The Good Fitbit Ionic has a better-than-most-smartwatches four-day battery life, while still having always-on heart rate and a comfy fit. It has features galore: waterproofing, GPS and on-wrist mobile payments, plus new watch faces and a growing app store. It works with iOS and Android, and has an excellent phone app and social community.
The Bad Wrist payments don't work with as many banks as Apple Pay and Android Pay. On-wrist music is hard to set up and use. Software and apps sometimes feel buggy.
The Bottom Line Fitbit’s fitness smartwatch has gotten better with an infusion of watch faces and apps, but some of its extra-smart features still aren't as polished as the competition.
The Apple Watch-Pebble hybrid you always wanted
A few years ago -- before there was even such a thing as the Apple Watch -- my favorite smartwatch was the Pebble (the best one was). Pebble's smartwatches accomplished what many others could not at the time: They were waterproof, had always-on screens and lasted for a week on a charge. And, they had some fantastic geeky watch faces.
The Pebble is gone now. Fitbit in late 2016, and is and services for Pebble smartwatches this year.
Fortunately, I've found the next best thing... a product I reviewed months ago.
Say goodbye to these Pebble smartwatch features on June 30
Your watch will still work -- but new owner Fitbit is shutting down the servers.
Garmin's first music smartwatch aims at serious runners
This could be the serious runner's alternative to the Apple Watch and Fitbit Ionic.
Smartwatches were finally worth our time this year
High-end wearables have emerged from last year's market slump and are taking over from basic fitness trackers.
Fitbit's smartwatch gets a whole bunch of new apps
New experimental fitness games, watch faces and apps. Will these transform Fitbit into a true smartwatch?
Garmin fitness watches can now pay for things
Garmin Pay competes with on-wrist payments platforms like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Fitbit Pay, but it only works on one watch so far.
Samsung Gear Sport's best feature is Spotify
Samsung can make a nice-looking watch, but it's not always nice in function.
Wearables can save your life (not that you'd know it)
Commentary: Smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Fitbit Alta HR aren't for me. But they may be for you -- if you want to live.
Samsung's Apple Watch and AirPod alternatives arrive Oct. 27
Samsung Gear Sport and Icon X 2018 cost $300 and $200 each.
Samsung waiting for Apple's OK on its Gear Fit 2 Pro iOS app
The Gear Fit 2 Pro is advertised as iPhone compatible -- but the app to make it so hasn't been approved by Apple yet.
Apple Watch 3 versus the competition
Compare the new Apple Watch 3 with its smartwatch competitors.
Apple Watch 3: What we know, what we expect, what I want
Apple's third-generation smartwatch may be announced Tuesday. Here's how it could become a lot more useful.
Smartwatches surge in sales with Apple leading the way
According to the latest wearables report from IDC, advanced wearables like watches are finally coming into their own as mass market devices.