It might not work with Android, but Apple continues to place its claim on my wrist
Call it boring, but it’s still the best Android smartwatch, hands down
The tech industry’s 2023 can be sufficiently summed up in one word: iterative. Refining what’s already good, adding small tweaks, but no total overhauls or revolutionary changes — with the possible exception of the Moto Razr+. Samsung has been leading this charge, with the biggest product changes we’ve seen this year being a bigger Galaxy Z Flip 5 cover screen, and one small but so significant change to the Galaxy Watch 6 series. And no, it’s not the return of the fancy rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Mostly minor improvements from the Watch 5, but a fan-favorite feature returns
Back in 2021, after years of stagnation, Samsung and Google jointly kicked off a sort of relaunch of Wear OS with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The watches were both Samsung's first to run on Wear OS and the first watches from any manufacturer to feature the redesigned Wear OS 3. With great performance and exciting new software, the wearables were a hit.
The TicWatch Pro 5 offers great performance and battery life, but it's not without its flaws
The past couple of years have been equal parts exciting and frustrating for Wear OS fans. While Samsung’s Wear OS-based Galaxy Watches and Google’s Pixel Watch have breathed new life into the platform, options from other players have stagnated, offering late and incomplete updates to the modern Wear OS 3.
The third-gen Oura Ring is good at what it does, but it starts at $300
In the decade or so they've existed, smart rings haven't experienced the same explosion in popularity as other wearable tech — size constraints make developing good smart rings to sell at reasonable prices a tall order. Oura's been making smart rings since 2015, and the Oura Ring, now in its third iteration, is one of the most refined and popular options today.
The Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition favors style over substance, which leads to shortcomings as a smartwatch
When I think about the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition, I remember an old Top Gear episode. Jeremy Clarkson was reviewing the first all-electric Mercedes SLS supercar. It was an absolute monster, capable of producing 739HP and a top speed of 155MPH. There was only one catch: battery life. The Mercedes could only sustain that performance for less than 10 miles before needing to charge.
Classic design with modern features
The best smartwatches tend to share some common traits, such as a large display, software customization, fitness tracking, and various apps. To carve out a niche, Withings has chosen to go in an entirely different direction with the ScanWatch. Withings designed a striking and classically designed timepiece offering a wide range of health-tracking features.
A classic watch design with modern smartwatch features
Hybrid smartwatches are a wonderful fusion of an analog watch design blended with current technology, giving them a unique feel. Fossil's latest smartwatch, the Gen 6 Wellness Edition Hybrid, attempts to marry old and new to carve out a piece of the smartwatch world dominated by watches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.
Whoop is great for runners and swimmers, but if your workout regimen includes weightlifting, it's not worth the price
It doesn't need to be the start of January for you to work on new fitness goals. Although your local gym is currently raking in the profits, getting out of the house and pushing yourself harder than ever before doesn't require a New Year's Resolution. All it takes is a plan and a little bit of drive — and thankfully, modern fitness trackers are more than capable of delivering both.
Solid hardware, but this just isn't worth $200
The Amazfit GTS 4 is a strange device. At a retail price of $200, the tracker is positioned as an upper midrange option, competing not only against scores of trackers from market leaders like Fitbit, but also fully-fledged smartwatches. I really like some things about the GTS 4: it’s got an attractive (if familiar) design, and its display is lovely and vibrant. But in the ever more crowded fitness wearable space, that’s probably not enough to justify the GTS 4’s existence, let alone its price.
The Garmin Forerunner 255S Music is a smartwatch focused more on getting you fit and ready for whatever exercise goals you want to achieve
Garmin makes smartwatches for the most active crowd, and goal-oriented runners might find that the Forerunner 255S Music is the right tool to stay on track. This isn’t the kind of wearable you strap on for leisure or the most basic movements — it's built for training, and Garmin thinks demanding runners will feel empowered with every step.
This small and mighty fitness tracker nearly does it all
I love having endless stats about the mundane and fitness-filled moments of my daily life. Sometimes, they're just interesting; other times, they help me improve my fitness — or, at the very least, give me a data-driven way to feel better about the progress that I might not actually see, but what the little device anchored on my wrist has deduced. The Fitbit Luxe is the company's smallest wrist-anchored fitness tracker.
You don't have to be a marathon runner to benefit from Apple's chunky, flagship watch
It shouldn't come as a shock that most of us here at Android Police are using Android smartphones and rocking Wear OS watches. Even so, we like to keep an eye on what's happening across the industry — including in Apple country. To that end, we wanted to give Apple's newest, flashiest wearable a spin.
Cheap fitness bands have come a long way
These days, fitness trackers come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. All Android smartwatches support some fitness tracking features, but many dedicated fitness trackers are best paired with health and fitness apps. One of the most successful lineups is the Xiaomi Mi Band series, and this year the Smart Band 6 earned the crown of best affordable fitness tracker.
High-end styling with a price to match
I've never been entirely sure what I should expect out of the Pixel Watch. On the one hand, it's a first-generation product from a company that's never made a smartwatch before. Growing pains can be expected. But at the same time, that company is Google, the zillion-dollar behemoth behind Wear OS and Android on the whole, that's been building some of our favorite phones and smart speakers for years now.
This fitness tracker has no business costing $300 in 2022
Fitbit’s more feature-rich fitness trackers are in a weird spot right now. With Google’s Pixel Watch sporting Fitbit integration, the prospect of a high-end Fitbit wearable with more limited software is starting to feel a little dubious.
The Halo View is a budget fitness tracker that feels lightweight and performs like it until you tap into the resources waiting in the Halo app
With the Halo View, it seems Amazon literally wanted to show you what its fitness tracking can do. Considering the company's previous tracker, the Halo Band — a device without a screen like the Fitbit-style View — it's likely that the goal here was a more traditional tracker with a more affordable price.
When having every option ever is too much of a bad thing, not a good thing
Amazfit's GTR 4 could have been an incredible smartwatch, but its mind-numbing user interface and sloppy companion app make messing with this device a chore, and I can't emphasize this any stronger.
Maybe this pro should have stayed an amateur
Samsung attempted to appeal to a wide audience of potential buyers with last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Whether you wanted a large watch strapped to your wrist or felt unwilling to let the rotating bezel die, there was something there for you. With the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, Samsung is attempting to sway a much narrower market: fitness freaks. The sort of buyer who springs for a Garmin watch over the latest from Fossil or Mobvoi, who finds the best of Fitbit just a little too casual.
Charging speed and battery are slightly better on this already-solid watch, but it’s not enough for die-hards
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 was the culmination of years of dreams, desperate pleas, and corporate collaboration, as Google and Samsung finally came together to give us the amazing Android smartwatch that Android owners deserved. The Exynos chipset inside ran circles around the outdated Qualcomm chipsets of its competitors. It gave us Samsung’s refined hardware and software experience with the Google services and apps that we’d missed out on earlier Tizen-based Galaxy Watch models.
Xiaomi's best yet still has room to grow
Over the past few years, Android smartwatches have fallen into disrepair. There is some hope now that Samsung is on Wear OS again, but the only innovation so far is One UI on our wrists. We don’t know what the future holds for Wear OS 3.0, but Xiaomi’s new smartwatches are here now, offering similar hardware and fitness and health features without WearOS. Sure, watches like the Xiaomi Watch S1 and S1 Active lack Google Assistant, third-party apps, and any defined ecosystem, but they do offer the basics with incredible battery life for a very reasonable price. Starting at $199 for the S1 Active and $269 for the S1, these very well could make a great smartwatch for someone who values battery life and health tracking above all else.