Best smartwatches for health and fitness tracking to buy in 2023

Having a smartwatch has become part of our everyday tech needs. You can do anything with a smartwatch on without neglecting urgent notifications from your phone and, most especially, your health. And, the best part, unlike phones, you don’t have to hold it; it’s wearable. It is basically a handy device to wear anywhere you go and whatever you do.

Well, you probably know all that; that is why you are here! The next challenge is knowing which brands to buy among the many designs and features in the market today.

Smart watch vs. smart band

But before the best smartwatch picks, let’s first identify the difference between a smart band and a smartwatch, as they may be confusing, especially for first-timers, when you browse through the fitness trackers section online. 

Smartwatches and smart bands are both fitness trackers that are wearable on your wrist. They share very similar functions and features, but smartwatches are more advanced. Smartwatches generally offer wider feature selections for users with their big screen, compatibility with smartphones and more. However, smart bands are only fitness-specific when it comes to their features [1].

Some particular general feature differences:

Smartwatches Smart bands
Have a full touchscreen. Function through buttons. 
Can function independently, where you can text, call and reply to emails. Dependent on a smartphone and usually have no SIM card insertions.
Have speakers that allow you to play music. The majority have no speakers or microphones. 

Best smartwatch to buy in 2023

Choosing the best smartwatch for you is a must! You should look for a design that suits your lifestyle and needs. We have come up with four best smartwatch brands in 2023 that you can consider before buying. 

Fitbit Versa 4 Review

Best watch for health features 

Despite its smartwatch nature, the Fitbit Versa 4 can’t compete with the best fitness tracking accuracy, at least at launch. For those comfortable with a mixture of surface-level smartwatch elements and harder-core fitness watches, its battery life is sound.

Display and style: There are many similarities between the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Versa 3. A square-faced watch with curved glass covering the screen. A plastic rear and aluminum bezel make up the device.

Although it has a less high-end design than the Apple Watch SE 2, it is clearly more style-driven than the Garmin Venu 2 Sq. While there aren’t many novel features here, there is one key difference from the last Versa 3. 

Versa 4 has a physical button, while Versa 3 uses a quite annoying capacitive panel. It’s a bit cheap-looking, maybe because the casing is anodized and the button is glossy. Despite being made of metal, it feels like plastic. Still, a physical button is better than a capacitive one. 

As with the Versa 3, the screen has 336 x 336 pixels. While the screen border of the watch is considerably larger than the Apple Watch Series 8, this isn’t too hard to forgive given the watch’s significant price difference. Likewise, the display is bright enough to look clear outdoors on a sunny day, and it is sharp and colorful. 

Compatibility: Fitbit Versa 4 does not support WearOS, Google’s smartwatch platform. As a result, Fitbit OS’s classic interface has been redesigned in accordance with Google’s new style guidelines. 

A widget-like screen displays each of the Fitbit Versa 4’s key features as you flick left and right. Among these are your daily steps, your heart rate over the past day, your sleep report, and the weather report. 

You can access the notification cards by flicking up from the watch face. You can access core watch features like Do Not Disturb, screen brightness, and Always-on display mode by swiping down from the watch face. It is fairly simple, and Fitbit seems to have significantly reduced the lag of the Versa 3/Sense generation.

Usability and features: The watch is comfortable enough that you sometimes forget you’re wearing it, even with the model’s “over-under” watch strap style. Despite its size, it weighs only 40g all in, strap and watch face – which is remarkably light for a smartwatch.

Buy Fitbit Versa 4 on Amazon.

Apple Watch SE 2

Best price for efficient features

The Apple Watch is among the most popular smartwatches on the market. There is no doubt that the Apple Watch SE is the best Apple Watch for most people, as it’s a lot more affordable than the Apple Watch 8, yet has most of its core features and even the same chipset as the Apple Watch 8.

Despite lacking an always-on display, an ECG, and blood oxygen tracking, the Apple Watch SE 2 has a wide range of health and fitness features as well as potentially lifesaving features like Car Crash Detection.

Additionally, it is very lightweight and comfortable, has impressive battery life for a smartwatch, and has a powerful display. So it strikes a superb balance between price and performance, and is a great relatively affordable pick.

Display and style: A 44mm or 40mm case size of 368 by 448 pixels with a Retina display of up to 1000 nits brightness.

It has a 100 percent recycled aluminum case. Redesigned, color-matched back case in a nylon composite material. Available in Midnight, Starlight and Silver. Ion-X front glass [2].

Compatibility: Despite the fact that the Apple Watch SE 2 is ideal for children and seniors who don’t have an iPhone thanks to Family Setup, it is also the most popular model among those who are new to Apple Watches and upgrading from a Series 3 or older model, as it offers a competitive price and generous feature set, allowing users to enjoy an unconstrained Apple Watch experience at an affordable price.

Usability and features: It features the same ‘S8’ processor as the Apple Watch Series 8, so it’s extremely responsive and snappy. In that sense, there’s no question that it feels like a cheaper Apple Watch – with the latest chip in there, it’s future-proof and performs everything as fast as it should.

Also, the watchOS 9 here is very similar to what you’ll find on the Watch 8 and Watch Ultra, except that it lacks some of the features that are tied to hardware, such as temperature sensing and pulse oxygen readings. The Action Button options on the Ultra are also not available.

Buy Apple Watch SE 2nd gen on Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Best Android smartwatch overall

Another smartwatch you should also buy in 2023–the AGPTEK LW11 smartwatch. This smartwatch has modern designs specified for men or women according to its colours. 

Display and style: With the Galaxy Watch 5, we get to experience the same distinctive, contemporary design we saw in last year’s Watch 4. It’s a completely different experience if you are coming from a Galaxy Watch 3 or Watch 4 Classic. Instead of rotating bezels, you interact with an invisible digital bezel around the screen.

In case you are new to the Galaxy Watch line, the core watch screen is one side of a polished metal disc, while the reverse side has the heart rate monitor. On the right side, the two buttons, and the arms that connect the watch body to its bands, are held in place by a brushed aluminum frame that contrasts nicely with the polished disc.

Graphite (black), Pink Gold, or Silver are available on the smaller 40mm model, while Sapphire (a muted mid-tone blue) is available on the larger 44mm version. A wide range of color options is available with Samsung’s Bespoke service, available on 

With bespoke, you can mix and match straps with watch bodies, and it goes beyond wearables, with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 allowing customers to customize their foldable. Once you’ve selected your case color, the Watch 5 comes with a wide range of bands – the Sports Band is the default band that ships with the Watch 5, while the 5 Pro has two D-Buckle Sports Bands, a Global Goals band, a Hybrid Leather band, a Ridged and Extreme Sports band, and a Milanese band. 

A perpetual matte texture on the silicone band keeps the Watch 5 from tugging on your skin and is also hairy-wrist-friendly. When it comes to comfort, the Watch 5 is a soft landing for those who are unfamiliar with smartwatches. The default Sports Strap holds it in place, and it’s not too big.

Compatibility: Interacting with the watch is intuitive – swipes, taps, and button presses are all there is to it. Right-hand buttons have reassuring click feedback, and both the screen and digital bezel respond to touch.

Usability and features: While both Watch 5 sizes have bigger batteries (making them about 3 grams heavier), the Watch 5’s footprint hasn’t changed from the Watch 4. However, when compared with last year’s model, the Watch’s sensors poke out slightly more. In addition to accommodating the bigger batteries, Samsung claims this results in more accurate tracking.

In addition to IP68 certification against dust and water, the Watch 5 is swim-proof up to 5 ATM, and it has MIL-STD-810H approval to withstand tough conditions such as hard knocks, drops, and extreme temperatures.

Buy Samsung Watch 5 on Amazon.

Apple Watch Ultra Review

Best Apple Watch for those who don’t mind spending on it

There is no comparison between the Apple Watch Ultra and its predecessors. Almost every part has been upgraded, and all for the better – in fact, it’s easily one of the best smartwatches out there.

Display and style: As a response to Garmin watches dominating the ‘premium fitness watch’ segment, Apple was forced to make the Watch this year – although it says it’s been years in the making. Featuring a new, more rugged design, a better screen and better GPS tracking, it’s the first design update in eight years – but it’s also incredibly expensive at $799.

Design changes are evident. It has a bigger, ridged Digital Crown for easier use when wearing gloves. You can see more information on the display than ever before, as it is nearly two inches across and much brighter than it was before. 

The Watch Ultra has a significant upgrade: an Action Button. You can physically start and stop workouts by using the side button (although you can’t customise it as much as you’d like). This is a big orange symbol of change that the Apple Watch desperately needed.

Compatibility: The Apple Watch Ultra excels in fitness not because of its functionality – it has all the features offered by any Apple Watch running watchOS 9 – but because of its execution. GPS is more accurate and faster, and the heart rate monitor seems reliable. As a result, battery life is longer, so you can run longer and harder.

Additionally, there’s a diving sensor that you can use to see how deep you can dive into water. However, there’s more to come in terms of diving apps in the near future. If you like your current Watch for run or cycling tracking, then the upgrades here won’t disappoint.

Usability and features: Fitness isn’t the only upgrade: safety features are also genuinely useful. If you’re stuck on a hillside, the high decibel alarm will come in handy. In the event of an accident, the car crash detection will alert the emergency services.

Even the cellular functionality on board makes you feel safer – knowing that if you’re ever in distress (and in range of a cell tower), you’re never alone. Also included are health functions that monitor your heartbeat and blood oxygen – yes, they’re included in every new Apple Watch, but they still make a compelling case for purchasing the device.

Nevertheless, there are still some bugs to be worked out. There is no native mapping navigation onboard – not in terms of Maps, as that app is available. Instead it uses a compass, which isn’t always the best option for tracking back.

The battery proved to sustain over 30 hours in testing, but is still awfully short when compared with Garmin and Coros. Those watches can last for days in standby, while Apple’s push for functionality has a high cost in battery life.

Buy Apple Watch Ultra on Amazon.

Garmin Fenix 7

Currently the most advanced multi-sports watch from Garmin

As Garmin’s most advanced multi-sports watch to date, the Fenix 7’s new training tools are geared toward a broader range of athletes. Battery life has dramatically improved with no additional weight, and the enhanced touchscreen is a bonus for browsing menus. Only the absence of a microphone stands out, but most people will get by without it.

Display and style: The Fenix 7 comes in three sizes: 42 mm, 47 mm and 51 mm – in standard, Solar and Sapphire Solar varieties.

Garmin has chosen to use a transflective memory-in-pixel display on the Fenix 7 instead of an AMOLED screen, as on the Venu 2 and Epix watches. While it’s not as bright as we’d like, it’s a sensible choice that conserves battery life.

Compatibility: In addition to five physical buttons and a touchscreen, the Fenix 7’s interface will be immediately familiar to users of the Fenix 6. During activity tracking, the touchscreen will automatically lock to keep from pausing or cancelling activities accidentally.

If you prefer to use only the buttons, you can disable the touchscreen completely. Additionally, it can be switched off during sleep to prevent accidental touches at night, but we did not find this to be a problem.

Usability and features: The Fenix 7 is equipped with a number of sensors, including Garmin’s Elevate 4 optical heart rate monitor, an altimeter, a compass, SpO2 (blood oxygen) sensors, and a temperature sensor.

Monitoring SpO2 can take place continuously, over night, or during spot-checks only. As with the Fenix 6, the Fenix 7 has a feature that alerts you if you move your wrist too much while it is taking an SpO2 reading.

Garmin’s Fenix 7 line delivers great battery life, which has always been one of its selling points. It’s important to note, though, that the life of each watch will be determined by its battery size, solar cell size, and solar cell type.

With Garmin’s Power Glass, the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar (in particular) harvests energy throughout the day to keep the watch’s battery charged. You’ll still need to plug the watch in occasionally, but the solar cell extends its battery life significantly.

To clarify, you cannot charge the watch only with solar power. As a result, the battery drain is reduced. Watches cannot be left in the sun all day and expect it to be fully charged when you collect them at night. What you use it for and which sensors you enable will determine how often you have to recharge it.

Buy Garmin Fenix 7 on Amazon.

Google Pixel Watch Review

A stylish wear OS watch

In addition to its slick exterior, the Google Pixel Watch offers smooth operation and powerful, useful features. You’ll love it despite some notable quirks.

Display and style: The Google Pixel Watch is a beautiful smartwatch that combines metal, chrome and glass in a way that is rarely seen in smartwatches. The design is both subtle and supportive, giving the wearable’s relatively small screen (1.2-inch, 450 pixels x 450 pixel) the best opportunity to shine. 

In comparison, that display is almost half the size of Apple Watch 8. Google’s Pixel Watch arrives with a shockingly thick black bezel between the circular display and the metal chassis, where Apple has been working to reduce the bezel around its watch face and extend the screen to the very edges of the Iox-X glass over the last seven years.

As opposed to Apple’s wearables, Google’s Pixel Watch is available in just one size: 41mm. As per Google’s representatives they said, variety of band styles should make this mid-range size a convenient fit for most people, as you get two sizes of band in the box.

Compatibility: If you pair the Google Pixel Watch with the Google Pixel 7 Pro (or Pixel 7 or any Android phone running version 8.0 or above), notifications will appear automatically or you can summon them with a swipe up. Smart home controls, maps, directions and (some) apps are available. 

Additionally, it’s a capable health and fitness wearable, though the Fitbit integration makes it somewhat awkward. In comparison with Fitbit, which Google bought last year, Pixel Watch tracks exercise and exercise intensity separately.

Usability and features:

Google’s Pixel Watch is an attractive wearable device. In addition to being eye-catching, it is also useful. This is a fantastic partner for Google’s new Pixel 7 phones.

Like other wearables, the Google Pixel Watch will remind you to stand, walk around, and get all of your steps in for the day. The wearable nanny culture is old, but the Pixel Watch can help those who need reminders.[1]

Buy Google Pixel Watch on Amazon.


Photograph: New Africa/Shutterstock
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