If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Apple user, trying to step out of the brand’s ecosystem can be a bit difficult. And, look, we get it – Apple does a great job of making its products talk with one another. But there is so much more tech out there beyond Apple’s walled garden.
If you’re looking to pick up a smartwatch and would prefer an alternative to the Apple Watch (which is only compatible with an iPhone) there are a fair few options available.
Whether you’re an iPhone user who wants to sample what other tech brands have on offer, or you don’t have a smartphone that’s compatible with the Apple Watch, we’ve rounded up a few Apple alternatives that will more than scratch that smartwatch itch.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
The best Apple Watch alternatives
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
Samsung’s been in the smartwatch game longer than Apple, but it doesn’t limit its smartwatches to only working with its own-brand phones, with broad compatibility across all of its watches to date. Unfortunately, this smartwatch model isn’t compatible with the iPhone.
The Watch5 includes improved sleep monitoring and will provide you with advice for getting a better night’s rest. It also includes all of the Samsung Health features you’d want, such as tracking your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen. In terms of design, it features a slightly more reinforced sapphire crystal display with an all-screen digital bezel.
Samsung’s long history in the smartwatch space means that there are a wide array of apps that you can install on it – and an even wider array of watch faces too.
Google Pixel Watch
Google has spent the past few years firmly asserting itself as one of the brands to pay attention to when it comes to smartphones and, as of last year, has branched out into the smartwatch space. For a first attempt, the Pixel Watch is pretty impressive.
Google purchased FitBit back in 2019 and has done a good job of combining the former’s smarts with the latter’s fitness-tracking features into the Pixel Watch. It’ll even provide a pretty detailed daily summary of your sleep.
The Pixel Watch is designed to be used with Android phones, but you’ll get more use from it if you’re already using a Pixel smartphone. The Pixel Watch isn’t compatible with the iPhone, however.
FitBit Versa 3
When you think FitBit you probably think “fitness tracker”, and while its smartwatch offerings do indeed include plenty of exercise tracking options, the Versa 3 is more than just a simple step counter.
It features a 1.59-inch AMOLED display, a range of colour choices and it’s also water resistant to 50m for all those swimmers out there. It’ll take voice control via Amazon’s Alexa and can store music or control your Spotify playlists with ease.
If fitness is a key part of your smartwatch ambitions, this would be a cheap alternative choice to the Apple Watch.
Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch
Fossil’s smartwatches combine the flexibility of Google’s WearOS with the style of traditional watches, which isn’t always a given when you’re talking about wearable computing.
The Gen 6 models are water resistant, with support for NFC payments thanks to GPay and in-built GPS, as well as the expected heart rate tracking and fitness monitoring features. If you’re after a smartwatch that doesn’t make it apparent you’re wearing anything but a classic watch, it’s a solid option.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Lots of people want smartwatches for even more nuanced fitness tracking, and that’s precisely the market that Garmin chases with its Venu range. The Venu 2 Plus features a 1.3-inch circular always-on display, multi-sport tracking, enhanced heart rate and onboard oxygen saturation detection, as well as sleep tracking features.
Suunto 5 Peak
If you want a smartwatch that caters more towards fitness tracking, you can’t go wrong with the Suunto 5 Peak. Compared to its predecessor, the Suunto 5 Peak is 41% lighter, offers up to 100 hours of battery life, in-sport music controls and extensive outdoor navigation.
Looks-wise, it’s so light on your wrist that you’ll almost forget it’s there. In fact, this alternative to the Apple Watch is also a firm choice if you don’t want to feel a persistent buzzing on your wrist a.k.a you’re just sensitive to vibration. It offers very little disturbance to your everyday adventures, while ensuring it still doesn’t miss a beat.
Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims on Amazon.
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