Smartwatches are a great way to receive notifications from your phone and track your health, right from your wrist. We’ve used and reviewed all of the latest smartwatches for Android and iPhone, and here we’ve ranked ten of the best.
The latest Apple Watch may seem like the obvious choice – and in fact there are now three Apple Watch options to pick from – but there are also loads of great rivals to choose from whether you use Android or an iPhone, with excellent hardware from Samsung, Huawei, Amazfit, and others.
In this ranking we’re focussed on fully featured smartwatches, with some level of app and notification support, but check out our guide to the best fitness trackers if you want something simpler – and probably cheaper.
1. Apple Watch SE – Best for iPhone
- Good value
- Solid feature set
- Great integration with iPhone
- No always-on display
- So-so battery life
The Apple Watch SE is the best Apple Watch option for most people with an iPhone. It is very reasonably priced – not something we can often genuinely say about Apple hardware products.
It has many of the features of the more expensive Apple Watch Series 8, including the new car crash detection, while maintaining a modern design with the same chipset and solid battery life – for an Apple Watch, that is.
If you equally value smart features like third-party app integration, music storage, contactless payments, and full fitness tracking, the Apple Watch is still the best smartwatch if you have an iPhone. The SE does everything surprisingly well considering it’s the cheapest one.
2. Google Pixel Watch – Best for Android (& Fitbit Fans)
- Attractive design
- Easy to use
- Smooth performance
- Inconsistent battery life
- Old chipset
- Lacks proper automatic workout detection
- No Qi wireless charging
One of the biggest draws of the first official Pixel Watch is its beautiful design. Not only does it look and feel great, with its own personality, but it’s also compact, light, and comfortable too.
More than that though, it’s packed with loads of great tech and works brilliantly thanks to the combination of the intuitive Wear OS 3 software, a digital crown, and a dazzling screen.
Fitness tracking is handled by Fitbit, which also makes this the best smartwatch right now for anyone who wants to keep their data in the Fitbit family, as it’s comfortably better than Fitbit’s own Sense 2 and Versa 4, which weren’t good enough to feature in this chart.
Sadly, Google hasn’t nailed it in every department, with unpredictable battery life, restrictions when it comes to charging and, most odd of all, lacking proper automatic workout detection despite featuring Fitbit-powered tracking. Still, this sets the bar for the new default smartwatch experience on Android, and gives rivals something to aim for.
3. Apple Watch Series 8 – Full-featured Apple Watch
- Premium design & build
- Fantastic iPhone integration
- Few updates from older models
- Requires daily charging
While the Series 8 is only an incremental upgrade over 2021’s Series 7, it’s still a great buy for iPhone owners, and packs a couple key features that the cheaper SE (above) doesn’t.
The big difference compared to the SE is the support for an always-on display, letting you check the time and other alerts at a glance – with a hit to battery life. Some of the health tracking features are also more advanced, with ECG and blood oxygen measurement plus a temperature sensor for cycle tracking, which is new to the Series 8.
Battery life remains the biggest weak spot – unlike most rivals this still needs a daily charge, and you’ll need to plan that well if you want to make the most of the sleep-tracking features. If you don’t need the top health features then you may want to consider the cheaper SE, while those with more demanding needs should look at the souped-up Apple Watch Ultra, which you’ll find below.
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 – Best for Samsung phone owners
- Best Wear OS experience yet
- Customisable design
- Great performance
- 40mm model has bad battery
- Full functionality for Samsung Galaxy users only
After the Pixel Watch, the Galaxy Watch 5 has a good claim to being the ‘default’ smartwatch for many Android phone owners, though that does come with a big caveat: if your handset isn’t made by Samsung then not every feature will work, including health tracking extras like the ECG.
Even if you don’t use a Samsung phone you shouldn’t write this off though. The Watch 5 comes in two casing sizes, along with a range of colours for personalisation. The whole design is contemporary, complete with a digital bezel that uses haptic feedback, too.
The Watch 5 is a premium feature-packed smartwatch with the Google Play Store and support for a wealth of third-party apps. It’s also surprisingly affordable, so there’s no need to break the bank.
One final word of caution: we found the battery life on the smaller 40mm model erratic and unreliably, but the larger cell in the 44mm variant should make that a safer bet.
5. Apple Watch Ultra – Best for outdoor sports
- Impressive durability
- Bright display is easy to use outdoors
- Great outdoor-focused features
- Provides the core watchOS experience
- New straps need some more work
The Apple Watch Ultra might just look like a bigger, more rugged Apple Watch, but there’s more to it than that. It’s not only more durable but boasts a number of improvements that benefit outdoor sports enthusiasts, from extreme temperature protection to improved water resistance capabilities.
The new Action button is a welcome addition that I hope makes its way to the standard Apple Watch, providing a handy way to access key functionality without the touchscreen, and the dual-GPS is a real game-changer for those that like to wander off the beaten track.
Sure, it’s bigger, bulkier and weightier than the standard Apple Watch, but if you’re looking for something that’ll take a knock or two and last days on a single charge, the Apple Watch Ultra is a solid premium option. However, if you’re only looking for an Apple Watch for day-to-day use, the cheaper, slimmer Apple Watch SE and Series 8 are better bets.