The best Apple Watch alternatives

Best Apple Watch alternatives - Photo of person wearing Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
(Image credit: Samsung)

Many people are crying out for the best Apple Watch alternatives, for a variety of reasons. Some find the distinctive Apple Watch design just isn't to their taste. Others get frustrated by the short battery life. And still more people find the price of the Apple Watch simply too high to justify.

So if you're among those not interested in buying an Apple Watch – whether that be a premium Apple Watch Ultra or the more affordable Apple Watch SE – we're here for you. There are lots of great options from brands like Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin, Withings and AmazFit. And so we've picked the very best Apple Watch alternatives in our list below.

All of these smartwatches can be teamed with iPhones as well as Android phones. All of them have advanced and sophisticated smartwatch features. And most of them come in at prices well below the cost of an Apple Watch. We've evaluated the following options according to reputation, reviews and features (see how we test for more). Decided you do want an Apple Watch? See the best Apple Watch SE deals right now. 

The best Apple Watch alternatives in 2022

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Product shot of Fitbit Versa 4, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Fitbit)

01. Fitbit Versa 4

The best Apple Watch alternative overall

Launch date: September 2022 | OS: Fitbit OS | Display: 1.58" AMOLED | Resolution: 336 x 336 pixels | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 6 days | Water resistant: Up to 50m

Built-in GPS
Excellent features
Impressive battery life
No ECG

Shocked by the price of an Apple Watch? The Fitbit Versa 4 is considerably cheaper and yet offers a quite similar experience. Yes, it's mostly targeted at those with an active lifestyle, and doesn't have quite as many high-tech features as the latest Apple Watches. That said, it comes pretty close in most areas.

Like the Apple Watch, it offers an always-on display, Wi-Fi connectivity, built-in GPS and water-resistance. There are lots of great health and fitness features, including swim tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring and 40 exercise modes. You can play, stream and store music, use Google Assistant and Alexa, and there's a generous range of sensors, including an accelerometer, barometer/altimeter, heart rate monitor, gyroscope, ambient light, pulse oximeter and thermometer.

Where you lose out compared with a modern Apple Watch is the limited storage (4GB), no safety tracking, and lack of ECG. Also, while six months' premium subscription is included, after that you'll have to pay for the most advanced features. On the plus side, battery life of up to six days is more generous, and there's that very affordable price. All in all, then, we reckon this is the best Apple Watch alternative overall.

Product shot of Garmin Venu 2, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Garmin)

02. Garmin Venu 2

The best Apple Watch alternative for runners

Launch date: January 2022 | OS: GarminOS | Display: 1.3" AMOLED | Resolution: 416 x 416 pixels | Onboard storage: 7GB | Battery duration: Up to 12 days | Water resistant: 5ATM

Strong battery life
Beautiful screen
Range of fitness features
On the pricey side

Another great fitness tracker that's a decent Apple Watch alternative is the Garmin Venu 2. It's more expensive than the Fitbit Versa 3, number one on our list. But it does has the edge on it when it comes to battery life of 11 days, and the on-board GPS is more accurate. 

If you're into running, you'll love the Garmin Coach app, which helps you train for a 5K, 10K or half marathon race with expert coaching and a dynamic training plan that shifts based on your goals and performance. And there are excellent features for gymgoers too, including muscle map graphics that helps you plan workouts and support for weights, spinning, HIIT, treadmill running and resistance machines.

The Garmin Venu 2 also benefits from an crisp AMOLED screen and well-designed interface that means you can do a lot of stuff without having to connect to your smartphone. That said, if you're not into formal exercise or sport, then you may find of all this overkill for the elevated price.

Product shot of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Samsung)

03. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

The best Apple Watch alternative if you don't care about fitness

Launch date: August 2020 | OS: Tizen OS | Display: 1.2" or 1.4" AMOLED | Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels | Onboard storage: 8GB | Battery duration: Up to 3 days | Water resistant: 5ATM and IP68

Stylish looks
Wireless charging
ECG
Not aimed at fitness enthusiasts

If you're not interested in fitness and just want a generic smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Watches have a lot of appeal. However, the brand's latest model, the Samsung Galaxy 4, is not compatible with iOS. So if you want one that will work with your iPhone, your best option will be the slightly older Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

Headline features include IP68 water resistance, fall detection, wireless charging, an ECG, and blood pressure monitor. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 also boasts accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer and an ambient light sensor. And although the first two watches on our list offer more sophisticated tracking, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 nevertheless provides a good range of health and fitness features. On the downside, battery life of just two to three days isn't so great. 

In general, then, if your priority is fitness, we'd go for one of the first two models on our list, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is a better bet for couch potatoes looking for other advanced smartwatch features.

Product shot of Fitbit Sense, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Fitbit)

04. Fitbit Sense

The best Apple Watch alternative for health data

Launch date: August 2022 | OS: Fitbit OS | Display: 1.58" AMOLED | Resolution: 336 x 336 pixels | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 6 days | Water resistant: Up to 50m

Superior heath features
Good fitness tracking & stats
Six days' battery
Premium features need subscription
Not the cheapest

While Fitbit is known for fitness (the clue's in the name, after all), the Fitbit Sense is more focused on health than exercise. Here you'll find ECG, stress sensing and a skin temperature sensor, along with sleep tracking, heart rate zones, skin temperature measurements, and meditation tools for better mental health.

Fitness isn't forgotten, though. This watch can track and record 20 different exercises and provides a great range of workout stats to pore over afterwards. (Note that you need to take out a premium subscription to use many of these features, though.) Beyond that, the battery can last up to six days, there's onboard GPS, and you can use voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.

Product shot of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Samsung)

05. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Budget alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Launch date: August 2019 | OS: Tizen OS | Display: 1.2" Super AMOLED | Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 2 days | Water resistant: Up to 50m

Affordable
Slim and light
Limited battery
Lacks blood pressure monitoring

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is pretty similar to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, which we list above, but cheaper, slimmer, lighter and better suited for workouts. It comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, and you can choose between a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi version and a pricier one with cellular connectivity.

On the downside, battery life is limited, at just 24-60 hours depending on what you use it for and overall the Watch 3 has more advanced features, such as blood pressure monitoring. If you're on a tight budget though, the lower price may make those compromises worthwhile, and overall this is still a really nice Apple Watch alternative.

Product shot of TicWatch Pro 3, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: TicWatch)

06. TicWatch Pro 3

The best Apple Watch alternative for battery life

Launch date: September 2020 | OS: WearOS | Display: 1.4" AMOLED | Resolution: 454 x 454 pixels | Onboard storage: 8GB | Battery duration: Up to 45 days | Water resistant: IP68

45 day battery 
Lovely screen
Cheaper than Apple Watch 6
No wireless charging
Expensive

The TicWatch Pro 3's headline feature is a 577mAh battery that promises to last up to 45 days in Essential Mode. It also boasts a Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor, which makes everything run very fast and smoothly. Its 1.4-inch retina AMOLED + FSTN screen offers impressive 454 x 454 resolution. And overall, it offers sophisticated features like a heart rate monitor and blood oxygen SpO2 sensors at a lower price than, say, an Apple Watch 6 or a Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. 

You can use it to track your heart rate, stress, steps, sleep and progress in 10+ workouts. It's IP68 water resistant, and suitable for pool swimming. On the downside, there's no wireless charging, and the GPS isn't particularly accurate.

Product shot of Withings ScanWatch Horizon, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Withings)

07. Withings ScanWatch Horizon

The best hybrid Apple Watch alternative

Launch date: May 2022 | Display: 0.54" inch | Resolution: 116 x 80 pixels | Battery duration: Up to 30 days | Water resistant: Waterproof up to 50m

Classic watch looks
Advanced smart features
20 day battery life 
No onboard GPS
Tiny screen
Expensive

Want an Apple Watch alternative that looks like a traditional watch? Then you want a hybrid watch, and our top recommendation is the Withings ScanWatch Horizon. It has all the old-school looks, but turn it over and you can benefit from the functionality of a smartwatch. 

In terms of health, that means advanced features such as an ECG, SpO2 monitoring, heart monitoring and scans, breathing disturbance detection, and sleep tracking. Fitness features are strong, too, with support for cycling, running, and walking, although there's no onboard GPS, so you'll have to team it with your phone for that. On the plus side, battery life is up to 30 days on a single charge. 

Overall, it's not as sophisticated as an Apple Watch, and its tiny display on the back is a very different proposition to the large and detailed screen of the former. But for a halfway house between classic watch looks and smartwatch capabilities, you won't find finer.

Product shot of Amazfit GTS 2 Mini, one of the best Apple Watch alternatives

(Image credit: Amazfit)

08. Amazfit GTS 2 Mini

The best cheap Apple Watch alternative

Launch date: April 2022 | OS: Amazfit OS | Display: 1.55" AMOLED | Resolution: 354 x 306 pixels | Onboard storage: 3GB | Battery duration: Up to 14 days | Water resistant: 5ATM

Quality display
Cool looks 
Low price
Features are limited

Looking for an Apple Watch alternative under $100 / £100? Then check out the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini. Despite its low price, it boasts a beautiful, always-on, 1.55-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with 450 nits of brightness. And thanks to the four-curved corners of the 2.5D glass cover, the product has no obvious border on the front, resulting in a cool, bezel-less look.

There are a ton of great features too, including heart rate monitoring, blood-oxygen saturation measurement, sleep monitoring, stress level and menstruation tracking. You can use Alexa for voice control, there are 68+ sports modes and a pomodoro tracker for productivity, and the 220 mAh battery lasts 14 days on a single charge. 

Don't get us wrong: the smart features are quite limited here: for instance, there's no music player or payment functionality, and little in the way of apps. But for a low price, it still does an awful lot.

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.