The Best Android Smart Watches
1. Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 – $79
The TicWatch E2 is an affordable Android Wear OS smartwatch that doesn’t go overboard on bells and whistles. It’s the successor to the TicWatch E, which was already a solid smartwatch at a great price. The manufacturer claims that this watch is ‘the ultimate fitness and swim companion’.
That’s right, the E2 is waterproof and can survive lap after lap in the pool. It’s got new fitness features, more CPU power, and a larger battery compared to its predecessor. The TicWatch E2 price is $159.99, so it’s one of the cheapest Android smartwatches you can get. The TicWatch E2 is available in the US, UK, and European markets, so you can get this thing just about anywhere.
2. Fossil Sport – $149
Fossil is a well known maker of traditional watches, but they have been trying to get into the smartwatch game for quite some time now. The company has made a lot of progress in the wearable tech industry over the last few years.
The Fossil Sport is a top-shelf watch, with a low-end price tag. It has GPS, a premium, lightweight design, and will last over two full days on a charge. Fossil has based this wearable wrist computer on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, which is the latest SoC they have released. This offers a silky-smooth user experience. It doesn’t have any stand-out features, but it does more of the same really, really well.
3. TicWatch Pro – $259
The TicWatch Pro is one of our favorite Wear OS watches. You can use this wrist computer with either an iPhone or an Android device. You may have not heard of this brand before, but it’s actually a really nice device with a unique dual-screen feature. Yes, there are two displays on this watch, one layered on top of the other. On top of the traditional display is a semi-transparent LCD that displays the time, your heart rate, and more when the battery is low.
The main display is of course an AMOLED panel that will give you all of the benefits and features of Google’s Wear OS, but when your battery is running low, you will always have your basic watch features covered. Also, this low power mode lasts quite a while; up to 30 days.
As far as features go, there’s GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, and a top-end CPU, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC. Then there’s the price, which undercuts a lot of the other watches on this list.
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4. MOTOROLA MOTO 360 – $149
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There’s a whole lot we like about the third generation Moto 360. Unlike its first two predecessors, which were manufactured by Motorola, this Google Android Wear OS smartwatch is made by a company called ‘eBuyNow’. The latest model’s classic round design looks great, and it has all the features you expect in a $300 watch, including water resistance, an always-on display, and plenty of customization options. This wrist computer also supports contactless payments and heart rate monitoring. It does a decent job of tracking workouts, and Google’s Fit app helps to motivate you to not sit around.
In terms of sensors, the watch features a gyroscope and accelerometer to accurately detect movement, a heart rate monitor, and an ambient light sensor. Like other smartwatches, this device automatically adjusts its display’s brightness depending on the amount of ambient light. It also has a GPS receiver and a barometric pressure sensor that can be used to detect altitude as well. Under the hood it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a fast-charging 355mAh battery. The watch runs Google’s Android Wear OS 2.0 and it’s compatible with Android 6.0 and iOS 10.0 and higher.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4 – $269
Garmin’s family of GPS-enabled watches offers something for everyone. They have affordable golf watches, running watches, and the Vivoactive line-up, which seems to be a jab at Apple’s health and fitness features.
The all-new Vivoactive 4 and 4S, both $349, have almost every feature you would need in a smartwatch. That includes, but is not limited to, music, GPS, and heart rate monitoring. Also, all of the excellent fitness-tracking capabilities that Garmin is known for.
The new watch also includes the addition of a second button on its side. This extra clicker is a shortcut for your preferred exercise, and also acts as a stop/start button, so you don’t have to fiddle with the touchscreen in the middle of your workout.
The lower side button acts as a back button when you’re in an app. A long press of this button also gives you quick access to watch faces, clocks, activity history, and the settings menu, which is where your apps and widgets live. I wish that button served as a shortcut to the watch’s app drawer. Instead, Garmin’s watches and the Garmin Connect app that pairs with them offer so many options that figuring out where they are can be an exercise in frustration.
The Vivoactive 4 is very useful for those who prefer other types of workouts. Garmin has taken the time to add on-screen Pilates, Yoga, cardio, and strength-training exercises to the new watch. The guided animations make these workouts easy to follow. This is particularly useful for Pilates and Yoga because you can pause on each pose. The animations are super helpful, a lot more-so than the stick-figures that are normally found on most smartwatch exercise apps. Also, you can create your own Pilates and Yoga workouts in Garmin’s Connect app.
The Vivoactive 4 is just as advanced as any other Garmin smartwatch. The watch takes less than 30 seconds to lock onto a GPS signal, so long as it’s not a super cloudy day. After you do your route, you can see a map of where you’ve been. Pretty neat. You can also use its built-in running plans if you’re training for a proper sporting event. When it comes to fitness, this is the smartwatch you can buy, bar none.
We really hoped you enjoyed this breakdown of the best smartwatches that you can buy. There really are a lot of options these days. Oh, how far we have come since TIMEX.