Yes, they exist – here’s our pick of female-friendly smartwatches so far
If we had tried to compile a collection of the best smartwatches for women 12 months ago, it might have consisted of a string of angry emoticons and not much else. Happily times have changed, the industry is starting to catch up and we are in single digits for the number of smartwatches our female editors and writers wouldn’t hastily cover up with sleeves in public.
Mens watches have a pretty set style but most of the smartwatches and non-screen hybrids here come in a range of styles, sizes and finishes or even the option to go bespoke with your own concoction. Head over to individual reviews for more details on features, performance, pros and cons.
Read on for smartwatches for both iPhone and Android smartphone owners. This list will be updated with relevant smartwatch reviews and new entries as – we hope – there will be a lot more to choose from by the end of 2017.
Apple Watch Series 2
The Apple Watch is still probably the best full-blooded smartwatch for iPhone owning wimmin. Now you at least have the choice between the first Watch or the new Apple Watch Series 2. It’s not exactly groundbreaking in design considering it looks near identical to the original however it’s chock full of better features like waterproofing and GPS. Note: you probably will notice that it’s also slightly thicker too so try both models on in the store to get a feel for them.
Like the Series 1 Apple smartwatch, Series 2 comes in 38mm and 42mm sizes – though you do sacrifice some battery for the smaller size – as well as a range of finishes and band options from the Milanese loop to nylon and Hermès accessories. Though it looks nothing like a traditional wristwatch, the Series 1 is still the most flawlessly finished smartwatch we’ve seen and can look quite chic nestled on a wrist stacked with bracelets.
It boasts native apps which run even when your iPhone isn’t nearby and core features like notification support and messaging are more refined. It’s a lot quicker and slicker to zip around. It’s not perfect – battery life is only better by one day – but it’s definitely an improvement on the first iteration and still a looker.
From $369, apple.com | Amazon
Withings Steel HR
If you like the look of Withings’ monochrome styling, its Steel HR hybrid if well worth checking out. Its tiny circular display and activity dial sit stylishly on the analogue watch face, blending in particularly well on the all black model.
The Withings is a nice choice for anyone who is worried about wearing a gadget on their wrist. It looks like a regular watch but counts steps, tracks sleeps and heart rate and shows you who is calling or if a calendar event is coming up. Withings’ Health Mate app is great and battery life is 20 – 25 days, very impressive.
Two sizes are available – 36mm and a 40mm version – so both are pretty compact and the watch is water resistant to 5 ATM. Our only complaints are the lack of GPS for runners and the poorly designed charger.
$179.95, withings.com | Amazon
LG Watch Style
The new LG Watch Style keeps things simple, in both design and features. This is essentially alerts and activity tracking wristwear but what it has going for it is that it’s considerably smaller than its sibling, the Watch Sport and most other smartwatches.
It’s very light, lighter than it looks, and fairly slim and compact at 10.8mm thick with a fully round 1.2-inch P-OLED screen. Packing Android Wear 2.0 with nifty new watch faces but sadly no NFC for contactless payments – to keep the thickness trim, it’s a inoffensive choice if not the most exciting.
Plus that price is mid-range so if you want lots of features and sensors, you’re out of luck with this one. If you want a smartwatch that looks like a watch and adds a bit of connectivity to your wrist, you’re all set. Choose from three muted models of rose gold, titanium and silver finishes. On sale 10 February.
$249, android.com | Amazon
Michael Kors Access – Bradshaw
The first big fashion name with real star power to get involved with Google’s Android Wear platform was Michael Kors – scroll down for the new women’s styles for 2017.
The Bradshaw Access is aimed at women specifically. At 44.5mm, 14mm thick and weighing more than 110g, the Access is larger than its non-smart counterparts and several other women-friendly timepieces. However, it can also be seen as a fashion statement where bigger is bolder and thus better regardless of the fit – we’re talking ‘boyfriend watch’ look.
There’s pretty customisable watch faces that you can set up to shift from day to night and Michael Kors is on the list to get the Android Wear 2.0 update with the new circular user interface.
There are plenty of bands to pick from including four 22mm interchangeable silicone straps (black, white, blue and red) sold separately for $40 and six 22mm leather straps (brown, white, red, black, embossed tan and embossed snakeskin-effect) which are $50 each.
The Access Bradshaw itself is available in a variety of styles as well and includes eight colours: tort gold, pave gold ($395), gold/turquoise ($375), silver, a metallic blue and metallic brown ($350).
$350, michaelkors.com | Amazon
Moto 360 2
Another top Android Wear pick for women right now is the Moto 360 2. A big part of this, as with the Apple Watch, is the two sizes available – 42mm and 46mm – and the levels of personalisation available with Moto Maker. The round-faced watch can look really classic in rose gold or gold finishes, the special ‘womens size’ lugs, and the smaller 16mm straps.
The one thing that might put you off is that it is still chunky sitting up on the wrist so bear that in mind. In terms of features, it’s almost identical to other Android Wear watches so there’s nothing really standout beyond the usual alerts, accurate-ish heart rate monitoring and voice controls.
In our 3 1/2 star Moto 360 2 review, we said: “The Moto 360 2 improves on some key problems with the first Moto watch – performance and battery – but there’s nothing that really moves smartwatches on. If you’re sold on Android Wear and are willing to accept its flaws the second gen Moto 360 is an affordable, stylish, everyday smartwatch.”
From $299, motorola.com | Amazon
Pebble Time Round
The Pebble Time Round still offers something that no other smartwatch does – it’s just so slim, light and comfortable. Big caveat: Pebble has been acquired by Fitbit so while support is guaranteed for 2017, after that who knows. It is pretty damn cheap now, though, as a result.
It doesn’t have that trademark, long Pebble battery life – it’s only two days and the display is colour e-paper rather than LCD. But it’s one of the thinnest, lightest smartwatches we’ve worn yet. It weighs just 28g and is 7.5mm thick – by comparison the new LG Watch Style is 10.8mm so that’s damn impressive. It really does look no different to a regular watch.
With two band sizes, of a skinny 14mm and more regular 20mm, and three finishes of black, silver and rose gold, the round, two tone Pebble could be exactly what you’re looking for. As ever, it’s compatible with both iPhone and Android so you’re not tied to one handset.
On the features side, you get access to Pebble’s Health platform which includes activity and sleep tracking – though, again, it’s unclear how this will work in future. A lot of Pebble apps also are no longer be supported too.
$129.99, pebble.com | Amazon
Olio Model One
This luxury smartwatch option definitely has the boyfriend watch look – like the Michael Kors – about it but Olio Devices’ Model One does now come in real, 24-karat gold and 18-karat rose gold-plated finishes.
With smaller watches due in the future, the 47mm, limited edition Model One offers a bespoke watch face for each design, custom alligator grain on the Italian leather bands and Olio Assist, its cloud-based personal assistant which CEO Steve Jacobs boasts is more helpful than Google Now.
It’s iOS and Android compatible, has a two day battery life and can also be matched with stainless steel link bracelets. Olio luxe doesn’t come cheap though, this is one of the most expensive smartwatches around.
From $745 (regular), $1,195 (gold/rose gold), oliodevices.com
Hugo Boss Smart Classic
Slightly more classic looking and masculine than the Michael Kors option – the clue’s in the name – are these two Hugo Boss Smart Classic hybrid smartwatches. There is a digital display, fitness tracking and smartphone alert handling onboard. In stainless steel or rose gold finish, there’s croc leather straps and a dedicated companion Hugo Boss Smart Watch app.
The Misfit Phase is Misfit’s first foray into smartwatches. The design marries an analogue style with notifications and fitness-tracking smarts so no touchscreen here. With an elegant 41mm round face (the Phase comes in just one size), and tracks your steps, sleep and distance, giving you access to all your stats on the accompanying app.
Interestingly, the Phase’s pretty analogue face does more than tell the time. It can inform you of incoming calls, texts or other updates, alongside a little buzz. Each type of notification also has a corresponding colour on the watch hands that will also display in a small window at the bottom of the face, to so you know exactly what the watch is telling you.
If you want something with a bit more personality, check out Kate Spade’s Metro Grand and Fossil’s series of hybrid watches.
From $175, misfit.com | Amazon
Asus ZenWatch 3
Asus has ditched its square smartwatch design for the ZenWatch 3, the latest addition to the Android Wear family.
Firstly, it’s a pretty decent price considering most on-brand smartwatches go for $300 and up. Despite the low cost, Asus isn’t cutting corners on design either. The circular watch is fashioned from jewellery-grade 316 stainless steel and a diamond cut bezel. The improved looks extend to the bands as well with the watch set to be available with an Italian leather or high quality rubber straps in dark brown or beige shades.
At less than 10mm thick with the display measuring in at 1.39-inches, the Zenwatch 3 comes in rose gold, gunmetal and silver. Taking a cue from its predecessor, the upcoming watch will be IP67 water resistant.
The first Huawei Watch is another Android Wear smartwatch that has got bulkier in the second gen so is still worth a look. Like Motorola, Huawei chose a round faced, stainless steel watch and went big on customisation with its first smartwatch. There’s a range of styles and finishes available. It is at the higher end and it’s a matter of personal opinion whether it’s ‘worth’ the money.
The 1.4-inch display is a selling point, at 400 x 400, it’s the highest resolution we’ve seen on Android Wear watches yet and it’s also IP67 water resistant.
At 42mm in diameter and 11.3mm thick, it’s essentially the same size as the Moto 360 2 but it is finished carefully with scratch-resistant sapphire glass and really skinny bezels. Head over to our Huawei Watch review for the full verdict.
From $199, huawei.com | Amazon
Michael Kors Access Sofie
The second female-friendly Michael Kors smartwatch (pictured above right) landed at Baselworld, rocking Android Wear 2.0 and a new MySocial micro-app. This lets you set your Instagram feed photos as the background to your watch face.
The new Michael Kors Access Sofie will come in eight different styles with seven different interchangeable straps including this rather dainty, gold finish pave bezel model. Look out for more price and release date info, coming soon.
Marc Jacobs Riley
A quirky hybrid watch is the designer’s first foray into wearable tech. The Marc Jacobs Riley smartwatch is a fun, poppy version of an existing line of dumb dress watches and has an analogue watch face with smarts inside.
Compatible with iOS and Android, it does fitness tracking and phone alerts plus you can use those three buttons for all sorts of remote control features too. We’ve seen white and black plastic models so far but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a whole line by the time the connected Riley goes on sale in the autumn. Refreshing to see a bit of fun amongst the diamantés.
Another designer hybrid from the Fossil Group, the DKNY Minute smartwatch offers the exact same features as the Fossil Q hybrids and the Marc Jacobs above. This time, though, it’s more city chic – we’ve seen a number of styles in the press pics and up close at Baselworld all with the DKNY logo front and centre on the watch face.
Again, this is another fashion watch with a long battery life via a coin cell so you get activity tracking and vibrations for phone, message and app alerts without the hassle of charging every night.