If you’re looking for a smartwatch, there’s a good chance you’re overwhelmed by the choice. There are 100s of watches available from dozens of different brands. And, with prices ranging from $40 through to $250 and beyond, how do you choose?
The first thing you need to do, is decide on the main function you want from your wearable. The best smartwatch for everyday life, isn’t going to be the best smartwatch for cycling, hiking, or running.
That’s why in this review we’ve covered both!
1. Garmin vívomove HR Sport Hybrid Smartwatch
Hybrid Functionality & Design
Call it what you want; a hybrid, a crossover or even multi-purpose. Whatever it is, we like it.
The Garmin vívomove HR Sport is a smartwatch with the functionality that fitness junkies need but has the classical look of a watch you could wear at your next board meeting.
Whether you’re a cyclist, runner, hiker, or “plan to start next week”, the vívomove has got you covered.
It might look like a traditional watch, but behind the scenes, there’s a discreet touchscreen display. And, that’s going to allow you to show the time as normal, but swipes away as you flick through messages, check heart rate, count steps and check for those all important, burnt calories.
The Garmin vívomove HR Sport uses Elevate wrist heart rate technology. So, you’ll get 24/7 heart rate monitoring. And, that’s coupled with a relaxation timer, and all-day stress tracking.
When tracking a run or hike, you can count steps, as well as checking calories burnt, distance travelled, high-intensity minutes trained, heart rate, and even V02 max.
If you want to catalogue your progress, you’ll be able to sync auto-uploads, and utilize smart notifications.
And, to track that progress, there’s a fitness age indicator. It’s probably going to shock you at first, but the aim is to slowly reduce this number; it’s a goal to aim for.
We don’t hate cheap smartwatches, but they do tend to fall short in a few areas. Typically, one of those areas is battery life.
For fitness junkies, you’ll get up to 5 days battery life in smart mode. If you switch to normal watch mode, that life will increase to around 14 days.
What’s The Point In Stress Tracking?
Let’s face it, unless you are feet up in the sun, with a half-drunk glass of Pinot grigio, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing some amount of stress.
And, if you know you’re the type to stress out on a regular basis, and that leads to migraines and headaches, the Garmin vívomove HR Sport is possibly the best smartwatch for you.
All-day stress tracking helps you to understand when you’re hitting peak levels of stress. And, not so you can look at it, and stress about how stressed you are. It’s a signal that it’s time to take a break, and do whatever it is you do, to relax, even just for a few minutes (although, we’d probably drop the Pinot grigio, if you’re at work).
Receive, Share And Compete
You’ll get notifications on the move, and they’ll appear on the digital display. You can flick through your fitness data, and upload to Garmin’s online community via Garmin Connect (free).
And, the Garmin Community is a good one, if you’re the type of person that rises to a challenge. You can start and join events and challenges daily.
With the Garmin vívomove HR Sport, you’ll even be able to control music on the move.
Is The Garmin vívomove HR Sport The Smartwatch For You?
The Garmin is the best smartwatch for women that want to combine sleek style, everyday life and their fitness routines, using just one device.
It combines two job roles well, offers incredibly functionality, and for a device from a leading brand like Garmin, it’s a lot cheaper than we’d expect.
- Stay connected with smart features such as music controls and smart notifications for incoming calls, text messages, calendar reminders and more (when paired with a compatible smartphone)
2. Nokia Steel Activity Women’s Smartwatch
You’ll get a ton of functionality, not to mention a battery life that absolutely crushes the Garmin mentioned above.
And, to make sure you don’t just track, but actually keep on track, you’ll get use of the Nokia Health Mate App. That’s going to inform you about the fitness metrics that matter and keep your health on a positive path of progression.
Hybrid Functionality & Design
Design and functionality? The Nokia Steel is similar in a way to the Garmin vívomove HR Sport. What you do get from the Nokia Steel, is a watch for a lot less than the Garmin; it’s cheap.
You’ll be able to easily track your current and past activity at a glance. There’s a tachometer style dial that allows you to see where you’re at, in comparison to your daily goal. And, whether you’re on a walk with friends, or trying to hit a running target, activity is going to be tracked throughout.
Here’s what you don’t get with most everyday smartwatches for women; waterproofing. And, what Nokia have managed to achieve with their Steel smartwatch, isn’t anything short of impressive.
It’s not just going to deflect raindrops, you can literally go diving whilst wearing it. You’ll be protected up to 150ft (50m). And, when you are in the water, the Nokia Steel switches to track swimming activity, rather than steps.
And unlike many of the other best smartwatches for women on the market right now, there’s a focus on sleep integrity, patterns and interruptions, and that’s important. After all, your hard work pounding steps, can be undone with a simple bad night’s sleep.
The Nokia Steel will track both your light and deep sleep cycles. From this data, it can detect any interruptions, as well as log overall sleep time. It even detects the optimal time to wake during that sleep cycle, waking you with a gentle vibration.
Overall? A healthy night’s sleep means a more productive day at work, and more productive workout afterwards.
And, this is where the Nokia Steel smashes most of the best smartwatches for women out of the water.
You’ll be able to get an impressive 8 months of battery life in standard mode, and it’s a simple one-button switch. That’s going to remove the daily need for cables and docks, as well as the risk of your smartwatch running out, half way through an important workout.
Is The Nokia Steel The Smartwatch For You?
The fact is, the Nokia Steel rivals the Garmin, but you’ll have plenty of extra dollars in your pocket in comparison.
If you’re someone that wants a sleek looking watch for everyday life, need fitness tracking functionality, and want to improve your sleep pattern, the Nokia Steel is the best smartwatch that money can buy.
- 24/7 seamless tracking - Automatic walk, run, swim & 10+ activities recognized. Plus calories burned & distance
3. Samsung Gear S Women’s Smartwatch
If you’ve already checked out the best women’s smartwatches from leading brands, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the Samsung Gear S. It’s not just one of the most popular, it’s one of the sleekest looking.
You’ll get a cool-looking curved display on the Gear S, but it’s not just there for aesthetics. That curved display means that this watch fits like no other; it wraps round the contour of your wrist.
Surprisingly, it also helps when it comes to viewing email updates, texts and even fitness tracking data when on the move.
There’s plenty of functionality for everyday life, but it’s not lacking in the fitness department either. You’ll be able to map your run, track steps, and you’ll even be able to monitor heart rate throughout your workout.
There’s calorie counting functionality and combined with the S Health and Nike+Running apps, you’ll be able to get detailed data on your routine, daily.
Notifications & Apps
The Samsung Gear S has you covered; from FaceBook, to email and even text. Smartphone notifications have never looked better than they do here.
And, app wise, it’s not lacking either. Not only does Samsung pre-load the Gear S women’s smartwatch with apps like Milk Music and Here Maps, it allows you to access Galaxy Apps, and download a ton more.
Don’t think the Samsung Gear S has the functionality you need, out of the box? Need more detailed fitness tracking data? There’s an app for that.
There’s a tough balance for smartwatch brands; packing functionality into a lightweight structure, that still has the battery life to rival the best on the market.
The Samsung Gear S has it all.
It’s around 12 ounces, has all the functionality any smartwatch user needs, and an impressive battery life of 1-2 days. That compares to some smartwatches that struggle to get the hour count into the double digits.
Naturally, the compatible device list for the Samsung Gear S is limited to, well, Samsung.
You’ll be able to use the likes of the:
- Samsung Galaxy S III
- Galaxy S4 and S5
- Galaxy S 4 mini
- Galaxy Note 2, 3 and 4.
Is The Samsung Gear S The Smartwatch For You?
For flat-out design, there’s not a device on the market that looks this good. You’ve got more than enough functionality for work, play and your fitness schedule. And, if you don’t think that’s the case, you can jump onto Galaxy Apps and customize the functionality to suit you, by downloading all the latest apps.
It’s not the cheapest on this list, but it’s the best smartwatch, for women that want to replace their phone with something that looks just as good.
- 2G: GSM 850 / 1900, 3G: HSDPA+ 850 / 1900
4. Pebble E-Paper Smartwatch
In the cheap category, the Pebble E-Paper is one of the best smartwatches for women on a budget. In fact, it’s around half the price of the Nokia Steel, which makes it over $100 cheaper than the Garmin.
But, how is it so cheap? Well, the idea isn’t exactly a complex one. Build a device that runs on iOS and Android, then allow users to connect to apps, meaning they can customize their smartwatch’s functionality, to suit their needs.
Is it a hybrid? Is it a fitness tracker? It’s neither and both at the same time, it’s whatever you want it to be.
Downloadable App Library
So, given the fact the watch’s capability depends on the apps you can download, it makes sense to check there are the apps out there, that you need.
There are a ton to choose from. And, that means you can download a range of apps to help you in everyday life, during your hobbies, and for tracking fitness.
You’re able to track steps, sleeping patterns and workouts using apps like Misfit, Jawbone and Runkeeper. And, if you’re partial to a day on the green, FreeCaddie is a must-have. With FreeCaddie, you’ll get data to determine the distance to the green, on 25,000 different golf courses!
The awesome thing about Pebble, is it’s an open platform. That means new apps are developed and released, almost daily. And, that means the functionality of your Pebble E-Paper constantly improves.
One of the great functions that does come built-in with the Pebble E-Paper, is Timeline. That’s going to collect all the important parts of your day and organise them on your smartwatch. This includes the likes of appointments, events and notifications.
They’ll be organized in chronological order, in an easy to scroll up/down menu. Hitting the select button when here, is going to take you back to the main menu, and there you can control the likes of general settings, as well as alarms and music.
In Pebble, you’ll get notifications discreetly from FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram if you select that option in the settings menu. You’ll see text messages, calendar alerts, and pretty-much everything to get you through your day.
The Pebble E-Paper isn’t just a watch you can customize on the inside, using apps, you can customize its aesthetics too. You can get downloadable watch faces, as well as different colored wristbands (sold separately).
The flexibility of the Pebble E-Paper doesn’t stop there. You’ll be able to sync the likes of Spotify, Pandora and even iTunes, so you can listen to music on the go.
Essentially, if you’re on iOS6 and above, and Android OS4.0 upwards, you’re good to go. It does work with older versions, but there can be syncing/functionality issues.
You’ll be able to connect wirelessly using these devices, via Bluetooth.
Is The Pebble E-Paper The Smartwatch For You?
Honestly, the more we look at the Pebble E-Paper, the more we realise how much of a steal it is. It’s absolutely dirt cheap, almost 75% cheaper than many of the other best smartwatches for women.
The customization on offer, enables you to get this watch working, not just as good as many of the best smartwatches that cost 3-5x the price, but in some cases, better. And, that’s because YOU download the apps that YOU need, and that means that functionality is customized, whereas functionality on most smartwatches is preset.
The only problem we see here, is that the design isn’t classic nor is it sleek, like the Garmin or Nokia.
It’s hardly the type of watch you’d be wearing in board meetings. Not bothered? Well, then you’re going to save yourself $50-150 when compared with the other best smartwatches for women, from leading brands like Nokia, Garmin and Apple.
- View notifications from email, SMS, Caller ID, calendar and your favorite apps on your wrist.
Thanks for reading our buyer’s guide to the best smartwatches for women. Whether you’re looking for a smartwatch for fitness, or one that can replace your phone, hopefully this list has helped.
Still got questions? Bought a smartwatch and have an opinion on it?
Drop a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!