September 2022

Smartwatches: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Smartwatch rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2022.

Summary

As of 8 Sep 2022, Apple Watch 7 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed smartwatch with 9 expert endorsements. 8 experts out of 9 recommended it as the '#1 smartwatch' this month. It is followed by Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Fitbit Versa 3 , with 8 and 8 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - September 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Smartwatch
10Beasts
Trusted Reviews
PCMag
Tom's Guide
TechRadar
Android Authority
Popular Science
Ars Technica
Reviewed
Wareable
1
- $329
Apple Watch 7
2
1
1
1
1
1
-
1
1
1
2
- $198
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
1
3
4
6
2
-
-
7
3
2
3
- $155
Fitbit Versa 3
-
5
3
7
4
3
-
3
6
11
4
- Check price
Apple Watch SE
-
2
5
4
3
-
-
-
2
3
5
- $174
Fitbit Sense
-
-
11
3
6
-
4
2
-
10
6
- $359
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
-
-
-
-
5
-
2
-
4
-
7
- $445
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
7
-
-
5
-
4
-
-
-
-
8
- Check price
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
4
-
-
9
7
-
-
-
-
-
9
New * $280
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
-
-
-
2
-
2
-
-
-
-
11
-1 $320
Apple Watch Series 6
-
-
-
-
8
-
3
-
-
-
12
-1 $350
Garmin Venu 2
-
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
13
-1 Check price
Apple Watch 3
-
-
6
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
14
-1 $250
Garmin Lily
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
15
-1 $299
Withings ScanWatch
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
-
15

We ranked Apple Watch 7 #1 in September 2022 because:

  • 9 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
  • Out of those, 8 experts ranked Apple Watch 7 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
10Beasts

Best Smartwatch for iPhone

Pros
Connects seamlessly with iPhone
Acts as your phone when needed
Easy to read face
Waterproof
Many health and tracking features
Very few complaints

Cons
Expensive
Can be easy to crack the screen

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Trusted Reviews

The best smartwatch

Pros
Much faster charging
BIgger screen is great
Wide range of easy-to-use fitness features

Cons
Battery life remains a day
No neutral black or silver aluminium colour options

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PCMag

Best Overall / Editors'Choice

Pros
Larger display than previous models
Faster charging
Improved durability
New watch colors and faces

Cons
No major feature updates from last generation
One-day battery life remains the same

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Tom's Guide

The best smartwatch overall

Pros
Larger display
Brighter always-on mode
QWERTY keyboard
Comes with USB-C magnetic charger

Cons
Still just 18-hour battery life

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TechRadar

The best smartwatch... but you'll need an iPhone

Pros
Brighter, larger screen
Faster charging

Cons
Workouts are varied, but basic
Battery life needs to be longer

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Android Authority

The Best

Pros
Bigger Retina display
Durable, premium design
Accurate GPS tracking
Great software and app support

Cons
Battery life isn’t great
No third-party watch faces
Sleep tracking still feels like an afterthought
Battery life could be better
Finicky heart rate tracking
Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple Watch Series

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Ars Technica

The best smartwatch overall

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Reviewed

Best Overall / Editors' Choice

Pros
Bigger display
Quick charging
Solid fitness tracking

Cons
Limited watch faces
Battery life shorter than expected

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Wareable

Best smartwatch

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We ranked Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 #2 in September 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
10Beasts

Best Overall Smartwatch

Pros
Easy and sleek app
Customizable features with the app
Many features
Clean appearance
Great customer reviews

Cons
Slightly expensive
Short battery life

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Trusted Reviews

The best WearOS smartwatch

Pros
Wear OS at its finest
The digital bezel works like a charm
Flat, minimalist design is stunning
Gorgeous collection of original watch faces

Cons
Still a lot of features yet to come
Doesn’t work with iPhone
Bixby is a mess

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PCMag

Best for Android Users / Editors' Choice

Pros
Competitively priced
Bright, sharp display
Thinner than the Classic model
Fast processor
Wrist-based body fat and composition measurements
Tracks snoring
More third-party apps than previous Samsung watches

Cons
One-day battery life
Third-party app selection still trails Apple's watchOS

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Tom's Guide

The best smartwatch with a traditional timepiece look

Pros
Slim design and fun watch faces
Improved Wear OS software
Body composition analysis

Cons
Inconsistent battery life

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TechRadar

The best Samsung smartwatch

Pros
Excellent performance
Interesting new software

Cons
Limited compatibility
Lacks rotating bezel

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Ars Technica

Best Android smartwatch

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Reviewed

Best for Android / Editors' Choice

Pros
Bright, vibrant display
Tiles provide a lot of information
Solid fitness tracking

Cons
No iOS support
Bixby needs some work
Accessibility feels like an afterthought

Go to ranking

Wareable

Best smartwatch for Android smartphone users

Go to ranking

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Smartwatches.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Smartwatches, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for September 2022 ranking

We ranked Fitbit Versa 3 #3 in September 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Trusted Reviews

The best affordable fitness tracker

Pros
Feature-packed for the price
GPS is finally here
Six-day battery with intensive use

Cons
Fitbit’s apps and app store still need work
The step count is just too eager
Still no support for offline Spotify
Fitbit Premium is essential for getting your money’s worth

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Battery Life / Editors' Choice

Pros
Attractive design with large, always-on color display
Integrated GPS
Battery charges quickly and lasts for days
Measures blood oxygen level while sleeping
Supports Amazon Alexa, Fitbit Pay, and Spotify

Cons
Laggy touch screen
No stress tracking, skin temperature, or ECG sensors
Doesn't provide high and low heart rate notifications

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Tom's Guide

The best smartwatch for sleep tracking under $250

Pros
Good battery life
Custom training programs (with subscription)
Great sleep analysis

Cons
Can only use one voice assistant at once

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TechRadar

The best Fitbit

Pros
Built-in GPS
Lightweight and comfortable

Cons
Poor side button
No offline Spotify

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Android Authority

Editors Choice

Pros
Decent battery life
Pretty accurate health tracking
Built-in GPS
Google Assistant and Alexa support
Speaker with phone call support
Good price

Cons
Tiny app library
Onboard music limited to two services
Proprietary charging cable

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Ars Technica

A slightly more affordable smartwatch we like

Go to ranking

Reviewed

Editors' Choice

Pros
Automated fitness tracking
Always-on display
Battery life

Cons
Button design
Premium-feature paywall
Usability quirks

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Wareable

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We ranked Apple Watch SE #4 in September 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Trusted Reviews

The best value Apple Watch

Pros
Excellent value
Huge range of tracking features
The best smartwatch OS around
Wide variety of straps available

Cons
No always-on display
Battery life still only really a day

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Midrange Apple Watch

Pros
Same screen size and resolution as the Series 6
Supports fall detection, heart health notifications, and Emergency SOS
Always-on altimeter for real-time elevation tracking
WatchOS 7 adds a handwashing countdown timer and sleep tracking
Best third-party smartwatch app selection

Cons
No always-on display mode
Lacks ECG and SpO2 sensors

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Tom's Guide

The new mid-range Apple Watch

Pros
Classic design
Huge app library
Large screen

Cons
No always-on display
No ECG

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TechRadar

The best affordable Apple Watch

Pros
Premium design
Great price for Apple Watch

Cons
Lacks always on display
Battery could be better

Go to ranking

Reviewed

Best Value / Editors' Choice

Pros
Strong performance
Great fitness tracking
Loads of storage

Cons
No always-on display
Missing latest health features

Go to ranking

Wareable

Go to ranking

We ranked Fitbit Sense #5 in September 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best COVID-19 Features

Pros
Attractive design with large, always-on color display
Excellent battery life
Measures blood oxygen level
Features an ECG app
Robust stress management and sleep tracking features
Supports Amazon Alexa, Fitbit Pay, Spotify

Cons
Expensive
Touch screen responsiveness could be better
Band release latch can be accidentally triggered
Small third-party app selection

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Tom's Guide

The best Fitbit smartwatch

Pros
Attractive
Long battery life
Comprehensive fitness/health features

Cons
No Spotify storage

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TechRadar

The second best Fitbit

Pros
Built-in GPS
Lightweight and comfortable

Cons
Poor side button
No offline Spotify

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Popular Science

Best fitness tracker

Pros
Offers a long-lasting battery life, so you can avoid charging for days at a time.

Cons
Screen response time can be slow when compared to other smartwatches.

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Ars Technica

Runner-up

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Wareable

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We ranked Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 #6 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best Tizen smartwatch

Pros
Great, premium design
Rotating bezel is useful

Cons
Battery could be better
Tizen apps are limited

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Popular Science

Best android and iPhone-compatible smartwatch

Pros
Offers accurate health monitoring and convenient LTE connectivity.

Cons
This pick isn’t fully compatible with iPhones according to users.

Go to ranking

Reviewed

Pros
Vibrant display
Gorgeous design
Excellent fitness tracking

Cons
Limited apps
Expensive

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We ranked Garmin Venu 2 Plus #7 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
10Beasts

Best Smartwatch for Music

Pros
Can download a lot of music
Many exercise tracking and built-in features
Connects to your hone and wireless earbuds
Attractive

Cons
Expensive

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Tom's Guide

The best fitness-tracking smartwatch

Pros
Stunning AMOLED display
Reliable fitness tracking and Garmin Coach
Call quality is better than expected

Cons
Not enough third-party apps

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Android Authority

Editors Choice

Pros
Excellent design and build quality
Rapid charging helps make up for battery woes
Clear call quality on the wrist
Slow but useful voice assistant support
Accurate fitness and health tracking

Cons
High price tag
Battery life is shorter than Garmin’s claims
Heart rate sensor still has issues

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We ranked Samsung Galaxy Active 2 #8 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
10Beasts

Best for Fitness Accountability

Pros
Great haptic dial control on-screen
Great minimalist design
Battery life is decent

Cons
Very few third party apps

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Tom's Guide

A sleek fitness smartwatch for Android users

Pros
Offline Spotify storage
Gorgeous design
Works with iOS and Android

Cons
Sleep-tracking needs some work

Go to ranking

TechRadar

The best fitness-focused Tizen watch

Pros
High-end design
Rotating digital bezel

Cons
Few features for price bump
Still limited functionality with iOS

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We ranked Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 #9 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best smartwatch for Android

Pros
Sporty, yet versatile design
Stronger, scratch-resistant screen
Added skin temperature sensor
Longer-lasting battery life

Cons
Skin temperature sensor doesn't work at launch

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Android Authority

Editors' Choice

Pros
Improved battery life and faster charging
New hiking and navigation features
Reliable heart rate monitoring

Cons
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
No more rotating bezel

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We ranked Apple Watch Series 6 #10 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best older Apple Watch

Pros
Great color additions
Always-on display

Cons
Lacks a headline upgrade
Battery life needs to be longer

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Popular Science

Best smartwatch display

Pros
The durable and sleek design is large enough to use without being oversized or uncomfortable to wear.

Cons
Battery life depends on usage but is shorter when compared to others on the market. If used frequently, you may need to charge your watch daily.

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We ranked Garmin Venu 2 #11 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best Fitness-Focused Smartwatch

Pros
Attractive classic watch design in two sizes and multiple colors
Bright, responsive AMOLED touch screen
Measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration, stress, and energy levels
New HIIT and updated strength training apps
Preloaded workouts with animations
Onboard music storage
Supports Bluetooth accessories and contactless payments

Cons
Expensive
Limited third-party app selection
No voice assistant support

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Wareable

Best fitness smartwatch

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We ranked Apple Watch 3 #12 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best Affordable Apple Watch

Pros
Built-in cellular connectivity.
Improved heart rate monitoring.
Faster processor.
Clear call quality.
New band and case options.

Cons
Expensive.
LTE drains battery rapidly.

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Tom's Guide

The most affordable smartwatch for iPhone users

Pros
Improved fitness-tracking
Faster Siri
Apple Music streaming (with LTE model)

Cons
No always-on displayNo fall detection

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We ranked Garmin Lily #13 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PCMag

Best for Small Wrists

Pros
Stylish classic watch design
Measures breathing, energy level, and stress
SpO2 sensor
Lots of useful widgets
Excellent companion app

Cons
No built-in GPS
Lacks a color display

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Ars Technica

Most stylish women's or smaller-wrist smartwatch

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We ranked Withings ScanWatch #14 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Smartwatches” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Android Authority

Pros
Long-lasting battery
Easy to use ECG
Fantastic Sleep tracking

Cons
Small display limits smart features
Few advanced fitness features or insights

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Wareable

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