The best smart watches do more than tell time and let you know when you’re receiving a call or text message on your wrist. They’re everything in one: a fitness tracker for counting your steps, a digital wallet and some can act as a phone.
Smart watches these days have health features that can even save your life. Many of the best smart watches on the market can detect elevated heart rate alerts or other personalized health alerts, and connect you to emergency services.
But the best smart watches do all these things better than others. Some have immense numbers of apps available for download, some have batteries that will barely last a day, whilst others will go nearly a week on one charge. And of course, there’s the ever-important aesthetic style. The best smart watches can be customized, from their straps to their faces, to best fit your personality.
Read on below for our top five picks for the best smart watches of 2022.
Apple Watch Series 7
It seems no technology wishlist is complete without something from Apple’s impressive arsenal of gear. Whilst the Apple Watch Series 7 might not offer the big redesign some had hoped for after the Series 6, it’s still the perfect wearable tech for iOS users.
Along with all of the additions and improvements from the previous year’s Apple Watch – such as an always-on altimeter and blood oxygen monitoring – the Series 7 incorporates fast charging (33% quicker than before) and a new 20% larger display, with around 40% thinner bezels; granting a more cutting-edge look whilst retaining compatibility with existing Apple Watch straps.
The latest watchOS 8 update gives newfound support for workout activities like pilates and helpful new safety features, like fall detection whilst cycling, along with additions to mindfulness through the new reflect feature.
Prices start from AU$599, varying with watch and band design.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
You might have a hard time telling the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 5 apart. Samsung stuck with the same design, but why fix what isn’t broken? Similar to Apple and other smart watches, the design’s cutomizability allows for band swaps.
Primary upgrades from the Watch 4 include a battery life which is up to 10 hours longer, along with a more durable design against scratches thanks to a sapphire crystal glass display. The bottom curvature is reshaped to fit wrists more naturally and increase the amount of surface area that makes contact with your skin, thereby improving the accuracy of sensor readings.
On the subject of health sensors, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has a new one to offer, a skin-temperature reader. Whilst it doesn’t actually work yet, as soon as it does it will inform sleep tracking and be open to third-party health developers. Watch this space to see how it all unfolds. Other health features provided include snoring patterns, a holistic health view, and women’s health tracking through the Glow: Fertility app.
Prices for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 start from AU$495, varying with watch and band design.
The smartwatch landscape is growing more health-focused every year. ECG monitors and pulse oximeters are becoming more commonplace, and Fitbit is trying to keep up with the crowd with its most recent smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense. The Fitbit Sense is one of the best Fitbits available, and builds on the success of the Fitbit Versa line with several new upgrades. Designed to put the user in charge of their wellbeing, it helps you understand your body and mind, and make changes to improve physical and mental health, and it succeeds.
The health-focused watch has a wave of features designed for the user to be aware of their daily health habits. Some of these features include a daily readiness score, health metrics, detailed sleep tracking, heart health tracking, and stress management tools, along with a variety of others. Some of the more hyped new features include a battery life of approximately 6 days, a biosensor core, fast charging, swim-proof, and 20 goal-based exercise modes and SmartTrack.
One thing to note is that unfortunately many of the features are only available to Fitbit Premium subscribers, costing approximately an extra AU$15.49 per month. However, the Fitbit Sense comes with a 6-month free trial so you can test out these features and get a lot of benefits, even if you decide not to renew the subscription.
Prices start from AU$449.95.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is 2022’s successor to 2021’s Garmin Venu 2, and has all the same features with one major addition: a microphone. This allows you to answer incoming calls from your wrist, and use your phone’s voice assistant without touching your phone. It’s compatible with Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby, and is a great addition to what was already an excellent smartwatch.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is a top-standard all-purpose smartwatch, and a solid choice if you’re looking for a single device to wear all day whether exercising or not. Its stainless steel case and sharp, bright display mean it looks smart enough for any occasion. Whilst it only comes in one size, its mid-sized case should suit most wrists.
As expected from a Garmin watch, it shines at fitness tracking, heart rate tracking, SpO2, sleep cycles, skin temperature, respiration, and stress. The GPS has Garmin’s signature accuracy. Garmin’s latest optical heart rate monitor also stands out, responding swiftly and accurately to changes during interval training sessions. The high-resolution display provides on-screen muscle maps that show the muscle groups recently worked, along with guided workout animations for yoga and pilates.
Priced at AU$699.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro
Huawei’s flagship wearable for 2022, the Watch GT 3 Pro is certainly one of the best-looking smartwatches ever made. The latest in a long line of GT watches, the Watch GT 3 Pro comes in two variations: Titanium, and a smaller option, Ceramic. The Titanium watch is made of matte, blasted metal, while the smaller (and pricier) Ceramic Watch GT 3 Pro is polished white. Both are available with a variety of strap options.
The Watch GT 3 Pro runs Harmony OS 2.0 as most of the company’s wearables these days. The operating system has been adapted to support several new features. Some of these new features include an ECG sensor with in-depth measuing devices to help keep the user aware of any heart health risks. Other new features include a noncrystalline ceramic rear cover, always-on display, AMOLED screen, water resistance up to 30m, and 100+ workout modes.
A feature worthy of being singled out is Huawei’s Apnea training mode for diving data. The watch can record diving duration and depth curve, making progress traceable and visible. Heart rate, breath holding duration, and start time of diaphragm contraction are all recorded to support preparation for underwater challenges and training. It also features airtight safety reminder settings, like automatic reminders if you descend too deep or for too long.
Prices start from AU$695, varied by the provider.
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