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If you’re looking for a way to boost your workout routine this spring, try giving your smartwatch an upgrade. With advanced activity tracking, workout guidance, exercise reminders and even customized training plans, the latest smartwatches can double as your own personal fitness coach.

When you add in robust health features like heart rate and body temperature tracking, sleep tracking and stress monitoring tools, the best smartwatches also help you stay aware of your health and spot early warning signs that it’s time to talk to your doctor or make a lifestyle change.

On top of all that, our favorite smartwatches also serve as tiny on-wrist phones, allowing you to do things like check your email, answer calls and even respond to text messages without ever having to touch your actual phone.

To make sure you get one that does everything you want it to do, we’ve rounded up our favorite smartwatches so far in 2024 that will help you crush your fitness goals and answer your texts while you’re at it.


Best smartwatch overall: Apple Watch 9


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(Note: To get the most out of an Apple Watch, you’ll need to be an Apple iPhone owner. If you’re an Android user, we suggest the Pixel Watch 2, Garmin Venu 3 or one of the other smartwatch options listed below.)

The Apple Watch 9 no longer offers blood oxygen tracking, but there’s still plenty to love about the latest smartwatch from Apple.

Siri Health may be the best new upgrade in the Apple Watch 9. It makes starting your workouts and getting status updates along the way a breeze. Instead of navigating the watch screen, just say “Siri, start an outdoor run workout” or “Siri, start a yoga workout.” Your new watch will immediately start tracking the activity, even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network. You can also ask Siri for updates during a session like what your current heart rate is or how much distance you’ve covered so far.

This makes the Apple Watch 9 a great choice for people who need to interact with their watch during workouts to check stats or start and stop timers. The hands-free functionality will seriously improve your workout experience so you can accurately log your activity without fussing with your watch.

The smaller-sized 41mm version is on sale for as low as $329 at Walmart (reduced from $399). You can also find it on Amazon for $329. The larger, 45mm version starts at $359.

Top features of the Apple Watch 9:

  • Siri Health turns Siri into your built-in fitness trainer, letting you start or stop workouts, check your health stats, and more with voice commands on your watch, with no Wi-Fi required.
  • The new double tap gesture lets you control any active app on your watch by double tapping your finger and thumb so you don’t have to stop or slow down to navigate your watch.
  • The improved dictation is up to 25% more accurate so you can reply to texts, emails and more while you work out.
  • You can take an ECG anytime.
  • The Apple Fitness+ app (three months free) offers new ways to train and gives deeper metrics into your body’s performance.
  • Use Apple Wallet on the go so you can step out for a run without your phone.


$329 at Amazon


$329 at Walmart


An Apple Watch 9 alternative: Apple Watch SE


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Because it doesn’t have the blood oxygen tracking feature at the heart of the international trade violation case, the Apple Watch SE will remain on shelves even if other models disappear. This lower-cost Apple Watch offers the same quality and seamless iPhone pairing as other models without some of the more premium features you’d find in the Series 9 or Ultra 2. 

That makes the Apple Watch SE the best alternative to the Apple Watch 9, especially for iPhone users. The design, user interface, and even many of the features are the same. 

This version of the Apple Watch still boasts an accurate heart rate tracker, 18-hour battery life, and important safety features like emergency SOS and fall detection. 

The only major things it’s missing compared to the Apple Watch 9 are the new Double Tap gesture, the Siri Health functionality and, of course, the blood oxygen tracking feature. 

The 40 mm size normally retails for $249, but right now, you can get it for just $189 at Walmart. The larger, 44 mm size starts at $219.

Top features of the Apple Watch SE:

  • The crack-resistant and swim-proof design can withstand any workout.
  • Call, text, stream music and use Apple Pay from your watch even when you leave your phone at home.
  • Get access to thousands of apps so you can use your favorite fitness apps with your Apple Watch.
  • Access tons of workouts through the Apple Fitness+ app and follow them from your watch.


$189 at Walmart


$199 at Amazon


Most advanced health tracking features: Pixel Watch 2


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The Pixel Watch 2 is the latest model of Google’s smartwatch. One of the biggest changes coming with the second generation watch is the improved heart rate sensor that’s up to 40% more accurate than the first Pixel Watch even during intense workouts.

Borrowing tech from the now Google-owned Fitbit, the Pixel Watch also added a skin temperature sensor and a continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor. A feature not even the Apple Watch has, the cEDA sensor continuously measures changes in the electrical currents on the surface of your skin to help track your stress levels.

Those new sensors give the Pixel Watch 2 the ability to offer new health insights like a sleep score and daily readiness score. One of the most impressive additions is “Body Response,” a measure of stress and excitement that can send you a notification when it detects heightened stress and take you through guided breathing or mindfulness exercises to help you find your calm.

Beyond stress management, the new Pixel Watch 2 packs tons of new fitness tools. You can now do heart rate zone training with real-time feedback and coaching during your workout when you go above or below your target zone. You can also do pace training, with similar real-time alerts when you go above or below your target pace.

Top features of the Pixel Watch 2:

  • The upgraded sensors and Google AI make for the most accurate heart rate tracking of any Google or Fitbit device.
  • Leave your wallet at home and pay for things with Google Wallet on your watch.
  • Get turn-by-turn directions with Google Maps on your watch.
  • Emergency SOS, safety check alerts and fall detection can automatically alert your close contacts and emergency services.
  • The watch is waterproof down to 50 meters so you can swim or shower with it on.
  • Respond to texts or make calls from your wrist.


$350 at Amazon


$350 at Best Buy


Longest battery life: Garmin Venu 3


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The Garmin Venu 3 boasts an upgraded touchscreen display compared with the previous generation. It’s larger and more responsive, so you can easily check metrics and navigate through features mid-workout. The fitness-focused Garmin smartwatch can track heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen levels and more.

But what really sets it apart is its 14-day battery life. When you’re out backpacking or camping, that two-week battery life can make a huge difference. But even during your everyday life, it’s a nice perk to know you can go weeks in between charges.

Speaking of that workout, the watch comes preloaded with routines that target different muscle groups or performance goals. When you pick one and tap start, the watch not only starts a timer but shows an animated display of how to perform the exercise you’re doing in each interval. 

As you cycle through your intervals, the watch will show you which exercise you’re on and alert you when your interval ends. So there’s no need to look at your phone at all. Just tap start on your watch and focus on your workout.

If you don’t want to use a preloaded routine, the Garmin app has a database of more than 1,400 exercises, categorized by which muscle groups they work. Build a custom routine in the app on your phone. Then download it to your watch and get moving. 

The smartwatch has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. Get it for $450.

Top features of the Garmin Venu 3:

  • The battery lasts up to 14 days on a single charge.
  • Follow along with animated on-screen workouts.
  • Customize the display to show you the metrics you care about during your workout.
  • Use Garmin Pay to make payments with your watch.
  • Get text, email and other notifications on your watch.
  • Use Siri, Google Assistant or other compatible voice assistant to make calls and respond to texts from your wrist.


$450 at Amazon


$450 at Best Buy


Best smartwatch for stress management: Fitbit Sense 2


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The Fitbit Sense 2 is the smartwatch that does it all. Answer calls on your wrist. Pay with Fitbit Pay or Google Wallet using your watch. Track your routes with built-in GPS. And, of course, it comes with all your essentials like heart rate, blood oxygen and activity tracking.

On top of those features, the Sense 2 adds an EDA sensor so you can take an ECG to get a more accurate heart rate reading. But the standout feature that separates the Sense 2 from the pack is the all-day body response tracking. 

Using the EDA sensor, skin temperature sensor and heart rate sensor, the Sense 2 constantly monitors for fluctuations in your stress level throughout the day. When it spikes, you’ll get a notification so you can pause to reflect or use the built-in mindfulness and breathing exercises to relax.

At the end of the day, you’ll get a report that shows when your physical stress levels spiked and dropped so you can better identify patterns around when, where and why you’re feeling stressed.

Normally retailing for $300, it’s the most expensive Fitbit in the lineup. But those advanced health and wellness features make it worth the price for anyone who’s trying to improve their overall wellness alongside their workout performance. And right now, you have a chance to get it for 20% off.

Top features of the Fitbit Sense 2:

  • With on-wrist phone calls, built-in Alexa and notifications from your calendar, email and other apps, the Sense 2 is a fully functional smartwatch with all the bells and whistles.
  • The all-day body response tracking uses advanced tracking features to continuously monitor your physical stress levels so you can look for patterns and identify the best ways to reduce your stress.
  • Use Fitbit Pay or Google Wallet with your watch.


$240 at Amazon


$250 at Best Buy


Best smartwatch under $100: Amazfit Bip 5


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If you’re looking for the best smartwatch under $100, look no further than the 4.2-star-rated Amazfit Bip 5. An Amazon bestseller, this budget watch has a lot of the same features that pricier watches do. You can use it to answer calls (via Bluetooth), track your blood oxygen and stress levels, monitor your sleep quality, log all your workouts automatically with auto-detect and more. Amazon Alexa is built in for voice commands and smart home control.

You can get the surprisingly feature-rich smartwatch at Amazon for $80 right now, reduced from $90.

Top features of the Amazfit Bip 5:

  • It features a large 1.91-inch screen. (It’s noticeably bigger than the Apple Watch 9.)
  • It lasts 10 days on a single charge with normal usage, or up to 26 days in its battery saver mode.
  • The under $100 price point is hard to beat, especially considering its advanced feature set.
  • Use the built-in Amazon Alexa to set timers, check the weather, get translations and more.


$80 at Amazon


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