There’s never been a better time to invest in a new timepiece. With a variety of smartwatches on the market, there are plenty of options to suit any need and accentuate your unique sense of style. Not only are these timepieces stylish accessories in their own right, but they also come with a suite of apps for fitness tracking, messaging, notifications and goal tracking.
In the old days, the best watches were judged based on the number of “complications” contained within. Watchmakers would compete to fit as many tiny gears and functions into their watch as possible, meaning the watch could tell time and act as a stopwatch, tell you the day and month, and even track lunar cycles. In the smartwatch era, a single timepiece can now boast thousands of complications.
What To Look for in a Smartwatch
The best smartwatches not only provide useful data about your health but also give you access to all of the contents of your phone without ever having to reach for it. Voice assistants and contactless payments are an added bonus when you want to find information quickly or fly through the checkout stand at your local grocery store. In some instances, there are versions that come with built-in data connectivity that effectively turn them into small phones you can wear on your wrist.
Compatibility With Your Device
Choosing a smartwatch shouldn’t be a complicated matter, but it will largely depend on your phone. For starters, it’s worth mentioning that the Apple Watch doesn’t support devices other than the iPhone. Meaning, if you have an Android smartphone, you won’t be able to use the Apple Watch with it. On the flip side, though, you can actually use a smartwatch running Google’s Wear OS with the iPhone.
The Best Smartwatches
Below, we’ve included smartwatches in every price range from the leading brands in the wearables market. You’ll find smartwatches from big names like Apple, Samsung, and Garmin as well as lesser-known manufacturers like Veldt, a Japanese company that recently started selling its smartwatches in the United States.
So keep reading to find our picks for the best men’s smartwatches for sale in 2021.
1. Apple Watch Series 7
Many of the improvements to the Apple Watch are pretty modest — you’re not likely to feel a major leap in performance with the Series 7 over the Series 6. That said, the Apple Watch Series 7 definitely is an improvement over the Series 6. The watch face has gotten bigger, meaning you get a larger screen, while the bezels have gotten smaller, meaning the watch itself won’t be too much larger than the Series 6. The Series 7 has also gotten an upgrade in durability, so you can comfortably put it through the paces. The battery life hasn’t improved, but the watch does charge more quickly.
The Apple Watch can do a lot of different things, but many of the most impressive features are in fitness and health. The Apple Watch can take an EKG, check your heart rate and measure your blood oxygen levels. You can also track fitness activities like cycling, swimming or running, and Apple rolled out Apple Fitness+, an app specifically designed for use with the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 7 is available in GPS or GPS + cellular, and there are a variety of case and band colors available.
Apple Watch Series 7
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
The Galaxy Watch 4 is Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch Series 7, and it’s a robust answer at that. Samsung has been in the wearables game for a while, and the brand has tinkered with its watches quite a bit. The Galaxy Watch 4 has new operating system in the form of Wear OS, and the Galaxy Watch 4 has an upgraded memory over the Galaxy Watch Active2.
Like Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy 4 has a focus on fitness. The ECG allows you to track your heart rate, and you can use the watch to track your workouts. A standout feature is Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), a technology typically found on smart scales. BIA allows you to measure body fat and skeletal muscle (a feature not found on the Apple Watch).
Another feature the Galaxy Watch 4 has that the Apple Watch Series 7 lacks is wider customization. The Watch 4 is available in a standard model that looks like your average wearable, but the Watch 4 Classic, featured below, adds a more refined silhouette that evokes classic sport watches.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
3. Apple Watch SE
BUDGET APPLE PICK
A wise man once said, “If you want to save a bunch of money on Apple products, wait a year or two.” While we can’t find exactly who said that (it may have been me), it’s always sound advice. The Apple Watch SE is a Frankenstein of Apple Watches, combining features and design elements from multiple generations of Apple Watches. You get the waterproof chassis of the Series 4, the CPU of the Series 5, and the upgraded sensors of the Series 6, including the altimeter (but not including the SpO2 sensor or ECG tracking). It’s still an incredibly powerful smartwatch with a crystal clear retina display, GPS, sleep tracking and music storage. It works seamlessly with your iPhone, or if you buy one equipped with LTE, can work without an iPhone at all. Plus, with the new Family Setup feature, you can even set up and manage an Apple Watch for your child or aging family member to give them access to safety features, such as fall detection and an SOS signal.
If you don’t mind a slightly thicker casing and the lack of blood oxygen or ECG monitoring, this is a smart way to get Apple tech on your wrist for (much) less.
Apple Watch SE
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 Smartwatch
BUDGET SAMSUNG PICK
The updated OS of the Galaxy Watch4 gives it the edge over the Active2, but the Active2 can be a good value option. The watch uses the proprietary Bixby voice assistant to provide hands-free access to all of your apps and messaging, and Bixby isn’t quite as effective as Siri or Alexa. And because the Galaxy Watch Active2 runs on the Tizen OS, there are fewer apps available for this wearable compared to smartwatches running Apple or Google’s operating systems. However, those are minor drawbacks, and this is still a seriously impressive smartwatch.
With Samsung Pay on your watch, you can virtually leave your wallet and phone at home. For active users, the watch provides activity data as well as insights on your recovery and sleep behavior for a complete picture of your daily health. Not to mention, it’s just a great-looking watch that will keep you looking sharp on date night or in the office. Whether you want a sleek wearable phone or a fitness tracker, consider the Active2, available in several colors and two sizes.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
5. Withings ScanWatch
BEST HYBRID SMARTWATCH
Hybrid smartwatches typically sacrifice some of the top fitness features, but that’s not the case with the Withings ScanWatch. This watch has an ECG and oximeter and is capable of monitoring your heart rate. As is the case with all hybrid smartwatches, the Withings has an analog face and primarily relies on your phone to display information.
Despite its hybrid design, you can still get plenty of information right from the watch face. The subdial allows you to see health notifications right on the watch face, giving you the active health tracking that you’d normally find on a full smartwatch. The classic and sleek design of this watch makes it a great option for anyone who’s not into the look of traditional smartwatches. And since it’s a hybrid smartwatch, the battery can last up to 30 days, compared to the one to two days of a full smartwatch.
Withings Hybrid Smartwatch
6. Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR
RUNNER UP HYBRID SMARTWATCH
Built using Fossil’s Hybrid Watch platform, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR takes the general stylings and approach of a traditional timepiece and adds a few subtle smartwatch features to enhance it in just the right ways. The result is a watch that looks as sharp as anything Skagen has ever put out, and as smart as any of Fossil’s other watches.
In addition to a minimalist Scandinavian look, this watch has combined physical watch hands with an e-ink display that can transform on the fly to deliver notifications, media playback controls and info on your activity and heart rate. The watch hands will even move out of the way when you check your notifications. And because it’s not trying to do everything, it has a battery that lasts for six months between charges.
Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR
7. Fitbit Sense
BEST FITBIT OPTION
Largely known as a pioneer in the fitness tracker space, Fitbit has a diverse portfolio that extends into smartwatches. Out of the many models the company offers, the Fitbit Sense is without a doubt its most fully equipped option. For starters, Fitbit lovers will appreciate how this smartwatch continues to excel in tracking fitness metrics when you exercise, but it really goes the distance over other offerings in this area because it can assess your heart for atrial fibrillation. Beyond the health and wellness focus, the Fitbit Sense pairs with any Android or iOS devices to receive notifications — plus support for voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
8. Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire
Unlike a lot of clunky sports watches, the Garmin Fenix 6x looks as great as it works. With active features such as GPS, ski maps, pace guidance for runs and a barometric altimeter for climbs or hikes, there isn’t much this watch can’t help you accomplish. To justify the price tag, Garmin has packed this smartwatch with cutting-edge fitness tracking tools. It can monitor your heart rate and pulse as you train, not to mention its sleep tracking capabilities. On top of that, this smartwatch boasts all-day battery life, even when listening to music and using the GPS features. For city dwellers, Garmin Pay allows for contactless payment. You can also have smart notifications sent to your watch as well as store music so you can listen to tunes without having to bring your phone along.
Sure it’s pricey, but it looks so damn good.
Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire
9. Amazfit Bip U Pro
BEST BUDGET OPTION
The Amazfit Bip U Pro is a smartwatch that, for less than $100, gives you heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, GPS, sleep tracking, activity tracking, Alexa integration and nine days of battery life. Will this watch have the most premium fit and finish? Certainly not. But it will give you a whole lot of functionality at a price that will not be beaten by another smartwatch on this list.
Amazfit Bip U Pro
10. Garmin Vivoactive 4
BEST FOR HEALTH
When you want to know all the information possible about your workouts and recovery times, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 provides a ton of insights including energy levels, stress, and hydration, just to name a few. There are a bunch of apps you can download through the Connect IQ store to customize the watch to your fitness needs. And there’s no need to reach for your wallet, thanks to Garmin Pay. There are two models available: Vivoactive 4 and 4S for those who prefer a smaller watch face.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
11. Veldt Model AA
BEST LUXURY SMARTWATCH
In the era of smartphones and smartwatches, it’s easy to forget how great a classic-looking timepiece looks on your wrist. With the Veldt Watch, you don’t need to compromise on style to get access to the latest smart features. We love this watch’s unique design, which merges classic style with modern tech. Around the impact-resistant watch face are 24 hidden LED lights that act as the wearable’s notification system.
Americans may not be familiar with this Japanese company’s wearables, which recently became available in the United States for the first time. The Veldt Model AA watch is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It comes with a ton of great built-in apps and functions, and you can even create your own apps or download functions created by other users. It also boasts a three-day battery life, which is hard to beat. But its real appeal comes in the form of style — it’s a great-looking smartwatch for both work and weekend plans. When you wear this smartwatch, everyone will be asking where you got it.
Veldt Model AA
12. Garmin Venu
GREAT WORKOUT FEATURES
The AMOLED display on the Garmin Venu not only looks great, but also makes it easy to view your heart rate, sleep patterns, energy levels, and other health data. You can even watch animated videos to guide you through yoga and pilates workouts. Download and sync up your Spotify and Amazon Music accounts to have access to your tunes without your phone. It’s a great watch for working out, especially if you don’t want to buy one of the best smartwatches under $500.
13. Fossil Gen 5
GOOGLE WEAR OS OPTION
Fossil has been steadily improving its smartwatch game, and the Fossil Gen 5 is proof that the watch brand can make a killer wearable at a very reasonable price. With Google Wear OS, you have access to Google Assistant right on your wrist. Like all of the best men’s smartwatches, the Fossil Gen 5 even has a little built-in speaker so you can hear alerts and take phone calls. The 24-hour battery life isn’t the best in our recommendations, but it charges up to 80% in a single hour of charging. And if you’re the active type, you’ll enjoy the swim-proof design as well as GPS and activity tracking.
Fossil Gen 5
14. Garmin Forerunner 935
BEST FOR RUNNERS
By now it should be very clear that Garmin makes a lot of the best smartwatches. The Garmin Forerunner 935 is a solid option for those who want a good-looking watch, but also need a ton of utility from their device. This smartwatch has every bit of utility as the Apple Watch does, but is specially made for activities. You can track a handful of multi-sport activities, including running, cycling and swimming, to name a few. The data goes much more in-depth by tracking things like your stride length and your estimated recovery time. It also has GPS, an altimeter and a barometer to track your distances and elevation. Beyond the workout utility, you can also receive your phone’s notifications on your watch, so you can stay connected without pulling out your phone. If you want a stylish smartwatch, but need a bit more activity tracking capabilities, we recommend going with this Garmin.
Garmin Forerunner 935
15. TicWatch Pro 3
EXTENDED BATTERY MODE
Don’t let the name fool you because TicWatch has been perfecting its Wear OS-based smartwatch for some time now, with the TicWatch Pro 3 being its latest offering. Blending a sportier style, it’s something that certainly stands out when worn for its stainless steel bezel, circular 1.4-inch AMOLED screen, adjustable silicone strap, and two physical buttons on its side. It’s also fairly responsive navigating around the interface thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform. Additionally, there’s an essential mode that extends the battery life up to 45 days with the aid of the backlit TN display.