Picking the best Android Wear smartwatch is a harder task than ever. There are an ever-expanding range of Android Wear smartwatches on sale, from a whole host of different brands – and there are plenty more in the pipeline for the rest of 2017 too.
Android Wear 2.0 has also just arrived with smartwatches from the likes of Tag Heuer, Montblanc, ZTE, Asus, Huawei and Fossil hitting the shops in the last few months. There’s also new watches from fashion-focused brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Hugo Boss and Emporio Armani set to drop soon, so there’s plenty to be excited about.
If you’re looking to get a Google-powered smartwatch on your wrist sooner rather than later though, here are all the juicy details on the top Android Wear smartwatches available now.
Scroll down to the bottom for all the info on the Android watches that might be worth waiting for as well.
Best Android Wear smartwatch 2017: LG Watch Sport
The flag-carrier for Android Wear 2.0, the LG Watch Sport is the undisputed king of the Wear world right now. It taps into the rich feature set of Google’s updated smartwatch platform and doesn’t disappoint.
The 1.38-inch, 480 x 480 P-OLED display is, pixel for pixel (348ppi), the best Wear display, so far. It’s also got the most oomph in the engine room with a 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 768MB of RAM. What that means in the real world is a super snappy Wear experience with the new standalone apps loading without a stutter.
But it’s the inclusion of the GPS / NFC / LTE connectivity trio that really set it apart. Thanks to that holy trinity, it’s the first Android Wear smartwatch that really could consider itself a genuine smartphone replacement. It’s the best all-rounder from the Google stable so far, and the most likely to worry the bods over in Cupertino. The Huawei Watch 2 and the latest Tag smartwatch (below) also boast this level of connectivity but the LG Watch Sport remains our top pick.
$349, lg.com | Amazon
Best Wear watch money-no-object: Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
The luxury-leading smartwatch, this ‘Swiss Made’ 45mm beauty is available with titanium, ceramic and 18K rose gold finishes and will provide you with a modular design, which essentially means you’ll be free to switch out the electronic watch with a traditional mechanical Tag module – such as the Calibre 5 or the chronograph Tourbillon Heuer 02-T. Mixing up the lugs, straps and buckle is also an option, with 56 different versions available at launch.
There’s an Intel Atom Z34XX processor powering performance, 4GB of storage memory and a battery life of around 24 hours. There’s also built-in Wi-Fi and GPS to give it a standalone smarts, NFC to let you make payments from the wrist and water resistance up to 50 metres.
Also coming in October, Tag’s CEO confirmed a smaller 39mm Connected Modular so women/anyone with smaller wrists should look out for this.
From $1,550, tagheuer.com | Amazon
Best for running: Polar M600
With the Moto 360 Sport we finally had an Android Wear smartwatch to rival the Sony SmartWatch 3’s GPS skills, but it’s Polar’s M600 that is now easily the best option for runners, despite competition from the likes of the New Balance RunIQ.
Your M600 syncs directly to Polar Flow and not only will your smartphone be able to display all your stats, but all that data is synced in the cloud so you can dig deeper using the Flow desktop client or the browser based version. What’s more, if you don’t trust the optical heart rate monitor on the M600 (you really should though), you can pair it with a dedicated chest strap – and it doesn’t even have to be a Polar one.
$329.95, polar.com | Amazon
Best value Android Wear: ZTE Quartz
The ZTE Quartz, the Chinese company’s first bash at Wear is all about affordability. And, although that means some compromises, it still offers the Android Wear 2.0 experience along with a data connection (3G not 4G), for less than $200.
With a 46mm diameter and 14.5mm thickness it’s a bit of a chunky-monkey but the 1.4-inch AMOLED display, with a 400 x 400 resolution, certainly doesn’t lack vibrancy.
ZTE has compromised to get the Quartz to its price point. It doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor but GPS does make it in. There’s no NFC though, so no Android Pay fun unfortunately.
$192, zteusa.com | Amazon
Best Android Wear smartwatch for women: Michael Kors Access
The Michael Kors Access series consists of two styles: the Bradshaw Access and Dylan Access, based on bestselling women’s and men’s Michael Kors watches. The Bradshaw is the more female-friendly version but is chunky enough to look good on a man’s wrist too. At 14mm thick and weighing more than 110g, it is on the larger, weightier end of watches aimed at women.
For extra style points you get a collection of of 10 bespoke Michael Kors branded faux-analogue and faux-digital watch faces and you can set up day and night modes too.
A big tick for the Michael Kors Access is that it boasts the QualcommSnapdragon Wear 2100 chip as well so it more than holds its own on the performance side too.
There are two new Access models coming – the Sofie and the Grayson – later this year.
From $350, michaelkors.com | Amazon
Best for basics: Asus ZenWatch 3
The Asus ZenWatch 3 is a well-rounded smartwatch all about style, and it will be a much better device once it gets the Android Wear 2.0 update. Until then, you’re still looking at a classy watch with decent battery life and some nice custom twists from Asus.
Battery life on the ZenWatch 3 also isn’t bad by smartwatch standards. We managed to squeeze a little over two days on average, but that’s with moderate, mostly passive use; mainly just checking notifications from time to time.
$209, asus.com | Amazon
Top Wear watch for outdoor adventures: Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F20
The iconic Japanese watchmaker has been quick to give us a successor to the WSD-F10 and this time around it has included GPS – the big omission from the original.
What hasn’t changed though is that rugged outdoor look nor its rugged, outdoor adventure credentials. It’s water resistant to 50 metres as and it’s been built to military standards (MIL-STD-810). The onboard GPS also unlocks more outdoor focused features, including GPS-based watch faces (think altitude and compass widgets).
Casio has a bunch of its own apps designed for adventurers as well third-party apps such as ViewRanger, MyRadar and Yamap, and a monochrome mode is available for when you’re running low on battery, giving you a month’s life if you’re just using it in normal watch mode.
$500, shopcasio.com | Amazon
Most discreet Android Wear: Huawei Watch
When we first reviewed the original Huawei Watch, we called it the slickest looking Android Wear smartwatch but lamented that those good looks came at a premium.
Fast 18 months or so and, with its successor now on sale, there are bargains to be had for the original model – and we think it beats out its successor in the style-stakes; we really wish the Huawei Watch 2 would have kept this simple, but stylish design. In terms of actually looking like a watch, nothing comes close to the Huawei Watch.
The AMOLED display is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400 screen with a 286ppi count. That was (before the LG Watch Sport came along) the highest on any Android Wear device and Huawei’s effort is made all the more impressive thanks to a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Side by side with the smaller Moto 360 2 – its closest rival in terms of aesthetics – it’s clearly a better display. Not just because it offers genuine 360-degree visuals, but because everything just looks sharper.
From $259, consumer.huawei.com | Amazon
Android Wear: New watches coming soon
As well as our picks above, it’s worth noting that there are around 20 new smartwatches coming later this year. We’re talking official, announced, devices here – not rumour mill fodder.
There’s the new Fossil line-up, which includes the Fossil Q Venture and Q Explorer, the Diesel On, the Michael Kors Access Sofie & Grayson, the re-imagined Misfit Vapor and the Emporio Armani Connected; the Movado group range – that’s the Movado Connect, the Hugo Boss Touch and Tommy Hilfiger TH24/7You – and new devices from Guess (pictured above) and Gc.
So, while the smartwatches detailed above are the ones we consider to be the best currently on sale, it may be worth doing some reading around what’s still to come.