fitness

Considering buying a smartwatch? Here are the best options, and the pros and cons of each.

If you're reading this, I'm going to assume you're on the fence about buying a smartwatch. Oh hi, me too! 

Almost everyone I work with has bought one (my colleague Jessie Stephens even wrote about it) and I love checking my daily step count on my phone, so it makes sense I get something that tracks it constantly. But I haven't bought one yet. 

With so many options to choose from (even within one brand), it's hard to know what makes them all different and why some are better are than others. 

So, I've done some research. Below I've compiled a list of the top smartwatches to purchase in Australia and included details about each, including the price and the pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision before splurging. 

Before we get into it, here are some fictional characters who would OWN the pandemic. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

The best smartwatches to purchase in Australia.

Apple Watch SE, from $429.

Image: Apple and Mamamia.

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If you're looking to buy an Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE is by far the best value for money. 

It does almost everything the Apple Watch Series 6 (the newest Apple Watch) does but at a fraction of the price. It comes in two sizes (40mm and 44mm) and 14 colours.

The pros of the Apple Watch SE.

  • Large Retina OLED display.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Looks great.
  • Comprehensive features for the price - including fitness tracker, sleep tracker and built-in Apple Pay.
  • The processor is up to twice as fast as the Series 3.
  • 50-metre water-resistant.

The cons of the Apple Watch SE.

  • The sleep tracking lags.
  • No always-on display.
  • Only compatible with an iPhone.

Alternatively, if you want an Apple Watch for the cheapest possible price, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still available. It looks the same (they all kinda do) just without as many specs.

Apple Watch Series 6, from $599.

Image: Apple and Mamamia.

Right now, this Apple Watch is top of the range. It has everything the SE has but more.

Pros of the Apple Watch 6.

  • Comes in more colours and design choices.
  • Includes always-on Retina display.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Includes the ECG app (shows your heart rate).
  • You can measure your blood oxygen level.
  • Includes the Family Setup feature.
  • 50-metre water-resistant.

Cons of the Apple Watch 6.

  • Expensive.
  • Only compatible with an iPhone.
  • Sleep tracking also lags.
  • The blood oxygen data isn't that useful.

There will also be a new Apple Watch later this year: the Series 7. It will be the most durable Apple Watch ever, with a stronger, more crack-resistant front crystal. 

So, if you're clumsy and worried you might crack your watch, maybe wait out for this one. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch4, starting at $449.

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This is the Samsung version of the Apple Watch. 

It comes with plenty of the same features, but it's compatible with a Samsung (obviously!). It comes in green, black, silver or pink.

Pros of the Samsung Galaxy Watch4.

  • Includes a BioActive Sensor to capture your body composition, measure ECG and blood pressure.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • Runs Google Wear OS 3.
  • Includes a fitness tracker and sleep tracker.

Cons of the Samsung Galaxy Watch4.

  • Low internal storage.
  • No Google Assist.
  • Only compatible with a Samsung.

Garmin Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch, $499.

Image: Garmin and Mamamia.

Another great smartwatch option is the Garmin Vivoactive. 

It has a round face like the Samsung and various similar features to the other smartwatches above. It comes in six different colours.

Pros of the Garmin Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch.

  • Built-in GPS.
  • Up to 50 metres water-resistant.
  • Includes always-on display.
  • Tracks your location and heart rate.
  • You can track more than 20 exercises.

Cons of the Garmin Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch.

  • Slow to update.
  • The broadcast mode isn't always accurate.
  • Limited app library.

Fitbit Versa 3, $399.95.

Image: Fitbit and Mamamia.

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Next up, the Humble Fitbit. The Versa 3 is their latest high-end option that comes in five different colours. 

Pros of the Fitbit Versa 3.

  • Built-in GPS.
  • Up to 50 metres water-resistant.
  • Includes a heart rate tracker, fitness tracker and sleep tracker.
  • Built-in Fit Pay.
  • Fast-charging option.

Cons of the Fitbit Versa 3.

  • You have to pay for a premium monthly membership to access some extra features.
  • Health stats are limited.

If you like the look of this but don't want to spend that much, they also have the Fitbit Versa 2, which is about $100 cheaper.

Fitbit Luxe Black, $199.95.

Image: Fitbit and Mamamia.

And lastly, another more affordable Fitbit option that comes in four colours - black, white, pink and gold.

Pros of the Fitbit Luxe.

  • Slim, jewellery-like design.
  • Up to 50 metres water-resistant.
  • Includes a heart rate tracker, fitness tracker and sleep tracker.

Cons of the Fitbit Luxe.

  • No built-in GPS.
  • Not nearly as many features as the others mentioned above.

Go on, make it look cute. Here are the best strap options to go with it.

Ozstraps Silicone Fitbit Versa 3, $14.99.

Image: Ozstraps and Mamamia.

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Ozstraps Milanese Loop Garmin Vivoactive 4 Band, $39.99.

Image: Ozstraps and Mamamia.

Salty Safari Smart Watch Band - Leopard, $59.

Image: Salty Safari and Mamamia.

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Apple Charcoal Braided Solo Loop, $139.

Image: Apple and Mamamia.

Which smartwatch do you have your eye on? Tell us in the comments.

Feature image: Samsung, Fitbit, Apple and Mamamia.

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