This article is a guide to the best smartwatches in 2019. We will continuously update it through the year as new smartwatches are released. We will add to it only, which will leave a list of the very best smartwatches money can buy. This list is unbiased, which means we’ve not received remuneration for listing them.
A quick note that this article will only list smartwatches released in 2019. We do not want to list older devices because these are irrelevant.
If you are looking for a new smartwatch for either yourself or as a gift, the best smartwatches on the market have been released this year. However, some of last year’s devices were brilliant and still are, so if you want to save some money, check out our list of the best smartwatches from last year here.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
• Long battery life
• Decent touchscreen
• Tizen OS is fantastic
• Premium smartwatch, low price - it’s just $200!
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active was released February 2019 and contrary to popular belief is not a replacement for 2018’s Galaxy Watch. The Galaxy Watch Active is a fitness-focused smartwatch with a very different design.
The first thing to know is it doesn’t have the nifty rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch, a decision made in the quest for lightness. It weighs just 25g, which is considerably less than the 63g 46mm Galaxy Watch and 49g 42mm Galaxy Watch. The Galaxy Watch Active is also thinner making it much more wearable.
The gloss black bezel surrounds a 1.1-inch always-on AMOLED display with a 360 x 360-pixel resolution. The Exynos 9110 1.15 GHz is super-fast and powers Tizen OS, which handles notifications (dare we say it?) better than Wear OS but lacks the number of apps. There’s no GPS but there is NFC and a heart-rate sensor.
Overall, this is one of 2019’s best smartwatches. The icing on the cake is a two-day battery life and a remarkably low price of just $200.
Montblanc Summit 2
• Beautiful build quality
• Latest-gen Snapdragon processor
• Beautiful display
• Every conceivable sensor
The Montblanc Summit 2 was announced in 2018 but only became available internationally in January 2019. This was the first smartwatch to pack Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which uses a dual chip setup to maximise battery life.
With a price of $995, it’s not going to be everyone’s first choice but what you get for the money is a very substantial smartwatch. It weighs 62g without a strap for example and the case is masterfully brushed. It houses a 1.2” 390 x 390 AMOLED display and having seen that display in person it’s one of the best we’ve seen.
It packs GPS, NFC, heart-rate tracking and an altimeter into its body, which means it tracks everything you could possible want. It also runs Wear OS so has access to a huge range of apps and third-party watch faces (although Montblanc’s are very nice anyway). You can get it in steel, bi-tone or DLC black. We’re feeling the DLC black.
Overall, the Summit 2 is an excellent smartwatch. It costs more than double what a good smartwatch should, but the brand name is worthy of that.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon
• Stunning design
• Beautiful watch faces
• Latest-gen Snapdragon processor
• Looks and feels as expensive as it is
If you thought the Montblanc Summit 2 had an eye-watering price, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon starts from $2,550 and you can end up spending more than $4,000 on one if you choose the Pure White model. Yikes.
Whatever you think of the price though, the Tambour Horizon is a cut above what you’ll find in your local Best Buy. The stainless-steel polished case, black sapphire case back, sapphire glass and monogram 24-hour ring are beautiful features. The case is thick at 12.6mm, giving it presence on the wrist. Really, it looks superb.
Louis Vuitton have done a good job on the specs too. The 1.2’’ full AMOLED touchscreen has a resolution of 390 x 390 (327 ppi) and the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor powers Wear OS faultlessly. It’s water resistant to 3ATM so is okay for splashing. Unlike the old model this new one has a heart-rate tracker and an all-day battery life.
Overall, the 2019 Tambour Horizon is a showcase for how luxurious your smartwatch could be if you had the money. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30
• Neat double display
• Very well made
• GPS and GLONASS
• Brilliant suite of activity apps
The Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 is Casio’s newest outdoor action smartwatch, following on from the WSD-F10 (2016) and WSD-F20 (2017). It was officially launched in 2018 but only became widely available in 2019.
This takes our crown as the best outdoor smartwatch for now. The 1.2-inch 390 x 390-pixel OLED screen is topped with a reflective LCD which can be turned on manually or by the watch automatically to preserve battery life. The battery life easily lasts a week and with GPS, GLONASS, NFC and an air pressure/altimeter, it’s got every feature you want. The only glaring omission is a heart-rate tracker.
The real selling point of this smartwatch though is the suite of Casio apps which include ViewRanger for navigation, Hole19 for golf, Glassy for surfing and water sports, Fishbrain for fishing, MySwimPro for swimming, Equilab for horse riding and Ski Tracks for skiing. Pretty much every conceivable outdoor activity is catered for and that’s what makes the WSD-F30 so unique. It’s priced from around $550.
Overall, the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 would be our first choice if you are looking for a rugged outdoorsy smartwatch.
Kate Spade Scallop 2
• Feminine and chic
• Bright, vibrant display
• Unique (and interesting) scalloped bezel
• Heart-rate tracking and GPS
The Kate Spade Scallop 2 looks twice as expensive as it really is. Prices start from around $220 and with full GPS, NFC, a 1.2” AMOLED touchscreen (with a 390 x 390 resolution) and an all-day battery life, you certainly get bang for your buck.
It runs Wear OS so has access to the usual apps and handles notifications with aplomb. We like the display which for some reason pops more so than any other (maybe it’s the scalloped bezel working some magic?) and we also like the size - at 42mm, it’s not exactly a teeny smartwatch but in reality it wears a bit smaller than it is.
The small lugs and thin strap help with this. These also give the Scallop 2 a feminine appearance. It won’t suit thick wrists that’s for sure. The live GPS feature lets you track runs and walks in real-time if you’re active and there’s a heart-rate sensor too. The battery life is just okay, with it lasting around a day and a half on a charge.
Overall, the Scallop 2 looks pretty and performs prettily too. It’s got the same features as all the other best smartwatches in 2019 making it a good choice.