All posts in “Smartwatches”

Is This Still the Perfect Entry-Level Smartwatch?

Last fall, Fitbit released the Fitbit Versa – and I loved it. It was a simple-to-use smartwatch that was slim and bespoke, relatively affordable, an excellent fitness tracker and it had a battery life that lasted nearly a week. It was a great entry-level smartwatch for basically anybody, but especially casual smartwatch wearers, and it worked equally well with both iPhone and Android.

The next generation of that smartwatch, the Versa 2, doesn’t mess too much with last year’s success. It has the same relative look and feel of the original Versa, but Fitbit updated in nearly every way. It has an even simpler design, a better processor, a new OLED display (a welcome improvement over the Versa’s LCD display), and improved sleep tracking. The most “touted” new feature is the addition of Alexa integration, so you can tell the smartwatch to do things like set alarms and control your other compatible smart home devices. Lastly is price: the Versa 2 comes exactly the same as last year’s Versa.


The Good: The Versa 2 is a better entry-level smartwatch than last year’s Versa, which is something you’d both expect and welcome. The two most important upgrades are that the Versa two now has an always-on display (if you select it) and superior sleep tracking feature, called Sleep Score, which gives you a nice little rating out of 100 – the higher the number, the better your sleep. If you’re fine wearing a smartwatch to bed and you want to track your sleep, the Versa 2 is exactly what you want.

As was true with the Versa, a huge selling point of the Versa 2 is its battery life. If you elect to not have an always-on display (it’s off by default) the Versa 2 can last between five and six days on a single charge; if you have the always-on display, it lasts around three days. Either way, this battery life which is huge, especially when you consider an Apple Watch lasts roughly 18 hours and is not designed to wear while you’re sleeping.

There are two other big reasons to buy a Versa 2. First, it’s solid and intuitive fitness-tracking abilities. It has an always-on heart-rate monitor and can accurately track things like steps and calories. It also, like the Apple Watch, has automatic workout detection, so if you forget to start a walk, run, bike ride or pool workout, the smartwatch won’t skip a beat. And secondly, the Versa 2 is very slim and lightweight, and it’s one of the most comfortable smartwatches that I’ve ever worn.

Who It’s For: The Versa 2 is an entry-level smartwatch designed for anybody who wants a good fitness tracker with some smartwatch-y features (like see call and text notifications, and control music). If you’re somebody who wants to keep track of your sleeping, the Versa 2 is particularly good. It works equally well for iPhone and Android users.

Watch Out For: The new Alexa integration might come as a welcome addition for some, but it really shouldn’t be the main reason to buy this smartwatch. The fact is that most people don’t really need (or want) to talk to Alexa when they’re outside the house. Also, talking to Alexa on the Versa 2 isn’t like talking to Siri on the Apple Watch. For instance, you can’t tell Alexa to send text messages, open certain apps or even play/pause music; all it can do is answer specific queries (“Alexa, what’s the weather?”), set timers and alarms, and control some of your connected smart home gadgets. The other thing is that there’s no speaker, so you won’t be able to hear Alexa and all its answers will just appear on the screen – it’s far from a seamless experience.

As was true with the Versa, the Versa 2 lacks a dedicated GPS, meaning if you want reliable workout data you’ll have to have your smartphone nearby. This is a big bummer for runners. There’s also no LTE model available for the Versa 2.

There’s a new Spotify app that’s available on the Versa 2, which isn’t available on the Versa, but it’s not super helpful. Like with the Apple Watch, the Spotify app on the Versa 2 doesn’t let you download anything (playlists, albums, songs, podcasts) for offline listening. If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, only a select few Garmin and Samsung smartwatches do this.

Also, the Versa 2 still comes with a proprietary charger. The annoying thing is that it looks and feels just like the proprietary charger that came with the original Versa, which I didn’t like to begin with, but it’s actually not the same and won’t work with previous Versa smartwatches. I still have and use my Versa, and mixed up the chargers on several occasions, which was obviously frustrating.

Alternatives: Fitbit has a right to feel frustrated after the latest Apple hardware announcements. That’s because, in addition to announcing new high-end Apple Watches, Apple also dramatically reduced the price of its two-year-old smartwatch – you can now buy an Apple Watch Series 3 for $200, which is the exact price of the Fitbit Versa 2. Basically, if you have an iPhone and you want an entry-level smartwatch that works well with it, the Series 3 is probably a better bet.

Verdict: The Versa 2 is a better version of last year’s Versa, which was the best entry-level smartwatch for most people, Android or iPhone owner, who just wanted an easy-to-use smartwatch to track fitness. A year later, the Versa 2’s main problem is that there’s more competition, especially within its $200 price range. The Versa 2’s best qualities are its 6-day battery life, its great fitness and sleep tracking, and it’s super-slim design. If you those things are important to you, then the Versa 2 remains one of the best – if not the best – entry-level smartwatches you can buy. However, the reality is that the Versa 2 will feel more like a glorified fitness tracker than an actual smartwatch, especially if you have an iPhone or Samsung smartphone.

What Others Are Saying:

• “If you’re not wedded to Fitbit’s platform, the Versa 2 is a harder sell when you compare it with other $200 smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and the Apple Watch Series 3, which both have GPS, onboard music storage and contactless payments. One feature that could set the Versa 2 apart is Fitbit’s new subscription service, but it will take a lot to convince me to spend $80 more per year. Still, the Versa 2 is a very good fitness-focused smartwatch that offers plenty of insights into your overall health, subscription or not.” — Mike Prospero, Tom’s Guide

• “Overall, the Versa 2’s fitness tracking features are the best and most comprehensive you’ll find on any smartwatch, even though it doesn’t have a dedicated GPS radio and relies on your phone for GPS tracking.” — Dan Seifert, The Verge

• “If not for its connectivity problems, the Versa 2 would be an excellent smartwatch. It offers accurate, comprehensive fitness features and a nice design for a reasonable price. It’s also one of the longest-lasting smartwatches around, while the Alexa integration makes it more useful than its predecessor. I just wish Fitbit would get its Bluetooth act together already, and give me a better OS.” — Cherlynn Low, Engadget

Key Specs

Display: 300 x 300 pixel touchscreen AMOLED
Water resistance: swimproof; up to 50 meters
Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate monitor, altimeter, ambient light sensor, vibration motor, NFC
Battery life: up to 6 days; ~3 days with always-on display


Fitbit provided this product for review.

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Is the Best Smartwatch for iPhone Owners

The Apple Watch has been the best smartwatch for anybody with an iPhone for years, but it feels like the fifth-generation model, the Apple Watch Series 5 ($399+), has the most to live up to. That’s because its predecessor, the Series 4, set the bar so darn high. It was the first Apple Watch to look different, with a larger edge-to-edge display and a thinner, lighter body; plus Apple gave it a bunch of innovative features (like fall detection and an electrical heart sensor) and basically upgraded it in every way.

Now that the Series 5 is here, you’ll notice that it looks strikingly similar to the Series 4. It’s the same size and thinness; it has the same rotating crown dial with a little red circle; and it has many of the same sensors and health tracking features. But the differences are there. The Series 5 is the first Apple Watch to have an always-on display. It’s the first Apple Watch to have a built-in compass. And it’s the first Apple Watch to come in four different finishes, including aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic and all-new titanium.

The Apple Watch Series 5 is available in GPS-only and cellular models, and starts at $399.


The photographed Apple Watch Series 5 has the all-new titanium case. It’s a 44mm model and goes for $849.

The Good: The always-on Retina display is the standout feature of the Series 5. Even for people who have worn an Apple Watch for years, like myself, it’s going to feel like a big deal because it actually changes the way you interact with the Apple Watch. With the always-on display, there’s no need to rotate your wrist to see check the time or see that your workout is still tracking – it’s just there. It also will probably prevent many social faux pas that were caused by previous Apple Watch models; seeing other person check the time or look at their watch can be distracting, after all.

It’s true that the always-on Retina display is always-on, but it’s not always bright. The watch face still lights up when you raise your wrist, just like it did with the Series 4, but it then transitions to an idle dark mode when you lower your wrist back down; what’s happening is that the display’s refresh rate gets lowered to one screen refresh per second (or 1Hz), which allows the Series 5 to use very little battery life and give the appearance of always being on. This allows the Series 5 to get the same full-day battery life as its predecessor. Apple updated all its old Apple Watch faces so they work with the Series 5’s always-on display – pretty cool – plus they added quite a few new ones, too.

The Series 5 is the first Apple Watch to have a built-in compass. There’s a dedicated compass app on the Series 4, but other Apple Watch apps, like Apple Maps, take advantage of it.

As mentioned before, Apple is offering the Series 5 in more options than ever. The aluminum version of the Series 5 is the most affordable and is the only one that can be purchased without cellular. The stainless steel version is heavier and more durable, so it feels more premium, but it starts at $699. The brand-new titanium version is significantly lighter than the stainless steel version, and it’s also more scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic. And then there’s the ceramic version, which a high-end material that’s usually reserved for luxury watches. If you purchase any Series 5 through Apple Watch Studio (meaning online or in an Apple Store), you can pair it with almost any watch band you want (there are some restrictions).

The Series 5 is the first Apple Watch to have a built-in compass. There’s a dedicated compass app that you can access, which I rarely used, but the real benefit of the compass is how it works with other Apple Watch apps, such as Apple Maps. For example, when you’re using Apple Maps you can now see which direction just by looking at your Series 5. You’ll see the “field-of-view cone” rotate with direction you’re looking, which makes Apple Maps on the Series 5 feel way trustworthy. (Previously, you’d have to take out your iPhone to get the same sense of direction.) For those who are easily disoriented when navigating from A to B, like me, or have difficulty grasping your bearings when getting off the subway – like me – this new Apple Watch feature will save you a headache and a five-minute walk in the wrong direction.

The best part of the Series 5, and maybe you’ll roll your eyes, is that it feels like an Apple Watch – familiar – and it has all the best features of the Series 4. You can still pair it with your AirPods and listen to music sans iPhone. It still has the heart rate sensors and built-in ECG. It still has fall detection and Emergency SOS. It still has a GPS and it can track your runs. It’s waterproof enough so you can wear it swimming. It still tracks your steps and other metrics so you can complete your activity rings. And, of course, it works super well with iMessage.

The last thing to note is that all Series 5 models have 32GB of internal memory, which is actually twice as much as the 16GB on the Series 4. This might not be a huge deal for people who don’t plan on downloading music or a bunch of extra apps on the Series 5, but if you do, or if your current Apple Watch is already nearing its max storage, it might make sense to upgrade to the Series 5.

Who It’s For: Any iPhone owner who wants Apple’s best-ever smartwatch. Or if they desperately want an Apple Watch with an always-on display. Or if they want one of the Series 5’s higher-end finishes (and they’re willing to pay for it). The last big reason to get the Series 5 is if they’re going to take advantage of the Series 5’s built-in compass.

Watch Out For: No matter which Apple Watch Series 5 you buy, aside from the obvious difference between cellular and GPS-only models, they’re all going to have the same functionality. That means that the $1,300 ceramic model and the $399 aluminum model are built with the same internals and will keep track of the same metrics. There’s little downside to getting the cheaper models, other than how their aluminum finish looks and feels. (Although the stainless steel and titanium models are slightly more durable.)

One thing that I’ve been hoping for awhile is that the Apple Watch will start playing better with Spotify. Yes, there’s a Spotify app for the Apple Watch. And yes, if you have an LTE model you can stream music, but I wish the Spotify app would allow you to download albums and playlists for offline listening, similar to what several Garmin and Samsung smartwatches can do. As with previous Apple Watch models, the Series 5 is really only designed to download and store playlists from Apple Music.

Alternatives: The Apple Watch Series 4 is the most obvious alternative, but Apple did something a little bit sneaky this year – they stopped selling it. You can still purchase the Series 4 for third-party sellers like Amazon or Best Buy, for a slightly discounted rate. The Series 4 looks and feels (especially the aluminum models) very similar to the Series 5, and it’s a great option for Apple Watch wearers who don’t need always-on display.

If you don’t want to pay that much for a Series 5 (or Series 4), Apple is still selling the Series 3 but it lowered the starting price to just $199 – it’s undoubtedly the best entry-level smartwatch for people with an iPhone. The trade-offs are pretty clear, however, as the Series 3 doesn’t have the large nice display, the slim design or the many fancy sensors that enable a lot of the Apple Watch’s newer features. The Series 3 does have a built-in GPS and it’ll still accurately track your runs.

Verdict: The Apple Watch Series 5 is undoubtedly the best smartwatch that Apple has ever made, and it comes with the feature – an always-on display – that most people having been asking for. That said, with a few spec bumps and a few new capabilities, the Series 5 is admittedly an iterative upgrade over last year’s Series 4. If you’re not swayed by the premium materials, like the new titanium case, it really comes down to Series 5’s always-on display and how much you want it.

Key Specs

Case sizes: 40mm or 44mm
Case options: Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic
Display: Always-On Retina display
Processor: 64-bit dual-core S5 processor
Storage: 32GB
Sensors: electrical and optical heart rate sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass
Water resistance: 50 meters
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0


Apple provided this product for review.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Wearbuds Charger

Apple’s AirPods come in their own charging case, but who has space, especially if you’re a man, for extra baggage? Granted, it’s just the size of your floss container at home, but what if you could wear in instead? Enter the Wearbuds Charger.

Wearbuds is a wearable charger that wraps snugly around your wrist. They also come with a pair of earbuds, which have the same feature you’d find on most other options. They’re powered by Bluetooth 5.0, for starters, instantly making them compatible with a host of Bluetooth 5.0-exclusive functions. They also come equipped with a Qualcomm audio chip, graphene-augmented drivers, and water resistance.

The Wearbuds wristband also doubles as a fitness tracker so it’s not just dead weight on your precious arm. The buds click flush inside the outer frame of the band’s watch face. To remove them, you have to press your thumb and forefinger against the buds to pop them out. Of course, this design is already rife with potential mishaps, but it’s a nice idea for what it’s worth.

The Wearbuds also contains built-in sensors and is compatible with iOS and Android app pairing. We’re sure many people would want something like this, as it negates the need to carry another physically accessory in which to store a pair of earbuds. No need to chuck a charging case inside the labyrinthine void that is your backpack. Just strap it on your wrist and forget it’s there at all. More info by hitting the link below.


Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition

TAG Heuer’s Connected smartwatch receives the Golf Edition treatment. The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition will help all you golfers track your rounds as you play them.

This new model is exactly like 2017’s Connected Modular 45. That is to say it comes in a 45mm case, boasts a 1.45-inch display with a resolution of 400 x 400, and is powered by an Intel processor. You also get 512MB of ram, 4GB of storage, and a 410mAh battery. As for connectivity, the usual suspects are here, as GPS and NFC both come baked in. Build quality is topnotch, with sapphire glass and 5ATM water resistance, black PVD titanium, and black ceramic.

What makes this a punch above its identical twin sibling from 2017? It comes with a companion app especially made for golfing. Users can download the TAG Heuer Golf app on their phone, pair their watch, and use the app for a number of things. For example, golfers can use it to track distances on a golf course (the app has maps for more than 39,000 golf courses). Or get 2D and 3D course mapping, as well. You can also record scores for up to four players, and show stats after a round.

Each purchase comes with a set of commemorative balls. And the watch itself comes in a super fancy box deserving of its $1,850 price tag. That’s a lot to pay for a smartwatch, but if golfing is already your pastime, that probably won’t even leave a dent on your banking account.


Withings Steel HR Sport Smartwatch

Withings makes solid fitness trackers wrapped in luxury smartwatch flare, and the Steel HR Sport is no exception. This hybrid might not have all the bells and whistles of an all-in-one smart tracker, but it’s got the basics pretty much covered and a pretty slick design.

In terms of design, the Steel HR Sport is just the perfect size. It’s got some heft to it, but not to the point of being unwieldy. That’s important because this is something that’ll stay on your wrist for the better part of the day.

It sports a 40mm case made of stainless steel with a black bezel. You can choose a black or white watch face in the center. It looks and feels premium but not in a way that’s too tantalizing and show-offy. This is much more understated compared to some other options on the market.

The Steel HR Sport features multi-sport tracking. It’s can show your workout duration, calories burned, and continuous heart rate. There’s even a detailed breakdown of time spent in heart rate zones (light, moderate, intense & peak) right in the Health Mate app.

Workout mode offers 30 different sports to choose from, offering a wide variety. But in case you forget to set it up, the software can automatically recognize some workouts and shift gears accordingly.

At $200, the Steel HR Sport is one of the less pocket-friendly hybrid smartwatches out there. Withings struck the perfect balance between fitness and luxury here, then skillfully crammed it into a pleasant-looking analog package. If that appeals to you at all, maybe give it a second thought.


Huawei Watch GT

After weeks of speculation, more details about the forthcoming Huawei Watch GT are now accessible. Most of the rumors claim that the Chinese-brand’s new smartwatch will finally ditch WearOS in favor of an in-house operating system. The information was revealed by a pre-emptively posted product page on the official website. Shortly after, it was taken down, but we’ve gathered a bunch of information about the new wearable anyway. So, let’s start and find out more about this device.

We know that bloatware and other unnecessary apps normally eat up a lot of battery as they run on the background. That’s why Huawei chose to abandon Google’s wearable platform and aim for a longer usage time. The 420mAh built-in power source will supposedly deliver up to 30 days of uptime in default watch mode. Turn the GPS system on and smartwatch still promises close to 22 hours location-tracking alongside your activity of choice. This suggests that longevity is the highlight of the new product.

To maintain its premium and stylish design, the branding and logo are strategically on the case back. The Huawei Watch GT parades a 454 x 454-resolution 1.39-inch circular AMOLED display. The official listing likewise confirms that the wearable will include an optical heart rate sensor and sleep-monitoring sensors. Moreover, they also tease a new feature that they refer to as TruRelax atmospheric pressure tracking. We just hope that device lives up to its claims of remarkable battery life.

Huawei Watch GT

Photos courtesy of Huawei

LG Watch W7

The smartwatch market hasn’t seen much improvements over the past few years, save for the Apple Watch Series 4 that made its debut just recently. The Cupertino-based tech firm made a splash when it revealed that its latest wearable carries a built-in ECG sensor. Samsung also released its Galaxy Watch, which does not really flaunt anything groundbreaking except for the longer battery life. Now, its LG’s turn to take center stage and it does so in an innovative fashion with the LG Watch W7.

What makes this Android Wear smartwatch stand out is the unique combination of mechanical and digital functions. The company created a hybrid device that features a 1.2-inch circular 360 x 360 LCD alongside analog watch hands. This clever mix of technology gives users a traditional wristwatch with advanced functions of a modern smartwatch. Despite the configuration, the display is still a touch-ready surface.

The mechanical movement was developed together with Soprod SA, a Swiss company that manufactures watch components. The LG Watch W7 still uses the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chipset and runs on Wear OS. In smartwatch mode, the 240mAh battery is enough to supply users with at least two days of usage. In analog timekeeping mode, the smartwatch can last up to 100 days. The physical buttons and crown can likewise be used to interact with the device’s menu and settings.

Go Hybrid with LG

Photos courtesy of LG

Soundbrenner Core Smartwatch For Musicians

Chances are you’ve never heard of Soundbrenner before, so you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually sold over 50,000 wearable metronomes thus far (and counting) and is endorsed by a number of notable musicians. Not too shabby for a startup.

The company hopes to take things a bit further this time with its new product, the Soundbrenner Core. Inspired by its Pulse, this new smartwatch adds three more functionalities to make life easier for musicians. You’re getting three things, essentially: a watch, a tuner, and a sound level meter. These are things any musician worth their salt would call crucial, especially if they’re at a gig.

It’s still essentially a powerful and useful metronome you can strap on your wrist. You can sync the Soundbrenner Core with up to five devices to make sure your bandmates are on the same page. It even comes with synchronized light pulses to indicate this.

But let’s talk about the most notable addition here — watch functionality. Make no mistake, this boasts no Apple Watch or Fitbit-level sophistication. You’re only getting two OLED strips for showing the time, date, weekday plus simple push notifications. It doesn’t have any of the fancy and functional apps you’d otherwise find on a typical smartwatch. However, as a timepiece on the side, it’ll get the job done.

There are two SoundbrennerCore options you can choose from: Steel, which comes with a stainless steel body and ring, plus a detachable Italian leather strap for $329; and the standard Core, which sports a polycarbonate glass fiber composite body, an aluminum ring, and a detachable silicone strap. Both of them share the same specs under the hood, down to the three-day battery life and the IP66 splash-proof rating.


Photos courtesy of Soundbrenner

Withings Steel HR Sport Hybrid Watch

These days techies like us are enjoying the myriad of choices available in the market for smart wearables. We have smartwatches, fitness trackers, connected watches, and hybrid models. As of now, Apple, Samsung, and a few other sport-oriented brands are the go-to options for consumers. If you fancy a conventional-looking timepiece with smart functions and fitness-tracking capabilities, the Withings Steel HR Sport could be the device that meets your expectations.

Its design might be immediately familiar for some people who followed Nokia’s resurrection as a brand. During its journey to reestablish the marque, it acquired Withings and produced several hybrid watches along the way. Now, that the latter is back on its own two feet, it went back to what it does best and produced the latest version of its popular hybrid wearable.

The hybrid watch arrives in a stainless steel case that houses both analog and digital components. The dial is available in black or white and features an LCD display on the 12 o’clock portion and another smaller dial on the 6 o’clock area. You can use it to monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, the number of steps you’ve taken, and more. It wirelessly pairs with your smartphone for notifications and GPS tracking. Withings claims that the Steel HR Sport can last up to 25 days on a single charge.

Get it now

Photos courtesy of Withings

Apple Watch Series 4

When the iPhone X officially debuted, it took the tech world by storm as Apple showcased a bold new design, advanced security features, and a whole new interface. However, the lackluster impact of the third-generation wearable from the Cupertino-based manufacturer was noticeable. This left industry experts to speculate that the company has something new in store for 2018. Possibly to make up for the  2017’s uninspiring launch. Fortunately, the Apple Watch Series 4 is here to reestablish its foothold in the smartwatch market.

Sales numbers show that Apple’s digital timepiece is still a relevant contender when it comes to smartwatches. Yet, it needed to come up with something cutting-edge to leave the competition in the dust. It looks like the fourth time’s the charm. Tech junkies are noticeably hyped for the Series 4 to finally hit retailers.

According to reports, it earns the distinction of being the first wearable device to pack an advanced electrocardiogram monitoring system. This changes the game for all other brands, which until now, just relied on an optical heart rate sensor to give users a general view of their overall cardiovascular health.

The upgrades do not just stop there. The Apple Watch Series 4 showcases a redesign wherein the display size has been increased, while the overall size thickness has been reduced. Both 40mm and 44mm cases sport a new cashback fashioned from black ceramic and sapphire crystal. We’re still hoping that the manufacturer eventually ditches the rectangular form factor and shift to a round shape on their next model.

Apple Watch Series 4

Photo courtesy of Apple

Montblanc Summit 2

We are finally about to see another big step for Wear OS-powered smartwatches as Qualcomm launches its Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset. It is meant to finally replace the older 2100 that runs the majority of Google-powered wearables in the market. One luxury marque teases a follow-up model to their first smartwatch. The upcoming Montblanc Summit 2 earns the distinction of being one of the first few products to integrate the chipmaker’s latest platform.

To set it apart from most of the entry-level and mid-tier wearables, the upscale brand uses top-shelf materials such as leather, sapphire lens, and PVD-coated stainless steel. We also spotted the oversized crown found on most analog wristwatches crafted by the Germany-based company. Sadly, it only works as a push button interface minus the scrolling function featured on some smartwatches from other labels. Meanwhile, you can also spot two extra buttons—Montblanc has yet to confirm what each one does.

The sapphire display cover now flaunts a contoured shape compared to the flat glass on its predecessor. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 on board, we can look forward to a much-improved performance across the board. We also learned that the new chip’s architecture delivers new power-saving features. The Montblanc Summit 2 might be among the first few Wear OS-running devices to enjoy remarkable battery life.

Montblanc Summit 2

Photos courtesy of Montblanc

Top 7 Smartwatches For Men Under $150


or years we’ve been checking the time by pulling our phones from our pockets, but now we can finally check the time right there on our wrists. Who’d have thought of such a new invention? Poor jokes and sarcasm aside, smartwatches for men aren’t your father’s timekeeping watch. They’re the latest must-have product of scaled-down technological brilliance.

The smartwatch is growing in popularity. With every couple of lifted beer glasses, scratches of the head and waves goodbye, your eyes are likely to be met with the gleam of one of these exceptional watches. Many men will have been put off by their price tags, especially when they surfaced on the market.

However, many more companies have hopped on the smartwatch bandwagon and produced similar gadgets. That means it’s not impossible to find quality smartwatches for men at affordable prices. Don’t believe us? Challenge accepted. Keep your wagers to yourself for just a moment.

The Men’s Gear team have rallied around on a search for the best smartwatches for men we could find. Then we decided to find the ones at or below $150. Our search was undoubtedly a bit like the search you make for your current watch before that important dinner date. We looked high and low.

Finally, we were able to put together this post that will let you in on all the smartwatch lingo and important information. This is topped off with our carefully selected shortlist of the seven best smartwatches for men in 2018 – each one, as promised, is less than $150!

Can You Really Get An Awesome Smartwatch For Under $150?

Ask an Apple smartwatch owner how they know it’s midday. They probably can’t tell you because the battery will have died by then. What we’re trying to say is that expense doesn’t always equate to seamless use and flawless designs. Some of the cheaper, simpler and fewer complex smartwatches can outperform more expensive models.

This mostly occurs with the convenience and even features of them.

We’re not saying this as a blanket statement. Undoubtedly, there are some high-end smartwatches that cheaper models – especially sub $150 smartwatches – cannot compete with.

Nevertheless, it’s definitely possible to find awesome smartwatches for men for less than 150 big ones. In fact, you could say there are seven possibilities. Some of which are available for as little as 20 dollars! You’ll need to have a firm idea of what you want a smartwatch for.

Choosing a smartwatch with specific features and without the craziness that isn’t needed for you, is the easiest way of narrowing your search. It’ll help you when you’re looking for a wallet-friendly smartwatch.

Often guys will hunt down the best and most expensive watches available to fit their criteria. How about turning that on its head and using your criteria to tick off your checklist and find a watch? Sounds obvious, right? By doing this, you’ll hunt down a watch that just works for you.

This will happen rather than an overexuberant watch with features you don’t need or would ever use.

How Big And Heavy Are Smartwatches For Men?

The cheaper smartwatches for men are hardly any different to the expensive models in terms of weight or dimensions. In fact, our research suggests that the cost of a smartwatch is not the best indication of how big, small, light or heavy the watch is. A great example is the first watch we’ll show you here- the most expensive in our post but actually has one of the smallest displays.

The display in question is 1.2 inches but other smartwatches below 150 dollars can range up to 1.5 inches and above. The size of the display is an important consideration for many men and the fact this isn’t influenced by cost is great news!

When it comes to weight, no smartwatch is going to weigh your arm down. They’re all very light. The cheaper smartwatches for men we’ve got in store for you range from below one ounce up to ten ounces. We also noticed that our more expensive picks do seem to weigh a little less.

Meanwhile, costlier ones in general also seem to be lighter. Does this really matter when the weights are so featherlight in the first place? We don’t think so.

What are the main features of Smartwatches under $150?

If you use your checklist to find your perfect and much cheaper smartwatch, there’s every reason you’ll get all the features you’re after. Many smartwatches within this price bracket still have many outstanding capabilities.

It’s not uncommon to see health and activity-based features on these smartwatches. You’ll see things like a calorie counter, exercise tracker, and even a feature to alert you if you’ve been sat stationary for too long. Depending on the settings, these watches will alert you so you can get moving.

That is even if it’s a short trip to drop off a file with a colleague or time to take the dog for a walk.

These smartwatches may actually be helping our posture and preventing muscular issues from developing. Whether you’re an exercise enthusiast or regular Joe, these health features can benefit everybody.

They’re also great for businessmen and students to keep on task or to help plan their week, work and deadlines. These watches may have calendars and a calculator. They may even have a voice recorder to relive the 4:00 p.m. Friday meeting where you were busy dreaming about the upcoming beers with the guys.

At least you’ll get all your boss’ or professor’s emails right at your wrist!

These products are an extension of your phone in many cases and you can expect to encounter the same capabilities on quality watches, even these cheaper ones. You’ll be able to take photographs and make use of third-party apps and social media and their push notifications here too.

There are some features that aren’t as common, but you can find some with sub-150-dollar models and on some smartwatches nearer the 20-dollar mark. One of these features is a talk-to-text capability, which will allow you to reply to your dinner invitations and Friday Night Football crew on the move.

If you do lose or have your smartwatch stolen, many come with a feature to help track it down. There’s also one with a unique charging method. However, that one’s up next so we’ll keep that to ourselves for now… ready?

1) Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch

Yes, we have even managed to source recognized brands such as Samsung on our economic list of the best smartwatches for men. This stainless-steel Gear S2 smartwatch has a very modern design. Its traditional circular face offers a smaller-than-most 1.2-inch touchscreen display.

The display might be a little smaller than others we have to show you, but the rotating navigation bezel makes up for this. That means you’ll never be cranking your neck to see who’s emailed. Simply rotate with your other hand and read your message through the scratch-resistant gorilla glass.

If you do get sick of the design, that’s no problem. You can switch this watch’s bands and customize its face for a new look on each occasion. The watch is even dust, water, and sweat resistant.

What can it do? The smartwatch can be paired up with your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth connectivity. Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to stroll through the city park or the shopping precinct. All while checking your watch for texts. You can reply to those messages of yours and keep up to date with the latest news stories.

There are also some other nice features such a heart rate monitor, calorie counter, and activity tracking. It even has prompts to be more active if you’ve been sitting for too long. These features combined with sweat-resistant manufacturing makes it an exceptional option for sporty guys.

We’ve saved one of the best features for last. As you’ll discover, a lot of these watches have similar core features and only minor aspects set them apart. This additional perk really gives the Samsung smartwatch an early lead. It comes with a wireless charging dock.

After a hard day at the office, you just place your watch on the platform and it’ll start refueling. No messy and broken wires here and your home will feel like a spaceship with these sort of gadgets. Dang, 30 points to Samsung!

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


2) ASOON Smart Watch

This smartwatch by ASOON has a 1.54-inch touchscreen display on a stylish square face at a fraction of the price. In fact, it is the cheapest we’ll showcase and is great evidence that cheap doesn’t mean naff. It can even do some things that the Samsung – the most expensive here – cannot.

For starters, these smartwatches for men can connect via Bluetooth or you can insert a SIM card for network connectivity. One important thing to know is that this watch supports Android devices but won’t marry up with iOS phones. Those Apple people never wanting to join in.

Nevertheless, it can make and receive calls and texts, monitor your sleep quality, and wake you up in the morning.

It can even let you flick through images, record meeting minutes, and take photos. On top of this, you can get your email and social media notifications without the need to download any memory-consuming apps.

Remember your Nokia 3310? They don’t make batteries like them anymore. We aren’t about to say this smartwatch will still be active after a year in a dusty drawer. However, its one-hour charge gives you three hours of calls or six hours of music. This is pretty impressive by today’s standards.

Did we mention it’s only 20 dollars? If you’re a guy who wants to test the smartwatch waters before jumping aboard, this is a great place to start.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


3) Asus ZenWatch 2 (Refurbished Model)

We’ve decided to feature something a bit different for this pick. The Asus ZenWatch 2 here is a refurbished model which has been made to look brand new. Despite not being a traditional watch, you’ll still be getting a second hand (sorry!).

While some men may be skeptical of refurbished products, this watch goes through some rigorous testing, cleaning, and inspections prior to being deemed worthy for purchase. It also comes with a 90-day warranty might for reassurance.

A lot of watches on our list of the best smartwatches for men come in a sleek black. It seems that this simple color makes for an impressive design. This smartwatch is a bit different. It looks more conventional and from a distance, you may not even notice you’re looking at a smartwatch.

That goes for all the three color combinations on offer. Other features to take note of are anti-scratch glass, a 1.45-inch display, and elegant curves your girlfriend will be jealous of.

The watch will pair with iOS and Android phones via Bluetooth connectivity. The best way to describe it is as an extension of your phone. Your apps and all the usual things on your phone will be operational on the watch. One of the unique features with this watch is a talk-to-text capability.

Who’d have thought that talking to your watch in the middle of downtown wouldn’t make you look crazy? Instead, you’ll be a Bond-like secret agent with a gadget to envy.

This is also the most water-resistant watch in our line up and can even be taken into the shower. Many Men like to keep your watch on their person at all the time. For those men, this will be the best choice. However, you’ll probably prefer it if you don’t plan on pairing it with an iOS device as its functions become limited.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


4) DAWO Fashion Smart Watch

This smartwatch by DAWO is not a typical smartwatch-looking design. They’ve opted for the sleek black look. Its design is the halfway house between minimalist watch and smartwatch.

This undercover smartwatch has some nifty features too. Once you’ve connected either your iOS device (7 +) or Android phone (4.3 +) via Bluetooth, you’ll have an array of capabilities right from your wrist. This includes a heart and sleep monitor, and a sedentary reminder to keep you active.

There’s also a camera to capture the kids on a family holiday or to capture Dave’s childish pranks on that guys’ night out. This is in addition to the usual alarm clock, calorie tracker, and push notification option for your social media, emails, and messages. All of which are protected under a lifetime warranty.

The general features available with these smartwatches for men are tremendous and make many men interested in buying. This smartwatch is a great idea or gift for any man who wants a multifunctional and sleek undercover gadget for their wrist.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


5) 321OU Touch Screen Smart Watch

Among the cheaper smartwatches for men comes out in the 321OU. It truly oozes the classic smartwatch look too. It’s available in many monotone colors that complement the square display. There’s also a Nano TPU85 soft strap which makes it very comfortable to wear.

You can connect both iOS and Android phones with this watch via Bluetooth or simply add a SIM card. Although some of its features are withdrawn when matching it with iOS devices. What will it do for you though? It’ll record sound so you can re-listen to meetings or could be really useful for hungover students in 8:00 a.m. lectures.

This is accompanied by everything but the kitchen sink. That means image viewing, a music playing facility, an alarm clock, a calendar, a sleep monitor, a camera, a mileage tracker, a calorie calculator, and push notifications.

It’s also sweat and rain proof but we don’t recommend jumping in the shower or sea with it. It shouldn’t come into contact with hot water and shouldn’t be submerged into any water. There’s definitely a lot of watch for little money here. This makes it a great introductory watch for guys just joining the smartwatch revolution at caution.

It even helps young men who want an extra hand to pass exams.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


6) Scinex SW20 Smart Watch

One of the sleekest smartwatches for men is this Scinex model, which is as functional as it is eye-catching. It has a 1.5-inch touchscreen that can display different faces. This happens by simply downloading an app and opting for your favorite design. All of which can be enjoyed through an Android or iOS connection.

If you want to take advantage of SMS, email, and calling, you’ll need to download the Fundo Wear App and have an Android device. Sorry again Apple users, you’ll be starting to feel a bit cast aside by now. Other features that both types of device owners can enjoy are an anti-lost function to locate your stolen or misplaced watch.

It also comes with a music player, an audio recorder, a media center, an exceptional 16GB memory, calendar, alarm clock, and sleep monitoring. The only disappointing thing about it is that doesn’t allow you to download third-party applications.

We’d strongly recommend owners of an iOS phone shop elsewhere, but Android users may find this to be a very multifunctional and stylish smartwatch. They’ll feel it’ll be as helpful in the office as it will be enjoyed on a much-deserved city break.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


7) Robesty Smart Watch

To finish off our round up of the best smartwatches for men, we decided to finish as strong as The Rock. This slender black watch has a whopping 1.54-inch display, which makes it one of the bigger displays on any smartwatch out there.

The straps can be adjusted to your size, but they can’t be swapped like the Samsung watch back at our start line.

You do have the option of connecting to any device with Bluetooth or you can choose to add a SIM card. Unfortunately, iOS phones again have been left out and owners will only be able to enjoy texting, calling, or their playlist via Bluetooth.

Androiders, on the other hand, will have full access to these features plus all the others. Those features include a facility to track your phone’s whereabouts in case it’s stolen, a good camera, sedentary reminder, calculator, sleep monitor, calendar, and alarm clock. All to be enjoyed with the assurance of a lifetime warranty.

What’s not to like guys? This will make a nice gift and the larger display makes it great for men with eyesight issues. For the cheap price, you can’t go wrong.

Check Product Price // Read More Reviews


Time To Decide?

Challenge completed? Bet you’re glad we encouraged you to hold off making that bet now. These seven smartwatches for men prove that you don’t need to break the bank. You can find a fantastic product to rival some of the most expensive smartwatch providers, without question. If you’re an owner of an Android phone, you’ll have no problems in finding one to suit you perfectly.

However, our carefully researched list suggests iOS owners may need to compromise slightly if they’re not prepared to fork out for an Apple smartwatch. We don’t blame you! We hope you managed to see something suitable for your needs. Welcome to the smartwatch movement. You’ll look down at your wrist more, but you certainly won’t look back.

Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 Smartwatch

Watches from Diesel follow a certain design language that features huge bezels, aggressive looks, and bigger cases. Their newest smartwatch, the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5, maintains a similar style along with the latest version of Google’s WearOS on board.

It’s quite seldom that you find a smart wearable that flaunts a rugged appearance. It comes in four variants and all of them look fashionable and fantastic. Each one comes with a different watch strap—two of those sport a silicone band, another comes with a leather strap, and the last one with a metal wristband. It’s not really a big deal which one you go for since the straps are user-replaceable with any compatible options.

Its matte aluminum and stainless steel case measure 47 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick. It houses a 1.39-inch touchscreen, GPS, an NFC chip for payments, an optical heart rate sensor, and a 300mAh battery. It’s also ready to face any adventure with its durable construction and a 5 ATM water resistance.

We learned that it will still rely on the older Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset paired with 512MB of RAM. Its performance might eventually lag behind newer models that are projected to use a newer processor from Qualcomm.

Moving on the good stuff, similar to the unique controls on the Samsung Galaxy Watch, the Diesel smartwatch allows you to scroll through the WearOS menu using the crown. The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 is expected to launch later this year and carry an estimated $325 price tag.

Get one on your wrist now

Photos courtesy of Diesel

Polar Vantage V & M Smartwatches

Polar has unveiled its two latest GPS-capable running smartwatches, called the Vantage V and M. Both were designed specifically for athletes and people who are serious about staying fit, letting them track their workouts, heart rate, and other biometrics as they exercise.

The Vantage V is the higher-end model of the two, with features like Precision Prime, an ultra-accurate heart rate monitor; and a so-called running power functionality, which combines metrics for runners that eliminates the need to use external sensors.

The Vantage M, on the other hand, is nearly the same as its more premium sibling, but it lacks the ability to track running power. It also only gives you 30 hours of training time, as opposed to the Vantage V’s 40 hours. The latter is the only model that has Recovery Pro and Training Load Pro, which are a pair of features that will monitor the athlete’s “training load” for each session, keeping tabs on things like tolerance and strain while providing an overview of recovery and training balance.

The Vantage V retails for $500, while the Vantage M retails for $280. You can go for the Vantage M (in black, white, or red) if you don’t mind having the Polar’s sophisticated set of tracking and biometric tools and just want an honest-to-goodness fitness watch. But you can splurge half a thousand dollars for the Vantage V (in black, white, or orange) if you want everything Polar has to offer. Your choice. Both smartwatches are available now at


EveRest Smartwatch by Chanmi Lee

Nowadays, other than the Apple Watch and a few models from various brands, smartwatches have kind of lost its appeal. This is mostly due to the fact that most wearables feature dismal battery life. We understand that the novelty of having a wrist-based gadget that’s connected to your smartphone is slowly ebbing away, yet there are certain products that seek to renew our interests. These devices need some kind of gimmick to set it apart from masses—for example, the rotating bezel controls of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch. The EveRest Smartwatch presents something new to the table.

That’s why we really dig the product designed by Chanmi Lee from South Korea. As the product name suggests, this concept wearable will be marketed to those whose idea of a good time is to conquer peaks as high as the gadget’s namesake. In an extreme environment, communication and proper preparation could mean life or death.

What makes this smartwatch unique is the three screens that display different information for the user—time, date, heart rate, and the main screen for all other smart functions. There are two Flexible Numeric Displays (FNDs) and one Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The set includes a Bluetooth earphone with a built-in heart rate sensor. In case of an emergency, there is a dedicated SOS/call button to alert your group during your climb.

EveRest Smartwatch

Photos courtesy of Chanmi Lee

VIITA Titan HRV Smartwatch

A few years ago, tech industry researchers and experts envisioned that smartwatches usage will eventually replace conventional models. However, years after the first wearable hit retailers, their predicted scenario is nowhere to be seen. To be fair, a lot of us embraced the innovation and probably have one or two models in our collection. The results of studies and surveys apparently reveal that battery life is to blame for the technology’s snail-paced adoption. The Titan HRV from VIITA will hopefully break the cycle and encourage people to make the digital shift.

Promising a two-week battery life on a single charge, it’s already offering more than the most popular models. Features such as the integrated electrocardiogram of the Apple Watch Series 4 or the rotating bezel control of the Samsung Galaxy Watch are undeniably innovative. However, at the end of the day, what matters most is how long your device will continue to function until it needs a recharge. That’s why VIITA will run on its proprietary operating system to minimize battery consumption.

Other than the promise of a longer lifespan in between charges, The Titan HRV boasts a premium build quality. Luxury-grade materials such as ceramics, sapphire, titanium, and cutting-edge craftsmanship all go into the smartwatch. It’s ready to face any adventure with its 10 ATM water resistance and built-in GPS. Fitness-tracking software and an integrated optical heart rate sensor provide keep users updated regarding their overall health. VIITA plans to officially launch the smartwatch on January 2019.

Fund it on Indiegogo

Photos courtesy of VIITA