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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Best Smartwatch for Android in 2022

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(Pocket-lint) – Uncovering the best smartwatch for Android users is easier said than done, with increasingly strong offerings available from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, Garmin and Fitbit.

With so many styles, operating systems and features on the market today, it can be a lot to take in. As Android users still aren’t able to pair with the Apple Watch, as well, you’ll have to look a bit further afield and cross that one from your list.

To help you narrow things down, we’ve tested and compiled a list of all the smartwatches worth knowing about if you have an Android handset.

Read on to find the perfect match for your wrist, and, below our picks, you’ll find a short guide on what to consider before you choose. If you are looking for a more general overview, you can also add our roundup of the best smartwatches to your reading list.


What is the best smartwatch for Android?

  1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
  2. Garmin Venu 2
  3. Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro
  4. Fossil Gen 6
  5. Xiaomi Mi Watch

Best Android smartwatch: Our top pick 

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

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For

  • Smooth customisable interface
  • Wireless charging support
  • Accurate fitness tracking

Against

  • Touch interface could be more intuitive

We think the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is probably the best smartwatch on the market for Android users. It’s got customisable faces, robust fitness tracking, interactive notifications, music controls and support for payments via Google or Samsung Pay.

All while being slimmer and more powerful than previous generations, what more could you ask for?

The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first (and, currently, the only) smartwatch to come with Wear OS 3, Google’s latest version of its smartwatch operating system. So if you want the latest and greatest from Google, this is the way to get it.

Smartwatches for Android we also recommend

While we think the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a great choice for most people, a smartwatch is a very personal item and there are a lot of styles to choose from. So, here are some other top smartwatch options that we also recommend.

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Garmin Venu 2

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For

  • Awesome AMOLED display
  • Graphical UI improvements
  • Great fitness functions

Against

  • Brightness adjustment too easy to trigger

The Garmin Venu 2 is a solid all-rounder that takes Garmin’s GPS fitness prowess and combines it with a gorgeous AMOLED display and all the modern smartwatch conveniences you could possibly want.

It’s available in multiple sizes for larger and smaller wrists, and is compatible with traditional watch straps, meaning you can customise it to your heart’s content.

It’s not got the battery life or detailed mapping of Garmin’s more sports-focused devices, but it offers a happy medium that is likely to appeal to most people.

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Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro

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For 

  • Two distinct and beautiful designs
  • Very good fitness and health tracking
  • Long battery life

Against

  • Lack of third-party music support
  • Doesn’t sync with MyFitnessPal or Strava
  • Quite similar to the Watch GT 3 

Unlike a lot of smartwatch makers, Huawei is on a roll of producing devices that look like premium accessories. They’re just as much a fashion statement as they are a useful fitness tracking smartwatch. And we really applaud that. 

The 43mm ceramic model is genuinely stunning, and is perfect for smaller wrists, while the larger, 47mm titanium model has much more of a bold look to it. 

What’s more, it’s equipped with fitness sensing and tracking hardware and AI that gives you an experience that’s comparable to a sports watch. What’s more, Huawei’s Health app lets you dig down into data in a way that’s easy to understand and read. 

The only true duff note here is the third-party support. There’s no support for contactless payments (in the UK, at least) and no offline listening for music streaming platforms like Spotify.

All told, though, it does all the important things well and doesn’t cost a fortune, so we’re big fans. 

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Fossil Gen 6

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For

  • Faster and snappier than Gen 5
  • Well designed
  • Relatively affordable

Against

  • Doesn’t have the latest Wear OS

The Fossil Gen 6 is a great-looking watch that is now much faster and more responsive thanks to the latest Qualcomm hardware inside. It’s got fantastic hardware all around including a lovely AMOLED display and onboard GPS.

The big shame here is that it doesn’t have the latest Wear OS installed out of the box, though an update is promised in the future. We also found the GPS accuracy to be a bit lower than competitors.

Despite that, it’s a really well-designed watch and it comes at a decent price point, so it’s definitely worth a look.

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Xiaomi Mi Watch

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For

  • Lightweight sporty styling
  • Great touchscreen display
  • Super affordable

Against

  • Doesn’t work with third-party apps

The Xiaomi Mi watch comes at a very attractive price point and is certainly the most accessible on our list. Despite its price point the Mi Watch looks and feels premium, with great aesthetics, an intuitive UI and a lovely display.

The Mi Watch is largely focused on fitness, so, if that’s one of your primary reasons for owning a smartwatch, then you’ll be really pleased with this one. It does, however, lack some of the more advanced features found on other smartwatches, and there’s not much in the way of support for third-party apps.  

Other smartwatches we’ve considered

When deciding what we believe to be the best smartwatches for Android currently available, we spent hours testing and researching. No matter the subject area, we always consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices – and apply the same process before a new device enters our top five selections. We don’t just take into account our own testing, either, but also consumer reviews, brand quality and value.

In all of our roundups, there are also many products we test that don’t make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we’ve listed them below.

How to choose a smartwatch for Android

There’s no easy way to choose a smartwatch, since there’s so much to consider, from features and performance to styling and sizing. Hopefully, some of our picks have piqued your interest, but, to help you narrow down the choices further, here are some things worth thinking about when buying a smartwatch for Android.

Picking the right size

Let’s start with the simplest one because if you don’t get this right you’ll never want to wear the thing. An oversized watch can look ridiculous on a dainty wrist, and vice versa.

A good option is to measure one of your favourite watches and hunt for a smartwatch that is available in a similar size range. Usually, smartwatch sizes range from about 38mm to 46mm, honing in on your preferred size will narrow the field considerably.

A word on battery life

In an ideal world, you’d rarely have to charge your smartwatch but, the fact is, the more features you pack into a device, the shorter the battery life gets. This one is all about balance, at a minimum, a smartwatch needs to last for a full day but if it has tonnes of useful features, then charging it every night might be worthwhile.

Conversely, if you spend a lot of time out in the wilderness away from plug sockets then you might want to opt for a simpler watch that can last a week or more on a single charge.

It’s worth thinking about charging options too, as decent fast-charging support can make charging a lot less of a hassle.

What about operating systems?

This guide is all about smartwatches that work with Android, but a smartwatch still needs to run its own operating system onboard too. Many agree that Google’s Wear OS is one of the best smartwatch operating systems around – but the number of devices running it is surprisingly slim, and when it comes to the latest version, it’s currently just the Galaxy Watch 4.

Wear OS is feature-rich and highly configurable, but it has drawbacks too, mainly when it comes to battery life. Manufacturer-specific operating systems such as Huawei’s HarmonyOS, on the other hand, can manage much more impressive battery longevity but it tends to come at the cost of third-party app support and integrations.

What features matter to you?

Everyone is different, and smartwatches, too, cater for different needs. For some, it’s all about fitness tracking and you might be very keen to get rid of the smartphone bulk while you’re out on a run. In that case, an onboard, and accurate, GPS would be high on the priority list for precision metrics.

For some users, it’s all about the convenience of reading messages or taking calls without having to pull the phone out of your pocket. Some fitness-first devices don’t place much emphasis on the notification features at all and might not even have a microphone built-in, so be sure to pay attention to the features on offer.

More about this story

Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.

That’s even more true than usual in the case of smartwatches since they really do accompany you on your whole day. We’ve worn all of the watches we’ve selected, and those that haven’t made the final cut, for weeks at a time. We don’t just wear them around the office either, but use them during exercise and even take them for a dip underwater, since so many watches now revolve around fitness metrics and health tracking.

This helps us to build up a thorough picture of each watch’s positives and negatives, and work out where they rank. It’s not just about performance either, we take into account the design of each device, how they look on the wrist and how much creative control you have to make it look and feel how you like.

As with any roundup, it’s not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team – as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above – in order to do our best in this regard.

What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each watch is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.

Writing by Luke Baker. Editing by Conor Allison.





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