Android owners seeking an exceptional health smartwatch have several options at their fingertips. Fossil Gen 6 watches offer contactless payments and Alexa integration; Skagen Falster and Carlyle models feature activity tracking as well as ECG monitoring capabilities.
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic provides body composition, sleep and blood oxygen monitoring along with its timeless design. However, only phones by Samsung support all its features.
1. Garmin Vivosmart 5
The Garmin Vivosmart 5 is one of the most comprehensive health trackers available, providing detailed logs for daily steps, calories burned and active minutes as well as tracking sleep, blood oxygen levels, stress and heart rate data. Plus it lets you locate nearby smart devices or phones (Android only) quickly as well as send predefined responses (via iPhone only) quickly via its altimeter feature! Adding even further value, its altimeter lets you monitor elevation gain or loss throughout your day!
Garmin Connect app makes this data easily available, unlike Fitbit which requires paying a subscription ($10/month on the Charge 5). With Vivosmart 5 as well as its predecessor Vivosmart 4, users have free access to Body Battery tracking as well as stress monitoring; optional extras include GPS mapping capability or wrist-based heart rate monitoring for more intense workouts.
As with its predecessor, the Vivosmart 5 is designed for ease of use on-the-go; one press of a physical button launches apps or returns you to the main screen. It features an OLED display protected with acrylic lens; however, during outdoor workouts with automatic brightness settings enabled I sometimes found it hard to read during outdoor runs.
Garmin Connect allows you to view all your tracked data quickly, with fast synchronisation with the tracker: I received notifications almost instantaneously whenever my phone came within range. Additionally, the Vivosmart 5 can store up to seven timed activities – more than most fitness trackers offer. While there’s no onboard music storage capability, you can easily control your smartphone’s media player with one tap of your wrist.
2. Fitbit Versa
Although released a half year after its predecessor, the Fitbit Versa keeps up with features like Google Assistant and contactless payment support. Plus, this fitness tracker boasts excellent battery life with a stunning design!
Its color touchscreen can reach 1,000 nits, making it easier to see in bright sunlight while running or cycling outdoors. This marks an improvement over Ionic, which had an inaccessible screen when runnning or cycling outside. Software updates for the Versa include quick replies and dashboard features; Fitbit Pay can now also be used at certain stores to purchase items conveniently.
Soon, you’ll be able to use the app to set up personalized guided breathing sessions for meditative mindfulness – something not available with other wearables. Furthermore, female health tracking features will let you record menstrual cycles and check dynamic prediction data within the app.
Though the Versa has seen many improvements, some features are still missing that would make it even better. Third-party apps will severely limit its utility and prevent you from downloading music for use during exercise sessions. Furthermore, its lack of GPS makes the device less appealing to runners and cyclists, since an uncalibrated heart rate monitor cannot accurately estimate your Vo2 max value.
At a price comparable to that of its Galaxy Watch 5 counterpart, the Versa 4 seems more tailored toward users already owning older Fitbit trackers rather than those looking for feature-packed smartwatches such as Google Pixel Watch.
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung’s flagship Android smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro are both impressive devices with great battery life, performance, fitness tracking capabilities, and price tags that exceed previous models – so much so that many have become bestsellers since launch. While each has different aspects that set them apart from each other, both offer great battery life, performance and features like fitness tracking – so much so that some may view its increased cost as negative.
As with its predecessor, this year’s model of the Galaxy Watch 5 is one of the premier Wear OS watches for tracking health data and wellness monitoring, featuring improvements such as faster processor, curved display and faster battery charging speeds. Furthermore, the Galaxy Watch 5 boasts new skin temperature sensor technology as well as its Sleep Coaching feature which offers tailored sleep programs.
As is typical for smartwatches, the Watch 5 monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, body fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass and more. In addition to tracking data automatically or manually for workout detection and built-in GPS support, its Samsung Health app gives a detailed breakdown of tracked information but exercise records do not sync up with Google Fit; something which may prove frustrating at times.
Similar to last year, the Galaxy Watch 5 and its variant Galaxy Watch 4 Classic only work with Android phones running at least Android 8 with 1.5GB RAM or later. This severely limits its appeal if you own another manufacturer phone such as Pixel 6a or OnePlus 10T that don’t feature bioimpedance sensors for blood pressure monitoring, ECG readings or stress tracking – though that could change once Google releases their Pixel Watch later this year.
4. Apple Watch Series 8
If you’re searching for an attractive smartwatch with limited fitness tracking functionality, look no further than the TicWatch Pro 3. This Wear OS wearable makes an impressionful first impression, though its bulkiness on smaller wrists and absence of features such as skin temperature sensing or EDA measurements may put some off. But its user-friendly apps and integration with Google Assistant make this Wear OS wearable easy to use; additionally it has 13 workout tracking capability as well as an SpO2 sensor which tracks blood oxygen levels.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the newest and most advanced version of their wearable technology, providing an always-on display, faster charging speeds, improved security features, as well as useful health-focused features like Crash Detection, Fall Detection, Emergency SOS alerts, Heart Rate Alerts, International Emergency Calling notifications for high or low blood pressure alerts and notifications of high or low blood pressure notifications. Furthermore, this device boasts improved accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, an ECG sensor for monitoring irregular heart rhythms, more detailed Sleep Stage data collection as well as expanded keyboard support features.
If you’re upgrading from Series 3 or earlier models, the Series 8 smartwatch offers sleek designs and thinner borders, which makes for an appealing upgrade over older models. Furthermore, it contains an ECG sensor to help identify heart conditions as well as its own ECG capabilities for diagnosis purposes; plus its cellular capabilities enable calls, texts, and notifications without carrying around a phone in your pocket!
If you’re willing to invest in something with more premium features, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Fitbit Versa 3 may be suitable. But for even greater luxury features check out Withings ScanWatch 2 Plus with medical-grade ECG and SpO2 sensors.
5. Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE is the ideal entry-level fitness tracker. Though not quite as powerful as its Series 8 sibling, it boasts all of the health monitoring features found in modern Apple watches – save ECG and blood oxygen sensors – but is lighter and smaller than its counterparts. GPS and cellular versions are available, with Midnight Black or Silver finishes for its casing; its LPTO OLED display offers up to 1,000nits of brightness; however it lacks always-on capabilities found on later models.
It also lacks the built-in compass and altimeter of Series 8 devices, making it less suitable for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. But it still offers adequate tracking performance for most everyday uses, with its battery lasting all day with normal usage and up to 18 hours with GPS active.
With the recent release of WatchOS 9, Apple Watch SE sports capabilities have seen a major upgrade. Notably, this upgrade features a workout mode which lets users set goals and then provide real-time guidance towards reaching them; backtrack functionality; custom workouts as well as numerous additional sports and wellness features have all been added.
Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra owners who require wrist-based temperature tracking to facilitate female ovulation and period tracking should consider upgrading to Series 8. While this may seem like a small drawback, it means the Series 8 offers greater functionality if that feature is essential to their needs.