Samsung Watch and Galaxy phone.
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What to Look For in an Android Smartwatch in 2022

The smartwatch market is growing faster than ever. As a result, there is a wide selection of models to choose from when shopping for a new smartwatch. But as the feature set can vary widely between different smartwatches, here are a few things to help you pick the right watch.

As a smartwatch essentially acts as a companion to your smartphone, compatibility between two devices becomes very important. Fortunately for you, most smartwatches, except the Apple Watch, play well with Android phones.

That said, some watches provide better integration with phones from their manufacturer. So ensure that you are not missing out on a crucial feature because it’s exclusive to phones from a particular company.

Beyond that, you have to consider your needs and use case. For example, if you are a fitness enthusiast, a smartwatch focused on fitness (or a fitness tracker) will serve you the best. Similarly, a watch with built-in cellular radios and GPS makes the most sense if you want to use your watch as a standalone device. Otherwise, it won’t be of much use without a paired smartphone.

Of course, your budget and the aesthetics of a smartwatch will also factor in your decision. You want a watch that you find pleasing and comfortable, or it’ll end up sitting in a cupboard in your house.

Lastly, unless you are okay with charging your smartwatch daily, pay close attention to the battery life. It’s often a pain point for consumers as many feature-rich smartwatches cannot last more than a day or two.

Now that you know the essential details to look for in a smartwatch for Android phones, here are our recommendations.

Best Android Smartwatch Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Watch 4 on top of a Galaxy S20, both resting on a wood tabletop.
Milton Buzon/Shutterstock.com

Pros

  • Speedy performance
  • Decent third-party app support
  • Lots of health and wellness features

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • ECG app only works with Samsung phones

Samsung has long produced some of the best smartwatches on the market, and the Galaxy Watch 4 is no exception. It is the best smartwatch to pair with an Android phone. While the company’s last several smartwatch generations ran on the Tizen platform, the Galaxy Watch 4 uses Google’s WearOS 3 platform with the familiar One UI interface.

As a result, the smartwatch has access to the Google Play store, which has a sizeable library of apps, and various Google services such as Google Pay.

The Galaxy Watch 4 hardware is in line with Samsung’s previous smartwatches, which is a great thing. You get a circular OLED screen, an aluminum case, and a standard 20mm replaceable silicone strap. The watch is well-built, and you can pick from two sizes—40mm and 44mm.

In terms of performance, the Watch 4 is snappy, and the interface feels smooth. But the battery life is limited to just about one full day of moderate to heavy use for the 40mm model, but the 44mm model with a considerably bigger battery can last around a day and a half.

Samsung’s excellent health and fitness features are also baked into the smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 4 can track steps, workouts, sleep, and heart rate. It also has accurate workout detection, blood oxygen monitoring, a built-in GPS, and an ECG app. Additionally, you can measure body composition stats like body fat percentage, skeletal muscle, body water, and more.

Being a Samsung device, it’s deeply integrated with Samsung’s ecosystem, which is fine if you own a Samsung phone. But if you have a phone from another manufacturer, be ready to install a bunch of Samsung apps to use the smartwatch effectively. Also, the ECG app only works with Samsung phones.

Best Android Smartwatch Overall

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 looks stylish, has the latest WearOS software, and packs a wide array of health and fitness features.

Best Budget Android Smartwatch: Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

Amazfit GTS 2 on table with phone
Amazfit

Pros

  • Built-in GPS
  • Long battery life
  • Bright display
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • Limited smart features
  • No third-party app support

If you have a limited budget for your smartwatch purchase, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is an excellent option for under $100. It punches above its weight class and has some features typically found in more expensive wearables.

The smartwatch has a lightweight chassis, thanks to aluminum and plastic in its design. Plus, it looks elegant and has an OLED screen that gets sufficiently bright for comfortable viewing even on sunny days. The GTS 2 Mini is also rated 5 ATM water-resistant and has a built-in GPS.

In terms of features, the GTS 2 Mini can track steps, heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, stress, and around 70 physical activities. It also has a built-in PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) health assessment system, which uses the health and activity data gathered by the smartwatch and an algorithm to assign a score. The goal is to achieve a weekly score of 100.

Like most other Amazfit watches, the GTS 2 Mini shines on the battery front and can easily last over five days with an always-on display. If you disable the feature, you can stretch the battery life to over a week.

Unfortunately, the Amazfit smartwatch only offers basic smart features, and there is no support for third-party apps. However, you can mirror notifications, control music playback on your phone, and use the Alexa voice assistant. The ability to use the watch as a remote for your phone’s camera is also available.

Best Budget Android Smartwatch

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

This inexpensive smartwatch from Amazfit has an attractive design, lightweight build, and many health and fitness tracking options.

Best Android Smartwatch for Battery Life: Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 on pink background
Fitbit

Pros

  • Six-day battery life
  • Bright and crisp display
  • Lots of fitness and health features

Cons

  • Some features need a paid subscription

Battery life can be a big pain point on many smartwatches as they only last a day or two on a single charge, but that’s not the case with the Fitbit Versa 3. Instead, it can go on for around six days without the always-on display and moderate to heavy use. The watch also supports fast charging, which gives you a day’s worth of charge in just 12 minutes.

Besides the battery life, the Versa 3 also excels in health and fitness and is generally an excellent all-around smartwatch. It has all the basics like other Fitbit wearables, so it can track steps, heart rate, sleep, and up to 20 exercises. This Fitbit smartwatch also comes with blood oxygen monitoring, a skim temperature sensor, built-in GPS, and much more.

Its smartwatch functions are also robust. You can receive notifications, answer voice calls, play music on Deezer or Pandora, control Spotify, tap to pay with Fitbit Pay, and use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Moreover, the Versa 3 supports third-party apps, and you can choose from hundreds of options in its app store.

The Fitbit watch has a squircle design with a metal frame and a 1.58-inch OLED screen. The bright display gives you enough real estate to check your workout metrics and other information without a problem.

Although the Versa 3 shines on many fronts, the need for a Fitbit Premium subscription to access advanced insights, your daily readiness score, or your sleep score breakdown is a downer. If you don’t need those particular features, though, the Versa 3 is a great purchase.

Best Android Smartwatch for Battery Life

Fitbit Versa 3

Worried about battery life? The Versa 3 from Fitbit has fast charging and can last multiple days on a single charge.

Best Android Smartwatch for Kids: TickTalk 4

TickTalk 4 on pink background
TickTalk

Pros

  • Built-in GPS for location tracking
  • Support for video and voice calls
  • Ability to block calls from unapproved contacts
  • Durable and water-resistant

Cons

  • No geofencing
  • Big and bulky

Smartwatches for adults aren’t usually suitable for children, especially young kids. This is why there is a whole market segment for kids-focused smartwatches. A good kids’ smartwatch offers parental controls, safety features, and the ability to communicate with family members. Our pick for the best smartwatch for kids—the TickTalk 4—excels in all these categories.

It supports GPS tracking, has an SOS button, and allows children to communicate using several methods, including video or voice calls. There are also parental controls, and a Do Not Disturb Class Mode. You don’t get geofencing support, however.

In other safety features, the watch only allows communication from approved contacts. While the smartwatch has a dial pad to call unsaved numbers, parents can block calls outside the approved contacts.

TickTalk 4’s thick, water-resistant shell makes it durable and resistant to damage. But it’s also big and bulky, which may deter some children from wearing it. Make sure your child will like this watch before dropping the cash on it!

There are two 5MP cameras, which children can use to take photos and videos. Plus, the built-in iHeartRadio Family app is excellent for listening to music and podcasts.

While the watch uses a cellular connection to power most of its features, children won’t have access to the internet, games, or social media. So parents don’t have to worry about kids being exposed to inappropriate content using the TickTalk 4.

Regarding cellular providers, the TickTalk 4 comes with a Red Pocket Mobile SIM card that needs a $10 monthly subscription. But if you want, you can also go for AT&T and T-Mobile, but those will likely cost you more.

Best Android Smartwatch for Kids

TickTalk 4

From GPS tracking to video call support, the TickTalk 4 is choke-full of features. It also offers parental controls and has a built-in app for music streaming.

Best Android Fitness Tracker: Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin Venu 2 on blue background
Garmin

Pros

  • In-depth fitness tracking
  • Built-in voice assistant
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Limited app selection

If you want a smartwatch that is great at fitness tracking and also pairs with Android phones, you can’t go wrong with the Garmin Venu 2 Plus. It builds upon the already stellar Garmin Venu 2 by introducing an onboard microphone and speaker to use with voice assistants or voice calls.

The standard smartwatch features like third-party app support, basic notifications support, music playback, and customizable watch faces are also available. However, Garmin’s app selection is mostly fitness-focused and relatively limited compared to WearOS.

The Venu 2 Plus is also physically smaller than the Venu 2 as the company has reduced bezels around the 1.3-inch OLED screen. Speaking of the screen, it gets bright enough for comfortable visibility even in direct sunlight.

The watch allows you to track 25 activities out of the box, but the real highlight is its advanced features, such as body battery score and health snapshot. While Body Battery Score monitors your energy levels throughout the day to help you find the best time to workout or rest, Health Snapshot takes a two-minute reading of key health stats, so you know how you’re feeling at any time. Additionally, you get the usual tracking for heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, stress, sleep, and more.

We also appreciate the excellent battery backup of the smartwatch. It lasts around five days without the always-on mode. However, if you enable the always-on mode, the backup will drop to only two or three days.

Best Android Fitness Tracker

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

Garmin's Venu 2 Plus is a compelling wearable that's perfect for fitness enthusiasts who also want a capable smartwatch.

Best WearOS Smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

Samsung Galaxy Watch Classic collage
Samsung

Pros

  • Snappy performance
  • Great build quality
  • Lots of health and wellness features
  • Display looks great

Cons

  • $100 more expensive than Galaxy Watch 4
  • Mediocre battery life
  • ECG app only works with Samsung phones

Although the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has the same software and feature set as the Galaxy Watch 4, it comes with several hardware level changes that will entice discerning consumers who want the absolute best.

One of the most significant differences between the Classic and regular Watch 4 is the stainless steel case, which looks premium and is more durable. You also get a mechanical rotating bezel that you can use to scroll through the interface. While a digital bezel on the regular Watch 4 does the same, it’s not nearly as nice looking, and when it comes to watches, looks can be a bit deal.

Like other Samsung smartwatches, there are many health and wellness features. For example, you get heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, blood oxygen detection, an ECG app, and the ability to calculate your body composition. Additionally, the smartwatch offers auto workout tracking, step count, and more.

The Exynos W920 processor keeps things snappy, and WearOS 3 is a big step up from the previous iterations of the operating system on the Galaxy Watch. There is an excellent third-party app selection, and you can access popular Google services.

Unfortunately, battery life isn’t a strong suit of the Watch 4 Classic. The 42mm model of the smartwatch barely lasts through a day, and you can expect around a day and a half of power for the 46mm model.

Lastly, the traditional watch look of the Watch 4 Classic comes at a premium. Depending on the model and variant, you will have to shell out up to $100 over the Watch 4 price. If you’re concerned about looks though, it’s a small price to pay for a fantastic looking smartwatch.

Best WearOS Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

This premium smartwatch from Samsung is the best piece of WearOS hardware for Android users. It's fast and has an excellent screen.

The Best Smartwatches of 2022

Best Smartwatch Overall
Apple Watch Series 8
Best Budget Smartwatch
Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
Best Fitness Tracker
Garmin Venu 2
Best Smartwatch for Battery Life
Fitbit Versa 3
Best Smartwatch for Kids
TickTalk 4
Best Smartwatch Overall
Apple Watch Series 8
Profile Photo for Gaurav Shukla Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in Android Police, XDA Developers, and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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