Best Smartwatches in 2020



Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS, 44mm) - Silver Aluminium Case with White Sport Band Review:


Mainly purchased for the fall detection capabilities, sleep tracking apps, long battery life, and it’s designed to connect to an iPhone. I am not a big Apple fan, but they did a pretty decent job with this watch.

Pros:
1) Beautiful design.
2) Decent UI.
3) Battery life is a LOT better than my last smartwatch. I charge it every other day.
4) Useful features (useful to me, at least).
5) Watch apps tie into their corresponding iPhone apps.

Cons:
1) Not water resistant
2) Case is easy to scratch and ding up
3) Lack of customization; compared to Android Wear offerings.
4) Lack of decent protective cases. I have tried quite a few (at least 10) and they either don’t fit correctly, fall off, tear or crack the first time your watch hits or drags against a wall, prevent screen interaction in some areas, prevent use of the side button (unless you push REALLY hard), make it difficult to operate the crown, or prevent the use of different watch bands.
5) The Apple Watch bands are EXPENSIVE! I didn’t like the cheapest Apple bands, they want too much money for a strip of Velcro and 2 metal loops that connect it to the watch.
5) 3rd party watch bands are hit and miss (mostly miss). I ordered a few I liked; only one stayed in place, stayed clipped on, and did not lock the watch when I would bump my arm into something.
6) Apple approved accessories are EXPENSIVE!
7) Non Apple approved accessories can damage the watch.
8) There arent very many Apple approved accessories. No Apple approved protective cases as of this review (the 3rd party cases are mostly garbage; the rest are passable at best).

So, if you have money to burn, want a pretty watch that does all kinds of interesting stuff, don’t care about customizing your watch face that much, are very careful with your watch, willing to spend a lot of money for Apple approved accessories, and want something that just works with your iPhone....

This is the watch for you!

In my case I needed a smart watch with fall detection, sleep monitor, and a heart rate monitor that would call someone if I fell and did not get up or move within a certain timeframe. I also wanted something I could use as an extension of my iPhone, so I didn’t have to carry it around my house with me.



Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm) - Space Gray Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band Review:


I am a Fitbit person. But I decided to slurge a little bit...... The only think that kept me from switching was that I had to charge the watch so much more. I originally had the Fitbit charge 2...... then I purchased the series 3 (42mm) and I love this watch but it was just far too big. So I am returning the 42mm and just received the 38mm and am much happier with the size. I wanted to really share the size difference. I love this watch so far... will review in the future.



Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 38mm) - Silver Aluminium Case with White Sport Band Review:


I don’t need to say anything more about how fantastic this watch is. I was a garmin forerunner holdout for years and finally switched as I wanted a watch to listen to music with while running. The only negative thing I can say about this watch is battery life but I knew that before purchasing it. My solution was using the watch in nightstand mode at night and it’s always charged for a full day of activity. Please note by doing this u can’t use the watch to track sleep but that’s not an issue as i have never had a need to track sleep. I get about 3.5 miles of running in a day and with GPS, heart rate and music playback on and I still have not dipped below 30 percent battery life by the time i take it off to charge at night. The only thing I miss about the garmin ecosystem is the ability to track mileage on my gear/shoes.

The reason I am writing a review is to urge u to by Apple Care +. It’s 2.49 a month or 49 dollars for two years of coverage and no I am not associated with Apple. I am just a crazy active person getting about 20k steps a day.

I was wearing the watch yesterday while edging the fence line with my gas trimmer. I rolled my ankle on a slope and fell into the fence. The angle must have been just right and hit the upper left corner of the watch off the fence post shattering the screen.

I was shocked to find that the cost of the screen replacement on the watch is the exact price I bought it for from amazon. It’s 229. With Apple Care + the cost comes down to 69 dollars. With the care plan u are covered for two years from date of purchase and they allow for two accidental damage repairs over the life of the policy. The only catch is u have to add the plan within 60 days of purchase.

That’s all I have to say. I used to say AirPods were the most innovative thing Apple has done in ages but now I feel it’s the watch. Apple pay even more amazing on the watch and being able to voice respond to Tex’s is killer since Apple keeps iMessages locked down to their devices only for the time being.



Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band Review:


I resisted and resisted. A watch was to tell time and that was the only thing I needed one for. Who wanted to be bothered with charging, syncing, Bluetooth connections and basically managing another high maintenance device? Not this guy. Then my sister bought me a Pebble. Hard to imagine a more dysfunctional product, but it did tell the time and held a charge for up to a month with an always-on clockface. Getting alerts on my watch was handy...when it worked. Went through several upgrade cycles with Pebble until they went under, then moved on to Fitbit Versa. More functionality, but much worse battery life (5 days) and the watch face was not always on...another dysfunctional product.

When the Versa broke, I did consider the Versa 2. It seemed to have a lot of the same issues as the original. Then I saw that the Apple Series 5 had an always-on clock face and I jumped in. I wont give you the most technical review, as that can be googled quickly anywhere. What I can do is give the perspective of someone upgrading from the Pebble/Versa environment.

What the Series 5 brings that is the most significant is the always-on clock face. As a physician in patient rooms, the worst thing you can do is deliberately lift up your arm to get your watch to come alive to see the time or look at pages or texts (figuratively speaking, actually a lot worse things can be done). I have not once done this and not had someone comment that they thought they were wasting my time, so I just stopped checking my watch. Always on is a social must-have feature, or you are that douchy guy who is obviously checking the time while talking to people. On the Versa the motion needed to turn on was so poorly designed and deliberate that you would have to repeatedly and deliberately flick your wrist to see the time. I am so glad that thing broke. Other cool but less important features include a really good compass and women's health tracker. I'm sure that there are plenty of dudes out there like me who like to pretend to have a cycle and track it on our watches so...just sayin. Bonus.

Not going to get into all of the other heath features which are not new to this model. The fitness tracker is cool and auto-detects activity quite well. Apple still trails Fitbit in sleep tracking, though. The battery is new in some way. Tear downs show a new design which likely helps to account for the same battery life with the always-on screen. I want at least a week of charge though. Let's go, Apple.

Compared to the Versa, Fossil and others, this is just a polished, well made device. The quality is apparent immediately. The 40mm version is a thin, appropriate wrist size. IMO the 44mm just looks too big and bulky. The band is really comfortable and super easy to swap out. The connection to iPhone is perfect - no disconnects and really excellent haptics. I have yet to explore all of the apps and features but navigating the watch is no different than an iPhone with regard to gestures - swipe down for alerts, swipe up for control center.

Pros:
- Always on display!!!
- Thinner than Series 4 - not as bulky
- Handsome, solid, quality build and feel
- Perfect iPhone integration and connection
- Great haptics
- Intuitive controls
- Really comfy band which is one touch on/off - no fussing with the band. Great design.

Cons:
- Cost (relative to others)
- Battery life - charge it every night
- Screen scratches easily - get a screen protector

Final word: I am really glad that my Versa is sitting in a midden pile decomposing. I regret that I did not get an Apple Watch sooner - although always on was the deal-maker for me. Battery life is still low and there is now yet another device to manage charging for, but if you can deal with that then there is no reason to buy a different smart watch.

Update: I purchased a very handy nightstand device for charging my phone and watch. The watch is so easy to pop on and off and just drop onto the stand that the charging issue is really a non-issue, much to my surprise. Now when I charge my phone at night, which i routinely do, the watch drops right alongside it. Easy peasy.

Update #2: Still love the watch. I was playing with my dog on a tile floor when I heard a crunch. Lifted the watch to see a bunch of deep scratches on the glass. Checked online and replacing the screen is a $300 affair. I am going to try to polish it out, but for god sake use a screen protector.

TIP - Scratch removal: Not really part of the review, but I could not find any decent way to get the scratches out of the watch surface. After about 3 weeks and multiple different products and trials, practicing on old watches, I finally was successful with a technique using a Dremel, foam pad, auto sandpaper (600 down to 3000 grit) and Cerium Oxide. It was actually quite easy once I got it. Very smooth surface - not factory smooth, but smooth. Happy to coach anyone through it if wanted.



Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS, 42mm) - Space Gray Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band Review:


I don’t need to say anything more about how fantastic this watch is. I was a garmin forerunner holdout for years and finally switched as I wanted a watch to listen to music with while running. The only negative thing I can say about this watch is battery life but I knew that before purchasing it. My solution was using the watch in nightstand mode at night and it’s always charged for a full day of activity. Please note by doing this u can’t use the watch to track sleep but that’s not an issue as i have never had a need to track sleep. I get about 3.5 miles of running in a day and with GPS, heart rate and music playback on and I still have not dipped below 30 percent battery life by the time i take it off to charge at night. The only thing I miss about the garmin ecosystem is the ability to track mileage on my gear/shoes.

The reason I am writing a review is to urge u to by Apple Care +. It’s 2.49 a month or 49 dollars for two years of coverage and no I am not associated with Apple. I am just a crazy active person getting about 20k steps a day.

I was wearing the watch yesterday while edging the fence line with my gas trimmer. I rolled my ankle on a slope and fell into the fence. The angle must have been just right and hit the upper left corner of the watch off the fence post shattering the screen.

I was shocked to find that the cost of the screen replacement on the watch is the exact price I bought it for from amazon. It’s 229. With Apple Care + the cost comes down to 69 dollars. With the care plan u are covered for two years from date of purchase and they allow for two accidental damage repairs over the life of the policy. The only catch is u have to add the plan within 60 days of purchase.

That’s all I have to say. I used to say AirPods were the most innovative thing Apple has done in ages but now I feel it’s the watch. Apple pay even more amazing on the watch and being able to voice respond to Tex’s is killer since Apple keeps iMessages locked down to their devices only for the time being.



Updated 2019 Version Smart Watch for Android iOS Phone, Activity Fitness Tracker Watches Health Exercise Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Sleep Monitor Compatible with Samsung Apple iPhone for Men Women Review:


This is an OUTSTANDING Smart Watch that works very well with the IPHONE app that goes along with it. It is very easy to understand. It tracks my steps, calories burned, workouts, and also can be paired with my phone to receive text or call alerts directly to my watch. It also can control the music on my iphone and it also regulates my heart rate and send all the info to the app that I can view later and share with my loved ones if I choose. The only thing I am unclear is one screen where it is a picture of the 'battery' and when you press it, it says ECO enabled. I have no clue what that means since it is not clear in the directions what that icon means. All I know is when I activate ECO Enabled, then I can't swipe to the other screens on the watch. It must mean that it is saving the battery life to only be used as a 'watch' and limits the interaction with the other screens. So, I don't have the ECO enabled activated since I plan on using this as a smart watch to track my steps, workouts, calories burned, etc. I would recommend this watch as an alternative to the Apple Iphone if you are looking to save money and have a smaller budget to work with. A++



Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band Review:


I resisted and resisted. For me a watch was to tell time and that was the most important thing. I did not want to be bothered with charging, syncing, Bluetooth connections and basically managing another high maintenance device. Then my sister bought me a Pebble. Hard to imagine a more dysfunctional product, but it did tell the time and held a charge for up to a month with an always-on clockface. Getting alerts on my watch was handy...when it worked. Went through several upgrade cycles with Pebble until they went under, then went on to the Pebble heir apparent, Fitbit Versa. More functionality but much worse battery life (5 days) and watch not always on...another dysfunctional product.

When the Versa broke, I did consider the Versa 2. Seemed to have a lot of the same issues as the original. Then I saw that the Apple Series 5 had an always-on clock face and I jumped in. I wont give you the most technical review, as that can be googled quickly anywhere. What I can do is give the perspective of someone upgrading from the Pebble/Versa environment.

What the Series 5 brings that is the most significant is the always-on clock face. As a physician in patient rooms, the worst thing you can do is deliberately lift up your arm to get your watch to come alive to see the time or look at pages or texts. I have neve once done this and had someone not comment that they thought they were wasting my time, so I just stopped checking my watch. Always on is just a social must-have feature, or you are that douchy guy who is obviously checking the time while talking to people. On the Versa the motion needed to turn on was so poorly designed and deliberate that you would have to repeatedly and deliberately flick your wrist to see the time. I am so glad that thing broke. Other cool but less important features include a really good compass and women's health tracker. I'm sure that there are plenty of dudes out there like me who like to pretend to have a cycle and track it on our watches so...just sayin. Yee-haw.

Not going to get into all of the other heath features which are not new to this model. The battery is new in some way. Tear downs show a new design which likely helps to account for the same battery life with the always-on screen. I want at least a week of charge though. Let's go, Apple.

Compared to the Versa, Fossil and others, this is just a polished, well made device. The quality is apparent immediately. The 40mm version is a thin, appropriate wrist size. The band is really comfortable and easy to swap out. The connection to iPhone is perfect - no disconnects and really excellent haptics. I have yet to explore all of the apps and features but navigating the watch is no different than an iPhone with regard to gestures - swipe down for alerts, swipe up for control center.

Pros:
- Always on display!!!
- Thinner than Series 4 - not bulky
- Handsome, solid, quality build and feel
- Perfect iPhone integration and connection
- Great haptics
- Intuitive controls

Cons:
- Cost (relative to others)
- Battery life - charge it every night
- Lack of aftermarket products (like decent charging stands, etc)

Final word: I am really glad that my Versa is sitting in a midden pile decomposing. I regret that I did not get an Apple Watch sooner. Battery life is still annoying as there is now yet another device to manage charging for, but if you can deal with that then there is no reason to buy a different smart watch.

Update: I purchased a very handy nightstand device for charging my phone and watch. The watch is so easy to pop on and off and just drop onto the stand that the charging issue is really a non-issue, much to my surprise. Now when I charge my phone at night, which i routinely do, the watch drops right alongside it. Easy peasy.



Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sport Band Review:


I resisted and resisted. For me a watch was to tell time and that was the most important thing. I did not want to be bothered with charging, syncing, Bluetooth connections and basically managing another high maintenance device. Then my sister bought me a Pebble. Hard to imagine a more dysfunctional product, but it did tell the time and held a charge for up to a month with an always-on clockface. Getting alerts on my watch was handy...when it worked. Went through several upgrade cycles with Pebble until they went under, then went on to the Pebble heir apparent, Fitbit Versa. More functionality but much worse battery life (5 days) and watch not always on...another dysfunctional product.

When the Versa broke, I did consider the Versa 2. Seemed to have a lot of the same issues as the original. Then I saw that the Apple Series 5 had an always-on clock face and I jumped in. I wont give you the most technical review, as that can be googled quickly anywhere. What I can do is give the perspective of someone upgrading from the Pebble/Versa environment.

What the Series 5 brings that is the most significant is the always-on clock face. As a physician in patient rooms, the worst thing you can do is deliberately lift up your arm to get your watch to come alive to see the time or look at pages or texts. I have neve once done this and had someone not comment that they thought they were wasting my time, so I just stopped checking my watch. Always on is just a social must-have feature, or you are that douchy guy who is obviously checking the time while talking to people. On the Versa the motion needed to turn on was so poorly designed and deliberate that you would have to repeatedly and deliberately flick your wrist to see the time. I am so glad that thing broke. Other cool but less important features include a really good compass and women's health tracker. I'm sure that there are plenty of dudes out there like me who like to pretend to have a cycle and track it on our watches so...just sayin. Yee-haw.

Not going to get into all of the other heath features which are not new to this model. The battery is new in some way. Tear downs show a new design which likely helps to account for the same battery life with the always-on screen. I want at least a week of charge though. Let's go, Apple.

Compared to the Versa, Fossil and others, this is just a polished, well made device. The quality is apparent immediately. The 40mm version is a thin, appropriate wrist size. The band is really comfortable and easy to swap out. The connection to iPhone is perfect - no disconnects and really excellent haptics. I have yet to explore all of the apps and features but navigating the watch is no different than an iPhone with regard to gestures - swipe down for alerts, swipe up for control center.

Pros:
- Always on display!!!
- Thinner than Series 4 - not bulky
- Handsome, solid, quality build and feel
- Perfect iPhone integration and connection
- Great haptics
- Intuitive controls

Cons:
- Cost (relative to others)
- Battery life - charge it every night
- Lack of aftermarket products (like decent charging stands, etc)

Final word: I am really glad that my Versa is sitting in a midden pile decomposing. I regret that I did not get an Apple Watch sooner. Battery life is still annoying as there is now yet another device to manage charging for, but if you can deal with that then there is no reason to buy a different smart watch.

Update: I purchased a very handy nightstand device for charging my phone and watch. The watch is so easy to pop on and off and just drop onto the stand that the charging issue is really a non-issue, much to my surprise. Now when I charge my phone at night, which i routinely do, the watch drops right alongside it. Easy peasy.



Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-in, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Bordeaux/Copper Rose, One Size (S & L Bands Included) Review:


I just bought this and the app doesn’t work on either my iPhone or iPad. DON'T BUY unless you read the reviews on their app. Amazon gives me a month before I have to return it. I’m giving them 2 weeks to fix before I send back. I’ll let you know if they resolve this issue. Buyer BEWARE!

As promised, the next day they fixed their app! Loving it so far. Had an Apple Watch and the battery last only a few years. Switch to the Versa 2 for half the price of an Apple Watch and as I can tell right now, features are similar. However, I never had Apple respond with trouble shot and a fix as quickly as the Fitbit Team!



Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-in, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Carbon, One Size (S & L Bands Included) Review:


The Versa 2 brings some modest improvements to the original, both inside and out. Here are some highlights:

The screen is now AMOLED, yielding brighter colors and deeper blacks.
The glass cover no longer has a bezel, giving it a smooth, low profile and premium look.
The optical sensor on the bottom is bigger and doesn't protrude from the case, making it more comfortable on the wrist.
The music and exercise buttons are gone. A mic to command Amazon Alexa is in their place. She can do things like set timers, alarms, reply to texts, give you the weather forecast as well as a FEW other useful things.
The processor is faster. Apps load faster and the touch screen is more responsive.
Always on display is now supported.
Screen brightness is now always adaptive, though you can preset the base brightness.
There is a new sleep mode which turns off autowake and notifications during during selected times so your watch doesn't bother you while you sleep. Do not disturb mode will silence calls and notifications during exercise as well.
You can control the Spotify app on your phone from your watch.
Fitbit pay is now standard on all Versa 2 editions.
*The battery is rated for 5+ days. I've been getting a solid 6.5 with always connected, all day sync, 24 hour HR, and at least 3 hours of running.

That being said, the Versa 2 isn't perfect. Fitbit OS is still feature lite, the app store is still rather small and there is still a dearth of useful clock faces. I'd still like to see a screen lock feature, a stride per minute counter and music controls in the exercise app, and a bunch of small. QoL improvements.

If you're like me and mostly want an excellent fitness tracker with a handful of productivity features sprinkled on top, then the Versa 2 is for you, especially if you want a battery life long enough to make use of any of those things. If you care less about fitness and more about controlling your phone from your wrist, then you might want to look at a Galaxy Watch or a Fossil Gen 5, especially if you don't plan on tracking sleep, as you'll need to recharge both at the end of the day. If you have an iPhone I don't know why you're reading this.