What if you don’t want an Apple Watch — the best smartwatch available — because you have an Android phone? You should probably turn your attention to Google’s Wear OS, the new name for Android Wear. While it’s not quite as polished and usable as Watch OS on the Apple Watch, it’s still a great way to get notifications and map directions, as well as have the Google Assistant right on your wrist.
The great news is there is a massive amount of choice, with more and more fashion and watch brands making Wear OS smartwatches, including Fossil, Montblanc, Misfit, and Movado. We’ve chosen the best Wear OS watches at varying price ranges and laid out what features they pack.
Fossil Sport ($255)
The Fossil Sport smartwatch comes packed with the latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, better battery life, and improved performance. It also runs Google’s latest version of Wear OS, which provides a better user experience all-around. Under the hood, the smartwatch comes with heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS, and an NFC chip, all for an affordable price. It’s also extremely sleek and lightweight — even with its “sport” title, you’ll be able to wear it regardless of whether you’re at the gym or out with friends.
With a 1.2-inch AMOLED display, content looks bright and sharp, whether you’re checking the time or using an app. It also comes in six different, eclectic color options, a few of which come with matching bands. With redesigned Wear OS, you can also check your heart rate right from your wrist by choosing one of the new watch faces made specifically to incorporate Google Fit.
Montblanc Summit 2 ($995+)
While the Montblanc Summit 2 has a high price tag, it’s the most luxurious Wear OS smartwatch you’ll find on the market. Even though it doesn’t come with any new and exciting features, apart from the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, it does provide you with as close to a traditional-looking timepiece as you’ll get with a smartwatch. The case is made of a durable, diamond-like carbon coating and a sapphire glass display that’s resistant to scratches.
When it comes to fitness features, it also has a built-in heart rate sensor that you can use in conjunction with the Workout Coach app to measure your V02 max. But if you prefer Google Fit for tracking metrics, you can opt for that instead.
Misfit Vapor 2
As a follow-up to the Misfit Vapor, Misfit has launched its second-generation Vapor 2, which it comes with a few more features. In addition to a heart rate sensor, it also now has built-in GPS and comes with the redesigned version of Wear OS. While Misfit has done away with the touch-sensitive bezel, it still looks extremely sleek, with a 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display and a rotating crown. It also comes in two different case sizes — 41mm and 46mm.
While it doesn’t include Qualcomm’s new chipset, Google’s new Wear OS interface makes up for it, since its far easier to use. The Vapor 2 also comes in eight different colorways, with interchangeable watch straps for further customization.
Movado Connect ($595+)
The Movado Connect may not have all the features the Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro does, but it does pack a whole lot more style. The minimal design mimics Movado’s traditional timepieces, and our favorite watch face changes its color throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. It comes in a few different color and strap choices, with sleek lugs that cover up any excess space in between the watch and the straps.
It has all the basic Wear OS features, including support for Google Pay with NFC. It’s missing a heart rate monitor and GPS, but this isn’t necessarily a sporty watch. The biggest downside is the price tag — it starts at $595.
Kate Spade Scallop ($295+)
Kate Spade is known as a very fashion-forward, tech-friendly company, and the Kate Spade Scallop proves it. The Scallop features an understated and classic design, along with a series of fun watch faces to complete the look. It’s pretty slim too — which is helpful in ensuring that the watch looks stylish. There are various Wear OS smartwatches for women, but this is by far our favorite.
Like the Emporio Armani Connected, the Kate Spade Scallop is not a tech powerhouse — it’s a super-stylish smartwatch that can be customized to match your look. How? By using a clever watch face that can be set up to complement the color scheme of your outfit. Don’t be put off by the large-sounding 42mm body — the screen is just 1.2 inches, so the watch is very compact and wearable.
Which Wear OS smartwatch will you choose? We like all of these above and feel they’re all good choices, but it’s difficult not to recommend the Fossil Sport due to the price, recent release date, and the fact that it includes the latest tech. Only a couple of Wear OS watches have been released with the Wear 3100 so far, but that’s set to change in the coming months. If you’re not in a hurry to own one, then you might want to wait for more choices to arrive throughout 2019.