The Best Smartwatch

Posted on 20 April 2022

After 26 hours of research, in-depth examination of 40 smartwatches and the test of 6 of them, we can say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has the best price-quality ratio for the moment.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

It is one of the most complete in its range in terms of connected and health functionalities. With its clean look and new operating system, its performance is impressive.

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With its beautiful design, its fairly complete connected functionalities, its neat ergonomics and its new health functions (body analysis, snoring detection…), it is one of the best smartwatches on the market. Nevertheless, its poor autonomy, observed during our tests, slightly taints the picture. Given the few options reserved exclusively for Galaxy smartphones, it is mostly intended for Samsung users or even Google or Android fans. But we’re keeping in mind that its potential can be further enhanced by the brand new WearOS operating system.

 

 

Best budget

Xiaomi Mi Watch

As always, Xiaomi offers us a connected accessory with an excellent quality at a low price. It has also easily managed to make a place for itself on the market.

£ 111.89 on Amazon

The Xiaomi Mi Watch is a great solution for anyone who wants a quality smartwatch without spending a fortune. During our tests, we appreciated the screen of very good quality, which provides an intuitive and pleasant interface for everyday use. It also has a number of modern functions such as the measurement of oxygen saturation in the blood or the energy consumption of your body. However, it has a few shortcomings: its relatively large size and the accuracy of its sensors, which we consider insufficient for serious athletes.

 

Best high-end

Apple Watch Series 7

This model is not very innovative, but it is even more pleasant to use: it has a larger screen and charges faster. It is still fluid, accurate, beautiful and versatile, but lacks a little endurance.

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This seventh version does not bring any major innovation compared to the previous one (especially in terms of autonomy, which remains limited), but Apple has further improved its smartwatch thanks to a larger and more visible screen and a faster charging. Simple to use, pretty, well finished and perfectly autonomous, it is pleasant to use and versatile. It has indeed interesting sports and health functionalities and its measurements are accurate. Moreover, it is powerful and its interface is fluid. However, we regret that Apple insists on reserving its watch only for those who have an iPhone.

 

Mid-range alternative

Garmin Venu 2S

It is a complete and versatile watch that is equally convincing for health, sport and everyday use. Its sensors are precise, its ergonomics are well thought out and its design is both comfortable and elegant.

£ 294.99 on Amazon

Lightweight and comfortable, it stands out for its many features that make it suitable for sports, health and everyday use. Highly compatible, versatile and motivating, it acts as a real sports coach while ensuring your safety. Apart from its limited battery life, in our tests we particularly liked its good screen quality and overall performance, such as its reliable GPS and accurate heart rate. It can even store music.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternative
Xiaomi Mi WatchApple Watch Series 7Garmin Venu 2S
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4Xiaomi Mi WatchApple Watch Series 7Garmin Venu 2S
It is one of the most complete in its range in terms of connected and health functionalities. With its clean look and new operating system, its performance is impressive.As always, Xiaomi offers us a connected accessory with an excellent quality at a low price. It has also easily managed to make a place for itself on the market.This model is not very innovative, but it is even more pleasant to use: it has a larger screen and charges faster. It is still fluid, accurate, beautiful and versatile, but lacks a little endurance.It is a complete and versatile watch that is equally convincing for health, sport and everyday use. Its sensors are precise, its ergonomics are well thought out and its design is both comfortable and elegant.
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Honorable mentions

Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 Lite (£56,95 upon publication): very simple, at a low price and with a good autonomy. It shines especially thanks to its intuitiveness, its simplicity and its comfort of use. It doesn’t bring any major innovation but it relies on its low price-quality ratio to seduce those who are satisfied with the basic functions. If it cannot satisfy a serious sportsman and statistics fanatic, it is sufficiently elegant and independent to suit most people for an urban use.

Xiaomi Watch S1 (£159,00 upon publication): a mix of comfort and endurance. With its excellent design quality, great reading comfort and excellent endurance, it has a lot to offer for its price. During our test, we particularly appreciated its large number of connected functionalities, its ease of use and its good responsiveness. However, it is a rather bulky model for women and some measurements, such as heart rate, are disappointing, as is the software experience. A few future upgrades could, however, address some of the shortcomings and perhaps make this model one of the best price-quality ratio watches on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (£289,47 upon publication): a revised version. It is a continuations of the original Active, with various features improved and various functionalities added, like an LTE compatibility and an electrocardiogram (ECG). It is lightweight and compact, so it is easy to carry with you wherever you go. Its improved sensors are designed for the more athletic ones, for a more thorough analysis of results. It also has built-in speakers for the Bixby voice assistant. Our tests have shown that it is, in the end, almost as good as the “normal” Galaxy Watch, while being more specialised.

 

 

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How to choose your smartwatch?

The smartwatch has become the essential accessory for those who want to obtain statistics on their daily activities. But the range of products is so vast that it is difficult to find your way around. 

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Choose the operating system that best suits your needs. | Source: Selectos

You should know that there are currently three operating systems. Before buying, you should check whether the system used by your smartphone is compatible with that of your smartwatch. Here are some details about these systems:

  • Wear OS: developed by Google, it is compatible with both Android and iOS (with limited functionality). It has the reputation of being less fluid than its competitors but has the best catalogue of applications.
  • Tizen OS: Apple’s biggest competitor is once again from Samsung. It is very fluid and intuitive, unfortunately it lacks a good range of applications.
  • Watch OS: specific to Apple products, it is only compatible with the latter. Model of fluidity and intuitiveness, the expertise of the brand is felt in this OS, as always.

In short, each system has its advantages and disadvantages: it is up to you to decide which one best suits your needs.

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It is important that the screen of your watch suits all types of lighting, for good readability. | Source: Selectos

Other, more objective criteria: 

  • Ergonomics and design: for these elements, you should first pay attention to the quality of the screen in order to enjoy a high level of readability in all circumstances. In terms of design, you can opt for a sporty watch, which is generally more discreet, compact and light, or a more standard watch with more elaborate finishes. Make sure you choose a strap and dial size that fits your wrist.
Garmin Venu 2S
Choose the design of your watch depending on the use you want to make of it. | Source: Selectos
  • Resistance: you need to identify the purpose of the watch. If you are involved in outdoor activities, it is best if the watch is waterproof and resistant to dust and/or dirt. You should therefore check its protection index (IP code). Check the manufacturing quality of the screen as well, so it is not scratched by the slightest friction. For this case, Gorilla Glass coatings are preferable.
  • Essential features: it is necessary that your smartwatch provides some basic data, especially in the area of fitness. The three main ones to look out for are the heart rate monitor, pedometer and sleep analysis. Beyond sports, it is also interesting to be able to manage your notifications, music and calls from your wrist.
Galaxy Watch Active 2
The heart rate monitor, pedometer and sleep analysis are the three main features. | Source: Selectos
  • Autonomy: this is where the problem often lies. Some factors can influence the loss of autonomy: for example, all the additional connections (mobile data, GPS) are big consumers that quickly drain your battery. The current average time is 3-4 days for the best watches. Unfortunately, when functionalities are more advanced, the autonomy is affected.
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The ideal smartwatch is ergonomic, durable, with good battery life. | Source: Selectos

If you are on a budget and want most of the features of a smartwatch, we recommend you opt for smart bands.

 

Translated by Aylin Akturk 

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