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Best Android Watches: Your Traditional Watch with a Twist

Best Android Watches
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Mobile technology nowadays is all about convenience and portability. Don’t you think you will have an easier time checking your notifications and calls right on your wrist, instead of having to whip out your phone every time? Possessing one of the best Android watches on the market will definitely solve many of your mobile needs.

Not only that, but an Android watch has additional outstanding functions for you to enjoy. Most watches turn into fitness trackers while others incorporate a stylish business design. These gadgets are handy, little smart assistants simply resting almost invisibly on your wrist. Selecting the most appropriate device is not the easiest of tasks as there is a rich variety.

Android Watch

In our guide below we will review seven of the most recognizable Android watches out there. We will compare them by price and properties. There are designs and features for every taste and depending on your requirements you will surely find the one that suits you best. Use our little write-ups to decide.

Our Top Picks

ProductScreen sizeWeightStrapsPrice
ASUS WI503Q-SL-BG 3 1.39 inches2.9 ouncesLeatherCheck price on Amazon
Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece1.5 inches1.8 ouncesLeatherCheck price on Amazon
Fossil Gen 2 Q Wander1.5 inches2 ouncesLeatherCheck price on Amazon
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier1.3 inches2.2 ouncesSiliconeCheck price on Amazon
Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.)1.37 inches8 ouncesMetal, leatherCheck price on Amazon
Samsung Gear S21.9 inches1.3 ouncesRubberCheck price on Amazon
Huawei Android Wear 2.01.2 inches2.1 ouncesLeatherCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

It is imperative that we take a look at the most popular general features of Android smartwatches before we head to the reviews section. As expected, most of them are common to the ones of smartphones but here we have some additional characteristics which really set Android watches apart from other mobile devices.

Design and Comfort

It goes without saying that you want your Android watch to fit your style. A formal looking watch will unlikely fit someone who spends their day wearing a tracksuit in the gym. The opposite is also true. This is exactly what forces companies to come up with designs for every taste.

Android Watch on Hand

Image credit: 9to5google.com

Some name brands push this further and come up with a classic and a sports version of the same Android watch. This allows them to appeal to a larger number of users in hopes to get a better market share. There is also one more distinction – manly and feminine. While most designers try to come up with uni-sex watches, sometimes this doesn’t yield good results.

Comfort is crucial and derives directly from the design of the body and straps of your smart device. Many users look for interchangeable straps, different colors, and materials or simply lighter Android watches. After all, you will wear this thing all day long – make sure you try it on before committing to buy.

Compatibility

As of late Android, watches tend to be compatible with most smartphones. Not all of them, however, have this feature. Samsung used to make its Android watches connectable only to Samsung smartphones. At some point last year this trend began to change again, because of the need to comprise a larger portion of the market.

https://9to5google.com/2017/02/15/uber-android-wear-2-0/

Even though the name of these watches suggests they can be paired only with Android devices, this is not the case. Most of them can also be linked to an iPhone but it is safe to say that this isn’t the most harmonious partnership in terms of app speed, navigation, and bugs. Checking is your best bet here as you ought to make sure your phone won’t “fight” with your Android watch.

Display

Similar to every device with graphics interface, the screens of the best Android watches are typically top notch. While it is not the end of the world if you do not get the highest resolution or PPI, it is always an advantage to have a more advanced display. They are mostly LCD or OLED. The latter derive into AMOLED with Super AMOLED being the best ones.

The better your resolution and display capacity, the sharper the objects will look on screen. Additional features may include ambient display and auto brightness adjust. They will allow your screen to react to sudden light changes and will let you see what’s on there even during tough conditions.

Android Watch Display

Image credit: wareable.com

Most of these characteristics will really raise the price on an Android watch but after all, it might be worth it. Also, keep in mind that the more functions your display has, the more battery power will be drained.

Hardware

What you have packed under the hood matters just as much as the design of the Android watch. The style is nothing if the piece you have on your wrist is barely usable. The faster your gadget and the more storage you have, the greater the price – this is pretty obvious.

The goal is to find the right balance between effectiveness and price. Luckily, most of the items on our list come with similar hardware features and the selection boils down to just minor differences. An Android watch with less than 4 GB of storage might prove to be unable to respond to your requirements.

Android Watch Hardware

Image credit: notebookreview.com

The same goes for devices will less than 512 MB RAM or an old chipset. Speed is essential to an Android watch as otherwise, you wouldn’t need it. Being able to check things on the fly is directly related to the hardware your machine has.

Battery Life

Nobody wants to charge an Android watch daily. As if it isn’t enough that our laptops and smartphones die all the time, it would drive us crazy should we also babysit one more device. Getting a watch that lasts for about 2-3 without being heavily used is absolutely realistic

Black Android Watch on Hand

Image credit: gigaom.com

Watch for more mAh on the battery when selecting an Android watch. Keep in mind that the more things you have running at the same time, the shorter the battery life will be. It is also thought that LCD displays are favorable towards batteries.

Extra Functions

This is one of the main reasons as to why we would need Android watches in the first place. This little assistant on your wrist better have some nice perks because otherwise, you could cope just fine with your phone.

Some people look for a watch to use as a fitness tracker as well as an Android device. These things can track your steps, calories burnt and heart rate. They can fully substitute a GPS fitness tracker if they have the right features.

Android Watch as Fitness Tracker

Image credit: wareable.com

Some of them come with music players, wireless charging, voice recognition, contactless payments and many more. These functions will allow you to take care of a number of things daily and stay informed by only raising your hand.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Here are our top choices when it comes to locating the best Android watch. Most of the features mentioned above are present to an extent in every device. We hope that our reviews will prove to be useful when you are to decide which piece to buy.

ASUS WI503Q-SL-BG 3 Smart Watch

Price: Approx. $200ASUS WI503Q-SL-BG 3 Smart Watch

Weight: 2.9 ounce

Dimensions: 1.8 x 9.8 x 0.4 inches

Specific features: AMOLED display, automatic brightness, steel body, leather straps, 512 MB RAM, water resistant, Wi-Fi, Snapdragon 2100 chip, Hypercharge technology

Best use: Business meetings, hikes and family events as well

Reviewing an all-around good item is always a great start to a guide. With the ASUS WI503Q-SL-BG ZenWatch 3 Smart Watch, we get exactly such a type of device. Many people will find the design to be quite special with this circular body and stainless steel back. Apparently, the creators wanted to make an everyday watch and it is hard to say that they have failed. In case you are looking for an Android watch with a premium vibe, then that’s the one.

While the straps are comfortable and can be removed, they are not replaceable with custom ones. The watch can also feel pretty tight on people with larger wrists. The three buttons on the sides are functional but might be a little too much for that body. A case can be made that one button would be just enough.

The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is one of the finest components of this watch. It has a resolution of 400×400 and an ambient light sensor for auto brightness. This means that your watch will automatically adjust depending on the lighting conditions around you. The OS is Android Wear 2.0 – exactly what you might expect from such a device.

Under the hood, we get a Snapdragon 2100 chip which is designed especially for Android watches. The 512 MB of RAM should suffice when it comes to the speed of the device. You also get a microphone and speaker so that you can conduct calls. The Hypercharge technology of the ZenWatch 3 allows its batter to charge to 60% in 15 minutes – just an excellent perk.

Some things you do not get are GPS and a heart rate monitor. While the watch is water resistant, it is not completely waterproof so showering with it may not be the brightest idea. The price is definitely not outrageous for a watch this packed with functions.

PROS:

  • Stylish design and sturdy body
  • Leather straps
  • AMOLED display
  • Auto brightness
  • Hypercharge
 CONS:

  • Non-replaceable straps
  • No GPS
  • Can be a little tight on thicker wrists
  • No heart rate monitor
  • Not waterproof

Related: Many folks would look to pair their ASUS ZenWatch with a ZenFone for maximum convenience. You will, however, need to protect your ZenFone with a Mr. Shield Deluxe screen protector. These come in a set of 3, they are scratch resistant and exceptionally durable. The protectors are laser cut and tempered glass made.

Check the price on Amazon

Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch

Price: Approx. $160Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch

Weight: 1.8 ounces

Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.4 inches

Specific features: 1.5-inch circular screen, 512 MB RAM, pedometer, wireless charging, ambient screen, smart notifications, 4 GB storage, heart rate sensor, water resistant

Best use: Suitable for all sorts of activities and interests

The Motorola Moto 360 Modern Timepiece Smart Watch will not surprise you with anything unexpected but is likely to satisfy your Android watch requirements. The dial of this thing is slightly larger than usual with its 1.5-inch screen. It might look a little bulky on smaller wrists. Other than that, the straps are comfortable and great for everyday use. The style is not too demanding.

Some of the things you get with the Moto 360 are heart rate monitoring a pedometer, wireless charging, and water resistance. All of these are nice to have on an Android watch and Motorola has them covered. As you look carefully at the screen, though, you will notice it is not completely circular as there is a black bevel on the bottom. Such a detail can be quite bothersome to some.

Here is what keeps this device going: 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB storage and a 1200 mAh battery. Without heavy usage, the Moto 360 should survive about a day and a half. If you turn the ambient screen on, however, it will drain the battery a lot quicker. But this feature also allows you to have your display turned on at all times. If you play around with the watch, you will exhaust around 10% of battery power over 15 min.

Brightness does not adjust automatically so you will have to do it yourself. You do get to choose the face of the watch as there are many skins and you also get notifications right on your wrist. If you pair this watch with your Android phone, you can swipe away notifications and they will disappear from both devices. One drawback is that you cannot use your watch when it charges unless you unplug it.

PROS:

  • Has a lot of functions
  • Relatively large storage
  • Wireless charging
  • Ambient screen
 CONS:

  • Can look bulky
  • Bevel on bottom of screen
  • Consumes a lot of battery power
  • Not waterproof
  • Cannot be used during charging

Related: Since you are obviously into wireless devices, how about the Wemo Insight Smart Plug? This great gadget allows you to remotely turn appliances on and off. You can operate it on your phone or Android watch. It is a Wi-Fi enabled device with easy to install features and customized notifications.

Check the price on Amazon

Fossil Gen 2 Q Wander Smartwatch

Price: Approx. $255Fossil Gen 2 Q Wander Smartwatch

Weight: 2 ounces

Dimensions: 1.6 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: Leather straps, voice texts, charging magnet, proximity sensor, Android Wear 4.3

Best use: Everyday use

This is one of the newer models on our list as it was released in late 2016. The Fossil Gen 2 Q Wander Smartwatch has a very interesting design and we say that with mixed feelings. Obviously, the creators tried to make a stylish watch with a luxurious look.

However, the colors are pretty demanding, the body is more refined and even somewhat feminine. What doesn’t match all that is the thickness of the devices – it’s not thin.

A nice little addition is the fact that you can unhook and change the straps to your liking. Another cool feature is that this watch charges on a special inductive charging magnet. There is not plugging or strapping – you just place it on top of a plate. On the bottom you will notice that there is a black line- this is the proximity sensor and it sort of fights with the display as it takes up some real estate.

Some of the more notable drawbacks are related to the absence of a heart rate monitor and the struggling navigation. Both of these discourage a good portion of users to spend that kind of money on the device. Additionally, you need to have at least 20% battery in order to pair the watch with your phone.

Lastly, one of the more convenient for Android watches features is rather annoying here.  The voice-activated text method could barely work sometimes. The recognition might be bad and this function is hardly usable. You should perceive the Fossil Q Wander as a traditional watch with notifications.

PROS:

  • Refined design
  • Interchangeable straps
  • Cool way to charge
 CONS:

  • Can’t wear it with just anything
  • Voice texts are bad
  • Navigation is disoriented
  • Thick body

Related: The Fossil Silicone Strap is an excellent replacement for your Fossil Q Wander stock bands. They are made out of top quality silicone and the width is 22 mm. Customize your Android watch by selecting a specific color and style for your bands. They have separate styles for women and men.

Check the price on Amazon

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch

Price: $300 – $350Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch

Weight: 2.2 ounces

Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches

Specific features: NFC, Super AMOLED display, supports LTE, waterproof, Gear S Plugin, silicone bands, textured bezel

Best use: If you are looking to get a brand name Android watch with all the software support and extra functions, that’s your device

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier really integrates a lot of functionality under the hood and is the Android watch of choice for many people. With it, you should get a device that looks a little casual yet is very durable. The buttons on the side are textured and the overall outlook is pretty bold. Pay attention this might make it more of a men’s watch than needed.

The silicone bands are interchangeable and on the set, you receive shorter and longer ones. You can submerge your device into up to 5 ft. of water as it is waterproof. Additional functions include Wi-Fi (duh), GPS and NFC. Once you start your watch, you will need to configure the Gear S Plugin and Samsung Push Service so that you can sync it with your phone.

The display really looks sharp as it is Super-AMOLED – 1.3 inches. With its 278 PPI, every object on the screen is exceptionally crisp. Additionally, with the Frontier version of Samsung S3, you get LTE support. The resolution is 360 x 360, ROM size is 4 GB, battery – 380 mAh. The device really flies thanks to the 768 MB RAM.

There are 4 ways to operate the watch: touch screen, side buttons, voice commands, and the ultra-cool bezel. As you cycle through it, you can check your apps, notifications, and widgets. The bezel is textured but it is also a little loose. The screen is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass technology. Bear in mind that the watch is fairly thick and not easy to wear under a tight sleeve.

PROS:

  • Casual and durable
  • Interchangeable silicone bands
  • Waterproof
  • Good app service
  • Powerful hardware
 CONS:

  • Bulky and thick
  • Bezel is a little loose
  • Does not have an uni-sex look

Related: Your Samsung S3 Frontier is heavily customizable and you can opt to even change the case. Get the Awinner Case for Gear S3 Frontier and even select the color you want your Android watch’s body to have. These cases are specifically for the S3 Frontier and won’t fit the Classic version of the watch. The case is also shockproof.

Check the price on Amazon

Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) Smartwatch

Price: $300 – $350Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) Smartwatch

Weight: 8 ounces

Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.5 x 0.9 inches

Specific features: LCD display, Snapdragon 400 chipset, customizable bands and frames, Gorilla Glass III, ambient display, heart rate sensor

Best use: The fans of Motorola will likely go for their NextGen Android watch, although some other options in this price range should also be considered

Motorola really aimed at taking customization to another level with this Android watch – the Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) might suit different needs easily.

There are two sizing options which address the “small wrist” problem. Additionally, you can style your device during the pre-order phase through the Moto Maker. Buying from another retailer eliminates this possibility, however.

The stock leather bands can be changed with some much better metal ones. This will also contribute to the more traditional look of the watch. The watch comes in the usual silver and black colors. Some might find this to be quite attractive of a design.

As we look at the body of this Android watch we discover that the back panel is made out of glass and that’s where the heart rate sensor is. The front is protected by a Gorilla Glass III. The button has been moved from the typical 3 o’clock position to a 2 o’clock one and has a bit more chunky click.

The display is bright and the color is good but it is still only an LCD display and not an OLED one. This can be considered by a letdown by some potential buyers. You can pair your smartwatch with both Android and iPhone devices although the latter experience is not going to be very smooth and bug-free.

One of the big advantages of this watch is the improved ratio between ambient display energy consumption and battery life. You can leave your display on for hours and it will drain only a couple of ticks off your battery. The LCD display has one advantage after all.

PROS:

  • Heavily customizable
  • Bands can be swapped
  • Bright display
  • Gorilla Glass III
 CONS:

  • Display reacts slowly to lighting changes
  • Not convenient to pair with an iPhone
  • LCD display

Related: The charging station of your Moto 360 2nd gen. can be replaced at any time. Opt for the Itian Wireless Charging Cradle especially designed for your Android watch. Keep in mind that this device is not compatible with other Android watches. The charging efficiency is improved and the cradle design really feels comfortable.

Check the price on Amazon

Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch

Price: $300 – $350Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch

Weight: 15.2 ounces

Dimensions: 7 x 5.9 x 4.3 inches

Specific features: 1.9 inch. Super AMOLED display, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, rotating bezel, rubber bands, voice response, lightweight

Best use: Those looking for a minimalistic, lightweight, and subtle device

The Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch comes with a very clean look and set up. It is not the most “manly” watch and this is not necessarily a bad thing at all. The display stands at 1.2 inches and is Super AMOLED. It has somewhat a sporty feel to it and you will see that most of the functions are really going to beneficial to active people.

It is supplied with an accelerometer, a barometer, a gyroscope and the sports version of thecomes with the Nike + App. Water resistance should also be mentioned. It is the first Android watch of the brand not to be exclusively for Samsung smartphones. Comes with 2 sets of bands – long and shorter ones. However, you cannot use custom bands on it.

As you go through the Samsung Gear app you will notice that you have a large number of customization options for your watch. You can even set the arrangements for your apps and widgets through the phone app. Changing the watch face is among the more popular settings.

If you want to type on your watch, then the only way to do that is by using the T9 language. This is not very convenient but there are many pre-loaded templates with answers. Voice response is also an option as the audio pick up of the device is pretty decent.

There is an unlock function of the screen although it is quite pointless. After all, it is on your wrist all the time. Thanks to the 300 mAh battery you can get about 1-3 days of life from your Samsung Gear S2. This is also the first Android Samsung watch with a rotating dial for navigation.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Clean design
  • Many sport functions
  • Durable battery
 CONS:

  • Cannot be worn everywhere
  • Typing is hard
  • Bands are not interchangeable
  • Unlock function slows you down

Related: Active people often end up damaging their Android watches during workouts. Grab the Omoton Gear Sports Screen Protector especially for your Samsung Gear S2. It will fit your screen nicely and will even improve the sensation of your swipes and taps. It is fully scratch resistant and easy to install. The pack contains a set of 3 protectors.

Check the price on Amazon

Huawei Android Wear 2.0 Watch

Price: Approx. $270Huawei Android Wear 2.0 Watch

Weight: 2.1 ounces

Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.5 x 1.9 inches

Specific features: 390 x 390 resolution, 4 GB storage, 2 side buttons, charging clasp, Android Pay, water resistant, rubber straps, Snapdragon 2100

Best use: At the gym & on hiking trail

The last watch on our list is the Huawei Android Wear 2.0 Watch and with it, you pretty much get a modern day Android fitness tracker. That is not to say that its functions are not universal, but it obvious that the creators really went a little too far making it especially for active people. This is the initial impression when you look at the design.

On the other hand, the bezel has minute designations which are stationary. This sort of obligates us to use analog watch faces which isn’t a very sporty looking thing. The buttons on the side have pretty predictable functions. One opens the app drawer and the other one stats workouts by default. Yes, the device is also water resistant meaning that you shouldn’t swim with it as it is not waterproof.

The straps are not of the highest quality and unfortunately, replacements are hard to find when it comes to the Huawei watch. You also have only one method of input – taps, and swipes. Pressing any buttons or talking the watch is not going to do anything.

The specs on this Android watch are pretty much standard for that price range. The AMOLED display has 390 x 390 resolution. The chipset is Snapdragon 2100, 768 MB RAM and 4GB ROM. The battery charging clasp is not very elegant and convenient. On the contrary, it can be quite flimsy although it gets the job done. Battery life is pretty good – 2 days on average.

One of the two things that stand out and are software related is the Android Pay which allows you to make transactions in a contactless fashion. The other one is the ability to install apps locally on the watch without the need for a smartphone.

PROS:

  • Long battery life
  • Apps can be installed locally
  • Contactless payments
  • Good specs
 CONS:

  • Straps are of poor quality
  • No extra method of input
  • Charging clasp is flimsy
  • Too much sports-oriented

Related: If you are looking to have comfortable workout sessions with your Android watch, pair it with the WodBottom Headband. Keep sweat and hair away from your face as you put in maximum effort. Don’t expect it to give you a headache as the band is perfectly balanced between being tight and elastic. The width is 3.5 inches.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly there are a number of similarities between these fine Android watches. Personal preference will likely be the deciding factor in this case. Since the price range is identical, money might not be a huge issue.

Choose Your Android Watch

Image credit: expertreviews.co.uk

In reality, there is an Android watch for every wrist size and clothing style. Fitness enthusiasts will love all the sports perks of the devices while fashion devotees will appreciate the serious designs. Whatever, the case, we hope that our reviews have helped you get a general idea of your options and that you won’t struggle to select an Android watch.

Do you have a smartwatch we’ve accidentally missed out on our list? If that’s the case, then leave us a comment and let us know!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.