Top 10 Best Android Smartwatches Buyer's Guide – November 2016

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As the year starts to wind down, and the cold nights start to draw in, people will start to look into what makes a good gift as a smartwatch. For a lot of people, gift guides will be a great source of inspiration, but our monthly Top 10 of smartwatches is updated often, and has some of the best watches on the market ranked, regardless of their price or age. While we wait for Android Wear 2.0, it might not be the best time to get an Android Wear watch, but there are a lot of great deals out there, and the platform itself is still solid and worth looking into.

10. Fossil Q Founder

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The first Fossil smartwatch to run Android Wear might be getting a bit old at this point, but it has a lot to offer users, especially those looking for a good-looking smartwatch. The metal version that we reviewed last year still looks great, and will look more like a watch than the majority of other watches in this list, and won't look out of place when worn with a suit, or paired with a leather strap – the standard 22mm fittings make that easy to do, by the way. While there's no heart rate monitor or GPS here, the Intel chip inside of the Fossil Q Founder is speedy, and performance is pretty great overall.

Buy the Fossil Q Founder

09. Motorola Moto 360 – 2nd Gen

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There are few smartwatches out there that you could say put Android Wear on the map, but the original Moto 360 was definitely one of them, after all there are few products that can take a misstep like the flat tire and turn it into a charming feature like the Moto 360 has. The second-generation version of the Moto 360 featured here is over a year old at this point, but it still makes for a great gift – to yourself or otherwise – thanks to the different sizes as well as custom options from Motorola. With great software, some excellent watch faces and a great build, the Moto 360 is a good choice, if not a little limited in what it can do.

Buy the Moto 360 2nd Gen

08. Polar M600

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There have been a lot of hybrid smartwatch-fitness trackers out there, but few of them have what it takes to be a great smartwatch as well as a great fitness tracker. The somewhat bulky Polar M600 might be that very product. With Android Wear running on the M600, users get instant access to a wealth of excellent apps and an ever-growing ecosystem, too. It's the sort of smartwatch that will appeal to those looking for a real fitness machine, as well as something more substantial and modern. The heart rate monitoring from Polar here is perhaps more accurate than you'll get on anything else, and the tracking features are great across the board. The only things that might put some people off are the bulky frame and high price tag.

Buy the Polar M600

07. Fossil Q Marshall and Fossil Q Wander

FOssil Q Wander Marshal

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While the Fossil Q Marshall on the left is something of a fresh design for Fossil, the Q Wander on the right is an evolution of the Fossil Q Founder. Both, however, share the same sort of feature set, with a flat tire display, as well as similar color options and strap materials. The Fossil Q Marshall is a more modern approach to the design of a smartwatch, and will appeal to a younger audience. They both lack heart rate monitors, and neither of them are all that good value, but they do have some interesting watch faces you won't find anywhere else. Good-looking and great for everyday wear, either of these will make for a good choice.

Buy the Fossil Q Marshall Buy the Fossil Q Wander

06. Moto 360 Sport

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The Moto 360 Sport might represent little more than an attempt to keep the Moto 360 line going before the next big refresh, but in reality it's a little more than that. It's a modern smartwatch that's lightweight and good-looking without sticking out too much, and it also offers some decent spots features, too. With heart rate tracking as well as some great fitness tracking from Motorola, the Moto 360 Sport is a nice compromise between a bulky fitness tracker or bulky smartwatch. It present a nice sweet spot in between devices for casual users as well as those looking for something more sports-focused. It's also not too expensive, either.

Buy the Moto 360 Sport

05. Michael Kors Access Collection

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Available in both the Dylan option for men (pictured above) as well as the Bradshaw option for women, these two Michael Kors smartwatches are built from classic Michael Kors watch designs, updated with a healthy dose of smartwatch. They do, however, feature a flat tire design which might be all that pleasing to some buyers, and there's little in the way of fitness tracking with no heart rate monitor or GPS. Regardless, these are pretty much what you would expect from smartwatch versions of their analog counterparts, they have some quality watch faces included, and they also look like Michael Kors watches. In the case of the Bradshaw in particular, it would be hard to notice the Bradshaw for anything other than a Michael Kors watch. Neither of these are that cheap, but they have a lot to offer users overall.

Michael Kors Access Smartwatch (Bradshaw) Access Smartwatch (Dylan)

04. Nixon Mission

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The Nixon Mission is an Android Wear smartwatch that, despite the lack of a heart rate monitor, packs in GPS as well as some features many will have missed from analog watches. The Nixon Mission can be used up to 10ATM, features a fully-circular display, is built to last and will certainly survive a knock or two here and there. With Android Wear running the show, there's a great amount of content users can tap into, and with the built-in GPS users can track their surf and snow routes using the included apps, too. A great watch for those into big sports watches, as well as something more rugged than the rest of this list, the Nixon Mission is well worth looking into, regardless of what you need it for.

Buy the Nixon Mission

03. Samsung Gear S2

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Now that the Gear S3 is about to hit shelves, you might be wondering why the Gear S2 is still hanging around. Well, for the most part, it's down to the excellent feature set that Samsung has to offer here, as well as the fact that Samsung isn't discontinuing this product. Instead, the Gear S2 will stick around for some time. With Tizen as its operating system, as well as an innovative, rotating bezel, the Gear S2 turned a lot of heads when it launched, and it's still a solid option, especially now that it's a little cheaper and will no doubt be on sale throughout the rest of the year.

Buy the Samsung Gear S2

02. Huawei Watch

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The Huawei Watch is, and has been for some time now, one of the best Android Wear watches ever released. Balancing style, build quality, features and price brilliantly in one package is no mean feat, but the Huawei Watch manages it nicely. Available in a number of different finishes, as well as with different straps, the Huawei Watch looks great, and the fully-circular display is gorgeous, and Huawei have packed it full of watch faces to show it off, too. The whole package comes alive, and added features like taking voice calls on your wrist make the Huawei Watch a real winner.

Buy the Huawei Watch

01. Samsung Gear S3

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The Gear S3 will launch in the US on November 18th, and go up for pre-order on November 6th. This is great news, indeed, for those that were waiting to get their hands on the new and improved smartwatch from Samsung. With improvements to the overall look and feel of the device, the Gear S3 feels more like a watch, and feels as such on the wrist, too. It's a nice option that looks good, feels good on the wrist and while the $350 price tag might not be a great figure to hear, the Gear S3 is arguably worth it for an experience that is like few other smartwatches out there, and for a device that looks this good.