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The 5 best Apple Watch Series 6 alternatives

Apple advertised the Apple Watch Series 6 as the future of health on your wrist, but you still may not see this particular smartwatch in your future. If you’re seeking out Apple Watch Series 6 alternatives to pair with your phone, you’ll be glad to know that you do have options. Ranging from other Apple Watch models to smartwatches from different manufacturers, you have choices when it comes to the style and features on your wrist. We explore the best Apple Watch Series 6 alternatives that you can purchase.

At a glance

Product Category Rating
Apple Watch SE Best overall Apple alternative 4.5 out of 5
Apple Watch Series 3  Most affordable Apple alternative 4 out of 5
Fitbit Versa 3 Best fitness-focused alternative In progress
Withings Steel HR Best hybrid-style alternative In progress
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Best option for Android smartphones 4 out of 5

Apple Watch SE

The best overall Apple alternative

Apple Watch SE

Why you should buy this: It contains all the great features you would expect from a modern Apple Watch, but at a lower price.

Who’s it for: Anyone who doesn’t care about an always-on display or more advanced health monitoring functions.

Why we picked the Apple Watch SE:

The Apple Watch SE is the company’s first attempt to bring a low-cost Apple Watch to the market. Previously, the company would simply discount older models. Apple Watch SE brings some of the best features of the Apple Watch to the table while making a few omissions in the name of cost. You’ll find a Retina display, heart rate notifications, emergency SOS panic mode, fall detection, and activity tracking within the Watch SE.

What you’ll be losing out on compared to the Series 6 are a few features, including the always-on Retina display, the blood oxygen app, ECG, and the option for more advanced materials such as stainless steel and titanium. The SE features a lightweight, yet sturdy, aluminum body, and cellular connectivity opportunities are still available, albeit at a slight extra cost. You can pick up the Apple Watch SE in either gold, silver, or Space Gray.

Apple Watch Series 3

The most affordable Apple alternative

best smartwatches apple watch series 3
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: It continues to deliver an excellent Apple Watch experience, and it’s great for fitness tracking and notifications.

Who’s it for: Budget-conscious Apple Watch buyers who don’t want to break the bank.

Why we picked Apple Watch Series 3:

If the cost of owning an Apple Watch is getting you down, then you might want to check out the Apple Watch Series 3, the company’s most affordable option. While the Series 3 is a few generations older than the Series 6 and SE, it still provides a healthy dose of functionality for keeping an eye on your health or receiving notifications. You’ll receive a Retina display, although it will be 30% smaller than current generations. However, essential health functions are still included, such as heart rate monitoring and emergency SOS.

You do admittedly lose out on several more modern features, including an always-on Retina display, the blood oxygen app, the ECG app, international emergency calling, fall detection, a compass, and more advanced materials. That all being said, if you want a watch to track your steps and deliver all your notifications, including those from Apple’s iMessage service, the Watch Series 3 still presents itself as a reliable option. You can find the Apple Watch Series 3 in either silver or Space Gray.

Fitbit Versa 3

The best fitness-focused alternative

Fitbit Versa 3

Why you should buy this: It’s an all-around solid smartwatch from Fitbit that can keep tabs on your fitness life and smartphone alerts.

Who’s it for: Those looking to track basic health information and statistics on their workouts.

Why we picked Fitbit Versa 3:

The Fitbit Versa 3 is the company’s third iteration of its intelligent Versa smartwatch and activity tracker. Like the Fitbit Sense, the Versa 3 allows you to track your heart rate and other general activity information — great for workouts and tracking your steps around the office. However, the Fitbit Versa 3 doesn’t offer a few higher-end features that its sibling does, so you won’t find ECG or blood oxygen readings here. Additionally, the body is made of aluminum rather than stainless steel and comes in two colors, including Soft Gold and black.

The Versa 3 sports a six-day-plus battery life, and the company claims that charging the device for just 12 minutes will give you enough power to get through an entire day. Both the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are still onboard for when you need help, as well as breathing exercises so that you can keep your zen throughout the day. If you want a solid wearable to track fitness and monitor your daily stats, selecting the Fitbit Versa 3 won’t be a regret.

Withings Steel HR

The best hybrid-style alternative

Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s a smartwatch hidden behind the classic design of an analog watch face.

Who’s it for: Anyone who still prefers the look of analog watches but wants to take advantage of fitness tracking tech.

Why we picked Withings Steel HR:

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a smartwatch but can still track your health information, you’ll want to check out the Withings brand. In particular, the Withings Steel HR is a stylish stainless steel smartwatch that hides behind a classic analog face with only a minimal display. Keep an eye on activity measurements such as steps while also keeping tabs on your heart rate. You won’t find yourself charging this gadget every night either, as the Steel HR will last up to 25 days on a single charge — that’s right, we said days, not hours.

Those interested in tracking their sleep can also do so with the Withings Steel HR thanks to its automatic sleep tracking that provides you with a sleep score the next day so that you know if you were restless in the night. Smart notifications are also onboard, so you can keep an eye on calls, texts, and events. Just remember that as with other devices, iMessages will not work here — only standard text messages (the green bubbles). You can pick up a Steel HR smartwatch in either silver or rose gold and with either a black or white watch face.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Best option for Android smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why you should buy this: It’s a solid smartwatch option for Android users that allows you to track fitness stats and keep up to date with notifications.

Who’s it for: Anyone with an Android smartphone who doesn’t want to switch to iOS, but still wants to enjoy a solid Apple Watch competitor.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2:

Perhaps the Apple Watch Series 6 caught your eye, but you’re a die-hard Android smartphone user. Don’t fret, if you’re rocking a Galaxy device, a wing-style contraption from LG, or any Android smartphone really, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is an excellent choice. Samsung’s mobile Tizen platform is enjoyable to use, but third-party app support continues to be limited, so you might not find as many apps as you would on an Apple Watch. The Active 2 does offer a healthy amount of fitness coverage, allowing you to keep an eye on your stress levels, heart data, daily step-count, and more.

The design of the Active 2 is minimal, and we appreciate the stainless-steel variant, which provides a more classy styling. Since you’ll need to be checking on the watch throughout the day, sometimes in bright daylight, we are happy to note that the display stands up well and is easy to read in nearly all lighting. If you aren’t too heavy of a user, you may even see up to two-days of battery life. If you find yourself on the go without your smartphone, the Active 2 sports built-in 4G LTE which can keep you connected, if you opt for the monthly service.

After something a bit different? Check out our collection of the best Black Friday smartwatch deals and Black Friday Apple Watch deals.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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