The Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world—and our pick for the best smartwatch. But it’s pretty much limited to only iPhone users, and Apple is halting sales of the latest Series 9 and Ultra 2 models due to a patent dispute. That means you’ll want to find a quality alternative whether you’re an Android phone user or not.
TL;DR – These are the best Apple Watch alternatives to buy
- Samsung Galaxy Watch6 (Best Overall)
- Google Pixel Watch 2 (Best Casual)
- Garmin Venu 3 (Best Alternative for iPhone Users)
- Fitbit Sense 2 (Best Fitness)
- Huawei Band 7 (Best Budget)
- Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid (Best Battery Life)
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (Best Rugged Outdoor)
- Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up (Best Luxury)
From wallet-friendly to luxury devices, we rounded up the best Apple Watch alternatives for all sorts of people and occasions. Unlike Apple, one of the best things about Android smartwatches is you’re not limited by manufacturer. This means Samsung Galaxy S23 users can sync and use a Google Pixel Watch 2, while OnePlus 11 smartphone can pair with a Huawei Band 7 to it. Even iPhone users can connect to some.
The Best Apple Watch Alternative
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is the best Android smartwatch, offering comfort, style, and functionality. It has a sleek, simple band with a sharp, circular, and responsive touch display that’s slightly bigger and brighter than the last-gen model. There’s even a handy touch-sensitive bezel for scrolling. However, this model does see a drop in battery life from 50 to 30 hours — a slight disappointment, but it still beats the Apple Watch.
This watch doesn’t forget all the health tracking and smart features you love. There’s a wide range of advanced sensors, including skin temperature, ECG, and blood oxygen saturation, along with reliable automatic exercise detection and solid sleep tracking. The Galaxy Watch6 also supports a wide range of apps and lets you send messages, answer calls, get app alerts, and make payments.
With various color options, 40mm and 44mm sizes, and swappable watch bands and faces, the Galaxy Watch6 is highly customizable. It’s possible to connect with your phone via Bluetooth and the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app, or you can enjoy cellular connectivity.
Best Casual Apple Watch Alternative
The Google Pixel Watch 2 is just as sleek and comfortable as the original, with a few minor improvements. This Android smartwatch keeps a minimal look and polish, making it versatile for casual and formal use. It has a familiar small, round OLED display that hides the bezels well, while the underside sees upgrades to the sensors and charging mechanism—it now uses a reliable pogo pin charge.
Since Google owns Fitbit, the Pixel Watch 2 has fitness features for top-of-the-line tracking of your heart rate, health, sleep, and workouts. Crash detection, a GPS, and an all-day battery life are also useful. Meanwhile, you get access to all things Google, such as Google Maps, Google Wallet, and YouTube Music, though its smart features aren’t as great as they could be.
The Pixel Watch is ideal for Google Pixel smartphone users with quick pairing and lost and found settings, but the smartwatch also works well with just about any other Android phone.
Best Apple Watch Alternative for iPhone Users
Equipped with a sharp AMOLED display and impressive battery life, the Garmin Venu 3 is a fantastic pick for iPhone users who want more fitness options and a circular watch design. Of course, Android users will also appreciate all that’s on offer with this watch.
It comes with the features you’ve come to expect from a smartwatch — including an accurate GPS, phone notifications, music, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, and much more. The Venu 3 has upgraded the unique Body Battery tool that gives insight into when you should work out and even added nap detection, sleep coaching, and wheelchair tracking. And that’s just scratching the surface of its fitness functionality.
The smartwatch is pretty versatile and even does things the Apple Watch just can’t do. However, it doesn’t offer cellular connectivity, so you’ll need to pair it with the best smartphones to get the most out of the Venu 3.
Best Apple Watch Alternative for Fitness
For the physically fit, the Fitbit Sense 2 (by Google) is the smartwatch of choice and one of the best Fitbits overall. It’s loaded with useful fitness sensors, including GPS to track activities with more than 40 exercise modes, a skin temperature sensor to track body heat, a continuous ElectroDermal Activity (cEDA) to track stress with up to a very impressive six days of battery life per charge. The smartwatch is even water-resistant, so you can wear it while swimming laps in a pool.
The Fitbit Sense 2 also works with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant for real-time updates and Google Wallet for contactless and quick payment at stores and cafes on-the-go.
Best Budget Apple Watch Alternative
If you’re on a tight budget, then the Huawei Band 7 is a very wallet-friendly Apple Watch alternative. It features a sharp 37.3mm AMOLED display, a fitness and sleep tracker with plenty of training modes, blood oxygen and heart rate sensors, and up to a whopping 10 days of battery life per charge.
However, its biggest drawback is it lacks GPS and cellular connectivity — so it needs to be tethered to an Android smartphone or iPhone for accurate tracking. But at $60, it still provides a lot of value as an Apple alternative and a budget fitness tracker.
Best Battery Life in an Apple Watch Alternative
Here’s something different. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid smartwatch is an e-ink smartwatch that’s great for the gym with its wide range of fitness tracking features — like heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, pedometer, activity tracker, and more. It can also perform smartwatch duties, such as music controls, calendars, notifications, and much more.
Why e-ink, you ask? E-ink displays are easier on your eyes to avoid eye strain, while its minimal functions work wonders for the smartwatch’s battery life — which comes in at a whopping 14 days of use. That’s days,not hours. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid is simple and classic, and should have no problem fitting into a boardroom with its professional aesthetic.
Best Rugged Apple Watch Alternative
Instead of the Apple Watch Ultra, go with the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro for rugged outdoor use. At 45mm, the Android smartwatch is designed for adventure and the great outdoors with a wide range of features, such as GPS map support and Samsung’s “Track Back” for finding your way if you’re lost in the wilderness. It even has a skin temperature sensor for menstrual health tracking.
The smartwatch is made from durable Titanium and Sapphire crystal glass, while its long-lasting battery life will get you up to 80 hours of use per charge. Starting at $450, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro is also nearly 45 percent less expensive than the Apple Watch Ultra.
Best Luxury Apple Watch Alternative
If money is no object and you want an excellent smartwatch, then the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up is for you. With premium materials like stainless steel, sapphire glass, and Louis Vuitton leather, this is a luxurious smart timepiece that runs Louis Vuitton’s proprietary OS — which is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones.
Meanwhile, the smartwatch does all the basic things you’d come to expect, such as alarms, stopwatch, notifications for calls, emails, messaging, and more; as well as health tracking, like heart rate monitoring, step counting, and more. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon also has a “My Travel” section with city guides, hotel reservations, and other travel necessities for far-off destinations, including New York City, Paris, and more. It’s customizable with Louis Vuitton watch faces for its always-on display.
It comes nested inside of extravagant Louis Vuitton packaging, soft-touch boxes, and pouches with Louis Vuitton-branded charging dock, accessories, and wall charger. It even comes with various international travel outlets for your next jetsetting adventure overseas.
What to Look for in an Apple Watch Alternative in 2023
The Apple Watch might be the most popular smartwatch in the world, but there are a lot of iPhone users who want something more than what the wearable device can offer. For some people, the Apple Watch is limited in function and style, while its price might be out of reach — especially if you’re on a budget.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of Android smartphone users who can’t use the Apple Watch altogether because the two are just not compatible. With the wide range of Apple Watch alternatives, it might be intimidating to find the best smartwatch for you.
Although Apple Watch alternatives run different operating systems, the most popular one is Google Wear OS. For the most part, it’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices via a smartphone app and Bluetooth, but some manufacturers like Samsung and even Google itself restrict their watches to just Android smartphones. Make sure your smartphone is compatible with your smartwatch of choice.
So what’s the difference between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch? These days, the line between fitness trackers and smartwatches has blurred. Fitness trackers can do things that smartwatches can do, while smartwatches can do things that fitness trackers can do too. However, this doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable, but rather just getting better at adding features from one another.
A fitness tracker is smaller and is primarily for tracking health goals, including heart rate monitoring, counting steps, calories burned, blood oxygen levels, and more. It might even include workout specific modes, like running, swimming, cycling, and others. For example: The Fitbit Sense 2 is a fitness tracker that has some features of a smartwatch, like smartphone notifications, and contactless payments, but it’s main use is for fitness and health.
A smartwatch is a bit bigger, looks more like a traditional watch compared to a fitness tracker, and can do additional tasks, like notifications, emails, messaging, maps and more. It should also be worn in casual, formal, or professional settings, outside of the gym or around the racetrack. But smartwatches can track fitness and health goals too, but most likely can’t track and record more detailed and workout specific data.
If you want a wearable device for the gym, then go with a dedicated fitness tracker. For everything else, go with a smartwatch.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Apple Watch is its price with its least expensive model being the Apple Watch SE, which starts at $249. However, you can get a decent alternative for as little as $60 with the Huawei Band 7. There are a lot of alternatives that can do just about everything an Apple Watch can do, but at a lower price. The closest comparison to the Apple Watch is the Samsung Galaxy Watch6.
If you don’t want to break the bank, then an Apple Watch alternative can certainly do the trick to deliver notifications, music controls, track fitness and health goals, of course keep accurate time, and much more.
Let’s face it, most people looking for an Apple Watch alternative aren’t happy with Apple’s rounded-corners square design. Tech manufacturers like Samsung, Google, Garmin, and others have seized this design “flaw” and introduced smartwatches with circular designs, like traditional watches. Simply put, there are a wide range of smartwatches that just look like a watch — which is very appealing to a lot of people.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch with a circular design, go with the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 or Google Pixel Watch. At first glance, they look like traditional watches, but can do just about everything the Apple Watch can do. If you’re an iPhone user, but want a completely round design in your smartwatch, then go with the Garmin Venu 2 or Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid. It’s compatible with the iPhone and looks pretty slick too.
While watches serve a function, they’re mainly accessories to compliment your style. It’s why just about all watches are customizable. The same goes for smartwatches.
The companies making these alternatives are designing smartwatches that are just as impressive as the Apple Watch itself and filling in the gaps that Apple’s smartwatch just can’t pull off, such as circular design, compatibility with Android devices, longer battery life, and less expensive price points.
Rudie Obias is a tech freelance writer and editor who is also interested in cinema, pop culture, music, the NBA, and science fiction. His work can be found at Fandom, TV Guide, Metacritic, Yahoo!, Mashable, Mental Floss, and of course, IGN. Follow him @RudieObias on Twitter & IG.