Top 10: Android Smartwatches Buyer's Guide, August 2016

It's been quite a while since we actually saw some new smartwatch releases, and now we've had a couple of them, both of them running Android no less. While these aren't strictly on sale right now, it's great to see some movement in the Android smartwatch space, and this is sure to be a sign of what's to come before the end of the year. With a new watch from Polar, and an interesting Android-powered watch out of China, it looks as though there's some innovation happening in the smartwatch space right about now. This list however, is the best of the best available right now, regardless of whether or not they're running Android Wear, and they're all quality options, too.

10. Fossil Q Founder

The Fossil Q Founder is a smartwatch that, sadly, leans too heavily on the whole "style over substance" thing. There's no heart rate monitor here, the display - while nice and large - is low resolution and features the unfortunate "flat tire" design. For the most part however, the Fossil Q Founder feels like a watch more so than most other smartwatches on this list, it's just a shame that it's not all that smart. Definitely one of the larger and more traditionally-styled watches on this list, the Fossil Q Founder is a decent first effort from Fossil, but not one that people will see that much use in compared to others on this list.

09. Ticwatch 2

The Ticwatch 2 is not an Android smartwatch, or at least it's not Android as we know it anyway. It might be one of the most innovative interfaces to hit a wearable since the Gear S2's rotating bezel design, too. It was originally launched in China, and now finds itself as part of a Kickstarter campaign to set it free internationally. This means that people can - eventually - get their hands on one of these for just $99. With voice control, an ever-evolving interface and some great apps on offer, the Ticwatch 2 has a lot on offer, and while it might not be as safe a bet as Android Wear is, it's something fresh and different at the very least.

08. LG Watch Urbane

The Watch Urbane is a device that looks great, has an excellent display, and is getting a little long in the tooth. While we can say that about the majority of this list, the Watch Urbane carries the same ageing Snapdragon 400 on the inside as most other smartwatches on this list, and despite the fantastic fully-circular display, it's begun to look a little stale. Especially in the face of more customization from Motorola, and the better features offered by the Huawei Watch. Even so, this is a good-looking smartwatch with just as good software as all other options out there. It's a little on the pricey side as well, but it's something that should please a lot of users out there.

07. Polar M600

The Polar M600 has only just been announced, and it'll no doubt be a great option for a lot of users. In terms of looks, this is the sort of smartwatch that will appeal to people that think the future is wearing some sort of smart cuff or other. It's certainly on the chunkier side of things, but it has all manner of fitness features, many of which will be more accurate than other devices. With a built-in GPS chip, and a more accurate six-LED heart rate monitor, this is the Android Wear answer to the Fitbit Blaze. They won't be available until later this year, but the wait might be just fine for a lot of users, especially given the new fitness features coming to Android Wear this Fall.

06. Moto 360 - 2nd Generation

 

The Moto 360 is long overdue an upgrade at this point, but with the likes of the Moto Z, it appears they're a little busy at the moment. Regardless of its age, the Moto 360 is still a great smartwatch, and one that's hard not to become attached to. Given the selection of excellent band and dial options, as well as the different sizes and straps, the Moto 360 is one of the better-looking devices out there, and it holds its own against everything else in terms of features and specs, too.

05. Motorola Moto 360 Sport

The Moto 360 Sport is something that, while perhaps not that useful right now, is going to become more useful as time goes on. With the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 update, Motorola will soon have an excellent device for fitness and working out. Right now however, it's a lightweight, more modern looking watch with a heart rate sensor and the usual raft of features. Fairly decent value, the Moto 360 Sport is worth looking into for those that lead an active lifestyle, as well as those looking for something more modern in terms of looks and such.

04. TAG Heuer Connected

With any sort of platform like Android Wear, big brands are what matters to help bring the whole platform up. TAG Heuer is a big name that anyone would be happy to have using their software, and even though this thing has a huge price tag, it will have done wonders for the overall sales of Android Wear devices in general. After all, it's a lot easier to say "TAG Heuer's smartwatch does the same" than it is to explain your way out of the Swiss vs Smart argument.

03. LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition

The Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, despite its annoying name, is one of the more fully-featured Android Wear smartwatches out there. It has all sorts of great features, as well as the ability to make and take phone calls, with or without a connected phone. That's because this is the only Android Wear watch that has cellular connectivity included. It's a little chunkier than most as a result, but it sure does look the part, and right now it can also be used to preview Android Wear 2.0.

02. Samsung Gear S2

As we discovered in our review of the Gear S2, Samsung have put together a pretty excellent smartwatch here. It has a gorgeous display, the hardware looks great and the software is downright cool, too. The rotating bezel works well and is one of the more unique ways to interact with an interface that we've seen on Android. With lots of different options available as well, there's something for everyone here, and it's worth checking them all out. It also works with the majority of up-to-date Android phones too, regardless of whether or not they're from Samsung.

01. Huawei Watch

The Huawei Watch was first launched as a sort of expensive experiment by Huawei, and has soon turned into an excellent smartwatch that continues to impress. Everything down to the excellent presentation box it ships in is a real joy, and the watch itself is stunning. Like a finely-crafted watch, just one for the digital era, the Huawei Watch is well made, looks the part and now features the option to make or take calls on the move. Well worth looking into, this is the Android Wear watch to beat, and has been ever since it launched.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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