The best smartwatch of 2020

From bestreviews.com
By
Anthony Marcusa
BestReviews

Smartwatches aren’ t all about functionality— they can also be stylish. Make sure you like the look and design of the watch you’ re wearing. Many models are offered in various colors.

With the convenience of a smartphone on your wrist, smartwatches have steadily grown in popularity the last many years. At their most basic, smartwatches give you quick alerts and notifications that you would otherwise have to pull out your phone to receive.

Beyond that, fitness tracking is a major feature of some, while discretion and subtlety helps serve others. Many also play and stream entertainment.

We're revisiting our top smartwatch choices to see whether they stand the test of time, as it were. Our guide is here to help you learn what's possible with smartwatches, and how to find the right one for your lifestyle.

Best smartwatches of 2020

1. Apple Watch Series 5: Our favorite yet again, this feature-packed smartwatch is loaded with extras, for a cost.

2. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2: We still love this less expensive yet comprehensive smartwatch from a trusted name in smart technology.

3. Garmin Instinct: We're adding this durable smartwatch to our list. It's designed for fitness tracking and adventure while still staying connected.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

What you need to know before buying a smartwatch

Before deciding which smartwatch to buy, it's important to know what they offer you. The primary feature allows you to receive notifications and alerts, taking incoming calls, texts,  emails, and messages from a number of other apps. Especially for quick messages or confirmations, smartwatches prevent you from having to reach for your phone and potentially unlock it to see the alerts. Depending on your lifestyle, this may be highly convenient. These kinds of quick notices are useful when you're in public spaces, meetings, or even in inclement or burdensome weather where glancing at your wrist is easier than reaching into your pocket.

Curiously, the line between smartwatches and fitness trackers has blurred, as many of the former monitor and record activity, while some of the latter connect to your email and social media. Most smartwatches track steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns. If this information is useful to you, look for smartwatches that serve your health endeavors as well.

Any potential smartwatch should integrate easily with your phone. Android smartphone users should look for watches that are compatible with that system, while iPhone owners want to check out Apple's selection of smartwatches.

If the smartwatch is going to be used frequently to stay connected or often in place of your smartphone, find one with LTE capability. This connects you to a mobile data service (provided you have an account) when you're not in a WiFi zone.

Battery life is an important consideration, too. Some companies may attest battery life to last up to one or two weeks on a single charge. Unfortunately, it's hard to know what you're getting until after you purchase the watch, but user reviews and testimonials are worth exploring and can be relatively informative.

The newest models of smartwatches can be fairly pricey, running over $500, but these come with lots of features. You can still find quality options running between $100 and $200.

Features

The latest smartwatches come with a wide range of features and conveniences. Here are some to consider, but keep in mind, they likely add to the price.

Phone calls. While most smartwatches alert you to calls, there are those with speakers and microphones so you can have a conversation without grabbing your phone.
Face options. Most smartwatches give you the option to toggle what you see when you look at it. You may be able to choose between a digital screen, an analog face, or have it blank until you lift your wrist to your face to activate it.
Mobile payments. Just as your phone can make payments, some smartwatches can, too. Using your smartphone, you can set up your watch as a means to purchase.
Health and fitness. Some smartwatches can track your heartbeat and rhythm in addition to the typical fitness tracker functions. The watch can alert you when your heart rate is too high or low. Some smartwatches can quickly identify specific exercises for better tracking.
Entertainment. You have the option to download music or podcasts in certain models. While the storage may be limited, you can also opt to stream.

In-depth reviews for best smartwatches

Best of the best: Apple Watch Series 5

What we like: Top-of-the-line smartwatch with fitness tracking, a large display, and the ability to receive all the alerts your phone gets without your phone nearby. Includes built-in compass and GPS.

What we dislike: Features come at a premium cost.

Best bang for your buck: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

What we like: Impressive smartwatch at a reasonable price best enjoyed by Android users. Tracks specific exercises, compatible with a wide range of apps, and offered in different colors.

What we dislike: Large learning curve, especially for smartwatch newbies.

Choice 3: Garmin Instinct

What we like: Rugged smartwatch designed for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts providing both convenient and life-saving features. Impressive fitness tracking; lengthy battery life. Accurate GPS.

What we dislike: Better used for recreation and travel than work and business.

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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