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The best Apple and Android smartwatches of 2021

Update: Updated in November 2021!
The best Apple and Android smartwatches of 2021

Looking for a new smartwatch? Being here is a good decision, because the top models from Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Co. are real all-rounders for your wrist. In our best list, you will find current recommendations for smartwatches in 2021. In addition to premium models, we also have tips for iOS and Android in different price ranges for you.

The best smartwatches 2021 in comparison

  Editor's tip Android alternative Best premium model Best price-performance ratio Best Fitness Smartwatch Best battery life Best Hybrid Smartwatch
Product
Image Apple Watch Series 7 41 mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Huawei Watch 3 Pro Fitbit Versa 3 Garmin Venu Mobvoi TicWatch 3 Pro Ultra GPS Withings ScanWatch
Advantages
  • Bigger, brighter screen
  • Charges up to 33% faster compared to the Watch Series 6
  • IP6X certified: Waterproof plus now dust protection
  • Connectivity between Watch and phone
  • Very good AMOLED display
  • Beautiful user interface
  • Compact, lightweight and high quality
  • ECG, pulse, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, body composition
  • High-quality workmanship
  • AMOLED display with up to 1,000 nits
  • Precise GPS
  • Many tracking features
  • Cool operation via 3D crown
  • Great and versatile fitness tracking
  • Sophisticated and successful app
  • Robust design
  • All-round successful design
  • comprehensive tracking features
  • great implemented training plans
  • excellent ecosystem
  • Not yet tested
  • Strong range of functions
  • Easy to use
  • Design with analog charm
  • Good health app
Cons
  • Nothing new, but: Apple Watch only works with iPhone
  • Battery life rather short
  • Some tracking features only with Samsung phones
  • Not usable with iPhones
  • Only 7.6 of 16 GB of memory can be used
  • No support for Qi charger
  • Communication to Android not always perfect
  • Very few apps (as of August 2021)
  • No reply option to notifications
  • Closed ecosystem
  • Operation not optimally solved
  • Restrictions without premium subscription
  • Ecosystem not very open
  • Battery not perfect
  • Not yet tested
  • Conservative pedometer
  • Sleep tracking inaccurate
  • Usability unfavorable as a sports watch
  • Problems with pulse measurement
  • High price
Rating
To the Review
To the Review
To the Review (only in German)
To the Review
To the Review
Not yet rated
To the Review
Buy Now:

Not Available in the US

Last year, I earned a lot of criticism for my list of the best smartwatches! That's because NextPit hadn't tested many of the models mentioned in the past. That's changed in late 2021, and except for the brand new TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, we've checked out all of the smartwatches. In addition, I put this list up for discussion in the newsroom and, most importantly, discussed my picks with Stefan - smartwatch pro and trained fitness trainer.

In the following article you will find a short buying guide first of all. Because before you decide on a smartwatch, you first need to know what is important. Then I present each recommendation in two paragraphs and a table. In doing so, I also explain why I find the smartwatch suitable for the respective category.

Jump To:

  1. Buying advice: what does a smartwatch need to be able to do in 2021?
  2. NextPit recommends: The best smartwatches in 2021
    1. Best smartwatch of the year: Apple Watch Series 7
    2. Best Android alternative: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
    3. Best premium variant: Huawei Watch 3 Pro
    4. Price-performance tip: Fitbit Versa 3
    5. Best fitness smartwatch: Garmin Venu
    6. Best battery life: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3
    7. Best hybrid smartwatch: Withings ScanWatch
  3. How did NextPit choose the best smartwatches?
  4. Upcoming action days at a glance
  5. More best lists

Buying advice: What must a smartwatch be able to do in 2021?

First and foremost, you shouldn't look at your wrist, but in your pocket. The question of which smartwatch is right for you depends largely on the smartphone operating system you use. If you use an iPhone and therefore Apple iOS, you should go straight for an Apple Watch. At the linked site you will find a separate buying guide with all currently available models.

If you use an Android smartphone, you are spoilt for choice! And usually models that have to compete with Apple's smartwatches in terms of feature set, connection to the smartphone, ease of use and build quality. So here's what a smartwatch in 2021 needs to master well:

Requirements for a good smartwatch in 2021

  • Good connectivity to the smartphone and self-sufficiency: Smartwatches are to be used as an add-on to a smartphone. Therefore, they need to make certain functions easier or at least easily accessible. In addition, the mobile phone benefits from the data that the smartwatch collects on the wrist. So the connection must be flawless and simple. There is also a certain degree of autonomy for tracking or multimedia functions. A smartwatch should be able to measure the distance via GPS while jogging and possibly even make calls on its own. An LTE module is an important prerequisite for this.
  • Ease of use: How well and easily can the Smartwatch be operated? Are there "real" operating options such as crowns or bezels or is the operating system also easy to operate via the touchscreen?
  • Vital Signs & Functions: While all smartwatches can measure your pulse, there are many additional features. These include measuring your blood oxygen, blood pressure measurement, ECG features, and more. The more fitness features a watch offers, the better. Other features that are a basic requirement are telephony, music control, independent music playback, digital payments.
  • Quality and value: Smartwatches can be prestige objects if you want them to be! A high quality of workmanship including waterproofing and high-quality materials is therefore another aspect you should pay attention to. Of course, it depends on how important these features are to you. Because as a rule, the price also increases with higher-quality materials.
  • Battery life: A long battery life is an advantage when you have a watch on your arm. However, this feature doesn't come without its pitfalls. Some smartwatches offer super-long battery life, but are very thick and clunky in exchange for higher battery capacity. This is where you need to find the right -mAh- capacity for you!

NextPit recommends: These are the best smartwatches in 2021

At the top of this article I have presented you all the winning smartwatches in 2021 in a table. If you want more information, you can find it in the paragraphs below. For even more on the individual models, check out the linked reviews.

Apple Watch Series 7: The best smartwatch in 2021

Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 comes up with some improvements compared to its predecessor. In our opinion, it is therefore the best smartwatch / © NextPit

Note

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pros

  • Bigger, brighter screen
  • Charges up to 33% faster compared to the Watch Series 6
  • IP6X certified: Waterproof plus now dust protection
 

Cons

  • Nothing new, but: Apple Watch only works with iPhone

To the detailed review of the Apple Watch Series 7 on NextPit

It's really a nuisance that the best smartwatch is out of the question for many smartphone users. After all, the biggest criticism of the Series 7 is still that it only connects to iPhones. Nevertheless, the Apple Watch is the smartwatch par excellence. It offers an unmatched comfort in operation and in the connection to the smartphone, offers all common functions and countless apps.

The new model scores above all with a larger and brighter screen. In addition, it charges 33 percent faster than its predecessor via the new charger and an IP6X certification now also ensures better durability. What Apple hasn't been able to improve, however, is battery life: the Watch Series 7 lasts about a day. Do you want to buy it right away? Click bellow!

Buy the Apple Watch Series 7

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: The best Android alternative

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
As you can see, I tried out the Galaxy Watch 4 myself! / © NextPit

Note

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pros

  • Connection between Watch and mobile phone
  • Very good AMOLED display
  • Beautiful user interface
  • Compact, lightweight and high quality
  • ECG, pulse, pulse oximeter, blood pressure, body composition
 

Cons

  • Battery life rather short
  • Some tracking features only with Samsung phones
  • Not usable with iPhones
  • Only 7.6 of 16 GB of memory can be used
  • No support for Qi charger

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 reviewed on NextPit

The best Android alternative from my point of view presents the Galaxy Watch 4. Released in 2021, it represents a new direction for Samsung in several ways. Firstly, the design of the standard model now resembles the former Watch Active and secondly, there is a new operating system instead of TizenOS. The WearOS-based OneUI Watch performed very well in the test.

Besides the good connectivity to the phone, there is a high-quality and powerful hardware including unique tracking functions. In return, the battery life is low due to the compact case, and some tracking features are Samsung-exclusive. Does the battery life bother you and do you miss the rotating bezel? Then maybe the Classic model is something for you! However, we don't have a test here.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Huawei Watch 3 Pro: Best Premium Smartwatch

Huawei Watch 3 Pro
The Huawei Watch 3 Pro shines with high-quality materials! / © NextPit

Note

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • High-quality workmanship
  • AMOLED display with up to 1,000 nits
  • Precise GPS
  • Many tracking features
  • Cool operation via 3D crown
 

Contra

  • Communication to Android not always perfect
  • Very few apps (as of August 2021)
  • No reply option to notifications

To the detailed review of the Huawei Watch 3 Pro (only available in German) 

Besides Apple's WatchOS and Samsung's One UI Watch, we have another new smartwatch operating system on the market. HarmonyOS is Huawei's own creation, and on the Watch 3 Pro we were able to try it out for the first time. Although there are still quite few apps at the beginning and the connection to the phone is not always optimal, the hardware of the Huawei Watch 3 Pro is completely convincing.

Huawei relies on high-quality materials like titanium or ceramic for the casing. In addition, the build quality is beyond reproach. The device is operated via a nice 3D crown and the AMOLED display is super bright with 1,000 nits. If you're looking for a heavy, sturdy and valuable smartwatch, you shouldn't miss out on the Huawei Watch 3 Pro.

Colleague Stefan once again pointed me to Garmin's Fenix models in the run-up to this article. These are indeed very high-quality and can cost well over $1000 . Unfortunately, we have not tested them and therefore I will only mention them here. By the way, the Apple Watch Series 7 is also available with a titanium case and anyway, I have already praised the workmanship. For iOS users, of course, the Apple Watch comes especially into question!

Buy Huawei Watch 3 Pro

Price-performance tip: Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3
With the Fitbit Versa 3 you get an affordable smartwatch / © NextPit

Note

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • Great and versatile fitness tracking
  • Sophisticated and successful app
  • Robust design
 

Cons

  • Closed ecosystem
  • Operation not optimally solved
  • Restrictions without Premium subscription

To the detailed review of the Fitbit Versa 3 on NextPit

Our price-performance tip is, with some restrictions, the Fitbit Versa 3. Because the acquisition costs of the smartwatch are low at just under $160 in November 2021. At the same time, the model offers a range of functions that can definitely compete with the rivals in this best list. The display is AMOLED, the operating concept is well thought-out, and the variety of sensors is top.

You can record your jogging routes via GPS, measure your heart rate and go to the bakery without a wallet thanks to digital payment. However, there are limitations due to the premium subscription. If you also want to do mindfulness exercises or evaluate the measured body data in detail, you will have to pay monthly costs.

Buy Fitbit Versa 3

Best Fitness Smartwatch: Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu
The Garmin Venu can also be linked to chest straps.... / © NextPit

Grade

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • All-round successful design
  • Comprehensive tracking features
  • Great implemented training plans
  • Excellent ecosystem
 

Contra

  • Ecosystem not very open
  • Battery not perfect

Garmin Venu in a detailed test on NextPit

Stefan awarded the top score of 5 stars to the Garmin Venu in 2020! This was mainly due to the "comprehensive sensor technology", as he writes in his review. The optical heart rate monitor could keep up with a chest strap, which we wore in parallel in the NextPit test at that time. In addition, the watch measures your sleep, blood oxygen saturation and even your breathing rate.

Numerous sports exercises and training plans are also integrated into the Garmin app and the watch. Garmin embeds all of this into a comprehensive ecosystem tailored for athletes. If you want to be really precise, you can also buy additional accessories such as chest straps, speed and cadence sensors as well as temperature sensors and link them to the Garmin Venu. Great!

Buy Garmin Venu

Best battery life: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3
We haven't tested the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra yet, but the battery life looks promising / © NextPit

Not tested

Pro

  • -
 

Cons

  • -

 

In our next tip, we have only been able to test the predecessor model so far. In the latest model from TicWatch, the battery is supposed to be even longer in Essential mode. Thus, the smartwatch lasts up to 45 days. Admittedly, only the most basic functions are available here.

Without power saving, the battery life drops to a still very good 72 hours, at least according to the manufacturer. The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is a rather chunky smartwatch that is designed for outdoor use. A good water resistance as well as a certification according to the military standard MIL-STD-810G are on board.

Buy Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

Best hybrid smartwatch: Withings ScanWatch

Withings ScanWatch
At first glance, you can't tell the ScanWatch is smart / © NextPit

Rating

Bewertung Design und Handling

Pro

  • Strong range of functions
  • Simple operation
  • Design with analogue charm
  • Good health app
 

Contra

  • Conservative pedometer
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking
  • Usability unfavorable as a sports watch
  • Problems with pulse measurement
  • High price

To the review of the Withings ScanWatch on NextPit

With my last smartwatch tip, I introduce you to another quite exciting product category. Hybrid smartwatches have a classic watch face including hands, but are connected to the mobile phone via Bluetooth. This way, the Withings ScanWatch transmits the data from the heart rate monitor as well as your step count to your smartphone. At the same time, there are also a few smart features on the watch.

As Berti found out in the test, the watch shows you notifications and incoming calls on a small OLED display on the watch face. The whole package can't be compared to a "real" smartwatch, but the watch is supposed to be a mixture of analog and digital. And it manages that quite well!

Buy Withings ScanWatch

How did NextPit choose the best smartwatches?

Unwrap it, strap it on, try it out, use it for jogging, cycling and everyday life - that's how every review we publish on a smartwatch or fitness tracker goes. Because we at NextPit stick to a practical test procedure that should give you the impression you would get if you tried it out yourself. In addition to our test impressions, we've included other variables for these articles.

NextPit Fitbit Versa 3 test
Sports are part of the testing process with our smartwatches! / © NextPit

When did the smartwatch come out, how well does it serve what purpose and how do we rate the mass appeal of the watch. The Garmin Venu, for example, was given 5 stars as a fitness smartwatch. In my opinion, however, it is a little too fitness-oriented for most readers. Therefore, it could not get the first place as the best smartwatch.

Ideally, you are currently looking for a smartwatch and find the right model via this article. How well did that work out? Of course, we are always happy to receive criticism and suggestions in the comments. Also tell us which model you bought or which you would like to see a review of on NextPit.

Upcoming action days in view

To finish off this list of the best, here are a few tips on what to buy! Because at the end of the year there are some bargain days coming up, where you can get many smartwatches cheaper. Here I have compiled an overview of the dates for the year 2021.

Upcoming promotion days

You might want to wait for these promotional days before buying a device:
Action Date
Singles Day November 11, 2021
Black Week 23. till 27. November 2021
Black Friday November 27, 2021
Cyber Monday November 30, 2021

On NextPit, we will list deals on cheap smartwatches for each of these days. Alternatively, you can of course also go on the search yourself and look for deals on the web. Especially with smartwatches, however, it is recommended to try out the models in the store. Because the different case sizes and materials result in a different wearing comfort depending on the wrist.

Smartwatches are also often offered in bundle deals or as part of mobile phone contracts. This makes sense especially if you buy a model with an LTE module and are directly provided with an eSIM. You can find out how to find a good mobile phone contract for your smartwatch in the linked article.

Further best lists on NextPit

Are you shocked by how expensive most of the good smartwatches are? Then don't hang your head, because maybe a fitness tracker will do the trick. Because so-called smartbands have most of the important tracking features and now even often shine with features that only smartwatches had a few years ago.

This best list was completely revised on November 2, 2021. Existing comments remained the same.

NextPit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
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35 comments

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  • soni singh Sep 10, 2019 Link to comment

    fit bit iconic, but rates are really too good . Right now can't afford it bro .


  • mahikhan Aug 13, 2019 Link to comment

    i ant this


  • Sravani Namburi Nov 20, 2018 Link to comment

    Hi very useful information which helped me a lot thank you


  • Loki666 Nov 17, 2018 Link to comment

    Waiting for Mobvoi to release a new TicWatch Pro updated with the new SD 3100 chipset.


  • Koketso Pilane May 14, 2017 Link to comment

    To be honest smartwatches are cool but I never really got the idea of the smartwatch,I have lost interest in them because in my country the are bloody expensive because I could buy a Xiaomi MI5 with the amount of a smartwatch I recently thought of buying,I am sure in some countries they are way...way cheaper.


    • Rusty H. Dec 19, 2017 Link to comment

      If the price continues to come down, I might get one, but for now, I don't see the need to spend 200 or more on "a watch". My phone, when in the car, tells me who' calling, when I'm out of the car, I have a borg implant (BT headset) that tells me who's calling. I've worn a watch since a kid in the early 70's, my huge Casio Illuminator was around 40 bucks, battery lasts for years.


  • Hamza pro Jan 7, 2017 Link to comment

    if was Micro-SD available in these watches i think it's will be super and amazing watches !!


  • Hamza pro Jan 7, 2017 Link to comment

    i know that asus have a best laptops and best smartphones .. so it's will be having a best watches


    • Hamza pro Jan 7, 2017 Link to comment

      and I like Android Wear smartwatch and Sony SmartWatch 3


    • Loki666 Nov 17, 2018 Link to comment

      Best laptops? Ok, sure, LOL.


  • VMCD Jan 5, 2017 Link to comment

    Are any of these NOT made in China?


    • Russell Smith Jan 13, 2017 Link to comment

      Is anything not made in China?


      • VMCD Jan 13, 2017 Link to comment

        It's much harder with electronics no doubt... But if you look you can often find items made elsewhere.


  • Craig Lewis Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I got a Martian Notifier watch and love it. While it has minimal functionality, what it does is what I need it to do. And at 30 bucks, it is an excellent bargain!


  • Cezar Ovidiu Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I had the Moto 360 first generation, but it wasn't a great experience. First of all, the gray bracelet got quickly stained from perspiration and became hard, then started to crack, after just 3 months of use. I replaced it with a steel mesh which solved the bracelet problem, after I had to figure out how to fit a regular bracelet which has no gap on the edge. Well, I simply chopped down those tiny plastic lines and it went into position. 3 months later, the plastic cover from the back of the watch started to crack and finaly flew away. In the end I glued it with silicone and I gave it to somebody for free. I mention that Huawei watch was us used in the same conditions as poor Moto 360 and survived unscathed in my job place; I'm a mechanical engineer working onboard container ships. Long story short, I fully recommend Huawei watch over Motorola's to those who want a good, sturdy watch, letting aside other considerents like style or operating system.


  • Cezar Ovidiu Jan 3, 2017 Link to comment

    I have the Huawei W1, the gold edition and I'm very happy with it. I wear it everywere, only at night It will be out of my hand, charging. The gold plating looks good after 8 months and still no scratches on the display. Battery life could be extended till 2 days, depending on the face which you set on. It's an eye catcher! The only downside is that charging has some difficulties, the pogo pins have some positions where they don't touch the charging dots on the back of the watch. It's kind of annoying to fiddle with the charging plate until it will start charging.


  • Dusan V. Dec 30, 2016 Link to comment

    They are still way too ugly. Design looks like it's meant for children. No style, no elegance.


  • Jaskulski Dec 21, 2016 Link to comment

    Huawei is my pick when it comes to smartwatches


    • Rusty H. Dec 19, 2017 Link to comment

      Once the price comes down a bit more, I might get one. I've been impressed with Huawei. I've had 3 of their phones, never had a problem with any of them.


  • ljhaye Dec 20, 2016 Link to comment

    When you're updating your android smart watch list with a Tizen watch then you know that the android wear platform is dead.

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