While Apple seems to have a monopoly on smartwatches, I understand that they’re not everyone’s thing. Some people are Android people. Others don’t need all the bells and whistles of an Apple Watch. Others still simply can’t justify the price tag.
There are several things to consider when looking for a smartwatch that’s an alternative to an Apple Watch:
- Compatibility: Make sure the smartwatch is compatible with your smartphone and its operating system (e.g. iOS or Android).
- Features: Consider what features you want in a smartwatch, such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, waterproofing, and the ability to make phone calls or send texts.
- Battery life: Smartwatches vary in battery life, with some lasting just a day or two and others lasting several days. Consider how long you want your smartwatch to last between charges.
- Display: Consider the size and quality of the display, as well as whether it is easy to read in different lighting conditions.
- Design and comfort: Think about the style and design of the smartwatch and whether it will be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
- Price: Smartwatches can range in price from less than $100 to over $1,000. Consider how much you are willing to spend and whether the features of the watch justify the price.
- Brand and reputation: Research the brand and read reviews from other users to get an idea of the reliability and overall satisfaction with the product.
If you’re looking for an alternative, these are five of the top contenders on the market right now.
Galaxy Watch5 Pro
Samsung’s Galaxy series has gone toe-to-toe in the smartwatch rat race, and with the Watch5 Pro you’re getting a great Apple Watch alternative that competes against the big boy. Samsung seems to understand that a majority of smartwatch wearers use it for wellness and activity monitoring, but of course it has all of the extras that integrate into daily life. Its circular shape is more in-line with a classic watch, making it a great option for watch traditionalists, too.
- Only runs on Android
- Titanium shell with Sapphire crystal display
- Comes in one size option at 45mm
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
If you would have asked me 12 years ago as a freshman in college if the little GPS suction-cupped to my Pontiac’s windshield would be putting out a top smartwatch, I would have laughed. But here we are. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a working watch that’s designed for the health-conscious and those with a rigorous athletic life. Most importantly for those looking to branch out, the Venu 2 Plus’s resolution and battery life both exceed its price tag.
Upgrades include size (40, 43, and 45mm), a square or circle style, and voice activation.
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Customizable design with lots of band variations
Fitbit Versa 4
Who would have thought that the dinky little fitness tracker from a few years ago would evolve to be a contender to rival Apple? At first glance, the design is very similar to earlier Apple Watches, but at a greatly reduced price point, it’s a good alternative for someone who doesn’t want to invest too heavily into the tech. It also comes in four colors that branch out of the usual grays and blacks common with other smartwatches.
- 40+ exercise modes for tracking and motivation
- Provides in-depth sleep analysis with nightly wear
- Battery up to 6 days between charges
I know what you’re thinking: Why would I put the Watch3 here as well as the Watch5 Pro? Well, this is the last of Samsung’s higher-end smartwatches that can connect to iPhone’s iOS. So if you’re looking to still break away from the Apple Watch but are tethered to your iPhone, this is one of the better options.
- Battery life of 56 hours with regular use
- Watch case has a classic feel for analog lovers
- Compatible with both iOS and Android
Withings Scanwatch Horizon
Withings made the first hybrid smartwatch, giving it the best of both analog and digital worlds. With its diver design and considered approach to a luxury feel, the Scanwatch Horizon is the latest from the brand and it feels expensive. It has all of the basic functions of a smartwatch like notifications and activity tracking, while being subtle enough for dressing up.
- Water resistant up to 100 meters
- Balances analog and smart technology seamlessly from user perspective
- Heavy on health with ECG recording, sleep tracking, and breathing disturbance detection