Best smartwatches in 2020
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Smartwatches have become much faster and much more useful in the past few years and certain ones do stand out in the crowd, with each one having 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 smooth-running Tizen platform and attractive circular form factor. Let's explore all the worthy options that are on the table.
Summarized list of the best smartwatches in 2020:
Pst! You can also check out our round-up of the best hybrid smartwatches here.
#1: Apple Watch Series 6
Fast, functional, independent and with the best apps
The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch out there and the Series 6 introduced some notable new features. Those include the long-awaited sleep tracking, as well as handwashing detection, blood oxygen monitoring and a range of new fitness tracking options.
The Apple Watch excels in the fundamentals: it's comfortable to wear, it's fast and base apps like the weather, which are so crucial to the experience, deliver very accurate and precise information. We also love the health and fitness features: the heart rate monitor is extremely accurate, it gives a detailed breakdown of workouts and the 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.
Alternatively, the Apple Watch SE is a more affordable option that lacks some of the features of the Series 6, such as always-on display, blood oxygen tracking and ECG app support.
- Read our full Apple Watch Series 6 review here
#2: Huawei Watch GT2
Amazing 2-week battery life, sleek design
The Huawei Watch GT2 is a smartwatch that beats all the others in one key aspect: battery life. Huawei says it will last you two weeks on average, and in our experience, this number is not far from the truth.
Unlike other long-lasting smartwatches that use a monochrome display, this one uses full color and it also looks extremely well-made and stylish, especially if you opt in for the steel model with a leather band. It comes in two sizes, the bigger 46mm one is the more common, but there is also a small variation.
The good news is that it works with both Android and iOS, it delivers notifications promptly to your wrist, runs fairly well and it even has a loudspeaker.
- Read our full Huawei Watch GT2 review here
#3: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
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 too important to most users.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review here
#4: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Elegant and built to last
The Galaxy Watch 3 boasts a premium, classic watch design and a genuine leather strap. It features one of the best ways to interact with a smartwatch too – a rotating bezel. Running on Samsung's Tizen operating system, the Galaxy Watch 3 is perhaps the best pick for those who are already rocking a Samsung phone. It has a wide range of great first and third party apps, along with support for the Bixby smart assistant.
The Galaxy Watch 3 has plenty of watch face customization options and can track any types of physical activities, from walking and swimming to yoga. Its leather band color options are Black, Prime Black, Dark Brown, Brown and Pink, while the watch itself comes in two sizes – 41mm and 45mm. In addition to the base model that has Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS is also an LTE variant which can make and receive phone calls without the need of a smartphone.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review here
#5: Garmin Vivoactive 4
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 may also appreciate its physical buttons, instead of having to rely only on touchscreen gestures.
#6: 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. 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 generally a very appealing smartwatch.
#7: TicWatch Pro (2020)
A WearOS durability champ with dual layered displays
The TicWatch Pro (2020) sports a highly power-efficient LCD display on top of a standard AMOLED display. Thanks to this, it can last up to 30 days on a single charge, although without utilizing the LCD display too much, it has a fairly standard battery life of 2 days.
Since it's a WearOS smartwatch, it comes with a built-in Google Assistant and supports all the apps the platform offers. In addition, it has NFC, heartrate, workout and sleep tracking, and is built to be durable and waterproof.