With 2018 halfway through, I think it’s a great time to figure out what the best smartwatches really are.
All launches have left the launchpad and have either failed or flourished and now you can make a better buying decision as that is enough time to see what actually works and what doesn’t.
This simple, yet functional gadget is becoming more and more popular and not because of all the cool things they can do but mainly because the smart phone is not something you can take with you everywhere you go.
Sure it may be attached to you and you can’t leave home without it but the main reason for that is the fact that you don’t want to lose contact with the social aspect of your life.
And this is where the smart watch comes into play.
Being able to see what is going on without having to haul around your cellphone all the time is a huge convenience for a lot of you and that is why we have put together this list.
Afer testing a bunch of the main options out there and at least giving the not so popular ones a try, we have finally come up with the best smart watches that will do the best job for you.
So if you’re looking for the best of the best, this list will have you owning exactly that.
1.) The Apple Watch: Editor’s Choice
First on our list, we have the Apple Watch. Truthfully, this unit earns the top spot for innovation alone.
If you are a fan of the smart watch concept, then you owe a big debt of thanks to the Apple Watch, which really popularized the idea, and paved the way for future products to come.
But of course, we would not actually put this product on the top of the list simply for being an early iteration of this now popular smart watch concept.
It’s also just a really good watch.
The essential function of this device is to relocate all of the Iphone’s apps from your pocket to your wrist. With this device, you can respond to texts, answer phone calls, track your heart rate, activate GPS, and more, without ever taking your phone out of your pocket.
You can even access the internet from your wrist, which is pretty sy-fi if you think about it.
There are also just good hardware components to appreciate. The unit itself is pretty sturdy, which means that it should be able to hold up pretty well to the wear and tear that wrist watches typically encounter.
It’s also optimized to be water resistant (though it will not hold up to being submerged, so don’t try it) which is good because even the most cautious wristwatch owners will find that occasionally their favorite accessory gets a little bit wet.
Even the battery life is pretty good by smart watch standards, especially compared to the first two versions of the watch.
With eighteen hours of battery life, the unit very obviously falls drastically short of what traditional wristwatches can do, but you at the very least shouldn’t have any trouble going about your day without wearing the watch out.
Of course, like any product (and perhaps especially, any Apple product) there are some issues to look out for.
The product is prone to overheating, and many users noticed that it has a disappointingly short life expectancy (which is an issue that many Apple products suffer from).
All in all, the pros do outweigh the cons, making it a good option for anyone that wants a great smart watch.
2.) Sony SmartWatch
In second, we have the Sony smart watch. While this unit is not quite as impressive as the Apple Watch but there is still certainly a lot to like, which is why we have placed it in our runner up slot.
There is certainly no denying that this watch is simpler than the Apple Watch, but it does still boast a few of the same core features.
With this watch you still get GPS on your wrist (which is super rad), an ifit app that tracks your exercise and gives you comprehensive feedback on your exercise, including stats on heartrate, speed, and distance.
Last, but not least, this watch also features a voice activation component so that you can activate the functions of the wrist using only your voice.
Like the Apple Watch, there are also a couple of issues that set this product back a little bit. For one thing, it also seems to suffer from a short life span, with many people reporting that theirs stopped working after a year of use.
This is more likely a defect rather than something that most users should expect to encounter, but regardless it certainly is not good to see.
The other issue is just a lack of software. It looks like Sony/Android has not entirely flushed out all of the possible capabilities for this watch yet.
If you want a smartwatch that is rich in potential application, this isn’t really going to be it.
Otherwise, it really is a quality product that serves as a suitable substation for the Apple Watch.
3.) LG Watch Urbane Wearable Smart Watch
In third, we have the LG Watch Urbane Wearable Smart Watch. Like the Sony, this unit is not quite as capable as the Apple Watch, but it is considerably more affordable which should make it a good option for any shoppers who are on a tighter budget .
It looks like there is a pretty keen emphasis on fitness with this unit. While the LG does boast a range of applications, they seem to pay the most attention to the components of the watch that relate to health.
The LG is able to track heartrate, speed, distance and more to keep you constantly up to date on your physical activity for the day.
Like the Sony, it also features a voice activation component that will allow you to send text messages, search the web for scores to sports games, and more, simply by talking to the watch.
This unit is designed to work with Android technology, though it can connect to a limited extent with Apple software as well.
Of course, this product is not perfect. One thing that we noticed was that, unlike other, similar smart watches, you cannot answer phone calls with this watch.
While the watch will vibrate on your wrist anytime you have an incoming call you can only chose to accept or reject the incoming correspondence from the watch.
If you do choose to accept the call, you will have to do the actual talking on your phone.
This is not a huge con of course, as most of us are used to talking exclusively on phones anyway, but it is indicative of the fact that the tech at work here is not quite comparable to that of some of the other products like this on the market.
There also is not a very large body of apps to choose from, which naturally means that the range of what you can use this watch for is fairly limited.
In other words, there are reasons that this unit costs less than the Apple Watch. If your main goal is to get something that is affordable, this is a good route to take. Otherwise, you may want to spend a little bit more, to get a lot more.
4.) Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch
In our penultimate slot we have the Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch. While this option does find itself on the lower end of our list, there is actually still plenty to like.
Unlike the last watch that we looked at, there are plenty of third party apps to select from here, so you do have the ability to really customize the experience you have with this unit.
You can also do all of the standard stuff with this watch. Use it to check your calendar, send texts, and get other notifications from your phone.
One of the bigger and more inconvenient defects that we noticed is that this watch does not feature speakers. If you want to listen to music, or do anything else that requires sound, you are going to need to invest in Bluetooth headphones, which are of course expensive in their own right.
In principle this is not necessarily a massive con, but it does limit what you can do with the watch right out of the box.
Of course, this limitation also means that you cannot use the watch to answer or conduct phone calls.
All in all, none of the cons associated with this watch are particularly severe. While it does fall short of the capabilities of some of the watches that found higher spots on our list, there is still plenty to like.
If you want Smartwatch with lots of app support, but you don’t want tot pay a fortune to get it, this may be an option to think about.
5.) Fitbit Versa
Last, but certainly not least, we have the Fitbit Versa. This unit assumes the last slot on our list not necessarily because of anything that it does wrong, but simply for the fact that, by design, it is more limited than some of the other watches that we have looked at.
As most readers probably know (or would at least gather from their name) fitness is the name of the game at Fitbit.
The unit focuses mostly on tracking your fitness goals. You can record running sessions, monitor your heartrate, and even keep track of swimming records (the Versa is water resistant, though not completely waterproof).
The unit also has the ability to store up to three hundred songs which is going to be great for users that like to jam out while they exercise.
The unit is even able to boast the best battery life out of any of the other options on this list. With a battery life expectancy of several days, you shouldn’t have to worry about this watch suddenly dying on you.
The only real con here is that most of the app support focuses entirely on fitness.
This is going to be great for shoppers that are looking for a work out accessory, but not so great if you are more in the market for something like the Apple Watch.
All in all, if you are a runner, the Fitbit Versa is definitely something to think about getting.
How We Decided on the Best Smart Watches
Of course there are many smart watches to choose from but narrowing it down to a top 10 wasn’t a problem as the big names definitely stood out from the rest.
However, that was not what made our final decision and we used more than a name to create this list.
Here is what we used to find the best smart watches.
When it comes to electronics we want them to do what they are supposed to do or well, it will just not be worth it.
With the watches on this list, they all have to be functional and do more than just tell time.
Then again, what could something so small possibly do to be considered functional?
Well, with the Apple Watch series 3, the fact that you won’t need to carry around your phone while on a run is absolutely amazing and what I have been personally waiting for.
How about being able to respond to texts all from your wrist?
Okay, I don’t think you really want to play any games on your watch but it is there if need be.
Design and Style
This is right behind functionality as we will be wearing this thing to look cool and is probably 90% of most of your buying decisions.
Every watch on this list are stylish and will go well with any of your styles.
They aren’t too fancy with not a lot going on and that is what we like to look for in a good smartwatch.
Some look like a regular old watch, while others have way too much going on.
Simple, sleek, and functional is how we like things around here and that is exactly what the watches here have.
Quality is always a must when we create any of the buying guides on our site.
Without quality, you can’t be considered the best and that is definitely a must.
There are so many cheap smart watches out there that do a decent job as far as function is concerned but they can’t withstand the normal wear like the 5 on here.
There’s also no point in buying anything if it is going to break on you in less than a year.
It is only smarter to spend a little more for great quality over buying something twice over a two year span.
Just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.
Price VS Quality
We are not always looking to splurge on anything just because it is “hot”.
As much as we like nice things, we also try to find a nice balance when it comes to electronics.
Just because product A costs 10x more than product B does not mean it is better.
This reminds me of when I got my first media player (the iRiver) and how it cost me just as much as the iPod.
iPod or iRiver?
I went with the iRiver just because there was too much hype around Apple products and I’m not one to just give in because everyone else likes something.
With things being so fresh at the time and no telling which products would be superior today, you really can’t blame me for trying to be “different”.
The thing about my situation was that the iRiver cost more than the iPod but of course you know which one was better.
So just like everything on our list, we look to give you bang for your buck and not just have you spend money on something pricey that is probably just as good as its cheaper competition.
We all know that a smartwatch is not going to replace your smartphone but the two go hand in hand.
And if you’re sporting something like the Apple Watch or the Sony Smartwatch, you can very much standout from the crowd.
I know it seems like everyone owns one but you’ll be surprised who owns one of the top smart watches on our list.
Well there you have it!
I hope this list of the best smart watches has helped you find that perfect one as I’m sure it doesn’t exist.
Who knows, maybe by next year, you might be able to talk from your watch with some wireless headphones.
That will be sweet and we will very much keep you informed if that ever does happen.
Thanks for reading and good luck!