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Best Android smartwatches 2016

Update: End-of-year update now includes the Samsung Gear S3

A number of new Android smartwatches have been launched recently, including the Samsung Gear S3, Huawei Watch and the second generation Asus ZenWatch 3. Now that we've had a chance to complete our full reviews, we've been able to compile our current list of the best Android smartwatches of 2016, including a convenient buying guide.

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Best smartwatch overall: Asus ZenWatch 3

The best comes last, with Asus' latest smartwatch. The display, quick recharge time, long-lasting battery, etc make it the best watch on the market. Asus has targeted millenials with the design of the ZenWatch 3. This smartwatch with its three buttons looks much sportier than other watches that the company has so far released, for a more personal and unique twist. The new design also comes with IP67 certification, meaning it is resistant to water and dust. 

So far, almost all Android Wear smartwatches have come equipped with the Snapdragon 400. The ZenWatch 3 comes with Qualcomm’s new replacement for this: the Snapdragon 2100. In our review, the performance was solid.

AndroidPIT Asus Zenwatch 3 1162
The best all-around smartwatch. / © AndroidPIT

There is no built-in pulsometer, GPS or SIM capability. For sports, navigation or connecting to the internet without being tethered to a cell phone, you should look elsewhere. The ZenWatch 3 offers the basics you expect from a smartwatch: notifications, fitness tracking, playing music via Bluetooth, hands-free operation features and more.

Display 1.4-inch, round, AMOLED Resolution 400 x 400 pixels, 287 ppi
Size 45.2 x 10.65 mm Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, Quad-Core, 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage / RAM 4 GB / 512 MB RAM IP IP67 Dust and water resistant
Price $229.99 Battery 340 mAh

Best value smartwatch: Asus ZenWatch 2

If you want a good Android Wear experience on a budget, the under $150 ZenWatch 2 is the way to go. Asus didn't change much between its first ZenWatch and this version, preferring instead to focus on customization options (I wonder where it got that idea from... *cough* Apple *cough*), but it has added quick-charging and a Wi-Fi chip to enable the ZenWatch 2 to take advantage of the latest Android Wear features.

It delivers much the same experience as the Moto 360 (2015) at half the price, and we have to recommend the ZenWatch 2 as the best entry point to the Android Wear world. 

Screen:

1.45-inch, square(ish), AMOLED 

1.63-inch, square(ish), AMOLED

Resolution:

280 x 280 pixels, 273 ppi

320 x 320 pixels, 278 ppi

Size:

45.2 x 37.2 x 10.5 mm

49.6 x 40.7 x 9.5 mm

Processor: Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz
Internal storage / RAM: 4 GB / 512 MB RAM IP: IP67 dust and water resistant
Price: Approx. $129.99 Battery: 400 mAh
 

 

 

 

 

 

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The very reasonably priced Asus ZenWatch 2 shouldn't be overlooked. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best smartwatch design: Huawei Watch

Huawei has succeeded where many manufacturers have gone wrong: it made a watch that looks good first, and performs well second. That's not to say the Huawei Watch's performance is substandard, but with relatively weak battery life, no ambient light sensor and a couple of interface problems, Huawei's wearable is a little behind the likes of the Moto 360 (2015)

That being said, if you want the best-looking watch on Android, this is it.

Screen: 1.4-inch, circular, AMOLED Resolution: 400 x 400 pixels, 286 ppi
Size: 42 mm diameter x 11.3 mm depth Processor: Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz         
Internal storage / RAM: 4 GB / 512 MB RAM Weight / IP: 60.5 g / IP67
Price: Approx. $349 Battery: 300 mAh 

 

 

androidpit Huawei Watch 19
The Huawei Watch wins our award for most stylish Android Wear device. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best smartwatch for making calls: LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition 3G

The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition (3G) gets top marks with a full round display, a large battery and a great mobile interface. And the design is also a success, though the watch face is a bit too tall.

Screen: 1.38-inch, round Resolution: 480 x 480 pixels, 348 ppi
Size: 47 x 47 x 14 mm Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400    
Internal storage / RAM: 4 GB / 768 MB RAM IP: IP67 Dust and water resistant
Price: approx. $199.99 with contract Battery: 570 mAh

 

 

 

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LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition 3G / © AndroidPIT

Best sports smartwatch: Samsung Gear S3

Hands down the best smartwatch for sports and hiking is the Samsung Gear S3. It comes in two versions: Classic with a leather strap and Frontier with a silicone strap. Both are water and dust resistant. Samsung uses its own operating system called Tizen, but it is still compatible with all smartphones.

The smartwatch comes with GPS, a speedometer, barometer and an altimeter, so it is the ultimate hiker's companion. Athletes can use the smartwatch to measure their pulse and count their steps. You can store MP3 files on the watch itself and listen without having your phone paired if you're out for a run.

Screen: 1.3-inch, circular AMOLED Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels, 278 ppi
Size: 49 x 46 x 12.9 mm  Processor: Exynos 3250
Internal storage / RAM: 4 GB / 768 MB RAM Weight / IP: 57g / IP68
Price: approx. $299.99 Battery: 380 mAh
 

 

gears3 hero principal
The best for hiking and sports. / © AndroidPIT

Android Wear smartwatch buying guide

If you've decided to take the plunge and invest in a smartwatch, you've got a few decisions in front of you, the first of which is whether you want an Android Wear device or something else?

There are other smartwatch options available running on Samsung's Tizen platform as well as interesting devices by Pebble and Omate. Assuming you're focused on Android Wear though, we'll continue.

new watch faces
With so many Android Wear choices on offer, how do you choose? / © Google

What to consider when buying a smartwatch

There are a few things to think about: size and weight, style, display type (some displays are easier to read outdoors than others), battery size and so on. Consider what you want from your watch and how you plan to use it. All of them offer a degree of water-resistance and all are reasonably light.

If you plan to never take your smartwatch off except to charge it, then a large battery is critical. If you're outdoors a lot then you might want to opt for a smartwatch with an LCD display. OLED displays are better for battery life but they are not always so visible in the sunshine.

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Picking the right style and display type for your lifestyle are important. / © AndroidPIT

Internally, most Android Wear watches are about the same, so there's no real technical advantage of one over the other. Battery size and life, screen resolution and type are the main considerations. If you have a very slim wrist you might want to avoid the particularly large designs, so size is a consideration too. Arguably the biggest factor will be style – you want the watch you wear to look good, after all.

Do you own any Android wearables? Which would you say is the best Android smartwatch? Tell us what you think in the comments.

26 comments

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  • if was Micro-SD available in these watches i think it's will be super and amazing watches !!

  • i know that asus have a best laptops and best smartphones .. so it's will be having a best watches

  • VMCD 1 week ago Link to comment

    Are any of these NOT made in China?

  • I got a Martian Notifier watch and love it. While it has minimal functionality, what it does is what I need it to do. And at 30 bucks, it is an excellent bargain!

  • I had the Moto 360 first generation, but it wasn't a great experience. First of all, the gray bracelet got quickly stained from perspiration and became hard, then started to crack, after just 3 months of use. I replaced it with a steel mesh which solved the bracelet problem, after I had to figure out how to fit a regular bracelet which has no gap on the edge. Well, I simply chopped down those tiny plastic lines and it went into position. 3 months later, the plastic cover from the back of the watch started to crack and finaly flew away. In the end I glued it with silicone and I gave it to somebody for free. I mention that Huawei watch was us used in the same conditions as poor Moto 360 and survived unscathed in my job place; I'm a mechanical engineer working onboard container ships. Long story short, I fully recommend Huawei watch over Motorola's to those who want a good, sturdy watch, letting aside other considerents like style or operating system.

  • I have the Huawei W1, the gold edition and I'm very happy with it. I wear it everywere, only at night It will be out of my hand, charging. The gold plating looks good after 8 months and still no scratches on the display. Battery life could be extended till 2 days, depending on the face which you set on. It's an eye catcher! The only downside is that charging has some difficulties, the pogo pins have some positions where they don't touch the charging dots on the back of the watch. It's kind of annoying to fiddle with the charging plate until it will start charging.

  • They are still way too ugly. Design looks like it's meant for children. No style, no elegance.

  • Huawei is my pick when it comes to smartwatches

  • ljhaye 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    When you're updating your android smart watch list with a Tizen watch then you know that the android wear platform is dead.

    • Bastian Siewers
      • Admin
      • Staff
      3 weeks ago Link to comment

      Why? All of Samsung's smartwatches are running on Tizen nowadays, and the chance that Samsung makes a good smartwatch is pretty high anyways, isn't it?

      • ljhaye 3 weeks ago Link to comment

        I agree that they make the best smartwatch at the moment but it isn't an android watch. If you were to poll Google they would say the same thing. If you are a consumer immersed in the Android platform then an android wear watch would be ideal for you. If you're looking for a Great smartwatch then you go with Tizen and Samsung Pay.

        This speaks to my theory of android's inability to popularize alternative hardware platforms ( smartwatches, tablets, VR, Smart home). When subsidies are not involved Android cannot compete on price. Phones are a necessity but are tablets? Smartwatches? VR?

  • I have a Pebble round, less than 2 years the screen becomes unreadable of and on. Pebble said they can't fix it and my warranty has passed. They offered a link to buy a new Pebble at 25% discount. Great watch for a year or so, but no more Pebble sorry

  • I like Sony SmartWatch 3.

  • Deminox 4 months ago Link to comment

    Did you REALLY just say adding customization is a copy of Apple? Really? Seeing as Apple was so late to the game I'd have to say the inverse is true, Apple borrowed from Android.

    Aside from that, aren't there any NON budget Androidwear Smartwatches that are square? I love my LG G watch, but no wifi chip and its not going to get the next big update. But round faces are beyond stupid. An androidwatch should be function first, form second. Reading texts and emails on a circle is asinine.

  • is there a watch with bluetooth 4.0+, microSD slot, and music player? i cant seem to find anything for running.

  • Kal Lo 8 months ago Link to comment

    Hi, Kris, any update article?

  • Markus K. Dec 30, 2015 Link to comment

    I had a classic Pebble which suffered from screen tearing. So i updated to a Pebble Time Steel. And i can't say I'm happy with it. It's big and heavy. And for some reason it doesn't always gets the notifications. Wheres on my other arm there is a Microsoft band. Not so much smartwatch but a lot of sports band. It gets notifications, measures my sleep and my every move. I must say that I actually prefer that. But coming from a classic Pebble I only used notifications on a smartwatch and not apps.

  • I have just put a payment down for a Tag Heuer Connected watch. I have been promised by Harrods that it will arrive before Christmas, but everywhere in the UK has already sold out of their first orders (due to arrive on 9th December).

    I bought a Huawei watch to see if I liked it. I do, but I'm used to much more expensive and higher quality watches, so I think the Tag is the way to go.

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