Which smartwatch to buy

After seeing some of them put on display in shop windows, are you considering the hypothesis of buying a smartwatch but you still don’t know if it’s really worth it or not? Would you like some more information on the functionality of these devices and some “tips” on the best smartwatch to buy in the various market segments? Well, just ask. I’m here to help you and provide you with the information you need.

Below you will find a list of hi-tech watches that can satisfy all needs – and all budgets. Before reading it, however, let me give you some “tips” on the features you need to consider to find the smartwatch that best suits your needs.

The features you need to take into consideration are not only of the hardware type (size and shape of the dial, straps, battery power, etc.) but also of the software type. You must inform yourself well about the operating system with which smartwatches are equipped, their degree of compatibility with the various smartphone models on the market and so on. You also need to be able to distinguish smartwatches from smartbands, another type of wearable device that is very popular nowadays. In short: get informed and then proceed with the purchase of your new “smart” watch: below you will find all the information you need.


  • How to choose the best smartwatch
    • Shape, display and straps
    • Features and sensors
    • Operating systems and compatibility
  • Smartwatch vs Smartband
  • Which smartwatch to buy
    • Best cheap smartwatch (less than 50 €)
    • Best mid-range smartwatch (from 50 to 200 €)
    • Best high-end smartwatch (more than 200 €)

How to choose the best smartwatch

In addition to the technical considerations, you must however consider that a smartwatch is a fashion object that must be combined with your clothing at all times. The best smartwatch may have a nondescript look and may not be suitable for Saturday night outings or ceremonies, just like with a traditional watch. There are various types of smartwatches: the super cheap models, those that are aimed at fitness lovers and those who want to keep fit, the models aimed at sportsmen, and then there are also the design smartwatches. These last two categories, namely sport watches and design models, are usually the most expensive. Below I provide you with the information you need to understand on what to base the purchase of one model or another.

Shape, display and straps

Smartwatches can have different sizes and formats. Those with the circular dial are very similar to traditional watches, they are very elegant but offer less screen space than those equipped with a square display. Square display smartwatches are a little less pretty to look at, but offer more convenience and a little more screen space.

The displays can be based on various technologies: there are OLED / AMOLED displays that are the masters on high-end smartwatches and offer an excellent contrast ratio, in addition they guarantee very deep blacks. The LCD display has a slightly better performance in direct sunlight but they have less deep blacks. Finally there are the e-Paper displays which use a technology similar to that of ebook readers, ensure 100% visibility under direct sunlight and guarantee a much higher autonomy than smartwatches with LCD and OLED / AMOLED displays. Unfortunately with the “death” of the Pebble, which following the acquisition by Fitbit will no longer be produced or supported after 2017, the ePaper smartwatches on the market are very few.

Some smartwatches have the always on function that allows you to keep the smartwatch screen always on in low consumption mode (in order to always show the time without draining the battery). Others, on the other hand, have a screen that turns on only when you bring your arm towards your face or “tap” on the dial.

The straps also play a very important role. If you want a smartwatch suitable for all occasions, make sure that it has interchangeable straps and that the range of straps on the market is quite wide and varied.

Features and sensors

To choose the smartwatch that best suits your needs, you must carefully analyze the features and sensors with which the device is equipped. For example, if you are a sporty type you may find a smartwatch without a pedometerbarometer or heart rate sensor useless.

If you are a person who works outdoors you may find a smartwatch that is not resistant enough to rain or dust (smartwatches, as well as smartphones, are equipped with a certification indicating their resistance to water and dust) and so on. Street. Also, take into account the presence of the brightness sensor that allows smartwatches to automatically adjust the brightness level of the screen according to the degree of brightness of the surrounding environment.

As for the functions, almost all smartwatches connect to the mobile phone via Bluetooth and allow you to view notifications, but not all are equipped with a microphone and speaker for calls. Some models are even equipped with a SIM slot that allows you to make calls and messages even if the watch is not paired with a phone. The ‘ battery life is almost always 1 or 2 days. Only smartwatches with an e-Paper screen (similar to ebook readers) can guarantee more.

Don’t forget to consider components such as the processor and RAM: the more powerful the processor, the higher the amount of RAM installed in the clock and the more responsive the apps will run. The internal memory, on the other hand, can be useful for storing music and using the smartwatch as a portable player while leaving the smartphone at home.

Operating systems and compatibility

Smartwatches are not “universal”. They are equipped with different operating systems and each operating system supports different types of smartphones.

  • Wear OS– is the operating system from Google and is compatible with all Android smartphones equipped and in many cases also with iOS, therefore with iPhone, but in such circumstances its functions are more limited than those offered by Apple Watch. Watches with Android Wear are manufactured by various companies, such as Huawei, Motorola or LG. Early versions of this operating system were called Android Wear.
  • WatchOS– is the Apple Watch operating system and is only compatible with iPhone 5 and later. It goes without saying that this is the best choice for those with an Apple branded phone.
  • Tizen OS and other operating systems– companies like Samsung have made smartwatches with proprietary operating systems. These operating systems offer varied levels of compatibility. Samsung’s Tizen OS, for example, is compatible with Android 4.4 or higher (with some functions, such as email synchronization, accessible only on the terminals of the Korean giant) and with iOS (only for some smartwatch models). Then there are the proprietary operating systems of some cheap smartwatches that are compatible with all smartphones, including iPhones, but offer a rather limited set of functions compared to Android Wear or WatchOS.

Smartwatch vs Smartband

Smartwatches aren’t the only wearable devices commercially available. There are also smart bands , “smart” bracelets that are focused on monitoring sports activities and in some cases offer the same functions as at an average price lower: they show the time, allow you to view notifications from your smartphone and more.

You can seriously consider smartbands if you need a device that first of all monitors your sports activities (or more simply the steps you take during the day). In the post I will tell you more than one.

Which smartwatch to buy

At this point you should have quite clear ideas about which smartwatch to buy , so let’s ban the chatter and see some of the devices that currently offer the best value for money.

Best cheap smartwatch (less than 50 €)

Willful Smartwatch

The Willful smartwatchit is among the cheapest on the list that I propose but does not disdain an attractive and modern design by adding numerous functions to accompany you in everyday life. It is clearly equipped with a pedometer, a meter of calories burned but also of the distance traveled. The heart rate monitor is accurate in the measurement and will allow you to constantly monitor your heartbeats, both during physical activity and when you are at rest. In addition to this, the watch has GPS to check the training route, the stopwatch to measure times during physical activity, the timer, the alarm and many other features that can be used throughout the day. There are notifications to SMS, messaging apps and even phone calls. If that were not enough, it is also waterproof and this will allow you to use it without problems even in the pool up to a depth of 5 meters. The battery has an autonomy of 10 days.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 (smartband)

Xiaomi Mi Band 4it is the cheapest smartband of the Chinese manufacturer. It weighs a total of 22.1 grams, so it can be considered a light device and once you have it on your wrist it won’t bother you and you will almost forget you are wearing it. The silicone strap can be easily replaced with one of another color and, an important detail, the straps are also interchangeable with those of the previous version. The central body of the smartband even if in polycarbonate is well built. The screen is 0.95 inches, AMOLED in color, adjustable brightness and with a button below the full touch display as well as the rest of the device. You will be able to count steps, distances, calories but it also has a stopwatch, countdown timer and configurable alarms. You will also monitor your sleep and you can also use it for sports training both on land and in the water during swimming as the Mi Band 4 is waterproof. The lithium polymer battery has a capacity of 135 mAh but also allows you to reach 20 days of autonomy, depending on the use you will make of it.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (smartband)

It is the latest generation and the most advanced among Xiaomi’s economic smartbands. The Mi Band 5sees the widening of the display compared to the previous one which now, always in color, has a 1.1 ″ diagonal. This will allow you to have all the information about calls, with notifications, for messages but also reminders and so on directly on a single screen. You will also find many colored silicone bracelets that will make it nice but also comfortable and light. On a technical level it supports up to 11 professional sports modes and for the first time also yoga, rowing, jump rope and many others ready to be monitored by analyzing your movement. Lots of sensors present in the small polycarbonate body that will allow you to monitor not only the heartbeat but also sleep, stress and you can also do breathing exercises.

Honor Band 5 (smartband)

Honor Band 5it is a smartband with a similar price to that of Xiaomi but with some differences. Let’s start with the display which is 0.95 ″ AMOLED with a density of 282 pixels per inch and 2.5D curved glass coating. What leaves you pleasantly struck is the brightness, especially in direct sunlight. There are many interfaces that can be loaded directly from Honor’s proprietary application and this makes the smartband pleasant especially among the youngest. On a technical level there is the measurement of oxygen in the blood, not always present in other products, any type of notification on messages, calls or other and then the possibility of having every detail on sleep, on walks, on steps and on that concerning physical activity. What do I prefer about this smartband? Surely the autonomy better than many others but also its perfect construction and compatibility with Android and iOS smartphones. And don’t forget it’s also waterproof up to 50 meters deep.

AmazFit Verge

Aamzfit Vergeit is probably not the most beautiful of all but certainly a great compromise for the price at which it is sold. This Verge is still well made with a rigid plastic body with a finish that I could define soft touch, which gives it good resistance to wear as well as to scratches and bumps of various kinds. Circular shape that recalls that of the most classic wristwatches and the diameter of the dial is not exaggerated in size. The watch is IP68 certified and it is therefore possible to immerse it in water without the risk of damaging it, plus the weight of only 46 grams is contained to make it practically disappear once worn. The display is a 1.3 ″ OLED with an always on mode that with the display off allows you to read the time but also the presence of a well-made brightness sensor. Navigating the interface is really simple and intuitive especially thanks to the touch screen. Clearly, in addition to being a smartwatch, it is also a sportwatch and this means that you can use it to track all kinds of activities with heart rate monitoring and more. On autonomy we can speak well since the 390 mAh will allow you to use it with a single charge for at least 6 full days.

Huawei Watch GT 2

If you want to go up in price and have more performance and even higher quality here is the Huawei Watch GT 2it could reflect precisely these requirements. Inspired by minimalist aesthetic lines, the watch integrates a high-quality 3D glass face to offer you a bezel-less vision with a very classic style in its design. If you like the classic watch here you will find a high resolution 1.39 ″ AMOLED circular display with a 46mm case. There is the Kirin A1 processor which does its job well and keeps consumption at bay. Autonomy side, the battery is really good with use up to 14 days continuously. What about fitness and notifications? No problem because the operating system it has will allow you to read every message that arrives while on the fitness side you can even be followed by the smartwatch for monitoring over 15 different training modes.

Huawei Band 4 Pro (smartband)

The Huawei Band 4 Proit is characterized by an AMOLED color display of excellent quality combined with a small form factor and a GPS module. The diagonal is 0.95 ″ and easily readable even under strong sunlight. This is because the product is designed for users who are passionate about sport, but not in a competitive sense. It has several technologies to improve the reliability of the sensors and data collected, such as Huawei TruSeen 3.0 which is used to monitor heart rate throughout the day. Among the most sport-related functions we find evaluation of the VO2 maximum and recovery times. On the water resistance you can push yourself up to depths of 50 meters and the 6-axis motion sensor recognizes and records the distance you swim, laps, calories burned and much more. Connection to an external smartphone takes place via Bluetooth 4.2 with both Android and iOS phones. The autonomy is about 20 continuous days with moderate use.

Fitbit Versa 2

The Fitbit Versa 2 is a really cool version of the American company’s smartwatches. Lightweight and comfortable to wear thanks to the weight of only 38 grams, it allows you to forget it on your wrist even during the most extreme activities. Silicone strap but with the possibility to choose many colors and also different materials with the removal of these simple and fast.
On a technical level there are the inevitable 3-axis accelerometer, the altimeter, the optical sensor for detecting the heartbeat and even a relative pulse oximeter. The combination of these sensors will allow you to estimate the steps taken, floors climbed, distance traveled, heart rate, calories burned, hours of sleep and much more. The application is undoubtedly among the best on the market. You can interface it with both Android and iOS smartphones and it will allow you to have every detail about activities or even sleep. There is also Alexa, the voice assistant, which will help you in everyday life and also the Spotify app for listening to music. No problem for autonomy: you will reach more than 7 days without too much effort and also with the always on to see the time even when the display is off.

Garmin Venu Sq (smartband)

When it comes to smartwatches and fitness, we cannot ignore those of Garmin and in particular the Garmin Venu Sq. Using it you will immediately find comfortable its large rectangular 1.3 ″ display with Gorilla Glass resistant to scratches and falls. The case is in anodized aluminum while the silicone strap in various colors. What will the smartwatch allow you to do? Virtually everything. Wellness monitoring with heart rate, stress level and quality of night rest. Running, walking, biking, gym activities, golf and 20 other sports profiles preloaded with workouts also for yoga and pilates. You will be able to clearly view all kinds of notifications from calls to SMS to social media notifications and you can also pay easily with Garmin Pay contactless. Of course there is also the sensor for blood saturation, stress, monitoring of the female cycle, the level of hydration and, if that were not enough, the respiratory rate. In short, a truly complete smartwatch with a detailed and highly customizable operating system. And don’t forget the 6-day battery in smartwatch mode and 14-hour battery with GPS on.

Xiaomi Amazfit GTS

A quality smartwatch from the Chinese company Xiaomi. It is the Xiaomi Amazfit GTShalfway between a sports watch and a smartwatch and capable of basing its good reputation and its results on three main aspects: a very attractive design, a well-made screen (1.65 ″ AMOLED) and an excellent quality-price ratio. The watch case is square, with rounded corners, and features a single button on the right to complement the touch screen, all with a thickness of just 9.4mm. The case is made of aircraft grade aluminum, while the standard strap is made of hypoallergenic silicone, interchangeable and available in many different colors and materials. The watch weighs only 24.8 grams without the strap and also has water resistance up to 50 meters deep. Like the others there is daily activity monitoring (with integrated GPS), sleep control and optical sensor to record heart rate plus 12 pre-configured sports modes. The Amazfit GTS is equipped with a 220mAh battery that will last you up to 14 days in normal use mode and up to 30 days with everything turned off.

HUAWEI Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro

HUAWEI Watch 3 is the newest and most advanced HUAWEI smartwatch family. It consists of two models, which differ in the size and construction materials of the case and in the autonomy of the battery. More specifically, we have HUAWEI Watch 3 with 46.2mm stainless steel and ceramic case and 3-day battery life (in smart mode, 14 days in ultra-long battery life mode) and HUAWEI Watch 3 Pro with case in 48mm titanium and ceramic and 5 days battery life (in smart mode, which becomes 21 days in ultra long battery life mode). For the rest, the specifications are the same.

On both models we have a 1.43 “AMOLED curved glass screen and new 3D rotating crown that senses different pressure levels and provides tactile feedback in response to user input. They are waterproof up to 5 ATM and include acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, optical heart rate sensor, ambient light sensor, barometric pressure sensor and a new high-precision temperature sensor, to monitor temperature directly from the wrist. They also support drop detection with activation automatic SOS functions.

They are animated by HUAWEI’s new HarmonyOS 2 operating system , which allows for a seamless experience and unprecedented integration between the various devices in the ecosystem, for example, allowing you to switch functionality from your smartphone to your wrist in real time (e.g. for view information about a trip to be done with timely alerts). For more details, you can consult the pages dedicated to HUAWEI Watch 3 and HUAWEI Watch 3 Pro on the official HUAWEI website. For the purchase of the product, you can also contact the official HUAWEI store, where there are often interesting promos available.

Garmin Forerunner 935 HR

Among the more expensive models, the Garmin Forerunner 935 HR cannot be missing, which is undoubtedly an excellence for lovers of running and sport. If you choose it, you will find yourself a watch capable of detecting heart rate from the wrist using Garmin Elevate technology. This triple LED sensor measures your heart rate 24/7 without the need for a chest strap. If you want, you can also associate it with a compatible heart rate monitor and the watch will provide you with data for a detailed analysis of your fitness. Forerunner 935 has a built-in Wi-Fi module that allows you to automatically download workouts to Garmin Connect and then view them on your smartphone or computer.

Garmin Fenix ​​3 HR

If you want to invest a little more for your new smartwatch and you are a sports lover then there is the Garmin Fenix ​​3 HR for you.. In reality, defining it as a smartwatch is an understatement, given that we are faced with an extremely reliable sportwatch with integrated heart rate monitor, 1.2 ″ circular LCD display visible even under the sun, metal case, sapphire dial and comfortable silicone strap. It is not a very modern model but it still stands up very well at its price. It includes: GPS, altimeter, barometer, 3-axis compass, and then there are custom profiles for specific sports and an EXO antenna to receive the GPS signal quickly and reliably. Among the functions we also have pedometer, distance calculation, calories burned, and heart rate analysis throughout the day. It can receive notifications from the paired smartphone, both iOS and Android.

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Senseis a product designed primarily for fitness lovers, halfway between the amateur and the professional. The rectangular display looks good in sunlight and the activation movement with the rotation of the wrist works well. You will clearly find the GPS which I must say to be quite quick with a slightly longer search on first use. Also present the barometer and also the water resistance up to 50 meters. Like any self-respecting Fitbit, it offers an interface created specifically for monitoring. There is the heart rate sensor which works very well, it also calculates the temperature and oxygen saturation in the blood. You can respond to notifications with an emoticon or a very convenient text message written via voice dictation that works well. The vibration is also good.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is one of the best models available on the market especially if you don’t mind the expense. Aesthetically it is sporty but at the same time also elegant. On a technical level, there are many new features: the rotating bezel returns to navigate menus and applications more easily. There is blood oxygenation measurement in addition to fall detection and a sleep score to improve it. The display is really big, 1.2 inches but weighing only 53 grams. There are case sizes of 41 and 45 mm. It supports a multitude of sports activities and does not lack resistance to liquids, while the autonomy is from 5 to 7 days. The operating system is obviously Tizen OS.

Apple Watch

Then there is the Apple Watch which is an ideal smartwatch if you have an iPhone. It increases the price but also increases the quality in everything. In this case there are many versions that have occurred over time even if I prefer to suggest the latest generation ones and those that reflect the best value for money. In this case I am talking about Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 6 , as well as the cheaper version, which instead takes the name of Apple Watch Series SE . If you are a true sportsman there are also some exclusive variants, such as the Apple Watch Nike + .

What does Apple Watch Series 3 own? It sees the presence of an integrated GPS and barometric altimeter, it can also be used by you in the water for swimming because it is resistant up to a depth of 50 meters. It is also available in the LTE version (even if only with Vodafone and eSIM), which makes it fully usable even without a smartphone. There is a long list of sensors present while as a display we must focus on an OLED of two different sizes (with 40 or 44 mm case) at high resolution. The operating system is the owner of watchOS and the autonomy is a maximum of one and a half days.

Recently presented is the Apple Watch Series 6 which, like its predecessor (Series 5), has a full-screen display with minimized bezels and in versions available with 40 and 44 mm dials. What differentiates this generation from the previous one? The new Series 6 has a latest generation processor (S6 chip), an improved and accurate heart rate monitor with second generation electrical and optical sensor and then there is the introduction of the sensor for monitoring the amount of oxygen in the blood in addition to clearly the already present sensor for the electrocardiogram which however becomes more precise and faster. Finally, you will also find the always-on on the display that will allow you to always see the time even with the display off and the compass.

Also not to be underestimated is the Apple Watch SE Series that the Cupertino company has introduced trying to file some features at the expense of the price that is lowered compared to other versions of Apple Watch. However, the quality persists and this thanks to the presence of a powerful processor like the Apple S5, an AMOLED display with high standards of display and brightness. The graphical interface is the same as the other versions even if it lacks an ECG system for measuring the electrocardiogram and detecting falls. Autonomy always able to arrive in the evening without problems and to guarantee even a few more hours the next day. Many and colorful straps all interchangeable quickly and easily.


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