7 Must-Have Smartwatches for 2018
Wearable technology is finally here and suddenly there are plenty of top-notch smartwatches to choose from. With options from brands like Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung currently competing for attention, it can be difficult to determine which smartwatch is best – but each smartwatch offers something slightly different.
If you’re shopping for a smartwatch, you want to look for the best of the bunch. Here are seven must-have smartwatches available right now.
1. Apple Watch Series 4
Priced at $399, the Apple Watch 4¹ is easily the priciest smartwatch. However, this smartwatch is loaded with features – and it’s one of the most capable.
Compatible with iOS, the Apple Watch 4 offers 16GB of storage, which is more than any other model. The battery charges wirelessly and lasts for an average of one to two days. You can download your favorite iOS apps and sync your watch to your Apple account.
Unlike many other smartwatches on the market today, the Apple Watch 4 doesn’t offer sleep tracking capabilities. However, it’s one of the best options when it comes to fitness tracking. Throughout the day, this smartwatch prompts you to close “activity rings” for various goals. It’s capable of tracking dozens of activities and can automatically detect and track several types of exercise. Apple is expected to release even more advanced updates that’ll add fall detection and ECG heart rate monitoring soon.
2. Apple Watch Series 3
If the $399 price tag for the Apple Watch 4 is too steep for you, the Apple Watch 3 — the previous generation — is a nice alternative. Like the newer version, it’s compatible only with iOS. Sold by Apple² for $279 from Apple, you can choose from 8GB and 16GB options with or without LTE connectivity.
The battery on this smartwatch lasts for around 18 hours per charge. It’s equally easy to download apps and sync your watch with your Apple iPhone too.
The Apple Watch 3 also includes a highly accurate GPS for exceptional activity tracking. It’s water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it suitable for swimming. Recent updates allow the watch to track high-intensity interval training sessions, and it can even be used to track gym workouts via compatible, technology-enabled gym equipment.
3. Fitbit Versa
The Fitbit Versa³, which is priced at $200, is an excellent basic smartwatch for anyone who wants to focus on fitness. The Versa stands out from the competition because it includes sleep tracking and is compatible with both iOS and Android.
With 2.5GB of storage, the Versa is a bit small space-wise, but the battery, which is charged with a proprietary charger, lasts for three to four days per charge.
The biggest drawback of the Fitbit Versa is it lacks GPS. However, it is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and is capable of tracking all major workouts. Workout summaries let you know how you’re working towards your fitness goals and progressing, and water resistance up to 50 meters makes this a great device for swimmers.
4. Fitbit Ionic
Priced at $250, the Fitbit Ionic⁴ is one of the best smartwatch bargains available. Compatible with Android and iOS and offering a batter life of two to three days per charge, the device also includes 2.5GB of storage.
Another exciting feature of the Ionic is Fitbit Pay, which allows you to make purchases on the go with your smartwatch. The Fitbit Ionic is different from other Fitbit smartwatches as it branches out beyond fitness tracking.
You can track other health metrics on the Ionic. This smartwatch can be used by diabetics to track blood glucose levels when paired with a compatible sensor, and an upcoming update will allow you to track and monitor blood oxygen levels while working out. Fitbit Coach is a feature that keeps you motivated, and there are dozens of built-in workouts you can follow right on your watch’s screen.
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung’s highly anticipated entry into the smartwatch market is the Galaxy Watch – and this watch is already earning accolades. Sold by Samsung⁵ for $299 and compatible with both iOS and Android, the Galaxy Watch features a battery that lasts an incredible four days on a single charge, and charging is done wirelessly.
Need to map out a route? This smartwatch helps you navigate with a cleverly designed rotating bezel. It’s also water resistant up to 50 meters.
When it comes to fitness, the Samsung Galaxy Watch tracks 39 different activities and can automatically detect and tracking six of them. It will vibrate if you’ve been sedentary for too long, and it includes a “Together” section where you can challenge a friend. The device also includes stress management tracking and will warn you if it detects rising stress levels, prompting you to try breathing exercises to calm down.
6. Samsung Gear Sport
The sportier version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the Gear Sport is compatible with Android and iOS and boasts an incredible five-day battery life. Price at $329 on the Samsung⁶ website, it’s among the most expensive smartwatches on the market right now. However, if you’re looking for a device that accurately tracks dozens of exercises and offers exceptional heart rate tracking functionality, this may be the answer.
The Gear Sport offers LTE connectivity through T Mobile. Like the Galaxy Watch, the Gear Sport includes stress management tracking. It also continually tracks your resting heart rate, providing advice and insight into what it detects. With water resistance up to 50 meters, the Gear Sport is a viable option for swimmers, and its 1.2-inch display is one of the largest and nicest available.
7. LG GizmoGadget
If “GizmoGadget” sounds a bit too cute for a smartwatch, it’s probably because this device is geared toward the younger crowd. The LG GizmoGadget⁷, which is available for just $150, is a smartwatch with fitness tracking capabilities specifically for children. Compatible with both Android and iOS, it boasts a huge 1.3-inch display that’s great for little ones.
Thanks to its two-day battery life, the LG GizmoGadget can be worn continuously. Parental controls help keep your kid safe, and the included GPS tracking is accurate. There is no heart rate monitor included, but this watch does include a timer, a stopwatch, and an activity tracker. Just for fun, it also includes a button that plays silly sounds and a voice changer.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.