The Apple Watch is available in two sizes, 40 mm and 44 mm, so you can choose the size that works best with your wrist. The display area of the Gear S3 is smaller, totaling only 33 mm, or 1.3 inches.
  • One popular feature of today’s smartwatches is the ability to pay at the register without taking out your wallet. All of the watches have payment built in. You’ll just need to add your credit card before you start shopping. There are benefits to Samsung Pay, though, including wider acceptance and the ability to earn points through shopping. With Fitbit Pay, you’ll have a tough time finding a place that accepts it, so it might be best to go with the other watches if that’s important to you.
  • With limited screen space, voice control is essential in a smartwatch. Apple Watch builds in Siri, while Android watches use the Google Assistant. One plus in Apple Watch’s favor is that you can activate Siri through Raise to Speak, as long as you set it up in settings. The Fitbit does not have voice control.
  • Previously, active smartwatch wearers were disappointed that they couldn’t track their activity while swimming. Newer watch models correct that, but you’ll need to keep an eye on their limits. The Gear S3 is designed to be submerged in up to 1.5 meters for only 30 minutes or less. The Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 are limited to up to 50 meters with no time constraint mentioned.
  • No matter which band you choose, you’ll still have to charge it at least every few days. Apple watches use a magnetic charging cable that’s easy to connect. The Gear S3 and Fitbit Versa use a charging dock that you rest your watch on when you’re ready to charge.
  • Sleep tracking can provide valuable information, and the Fitbit Versa excels in this area. The Apple Watch still can’t track this without an additional app, but you can download apps to help with that. The Samsung Gear S3 provides better sleep tracking, but you’ll still only see how long you slept, not how many hours you spent in light, deep and REM sleep.
  • When you’re tracking your heart rate and sleep, you likely don’t want to be without your watch for long. The Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa take up to two hours to charge to 100 percent, while the Samsung Gear S3 is just over that, at 127 minutes.
  • The band is an important part of the look and feel of your watch. The bad news is, each smartwatch comes with a similar-looking plain black band. But the good news is that there’s no shortage of bands available for purchase for each watch type, both from the manufacturer and third-party resellers. Look around at your options before you make a decision.
  • If you plan to stream music from your watch, Apple or Samsung watches will be the best option, since the Fitbit Versa requires you to manually transfer music in a multistep process.
  • For those who are on a budget, the Apple Series 4 will likely be off the list since prices top $400. But you can get a Series 3 for under $279. The Gear S3 undercuts that price even further, at roughly $230, and you can get the Fitbit Versa for around $180. Plus, there are regular sales on smartwatches to keep an eye out for.