Top Pick for
Finder's team of experts have tested and reviewed every smartwatch on this list. For each watch, we consider the design, performance, battery life and overall value for money. The selection and order are not based on review scores.
Apple can't credibly claim to have invented the smartwatch, but ever since it launched its first Apple Watch, it's been the model to buy if you're an iPhone owner.
Apple gets that you want a smartwatch both for its smart app features, which include deep links to just about every other Apple service – most notably Apple Fitness+ – and on-device health tracking and optional eSIM features.
While the Apple Watch Series 7 is largely an incremental upgrade, there are a few changes, notably in the design. Both models are now larger, coming in at 41mm and 46mm, respectively. The displays are also larger, which allows for a full onboard keyboard for all your watch-typing needs.
It's a pity that it's iPhone-only, and it'd be nice if Apple opened up the ability to make custom watch faces. Nonetheless, Apple Watch Series 7 is the smartwatch other smartwatches aspire to be.
Learn more about the Apple Watch Series 7 in our full review.
Samsung has released a lot of smartwatches over the years, but our favourites have always been those that use Samsung's unique rotating bezel design. This isn't just a circle for its own sake, but a spinning dial that makes selection and use of the Galaxy Watch 4 a real joy whether you're out jogging or simply waiting for a bus. However, if this isn't your cup of tea, you can opt for one without the rotating bezel.
But the real appeal of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the software upgrades. This year it has abandoned its proprietary Tizen OS for Google's WearOS. It also has a wide range of health sensors, including ECG functionality.
It's definitely the best Android smartwatch on the market right now.
Read more in our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Fitbit made its name with simple fitness trackers – and it still sells plenty of those – but the Fitbit Sense shows what it can do when it puts its mind towards the smartwatch space specifically. As you'd expect, fitness is the core market for the Fitbit Sense, with a range of onboard sensors to measure activity, blood oxygen levels and more.
It's technically capable of ECG reading onboard, but sadly as with so many other smartwatches, it's yet to get approval for that feature in Australia. Reviewers note its excellent battery life, but some also note that the inductive home button on the side can be quite difficult to access correctly if you're sweaty – like, for example, if you're exercising as the Fitbit Sense wants you to do.
Read our review of the Fitbit Sense.
The Withings ScanWatch is a genuinely different type of smartwatch. For a start, you could look at it and not spot that it's a smartwatch at all because it primarily uses a traditional analogue watch face, including dials. This isn't on an AMOLED type display as so many other smartwatches use, but instead an actual dial, with a tiny LCD for its smartwatch functions.
It ties best into other Withings products such as the Withings Body Cardio Scale for more nuanced health tracking, most notably the inclusion of ECG readings. It's one of only two devices in Australia that can do this right now, even though the hardware is available in a lot of other watches.
Buying a watch is as much a style choice as it is a utility one, however, and with no real "apps" to speak of, the Withings ScanWatch is a very particular smartwatch for specific users, especially elderly users where the ECG function has a lot more appeal.
Oppo made its name in smartphones copying Apple's style pretty blatantly with its ColorOS Android overlays. It's pulling the same trick with the Oppo Watch, a smartwatch that owes more than a little to the look and feel of the Apple Watch.
However, it's a wearOS device, which means you can use it on either Android or iOS platforms, which gives it flexibility. That also means a much wider array of watch faces and a pretty good selection of apps as well. Sadly, models sold in Australia lack LTE options.
The Suunto 9 Peak is quite a specific smartwatch. The design and battery life are great and it is comfortable and light. But it is best suited to someone who loves training and has slightly deeper pockets than usual.
This is because it tracks a wide range of exercises, including some heavy-duty ones like interval training, open water swimming and running lap timers.
There's also a wide range of other exercise-related features that are great for those who take exercise seriously.
But it's also pricey, starting at $999. So if you're looking for your basic fitness tracking metrics and not much else, you can find a cheaper option.
Here's our full review of the Suunto 9 Peak.
A smartwatch isn't just a timepiece, but instead a watch that brings additional data-led benefits to your life. We've tested every one of the smartwatches in this round-up, taking into consideration not only the "smart" elements in terms of apps and notifications, but also battery life and charging considerations as well as style and fashion status for each smartwatch. Here's what we consider important when picking the right smartwatch:
For every smartwatch we test, we consider the design, including screen quality, layout, the presence or absence of popular features and overall comfort levels.
We also test and weigh up all aspects of battery performance and how this compares to other similarly priced smartwatches in the market.
We primarily use real-world testing to evaluate how the smartwatch's performance compares to other available models. While benchmark software can give a comparative picture of where a smartwatch might sit relative to other devices, it's only in using a smartwatch to its full capacity, including any device-specific apps that we can get a fully rounded performance picture.
Manufacturer battery life claims don't always reflect real-life results. To get an accurate feel of how each smartwatch handles battery stress, we test it over multiple days to see how it stands up to regular usage. As part of our battery testing, we also consider charging options and whether a custom charger is required.
Finally, with every other consideration tested and ranked, we also look at the price of the watch relative to other similar devices available at the time of testing. The best smartwatches in the market aren't going to be the cheapest, but with a trend towards ever more expensive models, it's never been more vital to ensure that you're getting value for money.We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. However, Finder may receive compensation when you click some links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners and why you can trust our guides.
The most obvious function of a smartwatch is to tell the time, but they can do a lot more than that.
Due to their connected nature, they also give you a lot of access to your digital world. Typically, they'll show you your notifications straight from your phone and allow you to dismiss them or reply to them. Some smartwatches will even let you pay for things like you would with a card or with your phone.
Examples of what you can generally do with these wearable devices include:
The device you're using can impact your smartwatch-wearing experience. Samsung's watches do work with both iOS and Android, but the brand notes that there may be restrictions on the smartwatch and its features if you're using an iPhone. Also, the Apple Watch doesn't work with Android devices, and there's no easy workaround to change that.
Some watches also require apps that are only available on certain versions of iOS or Android. If your phone isn't up to date, make sure that it can be updated to the required version before buying a watch.
There are a few things you should consider when looking around for a smartwatch:
Some smartwatches need to be charged up each night to avoid it turning into a shiny-but-non-functional wristband the next day. Others can last for up to a whole fortnight before the potential of suffering the same fate ever becomes a worry.
Water-resistance is now a common selling point for phones and many smartwatches also come with resistance ratings. As smartwatches are frequently subjected to the elements, look for one that's rated for water and sweat resistance.
Smartwatches typically connect to your device through Bluetooth and many also have Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want to be able to leave phone at home and head out for a run without missing an important call or text, look for a smartwatch with LTE capability.
Not all smartwatches look the same. Some have a rectangular design, whereas others feature a more traditional watch shape. Some watches feature just a screen and some buttons while others have rotating bezels to complement the display.
Having a smartwatch with a speaker can be useful. It means that you can answer calls if your phone is out of reach or if you're in a hurry. And, if you're ambitious, it means you can call people from the watch without even picking up your phone. Some smartwatches will even let you store and play music right on the device.
Sleep tracking is less common in smartwatches than fitness devices but some watches offer this feature. Sleep tracking can help make sure that you're getting as many hours as you should be, and show you information about the quality of sleep you're getting.
Many smartwatches have heart rate sensors. Heart rate monitoring can let you measure how much of a sweat you work up during an exercise, or check that your resting heart rate is at a healthy level.
Most smartwatches come equipped with basic fitness tracking functionality, such as step counting. Some watches are filled with even more features, though. You can find things like GPS tracking, automatic workout detection and advanced exercise tracking on some higher-end smartwatches.
When it comes to the operating system of a smartwatch, most brands use a different one to each other. Lots of brands use their own operating system for their watches. For example, Apple uses its own WatchOS and Samsung uses Tizen. Some other brands make use of Google's WearOS (formerly Android Wear).
If you're still not sure where to start, check out our round-up of the best smartwatches on the market.
The design is the biggest differentiating factor between most smartwatches and fitness trackers.
For the most part, smartwatches can do the same things that fitness trackers can. This includes counting steps, checking heart rates and tracking workouts. However, not all smartwatches come with these fitness-tracking features. If you want a smartwatch that does double-duty, make sure the one you buy has all of the features you need.
Smartwatches are typically more expensive than fitness trackers, but they also usually come packed with more features, such as offering app support and mobile payments.
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