The best smart watch for women Beautiful, stylish and smart options

By | January 6, 2019

If we had tried to compile a collection of the best smartwatches for women two years ago, it might have consisted of a string of angry emojis and not much else. Times have changed, and there are plenty of smartwatches many ladies would happily wear in public.

Men’s watches have a pretty set style, but most of the smartwatches and non-screen hybrids here come in a range of designs, sizes and finishes or even the option to go bespoke with your own concoction. Alas, many companies still haven’t been able to (or cared about) getting all the flagship sports and tech features into smaller sizes. But times are changing.

We’ve picked out our current faves and you can also head over to individual reviews for more detailed views on features, design and performance.

Apple Watch Series 4

The best smartwatches for women: Beautiful, stylish and smart options

The Apple Watch is our current top pick of smartwatches – our Wearable of the Year, in fact – and still probably the best full-blooded smartwatch for iPhone-owning women.

The latest Series 4 gives the design a long awaited overhaul but the result is actually that it’s now bigger, at 40mm and 44mm sizes. That’s awesome for all the new watchOS 5 features but if you want something smaller, don’t forget you can still buy last year’s now cheaper Series 3, which sticks with the more compact 38mm and 42mm sizes.

As a fitness tracker and health device, it’s improved loads and the current feature set includes waterproofing and swim tracking, built-in GPS and LTE for making calls and more when you’re away from your phone. The headline feature for Series 4 is built-in ECG, but that’s going to take time to roll out to you if you’re not in the US. So another reason to consider the Series 3. However, it does have features like fall detection.

Though it looks nothing like a traditional wristwatch, the Apple Watch is still the most flawlessly finished smartwatch we’ve seen and can look quite chic nestled on a wrist stacked with bracelets – and luckily there’s a huge market of Apple Watch straps to choose from.

Wareable verdictApple Watch Series 4 review

From $399, Amazon | apple.com

Fitbit Versa

The best smartwatches for women: Small, slim styles and designer options

After a rocky start with the Ionic, Fitbit’s venture into smartwatches is much stronger with the Versa. Its second smartwatch isn’t just better looking, it’s smaller too, making it more suited for women. This was a major problem with the Ionic, which was too large for many wrists and employed a very angular, arguably ugly design.

The Versa runs on the same software as the Ionic, meaning you’ll have access to the app store and catalogue of watch faces, but in a smaller package. There’s a vibrant 300 x 300 pixel resolution display topping out at 1,000 nits, and with 50m water resistance it can be taken swimming (you can track pool workouts). Plus Fitbit’s female health (period) tracking, which is open to all users of the app, can actually be viewed onscreen on the Versa.

Where it differs from the Ionic feature-wise is the lack of built-in GPS. You’ll still be able to track GPS, but it’ll need to be paired with your phone to do so. You can still load on tracks and play offline playlists from Deezer and (for US users only) Pandora, so it’s still a pretty good independent workout companion. Just be warned if you’re buying this in the US: only the Special Edition version comes with Fitbit Pay installed.

Wareable verdictFitbit Versa review

$199, Amazon | fitbit.com

Michael Kors Access Runway

The best smartwatches for women: Beautiful, stylish and smart options

The Access Runway, Michael Kors’ third Wear OS smartwatch for women, is a lovely alternative to the Apple Watch that works with iPhone and Android.

It won’t beat the Versa for activity tracking but otherwise it’s a beautiful, comfortable to wear all-rounder that gives you alerts, apps, Google Pay and a selection of custom Michael Kors watch faces. There’s also built-in GPS, heart rate tracking and a swimproof build though, as we say, in testing there’s still work to be done on making this an everyday smartwatch you can work out or play sports with.

It’s a 41mm watch, with a 1.19-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED touchscreen display, so still slightly oversized, but it looks good on the wrist. You can get both stainless steel and leather straps for the Access Runway and it’s also available in a slightly more expensive Ceramic model. Most importantly, you’ll actually want to wear it.

Wareable verdict: Michael Kors Access Runway review

$295Amazon | michaelkors.com

Samsung Galaxy Watch

The best smartwatches for women: Beautiful, stylish and smart options

Look, we’re not saying girls can only wear rose gold watches, but the 42mm Samsung Galaxy Watch in rose gold finish is really rather nice. Also available in a larger 46mm model, the Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s new flagship and it shows. The smaller watch features a lovely 360 x 360 AMOLED screen, waterproof design and pretty much every feature you could think of in Tizen 4.0.

Aside from being let down on apps, this could be a neat choice for Android owners who aren’t convinced by Wear OS. Notifications, solid fitness and sports tracking and thoughtful design – like that rotating bezel – all help the Galaxy Watch to stand out in a sea of smartwatches.

The two day battery life is excellent and beats the Apple Watch, plus for things like heart rate and stress tracking it could make more sense than a designer Fossil Group wearable. The only downsides? Bixby is still terrible compared to Google Assistant and Siri and we had some trouble with the built-in sleep tracking too.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch review

From $329, Amazon | samsung.com

Skagen Falster 2

The best smartwatches for women: Beautiful, stylish and smart options

If you’re in the market for a really good Wear OS watch with NFC payments and beginner-friendly HR and sports features, the minimalist 40mm Skagen Falster 2 is a good option. You’re getting the standard Wear OS experience, and most of the custom faces that are aimed at minimum designs to optimize battery life don’t actually improve battery life.

Wareable verdict: Skagen Falster 2 review

$275, Amazon | skagen.com

Fossil Q Neely

The best smartwatches for women: Small, slim styles and designer options

Fossil’s slim hybrid smartwatch, the $155 Q Neely, keeps things simple and stylish. It’s seriously light, small at 36mm, fairly slim at 12mm and comfortable to wear on the wrist. Plus it looks almost identical to a non-connected smartwatch.

As well as activity and sleep tracking, which you can monitor in the Fossil Q app, you can also set up vibration alerts, which you can allocate to a number on the watch face too. So if you get a WhatsApp, the watch hands on the 40mm watch face could move to the 1 o’clock position, for instance – though this does take a few days to get to grips with but then.

Also nice (and more straightforward) are the features you can set up for the three buttons on the right hand edge – remote selfie, remote music controls etc. Just be careful with the 16mm leather straps as they get dirty quickly – we’d suggest splashing out on the metal band.

Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Neely review

From $155, Amazon | fossil.com

Kate Spade New York Scallop

The best smartwatches for women: Small, slim styles and designer options

Kate Spade’s first Wear OS watch features the brand’s iconic scallop design, which was a key part of its fitness tracker, bringing the detail around the bezel.

In terms of tech, the Kate Spade New York Scallop features a round 1.19-inch AMOLED display, with no flat tyre ­– although it still manages to pack in an ambient light sensor, which regulates brightness to save on battery life. The screen packs a 390 x 390 resolution, which is pretty standard for recent Fossil Group smartwatches.

It’s light on features (no Google Pay for instance), but what it does, it does well, with plenty of Kate Spade-made watch faces that add to one of the best looking women’s smartwatches out there right now.

Wareable verdictKate Spade New York Scallop review

From $325, Amazon | katespade.com

Michael Kors Access Sofie

The best smartwatches for women: Small, slim styles and designer options

Last year’s Michael Kors smartwatch is the Sofie and it’s still available. It’s a dressy, blingy full screen smartwatch, which has a slim pavé bezel and comes in silver, gold, rose gold and sable-tone finishes with a single crown pusher on the right edge. It’s still a 42mm stainless steel watch, so you do feel it on the wrist, but it feels nice and expensive when it’s on. With the Spring 2018 finishes (above), it’s available in ten different styles with seven strap options.

Otherwise, this is a standard, basic Wear OS watch – no heart rate, no Google Pay – with the addition of My Social, which lets you set Facebook and Instagram pics as your watch face. Note: there is a small black bezel around the display so the images won’t bleed to the edge where it meets the metal as you might expect.

Wareable verdictMichael Kors Access Sofie review

From $349 Amazon | michaelkors.com

Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41

The best smartwatches for women: Our guide to slim styles and designer options

Sure, it’s not the small 39mm version that Tag Heuer promised, but the latest Tag Heuer Connected Modular is still good enough and small enough for women’s wrists.

It helps that Tag Heuer went ahead and fixed some of the problems with its larger brethren. It now sports a gorgeous 1.2-inch AMOLED screen that goes up to 350 nits. Thanks to Intel’s Cloverdale Peak processor and 1GB of RAM, it’s both a performance beast and futureproofed. And of course, you get all the customisation you’d want from a Connected Modular.

Wareable verdict: Tag Heuer Connected Modular 41 review

From $1,200, tagheuer.com

Bellabeat Time

The best smartwatches for women: Beautiful, stylish and smart options

Bellabeat has made its name with stylish activity trackers, and now it’s pushing into the world of smartwatches with the hybrid Time. It’s purely designed to help women track health and wellness around the clock.

You’re going to get activity and sleep tracking, but you’re also going to get stress tracking via Bellabeat’s proprietary stress-predicting algorithm. Plus, it’ll send you a vibrating notification on your wrist when you’ve been stationary for too long.

Finally, the watch can help you monitor your meditation and menstrual cycles. So you’ll get a more comprehensive overview of your entire wellbeing. Since it uses a quartz movement and is also a regular watch, you’ll get six months of battery life.

It comes in silver and rose gold, and is water resistant up to 3ATM. You won’t have to worry if you have sensitive skin either, as Bellabeat says it uses hypoallergenic design.

$179, bellabeat.com

Misfit Path

The best smartwatches for women: Small, slim styles and designer options

Misfit Phase was the company’s first dip into the hybrid scene, but it’s followed up with the similar-but-not-completely-identical Misfit Path. While the Path shares the same DNA as the Phase, there are a few notable differences, including the round markers around the face and the 36mm size – for comparison, the Phase is 41mm.

The Path will alert you to notifications, but unlike the Phase it doesn’t use the colour wheel to signify what they’re for. Instead, it just uses hand movements and vibrations to give you alerts, which can be customized in the app settings.

One of the side buttons can also be dedicated to a special smart feature of your choosing, like remotely controlling your phone’s camera. The watch is waterproof to 50 meters too, with a six-month battery life to boot. One big plus compared to the rest on the list – that affordable price.

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