Ranking the Best Apple Watch Alternatives for 2021

best apple watch alternatives
Courtesy of Best Buy.

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In our increasingly tech-orientated world, smartwatches are fast becoming the next must-have gadget. These tech-filled devices offer so much more than your average wristwatch. And, it would be fair to say that in desirability and popularity, Apple is leading the way with smartwatch sales hitting nearly 34 million in 2020 alone. However, the latest Apple tech does come at a hefty financial price. Therefore, it may be of little surprise that many people are turning to some of the best Apple watch alternatives. Whether you prefer Android smartwatches or can’t swing the price tag, there are more great smartwatches released all the time.

That being said, even if you’re looking for the best Apple Watch alternatives, we have to be honest with you: Apple really does make the best smartwatches right now, and the company’s latest model, the Apple Watch Series 7, is the wearable to beat right now. Of course, with a $500+ price tag, we know this smartwatch is a bit too expensive for most people. You can find some good deals on the Apple Watch Series 6 or the Apple Watch SE; however, even these more affordable Apple watches are still more expensive than the best Apple Watch alternatives from Garmin and Fitbit.

Apple Watch SE Courtesy of Amazon

Before we have a look at the best Apple Watch alternatives available, let’s first answer some common questions and look at the reasons why these wrist-mounted computers should be your next tech investment.

  

What Is a Smartwatch?

While some would say knowing the time and date is pretty smart, in the world of smartwatches, it’s not even close. Rather than a time-telling device, it’s perhaps better to think of a smartwatch as a compact smartphone on your wrist. Common features and functions of a modern smartwatch may include:

  • Touchscreen interface
  • Fitness monitoring functions, including counting steps, heart rate and calories burned
  • Incoming/outgoing calling
  • GPS
  • Digital camera
  • Thermometer/altimeter/barometer
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Portable media playing

What Is the Best Apple Watch Alternative?

The answer to this question is not the same for everyone. Smartwatches are available at a range of price points with the most budget-friendly options starting at as little as $40. However, as is the case with most tech, if you pay less, you generally get less. For this reason, it’s worth considering what exactly you want from your smartwatch. For example, if your wish list is made up of a heart rate monitor, GPS functionality and the ability to read your incoming social media messages on screen, there’s little need to break the bank. But if you want the latest tech, latest specs and most advanced functions, you’re going to need to scroll down a bit further.

Of course, one of the biggest attractions about the Apple Watch is its design. The square-faced design is unique as a timepiece, just because most watches are circular. Knowing that, the options we’ve selected below all have a similar design language.

Whether you’re looking for a watch to take calls without taking your phone out of your pocket, to level up your fitness workouts or to listen to your favorite audiobooks, there’s likely an Apple Watch alternative that can do the job for a fraction of the price. Check out our top choices below, from budget smartwatches to Fitbit fitness trackers.

  

1. Fitbit Sense

BEST OVERALL

The best Apple Watch alternative is the Fitbit Sense for many reasons. First of all, it fits that first credential by looking very similar to the Apple Watch with its square-faced design, complete with a stainless steel ring going around its AMOLED display. The similarities are there for sure, so if you love the Apple Watch design, the Sense can certainly be mistaken for one.

Secondly, it features similar interchangeable bands that can easily be swapped for other colorful options — as well as a few premium bands that scream fashionable and sophisticated. And lastly, there are the features that make it more smartwatch than just another glorified fitness tracker. While it offers the same essential functions, such as notifications and phone calls from your device, it supports many popular third-party apps to really diversify its functionality.

Fitbit Pay, in particular, provides users with a convenient way of paying without the need of a smartphone.

coolest gadgets fitbit sense Courtesy of Amazon

  

2. Wyze Watch

BEST BUDGET

We all know that a premium is attached to the Apple Watch, but there are still alternatives out there that follow the recipe to the tooth — all without the costly price. The Wyze Watch draws attention because of that reason. It’s priced well below $50. Knowing that, a sneer may be in place, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Aesthetically, it’s a design knock-off without a doubt. Wyze adorns its smartwatch with an aluminum alloy frame that gives it an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Functionally, it’s a scaled-down experience that suffices for the typical things you’d do with a smartwatch. You’ll still get notifications from your apps, set timers, and even track some health metrics.

There’s even a blood oxygen sensor, in addition to the usual heart rate sensor, which is something you typically won’t expect to find in a super-budget smartwatch.

Wyze Watch, Best Android Smartwatch Courtesy of Amazon.

  

3. Oppo Watch

MOST STYLISH

When it comes to matching the Apple Watch’s premium aesthetics and square-faced design, the Oppo Watch is the closest alternative. This smartwatch begs to be noticed with its ginormous 1.91-inch AMOLED display, something that undoubtedly will draw stares when worn because of its size. Beyond that, it’s a capable Google Wear OS-powered smartwatch that functionally matches the Apple Watch. You’ll really fall in love with its design.

Oppo Watch Courtesy of Oppo.

    

4. Fitbit Versa 2

BEST FITNESS

If you’re focused on fitness goals, the Fitbit Versa 2 could be the right fit for you. This advanced fitness device is able to track key vitals, including your heart rate, steps, distances, calories burned and other handy stats, to keep you informed about your progress. Each watch comes with a three-month trial of Fitbit premium which gives you wrist-mounted health and fitness guidance 24/7. The watch also includes Amazon Alexa built-in, allowing you to check the weather forecast, set handy timers or control your home devices with nothing more than your voice. The watch is available in five different colors and comes with both the classic and woven bands.

Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch Walmart

  

5. Umidigi Smartwatch

ALSO CONSIDER

With its ability to withstand underwater pressure up to five ATMs (around 50 meters deep), the Umidigi Smartwatch is a solid choice for users who spend a lot of their time in the water. In addition to the seemingly standard step, calorie and distance traveled counters found in the average smartwatch, you’ll also find a heart rate and blood oxygen monitor, allowing you to better grasp changes to your physical condition. There are nine different sport modes alongside other practical features, like an alarm clock, timer, stopwatch and the ability to act as a music remote control. Furthermore, the real-time notifications from your social media platforms may be accompanied by sedentary reminders if your watch feels like you’ve been inactive for too long.

Umidigi Smartwatch - Apple Watch Alternative Courtesy of Amazon