Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room: the Apple-shaped one. As you can read in our Apple Watch 6 review and Apple Watch SE review, we’re genuine fans of Apple wearables, and they have much to deliver in features and design. But here’s the issue: you can only pair them with iPhones. And while you’ll find plenty of features in the standalone watch, these are devices that are expressly designed to function alongside smartphones.
Luckily for Android users, there are plenty of top-class wearables out there that are compatible with their phones. You’ll find several different operating systems covered in our round-up below, but the golden rule is this: any smartwatch OS that isn’t Apple’s watchOS will work with your Android phone. And if you do an iPhone? Still read on – everything we’ve listed below will still run on iOS.
So which should you choose? With an expansive range of prices and features, picking out the right wearable can be intimidating. That’s why our experts have put together this list of the best Android smartwatches. Whether you’re after a high-end, mid-range or cheap wearable, we’re confident you’ll find one for you below.
And once you’re done, we suggested you head over to our smartwatch deals list to see if any of them are currently on offer.
- Best Android smartwatch at a glance
- Best smartwatch to buy in 2021
- How we tested Android smartwatches
How to choose the best Android smartwatch
When choosing a smartwatch, we advise you to keep the following criteria in mind:
- Smartwatches vs fitness trackers: While some wearables are intended as direct companions to smartphones – essentially a bridge between you and your handset – others are designed with tracking and improving your fitness. In reality, there’s often very little to distinguish the two. But if fitness is your priority, you’ll likely save money by choosing a dedicated tracker from Fitbit or Garmin over, say, a Samsung flagship that offers similar features.
- Design and build quality: Since you’re wearing it, you want it to look good, right? Some wearables are designed in a classic timepiece style, with features like external dials and rotating numbered bezels. Others – typically lower-end wearables – have a more futuristic design. Budget wearables tend to be one-piece with moulded straps, while more expensive options will give you the option to replace the strap and personalise the touchscreen display.
- Battery life: This is something that not nearly enough people take into consideration, we’d argue. Top-of-the-line smartwatches come back with features, but they often have very limited battery lives too, and sometimes need daily charging. Budget-friendly wearables, by contrast, offer less versatility but can last as long as a fortnight, depending on your levels of usage.
Here’s our pick of the best Android wearables out there. Read on for more details of what each of these smartwatches offers and what makes them so special.
- Best all-round Android smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, £369
- Best Android smartwatch for battery life: Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, £49
- Best budget Android smartwatch: Huawei Fit Watch, £99.99
- Best mid-range Android smartwatch: Fitbit Versa 3, £199.99
- Best Android fitness tracker: Fitbit Sense, £299
- Best Android smartwatch for workouts: Huawei GT2 Pro, £229.99
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, £369
Best all-round Android smartwatch
- Stunning analogue-style design
- Fluid and intuitive user interface
- Comprehensive range of features
- Disappointingly short battery life
- Charging cable doesn’t come with plug adaptor
Searching for a top-of-the-line wearable? If you’re unable to pair the Apple Watch 6 with your phone, take a look at Samsung’s Galaxy 3. Both smartwatches over the same breadth of features, both more or less cost the same – and it’s a tough call for us to say which is the winning smartwatch. But it’s a moot point for Android users. So rest assured that the Galaxy Watch 3’s sumptuous, trad-style design, range of cutting-edge fitness features and an incredibly intuitive UI make it an absolutely A-grade wearable.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review.
Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, £49
Best Android smartwatch for battery life
- Excellent value for several features
- Superbly guided workout with Coach function
- Voice assistant comes built-in
- Fitbit Pay is included
- Small lag between loading functions
- Not many display personalisation options
- You’ll ultimately need to pay extra for Fitbit Premium
By contrast, here’s Samsung’s budget-friendly option: a no-frills, no-fuss fitness tracker that will definitely appeal to those just starting out tracking their health and fitness. Despite the sub-£50 price tag, the Fit 2 offers a solid variety of functions (movement tracking, stress tracking, weather reports) that makes it one of the best entry-level fitness trackers out there. But the 21-day maximum service it can offer is what makes us love the Fit 2 – you can’t complain about that sort of battery life.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 review.
Huawei Fit Watch, £99.99
Best budget Android smartwatch
- The user interface is easy to navigate
- Workouts are easy to access
- Attractive, lightweight build
- A few hiccups in the setup process
Huawei’s entrance into the Western market has been a little fraught, but its phones and wearables alike are continuing to win more and more accolades. And while it’s more expensive than the Fit 2, it wins our best budget Android smartwatch award as it delivers an impressive range of guided workout programmes (which come with helpful animations), plus some metrics that you only expect to see in mid-range wearables, such as SpO2 monitoring. Factor in the boxy-but-svelte design, and you’ve got an Android smartwatch that’s terrific value for money.
Read our full Huawei Fit Watch review.
Huawei GT2 Pro, £229.99
Best Android smartwatch for workouts
- Huge range of sports tracking options available
- It looks like it costs more than it does
- Impressive monitoring features (heart rate, SpO2 and VO2max)
- Not alerted when battery is low
With the GT2 Pro, Huawei takes things up a gear (several gears, actually) by introducing features like built-in GPS, VO2 tracking and an astonishing 100-plus workout modes. We’ll defy anyone to not find the mode that corresponds to their activity of choice: if you’re planning to leap out of a plane any time soon, make sure you wear this smartwatch, as it covers parachuting. Android phone owners might even indulge in a little schadenfreude – when pairing our iPhone, we did encounter some compatibility issues.
Read our full Huawei GT2 Pro review.
Fitbit Versa 3, £199.99
Best mid-range Android smartwatch
- Great price against a variety of features
- Guide workouts with Coach feature
- Built-in voice assistant
- Fitbit Pay is included
- Slight loading time between functions
- Limited personalisation available
- Fitbit Premium comes at an extra cost
Mid-range devices don’t always look that appealing. Chances are, you’ll be asking yourself whether you should cough up more for the very best or be more sensible and go with a lower-cost investment. The third generation of Fitbit’s Versa line is the ultimate riposte to that. Although it lacks the big bad Sense’s electrocardiogram and stress-tracking metrics, it still offers a sweeping range of reliable features. It also comes with a built-in voice assistant. Any Android users out there who aren’t sure they can stump up for the Sense should assure themselves that the Versa 3 is much more than an also-ran.
Read our full Fitbit Versa review.
Fitbit Sense, £299
Best Android fitness tracker
- Charging is extra-fast
- Impressive six-day maximum battery life
- Innovative metrics (electrodermal stress detector)
- Built-in guided workouts
- We encountered some pairing issues
- Watch face can’t be customised
But, for all our positive comments about the Versa 3, it’s still eclipsed by the top-of-the-line Sense. In terms of pure metrics, it can’t be beaten. The winning feature by a long way is the stress-tracking feature, which gauges changes in the electrical activity in your skin that happens when you’re feeling frazzled. But what really made us name the Sense as the best Android fitness tracker out there is the gulf in price between this and the Galaxy Watch 3. Samsung phone devotees might want the same brand on their wrist, but if your health and fitness is a top priority, you’re honestly better off with this.
Read our full Fitbit Sense review.
All of the smartwatches you see in this list have been tested by our experts, using the same methods each time. We’ve learned that it’s very easy to get suckered in by a product’s strengths, only to ignore its weaknesses – or indeed the other way around. So each time the RadioTimes.com expert teams tests smartwatches, they always review using the same standardised criteria.
In each of our wearables reviews, you’ll see a star rating out of five to one decimal point. This is the weighted aggregate of all those criteria. We rate each smartwatch based on the range of features it offers and how well each of those features performs. Another important factor is battery life since that can really make or mar your experience of a wearable. We also consider ease of setup: we measure the length of time it takes from unboxing the smartwatch to putting the active device on your wrist.
We also assess smartwatch design – since it’s on constant display, you want some that looks nice and feels built to last. Finally, we rate the watch in terms of its value for money since a fantastic watch might be marred by being over-priced, and a middling watch might be redeemed by its low cost.
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For a complete list of our favourite wearables – including Apple – check out our best smartwatch round-up.