The 7 best smartwatches of 2021

A capable smartwatch is the ultimate gadget and a great companion for everyday life. It will pair with your phone, gives you notifications, tracks your heartrate and movement, calorie-burn and much more. In this article, we have handpicked the best selling, most popular and most highly reviewed smartwatches of the year.

#1: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

Samsung S3 Frontier

The Samsung Gear S3 is one of the most popular smartwatches right now. It has an always-on face dial and the bezel can be turned to access different apps and functions. This smartwatch can be Bluetooth paired with your iPhone/Android device to allow you to text, make calls, get notifications and make payments with Samsung Pay. The built-in GPS will track your activity. The watch itself will resist dust, water and users praise its durability and performance, as well as the many cool functions like sleep tracking and calling.

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#2: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro Smart Fitness Band

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro Smart Fitness Band (Large), Liquid Black, SM-R365NZKAXAR

The Gear Fit2 Pro is slim, swimready, resistant and capable. Listen to music or use fitness apps and monitor your performance like calorie burning or heart rate monitoring. It can be paired with your iPhone or Android device and has multiple sensors like accelerometer, gyro and barometer. In reviews, users appreciate the form factor, the heart sensor, the different watch faces and the many fitness options and apps. For a wristband-style watch, it’s a sound choice.

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#3: Huawei Band 2 Pro Smart Fitness Wristband

Huawei Band 2 Pro Smart Fitness Wristband

The Huawei Band 2 Pro Smart Fitness Wristband is similar to the Samsung Fit2, but more affordable and simple. It has built-in GPS and heart rate monitor, and other functions such as sleep tracking. It can be paired with most smartphones and is 5ATM water resistant. The battery life is quite long, allowing up to 21 days of use. User reviews appreciate the heart rate monitor, water resistance and available partner apps. For third the price of a Garmin, it’s a good buy if you don’t want all the bells and whistles.

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#4: Garmin Fenix 6

As one of the top choices in smartwatches, the latest edition, the Garmin Fenix 6, is available. This popular and best selling smartwatch will suit most your fitness needs – and do much more. It measures your heart rate from the wrist or allows you to track with an accessory chest strap. The silicone strap is comfortable, flexible and rugged. The watch is water resistant up to 10ATM, so you can swim and go anywhere you like. It connects to wifi to your Garmin Connect account with has a lot of fitness training features. Users praise this as one of the best sport watches you can find.
Tip: It’s quite expensive, butThe Garmin Fenix 5 and earlier models are more affordable, so you can make a good deal.

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#5: Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

The Fossil Gen 5 has interactive dials and smart notifications when paired with most smartphones. The watch supports third party apps like Spotify, Uber, Google Play or Google Fit. You can change the strap or make custom dial faces. User reviews appreciate the clear always-on display, great look and app connectivity. Like most other connected always-on watches, battery won’t last more than a day. The Fossil comes in many strap and color options, as well in a Gen 4 woman style series.

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#6: Michael Kors Access Unisex Smart Watch

The Michael Kors “Access” is a fashionable yet capable smart watch powered by Android Wear, compatible with both Android and iPhone. Customize the face to suit your style, and change the strap as you see fit. Once connected, it gives you texts, calls and emails, and will track your sleep, steps and calories. Users appreciate the form factor, very stylish design and many functions. It works best with Android phones, and the battery like for most watches this type lasts for about a day.

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#7: Amazfit Smartwatch

Rated as perhaps the best overall smartwatch in 2020, consider the capable yet affordable Amazfit by Huami. It has a 30-day battery life, 4 sport modes and measures optical heart rate, tracks daily step count, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality. Get notified for emails, texts, calls and alerts from weather, twitter or facebook. In reviews, people who moved to this smartwatch from other models did not regret it.

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What you should look for when choosing a smart watch

Battery life: Some of the bigger watches with always-on and large screens will need recharging almost every day, whereas the wristband type watches can go for 7-30 days. Your choice depends on whether you will be able to recharge it every day, and how much you want to watch to do.

Form factor: The form factors plays a huge role in how you will use the watch. The wrist-band type watches are worn like bracelets, where as the bigger watches with large screens are more clunky.

Always-on: Does the watch have the option to show time always – or do you have to press a button? The always-on feature is important, because you will miss it if you like to tell time. On the other hand, turning it off will allow for much better battery life.

Functions and apps: See reviews for the usability of the apps and functions of your watch, and see what users report about these apps. Also check if the app support is good for iPhone or Android – or both.

Touch screen or button usability: Does the watch support touch screen, and if not, how do you access functions and app? Make sure the watch has good usability – read user reviews to find out what users report about using buttons or the screen.

Monitors and sensor: Which sensors does the watch have – steps, heart rate, sleep tracking, gyro, GPS? Which ones of these do you need?

Pairing: Before you buy, see specs for whether the watch pairs with your particular smartphone. Most smartwatches allow pairing with iPhone and Android phones, but some models like Samsung are specifically made to pair with Android apps only and will have limited functionality for iPhones.

Water resistance: Look for the promised water resistance. If you need to swim with your watch, or even dive with it, you want to make sure it is perfectly resistant. Go for at least 5-10 ATM if you go swimming.

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