When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / Best smartwatches in 2024 from Apple and Android

Best smartwatches in 2024 from Apple and Android

Our pick of the best smartwatches around, based on extensive in-depth reviews


If you’re reading this, it means you’re looking for the best smartwatch you can buy. Maybe your old Apple Watch is due for an upgrade. Or perhaps your Android Wear OS timepiece met an untimely end when your cat thoughtfully batted it off the table.

Whatever the reason, we’ve rounded up some of the best smartwatches to help make your buying decision that little bit easier.

What’s the best smartwatch?

We think the Apple Watch SE (buy now) is the best smartwatch you can buy today. It might not be the most expensive Apple Watch around (that honour goes to its Series 8 and Ultra siblings), but that’s precisely why we reckon the updated Watch SE is the best choice for most people — especially as it has the same processor and similar features for a lot less cash.

Other smartwatch recommendations

Before we jump into the full list of the best smartwatches you can buy right now, here’s a quick look at our three top picks:

Best Android smartwatch

The Google Pixel Watch 2 (buy now) with its ultra-minimal design and pure, fuss-free aesthetic, is a solid option for Android diehards who want a wrist-hugging companion worthy of, say, their Pixel 8 Pro.

Best budget smartwatch

The TicWatch Pro 3 (buy now) might be a few years old, but the speedy specs, reliable performance, and safe design make it one of the best smartwatches you can buy — especially if you’re on a tighter budget.

Best outdoors smartwatch

The Apple Watch Ultra (buy now) is perfect if you spencer your weekends and holidays in the great outdoors. With a bigger battery, rugged design, and exploration-orientated features.

The best smartwatches you can buy today:


1. Apple Watch SE

Stuff Verdict

Watch SE lays down the gauntlet for its more expensive siblings, offering most of the same experience for a chunk of cash less.


  • Superb performance, latest-gen chip
  • All the core Apple Watch experience
  • Better value than Series 8


  • Larger bezels than Series 8
  • Longer battery life next time please
  • Limited choice of finishes
Apple Watch SE (2022) specs
ProcessorS8 SiP with 64‑bit dual-core processor
DisplayRetina display, 368 x 448 pixels (44mm), 324 x 394 pixels (40mm)
Connectivity4G LTE (cellular models), Bluetooth 5.0
Rating50m waterproof (WR50)
Dimensions44 x 38 x 10.7mm / 33g (44mm), 40 x 34 x 10.7mm / 28g (40mm)

The Apple Watch SE (aka the Apple Watch SE 2 or 2022 model) might not be the most premium Apple Watch available, but it’s still our top recommendation for most people. Cheaper than its Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra siblings, it manages to serve up some of the same key features, for less.

These include the same processor, Apple’s vast menu of health and fitness features, and even newer features like Car Crash Detection. Compromises for the price include the lack of an always-on display, bloody oxygen tracking, and ECG smarts. But if you’re not fussed about those and want an up-to-date Apple Watch for a more palatable price, this is the one for you.


2. Google Pixel Watch 2

Stuff Verdict

A wider range of fitness features and marginally better battery life improve Google’s second-attempt smartwatch – but the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t the dramatic upgrade many were hoping for


  • Minimal styling stands out from other smartwatches
  • WearOS is user-friendly and shows promise
  • Fitbit health tracking is accurate and extensive


  • Only one size, which can look small on many wrists
  • Bested on battery life by larger rivals
  • Display bezel is very chunky
Google Pixel Watch 2 specs
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon Wear W5
Display1.2in, 450×450 AMOLED
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi
Dimensions41x41x12.3mm, 31g (watch body only)

Google’s Pixel Watch 2 should be a top contender for Android purists who crave a device directly from the Big G itself. With its standout minimalist styling and easy-to-use interface, the Pixel Watch 2 is a pleasure to wear and use. Slick software and comprehensive Fitbit-powered health tracking are welcome features too.

The second generation has received a larger battery and more efficient processor, fixing one of our biggest issues with the first-generation model.

It’s still not perfect, however, the slightly thick bezels might detract from its visual appeal somewhat and the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t fit all wrists, but if you’re after an Android-friendly timepiece with a fuss-free design, this is definitely one of the best smartwatches you can buy.

3. Apple Watch Ultra

Stuff Verdict

By far the best adventure-ready Apple Watch yet and a really great all-rounder, though battery life pales compared to rivals.


  • Excellent screen
  • Bigger battery life than other Apple Watches
  • Better durability


  • Lacks some navigation skills
  • Carries a hefty premium
  • Needs longer battery life to compete with the best
Apple Watch Ultra specs
ProcessorS8 SiP with 64‑bit dual-core processor
DisplayAlways-on 2000nit retina display, 410 x 502 pixels
Connectivity4G LTE (cellular models), 802.b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, dual-frequency GPS
Rating100m waterproof (WR100)
Dimensions49 x 44 x 14.4mm, 61g

Apple fans with premium budgets take note — the Apple Watch Ultra is easily one of the best smartwatches in 2023, and you’d hope so, given that it’s also one of the most expensive options by a considerable mile.

Your extra cash nets you a bigger battery, more controls, a beefed-up rugged design, and specialist features tailored to outdoor pursuits. It’s more than a tentative step into Garmin territory, though its battery life will still force you back on charge faster than top-end Garmin models.

4. TicWatch Pro 3

Stuff Verdict

The complete Android smartwatch package, and a blazing fast one at that.


  • Superb screen
  • Powerful performance
  • Three-day battery


  • No ECG
TicWatch Pro 3 specs
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
Display1.4″ Retina AMOLED with 454×454 pixels
ConnectivityGPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions47x48x12.2 mm, 41.9g

It might be a couple of years old, but that doesn’t mean that the TicWatch isn’t a viable contender. In fact, it’s made our list because its specs remain competitive even today, thanks to having one of the most powerful smartwatch chipsets around — Qualcomm’s Wear 4100 CPU. In fact, there are even rumours of an upcoming Wear OS 3 update, making it even more appealing — especially at its current price.

Despite being one of the cheapest picks on our list, performance is buttery smooth, with a bright, sharp screen to match. It’s got all the main features you’d want too, including heart rate, sleep and fitness tracking, GPS, and even a noise level monitor. Though there’s no ECG. If you can get past its sensible (but not groundbreaking) looks, then it makes for a real bargain.

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Stuff Verdict

No major leaps forward this year… but bringing back the bezel still makes an already great all-rounder smartwatch even better.


  • Fluid performance
  • Consistently good battery life
  • Rotating bezel was sorely missed


  • Big price jump over regular Watch 6
  • No major internal upgrades over last year’s model
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic specs
ProcessorExynos W930 dual-core
Display1.3in, 432×432 AMOLED (43mm) / 1.5in, 480×480 AMOLED (47mm)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS (4 bands), LTE
RatingIP68, 5ATM
Dimensions42.5×42.5×10.9mm, 52g (43mm) / 46.5×46.5×10.9mm, 59g (47mm)

After stepping aside for the fitness-focused Galaxy Watch 5 Pro last year, Samsung has brought back a fan-favourite smartwatch. With a more traditional timepiece vibe and that distinctive rotating bezel, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings some welcome variety back to the line-up, while also making room for the largest screen the firm has ever squeezed into one of its wearables.

It turns out, that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so it’s great to see the Watch 6 Classic return to Samsung’s lineup. It’s not dramatically different from the regular Watch 6 style-wise and commands a higher price, but the larger screens give it greater wrist presence. Larger batteries also mean more time between charges, and extensive fitness tracking options will please regular runners as well as casual exercisers.

It’s comfortably the pick of the WearOS 4 litter right now.

6. Apple Watch Series 8

Stuff Verdict

With only a sprinkling of enhancements, it’s only worth upgrading if you have a Series 4 or older – and the 2022 Watch SE lays down serious competition. It’s still a great smartwatch though.


  • Still an excellent smartwatch
  • Features like crash detection show innovation
  • Comfortable and flexible


  • The new Watch SE is much better value
  • Needs even longer battery life
  • While US pricing is same as Series 7, UK pricing is higher
Apple Watch Series 8 specs
ProcessorS8 SiP with 64‑bit dual-core processor
DisplayRetina display, 396 x 484 pixels (45mm), 352 x 430 pixels (41mm)
Connectivity4G LTE (cellular models), Bluetooth 5.0
Rating50m waterproof (WR50)
Dimensions5 x 38 x 10.7mm, 51g (45mm) / 41 x 34 x 10.7mm, 42g (41mm)

If you’ve got an Apple Watch newer than, say, the Series 4 (and it’s in fine working order), then there may not be enough in the Series 8 to tempt you. Plus, the value proposition of the Apple Watch SE is hard to ignore. Having said that, there’s plenty to love about the Series 8, and it’s definitely worthy of your shortlist.

Naturally, there’s the same updated accelerometer, complete with crash detection. Heart rate, ECG, and blood oxygen sensors are all present and accounted for, as is a refined design and temperature sensor to help detect ovulation. With the latest dual-core S8 processor, it’s a slick operator too.

7. Huawei Watch GT 4

Stuff Verdict

More stellar smartwatch hardware with catwalk-worthy looks. Get past its software limitations and the fitness tracking features are extensive; it’s a shame many people just won’t be able to.


  • Near-unrivalled build quality for a mainstream smartwatch
  • Beautiful hi-res screen
  • Outstanding battery life


  • Familiar software pitfalls
  • Contactless payments and voice assistants a no-go for most
Huawei Watch GT 4 specs
Display1.43in, 466×466 OLED
ConnectivityGPS, Bluetooth, NFC (country-dependent)
Rating5ATM, IP68
Dimensions46x46x10.9mm, 48g (excluding strap)

If design and materials quality matter most when it comes to your wristwear, it’s hard to dislike the Huawei Watch GT 4. It’s a fantastic-looking smartwatch that makes similarly-priced rivals look positively toy-like in comparison. Battery life remains superb and the screen is a stunner.

Our usual software hang-ups, unfortunately, remain: installing the companion app is fiddly, third-party software support is super-limited, and most buyers will miss out on features found in competing watches like voice assistants and contactless payments. And as much as we think it’s better looking than any Apple Watch, it’s not going to convince any iPhone owners to make the switch.

Treat it as a fitness watch with a bunch of bonus smart features, though, and the Watch GT 4 makes a lot more sense. Huawei Health is detailed enough for both casual exercise and serious workouts, and does daily health tracking very well indeed. For many that – and the sublime styling – will be enough to overlook its issues.


8. Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro

Stuff Verdict

The toughest, longest-lasting Galaxy Watch yet – but the largely similar software means it’s difficult to justify over the regular Watch5.


  • Tough construction
  • Consistent two day battery life
  • Software as slick as ever


  • A big price jump from the Watch5
  • Additional fitness features a bit niche
  • Metal or leather strap would have justified the price more than rubber
Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro specs
ProcessorExynos W920
Display1.4in, 450×450 AMOLED), 352 x 430 pixels (41mm)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2, NFC, Wi-Fi
Dimensions45x45x10.5mm (watch body only), 46.5g

The regular Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is a superb smartwatch in its own right, and definitely worth considering. If you’ve got deeper pockets though, then the Watch5 Pro offers a few more premium features that might be enough to sway your vote.

Packed with some of the most advanced wearable health and fitness sensors currently available, the Watch5 Pro has a bioimpedance sensor for measuring things like your body fat percentage, along with a thermometer. And, of course, the usual heart rate, sleep, and fitness tracking sensors are all present and accounted for too. Battery life is impressive as well, letting you squeeze up to three days between charges, depending on use.

How to choose the best smartwatch for you

If you’re struggling to choose the right smartwatch then fear not – Stuff’s wearable experts are here to help you make the right decision. Luckily, if you own an iPhone, choosing the perfect smartwatch is easy – you should buy an Apple Watch.

Which Apple Watch you buy comes largely down to taste and budget, but there’s no denying the Apple Watch fits perfectly in the iOS ecosystem.

Of course, Apple Watches aren’t compatible with Android phones, so if you own a Google-powered phone then you’ll need to look elsewhere. Thankfully, there are plenty of Android-compatible smartwatches out there to choose from.

In terms of the operating system, you’ve got several options, but the natural fit for an Android phone is a smartwatch that runs Google’s Wear OS. There are a number of different manufacturers that use Wear OS, from Samsung and Fossil to TAG Heuer and Montblanc. So you can buy a watch that suits your personal style. For more information on this, check out Stuff’s guide to the best Android smartwatches.

If you’re not a fan of Wear OS, then you could opt for a smartwatch from Garmin, Huawei, or Fitbit, all of which run bespoke operating systems. Want a sports watch instead? Check out our guide to the best GPS watch.

When choosing a smartwatch, specifications aren’t as important as they are when buying a phone or laptop. Smartwatch apps are all relatively lightweight, so even the most underpowered smartwatches rarely suffer from lag.

The specifications that do matter are display resolution and brightness, as you’ll want a clear screen that can be read in bright sunlight.

When it comes to battery, there are some smartwatches that offer battery life measured in days and weeks, but realistically you’re going to be charging most smartwatches every night. This isn’t too much of an issue, as it’s easy to get into a charging routine when charging frequently – just like charging your phone.

If battery life is a priority of yours, you could consider one of the best fitness trackers, which boast fewer features but have a much longer battery life.

Every smartwatch connects to your phone with Bluetooth, but some also have a 4G data connection. This allows you to make calls, receive messages, and stream music on your watch even when your phone isn’t nearby. This feature does come with an extra monthly cost of the data, so you need to ask yourself if it’s really necessary.

Of course, there’s also wearability to consider – you want a smartwatch that looks good and is comfortable to wear, so weight and size are important factors to think about.

Finally, if you’re buying a smartwatch for your child, read Stuff’s guide to the best smartwatch for kids.

Apple Watch vs Android WearOS: which is the better smartwatch platform?

Need help deciding which smartwatch platform to go for? The answer is pretty simple. If you have an iPhone you’ll prefer the Apple Watch for its seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, while Android users have to opt for WearOS (as the Apple Watch doesn’t work with Android phones).

When paired with the iPhone, the Apple Watch offers a highly polished user experience, superior build quality, and a wide range of health and fitness features. Regular software updates and extensive third-party app support further enhance its appeal.

On the other hand, WearOS, Google’s smartwatch platform, provides more flexibility and variety, catering to a broader range of devices from multiple manufacturers like Samsung and TAG Heuer. This diversity allows users to choose from various styles and price points. WearOS integrates well with Android devices, offering features like Google Assistant and Google Pay, and supports both Android and iOS.

How we test the best smartwatches

We have used and reviewed every smartwatch on this list, so you can trust us when it comes to recommending the best smartwatch to buy.

We usually spend a week or longer reviewing smartwatches, testing out all of the software features, the build quality and the comfort.

We’ll leave no stone unturned, so test every new app, health tracking feature, fitness tracking mode to make sure they’re useful and accurate. We’ll also review the smartwatch basics, such as battery life, how clear the display is, and how reliable the smartphone connection is.

For more information on Stuff’s rating and review process, read our page on how we test products.

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.