Released back in September, the Apple Watch 6 is unquestionably one of the best smartwatches on the market. Jam-packed with features, including a whopping 18 hours of battery life, you’d be forgiven for making it an essential Black Friday purchase. But before you do, ask yourself this: ‘Could there be better smartwatches out there to spend my hard-earned cash on?’
Below we take a look at five smartwatch alternatives to Apple’s powerhouse for your consideration...
Garmin Forerunner 745, £449.99
Essentially a personal trainer that comes strapped to your wrist. Garmin are no strangers to boundary-breaking tech and, with the ability to track almost any sport, activity and health metric you like, the Forerunner 745 is quite literally everything you could want for a fitness-focused smartwatch. At nearly £500, it’s not the cheapest option on this list but it remains an exceptional option for any fitness fanatic who can’t stretch to spend on the Garmin Forerunner 945.
Best For: Fitness
Fossil Sport, £89
If you want the digital experience but prefer the feel of an analogue watch, the Fossil Sport is the one for you. While it is still somewhat marketed for the sporty crowd, it doesn’t look like every single fitness watch out there thanks to a subtle aluminium ring around the display and matching buckle which softens the design.
It might be a lightweight watch but it still manages to pack in all the features you’d expect from a top-range smartwatch, from an accurate heart rate monitor to a GPS tracker. The Fossil Sport is a decent starting point for newcomers to smartwatches as you're getting the latest hardware and software at a reasonable price.
Best For: The Traditionalist
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, £395
Thinner, lighter and more sophisticated than its predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 really means business. First off, it looks incredible - a bigger display means smartwatches seldom appear as clear as this and the strap, made from aged leather, gives the entire thing a polished aesthetic.
In terms of what the watch can do, you could basically control your entire day from your wrist whether that’s checking your schedule, messaging mates, or even paying for dinner without reaching for your wallet. Thanks to Galaxy Watch3 4G, you’re connected all the time, even when you don’t have it on you. Game-changer.
Best For: Everyday Use
Fitbit Versa 3, £199.99
Some people won’t buy the new Apple Watch purely because, well, they just don’t like Apple - or at the very least they have a loyalty to Android. If you fall into that camp, fear not because you’re not alone and fortunately there’s a bounty of watches that are ideal for Android-users, take the Fitbit Versa, for example.
Already the Fitbit Versa 3 has all the usual features you’d want from a top-of-the-line smartwatch but as well as that, if you use an Android phone, you can reply to texts and WhatsApp messages straight from the watch. There's a voice-to-text option, or you can choose from a list of pre-populated quick replies. Fitbit says it can't offer this feature to iOS device users due to Apple's ecosystem restrictions, meaning this watch is a firm favourite for Android owners.
Best For: Android Users
TicWatch E2, £145.99
Sometimes we need to take a step back and appreciate the simpler things. Not every smartwatch needs to be packed to the brim with features most of us will never use (how many casual athletes really care about their V02 max?).
You may never have heard of Chinese tech company Mobvoi, but their TicWatch E2 gives users the core smartwatch experience at a fraction of the cost of some of the bigger-named models. It has also the basic health metrics you need and can now track surfs and swims along with runs. It might not have all the features a hardcore healthnut might want, but for the weekend warrior, the TicWatch E2 is ideal.
Best For: Overall Value