The smartphone market has changed drastically since the humble Pebble, which, if you remember, was essentially a wrist-worn pager. Smartwatches now serve as a full-featured digital wallet, a health and fitness tracker, and an extension of your smartphone, even when it is far away. In fact, some smartwatches even have the potential to save lives. Many of them offer features like heart rate monitoring, elevation detection, and automated emergency service connections in case of a fall. Some models also offer blood oxygen (SpO2) and electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements as extras.
Picking the best smartwatch from so many options in the market can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of the greatest ones for all budgets.
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple revamped its entire smartwatch lineup at the ‘Far Out’ launch event in September and Watch Series 8, along with the Watch Ultra, and the new Watch SE.
Let’s talk about the physical features first, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm case. It comes in Aluminum and stainless steel finishes. Aluminum comes in four colors: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and PRODUCT(RED). You also have the option to choose from GPS and GPS + Cellular options. With cellular, you can connect the Watch to the internet even if your companion iPhone isn’t nearby. The screen is 20 percent larger than the Series 7. Otherwise, it has the same rectangular design with curved corners. It sports an always-on OLED screen that is crack-resistant, WR50 water-resistant for up to 50 meters, and IP6X dust-resistant.
Series 8 is one of the most durable and knock-proof Watches available in the market. It has some new improved features such as a brighter screen, temperature tracking sensors, menstruation cycle tracker, and car crash detectors that are enabled by 2 new motion sensors. It also has added features like ‘low power mode which can extend its battery life to 36 hours, from 18 hours, on a single charge. It also has fast charging that provides a 50 percent charge for 30 minutes and a 100 percent charge for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Series 8 also has an ECG, blood oxygen monitoring (SpO2), and fall detection. The ‘crash detection’ feature helps to detect an unusual shake or fall, following which it sends an SOS call to family and friends.
Similar feel to last year’s Series 7
|Temperature tracking and car-crash detection||
Full potential realised only with iPhones
Best for Android:
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
At the Galaxy Unpacked Event in August, Samsung unveiled Galaxy Watch5 alongside Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, two new foldable smartphones, and some other wearables.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 comes in two dial sizes – 40mm and 44mm variants, both have 450×450 resolution and 1000 nits of peak brightness, making them legible even under sunlight. The smartwatch is made of Armor aluminium and comes with a Super AMOLED screen that is protected with sapphire crystal glass, making it more scratch-resistant than its predecessor. The device has 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage. The smartwatch features a circular dial, unlike the typical rectangular dial in most watches, with two hard-press customizable buttons and a matte-finish silicone strap. It has Bluetooth v5.2 connectivity and is compatible just with Android devices (Android 8 and above). It comes with a 410 mAh battery that lasts a little less than a day, which could be a point of concern for hardcore fitness enthusiasts or people who rigorously use smartwatches daily. The device supports fast charging and is IP68 certified, making it water resistant up to 50 meters.
Samsung has partnered with Google for the software of the Watch5. You get Play Store on the watch and further you can navigate Google Maps, stream YouTube videos, text, get help from Bixby or Google Assistant, and browse the web. With the inbuilt microphone and speaker, you can further make and take calls using the smartwatch. There are a variety of watch faces to choose from in the store and the interactive watch face feature lets you create your own emojis. On the fitness front, the Galaxy Watch5 could track your body vitals like SpO2, heart rate, daily steps, body fat, BMI, etc. Further, there are several workout routines, sleep tracking features, in-built GPS to track distance traveled, and more. For this, you need to download the Samsung Health app.
Graphite, Sapphire, and Silver are three color options for the Galaxy Watch5 Large, while Watch5 Small is available in Graphite, Pink Gold, and Silver color options. It is available both on Amazon and Flipkart starting at just around Rs 28,000.
|Superb AMOLED display||
Average battery life
Some features compatible just with Samsung phones
Not compatible with iPhones
For the adventurer in you:
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar is a beast smartwatch that is designed specifically for sportsmen and hardcore fitness enthusiasts. The smartwatch can monitor a lot of data accurately with some other smart elements.
The Garmin Fenix 7X comes in a 52mm case with a larger display area at 1.4 inches of transflective MIP display. Fenix 7X Solar lives up to its name by offering solar charging which one can see around the outer bezel. It has six physical buttons along with a touch screen covered with a Power Sapphire lens, and a LED light. Even if someone is wearing gloves and polarized sunglasses, the display works. The display can clearly be seen under sunlight as well as at night time. The smartwatch has 26mm straps that are Quickfit watch band compatible, which is Garmin’s proprietary tech. There is also a Flashlight on the top side of the watch.
Fenix 7X is water resistant to up to 100 meters of depth. The smartwatch can track anything from walks to runs, to cycling, to workouts, and more. It has sensors to track the different types of cycling, bouldering, skiing, surfing, rowing, racquet sports, and more. During your workouts, it gives you information such as calories burned and average heart rate, but you can detailed information through the Garmin Connect app. It can also track sleep and mark stages such as deep sleep, light sleep, REM, and awake time.
The Fenix 7X Solar has great battery life sometimes extending to almost 20-25 days. And if you are out in the sun, the solar charging keeps topping up the battery extending the battery life. Garmin Fenix 7X is a PRO-grade watch for sports and adventure enthusiasts.
|Excellent tracking features||Bulky|
Best under Rs. 15000:
Fossil Gen 5
Despite being launched over three years back, the Fossil Gen 5 almost hits all the right notes for a smartwatch under Rs 15,000.
The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch comes in three variants: Carlyle and Garrett for males, and Julianna for females. There is no functional difference among the three variants and all these models come with various strap options from silicone to metal to leather. The device case is 46 mm in size, while the strap is 22 mm and is interchangeable. The 1.28-inch smartwatch is powered by Google’s Wear OS and runs both on Android (6 and above) and iOS (10 and above). The Gen 5 device features Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch does not lag or slow down despite the concern that it is old. Fossil’s fifth-generation smartwatch has a 3.2-cm AMOLED display with 415×416 resolution and 328ppi. In terms of memory, the device has 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. The smartwatch features a stylish round dial with two additional configurable push buttons and a rotating home button. For connectivity, the Fossil watch comes with Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, NFC, and WiFi. There are multi-day battery modes that let you use the watch for multiple days. For example, the ‘Time Only Mode’ turns your smartwatch into a simple clock that lasts for over a week, while the ‘Extended Mode’ lets you use essential features daily and needs charging every few days. These modes can also be customized as per usage. The smartwatch can be charged up to 80% in an hour.
In addition to answering calls and receiving/replying to texts, the smartwatch also lets you make contactless payments using Google Pay and supports Google Assistant. There are many watch faces to choose from and match your style. It supports basic health features like heart rate tracking, cardio fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and activity tracking. The optical heart rate sensor could feel a bit dated as there is no ECG feature like Apple Watch 4 and some other competitors in the segment. Fitness tracking is done using Google Fit, but you can always install a third-party app for finer results. Further, the Fossil Gen 5 comes with a built-in GPS for distance tracking and is swim-proof up to 3ATM.
The Carlyle model comes in black and Smokey stainless steel options. The Julianna variant comes in Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, and Black color options, while the Garrett model comes in Silver, Gold, Blue, and Black colors. The smartwatch is available on Amazon starting at Rs 13,000.
|Stylish||Wear OS 2|
Average battery life
|Variety of pre-installed watch faces||
Health tracking features are not comprehensive when compared with competitors
Compatible with both iPhone and Android phones
Best under Rs. 10000:
Amazfit GTR 2e
Amazfit GTR 2e is a smartwatch who are looking for health-related tracking. The smartwatch has been in the Indian market for quite some time now and was launched alongside the Amazfit GTS 2e.
The Amazfit GTR 2e comes in a simple design with a large circular dial and a silicone strap. It has a 1.39-inch always-on AMOLED display made from tempered glass with an anti-fingerprint vacuum. The two buttons on the side of the dial help you navigate to different features and modes. The screen offers great colors, vibrancy, and brightness. Outdoors also, the screen is bright enough to operate the watch. However, the silicone strap isn’t that comfortable on the skin.
The Amazfit GTR 2e does not use Google’s Wear OS, instead runs on Huami’s custom OS that syncs to the Zepp app on your phone. The app collates your fitness tracking data and has various settings for the watch too. The GTR 2e doesn’t have Wi-Fi. And it does not have a speaker, which means, you can’t answer calls on your watch or play music on it.
The smartwatch has many health tracking features like an optical heart rate sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, air pressure sensor, temperature sensor, and ambient light sensor. You also have access to features like alarms, calendars, phone notifications, and weather forecasts. It also has waterproofing up to 5ATM. Amazfit claims about 24 days of typical use from the GTR 2e’s battery.
|Health tracking features||No speaker|
Best under Rs. 5000:
OnePlus Nord Watch
Early in October, in India, the Chinese consumer electronics maker unveiled the first OnePlus Nord Watch, a cost-effective device bearing the Nord name.
The OnePlus Nord Watch has a 1.78-inch AMOLED 2.5D glass display with a 368×448 high pixel resolution and 500 nits of peak brightness, providing excellent visibility of texts and graphics both indoors and outdoors. The smartwatch is smooth to operate, thanks to the 60 Hz refresh rate. The smartwatch features a common rectangular dial with a rotating crown on the right side and a silicon strap with a steel buckle. It has Bluetooth v5.2 connectivity and is compatible with both Android (6.0 and above) and iOS (11.0 and above) devices. It comes with a 230 mAh battery that can be fully charged in under two hours using the USB magnetic charger clip. OnePlus claims that the watch provides up to 10-day battery life on a single charge with 30 days of standby. The device is rated IP68 for water and dust resistance.
The device comes with a slew of health monitoring features like SPO2 and stress monitor, 24-hour heart rate tracking, as well as women’s health tracking. The watch supports 105 sports modes including Yoga, cricket, outdoor/indoor walking, cycling, and hiking among others. Further, you can choose your favorite watch face from over 100 online watch face options. To set up the smartwatch, you will have to download the N Health app and register with your email id. The setup process could take some time.
Midnight Black and Deep Blue are two color options for the device. It is available on Amazon for Rs 4,999.
|AMOLED display||Low battery life|
|Several health features||
Without protection glass display
What features do smartwatches have?
Smartwatches typically have a variety of features, including the ability to receive and send text messages and phone calls, track fitness and activity, monitor sleep patterns, and provide access to apps and other features through a compatible smartphone. Some smartwatches also have GPS tracking, waterproofing, and voice control capabilities.
How do I pair a smartwatch with my smartphone?
To pair a smartwatch with a smartphone, you will need to download the manufacturer’s app on your phone and follow the prompts to set up the connection. This typically involves turning on Bluetooth on both devices, selecting the smartwatch from the list of available Bluetooth devices on your phone, and following any additional instructions provided in the app.
How do I charge a smartwatch?
Most smartwatches have a charging cable that connects to a port on the back or side of the watch. Simply plug the cable into an outlet or a computer to begin charging the watch. Some smartwatches also have wireless charging capabilities and can be placed on a wireless charging pad to charge.
How long does the battery last on a smartwatch?
The battery life of a smartwatch can vary depending on the specific model and how it is used. Some smartwatches can last for several days on a single charge, while others may need to be charged daily or even more frequently. It is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s specifications for battery life before purchasing a smartwatch.
Can I use a smartwatch without a smartphone?
Some smartwatches can be used independently of a smartphone, but their functionality may be limited. For example, a smartwatch may be able to track fitness and activity, but may not be able to receive or send texts or phone calls without a paired smartphone. It is best to check the specific features of a smartwatch to determine its capabilities without a smartphone.