Best Smartwatch: 14 Must Haves in 2016!
Whether your existing smartwatch has seen better days or you are new to the technology, advancements in the realm of wearable tech have moved at an incredibly fast pace in the last few years. As such, in this article we are going to talk to you about a number of devices. Depending on your needs any of them could be the best Smartwatch in 2016 for you.
We’ll also talk about the specs that make up a good smartwatch. These include, OS, battery life and features. Plus we’ll provide you with brief reviews of the top Smartwatches for fitness, value, Android and battery life.
You will see that we’ve chosen a range of devices from various categories to aid your buying decision. This allows you to inspect a broad range and discover who makes the best smartwatch for you.
Best Smartwatch for iOS: Apple Watch
Recommended for: The Apple Watch will appeal to you if you’re an iPhone user and want to stay in touch with family and friends when your phone is not accessible.
As it currently stands and accounting for its own variations, there is only one Apple Watch. However, if you’re an iOS user this is the best smartwatch for iPhone users by far. And has quickly become one of the most popular smartwatch available.
The Apple Watch is currently available in two different display sizes, 38mm and 42mm. They both offer resolutions of 290ppi and 302ppi respectively. As you would expect from Apple, the device is a premium one. If you want to personalize it, there are a choice of expensive straps for you to choose from.
With regard to features, once you have it tethered to an iPhone, you can have calls routed through to it. Respond to text messages with your voice and even keep track of your fitness with its inbuilt activity tracking software. And thanks to its IPX7 rating you can get it a little wet. This means it is splash proof (not waterproof).
Is the Apple Watch the best smartwatch? For attaching to an iPhone it sure is however, without an iPhone it can feel a little redundant.
Best Smartwatch for Android Users: LG Watch Urbane 2
Recommended for: If you like to have the freedom to go where you want untethered, but still have the option to stay connected and contactable, the LG Urbane 2 is for you.
Choosing the best smartwatch for you, is as important as picking a comfortable pair of shoes or a new car. But if you’re looking for a watch for Android then the process can be confusing since there is a large choice to choose from.
With the LG Watch Urbane 2, you no longer have to stay shackled to your smartphone. Because the Urbane 2 is the first Android wear device with the ability to connect to your mobile network whilst untethered from your mobile phone.
This means that you are free to leave your smartphone at home or in the car. Safe in the knowledge that messages and calls will be directed to it. And you can then respond to texts and voice calls directly through your smartwatch.
And that’s not all, the Urbane 2 is also capable of connecting to both 3G and 4G networks, which enables further communication options in the form of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Best Cheap Smartwatch; Sony Smartwatch 2 SW2
Recommended for: If you are in the market for something cheap, something that is sub $100 then why not take a look at this Sony Smartwatch 2 SW2? It has been around for a while, but with Sony you know that it’s a quality device.
If you’re new to the world of smartwatches, why not start with this device? It is a little dated since it was first announced in 2013. However, it does still have some positive points that are worth raising.
One of these is the Smartwatch 2’s ability to work with any Android smartphone running on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher. So you don’t need a Sony phone to make it work for you.
Another plus point is its IP57 rating, this means that if you wash your hands, it starts raining or you decide to submerge it in water up to a depth of 1-meter for 30-minutes, it (should be) fine. In addition, this rating makes the watch dust-proof, but I doubt you will be leaving it around long enough to gather dust to test it out.
With its 1.6-inch multi-touch display and an array of features, including Bluetooth plus NFC connectivity and access to a large selection of Android apps. The Sony smartwatch 2 could be one of the best cheap smartwatches around.
If you like the sound of this watch and want to see more affordable budget smartwatches like it, check out our article called Best Cheap Smartwatch: Top 10 For Your Money.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch
Recommended for: This one has been designed with the fashion and price conscious in mind. So, if you like classy looking devices that offer up a dash of color this could be the coolest smartwatch that satisfies that need.
Running on Alcatel’s own OS, but compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones via the OneTouch Move companion app. This watch seems rather limited when first switched on. However, once you’ve installed the app on your phone its functionality considerably improves.
Before I move on, it is easy to forget that this watch was originally designed for the lower end of the market. Yes, it is a good looking device but when compared to more expensive watches it falls down quite considerably.
Having said the above, I am pleased to say that we were quite surprised with its features and specifications. However, as you would expect from a cheap smartwatch, there is no mobile network connectivity, but there is a whole host of other features.
So, other than fashionable good looks, you get a 1.22-ich IPS LCD display with a reasonably impressive 258ppi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC connectivity, USB charging, SMS, Email, IM, MP3 player and a Non-removable 21mAh Li-ion battery that can last all day.
Recommended for: If you’re someone who wants an easy to setup device that offers a classic retro feel and wants both Android and iOS compatibility.
The Pebble Steel offers you something almost completely different from the other cheaper smartwatches featured in this article. Unlike the others, the Steel is not trying to do too much. Instead it has been designed as a complimentary device. It aids you by alerting you to incoming calls, texts and social media interactions.
Compatible with both Android and iOS it has been described as simplistic in nature. This is due to it not offering the bright and colorful displays found on other watches.
Why have Pebble followed this route? I don’t know. But you should not be put off by its monochrome display. This is because with an ambient back-light and vibrational alerts, you won’t miss a thing.
Whilst not as feature packed as other smartwatches, there is Bluetooth connectivity and a number of apps, which help you organize information. One of these apps is by Pebble and its called the “Timeline Feature”. It enables you to arrange all of your important updates into chronological order.
Asus WI501Q ZenWatch 2
Recommended for: If you want an Android Wear device that is full of interesting features and is affordable. The Asus ZenWatch 2 would certainly be a good smartwatch for you to choose from this list of cheaper devices.
When launched in September 2015 the ZenWatch 2’s price surprised everyone. This was because it was far cheaper than its predecessors launch price. There are two different size options. In this article I’ve included the smaller of the two with its 1.63-inch AMOLED display.
For a cheap watch this Asus surely is one of the best cheap smartwatches I’ve ever seen. Its display alone offers 280 x 280 resolution, or 273 pixels per inch which is superior to the others in this category,
If you want mobile network connectivity, I’m sorry to say that Asus have not supplied any here. However, thanks to Android Wear there is a huge array of apps to choose from. And with 512MB of RAM a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2GHz and 4GB of onboard storage, the ZenWatch 2 is a smartwatch that is hard to ignore.
LG G Watch
Recommended for: If you want a taste of the future on your wrist for a cheaper price. A smartwatch that you can talk to and search the web with, then read on to find out more about the LG G Watch.
The LG G watch offers up notifications directly from your phone, in the form of pop up information and also the potential to interact with a lot more phone apps. Running on Android wear OS, the G watch was one of the earliest smartwatches to feature Google’s wearable OS.
Just like futuristic sci-fi, with the G watch you can dictate a number of things such as prepare a note, send an email or even ask for directions. Useful apps for the G watch are Duolingo which has quick language learning flash cards. It also has the tinder app, which well you’ve probably heard of that and already know exactly what it’s about.
Moving onto specs, as you would expect for a cheap SmartWatch, there’s no cellular connectivity with G watch. However, it does have a 1.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with a resolution of 240 pixels per inch. There’s also screen protection with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. And surprisingly there’s a powerful quad-core 1.2 GHz CPU and an Adreno 305 GPU!
Other features include; 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, Bluetooth version 4.0 and SMS, email IM messaging. All-in-all the LG G Watch offers enough to make it probably the best smartwatch in its price range.
Best Looking Smartwatch: Huawei Watch
Recommended for: If you’re looking for an eye openingly good looking device with the latest specs, a great display and a battery which lasts for over 24 hours. Then the Huawei Watch is the best smartwatch for you.
The Huawei Watch is an extremely modern looking piece, which follows LGs example and incorporates a rounded 1.4-inch display. Not only is this Watch good looking but it also features the latest tech.
The Huawei Watch is in our opinion one of the best. Featuring a stunning 1.4-inch AMOLED display with 286ppi (Pixels per inch), it is one of the Android Wear watches with the best display.
However, its display is not its only positive feature. It also has scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass display and a cold-forged stainless steel body. Which means this smartwatch, is extremely tough.
In-addition, Huawei have made sure that this device has a wide ranging appeal with a number of color options available. These include; rose gold, black and silveR, Furthermore, there are two different strap options, fine-grain leather and stainless steel.
So, if you want all the features and something that looks sparkling and almost like a piece of jewellery on your wrist, you should seriously consider the Huawei watch.
Smartwatch with Best Battery Life: Pebble Time Steel
Recommended for: If you would prefer to keep your SmartWatch on your wrist at all times, never having to take it off at night to charge it and want a great battery life. The Pebble Time Steel could be smart watch for you.
Pebble smartwatches have always had impressive battery life however, the Pebble Time Steel takes this major benefit a step further. Offering up to a promised 10-days on one single charge!
You’ve probably already guessed that the Time Steel has an all-over Steel body (it’s in the name). However, it doesn’t look much different than its predecessor the Pebble Time, other than having a slightly better screen.
Moving on to other features, there is a voice response system, a new timeline interface with the past present and future at your Fingertips. As well as compatibility with both Android and iPhones running iOS8 and above.
If you’re an Android phone user and looking for an alternative to Android Wear. Something that has got awesome battery power, can handle notifications and is compatible with both an iPhone and Android smartphone, then the Pebble Steel Time could be the best smartwatch in 2016 for you.
Best Smartwatch for Fitness: Garmin Forerunner 225
Recommended for: If you love to run and want to track both your heart rate and all your daily activities in one go. You can’t go wrong with the Garmin Forerunner 225 smartwatch, as it is the best smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts.
Unlike Garmin’s previous fitness smartwatches, the Forerunner 225 has removed the need to wear a heart rate monitor strap. Instead opting for monitoring done directly from your wrist. Predominantly designed with runners in mind, the watch has built-in GPS, which can monitor your direction and pace as well as distance.
If you’re into running, the Forerunner 225 has a host of all-new features and is a truly great running watch. If we had to choose one watch in particular for running, this would be the one we would choose. Furthermore, being an all day activity tracker with GPS and a heart rate monitor its features go beyond simply running.
If you want more detailed tracking, there’s an inbuilt accelerometer which can measure individual steps, distance traveled and the amount of calories you burn. Plus it will measure your sleep at night however, this is where it falls down a little, due to there being no real usable results.
With all of its combined features taken into consideration, we would consider the Garmin Forerunner 225 to be one of the top smartwatches for fitness tracking in 2016.
Motorola Moto 360 Sport
Recommended for: Do you want a new fitness partner? A fitness watch that will enable you to leave your phone in your handbag, coat or pocket. And still receive all the important information you need and want?
If the above sounds like you, then the Moto 360 Sport can provide everything you need for your next gym session. Plus it can even plan your next run, so all you have to do is well, run. And with inbuilt features like GPS, heart rate monitor and even an MP3 music player this watch is more than a fitness partner.
The Moto 360 sport has everything you need to be able to hit the road running and push yourself to meet or even surpass your personal best. As for its features, we’re sorry to say there’s no network connectivity. However, there is GPS, which will keep track of the distance you’ve travelled and also plan routes for you.
However, the Moto 360 sport is much more than just the best smartwatch fitness partner, as it has built-in Android Wear. This means you can stay connected with the rest of your life by responding to emails, SMS, catch up with weather reports, respond to calls and much more!
Garmin Vivoactive HR
Recommended for: If you want to stay connected and monitor your heart rate without a chest strap.
Being a little more premium, so therefore costing more than the majority of its competitors. You’d expect to have more for your money with the Garmin vivoactive HR! Well I’m happy to say that this wearable is packed with features to help you stay fit and healthy. So it doesn’t let you down on price.
Developed to be a high-end fitness tracker, this all in one piece of kit includes, GPS, a heart rate monitor and can also track a variety of activities.
What’s more, the Vivoactive HR can easily receive push notifications from your smartphone. Plus, with readily available third-party widgets and apps, its display can be quickly customized . All of this certainly shows the Vivoactive HR certainly is a high-end fitness smartwatch.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR can be considered to be the best smartwatch, with a general-purpose fitness tracker Incorporated. So if you want a device that can do a bit of everything, keep you connected and give you access to the apps you already know and love, this device is a must have!
Best Value Smartwatch: Sony Smartwatch 3
Recommended for: If you’re looking for a smartwatch that is considerably cheaper than its nearest rivals, yet has all the same features. This one is considered to be among the top 10 smartwatches in the market today!
If you consider a Smartwatch to be a luxury purchase, then you probably want to get the most out of it and the most for your money. This is where the Sony SmartWatch 3 certainly offers you value.
However, as you know, using a Smartwatch is not all about the price since there are also features to be considered. But don’t worry, the martWatch 3 won’t let you down in that department either.
This device runs on Google’s Android wear OS. It will alert you with push notifications, text messages, incoming calls, tweets and WhatsApp messages. Plus, any time based alerts at you may have set up. Furthermore, there is also a decent voice recognition system, which means you can dictate a message or ask Google Now for directions.
Moving on to specs, as you would expect from a great value watch. All communication will need to be routed through your smartphone since there is no mobile network access. As for memory there is 4G of onboard storage and 512MB of RAM. Overall it is clear why the Sony Smartwatch 3 can be considered the best smartwatch for value.
Best Smartwatch for Extreme Fitness Fans: FitBit Blaze
Recommended for: If you’re looking for a fitness watch that offers you familiar tracking and even more advanced fitness features. The Fitbit Blaze will appeal to you and the armies of weekend runners and gym goers.
Fitbit have marketed the Blaze as the fitness fans new best friend. It”s useful on street, at home or in the gym. The watch itself has a 16-colour 1.25-inch touch screen display and looks pretty nice if you turn the brightness all the way up.
If you are in need of a plethora of exercise statistics to trawl through, the Blaze offers options for today’s stats and exercise statistics for individual activities. These include running, biking, elliptical and others. There is also a set of fitstar workout plans and settings, so you can dig deep and get to know exactly how you are performing.
You will be happy to know that the Blaze is compatible with iPhones, Android handsets and Windows Phones. The battery on the device should last for up to five days with moderate use. Plus, the Blaze is water resistant so you can get it a little wet!
Overall, the FitBit Blaze offers you some great fitness features mixed with those you find on a standard smartwatch. Combined, these make it the best smartwatch for fitness tracking we’ve seen so far.
What do you think of our list? Feel we missed something out? Let us know in the comments below!