What if you don’t want an Apple Watch— the best smartwatch available— because you have an Android phone? Then you should turn your attention to Google’s Wear OS, the new name for 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 getnotifications, map directions, and even 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, such as Tag Heuer, Hublot, Michael Kors and Movado. We’ve chosen the best Wear OS watches at varying price ranges and laid out what features they pack.
For a long time, theHuawei Watch 2 Sport reigned supreme as the Wear OS watch to buy, but Mobvoi’s new Ticwatch Pro includes almost all the same features for less money. For this reason, it’s too hard to ignore. The design is less sporty and more dressy, and perhaps a little more masculine than the Huawei Watch 2, but the technology surpasses it.
The watch has two displays, a regular 1.4-inch OLED, and a second LCD-style display that turns off Wear OS and shows only the time and a few other basic pieces of information. Called Essential Mode, this secondary display cleverly sips power. Left on all the time, the battery in the watch will last 30 days. It can be activated when you need it, and swapping between the two displays and disabling Wear OS will extend the battery up to five days under normal conditions.
It has GPS, a heart rate sensor, and NFC so you can make contactless payments with Google Pay, and it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. Like all recent Wear OS smartwatches, you can press and hold the crown to accessGoogle Assistant, and access the Google Play Store to download third-party apps. We’re disappointed with the choice of watch faces, but we do like the IP68 water resistance and the comfortable strap. At $250, it’s a real bargain.
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The Movado Connect may not have all the features the Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro does, but it does pack a whole lot more style. The minimal design mimics Movado’s traditional timepieces, and our favorite watch face changes its color throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. It comes in a few different color and strap choices, with sleek lugs that cover up any excess space in between the watch and the straps.
It has all the basic Wear OS features, including support for Google Pay with NFC. You’ll only miss a heart rate monitor and GPS, but this isn’t necessarily a sporty watch. The biggest downside is the price tag — it starts at $595.
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The Misfit Vapor has had a long road to release, but it’s now finally available to the public — and it may well be the best Wear OS watch for you. It features a sleek and stylish design, and while these days bezel-less is the new trend, the bezels this watch has are touch-sensitive and can be used to control certain aspects of the watch’s software. On top of that, the watch has a beautiful AMOLED display, and interchangeable bands, meaning you can set the watch up to better fit your style.
Unlike many other Wear OS smartwatches out there, the Misfit Vapor features a heart rate sensor, so you can use it to track your workouts. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters, which means you don’t have to stop tracking your workouts when you get in the pool.
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While Fossil’sQ Explorist and Q Venture are good-looking smartwatches, we really love the Emporio Armani Connected, especially in the stealthy but very classy black with black metal bracelet version seen here. What you should remember is you’re buying this for the look and design, not a long list of features. There is no GPS, no heart rate sensor, and no NFC for Google Pay.
The watch was released when Wear OS was Android Wear, but the software has since been updated, and the Emporio Armani Connected uses the same Snapdragon 2100 platform as most other smartwatches. The body is slim, the watch is comfortable to wear, and it looks good with most outfits. There are various straps and colors available.
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Kate Spade is known as a very fashion-forward, tech-friendly company, and the Kate Spade Scallop proves it. The Scallop features an understated and classic design, along with a series of fun watch faces to complete the look. It’s pretty slim too — which is helpful in ensuring that the watch looks stylish. There are various Wear OS smartwatches for women, but this is by far our favorite.
Like the Emporio Armani Connected, the Kate Spade Scallop is not a tech powerhouse — it’s a super stylish smartwatch that can be customized to match your look. How? By using a clever watch face which 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.
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Which Wear OS smartwatch will you choose? We like all of these above and feel they’re all good choices, but it’s difficult not to recommend the Ticwatch Pro due to the price and most recent release date. However, although only a few new Wear OS watches have been released recently, that’s set to change over the coming months. If you’re not in a hurry to own one, then more choices may arrive in the near future as Qualcomm is working on a new chip that may end up in many of these watches at the end of the year.