Shopping for a new smartwatch is a challenge -- there are just so many options available now that smartwatches come in different shapes and sizes from a variety of great brands. One of the ways to narrow down your search is to remember that you have to find a smartwatch that's compatible with your smartphone. Some smartwatches only work with iPhones, while others only work with Android.
But that only scratches the surface. Most smartwatches should feature heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, sleep tracking, GPS tracking and smartphone notifications on your wrist. Many support contactless payments and others have LTE or cellular connectivity, so you really can leave your phone at home.
We've rounded up the top smartwatches you can buy in 2022 based on function, price and compatibility to help you decide which is the best smartwatch for you. This list is updated periodically with new reviews of the best smartwatch options.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is Apple's flagship smartwatch for a reason. Not only does it have a bigger screen than earlier Apple Watches, it's also more durable thanks to a dust and crack-resistant design. It has a blood oxygen and electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) sensor and is available in either a 41mm or 45mm case size. You can also choose a cellular or LTE model that lets you take calls and answer messages from your wrist without your phone, although that does cost extra.
But the Apple Watch is iPhone-compatible only and the battery life generally lasts 18 hours with typical use, less than many of its competitors.
The Garmin name has long been synonymous with fitness tracking, but many of the company's earlier watches haven't exactly looked or felt that "smart." The Venu 2 has a sleek, round design with a bright screen that's easy to see in direct sunlight. It's also compatible with Android and iOS, has great in-depth fitness features like comprehensive workout tracking, a body battery that tells you if you should push yourself to workout or take a rest day, plus women's health tracking. It can also take blood oxygen levels and the battery will last several days with moderate use.
The downside is that it doesn't have as many smart features as other watches on this list, including no LTE or cellular connectivity. If you want a speaker and mic onboard to talk to your voice assistant or answer quick calls on your wrist while your phone is in range, take a look at the newer $450 Garmin Venu 2 Plus. It only comes in one 43mm size but shares all the same features with the original Venu 2 and 2S.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch to run the new Google Wear platform, co-designed by Samsung and Google. This Android smartwatch has a round design with the option of paying a little more for the Classic version with a rotating bezel. ECG and heart-rate tracking are onboard, but Samsung tries to differentiate itself from other watches with a new impedance-based electrical sensor that can tell you more about your body composition.
But some of the key features like ECG are locked to Samsung phones for now and the battery life is not as strong as others on the list.
If you've never owned an Apple Watch, this is the one to get. The Apple Watch SE is a cheaper alternative to the Series 7 with a lot of the same great features plus a slightly longer battery life. Aside from the extra health sensors (ECG and SpO2), the most notable difference between the two is that the SE doesn't have an always-on display watch face. But you probably won't miss it if you've never had this smartwatch feature.
The Versa 3 is compatible with both iOS and Android phones and lets you choose between Alexa or Google Assistant as your go-to voice assistant. It doesn't offer all the apps and smart features as some of its competitors, but it's a well-rounded smartwatch with plenty of health and fitness features to keep you on track like onboard GPS and live heart rate zone notifications. It has the best sleep tracking feature on this list and even gives you health features including a breakout of your SpO2 and body temperature data overnight (Fitbit Premium users). Battery life is also better than most other smartwatch options: I got about four full days (and nights) of battery life use with the screen always-on.
Polar's Grit X Pro is an outdoor watch for adventure seekers. The rugged design can withstand the elements as it's water-resistant to 100 meters and has a sapphire glass watch face that's scratch-resistant. With onboard maps, turn-by-turn navigation and overnight recovery tools, you can determine if you're ready to take on that workout. This is much more a sports watch than a smartwatch, but it can still get notifications from your phone, control music playback and has 24/7 heart rate monitoring.
The touchscreen is less responsive than other watches on this list -- it's transflective rather than AMOLED -- but you can get away with using button controls.