The Apple Watch is a seriously good smartwatch. There’s no doubt about it being a top-tier device. But that square face isn’t for everyone. And you know what? The Apple brand isn’t for everyone either. Most people we talk to say Apple has lost its mojo. Believe the same? It sounds like you’d do better with an Apple Watch alternative.
There’s loads of Apple Watch alternatives out there. Some of them are rubbish, but some of them are absolutely outstanding. What we’ve got here is a collection of the best alternatives listed in one helpful guide. You know, because we’re nice like that.
Here’s the best alternatives to the Apple Watch:
Samsung Galaxy Watch
The Samsung Galaxy Watch is the best smartwatch on the market in 2018 and the best alternative to the Apple Watch. Period.
It runs Tizen OS, Samsung’s own operating system, and that means there’s less apps than you’ll find on WatchOS or Wear OS. But who cares? The Galaxy Watch handles notifications far better than either and comes with something special: a rotating bezel.
That rotating bezel lets you zip around the OS without touching the screen. It brings newfound control to your wrist. Stabbing around at an Apple Watch with your finger feels unnatural and old hat compared to that bezel. Also, the Galaxy Watch is super-fast and has a 1.3” sAMOLED display that’s better than the Apple Watch’s.
The icing on the cake is a legit four-day battery life. Yep, four days. That’s better than the Apple Watch Series 4 which lasts around 2 and a half days.
Huawei Watch 2 Sport
In our opinion, this is the best Wear OS smartwatch on the market right now. It’s got the looks and the features to be your next.
This is a super-fast Wear OS smartwatch with every feature you want including heart-rate monitoring, GPS, standalone 4G connectivity and NFC for Google Payments. The display is a beautiful 1.2-inch circular AMOLED. In our opinion, it’s better than Apple’s.
Where this smartwatch stands out from other Wear OS device is build quality. It looks, and feels, like a very expensive smartwatch. The watch module has weight to it (not an uncomfortable amount) and that shiny bezel is made from ceramic, the same material you’ll find on an Omega Seamaster 300m. So yeah, it walks the walk.
The icing on the cake is an IP68 water resistance rating. Most smartwatches only go up to IP67, and it’s a pretty big upgrade - it means you can bathe with it.
Fossil Q Explorist HR (Gen 4)
If you want something chunkier, the Fossil Q Explorist HR is fantastic smartwatch. It’s got the best display of any smartwatch, too.
This is a solid alternative to the Apple Watch. It’s feature-packed with NFC for Google Pay, in-built GPS, heart-rate tracking and a 3ATM water resistance rating. It runs Wear OS, so has a similar user experience to the Huawei.
It stands out with its chunky, industrial design. There’re six case colours to choose from, and the indented bezel helps it stand out even more. Oh, and the display is actually the best on our list. It’s a 1.4-inch, 454 x 454-pixel resolution AMOLED display and it blows the Apple Watch Series 4 away. It’s super-crisp and super-vibrant.
This smartwatch looks the part and is well built. It’s everything you want in a smartwatch, unless you want something sporty looking (see the Huawei, above).
Skagen Falster 2
This smartwatch runs the Huawei close and has a sleeker, more minimalist design. It doesn’t have the best screen but it’s arguably the most stylish here.
It’s got everything you want: heart-rate tracking, NFC for Google Pay and a 3ATM water resistance rating. It’s also got standalone GPS and a highly accurate optical heart-rate sensor to keep your fitness tracked.
Where the Falster 2 stands out is its design. It’s stunning. The watch module is akin to a beach pebble; perfectly round, smooth and with no seams. The 1.19-inch screen with a 320 x 320 resolution is set with a glossy black bezel, helping create a minimalist look. Skagen has also created a series of stunning mesh straps for it.
It doesn’t top the Huawei Watch 2 because its battery life is a day shorter (the Huawei Watch 2 will last 2 days, the Falster 2 will last 1 and a half days).
Kate Spade Scallop
This is hands-down the most stylish women’s smartwatch on the market today. If you want something feminine, this the best Apple Watch alternative.
One look at the scalloped bezel of the Kate Spade Scallop is all it takes to be instantly intrigued by it. This is an eye-catching, feminine smartwatch that’s wholly original, with no stolen characteristics from other devices. It’s also packed with tech and will satisfy the tech lover in you, not to mention the fashion lover.
It runs Wear OS, so you know what you’re getting yourself into - a slick user experience, plenty of apps and decent notifications. The 1.19-inch AMOLED display is very nice, with punchy colours and good detail thanks to its 390 x 390-pixel resolution. There’s no GPS or NFC or heart-rate tracking - the price you pay for fashion, it seems.
LG Watch W7
The first ever Wear OS smartwatch with mechanical hands is a good one. This is the weakest device here, but it’s a solid one.
The LG Watch 7 was launched this year to much fanfare. This is LG’s best-ever smartwatch with Wear OS. It’s got a 1.2” LCD 360 x 360 resolution display and mechanical hands which sit over the top of it. This is a unique concept, you won’t find it elsewhere.
The hands are smart, so they move automatically to ensure apps aren’t covered. If you want, you can run the W7 in mechanical mode for 100 days on a single charge. You’ll get 4 days with the screen on (apparently). Bizarrely, there’s no heart-rate tracking, GPS or NFC so it’s lacking in features. Still, it looks good and has plenty of apps.
We’ve included this smartwatch despite its lack of features because the mechanical hands are very cool. If you want something different, this is it.