Although smartwatches have existed for a long, long time, their foray into the mainstream is only recent. With companies like Samsung, Apple, Asus, Huawei, and several others are working day and night to improve the watches, and truly make the experience a lot better.
Amidst all this, there lies the consumer mindset that still believes that the traditional, analog watches are way, way better as they are crafted with great precision, as well as perfection. This has led to numerous debates how smartwatches shouldn’t exist, or are considered bane of the wrist watch concept.
Still, for people who actually prefer their watches display all the necessary information that comes to their phone, all tied into one ecosystem actually consider smartwatches to be very useful, and following that into the market, the smartwatch industry at this point is creating a separate entity for itself.
Best Smartwatches 2019
This has allowed the manufacturers to push better and better smartwatches into the market, allowing their consumers to have a sense of choice when it comes to finding the right product that caters to all their needs from a wearable device.
Features such as heart rate monitors, and plethora of other sensors have made their way into the smartwatches, allowing them to truly transform the wearable experience into something better, and versatile at the same time.
Since the market at this point is filled with smartwatches of all sorts, we took it on ourselves to take a look at the finest smartwatches you can buy, but first, we are going to be looking at some of the important information about the smartwatches.
Our Top 5 Pics below:
1. S928 Sports Watch – Affordable
If you are looking for a great smartwatch that does not cost a lot of money, the S928 Sports Watch might be a great option. It is one of the cheapest smartwatch on my list, and while I am normally adamant when it comes to testing such items, it intrigued me to the core.
The watch is designed rather simply, and instead of having a fancy display or high resolution, it uses a simple, monochromatic display. Honestly, I do not mind that at all, smartwatches are all about being simplistic in my opinion, and the S928 Sports Watch does a great job at that.
Where it lacks a display, the S928 Sports Watch makes up by providing some of the best features that you can want in a smartwatch. In order to make things easier for the reader, I am listing down the features below.
- Heart Rate Monitor: The watch comes with a heart rate monitor that is able to provide real time heart rate updates.
- GPS: The S928 Sports Watch also come with a built in 3D accelerometer + gyroscope3D, allowing the users to be able to track every move they make throughout their workout regime.
- Outdoor Data: The watch is also capable of keeping a record of the outdoor data, meaning that you get real time updates on how the weather condition is outside. Allowing you to be able to plan your workout carefully.
These are some of the basic or advanced features that are in the watch. While they may not look enough, it is important to know that these features work throughout the entire ecosystem of the watch, allowing these sensors to take full control of the situation.
The smartwatch can be controlled through an app that is available on both iOS and Android. Honestly, the app is as basic as it can get, and can use a bit more polish. There are a few more things that I did not understand about the watch; you cannot change the time format to 12 hours if you want to.
In addition to that, the watch itself only supports English as a language, while the app itself has 12 languages in total. This inconsistency can be an issue for people who don’t have English as their primary language, and even though 12 languages are nice to have, they are just enough.
The good thing here is that the app is being constantly updated by the developer, so I can assume that additional languages will be added sometime in the future. Same goes for the watch as the firmware can be updated when released.
All in all, the S928 is a decent smartwatch for Android, it is inexpensive, works as it is supposed to, and does not come with unnecessary features that can drain the battery. I would say that this smartwatch comes with the bare essentials, and definitely has a market amongst the giants.
Sure, the lack of advanced features, and languages is alarming, but you also need to take price into consideration when you are reviewing a product.
- Simple and likeable design
- Good looks and build quality
- Plethora of sensors
- Works with Android
- Severe lack of extra features
- App is not as polished
- Only supports English language
2. Pebble Time Smartwatch –Cheap and Simple
While several companies are trying to create a breakthrough in the smartwatch market, Pebble is keeping things nice and simple for people like me who prefer simplicity over anything else. I say hello to the Pebble Time Smartwatch, a very simple, and probably amongst the cheapest smartwatches in this list.
Opening the box surprised me through and through, the watch was simply put in the box, and looked very minimal. It comes in a rubber band strap, or a steel strap for those who want to have a choice. The watch I have comes with the steel strap, and I must say, it looks premium for the price.
The Pebble Time Smartwatch has an always-on reflective colour display that looks good enough, but is on the dimmer side when you are looking at it under direct sunlight. It also comes with water resistance, allowing you to wear the watch even in the showers or in the rain.
I am pleased to say that the watch also happens to have a pretty decent battery time, it lasted me 4 days. However, I have to point the fact out that the use was not constant since I charged the watch in between the days but never charged it to the full. Still, it goes without saying that the battery timing is good.
The watch also has onboard storage that can hold slew of your favourite apps that are compatible with the watch’s OS. While I do not mind a watch without inbuilt storage, having this feature is a good thing. Obviously, with all the storage, you can store whatever you want on the watch, and load it with apps.
Another interesting thing I like about this watch is the fact that it can support watch faces that are built for both Android and iOS. Meaning that you will never run out of these faces when it comes to customizing your watch the way you prefer. Majority of the supported apps are also free.
There are some things that I do not like about the Pebble Time though; the fitness trackers are there along with all the sensors; the apps they use look very unpolished. The display is also a bit dim in broad day light, and gets hard to read.
Another concern that I have to raise is that despite the fact that there are countless watch faces and apps, the quality is a mix. You can find some really amazing apps and watch faces right next to some really bad ones, and sometimes a lot of bad ones at the same time.
Lastly, my biggest issue with the smartwatch is related to the fact that there is no touchscreen on it. This makes the navigation a bit difficult for me, especially when I just want to get things done.
In conclusion, the Pebble Time smartwatch is a great option for people who are looking for the best smartwatch under $100. It’s inexpensive, looks simple, has a lot of features, and a long battery life. Some minor inconveniences cannot hold a candle against the watch.
- Simple, understated design
- Plenty of apps and watch faces
- Watch faces from Android and iOS work
- Good battery life
- Water resistant
- The display is dim to read under direct light
- Not all watch faces and apps are as good
- The fitness apps are not polished enough
- There is no touch screen
3. Samsung Gear S3 – Modern with Lots of Features
For years Samsung’s Gear series of smartwatches have been dominating the market for all the right reasons. This is what happens when you take clever marketing and amazing products in order to combine them together. The Gear S3 is definitely one of my favourite smartwatches.
Right out of the box, you can tell that the S3 is a top smartwatch; released earlier this year, the S3 focuses on everything that was right in the previous versions, and adds even more features than before. Sure, I know it costs comparatively higher than some of the other options on the list, but it is okay.
Starting off, the build quality is extremely pleasing, with premium quality materials used throughout the construction. The watch definitely feels like a fashion statement as much as it feels like a premium smartwatch.
Unlike some of the other smartwatches in the market, the Gear S3 does not run on Android Wear, instead, it runs on Samsung’s own OS called Tizen. Before my review, I had my doubts about this OS as it is still something new, and unknown to me.
Luckily, upon using the watch for a week, I can say that the OS is promising, however, the severe lack of apps may keep some users at bay. Samsung recently pushed an updated to this watch, allowing you to save offline Spotify playlists onto the 4GB of storage.
This feature makes my life easy because I no longer have to rely on my data connection to listen to the music whenever I am outside. The Gear S3 has an animated always-on display, and unlike some of the other watches I use on a standard basis, this is one gorgeous display, courtesy of Samsung.
Another great thing that I like about the Gear S3 is the fact that it comes loaded with activity trackers of all sorts, and while several people might feel skeptical about it, especially when you think about the amount of permissions it requires. It actually is not that big of an issue to be honest.
The Gear S3 also offers a great, intuitive interface that is among the best I have seen in any smartwatch. All of these good features combine and make this a top smartwatch. However, I do have some concerns that are necessary to be list out.
For starters, the watch looks big on your wrist; now that is something that completely depends on how your wrists are. This is a subjective issue by all means, but I still believe it is important to point it out. Another thing that was a disappointment was the sheer lack of proper apps.
That is mainly due to the fact that Tizen is still a smartwatch OS that is developing, and becoming better. If you are okay with these minor inconveniences, then I can tell you that the Samsung Gear S3 is definitely one of the best smartwatches 2017.
- Excellent build quality
- Beautiful display
- Loaded with features
- Array of sensors and trackers
To this very day, the original Moto 360 remains among the list of my favourite smartwatches, the understated and minimalistic design is something to die for. After several years, I am looking at the Motorola Moto 360 Sport. A newly released version that is more suitable for sporty users.
I am glad to see that Motorola is still following the design language of the original Moto 360 with some minor tweaks here and there. This was one of my biggest concerns when Lenovo acquired Motorola a few years ago, but after seeing the Moto 360 Sport, it is no longer there.
The 360 Sport drifts away, and does not present itself as something fancy, and while it is built for people who prefer to remain active, and enjoy sports a lot. There is nothing that will stop an average consumer from using this.
I do not play much sports, and despite that, the watch welcomes me with good amount of features. The design is still understated, and looks good. However, I cannot bring myself to understand the presence of that small chin that still resides on the watch face.
It is something that has always bothered me, and even though it is no longer as prominent as it used to be, I can’t help but wonder the reason for it. Now my favourite thing about the Moto 360 Sport is obviously the screen, and not just the screen itself, the tech that goes into it is amazing.
Now the reason I am praising the screen so much is because while the screen may look the same to everyone, it uses a clever tech that Motorola is calling AnyLight display. When the user is looking at the watch under the normal light, and actively using the watch, it looks your standard LCD screen.
However, as soon as the watch goes idle, or there is direct light on the watch faces, the screen turns itself into a transreflective display. A display that I have seen on the Pebble Time watches. This feature is to make sure that the battery life gets preserved, and the user is able to read the time and date with ease.
Speaking of battery life, it saddens me to say that it is not as good as I had expected. Sure, smartwaches use smaller batteries as compared to our other devices, but they are supposed to be efficient enough to power the watch throughout multiple days.
Sadly, such is not the case with the Motorola Moto 360 Sport; on a full charge, the Moto 360 Sport lasts a full day or slightly higher if you refrain from using it that often. It is not terrible for a lot of people because they put their devices on charge before sleeping, but not the best either.
Another thing that I should point out is that despite being a watch that is built for active users, there is no way you can do multi-sport tracking on the watch. Something that is strange for a watch that is centered around sports. Last but not the least, the heartrate sensor is somewhat unreliable.
If these issues do not bother you, and you are still looking for something that is minimal, does not cost much, and gets the job done, then the Motorola Moto 360 is one of the best smartwatches that you can buy. Sure, the issues are there, but for many people, they are just subjective.
- Simple, practical design
- Screen tech is one of the best
- Comfortable and easy to wear
Xiaomi has been one of the best companies out in the market releasing some fantastic budget friendly products. Their smartphones, as well as other accessories have always been budget friendly. Today, I am looking at their take on a smartwatch. The Xiaomi Amazfit is here to see if it can find its place.
I love how Xiaomi designs their products, making them look and feel high end. For the most part, they do use high end components and materials. This removes any doubt as to whether or not the overall quality is good.
The Amazfit is carrying a nice design, and build quality as well. It is just the right amount of classy with flashy elements and I do not mind it at all. It uses the same transreflective display that is becoming more and more common in the majority of smartwatches that come out.
The display is easy to rid, bright enough, and looks good. Another good thing about the Xiaomi Amazfit is the battery life. On a full charge, the battery can last anywhere from between 3-5 days. This is undoubtedly one of the best battery timings I have seen in a smartwatch.
The good thing about Xiaomi Amazfit is that it does not cost a lot of money, so anyone who is on a budget, and looking for a cheap smartwatch, this is definitely a good buy. With the Xiaomi Amazfit, you also get features such as Bluetooth, GPS, and a plethora of sensors, and fitness trackers.
On paper, the Amazfit does look like a complete package, and almost like the perfect smartwatch, however, there are some things that are just not good enough. To begin with, the firmware is somewhat cumbersome. Now this issue can be fixed with a firmware update, but for now, it has to be tolerated.
Another thing you need to know about the Amazfit is that the app that comes with it happens to be very basic, you only get the bare minimum, and that is about it. The fitness activities are also limited on the Amazfit, and last but not the least, it uses a charging dock that is proprietary.
These issues sure raise some concern, but the good thing is that they are not going to break your overall experience when it comes to the usability. There is no denying that the Xiaomi Amazfit is a wonderful smartwatch that is suitable for a lot of people.
It lacks the advanced feature and the companion app is not really that good, but these are issues that can be fixed down the road.
- Stylish design
- Great display
- Amazing battery life
- The firmware needs some fixing
- The companion app does not have a lot of features
- Limited fitness activities
For a traditionalist who loves expensive timepieces, reviewing smartwatches is not an easy thing. This was the first time I took them serious, and I am glad that I did. While the traditionalist in me will still choose a standard analogue watch over a smartwatch, I no longer feel like smartwatches are useless.
Simply put, smartwatches are made for people who actually want to use them. I realise that they are not here to replace your traditional analogue watches because they cannot do that. They are just here to provide a different experience to people who need them.
With that in mind, reviewing so many amazing smartwatches has been an absolute pleasure. It did not start as smooth as I thought it would do, with me running into confusion on multiple occasions. But after the hard work that went in testing all these amazing watches, and writing about them, I can say that I hope to test more in near future.
If you feel like I have missed an amazing smartwatch that should have been in the list, feel free to let me know so I can take a look at that again, and take it for spin. I no longer feel offended by smartwatches as I used to before I took up the review project.
List of Features You Should Look for in a Smartwatch
Although buying a smart watch is not a difficult task at all, it’s important for us to know that not all smartwatches are made equally. Some come with their own list of exclusive features that are otherwise missing on other smartwatches.
Not just that, different smartwatches use different operating system as well; for instance, Android Wear is the common OS found in smartwatches made by the likes of Huawei, LG, Asus, and Samsung, while the watchOS is for the Apple Watch.
There are several other features that are either there, or just missing from these watches mainly based on the price tag that they’re carrying. For anyone who is in the market for a new smart watch, all of this can be overwhelming, just like it was overwhelming for us the first time we decided to explore the market.
Option for Voice Commands
Voice commands have come a long way when it comes to the way they operate, gone are the days when voice commands resulted in hilarious interpretations, or not working altogether. Thanks to assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, voice commands are better than ever.
It is only natural to assume that these commands can be extremely useful when it comes to smartwatches. Especially when you want your smartwatch to open a text and read it to you, or give you some other contextual information from within the app.
Sure, not many people may want to use the feature for one reason or another, but it is always nice to have something like a voice command because it is ultimately going to help you make the most out of your situation.
Support for Media Playback
This feature may not be useful for everyone but I love having the ability to play music on my smartwatch while out running. The concept is pretty simple, most smartwatches nowadays have Wi-Fi or cellular data, which means that they can connect to the internet, and stream music if you want to.
Similarly, these smartwatches also come with NFC, or Bluetooth, allowing the users to be able to connect their wireless headphones without any issues. Both of these features combine to make a great listening experience for people who like to exercise out or in the gym, but don’t want to keep music on the phone.
Array of Sensors
Another feature that you should definitely look for in a smartwatch is an array of different sensors. I am talking heartbeat sensors, and other similar sensors that can record vitals, or at least give you information that you can find useful.
For people who like to work out a lot, having a heartbeat sensor is great because it can give them information about beats per minute. There can be more sensors informing the person about the calories burned, steps taken, or the best workout regime it can come up with.
Simply put, sensors are really important in a smartwatch, and there is no way to look at it. Yes, you may have to pay a premium for the best possible sensors, but it is worth it.
Customization is something that I love, and I can speak for some of the other people that they do as well. It is only natural to want to have the ability to customize your smartwatch to some extent. I am not asking for features that will change the entire OS on my smartwatch.
However, customization such as the ability to change watch faces, or be able to use 3rd party watch faces that are created by talented developers and designers is something important. You cannot expect a person to stay with the standard watch face for the entirety of his/her time with the watch.
Just like you put a case or a skin on a smartphone to change its appearance to an extent, you change the straps on the smartphone to make it look different, and be more comfortable. Although you get choice between rubber, leather, or steel strap, the good thing is that there are multiple colour options.
If you are buying a smartwatch, make sure it has the feature to change straps, allowing you to truly customize your watch the way you want it. This is not considered a feature, but something many people think is essential in a smartwatch.
If you are not buying a smartwatch that is only made for fitness tracking, at least buy one that has the fitness trackers built into it. There are several watches from companies like Garmin that come with some amazing fitness tracking capabilities.
Yes, you do pay a premium for these trackers, but the good thing is that if you think you work out enough to keep a track on all your activities, and make sure that you are on the right track, having a watch with fitness tracker is a must.
If you are wondering, Garmin’s Fenix 3 is a great watch and has a lot of fitness trackers. Similarly, high profile companies like Samsung and Apple are also really inclined towards adding fitness trackers that can help make the overall job a lot simpler and easier.