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Reviewing the best smartwatches and fitness watches in the UK (2022)

You can see various smartwatches and sports watches being worn on an arm.

Last updated: 11.12.2023 Reading time: 13 Min.

Would you like to get more insights into your health and fitness?

Smartwatches and fitness watches have been around to help you with this for a few years now. 🥳

Modern wearables record not only your step count but also a lot of other data!

On top of that, most fitness watches also allow you to receive messages, make phone calls and much more. 🚀

Read on to find out what to look out for when buying a smartwatch and which device is best suited to your needs. 👇

You can see various smartwatches and sports watches being worn on an arm.

Best Smartwatch Reviews and Comparison UK

Find out more about our favorites now

Best smartwatch for iPhone

Apple Watch 9

The latest Apple Watch stands out with its advanced gesture control, on-device Siri, and enhanced fitness and health functionalities.

The Apple Watch 9 helps you understand and improve your sleep, physical and mental health, all through a smart, CO2-neutral wearable.

The Apple Watch 9 is an ideal accessory for any iPhone user, particularly attractive to those interested in sports and health. 🏃🏼‍♂️

Health in Focus

The Apple Watch 9 serves as a comprehensive health tool. 

It is equipped with sensors for real-time data

You get even more insights with the app, which includes: 

  • Sleep analysis
  • Heart rate
  • ECG
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Fall detection
  • Temperature measurement

The temperature feature is typically beneficial for women tracking their menstrual cycle. 

This year's model also adds new mental health functions, including a daylight sensor. 

Heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch 9
© Smart Home Fox
The Apple Watch 9 is an eco-friendly, CO2-neutral version catering to environmental awareness.

Optimal Training Support

This watch offers various training plans and modes, ideal for fitness enthusiasts.

All data is accessible in the Fitness app, allowing for detailed workout tracking and personalisation.

Smart Functions in the Test

The Apple Watch 9 extends beyond health and fitness. 🏋️

It includes smart features like:

  • Receiving notifications
  • Answering messages
  • Making calls
  • Listening to music
  • Using Apple Pay
  • Accessing on-device Siri.

It also introduces a new "Double Tap" gesture control for ease of use.

Note: It is only compatible with iPhones.

Design and Battery Life

Design-wise, it mirrors the Series 7 and 8 but has an improved screen brightness of 2,000 nits, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra from 2022. 

The battery life remains at 18 hours. ⏳

However, our tests have revealed better performance than advertised.

Our Conclusion

Though changes from the Apple Watch 8 are minimal, the Apple Watch 9 excels in our tests. 

It is especially suitable for sports enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals, offering a wide range of relevant functionalities.

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Eco-friendly CO2-neutral design

Built-in Siri functionality

Enhanced display brightness

Improved response speed

Precise iPhone tracking

Available in new pink color


Gesture control not compatible with earlier models

Battery lasts for a day

Familiar design style

Best smartwatch for Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Currently the best smartwatch for Samsung and Android users.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (Classic) is a versatile smartwatch with comprehensive sports and health features, offering seamless integration for Android users in daily life and training.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (Classic) is a dynamic companion for sports and daily life.

Top sporting performance 

This watch offers extensive sports features, including training plans, sports analyses, and a running coach.

It tracks and displays all your fitness data in the app, aiding in achieving and surpassing your fitness goals.

You can even set individual pulse ranges. 📈

Smart everyday helper

This smartwatch goes beyond fitness, facilitating control of SMS, calls, and music directly from your wrist.

Playing music on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
© Smart Home Fox

It enables contactless payments through Samsung and Google Pay.

Additionally, the LTE version keeps you connected without a smartphone. 📱

Note: All models come with an integrated LTE option, but be aware that the required eSIM often incurs extra charges.

Health in view

Comprehensive health monitoring is a key feature, tracking heart rate, activity, and sleep patterns.

It can measure blood pressure and perform ECGs, though these require a paired Samsung smartphone.

Navigation and positioning with precision

The Galaxy Watch 6 (Classic) uses multiple satellite systems, including GPS, for precise location tracking.

However, it equipped with Google Wear OS and is not iPhone-compatible.

Endurance meets robust design

The battery life has slightly decreased compared to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, lasting up to 40 hours depending on usage.

Both the basic and classic versions boast a durable sapphire crystal display.

Our conclusion

Our final verdict is that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (Classic) impresses us in almost every aspect.

It is a top choice for hobby athletes and anyone leading an active, connected lifestyle.

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Comprehensive sports assistance

Accurate location tracking

Numerous health monitoring features

Includes ECG and blood pressure monitoring

Water-resistant up to 5 ATM

Swappable wristbands


Limited to 40-hour battery life

ECG and blood pressure features exclusive to Samsung smartphones

Incompatible with iPhone

Few new features over the previous model

Best sports watch

Garmin Fenix 7

This modern smartwatch for men offers you extensive support for your training as well as many analysis tools.

If you're looking for the best support while exercising, look no further! The new Garmin Fenix 7 is your answer. No other sports watch offers you so many analysis tools to improve your performance.

The Garmin Fenix 7 is one of the best smartwatches for men in the UK market. 

Extensive support for your training

The Garmin Fenix 7 is the perfect companion during your workouts

You can choose from a large number of different sport profiles on this high quality sports watch. 

This modern sports watch not only records all fitness and health data, but also makes it accessible to you in the corresponding app or in your Garmin Connect account. 📱

© Fenix

In the app, you’re able to evaluate your data with the help of various analysis tools and therefore get the most out of the information. 

The Garmin Fenix 7 offers you crucial advice on how to increase your performance as quickly and effectively as possible. 🙌

Attention: Due to the very large range of functions, it may take a few days for you to get used to the Garmin Fenix 7. 

Your own personal activity tracker

With the Garmin Fenix 7, you will have an activity tracker with you at any moment. 🙌

Even in your everyday life, this smartwatch always tracks your fitness and health data. 

Garmin also offers you dynamic step targets. 

This means that if you reach your daily step target, the target for the next day will be increased slightly; if you do not reach it, it will be decreased slightly. 

This way you will always stay motivated. 🥳

The Garmin Fenix 7 also offers you extensive maps and many navigation options. This is especially useful for hiking enthusiasts.

The most important smart functions are on board 

Although the Garmin Fenix 7 is primarily designed as a smartwatch for exercise and sports, this wearable also offers you other important smart functions

Incoming messages and calls are displayed directly on this wearable. 

Additionally, there is the option to reply to text messages via predefined SMS templates. 

Furthermore, you will be able to control the music on your smartphone. 🎶

You can also use Garmin Pay to pay contactless for your shopping and purchases. 💶

Garmin Fenix 7

Long battery life

When it comes to battery life, almost no other smartwatch can reach the capacity of the Garmin Fenix 7. 🚀

In smartwatch mode, the wearable's battery is able to last up to 18 to 22 days (depending on the model). 

In power-saving mode, the watch lasts about 7 to 10 days with average use including sports activities and GPS tracking. 🙌

The solar variant is even capable of partially recharging its battery by itself. 🔋

New to the Fenix 7: the touchscreen 

The Garmin Fenix 7 is the first smartwatch in the Fenix series to have a touchscreen. 🚀

The smartwatch is now operated both via the side buttons and also directly via the touch display. 

Info: The Garmin Fenix 7 is available in 3 versions: Fenix 7S (42mm), Fenix 7 (47mm) and Fenix 7X (51mm). 

For slimmer wrists, we recommend the smaller Garmin Fenix 7S.  

A comprehensive smartwatch for athletes 

If you are looking to find a little best friend for your training which offers you an extensive training evaluation, the Garmin Fenix 7 is definitely the right choice for you. 

This high quality smartwatch offers you everything you need for your workouts. 🚀

Due to the particularly large range of functions and the various analysis tools, ambitious athletes will find everything they need with this smartwatch. 

Check Amazon*


Extensive support during workouts

Many training profiles and analytical tools

Very long battery life

Detailed sleep tracking

Waterproof up to 50 metres


Acclimatisation period necessary

Limited smart functions

High price

Best Huawei smartwatch

Huawei Watch Ultimate

This outdoor watch from Huawei offers over 100 sports modes, lactate threshold measurement, a diving computer, and highly precise navigation.

The Huawei Watch Ultimate is ideal for athletes, divers, and adventurers seeking a highly durable watch with long battery life.

The Huawei Watch Ultimate is tailored for athletes, divers, and adventurers. 🏊🏻‍♀️

It is similar in design and purpose to the Apple Watch Ultra.

Sports Modes and Training Analysis

With over 100 sports modes, this watch tracks your workout data effectively. 

Huawei Watch Ultimate sports mode
Sports mode on the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Image © Smart Home Fox

The Huawei Health app provides a thorough analysis of your training. 

You can even plan personalised workouts for better coordination.

Diving Mode

Functioning as a dive computer, it's water-resistant up to 100 metres (10 ATM) and includes dive planning capabilities. 

Diving mode on the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Diving mode on the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Image © Smart Home Fox

A comprehensive diver logbook keeps crucial information easily accessible.

Expedition Mode for Adventurers

The expedition mode of the watch caters well to outdoor enthusiasts, featuring various navigation functions, including waypoint setting. 

Its dual-band five-system GNSS ensures accurate navigation. 

Navigation on the Huawei Watch Ultimate
Expedition mode on the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Image © Smart Home Fox

And with up to two weeks of battery life, it's a dependable companion for outdoor activities. 🔋

Note: The watch does not feature fall detection and hence cannot make automatic emergency calls in case of falls.

Health Functions and Basic Smart Features

The watch offers health features such as:

  • ECG
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Stress level measurement
  • Breathing exercises for relaxation

However, its smart features are somewhat limited compared to other models. 

It supports music, messaging, calls, and contactless payment in the UK. 

But the interaction is limited to pre-set short responses and is not available on iPhone.


During our tests, we found out that the Huawei Watch Ultimate excels as a versatile and durable smartwatch, ideal for athletes, hikers, and divers. 

Its wide range of features and long battery life makes it a reliable partner for diverse adventures.

View on Amazon*


Wide range of sports features

Comprehensive diving mode

Multiple outdoor features

Precise GPS tracking

Accurate heart rate tracking

In-depth sleep analysis

Basic smart capabilities

Compatible with iOS, Android, and Huawei devices


Significantly large and bulky design

No smaller variant for women

Lacks fall detection feature

No built-in LTE capability

Best Polar Smartwatch

Polar Grit X Pro

Polar's best multisport outdoor watch offers numerous navigation and sports functions along with extended battery life.

The Polar Grit X Pro supports your sports activities and provides extensive navigation functions. But does it live up to its promises?

The Polar Grit X Pro is marketed as a top multisport outdoor smartwatch.

Extensive support for sport

It offers extensive support for various sports. 

With 130 sports modes, it can track almost any sport, displaying essential information on the smartwatch during training. 

Sports modes on the Polar Grit X Pro
Sports modes on the Polar Grit X Pro. Image © Smart Home Fox

The accompanying Polar Flow app provides detailed analyses to help efficiently reach fitness goals. 📊

Navigation Features for Outdoor Adventures

Beyond sports, the Grit X Pro is equipped for outdoor adventures.

This includes extensive navigation functions, an altimeter, and a compass. 

It uses multiple satellite systems, including GPS, for accurate location tracking and navigation. 

The watch also integrates with Komoot, offering access to established hiking trails or the ability to create new ones. 🧗🏻

Altimeter on the Polar Grit X Pro
Altimeter on the Polar Grit X Pro. Image © Smart Home Fox

Its long battery life of up to 7 days is ideal for extended outdoor activities.

Sleep Analysis 

A standout feature is its detailed sleep analysis, offering insights to improve long-term sleep habits

Detailed sleep analysis on Polar Grit X Pro
Detailed sleep analysis on the Polar Grit X Pro. Image © Smart Home Fox

This includes information on sleep phases and other data. 

Health Monitoring

Additionally, the watch acts as an activity tracker, monitoring daily activity and heart rate.

Measuring heart rate on the Polar Grit X Pro
Measuring heart rate on the Polar Grit X Pro. Image © Smart Home Fox

While it shows incoming calls and messages, the Grit X Pro does not support making phone calls. 📞

It does allow for music control on a connected smartphone, but its range of smart features is relatively limited.

Our Verdict

The Polar Grit X Pro excelled in our test with its extensive sports and navigation functions. 

It's a great choice for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who value these features more than a wide range of smart functionalities.

View on Amazon*


Comprehensive training assistance

Numerous navigation features with Komoot integration

Highly accurate heart rate tracking

More than 130 sports modes

In-depth sleep analysis

Extended battery life of up to 7 days


Restricted range of smart features

Limited health function options

Bulky and large design

No LTE model available

What is a smartwatch and what can it do?

Smartwatches... what are they exactly? 🤔

Smartwatch devices are wristwatches that feature a range of functions similar to those on your smartphone. This makes it the perfect companion for your mobile phone. 🙌

The following functions are integrated into most wearables:

  • Viewing and replying to messages
  • Accepting and rejecting calls 📞
  • Weather forecast
  • Music function 🎶
A smartwatch is a kind of mini-computer on your wrist that can feature many different functions.

A smartwatch lying next to a mobile phone on the table.

At the same time, smartwatches also serve as fitness trackers.

As well as the functions mentioned above, they also record a variety of fitness and health data!

They can support you with tons of different workouts and training plans for many different sports and activities. 💪

Communication between your smartwatch and mobile phone

Your smartwatch must be connected to a compatible smartphone to get the best use out of your device. 📱

We will go into more detail on the subject of compatibility with a smartphone in the next chapter.

You will receive many more detailed insights into your recorded data via the companion app on your smartphone.

A mobile phone is absolutely necessary to set up your smartwatch.

The watch face of a smartwatch is visible.

You can also customise your fitness watch with various apps, widgets and watch faces in the app. 🙌

A smartwatch with or without a SIM card?

In most cases, manufacturers offer different versions within a series.

There are usually models with and without LTE function. The latter can access the internet independently of the smartphone.

This means you can use the smartwatch without your phone present, so you can receive messages and calls wherever you may be.

To use this function, you need a corresponding eSIM card.

You often need a separate mobile phone contract for these kinds of SIM cards.

Some mobile phone providers also offer a multi-SIM option, but this usually incurs additional charges.

Tip: Watch models without LTE function are usually a little cheaper.

Other wearable options - smart rings

Smartwatches are not the only wearables that support you in your training and everyday life.

These smart devices now also come in the form of smart rings. 💍

The big advantage: these gadgets have a really subtle appearance on your hand.

Similar functions, simple design

A smart ring is naturally much less noticeable on your finger than a smartwatch is on your wrist.

During your daily routine and at night, the rings record all kinds of data, from your heart rate to your blood oxygen levels.

Info: Smart rings really come into their own when it comes to sleep monitoring.

You can see the Oura Ring on your hand.
Oura Ring

When you wake up in the morning, you can have a look at how restful your sleep was in the app. 💤

In addition to this, the wearables also support you during workouts. The range of functions here, however, is far more limited than with smartwatches.

Info: By the way, you can find our review of the popular Oura Ring here.

Comparing the different operating systems for wearables

If you want to be able to make use of all the functions of a smartwatch and unlock its full potential, a mobile phone is absolutely necessary. 📱

Whether or not your mobile phone can connect to a wearable depends on the operating system or the manufacturer.

Apple’s watchOS is displayed on a phone app and a smartwatch.

When it comes to producing smartwatches, Apple is a household name. But there are also smartwatches on the market from other manufacturers 👇

The Apple Watch and watchOS

The smartwatches produced by this well-known manufacturer run on the watchOS operating system.

These fitness watches are only compatible with the iPhone and therefore cannot be used with Android phones.

The Apple Watch Series 7.
© Apple
After completing set-up with an iPhone, the watch can also be used without a mobile phone using Family Setup.

This feature lets family members without an iPhone benefit from an Apple Watch and its features.

However, a companion iPhone is necessary for some Apple Watch features, so these are not available on watches paired with Family Setup. A compatible mobile phone with iOS is essential for accessing all functions.

Google's Wear OS: runs on many watches

Apple's biggest competitor is of course Google. So it’s hardly surprising that Google has developed its own operating system for wearables.

Wear OS runs on most watches from various manufacturers: Huawei, Fossil, Casio, etc.

Huawei GT3 smartwatch.
© Huawei

A small number of functions on Wear OS smartwatches are not available on iPhones.

The reason for this is that the device’s different operating systems (Android and iOS) cannot communicate with each other natively.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first Samsung Smartwatch in the series to run Wear OS powered by Samsung. It is also the first Galaxy smartwatch not compatible with iPhones.
You can see the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
© Samsung

Which operating system does Samsung use for its smartwatches?

Older smartwatches ran with Tizen, their in-house operating system. These devices had limited compatibility with Apple iOS phones.

Since the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, however, the manufacturer has also been using Google's Wear OS. The user interface is still designed by Samsung itself.

This comes with Samsung now leaving iPhone users completely out of the loop with its new devices. The smartwatches can now only be used with Android phones.

Thanks to Wear OS, users can access the Google Playstore and install third-party apps directly from their watch.

Fitness Watches with Fitbit OS

The Fitbit manufacturer is also at the forefront when it comes to sports watches and smartwatches. The manufacturer's fitness trackers are particularly popular.

The wearables run with Fitbit's own operating system, Fitbit OS.

You can see the Fitbit Sense smartwatch
© Fitbit
The big advantage of Fitbit wearables is that both iPhone and Android users can connect to them.

Sports watches with their own operating system

Some manufacturers, such as Garmin or Polar, have also gone their own way and developed their own operating system for their fitness watches.

These wearables are also compatible with both iPhones and Android smartphones.

You can see the Garmin Fenix 7.
© Garmin
These sports watches can be used with any mobile phone which allows you to install the companion app.

Budget-friendly alternatives from Asia

In addition to well-known manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung or Fitbit, there are of course many cheaper, more affordable alternatives from Asia. These can be easily bought online from the UK.

These smartwatches often look a lot like top models, such as the Apple Watch.

You can see the Amazfit GTS.
© Amazfit

For legal reasons, such manufacturers usually also develop their own operating system.

What is the difference between a smartwatch and a sports watch?

Not all smartwatches are created equal!

There is a fundamental difference here: should the wearable primarily support you in your sporting activities or act as an addition to your mobile phone? 🤔

This is a smartwatch

A smartwatch should first and foremost be an extension of your smartphone.

You see an incoming call on the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 5
The weather forecast is displayed on the smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 4

In addition, these wearables also come with all kinds of health tracking and fitness functions.

The watches often have a simple, elegant look and are also suitable for wearing in the office.

This makes them the perfect choice for casual sports enthusiasts who are looking for a smart wearable for everyday life. 🚀

This is a fitness watch

With a fitness smartwatch, the focus is on the detailed recording of your fitness and health data.

Sports watches provide you with extensive insights and analysis tools. By doing so, they can optimally support you in achieving your training goals.

Information about the training you have completed is displayed on the smartwatch.

Training data is shown on the sports watch.

Tip: Detailed insights into the recorded data are available in the corresponding app.

Sports watches like these offer you extensive support during your training. 💪

However, you have to make some sacrifices in terms of smartwatch features. Only the basic functions are featured, such as reading messages.

Unlike smartwatches, sports watches are somewhat larger and chunkier.

Smartwatches for kids

Buying your child a smartwatch is a great way to give them some independence while also providing you with some peace of mind.

Smartwatches aimed at children often feature multiple security functions, such as GPS tracking. This allows parents to view the exact location of their child in real-time.

Another important safety feature is geofencing. With this feature, parents can create a safe zone for their child with virtual fences and get notified if their child leaves this area.\

A smartwatch for children.

Kids can also use their smartwatch to call their parents directly from the wearable, and vice versa.

A difference between regular smartwatches and children’s smartwatches is that, usually, children cannot access the internet with their smartwatches. This means parents don’t have to worry about their child accessing online content without their knowledge.

But kid’s smartwatches aren’t just useful for parents - they can also come with fun features for your child to enjoy. Some smartwatches feature music, video and games. 🎮

These are the advantages and disadvantages of the best smartwatches

Modern smartwatches offer many advantages in your everyday life!

They not only serve as an extension of your smartphone but function as fitness trackers by supporting you in achieving your health and fitness goals!

The functions of different smartwatches will of course differ depending on the model.

Advantages of a smartwatch

Let’s take a look at the advantages a smartwatch can offer you below. 👇

Receive and reply to messages

When your phone is nearby (except for watches with LTE function), you can read incoming messages directly on your wrist.

A received message is seen on a smartwatch.

Checking your smartwatch is usually much more inconspicuous than checking your mobile phone.

Many smart watches also offer the option of replying to messages directly via the wearable.

Tip: You can individually select which apps you want to receive notifications from, like WhatsApp, for example.

Make a phone call via your smartwatch

Almost every wearable available today also displays your incoming calls. This gives you the option of accepting or rejecting calls.

Some models also allow you to make phone calls directly via the smartwatch. 🥳

Making calls via your watch is a feature that is often reserved for smartwatches only.

Monitor your health and fitness data

Smartwatches measure different health and fitness data via various sensors throughout the entire day.

Afterwards, the recorded information can be viewed either directly on the wearable or in the associated app on the mobile phone. 📱

Receive indications of possible diseases

While smartwatches cannot provide medically validated results, they can certainly give indications of possible diseases.

If, for example, the fitness tracker shows discrepancies in your heart rate measurement, you should definitely consult a doctor.

Disadvantages of a smartwatch

But of course, a smartwatch does not only come with advantages. Here are some disadvantages of these devices. 👇

Measurements can be inaccurate

Depending on the wearable, certain measurements may be more or less inaccurate.

Sports watches usually deliver better results here than pure smartwatches.

Tip: You can record your pulse and heart rate even more accurately with a chest strap.

Polar H10*

Garmin HRM Pro*

Influencing your mindset

Fitness watches record all kinds of useful and interesting information about your health and activity.

Even if this sounds particularly interesting at first, there are some potential dangers hidden here.

For example, if your wearable shows you in the morning that you slept badly, this can have a negative effect on your mindset, leading you to automatically feel less energetic. 😴

Excessive tracking of the calories you consume can also have a negative impact on your well-being.

How the best smartwatches support you during training

Smartwatches offer you many advantages, especially for your training.

Not only do they record a lot of different data, but they can also help you achieve your goals even more efficiently.

Workouts and training plans on your fitness watch

Fitness tracker watches provide you with a wide range of pre-installed workouts and training programmes.

So you can choose from ready-made training plans or create your own. 💪

Some fitness watches also support you with a practical calendar function where you can plan your entire training week.

Automatic activity detection

Smartwatches can usually recognise when you start an activity automatically. Then they immediately start recording your data.

Some fitness watches can even record different activities in one workout. This is especially useful for triathletes.

Detailed recording of your training data

During all activities, smartwatches record a variety of your health and fitness data. 🥳

These include the following metrics:

  • Pedometer
  • Distance travelled
  • Elevation climbed
  • Calories consumed
  • and much more...

You can see the recorded activity data on the smartwatch.

You can read the most important information directly on your smartwatch.

Further details are available in the companion app for your smartphone.

Our experience training with the best smartwatches in the UK

A modern fitness watch can offer extensive support for your training.

Wearables not only provide you with insights into the effectiveness of your training but also help you to achieve your goals even faster. 🚀

For particularly ambitious athletes, a pure sports watch is the right choice. For those who train more casually, a conventional smartwatch also offers all the necessary functions.

Testing the smart functions of your wearable

Both pure smartwatches and sports watches now come with a variety of different features accessible from our mobile phones.

This makes them the perfect accessory for our smartphones. 🥳

Smartwatches usually have more smart features compared to sports watches.

Messages and calls on the wearable

You can receive both calls and messages on your wearable. 📞

With many devices, these can be accepted or answered directly on the mobile phone watch.

Many mobile phone watches also offer the option of making a phone call directly from the device.

Listen to music directly from your smartwatch

Modern smartwatches and sports watches now come with an integrated music memory.

You can either download your favourite songs directly to the watch or listen to them via various music streaming services, such as Spotify.

You can see the music function on a smartwatch.

Apple Music can currently only be used with the Apple Watch. But it is usually possible to download purchased songs from iTunes to the wearable.

Especially practical: you can simply leave your mobile phone at home and listen to music via your smartwatch. 🥳

Fitness watches with voice assistant

Many smartwatches available today are also equipped with a practical voice assistant for voice control.

Apple has Siri on board, of course, while many other watches have Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

This way you can easily speak into your watch and ask for information. 🙌

Pure sports watches, such as those from Garmin, often do not have a voice assistant.

Contactless payment with a smartwatch

Would you like to pay for your purchases quickly and easily with your smartwatch?

Modern smartwatches make that possible with Google Pay on Wear OS watches and Apple Pay on watchOS devices. 💪

You can see the contactless payment option on the smartwatch.

Simply connect your wearable to your bank and you're ready to shop.

Testing the smart features - Our conclusion

In our test, we were more than thrilled with the smart functions of the best smartwatches!

Many functions of your mobile phone are available directly on your watch. What more could you want? 🥳

Comparing the health data of the best smartwatches

Smartwatches not only offer you many smart functions and support you in your training, but they also record all kinds of health data. 🙌

You can view the most important data directly on the wearable. You can also get many more insights in the corresponding app on your mobile phone!

Testing the activity tracker

The best fitness watches are equipped with an activity tracker and pedometer. Various sensors are constantly recording a variety of data.

You can see the recorded activity on the smartwatch.

If you have been inactive for too long, the wearable reminds you to move again to help you on your way to achieving your step count goal.

Pulse measurement and heart rate on smartwatches

Fitness watches also record pulse and heart rate via pulse sensors. All smartwatches available today have this function.

What is the difference between pulse and heart rate?

The pulse can be perceived as a beat in the arteries. As the heart contracts at regular intervals, blood is pumped through the body.

However, some heartbeats may be so weak that they cannot be perceived as a pulse. This condition is called "absent pulse".

These missing heartbeats are included in your heart rate, but not in your pulse. The heart rate, therefore, indicates how often your heart actually beats per minute.

If there is an accumulation of missing heartbeats, this may indicate a disease. In this case, a doctor should be consulted.

Heart rate measurement is shown on the fitness watch.

You can see the heart rate measurement on a smartwatch.

Even though the pulse measurement in our test was quite accurate, the best fitness watches cannot record the data as precisely as a chest strap, for example.

Note: Many modern wearables can also measure your skin temperature.

Stress levels and breathing exercises

The best smartwatches also use various sensors to determine how stressed you are at the moment.

In addition, various breathing exercises are also available to help you relax.

You can see the stress level on the fitness watch.

You can see the breathing exercises on the fitness watch.

The perceived stress level may differ from the measured one, depending on your feelings and emotions.

In our test, however, the values and our perception in the comparison were generally in agreement.

Blood oxygen saturation test

The best fitness watches can also measure blood oxygen saturation.

This data provides information about how well your body adapts at high altitudes. This is especially useful for hikers and mountain climbers. 🏔

Note: In conjunction with the integrated barometer, wearables can give recommendations on how fast you can ascend.

You can see blood oxygen saturation in the app.

In addition, the measurement data can also give indications of possible sleep problems.

Blood oxygen monitoring does not provide medically validated measurement data.

ECG function and blood pressure measurement

Some smartwatches can also measure your blood pressure and take an electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG analyses your heart's rhythm and electrical activity to check for irregularities.

Again, fitness trackers are not able to provide medically validated results, but they can certainly give you indications of possible diseases.

Measuring your VO2 max

The best fitness watches are also able to measure your VO2 max value.

VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilise during exercise. This value indicates how well equipped your body is to handle endurance training.

Measuring your blood sugar

There is currently no smartwatch on the market that can measure your blood glucose.

However, various manufacturers are currently in the development phase of this feature.

This is expected to be carried out completely painlessly via the skin.

This function could be especially interesting for diabetics.

Body composition

Using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), some fitness trackers can also determine your body composition.

This way you can calculate what proportion of your body consists of water, fat and muscle mass.

You can see how the body analysis is carried out on the smartwatch.

However, we noticed in our test that the measurements are quite inaccurate and are definitely subject to strong fluctuations from day to day. 😕

Smartwatches are not (yet) suitable for precisely determining your body composition. Only a doctor can provide you with an accurate analysis.

Testing the measurement of health data - Our conclusion

In our test, we were thrilled to see how many different types of data the best smartwatches can measure. 🥳

Not all data is recorded 100% accurately, but it can still give you important clues about possible diseases.

Depending on the model, smart wearables offer various other additional functions.

Sleep tracking on the best wearables

Do you ever wonder why some days you're full of energy in the morning, but on others, you can barely get out of bed? 👟

The best fitness watches can help you answer this question!

After all, today's modern wearables all come with extensive sleep tracking functions. 🥳

How restful your sleep was

Smart wearables measure many different data while you sleep. They then calculate how restful your night's sleep was.

Some smartwatches provide you with a sleep score that gives you information about the quality of your sleep.

The sleep score is shown on the smartwatch.

You will also receive a lot more information in the companion app:

  • Duration of your sleep
  • Sleep phases (light, deep and REM sleep)
  • SpO2 (blood oxygen) saturation monitoring
  • Snore data (e.g. for Samsung Galaxy Watch 4)
  • Energy consumption during the night

You can see the recorded sleep data in the app.

Your smartwatch as a navigation device

Thanks to the integrated compass, barometer and satellite systems, a smartwatch can also be used as a navigation device. 🗺

Most fitness watches feature several integrated satellite systems, such as GPS, Galileo, GLONASS or Beidou.

You can see the map function on the fitness watch.

However, some wearables come without an integrated satellite system. Instead, they use your mobile phone's GPS. These recordings are usually less accurate, though.

As well as this, you must always have your mobile phone with you to be able to record GPS data with these devices.

With fitness trackers that don't have an integrated satellite system, you can't track your route when swimming, for example, and you get less accurate data.

Tip: Deactivate the GPS function to extend the battery life.

Map function and Google Maps

Some fitness watches come with pre-installed maps. Others allow direct access to Google Maps.

You can search for places in your area, create routes and let your watch navigate your journey.

Thanks to voice output via Bluetooth headphones or via the watch itself, the wearable can navigate your route.

You can see the navigation function on the Smartwatch.

You can see the navigation function on the Smartwatch.

Use Komoot and Strava

Some wearables also allow you to download Komoot or Strava to your fitness watch.

So you have even more maps and routes at your disposal! 🥳

You can see Komoot on your sports watch.

Testing the accuracy of the GPS

In our tests, we do of course also take a close look at the GPS function on the various sports watches.

In this respect, the best smartwatches perform quite well! In general, they are able to deliver accurate results. 🙌

Our tips for improving GPS accuracy

With almost all wearables, some additional factors can negatively affect GPS accuracy.

This includes, for example, the movement of your arms, your body acting as an obstacle and physical conditions.

So here are our tips on how you can further increase the GPS accuracy of your watch 👇

Activate multiple satellite systems

If you activate several of the integrated satellite systems at the same time, your wearable can record your location even more accurately. 🙌

Reduce the recording interval

Some fitness watches, such as Garmin devices, allow you to reduce the recording interval.

This records more data points and further increases GPS accuracy.

Activating multiple satellite systems and reducing the recording interval will drain the battery of your fitness watch more quickly.

Our experience with the battery life of smartwatches

When it comes to choosing the right smartwatch, battery life is a particularly important factor.

However, almost every smart gadget performs quite modestly in this area. Depending on how intensively you use it, most watches only offer a one to one and a half day battery life. Then the watch has to be charged again. 😕

If you’re looking for a smartwatch with the best battery life, special sports watches, such as those from Garmin, last significantly longer up to several weeks.

Tip: By deactivating the location function and activating the energy-saving mode (if available), you can significantly increase the battery life.

The charging time of a smartwatch

Smartwatches come with either a simple mains adapter or a charging pad.

This way you can charge your wearable quickly and easily.

A smartwatch is seen charging

Depending on the device, the charging process takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Tip: If you deactivate the always-on display, the battery of your Smartwatch will last longer.

The design and display of your smartwatch

Of course, a smartwatch is more than just a smart fitness tracker for your wrist: it is also an accessory.

Therefore, you definitely want to choose a smartwatch that you also like.

But here's some good news for you: smartwatches come in all shapes, sizes and colours. 🚀

Many different styles and designs

At first glance, smartwatches differ mainly in their shape. You have both square and round wearables.

When it comes to colour, manufacturers often offer many choices.

You can see the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
© Samsung
You can see the Apple Watch 7.
© Apple
There are also many smartwatches on the market that look quite classy and can easily be worn with a suit.

Pure sports watches, such as those from Garmin or Polar, usually look a bit clunkier.

Common materials include aluminium, stainless steel, and titanium.

Here, you can find everything about the best smartwatches for women.

Choose from many different straps

No matter which smartwatch you choose in the end, you can always buy many different interchangeable bands.

A silicone or leather watch strap is particularly popular. However, you can also buy sophisticated-looking straps made of stainless steel.

In our comparison, we were impressed by how comfortable the best smartwatches were to wear.

You can see the different watch bands of a smartwatch.
© Apple

Most mobile phone watches are equipped with a special mechanism that allows you to change the strap quickly and easily.

So you can customise your timepiece exactly to your taste. 🙌

Tip: There is a particularly large selection of bands available to buy online in the UK.

Smartwatch displays

In addition to varying designs, the displays of wearables also often differ greatly from each other.

Many devices have an OLED display. The best wearables, however, feature a modern AMOLED display. This offers particularly clear and sharp colours.

Tip: Manufacturers usually offer watches with a smaller display for women. A large display is mainly aimed at people with wider wrists.

Additionally, if you want to use your watch primarily outdoors, there are better alternatives, such as the transflective memory-in-pixel display (MIP display).

This is mainly used in Garmin's sports watches and is easy to read even in sunlight. ☀️

The great advantage of such a display is that it also doubles as an energy-saving function.

Testing smartwatch controls

There are 2 ways to operate a smartwatch: either via side buttons or via a touchscreen.

Button control is particularly common in sports watches.
You can see the side buttons of a sports watch.
© Garmin

Other smartwatches are operated via the touchscreen.

Control via a rotating bezel

In addition, many mobile phone watches also have a bezel, i.e. a special border around the display. By rotating this bezel, you can scroll through the menu, for example.

Instead of a digital bezel, the Apple Watch has a Digital Crown (a kind of knob that can be twisted).
You can see the bezel of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
© Samsung
You can see the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch.
© Apple

Some wearables also have a digital bezel that opens on the display as soon as you swipe over it.

Smart watches with a touch screen also usually have one or two buttons on the side, which make operation easier.

The familiarisation phase - usually quick and easy

Most manufacturers make sure that their wearables are easy to use. 🙌

After a short familiarisation phase, quickly navigating your fitness tracker will become second nature to you.

The more functions your fitness watch has, the longer the familiarisation phase will take.

In our test, however, we were thrilled with the high usability of the devices. 🥳

Setting up your fitness watch

To set up your fitness watch, you need a smartphone to install the companion app on.

Tip: Always pay attention to the compatibility of smartwatches and mobile phones. For example, Apple Watches are only compatible with iPhones.

As soon as you have installed the corresponding app on your mobile phone (if it is not already pre-installed), you can start setting it up.

Simply switch on your smartwatch and follow the instructions on the display.

Our experience has been that setting up smartwatches is a seamless process. 🥳

Here, you can find everything about the best smartwatches for men.

Your smartwatch app

Not only do you need the corresponding app on your mobile phone to set up your smartwatch, but you also need it to be able to access all the functions of the wearable.

Install watch faces, apps and widgets via the app

There are many design options available on smartwatches, not just when it comes to the outer appearance of the watch.

You can also customise the watch face.

Apps and widgets can be installed on the fitness watch as desired.

All these settings can be adjusted in the app.

For smartwatches with Wear OS, you can download additional apps from the Google Playstore, while the Apple App Store is used for Apple Watches with watchOS.

You can see how to adjust various settings in the app.

Get detailed info and insights in the app

The most important data is displayed directly on the screen of your smartwatch.

But beyond that, you can access even more detailed insights in the companion app on your mobile phone. 📱

You can see different recorded data in the app.

In the app, for example, you can view the recorded data of the past days and weeks and access extensive analysis tools.

This way you can get the most out of the information. 🙌

Connect with your friends

Another useful feature is that you can connect with your friends and contacts in the app.

This lets you compete against each other or create joint workouts.

Pretty handy, we think! 🥳

Smartwatch data protection

Smartwatches record a lot of your health and fitness data.

You might be wondering what the data protection situation is like. After all, you don't want your confidential information to fall into the wrong hands. 🤔

The Information Commissioner’s Office cautioned smartwatch users to ensure their data is processed in line with the UK’s data protections laws, and we also advise caution.

It is important to adjust the settings of your smartwatch to ensure at least a certain level of security.

Here are our tips for protecting your personal data: 👇

Sharing your GPS data

Some manufacturers want to collect their users' GPS data anonymously to improve their services.

However, you have the option to deny this in the app settings. 👍

What do you share with your friends?

When you connect with your friends, they can also view different results from your health and fitness data.

Here, however, you have the option of selecting what specific data your connected contacts can view.

Choose exactly what information is accessible to your contacts.

Connect your smartwatch with other devices and sensors

Smartwatches can transmit information via various wireless standards:

  • ANT+ (for connection with other devices)
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC (contactless payment)
  • Wi-Fi
Attention: Not all wearables can communicate via all of the wireless standards mentioned.

For example, you can connect other devices to your fitness watch, such as a chest strap for heart rate measurement.

Tip: Check whether you can connect a chest strap directly to the watch or whether you need a separate app on your phone.

Smartwatches compared by Which?

Which? is also on the scene when it comes to reviewing popular smartwatches.

In their 2022 buying guide, Which? ranks Garmin Forerunner 55 as their overall best watch at a test score of 86%, with Garmin Venu Sq Music Edition and Amazfit GTR 3 following closely behind, each with 83%. 🏆

Models from Apple and Garmin are mentioned as the best smartwatches with heart rate monitors. 🥈

When it comes to GPS accuracy, Garmin comes out on top at Which? once again.

According to Which?, Garmin and Amazfit smartwatches are the overall best wearables, while Apple watches are among the best for monitoring your heart rate.

This is how much the best wearables cost

When it comes to the price of the best smartwatches, there is a very wide range.

Prices vary considerably depending on the features, range of functions and manufacturer. 💶

Some particularly affordable smartwatches have prices starting at less than £100. However, you have to make some compromises in terms of functionality.

There is hardly any upper limit to the best smartwatches. You'll also find more high-end models that cost up to £1,000.

Wearables from Samsung and Apple are in the mid to upper price range.

The comprehensive fitness trackers from Garmin, on the other hand, are usually in the highest price category. 💰

Where can you buy the best fitness watches?

You can, of course, buy your smartwatch in the traditional way at your local electronics store.

However, you will find a much larger selection on the internet. You will also often find better prices there. 💶

Here are the advantages of ordering online:

Quick, easy and convenient

When ordering online, you don't have to travel long distances, nor do you have to follow the opening hours of the shops.

Instead, you can easily order your smartwatch at home from your sofa.

A few days later, it will be delivered directly to your door.

It couldn't be easier. 🥳

Check out the full range

You will usually only find a limited selection of smartwatches in bricks-and-mortar stores. Often, individual models are no longer available.

It's a completely different story when shopping on the internet! Here you will find a much larger selection and can compare the complete range. 🙌

Benefit from the 14-day right-to-cancel policy

According to the UK Distance Selling Regulations, you can return goods ordered on the Internet within 2 weeks without giving any reasons.

This eliminates the risk for you when you shop on the internet.

If you are not satisfied with your smartwatch, you can simply return it.

These are the best smartwatch manufacturers

Today, it's no longer just tech giants like Samsung or Apple that produce smart wearables.

In addition, there are also many low-priced competitors from China. But conventional wristwatch manufacturers have also entered the steadily growing smartwatch market.

Here are the manufacturers of the best fitness smartwatches: 👇

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Garmin
  • Polar
  • Sony
  • Huawei
  • Fossil
  • Casio

Tip: Watches from different manufacturers may not be compatible with all mobile phones!

How we test the different smartwatches

In our tests, we regularly take a close look at various smartwatches. In this way, we want to help you find the right wearable for you. 🙌

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is seen being tested.

To find the best fitness trackers for you, we take them to the gym. For example, we test them while running, cycling, or swimming.

We compare the recorded data with the data from a chest strap and the Oura Ring.

This is how we find out how accurately various health and fitness data is recorded.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 being worn while swimming.

We also test the various features, of course, such as listening to music or contactless payment.

By wearing the smartwatch over a longer period of time in everyday life, we can tell you exactly which model is best for you. 🚀

Reviewing the best smartwatches in the UK - our conclusion

During our testing of the best smartwatches on the market, we took a close look at the options and compared their features.

We were particularly impressed by the wide range of functions. The smart wearables offer extensive support during your training.

They also record all health and fitness data during your workout.

On top of that, there are numerous smart functions! The best smartwatches are the perfect complement to your smartphone. 🚀

If you value analysing your workout data above all else, then a pure sports watch is the choice for you. If having plenty of smart features is more your thing, then a modern smartwatch is exactly what you’re looking for. 🙌

More on the topic

Are smartwatches waterproof?

As a rule, smartwatches are waterproof and can also be worn in the water. However, they are usually not suitable for diving. In this case, you need a special diving watch.

Current tests at a glance

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