Best smartwatches in 2019

Best smartwatches in 2019
Smartwatches have become much faster and much more useful in the past few years and now there are some genuinely exciting ones.

Some devices, however, do stand out in the crowd, and each one has its own pros and cons. From the popular Apple Watch with its fast performance and great compatibility with the iOS ecosystem, to the Samsung line of smartwatches with their rotating bezel design and attractive circular form factor, to all the rest, let's explore all the worthy options that are on the table.

Stick with us and tell us what's your personal favorite in the comments section below.

#1: Apple Watch Series 5

GPS from $400, Cellular from $500
Fast, functional, independent and with the best apps

The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch out there and the Series 5 (S5) is all about one key improvement: an always-on display. This is made possible to a brand new type of a screen used on the S5, one with a variable refresh rate, so when you are not using it the screen will refresh only once a second compared to 60 times a second when you actively use the watch. This has allowed Apple to maintain the same 18-hour battery life on the S5.

The rest is pretty much unchanged: you have the S5 in either a smaller, 40mm size, or a larger, 44mm version. WatchOS feels incredibly fast, swapping watchfaces is a breeze and happens with a simple swipe, and the watchfaces themselves are beautiful.

The Apple Watch excels in the fundamentals: it's comfortable to wear, it's fast and base apps like the weather that are so crucial to the experience deliver a very accurate and precise info. We also love the health and fitness features: the heart rate monitor is extremely accurate, it gives a detailed breakdown of workouts and the new EKG feature is useful. And of course, the rings system is great for fitness and helps you stay motivated to hit those fitness goals every single day.

#2: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Around $250

Works with both Android and iOS, looks good and has double the battery life of an Apple Watch

If you don’t want to be tied to the Apple ecosystem yet want a true smartwatch that is comfortable to wear, has reliable performance and a beautiful screen, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is probably your best bet.

At a price more affordable than the Apple Watch, it still ticks most of the boxes: it comes in two sizes at 40mm and 44mm, it features a more premium stainless steel version that looks beautiful, it performs fast, has great automatic workout tracking and supports a bunch of activities. It doesn't quite have the same amount of apps as the Apple Watch, nor the refined haptics of that wearable, but those seem like details that are not quite all that important.

#3: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Around $300
Elegant and built to last

The second best option for smartwatches currently is the Samsung Galaxy Watch family: it comes in two sizes, a smaller, 42mm model, and a very big and beefy 46mm one.

This is the familiar Gear-inherited design with rather brute looks and a rotating bezel for navigation.

It's important to know that unlike its smartphones, the Samsung watches don't run on Android: they run the company's own Tizen platform. The Galaxy Watches run smoothly and feature two-day plus battery life.

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Around $300

Great battery life and tough design

If you want a watch that will exceed your expectations for battery life and reliability, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 is probably the watch for you. It doesn't have the full-color screen you see on other smartwatches and instead goes with a sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel type of screen that lacks the flare, but is the key ingredient for the multi-day battery life on the Vivoactive 4. Garmin says this watch will last up to 8 full days in smartwatch mode, compared to just a day or two on traditional smartwatches.

Plus, you'd appreciate having physical buttons here and not having to rely only on touchscreen gestures.

The most notable update to the Vivoactive lineup is not a single feature, but just having two different sizes, a smaller and a larger one, making it easier to pick the right one for different sized wrists. Of course, there are also a few new features that come in handy and music is now included in all models.

Fossil Gen 5

The best of Wear OS

If you want a different smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 5 is the best one running Google's Android Wear OS platform. And yes, you are forgiven to think that platform was dead, but it's not and in fact, Google will be investing new effort in it in 2020.

You do get the Google Assistant on board here, which is still the fastest and most knowledgeable voice assistant, you get a very stylish smartwatch, and you get the full set of heart rate monitoring, fitness and health tracking features that you expect on a smartwatch. It's priced reasonably lower than the Apple Watch and it's a generally very likable smartwatch.


The comment section has been disabled for this story.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.