$319 at Amazon

garmin venu 2 plus

Garmin Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus

Best hybrid fitness smartwatch for Android

$500 at Best Buy

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

A traditional wristwatch with fitness smarts

A smartwatch is a great companion to your Android smartphone, and it’s one that can enhance your day-to-day routine. For people already firmly planted in Apple’s ecosystem, the obvious option would be the Apple Watch. But Android users should absolutely be able to get a watch that’s designed just for them and their preferred operating system. 

Whether you use your smartwatch for its fitness-tracking features, or as a less distracting alternative to your phone, a smartwatch is a convenient way to stay connected and get information at a glance. Some key features we expect on any Android smartwatch include activity tracking, a heart rate sensor, a mobile wallet through either Google Pay or Samsung Pay, plus LTE connectivity as an option. Unlike the Apple Watch which has a square design, Android smartwatches come in a variety of different styles to suit your personal taste, especially if you prefer a round smartwatch. 

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Watch this: Wearables Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re looking for the best Android smartwatch out there, check out our recommendations below. We’ll update our selections for periodically as we review new products.

What’s the best Android smartwatch right now?

That’s the $299 Galaxy Watch 6 and $399 Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. They are the first watches to run the newest version of Wear OS that promises closer integration with Google apps like Gmail, plus improvements to overall battery life. The main differences between the two watches are price, build material and the rotating bezel that returns to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. 

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James Martin/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 is the best Android watch for most people. Both the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic have incredibly bright screens that hit a maximum 2,000 nits, so seeing your watch in all lighting conditions is easy. 

All the flagship features you would expect are included: an ECG, blood oxygen, body composition and temperature sensors. Note that you do need a Galaxy phone to use the ECG, but all the other features work seamlessly with other Android phones. 

But overall, these watches are similar to the Galaxy Watch 5, only offering incremental updates to battery life and screen size. You’ll still need to charge the watch every day, especially if you want to track sleep.

Last year’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro remains in the lineup if you need the best battery life of any Galaxy Watch, lasting up to three days on a charge.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review.

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Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Google’s first Pixel Watch wants to tackle the Apple Watch head-on. For the most part, it succeeds thanks to a sleek, curved design and a range of health sensors, including an ECG app and blood oxygen tracking. It has a suite of fitness tracking features and analysis through the Fitbit app and accurate heart-rate tracking.

Beware that the battery isn’t as strong as other options on this list and you’ll likely find yourself charging this watch every day, especially if you like to do outdoor GPS workouts and track your sleep. It’s also only available in one 41mm size.

Read our Google Pixel Watch review.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Lexy Savvides/CNET

This is the Galaxy Watch to get if you need the best battery life with the toughest construction. It gets the same update to One UI 5 Watch that’s already on the Galaxy Watch 6 series to add features like personalized heart-rate zones and sleep tracking updates. Unlike the Galaxy Watch 6 series, which offers two size options to suit more wrists, it only comes in one 45mm case option.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic review.

garmin venu 2 plus

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Garmin makes plenty of great smartwatches for fitness enthusiasts, but they don’t always have that many smart features. The Venu 2 hybrid smartwatch offers the best of both worlds. You can respond to notifications from the watch with quick replies, use contactless payments with Garmin Pay and store music from apps like Spotify. The bright AMOLED circular screen is easy to see outdoors and the battery lasts for 5 days or more. The Venu 2 Plus offers all the same features, but includes a speaker and microphone for taking quick calls from your wrist when your phone is in range, or talking to your voice assistant. Garmin has recently announced the Venu 3 which we will review soon and update this list accordingly.

Read our Garmin Venu 2 review.

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Lexy Savvides/CNET

If you’re looking for a fitness-focused Android watch without too many distractions, which works with both Android and iOS, the Garmin Venu Sq is the watch to get. It has a built-in GPS, plenty of workout options to choose from, and lots of fitness tracking data about your workout like heart rate zones and running dynamics in the mobile app. 

This Android smartwatch also doubles as a health tracker with high and low heart rate alerts, a comprehensive sleep analysis and SpO2 tracking. It measures blood oxygen levels on demand, or automatically throughout the day and night just like the Apple Watch Series 7, but for half the price. But you do compromise on design. The watch has a plastic frame, and the watch face’s screen isn’t as big or as vibrant as those on some of the other watches on the list. There’s also a newer version of this watch, the Venu Sq 2, with a battery that lasts even longer, but it is significantly more expensive.

Read our Garmin Venu Sq review.

Withings ScanWatch Horizon

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

If you’re looking for an Android-compatible watch that looks more like a dive watch, check out the Withings ScanWatch Horizon. It has regular watch hands and a tiny circular display that shows notifications scrolling across it like a ticker. But the focus is mostly on health-tracking features like monitoring your sleep, heart rate and workouts. There’s also an ECG onboard, and the battery can last two weeks or more.

Read our Withings ScanWatch Horizon review.


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