people's choice

The Best Smartwatch on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about plenty of things you can use in your home office — including the best fitness trackers, the best GPS running watches, and the best watches for men — here we’ve rounded up the best smartwatches, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated smartwatch

Apple Watch Series 3
$179

With over 2,000 five-star reviews, the Apple Watch Series 3 gets top marks for being easy to use and water-resistant. “I don’t have any cons. I don’t know a single person who ever got an Apple Watch and didn’t like it,” writes one reviewer who calls this smartwatch a “stupidly brilliant product.” Reviewers also praised the watch for its super-accurate fitness tracking, with one reviewer writing, “I bought the Apple Watch for fitness tracking. It is THE thing at my gym. I went from a Fitbit to this, and wow! I think the tracking is way more accurate.” And while there are plenty of other smartwatches on the market to choose from, many reviewers described the Apple Watch as more intuitive, with way more features than other smartwatches on the market.”Pros: great fit, comfortable, easy to use, looks amazing, two-day battery life, easy setup, very quick load up time on apps, waterproof mode, very convenient,” sums up one very satisfied customer.

Best-rated (less expensive) smartwatch

YAMAY Smartwatch
$35

Reviewers were most pleased by the waterproof feature of this smartwatch. “Device is reported to be waterproof, and I’ve tested in both the pool and shower with no concerns noted. Overall, this was a great purchase for the price at about third of the brand name original,” writes one reviewer. A second reviewer adds, “love that it is waterproof and it was put to the test when I went on vacation and swam in the pool. My girlfriends want one now also! We walk together two times a week, and I’m feeling a difference.” Several reviewers also praised the watch for being beginner-friendly and accessible, like one who explains, “I’m not even a techie yet unboxing it and following the instructions were not too challenging. I liked how easy it was to make this smartwatch sync to my phone and allowing me to see exactly how I’m progressing.” Plus, the value can’t be beat: “You aren’t going to get another smartwatch that beats this one for a cheaper price! When I took this out of the package I wasn’t expecting much because of the price tag, but that changed instantly when I turn the watch on for the first time.”

And now for some micro-picks of every type of smartwatch you might be looking for.

Best iPhone-compatible smartwatch

Apple Watch Series 4
$393

Reviewers were in agreement that for iPhone users, the Apple Watch Series 4 was tough to beat for its convenience. “Beautiful design. Battery life is a LOT better than my last smartwatch. I charge it every other day. Useful features (to me, at least). Watch apps tie into their corresponding iPhone apps,” writes one reviewer. A second writes, “I purchased this to use while swimming and because of all the features. But, it also may have saved my life. Shortly after getting it and wearing it all the time I was alerted of an Afib situation and am now under a doctors care for Afib. The cardiologist was fascinated with the proficiency of the watch’s heart programs.” And a third reviewer concludes by saying, “Did a little research and comparisons on series 3 vs series 4, and decided to go with the series 4. I’m really satisfied with its performance. Love the different faces options and customizations.”

Best Android-compatible smartwatch

Folks with Android phones tend to prefer this Samsung Galaxy smartwatch, and in some cases, reviewers even prefer it to the Apple Watch. “I have used many smartwatches and fitness trackers. I currently have a FitBit Versa and Charge HR, and an Apple Watch Series 3 + Cellular. This Galaxy Watch takes the cake,” writes one reviewer, who goes on to add that in comparison to the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy has a longer battery life and includes a barometer and altometer reader. On top of being pleased with the technical features, several reviewers also noted that the watch is quite stylish. As one explains, “I love this watch. It’s beautiful as well. The galaxy watch is definitely worth the upgrade if you’re looking for a more feminine piece.” Another reviewer, who calls the watch “striking” writes, “I have had and used the Gear S2 & S3, several Wear OS watches, the Apple Watch Series 2, the Garmin Fenix line and the Fitbit Ionic. The Galaxy Watch is the most complete, stylish, and comfortable smartwatch I have had to date, and I am very impressed with the total package.”

Best sport smartwatch for runners

Garmin Forerunner 35
$115

Dozens of runners and athletes praise the Garmin for its accuracy, battery life, and durability in their reviews. “I’m a Garmin gal. I guess you’d say I’m a seasoned or intermediate runner. This has all the features I need, and it is small enough to wear all day,” one says. A second reviewer, who says that after a full year of use it still works like new, writes, “I’ve taken this watch on runs ranging from 3-10 miles. On each run it’s accurately tracked my run — the GPS never seemed to lose signal.” A third athlete writes, “The Garmin watch is meant for a runner. If you aren’t such a serious runner, then I’m sure you can get away with something else, but the main reason I needed a watch was to track my mileage and timing ONLY during my daily runs and races. This watch literally does what it’s supposed to — accurately give you your running distance and time.” Our writer Karen Adlelson wrote that the Forerunner 35 has all of the “elements needed for more intense training, including instantaneous speed display and the ability to program in intervals.”

Best smartwatch with microphone

Pebble Time Smartwatch
$50

Reviewers loved the microphone feature on this smartwatch, with one explaining, “If you are using Android, then you can use the microphone for voice replies and for sending texts, and it works great.” A second reviewer says, “The microphone and voice recognition works well enough to be useful without many mistakes if you keep messages simple and aren’t standing next to a jackhammer. I successfully had a full conversation using speech to text while showering with the fan on.” And a third notes that the watch is an excellent buy for “younger teens if you don’t want to pay too much” for the Apple Watch. One reviewer concludes, “If you are looking for a watch with good notification system, clean display, easy to ready time/date/weather, super light to wear, basic running/activity tracking and not break the bank, this is the watch for you.”

Best smartwatch for kids

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2 Purple
$40

Parents and kids alike were thrilled with this Vtech smartwatch, with one grandmother raving, “My seven-year-old granddaughter was longing for a watch after her mother got an Apple Watch. Of course, that was out of the question. I thought this one would be scorned as babyish and no comparison! BUT she is thrilled with it.” One mother, who bought the watch for her 8-year-old son as a gift, writes, “This was my son’s favorite toy for two weeks after Christmas. It has kept him very well entertained, and we wondered why we bought other gifts for him after seeing him engaged with this watch.” Another parent says that their daughter “absolutely loves it. She feels so big with her ‘Apple Watch’ and plays on it often. She loves to record herself singing or take pictures of our family and then add funny faces. She also loves the exercise ‘app’ and a few of the games.”

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