Best Smartwatches to Buy in 2018 Compared and Reviewed

Best Smartwatches to Buy in 2018 Compared and Reviewed

best smartwatchesThe smartwatch industry has been around for a while. But not many people are willing to give up the precision of the analog watch. Maybe it’s because of their classic designs, but with the entry of influential brands like Google, Apple, and Samsung, smartwatches have taken a turn for the better.

Regarded as the best accessory for your smartphone, a smartwatch shows you important notifications on your wrist; it can host a ton of apps from Google Assistant to Siri, stream your favorite music, make calls and send texts, track your workouts, and even pay without reaching for your wallet.

Today, we are all about the top performing models. So, here we go:

Best Smartwatches 2018

ModelConnectivityDesign FeaturesFitness Tracking FeaturesBattery LifeStandout FeaturesPrice
Apple Watch Series 3LTE
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
NFC
GPS
Ion-X glass on aluminum models
Sapphire crystal on ceramic and stainless steel models
Heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Altimeter
18 hours• Hermes handcrafted wristband models
• Supports in-ear coaching with the Nike version
• Cellular connectivity
• 16GB internal memory
• Water resistant to 50m
• Siri Assistant
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Fitbit VersaBluetooth
Wi-Fi
NFC contactless payments
GPS
Gorilla 3 glass
Light geometric case
Metal, classic leather, and woven accessory bands
Heart rate sensor
Gyroscope
Altimeter
Accelerometer
4+ days• Water resistant to 50 meters
• 15+ sports modes
• Customizable clockfaces
• Wireless syncing to Android and iOS phones
• Breathing sessions
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Samsung Gear S3 FrontierLTE
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
NFC
GPS
1.3-inch AMOLED display
Stainless steel case
Heart sensor
Barometer
Altimeter
Inbuilt GPS
24 hours• Dust, water, and impact proof
• S Voice assistant
• Customizable clockfaces
• Samsung Pay
• Bezel controls
• Swappable wristband
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Huawei Watch 2 Classic4G LTE
NFC
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
GPS
Ceramic bezel
Interchangeable bands
Two operating buttons
Hear sensor
Sleep tracking
GPS
2 days• Live GPS mapping
• Google assistant
• NFC payments
• IP68 water and dust resistant
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Garmin Forerunner 935GPS
Bluetooth
Garmin shell
Rubber, metal, and hardened glass bezel and case
Silicon band
Heart rate monitor
VOX Max
Training status
Steps, calories counter
24 hours on GPS mode
2 weeks on watch mode
50 hours on UltraTac Monitor
• Customizable screens
• Garmin Connect
• Optional leather band
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TicWatch ProBluetooth
GPS
NFC
Wi-Fi
Stainless steel bezel and case
LCD and AMOLED smart screen
Leather band with silicone interior
Heart rate monitor
Calorie counter
Steps counter
Inbuilt GPS
30 days on essential mode
2 days on smart mode
• Premium quality
• Two screens
• Two battery modes
• Supports NFC payments
• Receives calls
• Google assistant
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Fossil Q ExploristBluetooth
GPS
Wi-Fi
Stainless steel bezel, case, and strapCalorie tracker
Steps counter
24 hours• Google assistant
• Link band is customizable
• Interchangeable straps
• Colorful AMOLED display
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TAG Heuer Connected ModularBluetooth
Wi-Fi
GPS
NFC
Titanium bezel
Sunblasted titanium case with rubber band
Interchangeable wristband
Steps counter
Calorie counter
GPS
25 hours• Sapphire crystal
• 50 meters water resistant
• Google Assistant
• 512MB RAM
• 4GB internal memory
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LG Watch Sport Unlocked GSMBluetooth
Wi-Fi
GPS
NFC
OLED display
1.38 full-circle
Gorilla Glass 3
Stainless steel and brushed metal finish
Fixed rubberized wristband
Automatic trackingAround 16 hours• IP68 water and dust resistance
• Data shortcuts
• Google Fit
• Google Assistant
• Pre-installed Google Maps
• Theatre mode
• 15 languages support
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Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular): Best Smart Watch for iPhone

Apple is all about freedom and the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) give you all the freedom you want.  Designed to work with iPhone 6 or iOS 6 or later, this watch wants you to remain connected even when you are away from your phone.

Design Features

This smartwatch supports GPS and Cellular connectivity. When you get your watch, you will be prompted to set up a cellular network with the watch or set it up using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Now you can receive calls and texts from anywhere whether you are taking a dip in the pool or swimming in the ocean, no important call will go unanswered.

Talking of connectivity, this smartwatch supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. With Bluetooth, you can share stuff one on one with a friend, but with Wi-Fi, it gets better as you can download apps to your watch and start streaming music. You can listen in with Apple AirPods which connect seamlessly with this watch.

What’s more, the Apple Watch Series 3 supports Siri; it is the ultimate virtual assistant that you can get stuff done much faster and find a place without asking strangers. With Siri, you can set reminders, set up tasks that you want to be done like waking you up and staying in touch which is the most important thing when you leave your phone at home.

Apple Watch is the ultimate partner for sports. It harbors an accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, and a heart rate sensor. It will tell you how hard you have worked, your reps, steps, etc. And when you choose the Apple Watch Nike + Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), you get a trainer talking into your ear and guiding all your workouts. This way, you can achieve more by adopting the correct form and never overdoing a single exercise. It also comes with a softer band that is lightweight and breathable.

Apple has also collaborated with Hermes, a high fashion manufacturer to bring you customized Apple watches. This includes handcrafted leather bands on the Apple-designed watch face that has its inspiration from the classic Hermes Carrick Font.

Some Snags on the Apple Watch Series 3(GPS + Cellular)

As good as it sounds, this Apple watch has a few drawbacks. First, the watch does not support international roaming. Also, cellular connectivity is a battery killer. If you rely on the watch for making calls and sending text messages, you will discover that instead of 18 hours of battery life, your Apple Watch will barely go over 12 hours.

Pros

  • It uses 1000-nit OLED display
  • Available in 38mm and 42mm size to suit different wrist sizes
  • GPS works independently of the phone
  • Supports fitness tracking
  • It has 16GB internal storage
  • Can stream music live from the Apple music store
  • Cellular connectivity allows answering calls and sending text messages away from the phone
  • It has sapphire crystal ceramic and stainless steel versions, and Ion-X glass on Aluminum version

Cons

  • Cellular use runs the battery faster

Verdict:  For those of us who want to ditch our phones someday, Apple Watch has a nice touch towards that prospect. The support of LTE, Siri, GPS, and fitness tracking is all incredible in such a small device. It allows you to get on your day without missing a thing and staying in touch with what matters.


Fitbit Versa Smartwatch: Best Smartwatch for Fitness

Fitbit is literally a legend in the world of fitness. And they want you to live your best life with the Fitbit Versa smartwatch. This watch can track all your day’s activities from steps, heart rate, sleep, and even your cycle.

Design Features

Fitbit Versa is a lightweight watch that you can count on throughout your quest for being a fit and better you. The heart rate sensor gives accurate calories burned and resting heart rate so that you can push more in your workouts. With the on-screen coach, you can have a glimpse of your progress such that you will exercise like a pro, gain more endurance and look like a seasoned fitness trainer.

15+ sports modes come in handy to allow tracking of a particular activity. Say running or cycling, Fitbit Versa will give you detailed results of your exercise so can make a note of your progress.

This watch will also track your sleep activity. It is essential to know about your night, so you will know when you have experienced light and deep sleep. It helps you to start cultivating better habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle and fully rested sleep.

When it comes to being connected to the world, Fitbit Versa will give you notifications of calls and text messages. You will also get push messages from your favorite apps and stream music from Pandora stations and Deezer music by connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

Fitbit Versa supports GPS, but it works hand in hand with your phone. You will be able to know the route you took and the distance you ran, walked, or cycled. But if you don’t want to bring your phone for runs but still want GPS, you can grab the Fitbit Ionic as it has inbuilt GPS that will help map out your route without the help of your phone.

Some Snags on the Fitbit Versa

This smartwatch will work with iPhones and Android devices, but it will not allow you to return text messages when using it with iPhones.  It is also difficult to change out the wristband on the older version.

Pros

  • It has four days of battery life
  • It works with iOS and Android phones
  • 15+ sports modes
  • Heart rate sensor is highly accurate
  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • GPS is integrated
  • Stores and streams music
  • Can store hundreds of apps
  • Supports contactless payment using the NFC chip

Cons

  • It does not support replying of text messages on iPhones

Verdict: Fitbit Versa is the ultimate fitness tracking smartwatch. If you live an active lifestyle, and you don’t want to miss anything from messages to calls, calories, heart rate, distance, laps, and even get help with an on-screen coach, Fitbit Versa might be your biggest companion and support system. You can live a happy life with loved ones around knowing you will be there to experience life with them by taking care of yourself.


Samsung Gear S3 Frontier: Best Samsung Smartwatch

Samsung introduces their most rugged and intuitive smartwatch, the Gear S3. Built for the outdoors, this smartwatch can take a beating while tracking your activities, giving you essential notifications, and optional LTE.

Design Features

Gear S3 looks more like a classic watch, but it boasts military grade construction. It can withstand extreme temperatures as well as drop of up to 5ft and immersion in water for 30 minutes in a depth of 5ft. You will like the Gorilla Glass face and stainless steel case that preserve its premium quality.

Gear S3 has a 1.3-inch AMOLED display. You can depend on it day and night for a clear view of everything that appears on the screen. You can even turn on the dimmed mode if you feel it’s too bright for your eyes.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier has intuitive controls. You can toggle through apps using the steel bezel which makes it easy to see your recently viewed apps, texts, and notifications on the screen. It uses the Tizen operating system that is great for both Android and iOS phones. We like that you can also operate it using the touchscreen and side buttons for even more control.

This watch will allow you to respond to emails and texts by typing, dictating or choosing a canned reply.

Fitness Tracking

The smartwatch comes with a ton of fitness features. From a heart rate sensor to an altimeter, barometer, and inbuilt GPS, now you can start getting detailed reports of your daily activities. With the help of the S Health fitness, MyFitnessPal, and MapMyRun, you can get synced info about your progress. This allows you to see where you have been and put you in a better place at achieving your goals.

Snags of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung chose to go with the Tizen operating system. This means you are not going to have as many apps like those found on the Google and Apple play store. It is quite limiting considering you will want to have apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. instead of relying on your phone all the time.

Pros

  • Water, dust, and impact resistant
  • Works with iOS and Android smartphones
  • The display is bright day and night
  • S Voice is clear for making voice commands
  • It has optional 4G LTE
  • Supports contactless payments using Samsung Pay

Cons

  • The Tizen app has few apps to work with

Verdict:  Apart from the limitations brought by the Tizen operating system, Samsung Gear S3 is nowhere close to a simple smartwatch. It is built to last, and it has impeccable fitness tracking sensors. It doesn’t have to be tethered to your phone with the optional LTE. You also get to pay without your credit card which makes life simpler with a Gear S3.


Huawei Watch 2 Classic Smartwatch: Best Android Smartwatch

Google’s Wear OS powers the Huawei Watch 2 Classic. It is a chunky design that will look good on wide wrists but not so much on small ones. It has a rugged finish on both the classic and sporty versions.

Design Features

This smartwatch is water resistant. It has a ceramic bezel that does not rotate so you will be using the buttons on the side and the touchscreen to access the apps on this smartwatch. The lower crown activates the workout app to start tracking without toggling through apps. It also has selectable watch faces to customize and complete your look.

Huawei Watch 2 allows you to track your fitness activities. It has a heart rate monitor that will show your heart rate for the last six hours and also give your resting heart rate. It provides you with a real-time coach that will guide your workouts. You will also like the live GPS mapping that shows your route. If you are a professional athlete, these are useful features since you don’t have to carry your phone to see your route.

The smartwatch uses 4G connectivity using eSIM or SIM card such that you can make calls and send text messages without your phone. With the help of the integrated antenna design, the watch manages to lock out interferences hence Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS features always function without snags.

This smartwatch also has integrated Google Assistant, so you don’t need to download an app for that. You can pass on your commands to the assistant and see things done faster and much more efficiently. It comes with most of the important apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Uber pre-installed on the smartwatch.

Drawbacks of the Huawei Watch 2 Classic

The watch does not offer simple controls like that of a rotating bezel. As such, scrolling is usually met with some challenges since the screen is too small that your finger could be covering the larger part of the screen, so it is easy to miss an app when scanning through the apps.

Pros

  • Supports LTE and NFC connectivity
  • Rugged construction improves longevity
  • Compatible with both iOS and Android devices
  • Supports live GPS mapping and coaching
  • 4GB internal memory for saving music
  • Google Assistant is pre-installed
  • 2 days battery life

Cons

  • The display screen is a bit too small

Verdict: With the coming of 4G connectivity, the Huawei Watch 2 Classis goes from an ordinary smartwatch to one that can provide untethered experience. It has outstanding fitness tracking features as well as being the undeterred assistant for notifications, receiving calls, and replying to text messages.


Garmin Forerunner 935 Smartwatch for Running

The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a dedicated running watch. It has inbuilt GPS and lightweight construction that you can wear it all day long.

Design Features

With a waterproof face and a comfortable wristband, you will never feel like Garmin is a nag on your wrist. It offers GPS tracking alongside a ton of other sports tracking features. It will tell you when you are under-doing your run or overdoing it to prevent injury. It will present you with statistics like your training status for the day and helps guide your decisions towards recovery, warmups, and overall and performance.

It also shows VO2 Max score which indicates your fitness level regarding your oxygen intake at a technical level. Not forgetting it shows the lactate threshold after gathering your heart rate information.

With the GPS on, you will get 24 hours battery life while in the UltraTrac mode which allows tracking of the heart rate without GPS, you get 50 hours. You can also choose the UltraTrac mode without the heart rate monitor to get 60 hours of running time. In the watch only mode, you can get up to 2 weeks which is incredible if you are using it as a regular accessory.

This smartwatch is helpful in so many ways we can see why athletes love it. It will sync with the Garmin app where you can set different workout sessions and have the watch guide your training sessions. It will also track other sports activities including triathlons, swimming, cycling, and treadmill runs.

Drawbacks of the Garmin Forerunner 935

This smartwatch is designed primarily for sports, as such, you cannot use it for notifications or NFC payments, and streaming music.

Pros

  • Provides detailed running and other sports statistics
  • It has guides for training sessions
  • Variable battery life for customized use
  • Wrist heart rate monitor is very accurate
  • Syncs with the Garmin fitness app

Cons

  • Does not support streaming of music

Verdict: If you want a smartwatch solely for the activity tracking features the Garmin Forerunner 935 is a must-have. Apart from the GPS, the heart monitor is everything you ever want as it is as accurate as a chest heart rate monitor. It gives you detailed results and information that come in handy in every training program.


TicWatch Pro Bluetooth Smartwatch: Best Smartwatch with Long Battery Life

TicWatch Pro is another smartwatch powered by Wear OS. It features one of the longest running times on a smartwatch. You can choose between the strip-down essential mode for 30-day battery life or the smart mode which gives you two days of running time.

Design Features

From the exterior look, you can tell that this is a quality model although it is not that fashionable. At 45mm, this smartwatch is not the smallest, so we don’t see it looking good on a slim wrist. But it has some quality features like the stainless steel case and bezel and the leather band with a silicone bottom.

It is double layered featuring an AMOLED smart panel and an LCD screen. The LCD is monochrome so no exciting features, but when you tap on it, you activate the amazing AMOLED screen where all the apps are accessed.

You will have to connect to the Mobvoi app and the Wear OS to have all the apps running smoothly. With wear OS, you gain access to all the apps you would ever like to run on your smartwatch from Uber to Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc.

When it comes to fitness tracking, it works as an entry-level model since it only has GPS and a heart rate monitor. Otherwise, if you want a smartwatch dedicated to sports, then you will want to consider a more advanced model like the Fitbit Versa.

Drawbacks of the TicWatch Pro

This smartwatch does not have an LTE version that can help to keep your phone at home and use the watch to pick calls and reply to your text messages. The Mobvoi app is also very limiting as it has very few features.

Pros

  • Top-end construction with two screens
  • Two battery modes
  • Simple touchscreen and two buttons for operating it
  • Built-in GPS and Heart rate sensor
  • Built-in Google Assistant
  • Switchable watch faces
  • Can answer calls with Android Phones

Cons

  • It is massive which makes it too big on petite hands

Verdict: The TicWatch Pro is a multipurpose watch that favors everyone who wants a smartwatch at an affordable price. The smartwatch has premium features which are a sure indication of its longevity. It supports fitness tracking as well as hundreds of features, so you don’t need to keep going back to your phone.


Fossil Q Explorist: Best Smartwatch for Men

Sometimes the best smartwatch can come in a classic style that is easy to familiarize with. The Fossil Q Explorist adapts an unusual look with a stainless steel case, bezel, and band. It has a link band so it will be easy to fit your wrist by removing some of the links if it feels loose.

Design Features

At 46mm wide, this is another chunky watch that will not feel very comfortable on a small wrist. Wear OS powers it so it can work with both Android and iOS phones though it has some limited functionality with iPhones.

Being one of the most stylish watches, you will love the brushed bezel and the colorful AMOLED display. Controls are effortless with the rotating crown. It also has buttons on the side as they act as shortcuts to the fitness app.

With 512MB RAM we feel it is not the fastest when loading apps but it’s at par with most smartwatches in its class. It boasts impressive functionality regarding the apps it can accommodate with 4GB of memory. It connects via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi making it ideal for pairing it with wireless earbuds or using Wi-Fi to stream music online.

This smartwatch also supports fitness tracking. It has a steps counter and calorie tracker but not a heart rate sensor or GPS. You can pair it with the Google Fit app which allows it to sync the activity info with the app for more detailed reports.

Snags of the Fossil Q Explorist

Pairing this smartwatch with an iPhone is not the best idea. One, you will just see notifications like an incoming call from your phone or a text message, but that’s it. It does not support answering of the calls and texting back, so you are better off pairing it with an Android phone.

Pros

  • 4GB internal storage
  • It has fitness tracking features
  • Pairs with iOS and Android
  • It has an IP67 water resistance rating
  • Stainless steel construction with colorful AMOLED display

Cons

  • It does not support NFC contactless payments

Verdict: If you want a classy men-oriented smartwatch, the Fossil Q Explorist is an excellent pick. It runs Wear OS 2.0 which works with iPhones and Android phones. It is fairly easy to operate, and it can accommodate lots of apps.


TAG Heuer Connected Modular Men’s Watch SBF8A8012: Best Waterproof Smartwatch

The TAG Heuer Modular 45 is a high-end smartwatch that exhibits lots functionality and customization. The smartwatch seems refined as it has an uncoated titanium bezel and a rubber band on the model we are reviewing, but it is available in over 56 versions to suit your personal taste.

Design Features

When we speak of personalization, Tag Heuer offers you different options for the bezel including aluminum, ceramic, diamonds, and the lovely titanium. You also get to choose from many different colors, and the wristband is also interchangeable so you can match it to your outfit every single day.

At 45mm diameter, this watch is still chunky, no wonder it is designated for men.  The smartwatch boasts being waterproof to immersion in a depth of 50 meters. It comes with a sapphire cover glass making it resilient to scratches. The AMOLED display has been beautifully executed as it gives you bright colors such that you can read what is in the apps day and night.

Navigation has been made easy using the crown. It allows you to access apps and toggle through them with less hassle. Its Intel Atom processor provides fast processing speeds which reduce lags.

This watch has an NFC chip that supports contactless payments. It also has inbuilt GPS, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope for fitness tracking. It can count your steps, calories, and map out your route.

Drawbacks of the TAG Heuer Modular 45

First, this smartwatch is at a high price so we expected that it would have extra features like a heart tracker and a rotating bezel which it does not have. It does not beat most of the watches with a much more affordable price except for the customization features.

Pros

  • Pairs with both iOS and Android phones
  • It has a durable titanium bezel and sandblasted titanium case
  • It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • It uses Wear OS 2.0 and an Intel Atom processor
  • Comes with a mic to allow Google Assistant control
  • It is waterproof to 50 meters
  • Comes with an NFC chip

Cons

  • It is more expensive than most watches that offer full smart functions such as a heart rate sensor

Verdict: TAG Heuer Modular 45 has a midrange performance although it comes at a high-end price. We like that it offers similar features as those of smartwatches we refer to as premium like the Huawei and Samsung Gear. It shows lots of improvement from the first Connected Smartwatch. It is definitely a good pick for everyday wear, so we know we are going to see more of it especially because of its personalization.


LG Watch Sport Unlocked GSM: Best Budget Smartwatch

LG is a dynamic brand, and they have had their share of smartwatches starting with Android Wear and now Wear OS, the LG Watch Sport is now a force to reckon with.

Design Features

The smartwatch supports all the latest features including 4G LTE and NFC for Android Pay. Its 4G LTE connectivity means it can make calls, reply to texts, and browse, without being paired with your smartphone. With the NumberSync app, the smartwatch will connect to wireless networks using your primary number. It is all you need when you need to venture the outdoors without your phone.

When it comes to playing your favorite tunes, LG Watch Sport will allow streaming music with Google Play Music or sync it directly to your watch from your phone via Bluetooth. This also means that it will connect to wireless earphones, so you don’t have to rely on the speaker to listen to music and pick calls.

This smartwatch is large but it is ergonomic, and we feel it will be comfortable on most hands but not small ones. It has a 1.38mm P-OLED full-circle display with a 480 x 480 resolution. It is bright even in sunlight, so you don’t have to make a shadow over it just to read a text message.

With Google Fit, LG Watch Sport will start tracking your activity automatically. It will even give you real-time coaching and advice that will make your workouts better. It can track all sorts of activities from running to cardio training, cycling, weight lifting, etc.

Drawbacks of the LG Watch Sport

This smartwatch has a dismal battery life even when used conservatively. It will get you at most 14 hours with the least usage and 10 hours when using most of the apps. It is also a bulky watch that you won’t forget wearing it more so if you will be tracking weight lifting or typing.

Pros

  • It has a rotating crown
  • Supports 4G LTE connectivity
  • It has button shortcuts for accessing fitness apps
  • Google Assistant works perfectly
  • Android Pay NFC payments
  • It has voice ID, voice dialing, caller ID, call waiting, and voice dialing command
  • It allows setting a smart screen lock
  • Google Fit provides automatic fitness tracking

Cons

  • The strap is not interchangeable

Verdict: Even though this smartwatch is large, it remains a favorite. This is because it runs Wear OS that has lots of modern features. From LTE to NFC, automatic fitness tracking, and easy navigation, it is a steal considering it does not have an upscale price.


Conclusion

Smartwatches have seen a great deal of improvement since they were introduced. With Apple Watch taking the top spot, Wear OS has stepped up to offer equally competing features. We have scoured the smartwatch market to find the best of the best.  From Fitness smartwatches to completely waterproof smartwatches to venture into the outdoors. You will also find watches that feature LTE cellular, so they don’t need to be always tethered to your smartphone.

Disclaimer: DefinitePoint.com participates in some affiliate programs and we might get a commission on purchases made through our links, but that doesn't change the fact how we write our articles.

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