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Top 10 Android Smartwatches Buyers Guide: March 2016 Edition

March 24, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Every month we take a look at some of the best smartwatches available, and while Mobile World Congress didn’t change much for the Android Wear landscape, more watches have recently been announced. The new Fossil Q Marshal, the new Nixon Mission and a new Michael Kors watch are all on their way to market, but none of them have definite release dates, and so they won’t appear here for that reason. Elsewhere, updates have made some of the less-expensive models here much more useful, and Android Wear overall has gotten much better, so let’s see how the current crop of smartwatches stack up shall we?

10. Fossil Q Founder

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The Fossil Q Founder is a fine-looking smartwatch, if you’re a fan of larger watches that is. Even compared to the Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch, the Q Founder is a sizeable device that has a lot going for it. The display looks nice, the strap is solid and weighty, and it really does look and feel like a watch. However, with no heart rate monitor, a flat tire display and few other features added in, the Fossil Q Founder is definitely more form than function, as we discovered in our review. Recently however, it has been updated to Marshmallow and this did include some more watch faces, too.

09. Moto 360 Sport

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The Moto 360 is a fine smartwatch – as shown by its listing further up this list – but the Moto 360 sport is something that doesn’t quite live up to its name or its promise. For the active types out there, the silicon strap and overall look of the device will work well for them, but there are few extra sport features included here, and for the most part a Moto 360 could do all of this with a different strap put on it. Still, it’s one of the few sporty-looking watches and with some third-party apps from the Play Store it comes halfway to realizing that sort of functionality. It is however, mostly only any good for runners or cyclists, at best.

08. LG G Watch R

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The G Watch R might be getting old now, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the more popular Android Wear watches. It looks good, has great battery life and an excellent fully-circular OLED display. Some older models are starting to suffer from burn-in issues, but for the most part this is an affordable smartwatch with a lot to offer. The numbers around the display might not suit everyone, but there’s not too much to complain about here, and it does suit a lot of different watch straps, too.

07. ASUS ZenWatch 2

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While the ZenWatch 2 might often be considered the poor-mans smartwatch, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It might be a square Android Wear watch, and one that might look a little out of place on some people’s wrists, but it has all the same sort of features as pretty much everyone else on this list, and it’s also got a party trick on hand now, too. The larger version of the ZenWatch 2 was updated with support for voice calls along with the Huawei Watch, which makes this much more of a smartwatch. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t quite look as nice as some other options out there.

06. LG Watch Urbane

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When LG released the Watch Urbane, it was essentially a way of getting more out of the G Watch R, but it’s a great watch nonetheless. With the same sort of look and feel, the Watch Urbane is just that little bit classier, and something a little more traditional to boot. All-in-all, this is a good-looking watch that has all the same sort of features as other smartwatches out there, but it is a little expensive for a watch of its age. Regardless, a good-looking watch like this is almost timeless, it’s just a shame that the software certainly isn’t.

05. Motorola Moto 360 – 2nd Gen

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When the original Moto 360 launched it quickly became one of the most popular smartwatches out there, despite its foibles. This new Moto 360 manages to retain much of the look and feel of the original, giving the Moto 360 the same sort of charm as the original one. However, this one adds a better display, much better performance and battery life as well as the ability to throw on whatever sort of strap you want. Moto maker is a real treat here, and now that this is available in two different sizes, this is the sort of smartwatch that will suit the majority of users out there.

04. LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition

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It’s back! The watch that LG abruptly took off of store shelves and listings last year is back once more, and is now available to purchase from AT&T. It’s still pretty expensive, topping out at $359.99 outright on Ma Bell, and it’s still just as chunky as it always was. Still, if you’re looking for an Android Wear smartwatch with some cellular capabilities, then this is the only option out there right now. It would have been nice to see this stay on sale since it launched last year, but we’re just glad to see it back at all at this point.

03. TAG Heur Connected

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The TAG Heuer Connected is not an affordable smartwatch, but it was never going to be with the TAG name attached to it. While a great piece of hardware in its own right, the TAG Heuer Connected has been a big help in getting other manufacturers such as Nixon and Michael Kors involved, too. After all, a big name like TAG Heuer going in with Android Wear says a lot about the platform. Still expensive and still ostentatious, the Connected will be divisive for a lot longer still.

02. Samsung Gear S2

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The Gear S2 was launched last year and even back then it was an excellent and complete product that Samsung clearly took a lot time getting right. Since then however, it’s been updated with a few tweaks here and there, some more straps are becoming available and new editions have even launched, too. With some great apps and lots of customization options, the Gear S2 is a much safer bet than previous Samsung devices would have let on. A great smartwatch, those interested can read our review here.

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01. Huawei Watch

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The Huawei Watch has been at the top of this pile for some time now, and while it has been there due to its excellent display, great amount of watch faces and a good variety of colors and straps, it just keeps getting better. With the new Marshmallow update, the Huawei Watch gained the power to make and take calls from your wrist, which is a hell of a lot more useful than it immediately sounds. Our review was some time ago now, but it’s still an excellent watch, and we can’t wait to see what Huawei have in store for their smartwatches later this year.