The number of smartwatches on the market is staggering. I’ve tested models from Tag Heuer, Citizen, Montblanc, and many other fashion brands, but most of them are simply too expensive for what you get. Here are a few options I like.
Apple Watch Series 8 for $319: If you can find the 2022 Apple Watch Series 8 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) for a good deal less than the Series 9 (under $300), you should snag it. It’s nearly identical to the latest model, especially the health features. Save your cash!
Samsung Galaxy Watch5 for $229 and Watch5 Pro for $380: The 2022 Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro (7/10, WIRED Recommends) are still great, just make sure you pay less than the price of the new Galaxy Watch6 models. They match the Apple Watch’s accuracy in several health and fitness metrics, from SpO2, sleep, and heart-rate tracking to electrocardiogram measurements (though the latter is exclusive to Samsung phones). The Watch5 Pro is larger and has a battery that lasts roughly two full days, whereas the Watch5 lasts around a day and a morning. The Pro also adds GPX, meaning you can download hiking routes to the watch. They have sapphire crystals protecting the screen, but the Watch5 Pro’s crystal is even more durable, and it has a stronger titanium case versus the standard Watch5’s aluminum.
Google Pixel Watch (1st Gen) for $280: Google’s first smartwatch (6/10, WIRED Review) has solid performance, a responsive and bright screen, and it’s comfortable to wear. It’s also an attractive smartwatch, and Google has added several features over the first year of the watch’s life, including fall detection and auto-workout detection (it will be supported until 2025). It has NFC for making contactless payments, a speaker to answer phone calls, and there’s electrocardiogram measurements plus sleep tracking if you need it. The battery is lackluster though, lasting only about a full day with sleep tracking. Try not to pay more than $300 for it.
Withings ScanWatch (1st Gen) for $300: Withings’ ScanWatch (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has good heart rate and sleep tracking capabilities, plus FDA clearance for the blood-oxygen and electrocardiogram measurements. The latter can be helpful in detecting atrial fibrillation and irregular heartbeats, though you should always consult your physician if you’re concerned about the results. This minimalist watch can go a whole month between charges—who doesn’t love that? The face is covered by sapphire glass, and the case is stainless steel, so it’s durable and feels well-built. What gives away its smart sensibilities is the OLED subdial, which is also one of the ScanWatch’s biggest downsides. This screen is tiny! You’ll be reading notifications like the news ticker in Times Square, New York. Withings has announced a second generation of ScanWatch smartwatches and we’ll be testing them soon, which is why you should avoid buying the old model at its full price.
Casio G-Shock Move DW-H5600 for $299: Want a G-Shock with a heart rate monitor? The DW-H5600’s measurements lined up well with the Apple Watch, but if you’re serious about tracking your health, I think you’re better off buying something from our Best Fitness Trackers guide. The buttons are a bit tough to press, and there aren’t a ton of workouts you can track (running, walking, gym workouts). You can sift through a good amount of data in the app, though I was left wanting more, and battery life lasted me roughly three days with continuous monitoring. It can recharge via solar, but you will need to use the bulky charging clip every few days. I still enjoyed wearing it, even if I didn’t find it as useful as our above picks. You can use it to track different time zones, your movements via the GPS during a workout, and even sleep.