Best Apple Watch Alternatives 2021

by Jeremy

For some, the Apple Watch is considered the gold standard of smartwatches, but whether it is or not makes no difference to Android users who couldn’t use it even if they wanted to. The best Apple Watch alternative for Android users that stands out from the pack is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Its balanced functionality and stylish design cater to a broader subset of users. There are plenty of other options worth exploring, too.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Galaxy Watch 3 on AC's Joe Maring

Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

After focusing for over a year on the Active models in its Galaxy Watch lineup, Samsung came back this year with a newer premium design. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 offers a slimmer frame, and while it’s not relatively as small as the Active models, there are 41mm and 45mm sizes to choose from.

The most significant design treatment setting this watch apart from others is the trusty physical rotating bezel that makes navigation feel fluid when wading through the various menus and options. You can still tap on the screen if you want, and the combination helps make the software easier to handle.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

T may be a bit odd that the top Android smartwatch runs on an operating system that Google doesn’t develop, but that’s where we’re at. Samsung’s Tizen OS is not Android, though it’s currently the best integration for Android phones, and a big reason why it’s at the top of the heap as an Apple Watch alternative. App support and availability remain a thorny issue for Samsung, but not all apps are out of reach. The integration with Spotify is excellent, even letting you store playlists offline to play with paired headphones.

Samsung tries to make up for what others won’t include in the watch by bringing in as much of its tech as possible. The electrocardiogram (ECG) still hasn’t gone live despite FDA approval for it. Still, there’s a pulse oximeter (SpO2) to measure blood oxygen levels, as well as VO2 Max to gauge oxygen intake while exercising.

And all that is on top of the built-in GPS and exercise tracking. The watch can track dozens of exercises, a few of which start automatically when you get moving. Phone notifications are slick, and taking or making calls through the watch itself also feels seamless. Battery life isn’t dramatically different from previous Samsung watches, so you don’t get any inherent advantage that way. And Samsung Pay, which is more readily available now, still doesn’t support MST on this device.

Still, what ultimately makes this the best right now is the combination of hardware with a beautiful display, plus a user-friendly interface that covers much of what you’d expect as it relates to activity tracking.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment