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Back in the day, I had a SpiderMan analog watch that I probably didn't know how to read. Now, the world has incredible smartwatches from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google that make the clock the least impressive feature.
While smartwatches today are heavily focused on detailed 24/7 health and wellness tracking, many have other advanced features, like a companion Android app, touchscreen display, call and/or text messaging support, installable applications, customizable watch faces, and voice assistants.
With so many different Android smartwatches on the market, finding the best one for your wrist can be difficult. Below are the five best smartwatches for Android users based on features, price, and overall quality.
Also: Apple and Samsung are in a battle for your wrist: Our fave smartwatches
Tech specs: Display: 1.4 inch, 450 x 450 pixels AMOLED | Battery life: Two days | Dimensions: 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5 mm | Weight: 46.5 grams | Water resistance: 5 ATM+IP68 | LTE cellular option: Yes
Samsung's Galaxy Watch5 Pro is the ultimate health companion when it comes to Android smartwatches. With improved sensors from its predecessor, this smartwatch can better track your sleep, body composition, and tough workouts. The Galaxy Watch5 Pro is encased in lightweight titanium for a comfortable but durable smartwatch.
From night to day, this watch has features for analyzing your health around the clock. Advanced Sleep Coaching provides a sleep score based on how long and deep your sleep was, as well as insight into how many calories you burned in your sleep. But where does this watch truly excel? In tracking your workouts and analyzing your body composition via an improved, curved sensor for greater accuracy.
This Pro model is a bit more rugged than the base model, as users can import GPX files for hiking and biking. The titanium casing and tough sapphire glass display suggest this watch is up for any adventure.
As much as the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro is for tracking workouts, it's also built for a more casual experience. With a 590mAh battery, you will get all-day power for crushing your workout after a long day in the office. Additionally, when you sync your watch with your Galaxy devices you can access your phone notifications from your wrist.
"The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is easily the best wearable for Android smartphone owners and it excels in all of the smartwatch categories," says ZDNET wearables expert, Matthew Miller.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro: The best wearable for Android fans
Tech specs: Display: 41mm AMOLED | Battery life: 24 hours | Dimensions: 41 x 41 x 12.3 mm | Weight: 36 grams | Water resistance: 5ATM+IP68 | LTE cellular option: Yes
At 41mm, the Google Pixel Watch is one of the smaller smartwatches on the market, but it's just as capable as larger competitors. In fact, the Google Pixel watch combines Fitbit and Google technology, so you get the best of both worlds.
According to our wearables expert Matthew Miller, "the Fitbit integration is a key element in making the watch more compelling, but there is still work cut out for Google to simplify the smartwatch experience."
The ECG app can help measure your heart rhythm while working out, sleeping, or sitting behind your desk at work. The smartwatch can track 40 different types of exercise, along with Active Zone Minutes, calories burnt, and steps.
With a Corning Gorilla Glass screen, you get a beautiful display experience, and WearOS technology provides you access to email, maps, and even Google Assistant. Plus, when you pair this watch with a phone in the Pixel line or an Android 8.0+ phone, the experience goes to a whole new level.
Although this watch retails for slightly more than other smartwatches on this list, its durable build, Fitbit fitness tracking capabilities, and WearOS technology make it a must-have for Google Pixel loyalists.
Review: Google Pixel Watch review
Tech specs: Display: 1.28 inch, 416 x 416 pixels AMOLED | Battery life: 24 hours | Dimensions: 44 x 44 x 12 mm | Weight: 99 grams | Water resistance: 3 ATM | LTE cellular option: No
When you think of Fossil, you probably think about elegant analog watches, leather bags, and wallets. Now, you can get an elegant smartwatch from the luxury brand, and the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch is the best example. With bands ranging from stainless steel to leather, Fossil has ramped up the smartwatch game and made a modern smartwatch with an old-school, fancy look.
With Alexa built-in, you'll have access to the weather, smart home devices, and news all with the sound of your voice. And with Google's WearOS technology, you have full access to messages, maps, and fitness tracking on your wrist.
Although this smartwatch has an impressive design that looks much like a fancy analog watch, the activity tracking features seem to lack slightly. Granted, with a watch that looks as great as the Fossil Gen 6, working out with this smartwatch may be the least of what you use it for.
Tech specs: Display: 1.4 inch, 360 x 360 pixels AMOLED | Battery life: Two days | Dimensions: 45.5 x 45.52 x 11.0 mm | Weight: 52 grams (no strap) | Water resistance: 5 ATM+IP68 | LTE cellular option: Yes
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can measure body composition, track sleep, monitor blood oxygen, and calculate ECG. It also offers fitness tracking, messaging, and phone calls with a connected Android smartphone.
The smartwatch features a rotating bezel, stainless steel casing, and two buttons on the side to allow you to navigate your classic timepiece. Plus, it comes in two sizes: 42mm and 46mm.
And when you're "in the zone" and forget to start your workout on the watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic has auto workout tracking. With WearOS technology embedded in the operating system, the features this watch offers are just as awesome as how it looks.
Matthew Miller, our wearables expert says, "The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the smartwatch I have always wanted with a brilliant large display, UI optimized for the watch and spinning bezel, powerful health and fitness functions, solid collection of available third-party apps, and LTE functionality."
Review: Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Review
Tech specs: Display: 1.69 inch, 336 x 336 pixels AMOLED | Battery Life: Six days | Dimensions: 39.9 x 39.9 x 10.9 mm | Weight: 24 grams | Water resistance: 50 meters | LTE cellular option: No
Nobody knows your body better than you -- and maybe this Fitbit Versa 4. This smartwatch calculates a Daily Readiness Score, which tells you if a hard workout should be on your schedule for the day, or if you should prioritize rest. If your readiness score is enough to warrant exercise, the Fitbit app will suggest workouts and Active Zone Minutes so you can maximize your body's energy.
A thin and lightweight design with this Fitbit Versa 4 maximizes comfort without minimizing screen visibility on the 1.7-inch display. Along with the minimalist exterior design, the interface navigation is very intuitive. Though this smartwatch doesn't feature WearOS technology, you can still access Google Maps, Google Wallet, as well as your phone calls and messages when your Android phone is nearby.
The 6-day battery life enhances fitness and sleep tracking technology, because you don't have to take it off for charging every day. And even if your Fitbit Versa 4 loses battery, you can get a full day's charge in just 12 minutes.
When it comes to choosing which Android smartwatch is the best, you'll realize right away that the options are limited. Samsung leads the way in developing smartwatches that rival the Apple Watch, but you sometimes pay a premium for the powerful smartwatches.
This table compares the top models based on price, screen size, and battery life, which can all dramatically impact your experience.
Best Android smartwatch
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
Google Pixel Watch
Fossil Gen 6
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
Fitbit Versa 4
Every Android smartwatch in this list features different features, designs, and best-use cases. That being said, there's smartwatch for everyone. If you want the best overall Android smartwatch, go with the Samsung Galaxy Watch5. But if you want a powerful smartwatch on a budget, the Fitbit Versa 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic could make the perfect choice.
Before you purchase the newest accessory for your wrist, consider our recommendations based on priorities.
Choose this Android smartwatch…
If you want…
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
The best overall Android smartwatch
Google Pixel Watch
A powerful non-Samsung smartwatch
Fossil Gen 6
An Android smartwatch that adds bling to your wrist
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
A smartwatch with WearOS and a sleek, traditional design
Fitbit Versa 4
A budget smartwatch with Android and iOS compatibility
After hours of research and comparing these Android smartwatches, we found the five best smartwatches in an array of categories. We researched the specs and features of different Android smartwatches to first narrow down the options.
In addition to research, nothing is more telling of quality than personal experience. Some of the smartwatches included in this list were chosen based on how they performed when tested by the ZDNET team.
You can use a Samsung Galaxy watch with a non-Galaxy Android smartphone. You will need to install a couple of Samsung companion applications on your smartphone, including Galaxy Wearable and watch plug-in. The Galaxy Wearable app is used to manage the connection, settings, and apps on the watch. Samsung Health also provides you with richer health data.
However, Samsung Galaxy watches are optimized for Samsung phones, including support for Samsung Pay and the Samsung ecosystem.
Samsung, Mobvoi (only in the TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE), and Huawei have cellular support. An additional service plan is required for cellular connectivity directly on the watch. Unlike the Apple Watch, your Android phone is not required to be on for the service to work.
While the watch can act as a stand-alone mobile device, a phone is required to set up the watch for cellular connectivity. A world where your entire watch lives on your phone is not yet an option, but technology is advancing -- we'll get there someday.
The most innovations in the last couple of years have been in health and fitness tracking. While smartwatches are not medical devices, they have sensors, algorithms, and applications to help you track trends in your heart rate, stress level, blood oxygen levels, and more. You can use it as a basic ECG to check if further investigation is needed.
All of these smartwatches can also serve as capable GPS sports watches to track the details of your outdoor activities. Exercise guidance is provided on the watch with connected health applications on your smartphone so you can keep track of your progress too.
Each person has a unique reason as to why they want to purchase a smartwatch. Most people are interested in the health-tracking features that a smartwatch can offer. Health tracking, coupled with calling, texting, and all of the capabilities found on a smartphone, typically encourages people to buy a smartwatch.
We chose the best Android smartwatches for a variety of price points and preferences. That said, these Android smartwatches are also worth considering: