How to Pick a Smartwatch

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How to Pick a Smartwatch

Are you looking for a fitness coach or a personal assistant? Do you want something sleek and sartorially minded, or do you prize function above all? To help decide which device is right for you, we’ve put together this buying guide of some of the best smartwatches on the market today.

But first, a note: Throughout this piece, we will, from time to time, use the term “smartwatch” as the market often does—as a catch-all. We’re aware that certain wrist wearables don’t meet all the technical criteria of a smartwatch, but we’re going to forego semantics in favor of talking about the category in a broader, more inclusive sense.

For the Everyday Activity Tracker

Fitbit is one of the biggest names in fitness trackers and smartwatches, so it’s no surprise to find not one, but two Fitbit devices on our list. The first is our current favorite activity tracker, the Charge 3. Following in the footsteps of the wildly popular Charge 2, the latest Charge wearable gives you everything you need in an activity tracker, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, distance tracking, and more. It even has advanced features like sport tracking and activity recognition. Sleek, unobtrusive, and featuring everything you’d ever want or need in an activity monitor, the Charge 3 is the standard bearer for what a fitness tracker should be.

Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Wristband
Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Wristband

For the Fitness Fanatic

As one of the sharpest-looking watches on our list, the Fitbit Versa could have easily gone into the “sartorially minded” category. However, in addition to offering killer looks, the Versa also gives users some of the best overall fitness and sports-tracking features on the market, including more than 15 exercise modes, an optical heart-rate monitor, four-plus days of battery life, and local music storage so you can listen to all your favorite songs during your workout. If your primary focus is on fitness, and you want a wearable that looks as good as it performs, then check out the Fitbit Versa.

Fitbit Versa Fitness Watch
Fitbit Versa Fitness Watch

For the Marathoner

Although it covers a wide range of sports and fitness activities, the Garmin Forerunner 945 does one thing better than all the rest: running. With GPS-based distance calculation, built-in heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter, and some of the most comprehensive running and physiological metrics available, the Forerunner 945 is our choice for users whose primary focus is on running. On top of that, it offers a full suite of daily activity and sport-tracking features, in case your marathon changes into a triathlon or one of the other preloaded activities. Oh, and this new version of the Forerunner lets you add music directly to the device, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you run.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Music GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch
Garmin Forerunner 945 Music GPS Running/Triathlon Smartwatch

For the I-Want-It-All Crowd

Smartwatches aren’t just about fitness. In addition to sport and wellness tracking, some people also want a smartwatch with advanced connectivity—to receive text messages, emails, and even phone calls—as well as built-in apps and functionality to make their lives easier, whether that’s paying for a mocha latte straight from your wrist or getting directions to the subway via digital assistant. Oh, and they also want it to look good. For this best-of-both-worlds crowd, we recommend the Apple Watch Series 4. With the Watch, you get it all: sharp design, excellent fitness and sport tracking capabilities (including the all-new electrocardiograms (ECG) and fall-detection features), plenty of connectivity options so you never miss a text or email, and thousands of apps to help improve every aspect of your daily life. If you need a wearable that’ll help you at the gym, the office, and everywhere in between, the Apple Watch Series 4 is the smartwatch for you.

Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch Series 4

For the Sartorially Minded

Although the Samsung Galaxy Watch offers many similar features to the Apple Watch Series 4, where we think it truly stands apart is in the looks category. With its circular 1.3" AMOLED touchscreen face, overall slim design, and timeless look, the Galaxy Watch is about as sharp as they come. Whether you go with Midnight Black, Silver, or Rose Gold, the Galaxy Watch will fit almost any outfit or occasion. Oh, and as we mentioned before, it not only has looks to kill, but features, as well. In addition to its stunning screen, the Galaxy Watch comes with 4GB of onboard storage, Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi connectivity, and is rated IP68 waterproof. If you’re looking for the sharpest smartwatch on the market—with features to match—check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch

Are there any smartwatches we missed? Let us know in the Comments section, down below.

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