The 10 Best Smart Watches

Updated January 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Smart Watches
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Today's smartwatches let you carry almost all the functionality of your smartphone conveniently on your wrist. These compelling iWatch alternatives boast e-mail, text and call alerts. Some can even operate independently from your phone and often include fitness tracking. Many are also Android Wear compatible, which opens the gates to thousands of apps. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smart watch on Amazon.

10. Asus ZenWatch 3

The Asus ZenWatch 3 not only looks fashionable, but is super comfortable to wear and functional for helping to organize your busy life. It's like having a personal assistant on your wrist, although it doesn't have a heart rate sensor.
  • simple to sync to your phone
  • very responsive screen
  • mic is not sensitive enough
Brand Asus
Weight 12.6 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Martian Watches Notifier

If you simply want notifications from your phone, the Martian Watches Notifier is the perfect affordable option that will send alerts as they come in. It captures the look of a traditional timepiece, and the bands can be swapped out to match your personality or outfit.
  • excellent ios companion app
  • customizable vibration patterns
  • display is not backlit
Brand Martian Watches
Model MN200RBR
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Fossil Q Explorist Gen 3

For a high end look that will snag the attention of onlookers, check out the Fossil Q Explorist Gen 3. It's powered by Android Wear 2.0 and loaded with features, including a touchscreen dial, interchangeable bands, and voice-activated control over a multitude of tasks.
  • includes a helpful quick start guide
  • supports google maps
  • lacks mobile payment functionality
Brand Fossil
Model FTW4001
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. LG Watch Urbane W200A

The LG Watch Urbane W200A is designed to look like a classic analog watch, making it ideal for collectors. It has 4 GB of storage and a clear, vibrant 1.38" full circle P-OLED display that looks brilliant in outdoor conditions.
  • music streaming capabilities
  • screen lock function
  • band is a little stiff
Brand LG
Model W200A
Weight 11 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Huawei W2

The Huawei W2 pairs via the Android Wear app to deliver a premium experience with a lot of useful features. The dual layer strap has leather on the outside and rubber on the inside for a unique look that makes this model stand out from the crowd.
  • can customize the battery settings
  • multiple styles available
  • accurate heart rate tracking
Brand Huawei
Model Leo-B19
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

5. Garmin Forerunner 735XT

The Garmin Forerunner 735XT is the best option for serious runners who want to maximize their training. It automatically updates when needed and has the ability to connect with the online community to up your game and motivate you to set higher goals.
  • compatible with chest straps
  • other watch faces available for free
  • simple to navigate
Brand Garmin
Model 010-01614-01
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Samsung Gear S3

The Samsung Gear S3 is the ultimate gadget for syncing everything with your Android phone. It boasts a snazzy, rotating steel bezel that will grab any notification from any app that you choose, so that you never miss a beat without ever having to look at your phone.
  • high quality speaker
  • makes calls and sends texts
  • compatible with samsung pay
Brand Samsung
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Apple Series 3

The Apple Series 3 is the ultimate buy to keep up with your active lifestyle, featuring a dual-core processor that allows your apps to perform at an impressively high speed. It can send reminders, play songs, share activities, and even motivate you during workouts.
  • includes a charging dock
  • water resistant up to 50 m
  • rugged aluminum case
Brand Apple
Model FTW1115
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Scinex SW20

The Scinex SW20 can be used in conjunction with your phone or independently, if you insert a SIM card and purchase monthly service. It also has a camera and a 16GB memory, making it a near smartphone replacement instead of a simple companion.
  • loud and clear speakerphone
  • integrated radio and music player
  • stylish unisex design
Brand Scinex
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Fitbit Ionic

The incredible Fitbit Ionic does it all, from monitoring your heart and workouts to providing text notifications by automatically syncing with well over 200 different devices. It is also fully waterproof, so you can jump right into the pool or shower without hesitation.
  • can sync up to 20 feet away
  • 4 - 5 days battery life per charge
  • integrated gps function
Brand Fitbit
Model FB503GYBK
Weight 11 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Smart Functions On Smart Watches

Smart watches offer the end user a variety of features that were previously unattainable in wrist wear. Manufacturers consider which features are most important to potential consumers, and aim to add as many of these features as possible while keeping the watch a reasonable size.

Most modern smart watches respond to both gesture and touch, making the user experience as simple as possible. The act of lifting the wrist, as one would when looking at a normal watch, activates the screen. From there, the touch screen offers a variety of functions. Most face screens are also dynamic, and can be changed to suit the wearer's preferences. Many smart watch models boast camera functions, giving the user the ability to take a picture without the need of a camera or smartphone.

When attached to a smartphone, smart watches allow pairing via a bluetooth connection. This mobile pairing allows for users to view notifications from calls, emails, text messages, and push notifications from various apps. Many smart watches also include vibration functions to support a phone's silent mode. Some models even include their own mobile capabilities and monthly service plans through the use of a SIM card.

As the watches are worn on the wrists, many manufacturers install biosensors to track things such as sleep patterns and the user's heart rate. These functions make the watches integral pieces of daily life, as more data filed into the watch's memory creates a better understanding of your health or heart patterns. These bold technologies are the effect of a long history of exponential growth in computer science and artificial intelligence.

History Of Smart Technology

When discussing smart technology, the actual subject of the matter is Artificial intelligence (AI), which dates back thousands of years. The Greek myth of Talos, the bronze man, is the earliest record of non-human intelligence. By 1206 CE, the first human made robot was created by an Arab inventor, Al-Jazari. It was A hydro-powered boat with four musicians on it. While it did not have the thinking capabilities of modern virtual assistants, this was the first moving robot in recorded history.

The computer as we know it dates back to a 1941 invention by Konrad Zuse. His computer, known as the Z3, broke the mold as the first programmable computer. It was a large step in the world of technology, and was the predecessor for nearly every piece of digital technology used today. The Z3 was a breakthrough, but was far from the smart technology of the modern era.

From there came the addition of artificial intelligence in computers in 1956. Computers could now perform the most basic mathematical functions, which had been previously reserved for the power of the human mind. This is the point in history where true artificial intelligence originates. In the decades which followed, huge advancements were made to artificial intelligence. As computers were able to handle more processes and do so more rapidly than a human mind, they worked alongside programmers to create better technologies. The technological advances AI helps to create actually create more advanced AI in the process. This means artificial intelligence is actually improving itself. The rate has been so rapid in the last century, some people, including Stephen Hawking, even warn of a dystopian future for humanity in which AI has taken over.

While some worry over the future of artificial intelligence, most simply enjoy its benefits. AI has given the world smart technologies such as cars which drive themselves, alarm clocks which tell the consumer how well they are sleeping, and the smart watch, which helps keeps them connected.

How Science Fiction Predicts Reality

While modern smart watches may not deflect the path of a bullet or include a life-saving buzz saw, ideas in science fiction can often spark trends in reality. In the 1974 James Bond movie titled 'The Spy Who Loved Me', agent 007 is equipped with a digital watch which receives and prints messages obtained from a satellite. This is not a far cry from the ability of mobile pairing watches to access user data from a cell phone or email account.

1983's 'Octopussy' also features the use of a watch equipped with a liquid crystal T.V. screen. Many smart watch models of the modern era still use LCD technology. While these coincidences do not prove causality, there are notable similarities between the loved spy series and the technology created decades later.

Star Trek is a television series which also shows close ties to modern technology. The fictional communicator device in the original series was worn on the wrist; and was used to not only communicate with other people, but with a ship's on-board artificial intelligence. This bears a remarkable similarity to the ability to speak with the intelligent personal assistants that are built in to many modern digital devices.

These are only two instances in which the imagination of science fiction writers actually predicted future trends in reality. It stands to reason that that the science fiction of today may even help create the world of tomorrow.

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Last updated on January 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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