Best Android Wear watch 2018

After a shaky start, Google’s Android Wear is now an increasingly mature platform thanks to the update to Android Wear 2.0 and a plethora of new watches running the software.

New features for the smartwatch operating system include a much easier way to reply to messages, handwriting recognition, Google Assistant on your wrist and apps that can now run without your phone in reach.

There’s no better time than now to grab yourself an Android Wear wielding watch, so below we’ve put together the definitive list of the best available on the market right now.

Each has been extensively tested throughout our review process and we’ve then ranked the watches according to some of the most important features including price, design, battery and features.

1. Ticwatch E

Our favorite Android Wear watch you may have never heard of

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.4″ 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: MediaTek MT2601 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Accurate GPS and heart rate sensor
Fantastic value
Design won’t suit everyone
Not-so-elegant charging method

We now have a new favorite Android Wear watch in the form of the Ticwatch E. Although you may not have heard of Ticwatch before, it’s a growing brand that offers some top notch hardware for a lower price than a lot of the rest of the competition.

The Ticwatch E largelytops this list because of its low price alongside the fact it features almost everything you’d expect from an Android Wear watch. There’s GPS and a heart rate sensor onboard, which we found to work swiftly and accurately.

The design is premium – although it won’t be to everyone’s taste – and it offers at least a full day’s battery life from a single charge. All of that said, it doesn’t come with NFC so there’s no Android Pay here and it lacks wireless charging so instead opts for a three-pin pad design.

All in all, if you’re looking for an affordable smartwatch that packs the latest in Android Wear software you probably don’t need to scroll any further down this list.

2. LG Watch Style

The thinnest and best Android Wear smartwatch yet

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2″ 360 x 360 P-OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB charger | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Devilishly good-looking
Reasonably priced
Disappointing battery life
Lacks NFC and broader connectivity

The LG Watch Style is every bit as stylish as its name suggests, with a sand-blasted stainless steel chassis and a circular display. It’s also one of the thinnest Android Wear watches around at just 10.8mm.

That means that while it will look great on anyone’s wrist it’s especially at home on smaller wrists, which is worth noting, since a lot of smartwatches are chunky things that could dwarf a small wrist.

The LG Watch Style also benefits from a rotatable crown, which helps you navigate the interface without prodding its tiny screen. It’s a good screen though, being a 1.2-inch P-OLED one and fully circular – there’s no flat tire here.

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The core specs are fairly standard but up there with pricier watches, because despite the Watch Style’s great looks it’s actually quite affordable. Some sacrifices have been made though to keep the cost down and the watch slim, as there’s no GPS or heart rate monitor here.

3. Ticwatch S

Another affordable watch takes third place

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.4″ 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: MediaTek MT2601 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Comfortable with a nice design
Lacks NFC
Can’t change the strap

Much like the Ticwatch E at the top of this list, we love the Ticwatch S. The differences between the two are limited, but these may be dramatic enough to make you want one watch over the other.

The first thing to note is the thicker bezel on the Ticwatch S. It makes it easier to read the time, but it also means the watch is that little bit bigger and it’s a touch heavier than the Ticwatch E too.

It still features a heart rate sensor and many other features alongside its day long battery life but it doesn’t feature swappable straps. That’s because the GPS is included within the strap, which Ticwatch claims makes it more accurate than other watches.

Once again there’s not LTE or NFC here, plus the price is a touch higher than the Ticwatch E as well. This is still a great watch though, it’s just whether you’d want to invest in this over the other choices on this list.

4. Misfit Vapor

The first watch from a fitness tracker company

Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.3″ 360 x 360 AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: 20mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: 2 days | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: 50m | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Large, vibrant AMOLED display
Low price
Thick design
No Android Pay

The Vapor is the first time we’ve seen Misfit attempt to make a smartwatch and it succeeded in creating something that looks great on your wrist while also offering a huge amount of top-end features.

Misfit’s first smartwatch is one of the more attractive options on this list having a lighter design than most of the other watches and a premium finish that doesn’t mess around with screen flat tires or cheap materials.

The strap is comfortable to wear while exercising, but it also looks good on a night out – or you can buy a leather strap if you want it to match particular outfits. As for the tech, most of what you’d expect is in here and we find it speedy with good battery life too.

Misfit’s low price is one of the other main highlights here and we particularly like how affordable this is considering the price of most other Android Wear watches.

5. LG Watch Sport

Google’s Android smartphone for your wrist

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.38″ 480 x 480 P-OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Charging method: Conductive USB-C charger | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G + 4G LTE

Breaks totally free from the smartphone
Best-in-class connectivity and performance
Battery falls short
Full functionality requires SIM card

Launched alongside the LG Watch Style, the LG Watch Sport is in many ways it opposite, with a chunky, uninspiring build but absolutely loaded full of features.

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It has a heart rate monitor, GPS, a barometer and optionally even 4G connectivity, making it a strong option for the athletically inclined or for anyone who wants to leave their smartphone at home.

It also has a bigger, sharper screen than the LG Watch Style and one that’s just as circular.

Of course, it’s also one of the pricier smartwatches available, but if you want such a big selection of specs and features your only other real options are the similarly expensive Huawei Watch 2 or the Apple Watch 3.

6. Asus ZenWatch 3

A vast improvement over its predecessors

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.39″ 400 x 400 AMOLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Charging method: Magnetic pogo pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Gorgeous display
Excellent build quality
Lacks heart rate monitor, GPS, NFC
Proprietary straps limit customization options

Asus isn’t an obvious name to associate with Android Wear watches, though with the ZenWatch 3 it has more than earned in place.

Launched at $229/£250 (around AU$340), though is now almost always a little cheaper, Asus’ latest is one of your best bets, especially since it packs Android Wear 2.0.

It has a great display, useful hardware buttons and good battery life. The styling might not be for everyone, but Asus did a commendable job designing a watch that looks more like a premium watch than a piece of lifeless technology.

7. Huawei Watch

One of the better all-around watches

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.4″ 400 x 400 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Premium build and materials
Android Wear 2.0 compatible
Rather expensive
So-so battery life

With the Huawei Watch, the Chinese behemoth was very definitely aiming at the top end of the market, although the price has dropped substantially since launch and the introduction of the Huawei Watch 2.

The main strength is the screen – which is a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, running at 400 x 400 – one of the highest resolution watches available, ensuring PPI on par with the Apple Watch. Helpfully too, the screen is always on – it will dim after a few seconds of inactivity, but the time will still remain visible.

Spec-wise, the watch is slightly less remarkable – with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 300mAh battery it is roughly on a par with its top-end rivals. That said, the price is now a lot lower so it sits above the Huawei Watch 2 in this list.

8. Fossil Q Venture

A slick attempt from Fossil

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.63″ 360 x 360 LTPS LCD | Processor: Intel Atom | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Handsome design
Additional RAM
Quite large and heavy
Flat tire display

One of Fossil’s most recent watches, we really like the Q Venture despite the fact it is missing some of the key features you’d hope for on an Android Wear watch.

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The highlight here is the design that looks like your average high-end watch, but instead it’s stealth packing all of the features we know and love on Android Wear 2.0.

If you’re looking for a fitness watch, this won’t be it though as there’s no heart rate monitor, GPS or even NFC. If you’re instead after a watch with good battery life and an attractive design, you may be the perfect match for the Q Venture.

9. Huawei Watch 2

A well-equipped smartwatch with too many features

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2″ 390 x 390 | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Chrging method: Conductive USB-C charger | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G + 4G LTE

Built-in GPS and NFC
Optional 4G model
Screen too small
Performance can be sluggish

The Huawei Watch 2 is an attempt by the Chinese company to widen the use of Android Wear watches. Huawei has tried to include a variety of new features in its latest smartwatch and it’s not entirely clear if it has succeeded with the Watch 2.

We like the built-in GPS and NFC on the watch as well as the option to have a 4G model, but the Huawei Watch 2 can be sluggish and the screen is a little small for some.

This may suit you though with an attractive design and a plethora of features, but the price is much higher than the original Huawei Watch which we currently have ranked above this one.

Fossil Q Founder

10. Fossil Q Founder

A slick attempt from Fossil

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.63″ 360 x 360 LTPS LCD | Processor: Intel Atom | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Handsome design
Additional RAM
Quite large and heavy
Flat tire display

Fossil is a traditional watchmaker that has been trying to solve the problem of becoming a tech company, before tech companies can fully become watchmakers. That’s why it came up with the Fossil Q Founder Android Wear watch.

As Fossil’s first smartwatch, the Q Founder features a combination of a brushed and polished metal face as well as a plastic back so it can charge wirelessly.

While the screen is lower resolution than some competitors, it is barely noticeable. Perhaps the only annoyance on-screen is the so-called “flat tire” at the bottom, which means the screen isn’t a perfect circle. This is to leave room for the ambient light sensor.

So it certainly has the looks – and the innards are promising too with 1GB of RAM. But at the end of the day, this watch doesn’t stand out like the ones above it in the list.

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