Looking to gift someone a new smartwatch or fitness tracker this holiday season? Shopping for an upgrade for yourself?
Whatever the situation, we’ve rounded up the best smartwatches and fitness trackers for the year and put them in this guide.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at smartwatches or fitness trackers. The best of each category are listed below, and as a result you’ll easily find one that suits your personal needs and tastes.
Variety in these devices is a good thing. Variety also means that there are a lot of options and that can make choosing one confusing. As we feel our picks are some of the best available, you can skip the guesswork.
To help you navigate the gift guide easier, we’ve set up a table of contents that jumps to each section. This way you can spend less time searching for the products and get everything you need.
That being said, we also have a deeper breakdown of the products we’ve selected below so you can be sure you’re getting the perfect device.
Table of contents
You might already have a smartwatch. If you’re not buying for yourself, maybe the person you’re buying for already has one. However, new devices with new features and updated hardware are released every year or so.
If you or someone you’re buying for needs an update, there are some really good options to consider. What’s more, is that the functionality of newer devices has gotten better.
It’s entirely possible that the devices you may own are outdated or just don’t have a certain feature you want. If that’s the case, some of these should be able to deliver. If you’ve never owned a smartwatch before the same thing applies as these should be suitable.
If you’re in a hurry, you can check the summary table below with our best picks.
|Fossil Gen 5||$295||Amazon|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2||$299||Amazon|
|Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3||$375||Amazon|
|Garmin fenix 6 Pro||From $699||Amazon|
|Fitbit Versa 2||$199||Amazon|
Best smartwatch for most users: Fossil Gen 5
Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch was announced earlier this year and is sort of what you might expect a new Fossil smartwatch to look like. It has the familiar Fossil styling with things like leather band options, pronounced crown buttons, and of course Wear OS software.
Tne Gen 5 has a number of different customization options. And, because it looks more like a regular watch than a piece of tech, it’s versatile and can appeal to more people.
As Wear OS smartwatches go, The Gen 5 has everything you’d need. You can make calls from it as long as you’r phone is connected, or you can leave your phone out of it and use the features that aren’t reliant on data. Such as the heart rate sensor.
Fossil also offers the Gen 5 in two different sizes and with styles that cater to both men and women. No matter how you slice it, the Gen 5 should be the Wear OS smartwatch on everyone’s radar if you’re not looking for super fancy options.
It won’t cost you an arm and a leg either, as it retails for $295, which is pretty standard for smartwatches.
Best smartwatch for Samsung users: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 will work with more than just Samsung devices, but it certainly pairs better with one. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is Samsung’s latest smartwatch, and features a no nonsense sporty design that should appeal to anyone who likes to stay active.
It has useful features for a healthier lifestyle like enhanced sleep tracking and pace coaching. It also comes with the option for LTE so you can leave the phone at home when you go out for a run. Because let’s be honest, the last thing you need is a distraction from your exercises.
Samsung also knows how to make a good smartwatch. The company has come a long way since the days of its first smartwatch that ran on Android Wear. And it shows.
The watch also aims to give the wearer deeper insights into the data being tracked by the watch. The idea with this is so that you can better reach your fitness goals. Whatever they may be. It supports Samsung Pay too, so if you do happen to leave your phone at home, you can also leave your wallet at home so long as you have the LTE model of the watch.
Best smartwatch for high fashion enthusiasts: Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3
High fashion brands have made their way into the smartwatch market years ago. Each year more continue to pop up, too. One of those that was recently released this year is the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3.
With a name like that attached, you might expect it to cost a lot. However, the Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 doesn’t cost as much as you might think. It retails for $375, which is a little bit more than some, but not by much.
Part of that is because though this is an Emporio Armani smartwatch, it’s not being built with exceedingly expensive materials. What you’re paying more for is the brand. That being said, this is one of the better smartwatch designs.
It has a sleek look to it anyone who appreciates fashion will surely come to love. What’s more is that there are a good amount of color options too. So, if you like to personalize your accessories and jewelry, you can do so here.
Even the packaging is a little bit more posh than other options. While the box itself is just a box, inside the watch comes in a zippered carrying pouch. Complete with a micro fiber liner.
As for the watch itself, it has plenty of the standard features you’d expect from a modern smartwatch. It can make calls when your phone’s connected, it has music capabilities, GPS, and heart rate sensor, and you can use Google Pay with it.
If you want the high fashion experience without the high fashion price tag, Emporio Armani has the smartwatch for you.
Best premium smartwatch: Garmin fenix 6 Pro
Looking to go all out and spend a little more? Consider the Garmin fenix 6 Pro. This is more than just a smartwatch, and in fact is more of a multisport GPS watch. That being said, it has plenty of smartwatch features, such as notifications and mobile payments using Garmin Pay.
It also offers things that no other watch on this list will offer. For example it has preloaded ski maps for more than 2,000 different resorts, and it uses multi-GNSS satellite reference and outdoor sensors for navigation capabilities.
This is a high-end smartwatch with tons of high-end features. And it comes at a high-end price as it starts from $699. That’s right, we said starts from, as it will go up to $899. But this is the best here when you’re looking at premium, and you pay for it.
It’s compatible with both Android and iOS, and will let you use some of the more standard smartwatch features that you’ll find on the options above, like smartphone notifications and a heart rate sensor.
Battery life won’t be a problem either. It will stay usable for up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, which is well over what any standard smartwatch will offer. It comes in three sizes as well, including 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm.
Best smartwatch for Alexa integration: Fitbit Versa 2
Most smartwatches on the market have compatibility with Google Assistant. Not many have compatibility with Alexa though.
Got a house full of Alexa-powered products? You’re in luck. The Fitbit Versa 2 is the perfect watch because it comes with Alexa built-in. Of course you can use the watche’s Alexa features to ask simple questions and get answers.
You can do so much more with it though. Control your smart lights and turn on various appliances or other home automation products. Since it’s a Fitbit watch, it’ also integrated with Fitbit’s app and dashboard, which is one of the best fitness platforms out there for tracking all of your fitness-related stats.
You’ll find the watch has a heart rate sensor, battery life of more than six days on a single charge, and the ability to control music streaming apps like Spotify, Deezer, and Pandora.
If you like color options, the Fitbit Versa has that too. You can pick it up in black, bordeaux, navy & pink, smoke woven, petal, and more. You can even track your sleep in light, deep, and REM sleep and check back on the details within the Fitbit dashboard.
Best fitness trackers
When it comes to wearables, not everyone wants a smartwatch with a touchscreen and loads of apps. Some people just want to track their fitness stats and have the option of looking at the time.
Fitness trackers, by nature, are less expensive than smartwatches as well because they don’t have as many features. This is a good thing if you’re not looking to spend a ton of money and you don’t really need all that smartwatches have to offer.
In this guide just like with the smartwatches, we’ve selected the best fitness trackers available and placed them here. You’ll find a summary table of all the trackers we picked below, along with the cost, and where to buy them.
This way if you’re in a hurry you can just click the links for what you’re looking at. If you want a little more detail, there will be brief descriptions of each tracker further down. This is also a good idea to read through those if you’re sure you want to pick up a fitness tracker but aren’t sure which one. This could be especially important if it’s a gift for someone else.
|Fitbit Charge 3||$139.99||Amazon|
|Honor Band 5||$54.99||Amazon|
|Fitbit Inspire HR||$99||Amazon|
|Samsung Galaxy Fit||$69.98||Amazon|
|Garmin vivosmart 4||From $99||Amazon|
Best overall fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit is still one of the best brands when it comes to fitness trackers. That’s not the only reason its latest, the Charge 3, is our pick for best overall tracker though.
The Charge 3 has just the right amount of useful features without being too packed with functions you’ll never touch. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a richly featured tracker. It means you have what you need and none of what you don’t.
Over the years Fitbit has also improved how its devices track your caloric burn during exercises, and the Charge 3 is the best device in its lineup for this so far. It’ll also track your heart rate 24/7, and automatically record sleep time spend in light, deep, and REM sleep.
If you need something that is swim proof and water resistant, the Charge 3 has you covered. Want to take a shower without having to take it off? You’re good there too. It’ll even alert you to your incoming phone notifications and calls.
And of course, it connects to Fitbit’s world class dashboard and app. If you like customization, the tracker also comes in a few different color options with unique bands. You can swap the bands out too, as Fitbit does offer a few options there.
Best affordable fitness tracker: Honor Band 5
The Honor band line comes from Huawei’s subsidiary company Honor, which also makes smartphones. The brand is known for offering some decent products without a huge price tag, and that’s what you’re getting here too.
The Honor Band 5 is the best affordable fitness tracker because one, it’s affordable, and two, it’s better than other trackers that come around the same cost. This retails for $54.99 and can sometimes be found at lower prices, making it a steal for everything you get.
While it doesn’t come with GPS, you get an oxygen monitor, heart rate tracking, activity tracking, and it’s swimproof up to 50 meters. This is definitely one of the more basic fitness trackers you’ll find on the market, so don’t expect a ton of bells and whistles.
That’s also not what it was designed to do. It’s priced low because it’s light on features. It’s not light on quality though. It performs quite well for the handful of functions it has, and you won’t be spending a whole lot.
It’s a tracker meant for simplicity, so this is what you want if you’re just wanting something to track a few fitness activities and monitor a few key things.
Best mid-range fitness tracker: Fitbit Inspire HR
Next on the list is Fitbit’s more mid-range tracker, at least mid-range according to price. When it comes to features, it’s almost as functional as the Charge 3.
It comes with a smaller screen so it’s not as bulky and shouldn’t feel like it’s weighing down your wrist. It also does come with a heart rate sensor with 24/7 tracking.
HR sensors are one of the more common features on fitness trackers these days. And while one could argue that you don’t necessarily need it, it’s definitely a great thing to have it.
If you like staying active and you exercise a lot, being able to see your heart rate throughout the different activities can help you analyze your fitness data later on, and then make any adjustments if there are any to make.
Plus, it comes in a few fun color options, it’s swimproof up to 50 meters, and it comes with a 5-day battery life. Meaning, you shouldn’t worry about needing to charge one more device every single night before bed.
Best fitness tracker for Samsung users: Samsung Galaxy Fit
Samsung’s products have generally been good for just about any device user. That said they’re also perfect for Samsung device users.
The Galaxy Fit is a good option from Samsung if you aren’t looking to dive into the smartwatch space with the Galaxy Watch or Galaxy Watch Active 2. Since it retails for just under $100 you can feel good about the features you get too.
On top of being designed to withstand dust, extreme heat, and really cold temperatures, it’s swimproof too. As with most things Samsung when it comes to mobile and wearable devices it has a full color AMOLED display.
So anything that show up is easy to read even in sunlight. One of the better features is the automatic fitness tracking. You can simply start doing your exercises and the tracker will recognize what they are. It supports a wide range of them too, including walking, running, swimming, cycling, and elliptical training to name a few.
And just in case you want or need to stay connected, it will also receive smartphone notifications if you have the phone paired to it and on your person.
Best fitness tracker for measuring blood oxygen saturation levels: Garmin Vivosmart 4
The last tracker on this list isn’t too different from the others, as many of them have similar features. There’s still a reason to buy the Vivosmart 4 though. Blood oxygen levels.
See, the Vivosmart 4 can read and track you blood oxygen saturation level while you sleep using the pulse Ox sensor. If you’re keen on having this data, this should be the tracker you consider.
Beyond this feature it also tracks various activities automatically like the Galaxy Fit, such as walks and runs, but also adds in things like strength training and yoga.
Battery life lasts up to 7 days too, so expect it to last a little bit longer than the Fitbit Inspire HR. Lastly, if you want more accuracy for your walks or runs, you can connect the Vivosmart 4 to your smartphone’s GPS. You’ll get all that in a tracker that starts at $99.95, depending on the color you choose.