The best smartwatches to buy in 2022 (so far)

From the Apple Watch Series 7 to the Galaxy Watch 4, these are the smartwatches money can buy right now at the beginning of 2022.

Best smartwatches of 2022 so far
Raymond Wong / Input

Smartwatches get more advanced each year and the latest models from top brands are especially impressive. Much more than a digital watch with text message notifications, modern smartwatches have advanced health and fitness tracking tools, support for your favorite apps, and bright, beautiful UIs all wrapped up in some fashionable cases.

There are a lot of smartwatches on the market (even Facebook is reportedly building its own watch), but only a few really deliver. We’ll no doubt see updates to the Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 this year. Until then, these are the best smartwatches you can buy today.

Whether you’re just getting into wearable tech, are a serious athlete looking for training tools, or want a perfect extension of the latest smartphone on your wrist, there’s a smartwatch out there for everyone.

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The Apple Watch Series 7 is phenomenal. The Apple Watch design hasn’t changed much recently (and this year’s specs aren’t a massive upgrade if you’re coming from the Series 6, to be honest), but that’s fine for a top-tier smartwatch. With two sizes, five colors, and an endless selection of cases and bands to choose from, this watch is highly customizable and stylish.

The big boosts on the Series 7 are the larger displays and improved charging speed. There aren’t any new features or apps designed exclusively for this model, but the latest tools introduced with watchOS 8 this fall, like Focus Mode and the redesigned photos app, will run as smoothly as possible.

The latest Apple Watch is really the best of the best right now in the smartwatch game and the best option if you own an iPhone 13 Pro (or any iPhone for that matter).

Samsung ditched the “Active” label on the Galaxy Watch 4 but it still rocks a pretty sporty design. It has top-notch health and fitness tracking tools along with all the everyday apps and features you’d expect a great smartwatch to have.

For Android users, this is going to be the best-performing smartwatch on the market. And for Samsung users, it’ll be a massive upgrade to your device pool — the Galaxy Watch 4 works as seamlessly in the Samsung ecosystem as the Apple Watch does in its respective family.

We love that this smartwatch, well, looks like a watch. There are too many square designs in the smartwatch pool these days. The Galaxy Watch 4 base design is stylish and low-key. And if you want a little more pizzaz, check out the Galaxy Watch4 Classic look instead.

The Fossil Gen 6 might have missed the mark at launch when it tried to take on the Samsung Galaxy 4, but it’s set to be a more viable pick with the new Wear OS 3 update this year. This is easily the most stylish smartwatch out there, so if you can stand the wait for it to catch up performance-wise, it’s a killer pick.

The Gen 6 runs on Qualcomm’s 4100+ platform, which allows for a bright and crisp always-on display with a wide color range. With that enabled, the watch has a 24-hour battery life — not mind-blowing, but acceptable charging stats for a device you’ll likely take off to sleep anyway.

The Fossil Gen 6 is a statement piece that almost keeps up with top brands like Samsung and Apple.

If you don’t want to shell out for the latest and greatest Apple Watch (we’ll get to that below), the Apple Watch SE is a fantastic smartwatch at a mid-range price. It doesn’t have all of the latest features of the Series 7, but it performs really well, looks slick, and will work seamlessly with your other Apple products.

If the lack of an always-on display option, smaller screen, and bragging rights for having the latest Apple release doesn’t bother you, the Apple Watch SE is a great choice that will serve you well.

The TicWatch E3 from Mobvoi is a solid smartwatch that balances functionality and price. It may look a tad basic, but the TicWatch E3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip for smooth performance. Software-wise, TicWatch E3 has everything you’d expect from a Google Wear OS smartwatch, like Google Pay, Google Assistant, maps, and regular notifications.

The minimalistic design is great because it can be dressed up or down with any outfit.

Garmin has been making smartwatch fitness trackers for a while now, but the Venu 2 is elite. You can track more than 25 different kinds of activities with this watch, but the real draw is the advanced features like the body battery score that suggests when you should rest or push yourself using biometric data and the blood oxygenation tracker.

We’re in love with the battery specs on this smartwatch — Garmin says it can last up to five days on a single charge. This makes it ideal for athletes in periods of intense training or outdoor adventurers on long backpacking trips.

The Fitbit brand has become synonymous with fitness tracking, and the Sense is its most advanced tracker to date. Year after year, more features are added to the Fitbit’s top smartwatch — some of our favorites on the Sense are the electrodermal activity (EDA) tracker for measuring stress levels and temperature tracking tool.

The Sense doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that more advanced smartwatches have, but it has Alexa and Google Assitant built-in, GPS tracking, and can be used to get smartphone notifications over Bluetooth. It’s not just a fitness tracker, but it’s not a full-fledged smartwatch either. This is a great pick for anyone focused on their health who doesn’t want to be distracted by all the other notifications that’d pop up on other watches.

More than a cheap fitness tracker and less than a modern smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch is our favorite budget smartwatch. This model doesn’t have features like voice assistants, Wi-Fi notification sync, or support for third-party apps, but it has a solid battery, bright display, and a clean, minimalist design.

This smartwatch isn’t going to wow the average user, but it’s a fantastic pick for anyone new to smartwatches and looking to try out something a bit more advanced than a cheap fitness tracker.