Whether you use it for fitness tracking features, or as a less distracting alternative to your deviceA smartwatch could be a great addition to your tech arsenal in 2021. However, if you have an Android phone and don’t want to switch to an iPhone, you’ll have to ditch the popular Apple Watch in favor of a wearable that’s compatible with your preferred operating system. You have. Fortunately, there are plenty of worthy contenders for almost any budget, which offers key features like activity tracking and other fitness features, a heart rate sensor, Samsung Pay and more.
If you are looking for the best Android smartwatch, check out the recommendations below. You’ll notice that we don’t recommend any Wear OS watches from Google for two reasons: We haven’t reviewed many new watches in the past year, and Google and Samsung have brought back the OS this year. Every Android smartwatch device listed here is wearable with great smartwatch features that can be paired seamlessly with your Android device or Android phone. We will update our best Android smartwatch list periodically as we review new products.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch to run the new Google Wear platform, designed by both Samsung and Google. It features a round design with the option to pay more for the classic version with a rotating bezel. There’s an ECG and heart rate tracker on board, but Samsung is trying to differentiate itself from other watches with a new impedance-based electrical sensor that can tell you more about your body composition.
But some key features like ECG are locked on Samsung phones at the moment, and the battery life isn’t as strong as the others on the list.
Read our Galaxy Watch 4 review.
Angela Lang / CNET
The Versa 3 smartwatch is compatible with both iOS and Android phones and lets you choose between Alexa or the Google Assistant as your preferred voice assistant. It doesn’t offer all the smart apps and features that some of its competitors offer, but it’s a well-rounded smartwatch with plenty of health and fitness features to keep you on track, like onboard GPS and live heart rate monitoring notifications. An Android user can use this wearable device to receive notifications of calls, texts, and calendar events. If your Android phone is nearby, you can use your Fitbit Versa to send a quick reply. It’s the best smartwatch on this list for tracking sleep, and it also gives you an all-night SpO2 and body temperature data hack (for Fitbit Premium users). Battery life is also better than most: I got about four full days (and nights) of use with the screen always on.
Read our review of the Fitbit Versa 3.
Garmin makes a lot of great smartwatches for fitness enthusiasts, but they don’t always have many smart features. The Venu 2 Hybrid smartwatch offers the best of both worlds. You can respond to notifications from the watch with quick replies, use contactless payments with Garmin Pay and store music from apps like Spotify. The bright circular AMOLED display is easy to see outside and the battery lasts 5 days or more.
Read our Garmin Venu 2 review.
Angela Lang / CNET
The Active 2 offers many of the same smartwatch features as the newer Galaxy Watch 3 and 4, including an ECG app and fall detection, for much less money. It’s not as flashy as the Watch 4 with its physical swivel bezel and thicker bezel, but it’s less bulky and more comfortable to wear at night and during workouts. The Active 2 handles calls, texts, and app notifications, and this Samsung smartwatch offers Spotify support as well as all the essential activity-tracking fitness features you need. You also get the LTE version of this smartwatch, which gives you LTE connectivity to take calls on the go without your Android smartphone nearby.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 review.
If you are looking for an Android watch that focuses on fitness without a lot of distractions, that works with both Android and iOS, then the Garmin Venu Sq is the watch to get. It has built-in GPS, plenty of exercise options to choose from, and plenty of fitness tracking data about your workout like heart rate zones and running dynamics in the mobile app.
This Android smartwatch also doubles as a health tracker with high and low heart rate alerts, comprehensive sleep analysis and SpO2 tracking. It measures blood oxygen levels on demand, or automatically throughout the day and night just like the latest Apple Watch Series 6, but at half the price. But you give up on design. The watch has a plastic bezel, and the display of the watch face is not as large or lifelike as those on some of the other watches on the list.
Read our Garmin Venu Sq review.
Vanessa Hand Oriana / CNET
If you’re looking to get more value for money, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Amazfit Bip S. This $70 smartwatch is compatible with an iOS or Android device, and this wearable checks most of the boxes when it comes to With the features: a heart rate sensor, an always-on display, built-in GPS tracking, and the best battery life of any device on this list. You can get up to 40 days of use on a charge, or about two weeks of heavy use with the GPS turned on and brighter (time still higher than the rest).
You may have to make some sacrifices when it comes to aesthetics, since it has a plastic casing and the display isn’t as bright or responsive as the watches from Samsung and Apple. There’s also a newer model called the Bip U Pro, but we haven’t fully reviewed this watch yet.
Read our review of the Amazfit Bip S.