Best smartwatch 2022: the top wearable tech for Android and iOS

The best smartwatches for men and women alike – here's all the advice you need to choose the best smartwatch for you

Best smartwatch 2022
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(Image credit: Future)

The best smartwatch is the wearable that does everything you'd hoped it would out of the box and then some. With smartwatches offering new styles, features and functionality with every generation released, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the wearables that are available today. 

Whether it’s the latest and greatest Apple Watch Series 7 to top-of-the-line rivals – such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch – attempting to steal the spotlight, choosing the best smartwatch for you can be a challenge. There are even premium-tier smartwatches, like the TAG Heuer Connected that just scream style while burning a hole in your pocket.

But there can only be one 'best smartwatch', and the best smartwatch in the world right now is the Apple Watch Series 7. Of all the wearables available, the Apple Watch has the most developed platform. It's also the most attractive, and, arguably, more technologically advanced than its competitors. Apple's latest wearable isn't the only watch worth a look, so read on to so our complete list of the best smartwatches available today.

Best smartwatch 2022

Apple Watch Series 7 reviewT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Future)
The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy

Specifications

Works with: iPhone only
Size: 41mm / 45mm
Battery life: 18 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: watchOS

Reasons to buy

+
Still the best design out there
+
Potentially life-saving
+
Larger always-on display
+
Comfortable size
+
Number of fitness features
+
Faster performance and charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life is still just one day
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Sleep tracking is still weak
-
Limited for hardcore fitness users
-
No Android support

"The Apple Watch Series 7 uses its bigger screen to great effect, giving a genuine upgrade over older models or the Apple Watch SE. It's a beautiful, fast and truly useful premium smartwatch, and is easily the best of its kind for iPhone owners." 0 T3's Apple Watch Series 7 review (opens in new tab)

There's no doubt Apple is king when it comes to smartwatches, but how has it achieved such meteoric success? Let's take a look…

First off, it's the only smartwatch that generates a tonne of interest, and not just from tech addicts, but from the general public. That interest hasn't exactly helped Apple's competitors, but it has helped Apple's smartwatch survive seven generations. 

Next is the big focus on health and fitness. The Apple Watch can monitor your heart rhythm and suggest you see a doctor if it detects something irregular, it can call the emergency services you've fallen over, and it will keep you healthy by tracking your run. These potentially life-saving features are a major reason people are ditching their traditional watches for an Apple Watch.

Finally, the design is almost perfect. The two size options are fit a majority of wrists, and they're also incredibly comfortable. it's the only device that has straddled the line between tech and fashion. It's simply the best-looking smartwatch available.

Every generation has seen minor improvements that have gone a long way to perfect the Watch. The Series 2 added waterproofing and adding GPS, and the Series 3 improved on that by adding Cellular, so it can use data without your iPhone present, but again, remaining loyal to the original design.

The Series 4 improved the design, with a stunning new screen that stretches to the edges of the device. The Series 5 has kept the excellent design of the Series 4, and added more customization options (including a desirable titanium option) and an always-on display.

The Apple Watch Series 6 added a pulse oxygen sensor to its range of health systems, as well as a new S6 processor.

The latest version of the Apple Watch, the Series 7 includes a bigger and better screen, plus new fast-charging capabilities. They're small, incremental updates that make a big difference. 

As we discovered in the Apple Watch Series 7 review, this watch impresses us greatly. The design is well-considered and sleeker, the larger screen is perfect, and the number of third-party apps and accessories is unrivaled. 

That last point is important because if you're buying a personal device such as a watch, you actually want it to be unique.

It does have a few negative points, the UI is fiddly (although greatly improved with the latest versions of watchOS), especially compared to more simple rivals such as Android Wear. Of course, it's iOS only, so if you have an Android phone, you're going to want to continue reading this guide…

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 reviewT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
The best smartwatch for Android users

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 40mm / 44mm
Battery life: 40 hours approx.
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Wear OS powered by Samsung

Reasons to buy

+
Screen comes in two sizes
+
Smart, modern and waterproof design
+
Reliable fitness tracking 

Reasons to avoid

-
Average battery life
-
Need a Galaxy phone for some features 

"If you want a stylish smartwatch then the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 looks fantastic and isn't overly expensive. Running on Wear OS powered by Samsung, it's incredibly straightforward with easy access to everything Google. You also get loads of health tracking features including a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking and the new body composition tool." – T3's Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review (opens in new tab)

Okay, so the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch for iPhone, but if you have an Android phone then the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a very worthy competitor too. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a modern, stylish take on a smartwatch - it’s slim, comfortable and made from tough armor aluminum so it’ll be able to withstand knocks and bumps. And it’s waterproof. 

Featuring Samsung’s BioActive Sensor which is able to track everything from your heart rate to blood pressure and ECG, you can use it to measure your rough body composition. It takes a matter of seconds and you’ll be able to see data about your skeletal muscle, BMI, body water and fat percentage. 

The only downside here is battery life, at 40 hours it’s not the longest-lasting on this list, and that goes down a fair amount when you’re using the GPS or workout tracking features. It’s still good enough for most people though. Find out more in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review but long story short, this is the best smartwatch if you're an Android user. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 reviewT3 Award

(Image credit: Future)
The best smartwatch for Android users

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 40mm / 44mm
Battery life: 48 hours approx.
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Tizen

Reasons to buy

+
Light and comfortable
+
Great design
+
Intuitive UI
+
Health features to match Apple (almost)

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited app support

"As one of the market’s best alternatives to an Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is an excellent choice for Android users, or anyone looking for a feature-rich, fitness-focused smartwatch bursting with great health features." – T3's Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review (opens in new tab)

Okay, so the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch for iPhone, but if you have an Android phone then the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is a very worthy competitor too. This is the best smartwatch if you're an Android user, with a sleek design and powerful hardware.

Let's start with the circular screen, which is certainly on par with the Apple Watch. So too is the gorgeous, streamlined design. It comes packing some neat abilities as well, such as blood pressure monitoring, the ability to take ECG readings and water resistance. 

A collection of new, information-filled watch faces give it a modern edge, and while it lacks quality third party apps we think you'll find the built-in apps sufficient. Overall, it's a very compelling package, and one we would definitely recommend.

Apple Watch SE smartwatch with silver aluminum caseT3 Award

(Image credit: Apple)
The 'affordable' Apple Watch is still a knock-out smartwatch

Specifications

Works with: iPhone only
Screen size: 40mm / 44mm
Battery life: 18 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: watchOS

Reasons to buy

+
Faste
+
Comfortable
+
Clear and large screen
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Excellent health and fitness tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
No always-on display
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It's 'the affordable' Apple Watch

"The Apple Watch SE is as slick as the higher-priced Watch Series 6, and delivers all the essential features and then some. But when it comes to more advanced health sensors, it's not as well equipped as competitors." – T3's Apple Watch SE review (opens in new tab)

If you've got an iPhone and don't want to spend lots of money on the Apple Watch Series 6, then the Apple Watch SE is a great alternative. Despite being 'the affordable' smartwatch from Apple, the SE is a truly excellent smartwatch. 

You won't notice where Apple has made cutbacks in general use, making it feel like a full Apple Watch experience, with all the advantages that brings in, like convenience, fitness tracking, and health and safety features.

For those who can spend the extra over the cost of the Apple Watch Series 3, you'll be very glad you did – it's better in every way. From screen to design to sensors to being more future-proofed thanks to its faster processor. It's also important to note that these translate into better health features, including more accurate heart sensing (important for detecting irregularities) and fall detection.

Garmin Venu smartwatchT3 Award

(Image credit: Garmin)
The best smartwatch for runners and fitness tracking

Specifications

Works with: iOS and Android
Size: 1.2-inches
Battery life: 5 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Garmin OS

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant AMOLED display
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Comfortable
+
Full suite of fitness features
+
Offline music support

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat boring design
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Touchscreen can be fiddly

"The Venu is Garmin’s answer to the Apple Watch impresses with a striking AMOLED screen and the firm’s usual top-end fitness-tracking tech. The overall design is not anything to rave about but the Garmin Venu is certainly comfortable to wear and workout in." – T3's Garmin Venu review (opens in new tab)

As a stylish lifestyle smartwatch, the Garmin Venu can't really compete with the market's more established wearables smartwatches, like the Apple Watch Series 6, but it excels where these devices don’t – through some impressively detailed fitness and health tracking features, performance and battery life.

This, coupled with a brilliant and vibrant display that no other Garmin watches have, makes it one of the best smartwatches you can get your hands on right now, especially if you're tracking multiple sports.

TAG Heuer Connected (2020) smartwatchT3 Award

(Image credit: TAG Heuer)
The best luxury smartwatch

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 41mm
Battery life: 20 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Wear OS by Google

Reasons to buy

+
Premium brand
+
Looks great
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TAG Heuer apps

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life
-
One size option

"This is the most luxurious Android Wear smartwatch on the market. It features an unmistakable TAG Heuer case design, well-designed software, and advanced sports tracking. There could be more watch faces available, and the battery life could be better, but if you're looking for a luxury Android smartwatch – this is the one for you." – T3's TAG Heuer Connected review (opens in new tab)

TAG's latest attempt at a smartwatch, the TAG Heuer Connected, is a gorgeous looking wearable, mimicking a traditional mechanical watch, with its fully circular display and sporty-looking case. The new model improves on previous generations with enhanced sports tracking, thanks to its GPS and a built-in heart-rate sensor.

The Connected is undeniably a class above its Android Wear siblings, and aesthetically preferable to the most expensive Apple Watch variants, which are the only rivals in the 'luxe smartwatch' market. It feels more 'watch-like' than any other smartwatch we've tested, too.

If you're looking for the most premium smartwatch look no further than the Tag Connected. If you really like watches and you really like tech, it's the only game in town outside of the Apple Watch.

best fitbit: fitbit versa 3T3 Award

(Image credit: Fitbit)
Affordable fitness tracking with GPS

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 40.4mm (1.59in)
Battery life: 6 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Fitbit OS

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly capable fitness tracker
+
Onboard GPS
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Long battery life
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Great big display

Reasons to avoid

-
Haptic side button needs improvement
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GPS could be faster
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Some features require a subscription

"The Fitbit Versa 3 is far from being perfect but all things considered, it's the best Fitbit for people who aren't willing to pay the premium for ECG and stress measurement features found in the Sense. It's a nifty little fitness smartwatch for sure." – T3's Fitbit Versa 3 review (opens in new tab)

The Fitbit Versa 3 shares many of the features seen in the flagship Fitbit Sense (above) but comes in at a more affordable price. This is a great device for fitness tracking, thanks to the addition of GPS, waterproofing and fitness goals. It also offers sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring.

If you opt for the monthly subscription, you can also access a series of guided programs, special challenges and advanced metrics. This is a real challenger for the iPhone SE, especially with its six-day battery life. However, serious fitness fans may want to pay a little more for the Sense.

Garmin Marq in four strap color optionsT3 Award

(Image credit: Garmin)
A great premium Wear OS smartwatch

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 46mm
Battery life: 12 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Garmin OS

Reasons to buy

+
Some of the best fitness-tracking tech out there
+
Luxurious
+
Extremely well made
+
No expense spared

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing screen for a dress watch
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Software doesn’t quite match the design

"While the MARQ athlete sports all the features that make Garmin watches the most comprehensive fitness tracking devices out there, its large price tag is - quite frankly - madness. There’s no denying that this is a luxurious watch packing some damn right gorgeous, high-quality materials, but we just don't think that’s enough to justify its price. Especially since Garmin’s Fenix 6 offers pretty much the same features for almost a third of the cost." – T3's Garmin MARQ review (opens in new tab)

While the MARQ boasts all the features that make Garmin watches the most comprehensive fitness tracking devices out there, its large price tag will be too much to swallow for most. 

There’s no denying that this is a luxurious watch packing some damn right gorgeous, high-quality materials, but we just don't think that’s enough to justify its price given what else is available. Especially since a Fenix 6 offers pretty much the same software for a third of the cost. 

Don’t get us wrong, there’s definitely nothing majorly wrong with the MARQ Athlete, it’s just not a product many people are going to be genuinely interested in buying.

Still, most opinions about this watch will be split into two camps: you’ll either think it’s a ridiculous waste of money, or you think it’s a beautiful object that you just have to own. And to be honest, either is fair. If you’ve got the dosh and want to treat yourself, go ahead: you’re likely to be disappointed (well, maybe except for the display).

Moto 360 (3rd Generation) smartwatchT3 Award

(Image credit: Motorola)
A great premium Wear OS smartwatch

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 43mm
Battery life: 24 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Wear OS by Google

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive design
+
Good fitness tracking functionality
+
Battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-built speaker
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Some health metric discrepancies
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Priced on the higher side

"The Moto 360 is a very good Wear OS smartwatch packed full of great features, but it can't break away from its contemporaries to challenge the very best smartwatches on the market" – T3's Moto 360 review (opens in new tab)

The Moto 360 was, at one time, one of the hottest smartwatches around, long before Apple announced the Apple Watch. Those taken in by the nostalgia of the name and shape will feel right at home – the iconic design has been updated with more accurate sensors, and improved software, courtesy of Google.

The design, while bold, isn’t big and bulky, with the slick, stainless steel and choice of colors letting the user look and feel like they’re wearing a mechanical timepiece. 

Garmin 6X Pro smartwatchT3 Award

(Image credit: Garmin)
Perfect for backpackers

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 51mm
Battery life: 21 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Garmin Watch OS

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of sensors
+
Can do just about anything
+
Amazing battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Complex to use

"The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar adds solar-boost to the already potent feature-set of the 6x, and drops weight into the bargain. Price aside, this is a powerful contender." – T3's Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar review (opens in new tab)

The Garmin Fenix 6x Pro Solar is not cheap. Not by a long shot. But it more than justifies its price by offering a whole lot of functionality. Packed in the smartwatch are a ton of features like a Vo2 max and Pulse Ox sensors, and altimeter and barometer for elevation and weather respectively, to list just a few. 

It’s not the easiest smartwatch to use - it’s not a touchscreen for instance. And it’s more than double the price of a flagship Apple watch. But with all its features, as well as amazing battery life - It sports a tiny solar array to give you up to 24 days of battery life - this is a great option for anyone who needs a smartwatch for a long trek into the mountains.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch with gray strapT3 Award

A great smartwatch for Android users at a great price

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 40mm
Battery life: 45 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Tizen

Reasons to buy

+
Light and comfortable
+
Great design
+
Intuitive UI

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited app support

"The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is still one of the best smartwatches Samsung has ever made. It's comfortable, stylish, and the range of features offered are useful. Now it's a bargain as well." – T3's Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review (opens in new tab)

This is the first generation of the Samsung Galaxy Watch and, while it's not the latest and greatest from Samsung, it's still an excellent smartwatch for the money. You get a similar, slim design, and excellent software, but you don't have the ability to take ECG readings (not exactly a deal-breaker). Most importantly of all, it's much more affordable than the Galaxy Watch Active2, so this is an excellent bargain.

Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatchT3 Award

Not as expensive as the Apple Watch Series 4

Specifications

Works with: iPhone only
Size: 38mm / 42mm
Battery life: 18 hours
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: WatchOS

Reasons to buy

+
Fashionable waterproof design
+
Leading ecosystem

Reasons to avoid

-
Last generation
-
iOS only

"Even three years after launch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is a very impressive bit of kit thanks to an intuitive UI, super beautiful screen and premium fitness-tracking features." – T3's Apple Watch Series 3 review (opens in new tab)

Money can't quite stretch to the Apple Watch Series 4? The Apple Watch Series 3 is still a good option, and now it's more affordable than ever.

The Apple Watch Series 3 introduced a cellular connection, meaning you can continue to receive phone calls and notifications away from your iPhone.

It also runs the latest software with all the latest features, it just misses the more futuristic design of the newer Series 4.

Huawei Watch 2T3 Award

(Image credit: Huawei)
A comfortable, everyday Android Wear smartwatch

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Screen size: 45mm
Battery life: 2 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Wear OS by Google

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Great specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Plasticy

"The Huawei Watch 2 is a very solid Android Wear 2 timepiece, but despite the marketing, it's not the perfect smartwatch for fitness tracking." – T3's Huawei Watch 2 review (opens in new tab)

The Huawei Watch 2 has a bright screen and everything runs smoothly and speedily. It's incredibly comfortable and the look is, if not great, then at least acceptable. It's unfortunate that Huawei hasn't included any rotary controls on this, especially as the bezel is a big old thing and as such probably quite easy to grip 'n' twist.

Despite that, it's a very competent Android Wear 2 watch. What's more interesting, however, is the concentration on fitness. While it features all of the necessary sensors to track running, cycling and swimming, our initial testing has revealed the Huawei Watch isn't the stellar performer we hoped it would be. This is a shame because emphasizing the fitness element was exactly the right thing for Huawei to do, and hopefully, the company can improve its fitness tracking software updates.

One final note we'll say about the Watch 2, something we're having trouble putting our fingers on. While the screen is small, the UI cramped, and the fitness tracking poor – we really enjoy wearing the Huawei Watch 2. It's incredibly comfortable, and just has a certain 'wearability' factor that makes us keep coming back to it.

Huawei Watch GT 3 on white background

(Image credit: Huawei)
Best Huawei smartwatch to date

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Size: 42/46mm
Battery life: 7/14 days
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: HarmonyOS

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning build quality
+
Versatile health and fitness tracking features
+
Beautiful AMOLED screen
+
Long battery life
+
Responsive touch controls

Reasons to avoid

-
The real leather strap is not ideal for sweaty workouts
-
Huawei App updates are a bit finicky to install on Android phones

"The Huawei Watch GT 3 is a brilliant wearable. It successfully bridges the gap between smart and fitness watches and does it seemingly effortlessly. Better still, it offers impressive battery life despite having such a sizeable AMOLED display. Highly recommended." – T3's Huawei Watch GT 3 review (opens in new tab)

The Watch GT 3 is a brilliant update over the Watch GT 2, and considering the modest retail price, you would be a fool not getting one today.

The Huawei Watch GT 3 has robust fitness features and it's simply mind-blowing how long the battery lasts, considering a watch with such a huge and bright AMOLED display.

We thoroughly enjoyed testing the Huawei Watch GT 3 and we can wholeheartedly recommend it to people who aren't keen on getting a diehard running watch but would like to have the option to track their physical activities accurately nevertheless.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 with black leather strapT3 Award

(Image credit: Samsung)
The easiest smartwatch to use

Specifications

Works with: iPhone and Android
Screen size: 41mm / 45mm
Battery life: 48 hours approx.
Heart rate sensor: Yes
Operating System: Tizen

Reasons to buy

+
Bezel and UI
+
Excellent battery life
+
Stress-tracking and fitness features
+
Two sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Not many apps
-
Lacks premium feeling

"An amazing smartwatch made great thanks to a reliable and nippy interface boasting a host of health, fitness and lifestyle features. Design lacks the air of sophistication we were looking for at this price point, but if you’ve got the cash to spare you’re unlikely to be disappointed. An exceptional smartwatch." – T3's Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review (opens in new tab)

If you're not interested in the sleek, compact design of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, then the more traditional looking Galaxy Watch 3 is probably more up your alley. It’s available in two sizes, so that will definitely help it appeal to more people. It also helps that it has a very good battery life (we're talking multiple days here).

It's more attractive than previous incarnations and comes packed with some nice, new fitness-tracking abilities. It's the innovative rotating bezel that is the star here, though, as it is, without a doubt, the best way to control a smartwatch.

The Galaxy Watch 3 works with most Android smartphones, and even iPhones, but it's not perfect, however, as the Galaxy Watch 3 isn't as comfortable to wear as the Apple Watch, and its app and accessory ecosystem pales in comparison.

The pros far outweigh the cons though, and you won't be let down by the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Best smartwatch buying advice

If you're struggling to choose a smartwatch, here are a few things to consider:

  • Compatibility: Apple Watches only work with iPhones. Smartwatches running Wear OS, Garmin and Fitbit are compatible with both Android and iPhone.
  • Price: Smartwatch prices can range from very affordable to pretty expensive. Paying more will get you enhanced health and fitness tracking and build quality. Anything more expensive than an Apple Watch and you're paying for prestige branding and exclusivity. 
  • Battery life: Most smartwatches last around two days, if that's not enough for you, then opt for Huawei, Fitbit or Garmin, which offer slightly impaired functionality for vastly improved battery life.
  • Fitness tracking: All smartwatches will do basic tracking, but if you're training for a marathon or triathlon then you'll want a more serious running watch from Garmin or Polar.
  • Communication: All smartwatches have Bluetooth – that's how they connect to your smartphone. Some have a 4G/Cellular connection as well, which means you can stream music, receive messages and calls, even if you've left your phone at home. It costs extra, and probably isn't worth it for most.
  • Size: Size is important. If you've got slender wrists you're going to want a smaller smartwatch, this is not due to looks, but due to comfort.

If you're after a rundown of the best smartwatches for iPhone users, then we'd suggest you read T3's guide to the best Apple Watch. While Samsung and Wear OS smartwatches do work with iPhones, the Apple Watch is much better integrated with iOS.

However, you can’t go wrong with any of the alternatives on this list, especially if you need something that works with an Android phone or the best cheap smartwatches. If battery life is your highest priority when you should read T3's guide to the best hybrid smartwatches, which blend on-wrist notifications and fitness tracking of a smartwatch with the traditional design of a mechanical watch. These have battery life measured in days and weeks rather than hours.

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As Deals Editor for T3.com, Troy is here to help readers do one thing – save money on the products they love. Holding a background in analytics and eCommerce for over 10 years, understanding just how retailers think and perform when it comes to sales is what he understands best. When he isn't scouring the net for deals, Troy is an avid art fan and enjoys painting, music, fitness and of course the great outdoors.

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