It’s that time of year again where you may be searching for the best gift for a loved one, and our holiday buyers guide on smartwatches and fitness trackers can help you narrow down the options.
There are a ton of smartwatches and fitness trackers out there these days, so our holiday gift guide is set up to filter out any that you should just skip. That way you can avoid wasting time searching and spend more time on other things.
A smartwatch or a fitness tracker is a great holiday gift because they can do a lot for the user, and the best ones do the job well. Whether you’re looking to improve your health and wellness, or stay connected to notifications and other features, many of the current smartwatches out there offer all that.
One thing to keep in mind is that this holiday gift guide is in addition to our Best Smartwatches guide. Which is updated monthly so if you don’t find something on here that you like, you may find it over there.
Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Best Smartwatches & Fitness Trackers
|Smartwatch||Cost||Where To Buy|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic||From $349||Amazon, Best Buy, Samsung, ABT|
|Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR||$195||Amazon|
|Fossil Gen 6||$299||Amazon, Best Buy|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2||From $199||Amazon, B&H, Walmart, Best Buy|
|Apple Watch Series 7 GPS||$399||Amazon, B&H, Target|
|Fitbit Charge 5||$179.95||Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Macy’s, Fitbit|
|Fitbit Sense||From $199.95||Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Adorama|
|Polar Grit X||From $395||Amazon, Moosejaw, Walmart|
|Amazfit Band 5||From $39.99||Amazon & Various Other Retailers|
|Amazon Halo||$99.99||Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target|
|Apple Watch SE||$269.99||Amazon & Various Other Retailers|
|Garmin Forerunner 55||$199||Amazon & Various Other Retailers|
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
- Price: From $349
- Where To Buy: Amazon, Best Buy, Samsung, ABT
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is one of this year’s best smartwatches and our top pick out of everything on this gift guide. It marries the best of what Samsung offers in its smartwatch ecosystem, with the best features of Wear OS.
Since it runs on Wear OS 3, and it’s the only smartwatch to do so, that puts it at an advantage over other options on the same platform. All that aside, you also get the rotating bezel, an ECG reader which you can use if you have a Galaxy smartphone, and many other notable features like swappable straps and bands, a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking and more.
This is Samsung’s best watch to date and it’s a stellar smartwatch to grab as a gift.
Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR
- Price: $195
- Where To Buy: Amazon
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is one of the best smartwatches out there and it makes a wonderful gift precisely because of how simple it is. While it does have some smart features, it isn’t a full-fledged smartwatch. There’s no touchscreen, no apps, no voice calls and no onboard music playback. Just smartphone alerts through vibrations, and a step tracker alongside a heart rate sensor.
Because it has less of those smartwatch features, it also comes with a lower price point than some of the newer models. Like the Fossil Gen 6 for example, which is the next watch on our holiday gift guide list.
Fossil Gen 6
- Price: $299
- Where To Buy: Amazon, Best Buy
Fossil still offers a wide array of different smartwatch options, its latest being the Gen 6 family of devices. These are running on Wear OS 2 but they do come with some updated tech and hardware, and should be getting Wear OS 3 updates sometime in 2022.
While keeping true to the Fossil smartwatch style, the Gen 6 does have some fresh design elements and even a couple new features. The always-on-display is also now brighter, and you have access to things like GPS, Google Pay, Google Maps and more.
Plus you have a few different styles to choose from that cater to both men and women.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Price: From $199
- Where To Buy: Amazon, B&H, Walmart, Best Buy
We called the Galaxy Watch Active 2 one of the best smartwatches out there and said it was the only one you should consider buying, which is why it was selected for our gift guide. At the time of our review, it certainly was the only smartwatch we felt you should consider buying.
These days, there are some other great options. Like the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for example. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still a fantastic watch though, and it’s feature packed with useful stuff, making it still one of the best smartwatches and a perfect fit for our holiday gift guide.
While it doesn’t have the rotating bezel, it does have the touch bezel so you get a similar effect. It features a heart rate sensor too just like every other smartwatch on here.
One of the things that sets it apart from the Galaxy Watch 3 is the more minimalist design. If you prefer something that looks less like a traditional watch and has a slightly more sporty design to it, this is perfect for you. Plus, it’s significantly less in cost than the Galaxy Watch 4 series.
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS
- Price: From $399
- Where To Buy: Amazon, B&H, Target
Apple’s latest watch has a lot to love and a lot to give to the user looking to get fit and stay on task. Whether it’s tracking your sleep, tracking your runs or walks, or just getting stuff done during the day, the Apple Watch 7 GPS is equipped to handle your daily life.
It has more screen real estate than the Series 6, and it dust and swimproof. It also now offers an ECG reader as well as all the familiar features from past versions.
Fitbit Charge 5
- Price: $179.95
- Where To Buy: Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Macy’s, Fitbit
The Fitbit Charge 5 takes everything you loved about the Fitbit Charge 4, and applies new and improved features to make things even better. The biggest new addition is the larger screen, which is also now a color OLED display. This is a first for Fitbit on its trackers. And it really does make things look nicer.
You’ll get about 5 days of battery life as well as a heart rate sensor, an ECG reader, a blood oxygen saturation sensor, sleep tracking, activity tracking for tons of different workouts and exercises and a whole lot more. It even comes with a 6-month membership o Fitbit Premium for free.
- Price: $199.95
- Where To Buy: Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Adorama
The Sense is the latest from Fitbit, and comes with just about everything you know and love from the brand in terms of features. Plus a few things that are new to the Fitbit ecosystem of devices.
For instance, the stress monitoring. While the Sense is not the only watch on this list to offer it, and there are some trackers that offer it now too, it’s still not a feature that you can find on wearables very often as it isn’t yet mainstream.
In addition to the stress monitoring the Sense will also be able to control your smart lights, thermostat, and any other smart home products you may have that are compatible with Amazon Alexa, because the Sense has Alexa built-in which means you can speak to it and give it commands.
Another new feature is the ECG app and sensor. Now anytime you feel like it you can have the Sense check your ECG levels. The Sense also offers built-in GPS for your outdoor excursions, multiple sport modes for automatically tracking your activity, and it even comes with 6 months free of Fitbit Premium if you’re a new Premium user.
The battery can last for up to 6+ days, which means you won’t have to charge it as often as some of the other watches. And quite honestly you might want a smartwatch that asks you to charge it less. Because that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
The Sense is an all-around fantastic device and one of the best smartwatches, and that’s precisely why we chose it for our holiday gift guide.
Polar Grit X
- Price: From $395
- Where To Buy: Amazon, Moosejaw, Walmart
Sometimes the best smartwatch or fitness tracker is a multi-sport watch. Because they do a whole lot more in terms of active functions in regards to sports and other similar activities.
The Polar Grit X gives you up to 40 hours of battery life with HR and GPS turned on. And if you turn them off you can extend that by quite a bit. So one of the major strengths of this device is that it can last a long time between charges. According to Polar, a single charge can keep it going for up to 7 days.
It also comes with turn by turn guidance, and visualized slopes and routes just to name a couple more features.
Amazfit Band 5
- Price: $39.99
- Where To Buy: Amazon & Various Other Retailers
The Band 5 from Amazfit makes one of the best gifts for this category because it’s super affordable yet still super functional. Not everyone needs or wants a more spendy smartwatch with a touchscreen and all those features. If you just want a good quality tracker for your fitness routines, this does the job and then some.
It also serves up smartphone notifications and comes in a few different colors. So there’s some consumer choice there for personalization.
Amazon Halo Band
- Price: $99.95
- Where To Buy: Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target
The Halo Band is another great option for a tracker that isn’t packed full with features you may or may not ever use. If you want something more simple, then this is a good option. It does still have some useful capabilities though.
For instance it has integration with Alexa. Plus it has a really unique feature where it can analyze the sound of your voice so you can see how you sound to others. The point of this feature is to provide users with insight on their tone of voice so they can communicate “more thoughtfully” to their loved ones and those around them.
Apple Watch SE
- Price: $269.99
- Where To Buy: Amazon, B&H, Best Buy
The Apple Watch SE is another one of the best smartwatches on the market, and we put it on our holiday gift guide even though the Series 6 is already on here. The reason being is that the Watch SE carries many of the same features but it’s available at a noticeably lower price.
Since it retails for quite a bit less money, it’s a fantastic option for anyone that wants to be in the Apple ecosystem with their smartwatch but doesn’t want to spend as much.
The Apple Watch SE comes with the same familiar design, app compatibility, support for Apple Pay, and it’s even up to two times faster than the Apple Watch Series 3. It’s also swim proof, it can track our heart rate, and a large number of different workout activities.
Of course it also has smartphone notifications, and you can even read and respond to messages from the large retina touch display. Should you want to.
It doesn’t come with the ECG or the Blood Oxygen Saturation sensor, but it has just about everything else that the Series 6 offers. So you aren’t missing out on a whole lot, but you are spending less money while still getting mostly everything you want on this watch.
Garmin Forerunner 55
- Price: $199
- Where To Buy: Amazon & Various Other Retailers
Rounding out this list is the new Forerunner 55 from Garmin. One of its most notable features is the Intensity Minutes. This keeps track of how many minutes of vigorous or moderate intensity activity you engage in. So you can attempt to hit the targets recommended by the world health organization.
Of course the watch has plenty of other features too. Like built-in GPS, wrist-based heart rate sensing, Garmin Coach and daily suggested workouts, cadence alerts, and finish times.