The best smartwatches don’t just bring app notifications from your phone to your wrist. Nowadays, they’ve become multifunctional devices that allow you to track your fitness progress, send messages, answer calls, listen to music, and even shop online. It’s amazing how manufacturers still managed to make them tell the time. Our choice for the best smartwatch of 2020 is the Apple Watch Series 5, although we do admit it’s kind of expensive. Luckily, we’ve located lots of great deals on it at Best Buy that start at $384. Still a little over your budget? You can always get its predecessor, the equally excellent Apple Watch Series 4 (it lacks the Series 5’s always-on display but not much else). But if you’re an Android phone user, there’s no better watch to purchase than the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Save as much as $70 when you get these wearables today.
In many ways, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is superior to the Apple Watch. We hit four days on a single charge, it is undeniably beautifully designed, and navigating its interface is fun and easy. However, it presents too much data all at once, Bixby leaves much to be desired, and Samsung Pay isn’t as useful as it used to be. Still, despite its flaws, it is our choice for the best smartwatch for Android users. Right now, the 44mm version of the Samsung Galaxy Watch is available on Amazon for the discounted price of $278 instead of $350 – that’s a huge $70 of savings.
This watch also rocks a mechanical rotating bezel and runs on the company’s proprietary Tizen software and a 1.5GHz processor. When it comes to design, it isn’t as modern-looking and minimalistic as the Apple Watch, but it is gorgeous nonetheless. Its watch face is akin to traditional wristwatches, something vintage watch lovers will appreciate. However, it might be a little too big and heavy for some people, especially those with smaller wrists. Fortunately, a smaller 42mm model exists.
The 1.3-inch AMOLED screen is similarly beautiful. The colors really pop, the blacks are rich and deep, and it stays sufficiently bright outdoors. It is protected by Corning’s military-grade Gorilla DX+ glass, which makes it durable and keeps it scratch-free. Two physical buttons can be found on the right side of the watch, and it comes with a silicone band that’s replaceable if you want something fancier like a leather strap.
Navigating the Samsung Galaxy Watch is a hoot. Swipe left and you will see 20 random apps with live notifications, which you can tap for further interaction. Tapping and holding the top button allows you to access Samsung Pay, and pressing the bottom one allows you to access all your apps. We have to mention though that Samsung has removed Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology from this watch, which means you can’t use it to pay where cards are accepted. And while you can double-tap the lower button to ask Bixby (Samsung’s virtual assistant) a question, his responses are pretty limited.
The Galaxy Watch’s fitness tracking, however, is amazing. There are up to 39 workouts that you can track and the watch can detect six workouts automatically, including walking, running, and cycling. The built-in heart monitor is impressively accurate, and all your fitness data gets stored in Samsung’s Health app. The watch can also do sleep tracking (if you wear it in bed, of course), keeping tabs on your sleep time, light sleep, restlessness, and time spent motionless. Sometimes, though, the Galaxy Watch bombards you with so much information that you won’t know what to do with it.
This watch’s battery life is quite impressive. A single charge managed to last for four days. Granted, the always-on screen wasn’t activated, and we used a Bluetooth connection instead of Wi-Fi. When we tested it again with the always-on screen, though, it lasted a still-impressive two days.
The Apple Watch Series 4 earned a rare perfect five-star rating from us. It boasts the latest in health-monitoring technology, including a second-generation ECG (electrocardiogram) heart sensor that sends out notifications for low heart rate, high heart rate, and irregular rhythm. It also has automatic exercise detection — when you start walking faster or run up a flight of stairs, it will ask you if you’re getting ready to work out. There are plenty of workout programs to choose from, ranging from yoga to hiking and beyond, and all your fitness data is stored in your iPhone’s Health App. Like the Series 3, this watch is obsessed with keeping you active.
The watch is lightning-quick and extremely easy to use, thanks to its fourth-generation S4 processor. Launching apps, checking notifications, and browsing through the menu is a breeze, and the screen is bright and rich in detail. There’s a walkie-talkie mode that lets you chat in real time with fellow Apple Watch owners. The Watch also lets you access Siri by simply raising your wrist and speaking.
Transferring music from your iPhone to the Watch is performed wirelessly and can only be done while it is charging. You can listen to music on Apple Music wirelessly via Bluetooth. The Watch can also be set up to display a range of information, including stock prices, scores from your favorite sports teams, and boarding details on upcoming flights. The battery lasts a good 18 hours on a single charge, enough to get you through the day.
Despite no longer being the latest nor the best Apple Watch that you can buy, the Series 4 is still a formidable digital timepiece. In fact, the Series 5 only managed to get the coveted top spot thanks to a few minor tweaks like its always-on display, a marginally faster processor, and an internal compass. Right now, you can purchase the Series 4 on Best Buy for the discounted price of $342 instead of $379 – a cool $37 off.
Visually, there’s nothing that sets the Apple Watch Series 5 apart from its predecessor the Series 4. It still sports the same square design and digital crown control system. Its case is made of 100% recycled aluminum (perfect for the environmentally conscious), although it also comes in titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic if you have the money to splurge, with a case size of either 44mm or 40mm. Curvy and ergonomic, it’s small and light enough to let you feel like you’re not wearing it, and it won’t get caught on your shirt cuff.
The biggest difference between the Series 5 and the previous Apple Watch iterations is its always-on display. It will always show the time and you no longer need to raise your wrist in order to wake the screen up. Workout stats are also immediately shown as soon as you start exercising. For example, do some push-ups and the Watch will automatically display the corresponding metrics. There are plenty of watch faces to choose from, with designs that range from the elegant to the quirky. And if you’re thinking that the always-on display will take a serious toll on the battery life, don’t fret. It’s possible to get a full day and a half out of a single charge. Recharging takes about an hour.
The Series 5 also has an internal compass, an even more powerful S5 processor, and a much larger storage capacity. The interface is fun and simple to use. Using the digital crown to zoom in and out of the app screen is great, and the haptic feedback provides an impressively tactile experience. All your basic fitness tracking needs are covered, plus a few more. It takes care of steps, calories, hourly movement, relaxation, VO2 Max data, hours spent standing, and workout tracking for a range of sports including swimming and biking, and it even handles more unusual activities like yoga and elliptical training.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is currently on sale on Best Buy starting at $384.
Apple Watch Nike Series 5 (40mm) with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band — $384, was $399:
Apple Watch Series 5 (40mm) with Black Sport Band — $384, was $399:
Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm) with Black Sport Band — $414, was $429:
Apple Watch Nike Series 5 (44mm) with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band — $414, was $429:
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