Best Smartwatch for Men In 2020 - Buyer's Guide

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The OD Team

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A smartwatch is an incredible device that can make your daily tasks so much easier with all the convenience they have to offer. However, with all the choices on the market, we can completely understand why someone could be at a loss when it comes to which one to choose.

That’s why I’ve made this list of the best smartwatches for men to help you pick the one that would suit you the most, as well as a buying guide to help you understand the factors that affect your watch’s functionality.

7 Best Smartwatches for Men In 2020

Of course, Apple has established itself quite well in the market of electronic devices of all shapes and forms, and smartwatches are no exception.

The watch’s design is quite sleek, and it comes in two sizes to fit any wrist size. Though the best thing about the design is that it strikes a balance between fashion and tech that you probably won’t find on anything else.

It’s packed with fitness and health features as it comes with heart-rate rhythm monitoring, which is able to detect any irregularities in your heartbeats. There’s also an option for emergency calls if you ever fall down and are unable to get back up. So, not only will you be getting a better overview of your heart’s health but also the potential to save your life in a critical situation.

Moreover, the Series 6 comes with the 2’s waterproof design and built-in GPS, the 3’s phone-connected cellular data, the 4’s almost frameless screen, and the 5’s customization options and always-on display. The 1.78-inch display delivers 2.5 times the brightness of the watch when it’s in dimmed mode.

On top of that, the Series 6 comes with a pulse oxygen sensor that adds to its value on the health-monitoring side. Also, with all the available third-party apps you can download on the watch, it truly provides you with incomparable functionality.

And though the UI is not the most intuitive, using the watch is quite a treat with all the apps and quality performance that provide a seamless experience.

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If you want a watch that can work both with iPhone (with limitations) and Android phones, you should consider the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

Not only does it have a very elegant design, but its performance is super smooth, and its construction is robust. All of this is made possible with the rotating bezel that you can use to navigate the watch and make use of all that it has to offer.

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with an FDA-approved ECG sensor and trip-detecting features to keep you safe in the case of an emergency. Not only that, but it’s also equipped with SpO2 and VO2 Max readings that make it incredibly easy for you to check how athletic you are.

As for customization, it allows you to pick a watch face out of the huge library of 80 thousand faces it’s equipped with. You can pick the one that you think does the best job at showing off the sleek design of the watch and the 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch display, both of which flaunt a 360 x 360-pixel resolution.

The Galaxy Watch 3 comes with sleep-tracking capabilities, which you can actually use thanks to the 2-day battery life the watch has to offer, as you can wear this watch to bed and don’t have to take it off to charge every night.

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If you’re not restricted by a budget, and you’ve got some money to spare, then you should pamper yourself with the TAG Heuer Connected. This premium watch combines the Swiss-style design of any traditional watch with advanced technology and performance.

Like any quality smartwatch, the Tag Heuer comes with a built-in heart-rate sensor and GPS. For extended durability, it comes with a sapphire coating, a ceramic bezel, and a steel case that keep it strong in the face of any rugged use or impact.

And although the only size available is a 45mm one, that doesn’t seem too much of an issue as men usually have bigger wrists.

With the 1.39-inch display size and 400 x 400 resolution, you’ll be able to enjoy the AMOLED touchscreen and all the apps the watch has to offer. Also, with its 25-hour battery life, you won’t have to struggle with charging it often.

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The TicWatch Pro has somewhat of a classic design, but it’s incredibly durable with the Gorilla Glass 3 coating that easily survives hard hits without suffering damage. This is only enhanced by the stainless steel bezel that lines the top of the watch.

Moreover, the TicWatch Pro comes with a dual-display as it features an AMOLED display as well as an FSTN LCD display that can go on for around 30 days. It also features a water-ejecting mechanism that makes it water-resistant and extends its durability.

For connectivity, the TicWatch Pro comes with built-in Bluetooth and WiFi. Also, if you’re a U.S. resident, you can enjoy the watch’s standalone capabilities with Verizon’s sim card; you can send and receive messages as well as download and stream tunes.

As for the sensors, the watch comes with plenty of them, including a PPG heart rate one and an accelerometer. It’s also equipped with built-in GPS with multiple satellite support and a gyroscope that enables you to keep track of the calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve covered, the tracks you’ve taken, and your sleep cycles.

Equipped with a 415 mAH battery, the TicWatch Pro can function anywhere between 2 to 5 days, depending on how heavy your use is.

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A round design to make it smooth with a 1.28-inch AMOLED display of 416 x 416-pixel resolution make the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle one of the best Wear OS watches you can get. This is especially true with all the apps you can download to the 8 GB storage, all of which it can run so seamlessly thanks to the 1 GB RAM.

Its fitness features are quite great, including a heart-rate sensor, GPS, and 3ATM water-resistance (up to 100 feet). Also, it’s equipped with Google Pay to enable you to make mobile payments online.

But what makes it really special is that you can play around with the battery modes to extend the watch’s functionality for more than just 1 or 2 days. You can turn off the non-essential functions and enjoy extended battery life. And the best part? The Carlyle’s battery percentage reaches 80% in under an hour thanks to the fast magnetic USB charger it comes with.

And if you’re interested in conducting calls using your watch, you’ll love the built-in microphone and speakers. These also enable you to interact with audible alerts and make voice commands, receive phone calls, or send texts.

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With an improved look and enhanced features, the Fitbit Sense is definitely one of our favorite Fitbit devices out there. It’s the perfect fit for anyone whose main concerns are health and fitness aspects when it comes to wearables.

With the Fitbit Sense, you’ll be able to collect huge amounts of data as it features ECG, stress, and temperature variation data. You can check all that on the high-quality 336 x 336-pixel, spacious 1.58-inch screen, which is the second biggest on our list after the Apple Watch Series 6’s.

The Sense does an incredible job when it comes to fitness tracking as it’s equipped with a highly accurate GPS and an adequately accurate heart rate sensor. It also comes with sleep-tracking capabilities, made special with oxygen tracking, which enhances the sleep-tracking data.

In terms of customization, you can switch between multiple proprietary ones with the quick-change straps. You’ll probably need some time to get the hang of how to control and navigate your watch, but once you do, you’ll really enjoy what it has to offer.

And though the Fitbit Sense comes with an always-on display option, it takes a heavy toll on the battery life, so you’re better off not using it.

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If you’re looking for an excellent smartwatch that prioritizes fitness, you’ll find none better than the Garmin Vivoactive 4. When it comes to fitness features, especially, it’s very hard to beat a Garmin smartwatch.

You can use the device to track your runs, strength training, bike rides, or activity in HIIT classes. But still, you can also use it to check the weather forecast and schedule your next meeting.

It does the basics like step-counting and sleep-monitoring, but it also comes with a “Move Bar” that activates when you haven’t been active for a while, and its step goals automatically adjust according to your previous step-count data.

It comes with a nice notification display and enables you to make online, contactless payments, as well as listen to your music without the need for a connected smartphone as it supports offline Spotify playback.

What’s great about the Garmin Vivoactive 4’s design is that it isn’t at all bulky and ditches the rectangular shape with sharper edges. Its UI is very intuitive, and pretty much everything you’d need can be accessed easily from the primary watch face. And if you download the Connect IQ app store, you’ll be able to enjoy a wider variety of apps, widgets, faces, and data fields.

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Smartwatches for Men Buying Guide & FAQ

When you’re shopping for a smartwatch, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. Admittedly, there’s always going to be a trade-off, so it all boils down to what features you’re willing to compromise for another.

Features to Look for in a Smartwatch for Men

Compatibility and Watch OS

The first and perhaps most important aspect you have to take into consideration is how compatible the smartwatch is with the phone you have. Most of the time, a smartwatch serves as an add-on to your smartphone, and the more compatible they are, the more features you can get out of your wearable.

Naturally, the Apple Watch Series models work with iPhones. However, some devices like the Tizen-powered Galaxy Watches work with Androids as well as iPhones, but with limitations when it comes to iOS devices.

As for Fitbit devices, they work with both operating systems just as well. However, Androids do get an extra advantage of quick replies to text messages.

Finally, with Google Wear OS devices, including Huawei, LG, Fossil, and others, you get compatibility with both iOS and Android devices. However, they do have limitations with iPhones. You can easily make sure how compatible the two devices are by going to the official website.

Display: LCD, AMOLED, or OLED?

Both LCD and AMOLED displays are colorful, but the latter allows you to view the watch’s content like the apps and photos in more vivid colors. However, this means that you’ll be getting a shorter battery life.

You can opt for the more expensive OLED displays that give you a colorful screen with a super slim design. Apple Watches are famous for those, and of course, their low-profile.

Control: Touchscreen or Hard Buttons?

There are multiple ways that smartwatch manufacturers let users control their smartwatches, and you want to opt for the easiest and smoothest for you. While touchscreens seem to be the obvious choice, they aren’t always handy if you’ve got a smaller display, and sometimes their gesture-based operation isn’t the most intuitive.

You might like the card-based notifications you get with Wear OS devices. However, if you don’t want to spend all day swiping to navigate apps, you might want to go with the combo the Apple Watch has to offer: a touch screen with a digital crown and a side button on the right.

The digital crown can be used for zooming or scrolling, while the screen is force touch-enabled, which gives you the ability to long-press or tap for navigation. Finally, the side button presents you with your frequently used apps when you press it.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch also comes with a bezel that you can use for scrolling by rotating it as well as a touch screen.

Design and Customization

It’s always better if you get a smartwatch with interchangeable straps in order to personalize your looks and match your outfit. Better yet, opt for one that allows you to use third-party options.

You already get multiple customization options before you make the purchase, including the material, band color, color of the face, size, and finish. Yet, it doesn’t hurt if you can make adjustments to those later on.

Moreover, make sure that the watch you opt for can easily be fastened and doesn’t require too much force to be opened or closed. In other words, go for buckles instead of clasps.

Available Apps

What’s a smartwatch without its apps? With all the advances in the smartwatch field, some models come equipped with as many as a thousand apps, and the more is, indeed, the merrier in this case. 

In this area, the Apple Watch simply shines with the highest number of available apps, reaching up to 20,000 apps and a specific app for installing them, including Uber, MapMyRun, ESPN, and Rosetta Stone. You can also use the apps that allow you to control smart home devices or order lunch.

On the other hand, Google Wear OS also comes with thousands of apps that are dedicated to its platform. You can install them on the watch directly, which definitely spares you the hassle of going through the installation process on the phone first.

The least app diversity is found on Tizen OS, on which Samsung watches run. Though the options are increasing, they still can’t compete with WatchOS or Wear OS.

Fitness Tracking, GPS, and Heart Rate Monitoring

Though a smartwatch’s main concern isn’t fitness tracking, more and more manufacturers have been adding fitness-tracking features to their devices to give you a fuller experience. This implies the integration of multiple sensors like a barometer and a pedometer to track various activities, most commonly, steps taken.

Some take it a step further and come with built-in GPS to allow you to track your runs, walks, bike rides, hikes, and more. Also, the heart-rate sensor is another great feature that allows you to keep a close eye on your overall health.

If you’re mainly concerned with activity tracking and want to use your smartwatch during workouts, you should opt for a fitness tracker with smart features, like the models in the Fitbit line or the Garmin Vivoactive ones.

Bear in mind, however, that the more sensors and features the smartwatch has, the less the battery life would last.

Mobile Payments and Calls

If your smartwatch comes with NFC technology, you’d be able to connect to other devices and services quite easily, the most important of which would be the online payments offered by multiple services. Apple watches come with Apple Pay while Wear OS watches come with Android Pay.

Also, some watches come with built-in LTE, and those allow you to leave your phone behind—at least up to a certain range. You’d also have to make a monthly data plan payment for the smartwatch, which usually costs a lot less than a phone’s, so it’s useful if you’re someone who’d benefit from smartwatch-based calls.

Battery Life

As you’ve noticed, a lot of aspects affect battery life, and that’s why you have to make sure you’re getting something that will last with you as long as you need it. Most smartwatches last for about a day, with the exception of Apple watches that make it no longer than 18 hours.

Make sure to get a smartwatch with easy charging, like the ones that use wireless charging docks or pucks that you just lay the smartwatch on.

FAQs

Are Smartwatches Really Worth It?

The shortest answer would be yes, because they pack a lot of functionality. Though they can be a little expensive, there are some options that come at a reasonable price and integrate plenty of smart, fitness, and health features. 

Are LTE Smartwatches Worth It?

There’s definitely an extra cost to LTE smartwatches, and it might not be the most important addition to a smartwatch if you ask me. But if you make a lot of phone calls and meetings throughout the day, you’ll really benefit from having an LTE smartwatch.

Can a Smartwatch Work Without a Phone?

You shouldn’t count on that, mainly because smartwatches serve as an accessory to your smartphone. Without a phone, they won’t be functional for long, especially if you stray away from your phone.

How Far Can a Smartwatch Be from the Phone?

There is great variation in the wireless Bluetooth connection range, but it depends on the environment. Around 30 feet is the minimum you’ll find, but some smartwatches can function in a wider range.

How Long Do Smartwatches Last?

In terms of software, a smartwatch would probably cover you for no longer than two years. But, if you take good care of it, a smartwatch with solid construction can last more than that duration.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’re done with our review of the best smartwatches for men, we hope you’ve made your choice, or at least come a step closer to a final decision.

If you need a quick recap, let’s refresh your memory with the incredible combination of smart, fitness, and health features that the Apple Watch Series 6 has to offer. It’s the ideal combination of technology and fashion, and it has one of the widest app choices that a smartwatch can offer.

If you want something more affordable, you can opt for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. This one comes with plenty of sensors that make it functional yet has plenty of smart features to offer and smooth performance with seamless navigation.

The TAG Heuer is the perfect choice for those of you who love to pamper themselves as it’s our premium pick without a doubt. Not only does it have a luxurious design and feel, but it also performs incredibly and comes with a nice suite of health features.

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