Cleverclocks: Top 10 Smartwatches
Need something more than just a timepiece? Insider Engage seeks out the Top 10 smartwatches
In some quarters, this is considered the best multi-sport money can buy. It’s not cheap, but for purists Garmin is the be-all and end-all when it comes to robust watches for outdoor sports. It’s a fairly
Smartwatches have come a long way since they sported small LCD displays, were only useful when plugged into a computer and mainly tracked how far you’d run. Today, they are all-singing and all-dancing, offering sophisticated operating systems, downloadable apps in the same vein as smartphones, and in some quarters they are even fashion statements.
Which ones are the best? You could, of course, just buy a simple Fitbit or Garmin if all you want to do is track your runs or other activities. But what if you want a watch that does more than that? One that tracks your activities, sure, but can also be used as an everyday watch with the added benefit of being truly smart? Here we look at the best on offer for most budgets.
Tag Heuer Connected
This is not Tag Heuer’s first rodeo when it comes to smartwatches, but up until the latest edition it was always missing something – serious fitness functionality. This version introduces a heart rate monitor and allows you to track a wide range of sports, from running to golf. With two pushers either side of the crown to improve usability, the Tag Heuer Connected may be pricey. But it is a sturdy watch that gives the Apple Watch Series 5 a run for its money. It’s also compatible with both Android and iOS.
Tag Heuer Connected, from £1,495
Montblanc Summit 2+ Black Steel
What makes Montblanc great as a brand is that it quietly produces brilliant watches, and it’s no different with its Summit 2+ smartwatch. A larger screen and improved battery life over the previous version, this watch has mobile connectivity and runs on Wear OS by Google, giving it access to a wide range of apps. It may be expensive, but it is arguably the best-looking watch in this list.
Montblanc Summit 2+, from £845
Apple Watch Series 5
Until recently considered the best smartwatch – it has arguably been surpassed by rival Samsung – the Apple Watch Series 5 is still a top choice among the more expensive non-luxury watches. It comes with an always-on display, all of the fitness features you’d expect, and it’s available in 40mm and 44m sizes to suit a variety of wrists. It is also still the best option if you use an iPhone.
Apple Watch Series 5, from £399
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Arguably the best all-around smartwatch on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Watch has a four-day battery life, an easy-to-use interface and a rotating bezel that helps you navigate its Tizen OS. True, there are fewer apps available than those using Wear OS or watchOS, but Samsung has provided the basics that you’ll need and they’re considered highly capable. A 4G version is also available.
Samsung Galaxy Watch, from £259
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
The Galaxy Watch Active2 is a smaller, sportier version of its flagship watch, but this doesn’t make it any less capable. It is slimmer and lighter than its bigger sibling, but still comes with a rotating bezel, a 4G option and all the fitness features you need from a Tizen OS watch. There are 39 workout modes, a heart rate and ECG sensor, as well as a health app that monitors stress and sleep.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, from £269
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
In some quarters, this is considered the best multi-sport money can buy. It’s not cheap, but for purists Garmin is the be-all and end-all when it comes to robust watches for outdoor sports. It’s a fairly chunky 48mm in diameter, which may be a dealbreaker for some, but with music compatibility, a mapping feature and WiFi connectivity, it takes things up a level. You can track your training in a multitude of sports, from triathlon to skiing, which makes this a top choice for athletes.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, £599.99
Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting
It’s no surprise that Breitling’s entry into the smartwatch market is a chunky tool watch that might look out of place in the boardroom, but fits right in on the deck of an ocean yacht. The company’s first Exospace watches were built for aviation and motoring enthusiasts, but this one is for anyone who enjoys being out on the water. Unlike other smartwatches, this has an analogue dial and two digital displays. What makes it smart is that it can be paired with a smartphone to transfer data, although this is not your fitness watch like the others on the list.
Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting, £5,810
Fitbit Versa 2
For many people, Fitbit is synonymous with smartwatches. With the Versa 2 the company has gone up a notch and built a hybrid smartwatch-fitness tracker. With a hi-res touchscreen and all the fitness and smart functionality you’d expect – including Spotify and payments apps – this is a serious contender. One drawback, however, is it doesn’t have onboard GPS and instead relies on your phone to do that.
Fitbit Versa 2, £199.99
Fitbit Versa Lite Edition
In many ways, the Versa Lite Edition is a better choice than the Versa 2. While it drops some of the functionality it has decent battery life, all the fitness functionality you need, heart rate and sleep tracking, and a small and light case. While it lacks GPS, this is still a capable watch and comes in at a much lower price than the other watches on this list.
Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, £149.99
Honor Magic Watch 2
Honor, part of the Huawei stable of brands, has been pushing into the wearables market with watches that are both capable and keenly priced. Available in both 42mm and 46mm cases, they should fit a wide variety of wrists, but the larger version comes with a few more features, such as a microphone and speaker. It comes with all the fitness features you’d expect, including a triathlon mode, and is particularly well-suited for runners.
Honor Magic Watch 2, £159.99 for 46mm version