Verizon Wear24 review

Verizon's first smartwatch isn't a bad first attempt, but it's a bit of a letdown

Verizon's Wear24 isn't the worst smartwatch out there, but odd omissions and a princely price make it tough to recommend.
Verizon's Wear24 isn't the worst smartwatch out there, but odd omissions and a princely price make it tough to recommend.
Verizon's Wear24 isn't the worst smartwatch out there, but odd omissions and a princely price make it tough to recommend.


  • Support for 4G LTE
  • Speedy processor
  • Good battery life


  • No heart rate sensor
  • Poor speaker quality
  • Doesn't support Android Pay
  • Cheap irreplaceable band that attracts dirt

DT Editors' Rating

Smartwatches, the Dick Tracy-inspired gadgets that track your workouts and buzz when you get a text message, are a little more commonplace than they were a few years ago. Now, there’s a smartwatch at every price point, with luxury Swiss brands like Movado and Tag Heuer filling out the high end and ZTE, Misfit, LG, Huawei, and others sitting somewhere in the middle.

Given the well-established competition, it’s a little surprising that Verizon, the U.S.’s largest cellular carrier, is jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon. The Wear24, a watch made in partnership with Taiwanese company ODM Quanta, boasts high-end hardware in a lightweight, $300 package. It’s got a waterproof body, a colorful display, and 4G LTE connectivity.

Despite that laundry list of features, Verizon’s Wear24 falls short in crucial respects. Namely, it omits sensors the competition doesn’t. That’s not to say Verizon’s first attempt at a smartwatch isn’t good, but it’s tough to recommend the Wear24 over similarly-priced watches from Apple, Huawei, Samsung, and others.

Elegant minimalism

On paper, the Wear24 seems pretty compelling. Verizon’s first smartwatch has an unibody that measures 13.4 x 42 x 42mm and weighs 85 grams, making it smaller and lighter than the ZTE Quartz (14 x 46 x 46mm and 89 grams).

The Wear24 is round and compact, and elegant — there’s a single physical button on the side, and lugs that protrude a little too much. It’s a little heavy, but on the whole, the Wear24 is minimal — if a little bland.

It’s IP67 rated for water- and dust-resistance, meaning it’ll emerge unscathed from watery depths up to 3 feet, and packs a 1.39-inch, AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, like most Android Wear smartwatches, and it comes with 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 450mAh battery that supports wireless charging.

It’s fast, too. The Wear24 flew through Android Wear 2.0’s menus in our testing, never once showing signs of slowdown in the course of a long work week using Google’s activity-tracking Fit software, turn-by-turn Google Maps directions, and a deluge of Trello, Facebook Messenger, and email notifications running in the background.

On the whole, the Wear24 is tastefully — if a little blandly — designed.

Our testing didn’t seem to make a dent in the Wear24’s battery. Despite the battery’s comparatively smaller, 450mAh size (the cheaper ZTE Quartz packs a 500mAh), the Wear24 tended to last about a day and a half on a charge. Even with Wi-Fi and LTE enabled and the brightness cranked to maximum, we struggled to run the Wear24’s battery down below 25 percent. That’s much better than we managed with the LG Watch Sport, which frequently fell short of the 20-hour mark, and it’s on par with the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S3, both of which last about a day.

On the subject of the Wear24’s battery, we found the charger — a wireless dock that comes packed in the box and plugs in via MicroUSB cable — to be a nice touch. It’s much easier to use than the Huawei Watch 2’s finicky magnets, and a lot less finicky than the ZTE Quartz’s clip-on charger.

True wireless

The Wear24 is one of the few Android Wear smartwatches to support 4G LTE. In real-world terms, that means you can use it in lieu of your smartphone — Android Wear 2.0’s native calling features let you answer and place calls with your cellphone plan’s number, or respond to incoming texts.

You can dictate messages or tap text out letter-by-letter on Android Wear 2.0’s tiny keyboard. Alternatively, a nifty handwriting tool turns the letters you doodle with a finger into text.

Verizon Wear24
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

There’s also Smart Replies, which uses on-device machine learning to generate short, contextually relevant message replies. When you get a text message from a friend asking if you’re free this evening, for example, you’ll get options like, “Sounds good,” or, “Can’t make it.”

Mobile data doesn’t come free, of course — adding the Wear24 to an existing Verizon data plan is $5 a month. But if you’re the kind of watch wearer who appreciates the freedom of being able to ditch your smartphone when heading to the grocery store or go for a jog, the convenience might be worth the cost.

The lack of an ambient light sensor means it won’t adjust the brightness automatically.

That said, we were disappointed by the Wear24’s speaker quality, which tended to sound tinny and washed out. The speaker comes in handy on those rare occasions when you aren’t wearing earbuds and your smartphone’s out of reach, and we would’ve liked to see more attention paid to it for that reason.

The Wear24 isn’t without other drawbacks. The screen is less sharp than the Huawei Watch 2’s display (290 ppi versus 326 ppi); its body has a lower IP rating than the Samsung Gear S3 and the LG Watch Sport (IP67 versus IP68); and it doesn’t have removable wrist straps, meaning you’re stuck with the thin, flimsy silicon bands that come permanently bolted to it.

While it has GPS, the Wear24 doesn’t have a heart-rate sensor — so you won’t be able to track fitness activities more accurately, unlike comparably-priced watches. The lack of an ambient light sensor means it won’t adjust the brightness automatically, and it does feature Near Field Communication (NFC) radio, but it doesn’t support Android Pay. The LG Watch Sport, Huawei Watch, and Moto 360 use NFC to let you tap to pay at retailers that accept Android Pay, Google’s payments platform, but the Wear24 inexplicably doesn’t.

Android Wear 2.0

The Wear24 is one of the first smartwatches to ship with Android Wear 2.0, the latest version of Google’s smartwatch operating system. That’s a good thing, because it’s a huge improvement over its predecessor.

In contrast to the first version of Android Wear, which we found to be a little clunky and confusing, Android Wear 2.0’s interface is fast, intuitive, and simple. Swiping down from the top of the watch brings up quick settings, and swiping up scrolls through your notifications.

The watch face options are improved as well. Apple Watch-like Complications — animated widgets for watch apps — show updates and notifications in real time. By default, the Wear24 offers the choice of a battery indicator, step counter, and weekday planner, but third-party apps add their own Complications. Swiping left lets you customize the layout and appearance of Complications, or swap watch faces entirely.

Verizon Wear24
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

The Wear24 misses out on one new feature of Android Wear 2.0 — hardware shortcuts. Unlike the LG Watch Sport, which has a rotating dial that serves as a scroll wheel or zoom adjustment in Android Wear apps, the Wear24’s inputs are pretty much restricted to touch. Short of pressing the crown to access apps and the Google Assistant, most interactions are of the tapping and swiping variety.

The Wear24, unsurprisingly, ships preloaded with Verizon’s Messaging app, which handles texting on the watch and phone. It’s optional — you can use Android Wear 2.0’s default messaging app, if you choose — but Verizon’s app helpfully dismisses text message notifications on your phone if you’ve viewed them on your watch, and vice versa. That said, it also encourages you to purchase in-app stickers, which is why we recommend avoiding it.

Warranty, availability, and pricing

Verizon offers a standard 12-month limited warranty on the Wear24, which protects against defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service. If you’re claim is approved, the carrier will repair your damaged Wear24 using new or refurbished parts. It doesn’t cover moisture damage, “unauthorized” modifications, damage caused in shipping, or Wear24 devices purchased from unauthorized third parties.

The Verizon Wear24 is available from Verizon for $350 unlocked, or $300  on a two-year contract. It comes in steel, black and rose gold, and is available on Verizon’s website and brick-and-mortar stores.

Our Take

Verizon’s Wear24 is a pretty good smartwatch, but it needs to be cheaper. At $300 on a two-year contract, and $350 unlocked, it’s just not good enough to justify the asking price. The competition has sharper screens, heart-rate tracking features, ambient light sensors, Android Pay support, and more. The Wear24 handles Android Wear basics, like notifications, messaging, and watch faces, just fine. But its princely price makes it hard to recommend.

Is there a better alternative?

Yes. The ZTE Quartz, which is admittedly bigger and bulkier than the Wear24, is a good deal less expensive at $192. The LG Watch Style is a close second, but it’s $50 more.

If you’re the uncompromising type, consider the Huawei Watch 2 Sport or the LG Watch Sport for their better screens, heart-rate monitors, and NFC sensors that support Android Pay. The former, unlike the Wear24, doesn’t support 4G LTE, but it’s cheaper than the unlocked Wear24 at $300.

How long will it last?

The Wear24 is Verizon’s first Android Wear smartwatch, so it’s a little difficult to tell how long the carrier will support it. But if other Android Wear devices are any indication, we expect it to receive updates for at least 2 years.

Should you buy it?

No. Simply put, the Wear24 is an expensive smartwatch with deal-breaking shortcomings — namely, the lack of heart-rate monitor and support for Android Pay. There are far more competitive options at its $300 to $350 price range.

Update: Sales of the Wear24 have been discontinued. 


Fitbit Versa 2 will reportedly roll out September 15 with OLED display, Alexa

Leaked images confirm that the Fitbit Versa 2 will come with an OLED display and Alexa integration, with more than four days of battery life. A source claims that the Fitbit Versa successor will be released on September 15.

Get fit in style with Garmin’s Vivosmart 4, now only $100 on Amazon and Best Buy

Equipped with robust features you wouldn’t expect in an entry-level device, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is more than just good looks. Kickstart an active lifestyle by ordering yours today on Amazon or Best Buy for only $100.

Track your progress with this renewed Fitbit Versa Lite for $110 at Walmart

Fitness trackers provide you with a clearer understanding of your physical well-being. They can measure your vitals, step count, calories burned, and more. A great fitness tracker is the Fitbit Versa Lite, now $110 on Walmart.

Get yourself a cellular Apple Watch Series 4 for as low as $449 on Amazon

There’s much to say about the Apple Watch Series 4, but the bottom line is, it’s one of the most comprehensive, user-friendly fitness wearables on the market. You can get the cellular model today on Amazon for as low as $449.

Best smartwatch deals for August 2019: Samsung, Fitbit, and Apple Watch sales

Smartwatches make life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. If you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, here are the best smartwatch deals for August 2019.

Pick up Bose’s QuietComfort 25 headphones at their lowest price ever on Amazon

Bose is a name synonymous with quality, and its headphones are no exception -- especially its noise-canceling models. But that functionality doesn't come cheap (Bose's QuietComfort 35 II's for example), so when we see a pair of great…

Is the Apple Card any better than a regular credit card? We asked an expert

The new Apple Card is integrated with your iPhone and comes with a titanium backup card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay, but how does it stack up against the competition? We asked some experts to find out.

Snag the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch for 34% less on Amazon

Usually retailing for $300, you can wear the Samsung Gear Sport on your wrist for 34% less on Amazon. You can also qualify to knock off another $50 on top of the $198 sale price with your Amazon Rewards Visa Card.

Amazon drops the GPS and cellular Apple Watch Series 3 to its lowest price

The Apple Watch Series 3 is still an excellent option if you are looking to enter the world of wearables. It is similar to the Series 4 but lighter on the budget. You can even get a cellular model for only $229 on Amazon.

Amazon swipes 32% off of Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro smartwatches

While it usually sells at $200, Amazon reduced the price of the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro smartwatch by $65. The smaller variant is also discounted by $65, so you can purchase one at Amazon for only $135 instead of $200.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for August 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Trim down and get big savings with Amazon’s 20% sale on the Fitbit Inspire HR

The Fitbit Inspire HR could just be the most affordable fitness tracker Fitbit has to offer priced at $100 but Amazon's 20% sale lets you trim down and get big on savings by making it available for only $80.

Run with the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music for $70 less on Amazon

The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is currently on sale for $71 less on Amazon. Usually priced at $450, you can leave your phone behind and run hands-free while tuned in to your music for just $379.

Work out in style with this Fitbit Blaze smartwatch, now 21% less on Walmart

A lot of smartwatches are marketed as fitness trackers as well. Aside from receiving smart notifications, these watches boast robust fitness tracking that makes them essential devices for the health-conscious, like the Fitbit Blaze.