The best smartwatches in 2022 (May update)
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Smartwatches have become much faster and more useful in the past few years, with some really standing out from the crowd. From the popular Apple Watch with its fast performance and great compatibility with the iOS ecosystem, to the Samsung line of smartwatches which have now moved on to Google's Wear OS platform and only work with Android phones. We're even about to get a Google Pixel Watch soon!
Let's explore all the worthy smartwatch options that are on the table right now, and find out which one is the best choice for you!
Best smartwatches in 2022, summarized list:
- Apple Watch Series 7 - the de facto best choice for iPhone users
- Apple Watch SE - a more affordable version of the Apple Watch
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 - Samsung's most recent light and sporty smartwatch
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic - elegant and build to last
- Garmin Vivoactive 4 - long battery life, good with both iOS and Android
- Fossil Gen 5 - a solid Wear OS smartwatch option
- TicWatch Pro (2020) - power-efficient, solid build
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 is easily the best smartwatch you can put on your wrist — with a rich app ecosystem as well as fleshed out health features. From heart-rate metering to ECG and blood oxygen monitoring, to sleep tracking and hand-washing reminders. It also tracks a good amount of workouts and is pretty much among the most accurate fitness trackers as well. Not to mention, it can go completely autonomous with an eSIM providing its own LTE connection. Supports Apple Pay.
- Read our full Apple Watch Series 7 review here
Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE is a bit more dialed-back version of the Series 6. No ECG and blood oxygen monitoring and no always-on screen. But it still supports all of the apps and workouts available and it has the facelift design — thin bezels, unlike the Apple Watch Series 3, which looks pretty dated by now. The SE also supports eSIM for autonomous use. Supports Apple Pay.
Overall, the Apple Watch SE is the best 2022 smartwatch for Apple users who don't really need all the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterpart.
- Read our full Apple Watch SE review here
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung's Galaxy Watch line is pretty respectable as an Android-friendly alternative to the Apple Watch. The new Galaxy Watch 4 has a nice, premium aluminum and glass build, yet it's also conveniently light. It has IP68 dust and water resistance, and it's shock resistant too.
Running on Wear OS 3, this smartwatch covers all the basics – a plethora of workout trackers as well as sleep tracking, and plenty of great apps to choose from. As for the Galaxy Watch 4's battery life, it can last up to 40 hours on a single charge, and it charges fast too. According to Samsung, a 30-minute charge can add up to 10 hours of battery life.
The Galaxy Watch 4 packs a BioActive sensor, which is basically three health trackers in one package. Samsung's BioActive sensor consists of an optical heart rate monitor paired with an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor and a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis sensor, with the latter capable of measuring body fat.
So needless to say, this is a great fitness tracking smartwatch for Android users. Because yes – and this is very important to note – the Galaxy Watch 4 is not compatible with iPhones.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 hands-on here
#4: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Much like the Galaxy Watch 4, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic no longer runs Samsung's Tizen operating system, now using Wear OS 3 instead, and is currently only compatible with Android phones.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has a timeless watch design, elegant and unisex, IP68 water and dust resistance and even MIL-STD-810G shock resistance. It has a rotating bezel, which older Samsung Watch fans will be happy to see return. Despite its more elegant design, this is still a capable fitness watch, should you want it to be one. It can monitor your steps, calories burned, your stress levels, and body composition, plus it can automatically detect when you start training.
In our usage it lasted about a single day per battery charge, which is a far cry from Samsung's claimed up to 40 hours. So we can consider this a single-day battery life watch that will likely need charging every night.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review here
Garmin Vivoactive 4
The Vivoactive 4 offers up to 8 days of battery life in full smartwatch mode. It achieves this with a power-saving screen (transflective memory-in-pixel) instead of a flashy OLED panel. It can pair to both Android and iOS, and you can take calls on it if you are on Android. It has a fleshed-out health-tracking suite, including a thermometer and a blood oxygen meter, as well as sleep and all the basics. Has its own Garmin Pay app for mobile payments.
Fossil Gen 5
If you want a different smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 5 is the best one running Google's Android Wear OS platform. Gen 5 comes in many different styles to pick from. You get the Google Assistant on board here, and the full set of heart rate monitoring, fitness and health tracking features that you expect on a smartwatch. Can pair up with both Android and iOS, but — of course — you get the most out of it on Android. Has LTE version and supports Google Pay.
TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 sports a highly power-efficient LCD display on top of a standard AMOLED display, which can take its battery life all the way up to 30 days. Since it's a Wear OS smartwatch, it comes with a built-in Google Assistant, Google Pay, the Google Fit features, and supports LTE connectivity via eSIM.
Which one's going on your wrist?
There we have them, the best fitness smartwatches, health tracking smartwatches or simply elegant ones you can get right now in early 2022. Ultimately (and unsurprisingly) the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch for those who are into Apple's ecosystem, while Samsung's Galaxy Watch series are the best smartwatches for fans of the Korean giant and Android users in general, even if those work well enough with iOS also.
If you're still unsure whether you even need a smartwatch, we have the following helpful article for you - Do you really need a smartwatch? In it, we take a look into how a smartwatch works, whether smartwatches are worth it and how they can help you in your daily life.