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Best Smartwatches Reviewed: 10Expert.com Buyers Guide

Best Smartwatches Reviewed and Smartwatch Buyers Guide

 

Your expert guide to buying the perfect smartwatch.

   

In recent years smartwatches have exploded onto the tech scene with Apple a key exponent of wearable tech and a trailblazer in the smartwatch field.

With many electronics companies now entering the wearable tech arms race it’s perhaps unsurprising that Apple continue to lead the charge. Apples latest smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is widely regarded as the greatest smartwatch yet, setting a new point of reference in wearable tech.

  

The Apple Watch Series 3 is a triumph of wearable tech.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a triumph of wearable tech.

 

What is surprising is that despite Apples huge financial and technologic dominance competition remains fierce in the smartwatch market. The Apple Watch Series 3 is doubtless a fantastic achievement and perhaps Apples greatest to date. Apple have not yet however been able to transfer their total commercial dominance from smartphones to smartwatches.

The great variety of options in the smartwatch market perhaps speaks more of what a watch is than to the dominance of any one particular model. To many people a watch is more than an instrument that measures something but a statement about the wearer, communicating who they are and what they value the most.

With “traditional” watch royalty such as Tag Heuer now establishing themselves as pioneers in the smartwatch market with their beautiful Connected Modular 45 there has never been a better time to add a smartwatch to your watch collection.

 

Comparison Table

Below is a comparison table which compares some of the key features of the ten best smartwatches we have reviewed. You can see the full review for each smartwatch and our smartwatch buyer’s guide by scrolling further down this page.

  


OS
Active TrackGPS
HRM
Bat Life
Water Resist
Apple  Series 3
View on Amazon
Watch OSYesYesYesUp to 18 HRS50M
Gear Sport 3 Frontier
View on Amazon
Tizen OSYesYesYesUp to 96 HRSSplash Proof
Tag Heuer Connect Modular 45
View on Amazon
Wear OSYesYesNoUp to 24 HRS50M
Huawei Watch 2
View on Amazon
Wear OSYesYesYesUp to 48 HRS
Splash Proof
Huawei Watch
View on Amazon
Wear OSYesNoYesUp to 48 HRSSplash Proof
Apple Watch Series 1
View on Amazon
Watch OSYesNoYesUp to 18 HRSSplash Proof
Fitbit Ionic
View on Amazon
Fitbit OSYesYesYesUp to 120 HRS50M
Garmin Forerun 235
View on Amazon
Own OSYesYesYesUp to 216 HRS50M
Michael Kors Access Sofie
View on Amazon
Wear OSYesNoNoUp to 24 HRS10M
Fossil Gen 3 Q Explore
View on Amazon
Wear OSYesNoNoUp to 24 HRSSplash Proof

     

 

Below we have carefully reviewed ten of the latest and greatest smartwatches out there today, helping you make the expert choice whatever it is you are looking for in a smartwatch. At the end of this guide you will also find a smartwatch buyers guide and the answers to some frequently asked questions.

 

We reviewed dozens of smartwatches, here are the best ten smartwatches you can buy today:

   

 

1. Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3 – View on Amazon 10Expert.com Expert Pick Best Smartwatch.

Pictured: Apple Watch Series 3 created by Apple

We love the Apple Watch Series 3, put simply this is the best smartwatch on the market today and by some distance, here’s why:

  • It’s beautiful yet minimalist design stands out from all others.
  • Exceptional build quality with great weight and water resistance.
  • Smartwatch notifications, activity tracking and great app selection.
  • Customisation and accessory options are almost limitless.
  • Innovative digital crown makes the watch easy to navigate.

 

The Apple Watch Series 3 does it all and looks great doing it. In a competitive market Apple have created a smartwatch that not only sets a new benchmark for the technology but also the style. Quite simply the Apple Watch Series 3 does more than the competition can do and looks better doing it.

In a world where each person is perhaps looking for something different in a Smartwatch the Apple Watch Series 3 has the distinction of being desired by all. This is a Smartwatch you can wear to the gym, the office, a business meeting, socialising – Anywhere. Despite its futuristic feel there is an elegant classic look to the Series 3’s design.

 

Apples beautiful and iconic design stands out from other smartwatches.
Apples beautiful and iconic design stands out from other smartwatches.

  

Apple were an early entrant into the Smartwatch market and have a significant head start on the  competition, add to that equation their huge technological and financial advantage and you end up with more than a Smartwatch, more than just another product in the market, the Apple Watch Series 3 defines the smartwatch market.

The Apple Watch Series 3 builds significantly on previous models, now combining 50 metre water resistance, GPS and Cellular (optional) in one device enabling full functionality without a phone present if desired (At extra monthly cost). Usability is also unrivalled with a huge number of apps and accessories available. In terms of functionality and connectivity the Apple Watch Series 3 delivers all you would expect and much more.

As detailed above the Apple Watch Series 3 is available in two models, the standard model and the cellular 4G model. The cellular 4G model enables you to utilise the watch for calls and messages when not paired with a smartphone. The standard model is a better choice for most people as you are likely to still want a smartphone and the 4G model does incur additional monthly costs.

As a health and fitness aid the Apple Watch Series 3 is exceptional with great activity tracking inclusive of heart rate and GPS. This is one of the lightest smartwatches on the market today which considering the huge amount of tech packed in is a huge achievement.

What’s so impressive with the Apple Watch Series 3 is that it delivers so much technology and functionality but remains the most beautiful and unique smartwatch on the market today with almost limitless options to customise.

 

The Apple Watch Series 3 offers more in one package than any other smartwatch.
The Apple Watch Series 3 offers more in one package than any other smartwatch.

  

As a music player the Apple Watch Series 3 is exceptional and offers significant choice to the user. As the Apple Watch is so well supported by a library of apps most of the music players you are familiar with will be supported such as Spotify and Apple music etc.

The Siri functionality allows you to ask your smartwatch to do something as you would on an IPhone and for Siri to speak back. This is a useful feature especially if driving however this is not perfectly executed and we did find ourselves asking twice then doing it ourselves.

The vibration alerts on the Apple Watch Series 3 can be different for different types of smartphone notification, which is very useful and will help let you know when something is important. We loved this feature as it was so easy to differentiate what each alert was for and saved looking at the watch for a spam message.

The Apple Watch Series 3 has battery life of around a day which for most people this is plenty as when you sleep to recharge so will your watch. You can also utilise your smartwatch to make contactless payments without a bank card present, this is a useful feature but still very new and not universally accepted by retailers.

It is important to consider functionality, if you are planning on using this smartwatch with an Apple IPhone you’re good to go – If planning on using with an Android device the Apple Smartwatch probably won’t be the most suitable smartwatch for you.

So much of the Apple Watch Series 3’s functionality is dependent on being paired with an Apple IPhone so if you won’t be doing this there are better smartwatches on this list for you. Considering Apples current dominance of the smartphone market though this is unlikely to be a consideration for most people who will be using with an Apple smartphone.

 

Bottom Line: The Apple Watch Series 3 is a home run, it beats the competition in every area. Other smartwatches are exceptional for some uses but the Series 3 can do it all but better. The price is higher than most, but not all of the other watches on this list. In the case of the Apple Watch Series 3 you do get what you pay for.

 

Apple Watch Series 3 – View on Amazon10Expert.com Love’s the Apple Watch Series 3 – This is our Expert Pick for Best Smartwatch.

 


 

2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier – View on AmazonSamsung Gear Sport 3 is our Expert pick for non-Apple Smartphone users.

Pictured: Samsung Gear S3 created by Samsung

We love the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, this is a gorgeous smartwatch that does the job for Android users where Apple Watch Series 3 does not. Here’s why the Samsung Gear Sport 3 Frontier is on our list.

  • Beautiful watch face with excellent build quality.
  • Android and Apple compatibility.
  • Sporty yet luxury feel.
  • Excellent innovative controls.

 

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier looks amazing and was one of the best looking smartwatches we reviewed. It’s clear from the beautiful display that Samsung’s wealth of experience in screen design has been put to exceptional use in this smartwatch, when lit up the display looks fantastic.

The Samsung Gear Sport 3 as the name might suggest has a real sporty feel and would look very at home on your wrist in the gym or out on the road. As with the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is a bigger Smartwatch but even on a smaller wrist this would not put us off this smartwatch.

Battery life on the Samsung Gear Sport 3 is exceptional and can last three to four days depending on the level of use. A great array of activity trackers are included with the addition of a heart rate monitor which many other models including the premium Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 lack.

The user controls are very innovative and feel easier to navigate than many other smartwatches, in fact these were the most intuitive controls we tested on any smartwatch. The Samsung Gear Sport 3 offers great functionality even when paired with non-Apple smartphones which is a huge selling point and make the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch a great choice for non-Apple users.

Apps are limited which is disappointing and this is a major differentiator from the Apple Watch Series 3 which has significantly more App choice, the essentials however are there. Build quality is exceptional and the overall functionality of the Samsung Gear Sport 3 remains very high.

The rugged looking Samsung Gear Sport 3 does offer some water resistance and is fine to wear in the shower but cannot be taken into a pool. The Samsung Gear Sport 3 also provides the option to answer or make calls directly from the watch when paired with your phone, most of the time you might not use this but if your hands are full this is a very useful feature.

We found that the Samsung Gear Sport 3 did everything we would expect and more. The activity monitors are exceptional and make tracking exercise and fitness incredibly accurate and more importantly incredibly simple. GPS is now built in which is fantastic and means you can accurately track distances covered even when not paired with a smartphone.

A great feature of the Samsung Gear Sport 3 is that you can download music directly to the watch and listen back to this via Bluetooth headphones. This is an exceptional feature and enables you to go for a run with your music without pairing your smartwatch with a bulky smartphone. Alongside the built in GPS this makes the Samsung Gear Sport 3 an exceptional smartwatch for runners.

The Samsung Gear Sport 3 is enabled for contactless payment without a bank card present. Samsung however have been slow to get this feature up and running in the UK and with many retailers still not accepting this we consider this a fringe benefit that might develop into something more meaningful in the future.

Whilst not perfect the Samsung Gear Sport 3 is a very strong rival to the Apple Watch Series 3. It offers great functionality even to non-Apple Smartphone users which for many people may be a deciding factor. Apps are limited on the Samsung Gear Sport 3 so if this is important to you and you are an Apple smartphone user you may want to look again at the Apple Watch Series 3.

 

Bottom Line: A fantastic looking, luxury feel Sports Smartwatch with loads to offer and an exceptional choice for sports and fitness. 

 

Samsung Gear Sport 3 Frontier –View on AmazonThe Samsung Gear Sport 3 is our Expert pick for non-Apple Smartphone users.

 


 

3. Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 –View on Amazon – The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is our Expert pick for best high-end luxury Smartwatch.

Pictured: Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 created by Tag Heuer

Perhaps the most expensive looking smartwatch on our list, however this is in fact the actual most expensive smartwatch on our list. Here’s what you get for the price tag:

  • Beautiful round face which has a real depth.
  • Selection of very handsome watch faces as standard.
  • Modular design for simple customisation.
  • Array of activity sensors and GPS built in.

 

The incredibly handsome Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 comes with the considerable weight of the Tag Heuer Brand behind it. The Tag is however very pricey at more than three times the cost of the market leading Apple Watch Series 3.

This is a large face smartwatch and may be a little too bulky for some smaller wrists. We tried on a variety of wrist sizes and we did feel that on very thin wrists the watch looked slightly too big, this is however personal preference.

Tags Connected Modular 45 includes an excellent array of sensors including GPS making activity tracking incredibly accurate. Notably the Tag does not have a built in heart rate monitor which many of the competitors including the Apple Watch Series 3 do. The absence of a heart rate monitor is disappointing considering the price and sports focused look of this smartwatch.

The Connected Modular 45 does have a wonderful real watch appeal and the various watch faces you can select feel so real you could touch them. Of all the smartwatches we tested this one felt the most watch like.

The Tag is a beautiful watch with exceptional build quality and feels like a real statement piece. In terms of build quality this is one of the nicest screens we have seen on any smartwatch. With titanium components in the body of the watch it’s clear no expense has been spared. This is undoubtedly one of the most extravagant smartwatches on the market today.

The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is Android and Apple smartphone compatible although available functionality will vary across these platforms. If you are looking for a Smartwatch that feels like a high end traditional watch with all the essential smartwatch functionality this may be the watch for you.

The Tag offers similar battery life to the Apple Watch Series 3 at around 24 hours which is plenty assuming you charge when you sleep and the watch is fully charged within two hours. The Tag is also enabled for contactless payment.  Smartphone notifications are very good as you would expect and the Tag does offer a good selection of App’s.

In terms of bang for your buck this is an excellent smartwatch, keep in mind however with the Tag retailing at between three to four times the price of the Apple smartwatch Series 3 you are paying a significant premium for the high-end luxury branding. In terms of functionality the Tag is no more capable than the Apple but is clearly targeting the luxury end of the smartwatch market.

 

Bottom Line: The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is a solid and functional smartwatch. It is on the pricey side but if you are looking for something special this smartwatch is an excellent choice. 

 

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 – View on Amazon – The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 is our Expert pick for best high-end luxury Smartwatch.

 


  

4. Huawei Watch 2

Huawei Watch 2 – View on AmazonThe Huawei Watch 2 is our Expert pick for best value for money smartwatch.

Pictured: Huawei Watch 2 created by Huawei

The Huawei Watch 2 is a great all-rounder and a very strong addition to the smartwatch scene. This is the best value smartwatch we tested with lots of premium features for the price. Here’s why the Huawei Watch 2 made our list:

  • Beautiful sporty functional smartwatch.
  • Built in GPS and Bluetooth with optional 4G Model.
  • Lightweight and very comfortable.
  • Good battery life and built in heart rate monitor.

 

We really like the Huawei Watch 2 because it is super lightweight and incredibly comfy on the wrist. This smartwatch is so comfortable it is easy to forget you have it on, which could not be said for many of its bulkier competitors such as the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45.

The design feels very fresh and modern and whilst simple we loved the look of this smartwatch. For the price the build quality and features of the Huawei Watch 2 are truly exceptional. An array of trackers and sensors make this watch a great choice for those looking for accurate fitness tracking. This smartwatch includes built in GPS and a heart rate monitor which is usually reserved for the most premium smartwatches.

Great battery life of around 24 hours and a very good selection of apps which will meet most people’s needs. Whilst not quite as functional as the Apple Watch Series 3 the Huawei Watch 2 is priced significantly lower and in terms of overall value for money is absolutely exceptional.

The Huawei Watch 2 comes with a great selection of watch faces and is water resistant to an extent – you are fine to wear the watch in heavy rain but the Huawei Watch 2 is not designed to be taken into the pool. The Huawei Watch 2 is also enabled for contactless payment.

 

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a great smartwatch which is lightweight and comfy and doesn’t break the bank the Huawei Watch 2 is a great pick. The premium features on this smartwatch are fantastic ensuring the Huawei Watch 2 delivers exceptional value for money.

 

Huawei Watch 2 – View on AmazonThe Huawei Watch 2 is our Expert pick for best value for money smartwatch.

 


 

5. Huawei Watch

Huawei Watch – View on Amazon

Pictured: Huawei Watch created by Huawei

Next on our list we have the Huawei Watch 2’s older brother the original Huawei Watch. If you are looking for a luxury feel smartwatch that won’t break the bank, the Huawei Watch is a fantastic choice, here’s why:

  • Beautiful timeless design.
  • Great build quality with a luxury feel.
  • Integrates with Android and Apple Smartphones.
  • Great value for such high spec.

 

The Huawei Watch perfectly delivers a luxury feel at a fraction of the cost of the Tag Heuer Connected. This is one of the best Android Wear smartwatch out there boasting premium features for a great price. Although the Huawei Watch 2 is now available the original Huawei Watch is still an excellent choice delivering exceptional value for money.

The design of the Huawei Watch is not just timeless but also functional making this a great everyday smartwatch. The premium feel makes this a perfect smartwatch to wear to the office or an important meeting and just as with the Tag connected there are significant options for customisation. 

Compatible with Android and Apple but with no app support on Apple devices unfortunately. Good selection of apps available on Android devices. The Huawei Watch despite looking less sporty than other smartwatches is an exceptional fitness tracker and boasts a very accurate motion sensor and more impressively a heart rate monitor.

The great choice of watch faces are beautiful and striking making this smartwatch very eye catching, this is enhanced by the beautiful screen which feels as good as anything else out there. You get all the standard functionality you would expect such as message and call notifications plus much more.

If you are wondering how the Huawei Watch differs from the Huawei Watch 2, besides the price the differences are pretty subtle. For one thing the Huawei Watch 2 now has built in GPS and the option for contactless payment, there are other tweaks to the design and functionality which are not immediately apparent.

 

Bottom Line: This smartwatch perfectly blends tradition and the modern into one package that makes sense and looks great. If you are looking for a great value smartwatch that delivers on functionality with a more traditional watch look the Huawei Watch is a great choice.

 

Huawei Watch – View on Amazon

 


 

6. Apple Watch Series 1

Apple Watch Series 1 – View on Amazon

Pictured Apple Watch Series 1 created by Apple

If you are looking for perfect integration with your iPhone but can’t stretch your budget to the Apple Watch Series 3, at a fraction of the cost the Apple Watch Series 1 is still killing the competition, here’s why:

  • Beautiful, iconic functional design.
  • As with the Series 3 customisation options are limitless.
  • Exceptional fitness tracking with built in heart rate monitor.
  • Built in Speaker, Microphone, Bluetooth and WIFI.

 

The Apple Watch Series 1 has had a considerable refresh since its launch two years ago, now boasting exceptional fitness tracking and providing Apple Pay and Siri functionality.

Even though the Apple Watch Series 1 is not Apples most premium smartwatch it remains the second best Smartwatch on the market for those wanting maximum integration with their Apple smartphone – second only that is to its younger brother the Series 3.

As a smartwatch that packs in a huge amount of functionality the Apple Watch Series 1 is still able to deliver one of the best fitness tracking experiences with an array of accurate sensors and a built in heart rate monitor, giving Fitbit and their counterpart’s lots to worry about.

In terms of integration with your Apple IPhone the Apple Watch Series 1 delivers the exceptional array of features you would expect from Apple. As with the Series 3 for maximum benefit from this smartwatch it needs to be paired with an Apple Smartphone.

If you are planning on using your smartwatch with a non-Apple smartphone the Apple Watch Series 1 may not be the best choice for you. The Apple Watch Series 1 offers contactless payment options and will integrate well with most music player apps.

If you are wondering how the Apple Watch Series 1 differs from the Series 3 two of the most significant changes are that the Series 3 offers water resistance to 50 metres and built in GPS, both of which the Series 1 does not. There are other more subtle differences but it’s fair to say the Series 1 is still an exceptional smartwatch and second only to the Series 3 for integration with an Apple smartphone.

 

Bottom Line: The Apple Watch Series 1 delivers great functionality and exceptional value for money. In terms of Apple smartphone integration the Series 1 is second only to the Series 3. Fitness tracking is exceptional and can keep pace with any fitness focused smartwatch. For the price the Apple watch series 1 is Exceptional.

 

Apple Watch Series 1 – View on Amazon

 


  

7. Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic – View on AmazonThe Fitbit Ionic is our Expert pick for best Health & Fitness smartwatch.

Pictured Fitbit Ionic created by Fitbit

Fitbit were an early entrant into the fitness tracking market and established themselves as a market leader. The Fitbit Ionic is designed to blend fitness tracker and smartwatch in one package, here’s what you get:

  • Fitness tracking second to none with built in heart rate monitor and GPS.
  • Exceptional personal coaching features.
  • Stores music and compatible with Fitbit Bluetooth headphones.
  • Water resistant with swim tracking.

  

The Fitbit Ionic is a fusion of exceptional fitness tracking technology with smartwatch features such as – calls, texts, email and WhatsApp messaging.  The Fitbit Ionic is not a pure smartwatch and is more fitness tracker with essential smartwatch features; albeit these features are executed very well.

If you are looking for an exceptional fitness tracker with some essential smartwatch functionality then this could be smartwatch for you. What the Fitbit Ionic does not have in broader smartwatch features it makes up for in battery life, which at four days leaves most smartwatches for dead.

Where the Fitbit Ionic comes in to its own is with its training, coaching and tracking features which we found to be exceptional. If you are looking for a smartwatch primarily to track your health and fitness the Fitbit Ionic is an exceptional choice.

The Fitbit Ionic even without the added smartwatch features is an exceptional piece of kit and its perhaps unfair to describe it as a fitness tracker when it does so much more; The Fitbit Ionic does more than just track your activity it prompts you to move more, drink more water, sleep better and much more.

The Fitbit Ionic is a great music player for those wanting to download music directly to the smartwatch. When paired with Bluetooth headphones this enable you to listen to music whilst training without the need for any wires or for a smartphone to be present.

The Fitbit Ionic helps you not only track your training but drives you to train harder and live better. What’s great is that through wearing the Ionic you do positively change your behaviour even if that was not the original intention – this is the main benefit of a fitness focused smartwatch.

  

Bottom Line: If you would like a smartwatch primarily for health and fitness tracking the Fitbit Ionic is an exceptional choice with sensors, trackers and monitors that can go head to head with any other wearable device and win. The smartwatch features are somewhat basic but all the essentials are covered for most people. 

 

Fitbit Ionic – View on Amazon – The Fitbit Ionic is our Expert pick for best Health & Fitness smartwatch.

 


 

8. Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235 – View on Amazon

Pictured: Garmin Forerunner created by Garmin

Rather than trying to be everything for everyone the Garmin Forerunner focuses its efforts on delivering an amazing smartwatch for runners, this is what you get:

  • Fitness tracking with built in heart rate monitor and GPS.
  • Accurate tracking both on the road and on a treadmill.
  • Great fitness analytics available via Garmin Connect.

 

The Garmin Forerunner 235 is a highly functional yet very good looking smartwatch that has its aim set on being the perfect smartwatch for runners. We love this smartwatch because it looks great but also delivers very accurate activity tracking.

We found that the heartrate monitor on the Garmin Forerunner 235 was very accurate and delivered virtually identical readings via the wrist to those captured from a chest monitor. The built in GPS and motion sensors ensure activity is captured very precisely.

The array of advanced analytics available via the Garmin Connect app are exceptional and provide a huge amount of insight into your running performance, this is a real selling point of the forerunner.

The Garmin Forerunner 235 also provides the basic smartwatch functionality that you would expect including email and text message display, incoming call alerts, calendar reminders and more.

 

Bottom Line: If you love running and are looking for a smartwatch that gets you, the Garmin Forerunner 235 has a lot to offer with accurate sensors and exceptional analytics. Smartwatch functionality is basic but delivers the essentials whilst still looking great.

 

Garmin Forerunner 235 – View on Amazon

 


    

9. Michael Kors Access Smartwatch Sofie

Michael Kors Access Smartwatch Sofie – View on Amazon

Pictured: Michael Kors Access Smartwatch Sofie created by Michael Kors

This beautiful smartwatch blends luxury fashion and elegant design with smartwatch functionality, here’s what you get:

  • Apple and Android compatible with smartphone notifications.
  • Built in activity tracking functionality.
  • Selection of beautiful unique watch faces as standard.
  • Exceptional build quality with a very luxury feel.

 

For the style conscious there is the very beautiful Sofie from the Michael Kors Access range of smartwatches. We were absolutely blown away by the look of this smartwatch and with one look we are sure you will see just why.

This is primarily a beautiful watch and secondly a smartwatch. It has some exceptional smartwatch functionality but this is more the essentials than the extraordinary. Where the Michael Kors Sofie comes into its own is in its beautiful elegant styling.

The style of the watch mirrors some of the most successful lines in Michael Kors traditional watch range and with the addition of smartphone notifications and activity tracking we love this smartwatch.

It is true that the smartwatch functionality is basic and battery life is not amazing at around 24 hours but for a lot of people this watch delivers exactly what they want, an incredibly beautiful watch that has the key smartwatch functionality they need such as call, messaging and social media alerts.

 

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a smartwatch that looks amazing and has the addition of smartphone notifications and activity tracking the Michael Kors Sofie is an excellent choice.

 

Michael Kors Access Sofie – View on Amazon

 


 

10. Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist

Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist – View on Amazon

Pictured: Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist created by Fossil

The handsome Fossil Explorist certainly ticks the box for looks but packs in much more to boot for a great price, here’s what you can expect:

  • Notification for texts, calls, social media messages and emails.
  • Control music with your phone’s selected music player.
  • Activity tracking with beautiful choice of displays.
  • Great customisation options.

     

Fossil have stormed into the smartwatch market with an excellent selection of models. We love the Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist because of its rugged good looks and excellent functionality.

This is not the most advanced smartwatch out there but it looks great and packs in the essential smartwatch features you would expect to see such as activity tracking and smartphone notifications. Value for money is also very good for the build quality and features.

The battery life is limited to around 24 hours but this will work fine for most people who will recharge their smartwatch when they sleep. The Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist is Apple and Android compatible although functionality will vary. One point to note is this the Fossil Explorist is not waterproof unlike some similar models.

The Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist will allow you to control most music players on your smartphone such as Spotify meaning you can control your music from your watch. This smartwatch also includes a built in speaker and microphone enabling you to take a call directly from your watch if you have your hands full (needs to be paired with smartphone).

 

Bottom Line: A great traditional looking smartwatch with all the essential smartwatch functionality you would expect. If you are looking for something simple and rugged this is a great choice.

 

Fossil Gen 3 Q Explorist – View on Amazon

 


 

Why buy a smartwatch?

At 10expert.com we love watches, that is the traditional kind that you wind or that wind themselves. Like many others thinking about which smartwatch to buy we first asked the question – why buy a smartwatch at all? The answer may be obvious to some but for those of us who proudly wear a wristwatch, a smartwatch can feel very alien.

  

The best smartwatches perfectly fuse the future & the traditional.
The best smartwatches perfectly fuse the future & the traditional.

 

In reviewing so many smartwatches what became clear to us is that some of the best smartwatches out there feel like a traditional wristwatch but offer so much more functionality. Whether we like it or not our lives have changed enormously over the last twenty years with the explosion in digital technology.

The smartphone is now central to our lives, it is how we communicate, how we connect, how we learn and how we share. So much of our life is dependent on the device we carry around in our pocket or bag. The smartwatch is the next step bringing much of that functionality to your wrist. Whichever features appeal to you, we’re sure you will get some significant benefits from a smartwatch.

 

   

What features should I look for in a smartwatch?

Call, message and social media notifications have been pivotal in the success of smartwatches. The gentle vibration of a smartwatch when receiving a message or call ensures that you never miss anything. Messages displayed on your watch are great and save fumbling around with your phone when out and about. These are standard features in all of the smartwatches featured on our list.

Activity tracking in smartwatches is a fantastic feature and can help you to live a more active, healthier lifestyle. Even basic smartwatches can prompt you to move and precisely track your movement throughout the day including calories burnt and steps taken. Again these are standard features in all of the smartwatches featured on our list.

When it comes to sports and fitness, smartwatches come into their own helping you clearly track your performance in real time, improve your exercise and achieve better results. Wearing a smartwatch makes you very aware of your health and fitness because depending on model you have your steps taken, calories burnt and real-time heart rate right in front of you throughout the day.

  

Best features to look for in a smartwatch
Best features to look for in a smartwatch

  

Many smartwatches will also integrate with the music player in your smartphone enabling you to control your music with a touch. Contactless payment is also now becoming much more widespread in smartwatches but remains a fridge benefit at the moment with not all smartwatches supporting and some significant limitations around where this can be used.

In short a smartwatch can make your life much easier and help you make better choices with your health and fitness, not just tracking your behaviour but encouraging you change it for the better.

 

 

Can I use my smartwatch when exercising?

Smartwatches come into their own when worn for exercise with nearly all offering a varying degree of data on your performance from simple steps taken, calories burnt to advanced analytics and heart rate tracking.

We tested ten of the best smartwatches out there today and what was so exciting was the impact this had the wearers behaviour. Wearing a smartwatch you become so much more aware of your activity as you can see this every time you look at your watch. This can be a huge motivation to move more and make healthier decisions so you can see the trend improving.

  

Smartwatches are ideal to help improve health and fitness.
Smartwatches are ideal to help improve health and fitness.

  

Not only will a smartwatch help you live healthier they can also help you to enhance your performance in exercise by providing real time performance data and analytics. Some of the best smartwatches now integrate advanced sensors for activity tracking, GPS and heart rate tracking into one device.

A more premium feature in some of the more recent smartwatches is water resistance which now means you can wear some smartwatches in heavy rain or in the pool without any worry of damaging it. Take care though as the level of water resistance varies across models with some offering no or very limited protection.

  

 

How much does a smartwatch cost?

The cost of a smartwatch depends very much on what you are looking for but there are smartwatch options for all budgets. We have selected what we believe are ten of the best smartwatches available today however most of these would be affordable for the majority people.

It’s important to consider what you want from your smartwatch before buying, if its basic smartphone notifications and activity tracking then the majority of smartwatches will deliver this. If you are looking for more premium features such as contactless payment, music app integration, GPS then it’s important to ensure the model you are considering has this functionality before buying.

 

 

Do I need a smartwatch with media playback?

Well this depends on you and what you want to use the smartwatch for. Many smartwatches now offer some integration with your smartphones music player or the ability to download music directly to the watch itself.

The ability to control your smartphones music player via your smartwatch can be really useful for example when you are exercising or packed in tight on a train. Having the ability to change track via your smartwatch can be really handy.

We wouldn’t consider media playback to be an essential smartwatch feature and it is far from standard in all models. If media playback is important to you we would recommend that you ensure your selected model has this before purchasing.

 

 

Which smartwatch operating system is best?

There are several prevalent operating systems for smartwatches. Whilst for most people the operating system of their smartwatch will be of minimal interest it is important to understand the degree of compatibility each smartwatch has with your smartphone.

The reason that compatibility with your smartphone is so important is this will determine which of the smartwatch features are available to you. Many smartwatches are compatible with most smartphones however it is common for some smartwatch features to only be available when paired with a certain type of smartphone.  

The main smartwatch operating systems are:

  • WatchOS which is the operating system used in the Apple Smartwatch range. After several versions Apple now has a fantastic platform which has enabled them to create the most functional smartwatches available.
  • WearOS which outside of an Apple device is the most common smartwatch operating system and is used by many smartwatch brands. This is a stable and functional system but as you would expect cannot match WatchOS for integration with an Apple smartphone.
  • TizenOS which is the operating system Samsung use in their smartwatch models. Tizen offers great functionality with intuitive controls.
  • FitbitOS which you might of guessed is Fitbits offering and the operating system used in their smartwatch range. This is an incredibly stable platform but functionality is more limited than other operating systems.

 

 

What else to consider before choosing a smartwatch?

After reviewing ten smartwatches we know each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, there are however some key areas that we recommend you should consider before choosing a smartwatch.

  

Every smartwatch has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Every smartwatch has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

   

  • Battery life can vary significantly across smartwatches with some models promising 24 hours and others five days on a single charge. For most people this won’t be a major concern as they will charge their smartwatch as they recharge themself.
  • Screen size is important as you want to be able to clearly read the display but don’t want a watch that feels too big. Most smartwatches are a comparable size but there is a range.
  • Processing power should not be a major concern as most smartwatches offer more than enough power to deliver what is needed to make their features functional without lag.
  • Smartphone compatibility may be the most important factor since to get the full benefit from your smartwatch it will most likely be connected to your smartphone.
  • Customization may be important if you are looking to make your smartwatch unique. As you would expect most models offer some customisation but the extent varies across models.
  • Activity tracking is now standard in most smartwatches but the accuracy of the technology does vary across models with more premium smartwatches now boasting features such as GPS and real-time heart rate tracking.
  • Contactless payment known as NFC is far from standard in smartwatches but some of the more premium models have options to utilise this so consider if this is important to you.
  • Media playback is available on some smartwatches in the form of integration with your smartphones media player or by directly downloading music to the watch itself.

 

 

What is NFC?

NFC stands for “Near field communication.” Essentially this feature allows a device such as a smartwatch to create a link with another device and transmit data.

NFC can only transmit data at close range and both devices must be within centimetres of each other for this to work. NFC enabled smartwatches allow the wearer to configure the smartwatch to make contactless payments for purchases using only the smartwatch.

  

NFC enables you to make contactless payments using your smartwatch.
NFC enables you to make contactless payments using your smartwatch.

 

Picture this you do for a run and you’re exhausted. You decide to stop off for a coffee but don’t have your wallet on you. With NFC you can touch your smartwatch to the card reader and complete the payment.

Not all smartwatches support this feature as neither do all retailers. It is important to consider if NFC is a feature you need before choosing a smartwatch.

 

 

Conclusion

Whichever smartwatch you decide to choose we hope that you have found the information in this guide useful and informative and that you love your new smartwatch!

We will regularly update this guide to ensure that this includes the latest and greatest smartwatch releases. If you think we have missed an exceptional smartwatch or would like us to review a particular smartwatch please leave us a comment and we will try and do this soon.

Thank you for reading and great luck with your smartwatch purchase from the team at 10Expert.com.

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