If you want a smartwatch experience that’s buttery smooth with access to a huge range of apps, Wear OS smartwatches can’t be beaten.
Google doesn’t allow manufacturers to customise Wear OS to any great extent, which means smartwatches running it deliver a consistent user experience. Device manufacturers can only make their smartwatches stand out through preinstalled apps and hardware, which is why some are fantastic and others a little “meh”.
In this guide, we’ll run through all the best Wear OS smartwatches you can buy. We keep up with all new releases and there’s nothing significant on the horizon, but we’ll update this list if new devices are released to keep it relevant through 2019. Enjoy!
Montblanc Summit 2
Launched: October 2018. Price: From around $995.
The bottom line: The best Wear OS smartwatch out there. The only downside is the price, but if you’ve got the dollar, go for it.
The Montblanc Summit 2 is one of the best Wear OS smartwatches out there, but then it should be for the price and with the Montblanc name on it.
It’s powered by the new-generation Snapdragon 3100 CPU with 1GB of RAM (most smartwatches only have 768MB) so it’s liquid fast. The screen is a vibrant 1.2-inch AMOLED unit with a 400 x 400 resolution and 327 PPI. It’s up there as one of the best screens we’ve ever seen on a smartwatch. Perhaps the best.
Overall, the Montblanc Summit 2 is lovely to use, and the build quality is superb. An IP68 water resistance rating and all-day battery life are the icing on the cake. Naturally, it’s also got GPS, NFC and heart-rate tracking. The full shebang.
Huawei Watch 2 Sport (with 4G)
Launched: June 2018. Price: From around $280.00.
The bottom line: Sporty good looks and it’s even got 4G LTE. There isn’t a downside to it - it’s just really, really good.
The Huawei Watch 2 Sport is the best sport/ diver-esque Wear OS smartwatch on the market. It’s even got a ceramic bezel like a Rolex Submariner.
The 1.2-inch display with 390 x 390 resolution is pin sharp, and it’s beautifully contrasted by a shiny ceramic bezel. It isn’t a rotatable bezel, so it’s very much form over function, but it looks superb and gives the Huawei a premium look and feel. An all-day battery life, GPS, NFC and an IP68 dust and water resistance rating complete the package.
This is the best Wear OS smartwatch if you want something sporty - and also if you want something with LTE. The 4G LTE version is more expensive but uses e-SIM so you don’t need a separate data plan. You just use your phone’s. Simple.
Launched: July 2018. Price: From around $249.99.
The bottom line: A top smartwatch with an incredibly low price. The only downside is there’s no LTE option.
The Ticwatch Pro is an outstanding smartwatch for the price. It could easily cost $100 or $200 more and still hold its own.
This smartwatch has a unique dual display: one display is a 1.4-inch OLED unit with a 400 x 400 resolution and 287 PPI, the other an LCD which is layered on top of the OLED. The latter is used to show the time, your step count and weather. The former is used to do everything else, and neither display gets in the way of the other.
The Ticwatch Pro is also very nice in the hand and on the wrist. It’s got a full metal construction and feels quality. It’s even got GPS and NFC, and at $249.99, you won’t find a better Wear OS smartwatch out there for the price.
LG Watch Sport
Launched: January 2018. Price: From around $349.99.
The bottom line: An incredible screen and an impressive package. The only downside is the average battery life.
The LG Watch Sport is the best smartwatch LG has ever made, and it runs the competition close as one of the best smartwatches on the market.
The display is the standout feature. It’s a 1.38-inch 480 x 480 resolution OLED screen, making it the highest resolution screen on the market. The difference in crispness between it and the Huawei is negligible at arm’s length because of the smaller display on the Huawei, but up close it looks sharper and more vibrant.
The downside to that higher resolution display is an average battery life. The LG Watch Sport will be nearly dead at the end of the day with normal use, while the Huawei will have around 20% left. NFC, GPS, heart-rate tracking and a barometer for altitude tracking go some way to making up for that, but if battery life is crucial to you look towards the Huawei.
Skagen Falster 2
Launched: August 2018. Price: From around $275.00
The bottom line: A beautiful smartwatch that looks three times more expensive than it is. The only downside is the low-res display (compared to the other options here).
The Skagen Falster 2 is the fashionista’s smartwatch choice. It’s hands-down the most stylish Wear OS smartwatch on the market, and it’s loaded with features too.
Those features include GPS, heart-rate tracking, NFC for Google Pay and a 3ATM water resistance rating. Basically, everything you want. The display is a 1.19-inch 320 x 320 resolution AMOLED screen with rich, deep colours and excellent brightness. The lower resolution isn’t really noticeable on the wrist, but it is up close. If you want the best screen, then the best Wear OS smartwatch for you is the LG Watch Sport.
The battery life is solid too. Skagen rates it for one and a half days, and users are finding that to be about accurate with moderate use.
Fossil W Explorist HR (Gen 4)
Launched: September 2018. Price: From around $255.00.
The bottom line: The second-highest resolution display of any Wear OS smartwatch and a premium feature set make this a fantastic choice.
We might have saved the best for last. The Fossil W Explorist HR (Gen 4) has a stonking display and incredible build quality. It’s easily one of the best Wear OS smartwatches on the market and you won’t be disappointed if you get one.
It’s got NFC for Google Pay, in-built GPS, heart-rate tracking and a 3ATM water resistance rating. You know, the usual stuff. But, it’s also got a 1.4-inch 454 x 454-pixel resolution AMOLED display - second in resolution only to the LG Watch Sport. The display is big, vibrant and a joy to use. It blows away 99% of the market.
Downsides? Perhaps the design, although that’s subjective. It straddles the line between fashion and sports but doesn’t commit to either. Thankfully, it’s available with a stainless-steel or black case and with a wide range of straps. There’s something for everyone with it.