It seems like 2020 is going to be the year of the smartwatch, or at least that’s what Samsung and Apple (among others) seem to bet on. Also, we don’t have too many articles specifically designed to appeal to our female readers, hence today’s article is about the best smartwatch for women. Even if you’re not a technology aficionado, you probably know that a smartwatch is the best accessory to complement your smartphone, and, sometimes, your sense of style.
The point being, a smartwatch can do two (or three) things at once: provide you with quick and non-intrusive notifications from your smartphone, and by non-intrusive we mean that you won’t have to constantly peck at your smartphone when you’re out with your friends. On top of that, if you choose wisely, a smartwatch can successfully replace your regular watch, i.e. you’ll end up with both a smart gadget and an elegant timepiece to complement your “night-out” wardrobe.
How to choose the best smartwatch for women
Why do you Need It
To begin with, you must ask yourself why you need a smartwatch in the first place: as a fashion statement or as a high-tech device that can be used in a multitude of scenarios. If you’re just looking for a fashion smartwatch, you’ll probably be happy with a hybrid, i.e. a smartwatch that combines the classic analog look with “2020 features”. There’s also the geek’s type of smartwatch, and we’re talking about those with big shiny touchscreen displays, which come with a myriad of functions and features and stuff like that.
Hybrid or a Real Smartwatch
A hybrid is basically a smart timepiece that looks like a regular watch at first sight, yet it hides smart bits under the hood, while a fully-fledged smartwatch makes for the whole shebang, i.e. it can perform a multitude of tasks, ranging from fitness-tracking stuff to all sorts of advanced functions and notifications, including mobile payments and/or call management directly from your wrist.
Keep in mind that a regular smartwatch with a big colorful touchscreen display is often plagued by shorter battery life compared to a hybrid. Yet if you want a really smart wearable with all the features you can think of, and then some, a classic smartwatch would be the best bet for your money. Always remember that your smartwatch of choice should be fully compatible with your smartphone.
Generally speaking, Android smartphones work best with smartwatches running on Wear OS (by Google, obviously); however, most Wear OS gizmos are also compatible with iPhones (limited functionality though), so don’t sweat it too much, just read the fine print and you’ll be fine.
If you’re already an iPhone owner, it must be said that Apple smartwatches are the way to go, and even if today’s article is not really focused on how to choose a smartwatch under $100, you should seriously consider pairing your iPhone with an (expensive) Apple smartwatch, that if you want to make the most of your gear and obviously if you can afford it.
Now, depending on what you’re shopping for, look for control apps, track fitness features, notification delivery systems, battery life (especially if that’s a deal-breaker) and so on and so forth; basically, you must buy the right tool for the job. The display is also important, and the best smartwatch for women should boast an AMOLED variety, or at least a high-end LED, so the photos and apps can be displayed flawlessly even in sunlight. AMOLED displays are the best choice in terms of battery life by the way and they also look awesome.
Moreover, some smartwatches specifically designed for women offer gender-exclusive features, such as the ability to track menstruation and things of that nature. With all these in mind, let’s check out some of the best-buy smartwatches available today on Amazon, right after this short commercial break.
8 Best Smartwatches for Women
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
The Best Android Smartwatch for Women
We’ll begin today’s “contest” with a smartwatch from the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer, and yes, that would be Samsung. The Galaxy Watch Active2 is not a cheap gadget by any means, and that’s something to be expected since the Active2 model is praised by many as Samsung’s best smartwatch to date. So, for a little bit under $300 you’ll get a refined version of the company’s hugely popular Galaxy Watch Active sans the rotating bezel that made the first-gen a superstar.
However, the Active2 features a digital bezel instead, and a minimal, slim and modern look, i.e. it doesn’t look very masculine so to speak. Feature-wise, the Active2 is pretty similar to Apple’s Watch 5 series, which makes it a solid choice for tech-savvy women looking for a great deal. Basically, the Active2 looks the part (especially the stainless-steel model) which means it’s excellent as both a fitness tracker and an everyday/every occasion smartwatch.
There are 2 versions of the Galaxy Watch Active2: the basic one, with an aluminum body, and an “advanced” model in stainless steel. The basic is available in cloud silver, aqua black and pink gold colors, while the “advanced” (and more expensive) version comes in silver, black and gold.
The cheaper Active2 smartwatch is kind of sporty, featuring a rubberized Fluoroelastomer band, while the stainless-steel model is more classy/elegant due to its leather strap. However, you can always go for an aftermarket 20 mm band, i.e. this is hardly an issue.
The back of the watch harbors a heart rate monitor with 8 photodiodes, which means it’s pretty accurate compared to the first-gen that only had 4. There are 2 side-buttons to help you navigate the menus, a back button and a home button respectively. The display is definitely one of the strong selling points of the Active2, and we’re talking here about Samsung’s specialty: a 360 x 360 resolution Super AMOLED touchscreen.
The new digital dial works great and makes navigation a child’s play, while everything is powered by an Exynos 9110 dual-core CPU; internal storage is not an issue, as the Active2 comes with 4 GB storage capacity and 768 MB of RAM. By the way, there’s also an LTE model that boasts 1.5 GB of RAM. The OS is Samsung’s in-house made Tizen with the familiar One UI overlay, and yes, it’s very user-friendly and intuitive.
For fitness aficionados, the smartwatch offers 39 workout-tracking modes, including walking, running and swimming, to name just a few, plus a plethora of apps and features, including an ECG (electrocardiogram) that can be used detect things like atrial fibrillation.
- Minimalist design, lightweight and comfy
- IP68 certification for water and dust resistance
- 247mAh battery that lasts up to 3 days
- Top-notch Digital haptic dial control
- Awesome AMOLED display with excellent sunlight legibility
- Not fully integrated with Apple’s ecosystem
- Not worth to upgrade from the older-gen
- Limited 3rd party apps
Apple Watch Series 5
The Best Smartwatch for iPhone
Apple vs Samsung is the war of the decade in the smartphone universe, and the same goes for Apple Watch vs Samsung Galaxy Watch. Now at its 5th generation, the Apple Watch is more popular than ever before, boasting a brilliant always-on screen and lots of outdoors-focused features. Some say that the Series 5 is the best smartwatch in the world, and truth be told, fanboys or not, they’re not very wrong with that assessment.
Here are a few reasons for which the Apple Watch 5 is worth buying, despite its hefty price tag: first you’ll get a premium-looking and feeling gadget, with a brushed aluminum finish and, as usual, an excellent ergonomic design. The Series 5 offers a number of interesting perks for women, like a ton of health/fitness features plus the ECG thing (yes, Apple does it too), as well as top-notch fitness options, and an amazing 32 GB of on-board storage for all your music.
The latest Apple smartwatch also benefits from new software and a thinner body compared to Series 4 and features a high quality smooth brushed aluminum finish. However, the key feature is the always-on display, while the main upgrades of the Series 5 include a magnetometer (compass), an international SOS trigger that uses the cell network (no contract needed) and a couple of premium finishes available in ceramic and titanium.
- The always-on OLED touchscreen is a killer feature
- Watch OS 6 is awesome and offers 34 watch faces
- Cycle Tracking and App Store are now available independently
- Comprehensive fitness features such as tracking steps and exercise
- Premium finishes available at extra cost
- Battery life still an issue (1-2 days tops)
Fitbit Versa 2
The Best Women’s Smartwatch
The pink Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch is basically a clone of the Apple Watch design-wise, and it would be a great choice for our female readers who are not in love of Apple’s ecosystem. Since imitation is the highest form of flattery, the Fitbit Versa 2 has a lot to prove, and it does it for a fraction of the price compared to the Apple Watch. For significantly under $200 you’ll get a nice design, a state-of-the-art AMOLED touchscreen, excellent fitness and health tracking features, Amazon Alexa support (we’re not big fans of spyware though) plus an awesome wearable experience “on the house”.
The case is well finished and made using brushed aluminum (yes, like the Apple watch), which looks and feels great on your hand due to its smooth edges, and you’ll notice 1 physical button on the left side. The watch is small, elegant and light, which means you can wear it all day long and forget about a second timepiece for “special occasions”; the “vanilla” model comes with a rather cheap-looking silicone strap, but you can always upgrade it with something else if one so inclined. The 1.4 inches wide AMOLED display is fantastic and comes with the popular “always-on” option; battery wise, the Versa 2 does pretty well, at least compared to its Apple overlord, offering 5 days of autonomy on a single charge.
Speaking of health and tracking features, this baby tracks distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, floors climbed, resting and active heart rates, active minutes, running, biking, swimming, treadmill workouts, weightlifting, sleep and many, many more. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a well-designed and affordable smartwatch with multi-day battery life, an intuitive interface and tons of features, everything running on Google’s Wear OS, the Fitbit Versa 2 should rank high on your shopping list.
- More than 15 workout modes
- Comes with heart rate sensor
- Built-in microphone with voice-recognition
- Comprehensive smartphone notifications
- Works great as a fitness tracker
- Lacks the GPS module
- Amazon Alexa feature is buggy
- Can’t stream Spotify
- Doesn’t work with Google Fit or Apple Health
Fossil Gen 5 Julianna
Stunning and Brave
Fossil is more of a fashion brand, yet the company’s Gen 5 smartwatch punches above its weight so to speak, offering a lot of smartwatch experience and features for less money compared to a “luxury brand”, proving once again that less is more, or something along these lines. This stainless-steel smartwatch is definitely aimed at winning the hearts and minds of ladies, as it looks pretty flashy and marvelous, even flamboyant from certain angles. Looks aside, the Julianna comes with its own speaker, a GPS sensor, NFC functionality, a heart rate sensor and smartphone notifications.
To make a long story short, the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna has both the looks and the smarts to make you happy, and even if it’s not cheap, you’ll get basically two watches for the price of one, so it’s a win-win situation, if you’re happy with the design. Some say that the Fossil Gen 5 running on Google’s Wear OS is the best smartwatch money can buy in the current year, and that’s not very far from the truth.
The display is a crisp 1.28 inches wide AMOLED variety, bright and clear and with decent sunlight legibility. There are tons of customizable watch faces, which all look pretty nice, plus a myriad available in the Play Store.
The speaker located on the side of the watch is a great feature to have in a wearable, while the 2 physical buttons and the rotating crown make navigation through the apps and menus a child’s play. Moreover, the watch comes with all the sensors in the world, including GPS, gyroscopic, heart rate, altimeter, ambient light, a speaker and a microphone and NFC, plus Bluetooth connectivity. Most importantly, you can reply to emails/texts very easy, text and make calls directly from the watch, swim with it, so yeah, this Fossil ticks all the boxes in our list and then some.
- Strong hardware inside (Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage capacity)
- Water resistant, very interesting design (can pass easily as a regular timepiece)
- Fantastic AMOLED display
- Media controls and notification system are excellent
- works with both Android and iOS
- Smooth performance
- Battery can’t be replaced
- Relatively weak battery life
- Health tracking features leave room for improvement
Michael Kors Access Bradshaw 2
The Best Smartwatch for Fashionistas
Michael Kors’ latest Bradshaw 2 smartwatch is definitely bold and brilliant as a fashion statement, but the question is: are quality and style reasons enough to buy it? Well, we’re only being presumptuous here, because this stylish smartwatch is not a triumph of form over substance. Or, to put it another way, this beautiful Wear-OS powered smartwatch has both the looks and the brains, which means it would make for the perfect companion for our fashion conscious (with a hint of geekiness) female readers.
Here’s why you should buy it: first, you’ll get a great-looking timepiece, which also comes with all the features required from a smartwatch in 2020: built-in GPS module, built-in speaker, lots of customizable watch-faces, amazing overall performance, the world’s most popular OS, Wear OS by Google respectively, and, last but not least, the fashion know-how provided by a company that operates under Fossil’s management.
The Bradshaw 2 is available in 6 color options and has a 44 mm stainless steel made casing with 22 mm lug width; needless to say, this one can easily pass as a regular watch. Ease of use is one of the smartwatch’s main selling points as the Bradshaw 2 comes with a rotating crown and 2 physical buttons, which help a lot with navigating through apps and menus, while the display is a high-quality 1.28-inch AMOLED variety, with 328ppi density.
Moreover, Bradshaw 2 comes with a microphone and speaker, as well as a heart rate monitor, Google Pay and NFC connectivity, which means you can pay from your wrist. Email and phone calls can be accessed through the watch itself, and social media notifications are well implemented. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful fashion-oriented smartwatch with a plethora of features, that blends style with modern-day technology, give Michael Kors a chance.
- Premium look and feel, works with both Android and iOS devices
- Always-on AMOLED touchscreen display
- Waterproof, heart rate monitoring, GPS built-in
- Comes with cool features like Google Pay, Google Fit, NFC
- Strong hardware inside: Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM
- Battery life could be better
- A tad flashy
Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2
Smarts and Brains
If you’re a woman with exquisite taste, we’ve just found your perfect match. Just take a look at this gorgeous smartwatch powered by Google’s Wear-OS, which works well with both Android and iPhones, and stand in awe! This smartwatch is not only bold and beautiful but also smart, as it comes loaded with all the goodies one would expect from a cutting-edge gadget in the current year: GPS activity tracking (great for fitness lovers), heart rate tracking, customizable watch faces and so on and so forth.
Another cool feature of the Kate Spade New York Women’s Scallop Smartwatch 2 is that it offers both NFC and Google Pay, i.e. you can make contactless payments with your timepiece. On top of that, you get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and if you own an Android smartphone, you will be able to use the smartwatch for viewing notifications from basically any messaging system and/or app, and also to control calls directly from your wrist, track activity (calories, steps, heart rate etc.), use Google Pay, get weather updates and a million other useful things.
- Looks and feels like a high-end timepiece
- Waterproof, GPS-enabled, feature-rich
- Magnetic USB rapid-charger included in the retail package
- Incredibly pretty for a smartwatch
- Google Pay, NFC for contactless payments
- Sub-par battery life (1 day tops)
Garmin Vívoactive 3
The Best Smartwatch for Fitness and Tracking
Compared to the smartwatches reviewed previously, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 looks pretty bland. However, don’t let the looks deceive you, as the Vivoactive 3 is definitely the best value smartwatch for ladies obsessed with a sporty lifestyle. The Vivoactive 3 has a “serious cat” design, but it’s actually an excellent all-rounder smartwatch, which delivers a lot of bang for the proverbial buck: GPS, multi-sport tracking, heart rate tracking (24/7 monitoring actually), impressive battery life compared to the fashion-icons above, everything packed in a lightweight form-factor.
When it comes to looks, the Vivoactive 3 features a circular yet stylish (some may say minimalist) design. However, this smartwatch is clearly aimed at fitness aficionados, as it comes with a plethora of fitness features and apps. Moreover, you’ll get Garmin’s in-house Payment system, which is similar to Google Pay, smart notifications, and, a very nice touch for women, sleep and real-time stress tracking. To make it really easy for our readers, if you’re looking for a discrete and versatile smartwatch that combines smart notifications with lifestyle features and fitness tracking, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 plays in a league of its own.
- Elegant circular design in a stainless-steel case
- Very comfy and easy to wear all day long
- Tons of fitness features, wide range of workouts tracked
- Impressive battery life (up to 7 days), trans reflective color display
- Intuitive user interface, customizable widgets and watch-faces
- None really
The Best Cheap Smartwatch for Women
Last but not least, we must say a few words about an excellent entry level gadget, the Amazfit BIP respectively. This interesting smartwatch is one of the cheapest fitness trackers on Amazon (some call it a bargain), retailing for well-under $100. However, you’ll get a lot of smartwatch for the money asked: weeks long battery life, comprehensive fitness-tracking features, an always-on display, GPS, a heart rate sensor, notifications, water resistance and iOS/Android compatibility.
Seriously, for something like eighty bucks, this is an offer you can’t refuse. If you’re a previous Pebble owner, the Amazfit BIP would make for a fine replacement and fit you like the proverbial glove.
Since the design is important for our audience, this smartwatch can be described as low key/casual; think along the lines of a love it or hate it, and yes, we kind of liked it. So yeah, you should definitely give it a try.
- Amazing value for money
- Fantastic battery life
- Basic notifications for smartphone, GPS, heart-rate tracking
- Totally comfy, has that Casio feel
- Scratch resistant (Gorilla Glass) display
- The software is not mature yet
- Not really a fashion-oriented gadget (kinda ugly)