What's the best smartwatch? The best smartwatch is the Huawei Watch, but we also recommend the Motorola Moto 360 2 and the Samsung Gear S2. Learn about these smartwatches and more top alternative watches in our best smartwatches chart below. These are the best smartwatches uk on the market for iPhone, Android, fitness and more. See also: The best activity trackers 2016.
Best smartwatches reviews. Whether you think smartwatches are cool or lame, they're are definitely booming and are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Here's where we review and rank the best smartwatches available to buy in the UK in 2016. Read: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear will make all kinds of wearable devices better.
Latest entry: Fossil Q Grant.
Best smartwatch 2016 UK: Why do I need a smartwatch?
There's an interesting theory that smartwatches are to the smartphone what wristwatches were to the pocket watch. Picture the way the average gentlemen used to have to rummage through his pocket for his watch prior to the 20th century - now skip forward 100+ years and the average smartphone user still has to dive into his/her pocket to check their phone. Read: The best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2016.
The kicker now is that your smartphone holds far more information than a pocket watch ever did, yet all of which is still locked into your pocket. The theory behind smartwatches is not for you to make calls with and speak into, like Inspector Gadget, but instead they provide a quick and easy way to check what notifications are on your smartphone, so you can decide whether it's worth delving into your pocket or searching around your bag to fetch your smartphone or not.
New Pebble smartwatches: podcast discussion
Best smartwatch 2016 UK: What smartwatch do I need?
There are two type of smartwatch around at the moment: Those with a colourful touchscreen like would find on your phone, and those which combine a regular analogue watch with smart features - we call them semi-smartwatches. The latter we class as a semi-smart device and normally gives you information via a small LCD screen, LEDs or even smaller hands on the watch face.
While a fully-fledged smartwatch can do a lot more, the juice guzzling screen results in a short battery life. Semi-smart watches benefit from longer battery life with some even having separate sources for the watch and smart features.
If you're an Android user then an Android Wear smartwatch is the obvious choice but it's not necessarily the best for everyone. Google's OS tweaked for wearables also plays nicely with iOS but with cut down functionality so iPhone owners will get more from the Apple Watch.
Others have an entirely different system such as Pebble's range of devices and some even work with Windows Phone like the Vector Watch. There's something for everyone here.
Best smartwatch 2016 UK: What makes a good smartwatch?
So when testing for what is the best smartwatch, the important factors to consider are how much of your smartphone's functionalities can it perform, and how well does it handle each task, the final attribute is obviously style - it's still bling after all.
You'll also want to make sure it's compatible with your smartphone - some are only for iPhone or Android while others support most phones. Note that Android Wear now has iOS support but the experience is cut down in comparison. Some smartwatches use different software such as the Gear S2 which runs Tizen, Samsung's own OS - it's a legitimate alternative to Android Wear.
As is stands, you'll need to pick a watch with more limited functionality if you want long battery life while ones which can do all sorts will typically last a couple of days. Fitness fans will want to look for a device with a heart rate monitor and built-in GPS, although the heart rate monitors are often poor.
We consider the important factors of a smartwatch to be level of notification detail, battery life, style, water resistance, compatibility with a range of devices/smartphones, plus additional features such as microphones Wi-Fi support so you don't have to connect to a phone for full functionality.
With very similar, if not identical, hardware on offer with many of the Android Wear smartwatches, a large part of the decision will come down to design and price.
Best smartwatch 2016 UK: Smartwatch security warning
According to a new report titled Friend or Foe? Your Wearable Devices Reveal Your Personal PIN, it isn't at all difficult for a hacker to figure out your PIN or password utilising motion sensor data from your wearable, with researchers getting it right around 80 percent of the time.
Their advice is for us to create a certain kind of noise data, or to input our PINs and passwords using the other hand.
But we have to say, we do that anyway... at least those of us who are righthanded. We fix our watch strap to our left arm using our right hand, and enter our PINs and passwords using our right hand.
Do you enter your password or PIN using your watch hand? Let us know in the poll below, and scroll down for our list of the 20 best smartwatches.
Best smartwatches 2016 UK
1. Huawei Watch
- Reviewed on: 4 November 15
- RRP: £289 inc VAT
Although it's pricy, the Huawei Watch is best Android Wear smartwatch on the market with its absolutely stunning design and exquisite build quality. There's still work to be done though as the watch lacks GPS, the heart rate monitor doesn't work very well and the charger is bit fiddly.
Read our Huawei Watch review.
- Reviewed on: 21 December 15
- RRP: From £229 inc VAT
The new 2nd-generation Moto 360 is a decent smartwatch offering excellent build quality and hardware. The value is good if you avoid the extras on the Moto Maker but they are hard to resist. Battery life is fairly good and performance too apart from the odd moment. All of this is leading to a whole hearted recommendation, if only Motorola had made the one change we wanted – removing that flat tyre from the display. As much as we like the Moto 360, it's hard to look past this, as small as it may seem.
Read our Motorola Moto 360 2 review.
- Reviewed on: 21 January 16
- RRP: £249
Based on our time with the Samsung Gear S2, we think it's a sleek smartwatch with an attractive design. It offers fairly standard smartwatch features like fitness tracking, but also includes some rather interesting features including a rotating bezel used for navigating the UI and enhanced app capabilities. At £249, it sits itself alongside the likes of the Moto 360 2, and we think the Gear S2 is a great, if not better option for Android users – especially with a custom, intuitive UI.
Read our Samsung Gear S2 review.
4. LG Watch R
- Reviewed on: 7 November 14
- RRP: £225 inc VAT
Quite rightly, LG has decided to launch a round screen version of its first Android Wear device in the form of the G Watch R. It adds much needed style and class to the smartwatch and has an excellent round screen which doesn't have a section missing. It's a shame that it's more expensive than the Moto 360 but if you're going to spend £200, £25 isn't much extra. As long as you like the design of it over the Moto 360 which is down to personal taste.
Read our LG Watch R review.
- Reviewed on: 10 March 16
- RRP: £259
There's no doubt that the Fossil Q Founder is a well-made and good looking Android Wear smartwatch which is also a competitive price. The hardware on offer is good, although some may miss the heart rate monitor and GPS. As much as we love it, the flat tyre effect of the screen is a big drawback stopping it being really great.
Read our Fossil Q Founder review.
- Reviewed on: 7 March 16
- RRP: From £149
The Asus ZenWatch 2 is a great smartwatch, and is definitely a worthy upgrade from its predecessor. Under the hood, the spec boost definitely makes the difference when interacting with the watch, providing a snappy experience and should compete with watches £100-200 more expensive. Visually, its a huge improvement over its predecessor, with more ‘flavours’ of the smartwatch available with a number of specifically designed accessories. The Asus-branded software brings something different to the smartwatch, especially the FaceDesigner app that lets you create your own custom watch face from scratch.
Read our Asus ZenWatch 2 review.
- Reviewed on: 4 November 14
- RRP: £199 inc VAT
The Moto 360 is a fantastic smartwatch with excellent build quality, luxurious design and an affordable price tag. However, it's not flawless with one day battery life, a lower resolution screen which is tainted by the black section at the bottom. It will also be too big for some users. Despite the flaws, it's the best smartwatch we've reviewed to date but watch out for the LG G Watch R, Asus ZenWatch and Apple Watch.
Read our Motorola Moto 360 review.
- Reviewed on: 17 July 15
- RRP: £259 inc VAT
There's a lot to like about the LG Watch Urbane with it's handy Wi-Fi connectivity and the welcome new version of Android Wear. Since it's essentially the same device as the G Watch R in terms of hardware, your purchase really hinges on the design. It is expensive and bulky so we can't see it appearing to the masses so the G Watch R is still our recommended choice.
Read our LG Watch Urbane review.
- Reviewed on: 8 January 15
- RRP: £189 inc VAT
The SmartWatch 3's biggest strength is its built-in GPS, but you'll still need a smartphone for driving directions. It's also great to see a standard USB charging port. The transflective screen is a good idea, but in practice battery life is no better than other smartwatches with better-looking screens. Ultimately, unless you're on a fixed budget, the G Watch R is the better choice. If you can't afford that, wait a few months: the price is bound to drop.
Read our Sony SmartWatch 3 review.
10. Microsoft Band 2
- Reviewed on: 2 February 16
- RRP: £199 inc. VAT
It is very difficult to score the Band 2, because it is such a specific product with a unique feature set. But let's unpack it: it is definitely good value, as the combination of sensors and features is much greater than any comparable product at this price. And it is well made if not the last word in elegance, nor with perfect battery life. If you are looking for a GPS runner's or cyclist's watch it is a good one at a good price, and it also offers the productivity and sleep tracking. And if you want a smartwatch you will like what the Band 2 does, but you may hanker after the ability to compose and send messages. Simply, I don't. I like to wear my dumb watch, and I like for my phone to stay in my pocket rather than on my wrist. So for me the Band 2 is a winner.
Read our Microsoft Band 2 review.
11. Apple Watch
- Reviewed on: 8 September 16
- RRP: £269
We can't help but think that Apple has tried to do too much with this first generation Apple Watch. There are so many ways of interacting with it and so many different features and elements to get used to that the learning curve is surprisingly steep. It takes a lot of getting used to, and at times it feels counter-intuitive, something we're not use to with Apple devices.
That's why we'd struggle to recommend spending the £299 or more it'll cost you to buy this smartwatch. As is often the case, waiting for the second generation of the Apple Watch is likely to be a wise move, because Apple is going to learn a lot from this first generation smartwatch and from the customers and fans that are using it.
Read our Apple Watch review.
12. Pebble Time
- Reviewed on: 29 March 16
- RRP: £149.99
The Pebble Time is a good smartwatch, made all the more attractive by its price. It is probably the least you can spend on a fully-fledged (there's some cheap tat out there) smartwatch, costing as it does the same as some high-end activity trackers. If you can pick one up for under £100, you’ll find it an easy to use notification device with the advantage of music control and an above average sleep tracker.
Read our Pebble Time review.
13. Asus ZenWatch
- Reviewed on: 7 April 15
- RRP: £199
The Asus ZenWatch isn’t the most impressive smartwatch we’ve ever used, but it’s not the worst either. It’s a very good-looking, stylish smartwatch – something that’s a rarity in the smartwatch industry. The lack of buttons is definitely an issue, especially with the touchscreen input being as frustrating as it currently is. It does however boast a decent battery life and enough sensors for you to shake a stick at. Ultimately though, when you put this up against similarly priced smartwatches like the Moto 360, it can’t compete. The Moto 360 has a button disguised as a crown which is used to turn the display on and off, as well an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness dependent on your lighting conditions. Ambient light sensors are a feature that smartwatches need, but very few have. It also has an optical heart rate monitor that periodically checks your pulse in the background without being prompted to, and without a need to physically interact with the watch. With an almost identical RRP, we’d rather go for the Moto 360.
Read our Asus ZenWatch review.
14. Pebble Steel
- Reviewed on: 23 October 14
- RRP: £179 inc VAT
The Pebble Steel may not have a high-res and colourful screen and the square design may not be for everyone, but we think it's stylish and the display has a retro charm which also provides excellent battery life. A good alternative to Android Wear if that's not your cup of tea.
Read our Pebble Steel review.
15. LG G Watch
- Reviewed on: 24 July 14
- RRP: £159 inc VAT
The LG G Watch is the best smartwatch we've reviewed so far, partly due to the affordable price tag and the excellent, albeit not flawless, Android Wear system. You will need a device with Android 4.3 or later, though. The design of the G Watch doesn't wow so check out the Gear Live and the upcoming Moto 360.
Read our LG G Watch review.
16. Fossil Q Grant
- Reviewed on: 3 August 16
- RRP: £165 inc VAT
The Fossil Q Grant is easily the best looking and well made 'semi-smartwatch' we've reviewed. It's both stunning and affordable although the plastic back which shows is a shame. Smart features including customised notifications and activity tracking work well but are fairly basic and limited. Our main issue is the connectivity issues with Android.
Read our Fossil Q Grant review.
- Reviewed on: 12 May 14
- RRP: £169 inc VAT
At a more reasonable price tag than the flagship model, the Samsung Gear 2 Neo is decent smartwatch with plenty of features - we don't care about the lack of a camera. However, the need for a specific Samsung companion device and a limited amount of downloadable apps detract somewhat.
Read our Samsung Gear 2 Neo review.
18. Martian Notifier
- Reviewed on: 4 July 14
- RRP: £129 inc VAT
The Martian Notifier is a great choice for those who want a smartwatch within the design of a regular wrist watch. Its affordable but stylish although the rubber strap isn't the most comfortable. It's main skill is notifications but the additional features like remote camera control are handy. Our main issue is the extra cost of shipping it over from the US so we're hoping for a UK launch soon.
Read our Martian Notifier review.
- Reviewed on: 13 October 15
- RRP: £299 inc VAT
It's good to see a company approaching the smartwatch differently and we like the design and style of the Vector Watch Luna. A month-long battery life is a real standout point but you'll have to be happy with the retro low-res display as a sacrifice. This is all acceptable but the device falls down when it comes to functionality with poor apps, fitness tracking and notification system. Things are improving over time with software updates but that's not really good enough at this price point.
Read our Vector Watch Luna review.
- Reviewed on: 3 March 16
- RRP: £33 inc VAT
The Elephone W2 Smart Watch offers decent design and build quality for the price – it's something of a bargain with the current Gearbest offer on this front. It also offers excellent battery life due to being an analogue watch with smart functions. However, beyond activity tracking and call alerts those functions don't work properly - or at all - leaving us pretty disappointed. The Martian Notifier is a better option for this type of smartwatch.
Read our Elephone W2 Smart Watch review.