Best Smartwatch for Texting In 2020 – Buyer's Guide

Written By:

The OD Team

Finding a good smartwatch is already hard enough, let alone one that can be used for texting. You need to be aware of a lot of factors, like how the watch replies to texts, its battery life, and its compatibility with different operating systems. All that makes the process of finding the best smartwatch for your needs even more difficult.

Well, there’s no need to worry anymore. I went on a long, research-based journey to gather all the information you might be seeking. So, without further ado, here are the best smartwatches for texting.

The 8 Best Smartwatches for Texting

If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll surely love this Apple Watch Series 3. It has everything you might be looking for in a smartwatch, in addition to its incredible texting capabilities that I’m going to talk about in a second.

The watch’s diameter is 1.65 inches, which falls on the larger side, making it incredibly comfortable to look at and with enough screen space to display longer text messages on one page.

Its Retina OLED display boasts a resolution of 312 x 390 pixels, ensuring a high-quality, crisp display to read all the texts comfortably without having to squint or bring the watch closer to your face.

The Series 3 watch runs on WatchOS, like any Apple watch, and it’s only compatible with iOS devices, so keep that in mind. Besides, it has a battery life of up to 18 hours, meaning you’d have to charge it every night.

Now, let’s talk about texting. You can reply to texts in three different ways using the Series 3: quick preset responses, speech-to-text, or drawing letters on the watch’s surface; quite convenient, if you ask me.

You can also use the Siri voice assistant on your watch, as you would on your iPhone, for easy, convenient navigation through apps.

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If you want the best bang for your buck, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is second to none when it comes to value.

First of all, this 1.3-inch watch is the perfect size for anyone. It’s small enough not to add unnecessary pressure to your wrist; yet, it’s large enough for a smooth texting experience with a beautiful, immersive display.

Speaking of display, this smartwatch boasts a Super AMOLED one with a pixel resolution of 360 x 360. You’ll be able to comfortably read texts, navigate through apps, and just enjoy the user-friendly interface.

Running on Tizen OS, the G3 Frontier provides you with many health-tracking features like the S-Health app, sleep tracking, and auto exercise tracking. However, I have to mention that it may not be as accurate as a fitness-focused watch.

Now, let’s talk about what you really came here for: the watch’s ability to reply to texts. Even though it’s compatible with iOS and Android, you can only respond to texts if connected to an Android device. It displays a small keyboard that you can use to type, and you can also draw letters or use speech-to-text technology.

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I know you love to splurge every now and then because I do too. Well, the best pick for your splurging days is the Apple Watch Series 5, and let me tell you why. 

Much like the Series 3, this one boasts a Retina OLED display. However, the Series 5 takes the cake when it comes to a resolution with its incredible 448 x 368 pixels. Besides, if you want a watch to do what it’s supposed to: time telling, you’ll love this one’s always-on display.

When it comes to replying to text messages, using this watch is a breeze. You can choose one of the preset generic responses, speak out your message to turn it into text, or draw the letters on the screen. All that can be done on the outstanding 1.78-inch display. Also, you can keep Siri at your side to guide you through anything you need to know.

Additionally, if you love using third-party apps, this watch comes with 32 GB of internal storage, so you can download as many as you want, especially considering the fact that it runs on WatchOS.

Sadly, this watch shares the same battery life as the Series 3, which is just 18 hours. In other words, this is a watch that you’ll have to charge overnight and enjoy all day long.

To finish off this review, this watch boasts an ECG testing app that’ll notify you if your heartbeat is irregular, which could be a lifesaver, literally.

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Who said you couldn’t get a smartwatch that has texting capabilities if you’re on a budget? Definitely not the TicWatch E. This incredibly affordable watch can be used for texting on the go, fitness tracking, and a lot more.

With an OLED display and a resolution of 400 x 400 pixels, not only will you be able to reply to texts, but you’ll also do so while looking at a crisp, high-quality 1.4-inch display.

If you’re not convinced yet, let me tell you about this watch’s abilities. Running on Wear OS, you can download as many apps as you like, especially considering its ample 4 GB of storage.

Let’s talk about texting for a second. Using the TicWatch E, you can reply to texts using a tiny keyboard, speech-to-text, or by drawing the letters if the keyboard is too small for your liking. To be honest, it doesn’t get much better than this in the world of smartwatches for texting. However, keep in mind: that can only be done if you’re connected to an Android device.

This watch’s battery is okay, but you can make it even better. If you feel like it runs out too quickly, you can go into the settings and disable some features that you don’t really need, which will significantly extend the battery life.

Lastly, you can always use Google Assistant to do various tasks without even touching your watch.

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Fossil is a brand that needs no introduction. However, I could spend days talking about their Gen 5 Carlyle smartwatch. To say the least, it has everything you might need in a smartwatch. Besides being incredibly reliable, it’s also elegant as well as modern.

Let me tell you a thing or two about this watch’s display; being AMOLED, you’re guaranteed a sharp display to comfortably read text messages, especially with the 416 x 416-pixel resolution. Besides, it’s 1.28 inches in diameter, making it perfect for anyone.

What’s more, if you don’t like the typical silicone band that most smartwatches offer, this one has two other options: stainless steel or leather. It’s perfect if you wear formal clothes and you want a smart-looking watch that’ll complete the look.

I know how annoying it is to recharge your smartwatch every night. Well, you can say goodbye to that because this one comes with three battery modes: daily, extended, and time. You can easily switch between them depending on the situation and what exactly you want from the watch.

Like most other options, the Gen 5 Carlyle is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, but you can only reply to texts if you’re using an Android one. You can compose your message by typing on a small keyboard or using speech-to-text technology. However, Fossil says that an upgrade should arrive soon to allow texting for iOS users.

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If you loved the TicWatch E but want something a little more powerful, the TicWatch Pro will definitely spark your interest. This one’s display is truly out of this world because it’s not just one, but two screens, described as a “layered display” to give you a better perspective.

Allow me to explain more. With this 1.39-inch watch, you’ll get an AMOLED display with 400 x 400-pixel resolution. Well, that’s not it. You’ll also get an LCD display that you can use if you’re looking for extended battery life. I have to admit, it’s not as pretty, but it’s extremely efficient.

Speaking of battery life, it’s advertised to last two days on the regular AMOLED display and up to 30 days on the LCD one. To be honest, you’d probably have to charge it daily on the former display, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for a smartwatch.

You know the drill by now. You can reply to texts using speech-to-text or typing on the on-display keyboard, but only on Android devices.

Also, if you want your watch to work as a standalone device, you can connect it to a 4G service that’ll allow you to text and call without having to connect to your phone. This feature is hard to find in smartwatches, providing this one with an advantage over other choices.

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Samsung strikes again, this time with the Gear Sport smartwatch. The modern design provides the watch with a unique interface that’s super user-friendly. Besides, its 1.2-inch diameter makes the watch perfect for anyone as it’s not too bulky or too small, it’s just perfect.

The Gear Sport boasts a Super AMOLED display with a pixel resolution of 360 x 360. You can rest assured that the display is crisp and sharp enough for you to read whatever is on the screen comfortably.

This watch can be used to reply to text messages in various different ways, including speech-to-text and a set of prewritten replies. 

Also, remember those old phones that had letters on the number pad? Well, the watch has one of those if you want to type a specific message, but it’s not as comfortable as a full keyboard. In addition, keep in mind that it’s only possible if you’re using an Android device.

With a 300-mAh battery, this watch can last quite longer than other options, giving it a huge advantage if energy efficiency is your priority in a smartwatch for texting.

Sadly, this watch doesn’t have speakers, meaning you can’t make a phone call through it; you’ll have to use your phone or headphones. Also, I have to mention a problem that you might run into: even though the watch is described as 5ATM-rated, it can’t really withstand water. Try not to get it wet because the water-resistance system might fail.

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If all the previous products provide too many features that you don’t really need, check the Garmin Vivoactive 3. It’s quite simple, has all the necessary features, and has an eye-catching design.

This Vivoactive 3 is a watch that’ll keep you connected and display all the notifications on your phone without having to take it out of your pocket. You can consider it a portal into your phone lying on your wrist.

It has an incredible, bright display that’ll remain visible even if you’re walking in direct sunlight. In addition, it has a display resolution of 240 x 240 on a 1.2-inch screen.

The watch has two battery modes: smartwatch and GPS. The former option is advertised to last up to seven days, which is nearly impossible to find on a smartwatch.

Like I mentioned before, this watch is more than capable of displaying all your notifications, but that’s about it. In other words, you can only reply to texts by choosing one of the preset quick responses. Also, it doesn’t have speakers or a microphone to answer or make calls.

This watch is quite limited, but that might be exactly what you’re looking for. Not everyone needs to write frequently on their watch; sometimes, quick responses are more than enough.

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Smartwatch for Texting Buying Guide & FAQ

Now that you’ve seen my top 8 picks, you have a better idea of what you should expect from a smartwatch when it comes to texting capabilities. Next, let’s cover all the aspects you need to consider when choosing your next smartwatch for texting, along with some frequently asked questions. 

Features to Look for in a Smartwatch for Texting

Size & Display

Throughout this article, you’ve seen different diameter options starting from 1.2 up to 1.78 inches, which is quite a large range to choose from.

Simply, it boils down to the size of your wrist. For example, I have a really small wrist, so large watches are too uncomfortable for me. On the contrary, if your wrist is on the larger side or just enjoy a large screen, small watches might not appeal to you. Opt for the size that best fits your needs.

Moving on to display, it’s not as difficult as choosing a size. Make sure the watch’s display resolution is good enough to provide you with a crisp, high-quality display that’s easy to see from a distance. Anything over 300 x 300 pixels should be enough for anyone.

Phone Compatibility

Your watch’s compatibility with your phone is the most important factor you need to be on the lookout for. Most smartwatches aren’t exactly standalone, meaning you won’t get their full potential if you don’t have it connected to your phone.
What good is a smartwatch for texting if you can’t connect it to your phone? That defies the whole purpose.

Specifically, iPhones are a little more difficult to find a compatible watch for texting to go with. To be completely safe, just go for an Apple watch for that matter. If you like any other smartwatch, I strongly recommend double-checking with the manufacturer that you can reply to texts when connected to an iOS device.

On the other hand, if your phone is an Android one, you’re likely good to go, but it wouldn’t hurt to double-check. Better be safe than sorry.

Replying to Texts

Don’t always believe when a watch claims the ability to reply to texts. In some cases, that’s just limited to preset responses, which is a lot more limiting than you’d think.

It’s a massive advantage if the watch has an on-screen keyboard because that’s what we’re all already used to, anyway.

Besides, many options offer speech-to-text typing, which is incredibly helpful and convenient if you love texting on the go.

Water Resistance

While you might think that water resistance is only important for swimmers, I have to disagree. A watch rests on your wrist, quite close to your hand, making it vulnerable for water splashes.

Make sure your watch is at least splash resistant, so you wouldn’t have to constantly stress yourself not to get it wet while you’re washing your hands or doing regular day-to-day tasks.

Performance

Specs don’t lie. Make sure you check the watch’s operating system, processor, and internal storage capacity, which are all factors that’ll give you a clear idea of how your watch will perform. If you’re not really a tech-person and hardware talk is just gibberish, simply read users’ reviews. See what others have to say, and if possible, test the watch yourself if you’re not buying online.

FAQ

Which Watches Can You Text on With iPhones?

Apple watches are the safest bet. Some other watches are compatible with iOS devices and can be used for texting, and others claim that an update will come soon enough to allow that. 

Can You Text on a Smartwatch?

Yes! Some watches display a small on-screen keyboard, use speech-to-text technology, allow you to draw letters on the screen, or even use the old-school keypad with letters over numbers. There are plenty of methods and options that’ll make texting on a smartwatch a breeze.

Can a Smartwatch Be Used as a Phone?

Not necessarily. Most smartwatches aren’t standalone devices; you’ll most likely need a phone along with your smartwatch. However, I do have to mention that some watches offer cellular services, making a watch as close to a phone as possible.

Final Words

There you have it! You’re now ready to take on the smartwatches market and pick your favorite among the countless options on the market. You’ve seen my top 8 picks, taken a deep dive into what to look for in a smartwatch for texting, and received answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Well, it gets even better than that, because, within the next couple of paragraphs, I’ll quickly recap the entire article and remind you of the best smartwatches for texting on the market.

If you’re already an iOS user and don’t see yourself switching to Android anytime soon, going for an Apple Watch is your best bet. Both the Series 3 and Series 5 are excellent options for you. The former is a little more affordable, providing great bang for your buck, while the latter is the most “luxurious” choice.

For all the Android users out there, the options are endless. I strongly recommend the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier for just about anyone. If you’re looking for a budget choice, you’ll love the TicWatch E with its incredible fitness-tracking features. 

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