What if you don’t want an Apple Watch — the best smartwatch available — because you have an Android phone? You should probably turn your attention to Google’s Wear OS, the software previously known as Android Wear. While it’s not quite as polished and usable as Watch OS on the Apple Watch, it’s still a great way to get notifications, map directions, to track fitness, as well as have the Google Assistant on your wrist.
The great news is there is a massive amount of choice, with more and more fashion and watch brands making Wear OS smartwatches, including Fossil, Montblanc, Misfit, Kate Spade, and Mobvoi. We’ve chosen the best Wear OS watches at varying price ranges and laid out what features they pack.
The Fossil Sport smartwatch comes packed with the latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, better battery life, and improved performance. It also runs Google’s latest version of Wear OS, which provides a better user experience all-around. Under the hood, the smartwatch comes with heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS, and an NFC chip, all for an affordable price. It’s also extremely sleek and lightweight — even with its “sport” title, you’ll be able to wear it regardless of whether you’re at the gym or out with friends.
With a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, content looks bright and sharp, whether you’re checking the time or using an app. It also comes in six different, eclectic color options, a few of which come with matching bands. With redesigned Wear OS, you can also check your heart rate right from your wrist by choosing one of the new watch faces made specifically to incorporate Google Fit.
Montblanc Summit 2
While the Montblanc Summit 2 has a high price tag, it’s the most luxurious Wear OS smartwatch you’ll find on the market. Even though it doesn’t come with any new and exciting features, apart from the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, it does provide you with as close to a traditional-looking timepiece as you’ll get with a smartwatch. The case is made of a durable, diamond-like carbon coating and a sapphire glass display that’s resistant to scratches.
When it comes to fitness features, it also has a built-in heart rate sensor that you can use in conjunction with the Workout Coach app to measure your V02 max. But if you prefer Google Fit for tracking metrics, you can opt for that instead. This quality comes at a price, though. Don’t expect much change from $1,000.
Mobvoi TicWatch E2
No, it’s not a beauty, but the Ticwatch E2 is very well priced and does almost everything you want a smartwatch to do, matching many more expensive models. The case measures 46mm and contains a 1.4-inch screen with a 400 x 400-pixel resolution. Wear OS is managed by a Snapdragon 2100 processor, plus there is a heart rate sensor and GPS for the fitness fan.
We managed to get at least a day from the battery too, although it’s not quite strong enough to manage two days. However, we can’t complain about this or the list of features when the watch itself costs just $160, which is less than half what you’ll pay for some of the designer models.
Misfit Vapor 2
As a follow-up to the Misfit Vapor, Misfit has launched its second-generation Vapor 2, which it comes with a few more features. In addition to a heart rate sensor, it also now has built-in GPS and comes with the redesigned version of Wear OS. While Misfit has done away with the touch-sensitive bezel, it still looks extremely sleek, with a 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display and a rotating crown. It also comes in two different case sizes — 41mm and 46mm.
While it doesn’t include Qualcomm’s new chipset, Google’s new Wear OS interface makes up for it, since it’s far easier to use. The Vapor 2 also comes in eight different colorways, with interchangeable watch straps for further customization.
Kate Spade Scallop 2
Kate Spade is known as a very fashion-forward, tech-friendly company, and the Kate Spade Scallop 2 proves it. The Scallop 2 features a similarly understated and classic design to the original, but then pulls in more design aspects associated with the Kate Spade brand for a fresher look. It’s slim — which is helpful in ensuring that the watch looks stylish — has all-new tech including GPS and a heart rate sensor, new watch faces, and NFC for Google Pay.
We really like the clever watch face that can be set up to complement the color scheme of your outfit. Don’t be put off by the large-sounding 42mm body — the screen is just 1.2 inches, so the watch is very compact and wearable. There are various Wear OS smartwatches for women, but this is by far our favorite, and don’t entirely dismiss the original Scallop if you happen to see a great deal on it either.