Best Smartwatch for Women 2020

After countless hours of research, reviewing and collecting consumer reviews and sentiment, we can confidently say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch is the best smartwatch for women. It boasts a sleek design, easy-to-use interface and extra-long battery life. It’s an incredibly helpful daily fitness tracker and smartphone accessory for women that looks just like a real wristwatch. The best smartwatches should help you with many things after all.

Top 5 Best Smartwatch for Women Compared

 #1  Samsung Galaxy Watch

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Our #1 Pick is the Samsung Galaxy Watch
5,530 Reviews
Our #1 Pick is the Samsung Galaxy Watch
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Award: Top Pick/Best Smartwatch for Women

Pros
  • Super-long battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Sleek and durable design
Cons
  • Doesn’t work well with iOS
  • Charger is proprietary
  • Lack of 3rd-party apps

Why We Like It:The Samsung Galaxy Watch is the successor to the Samsung Gear watch line and it improves on a lot of what was lacking with the Gear series. It’s Samsung’s best smartwatch to date, and it’s easy to see why with its premium features, even in light of some of its flaws.

Battery Life 9.5/10
​​One of the best aspects of this smartwatch for women is the impressive battery life. Samsung rates the battery life at three to four days, which is much better than most smartwatches currently on the market and better than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active. Keep in mind that this battery life can vary in a practical sense, depending entirely on the specific way you use your watch. If you’re constantly using GPS, the highest brightness on your display and all the apps, you likely won’t get a full 4 days of battery life.

Unfortunately, Samsung uses a proprietary charger for this watch, meaning you can’t purchase your own or use your friends’ charging stations.

OS Compatibility 10/10
​You can use the Galaxy Watch with both Android and Apple phones. If you’re on an Android device, you need to be running Android 5.0 or greater. If you’re using an iPhone, you’ll need to be running iOS 10 or later.

If you’re an iPhone user, you might want to consider a different watch. The Samsung Galaxy Watch partially supports iOS devices, but you’ll notice that there are many issues with the compatibility. You can get your notifications, track your sleep and monitor your heart rate all without issue. But if you want to use anything else, you’ll probably end up frustrated.

Water Resistance 10/10
​​The Samsung Galaxy Watch is completely water resistant with a 5ATM rating. This means you can completely submerge the watch up to 50 meters of water. This makes it a great choice for swimming and tracking your aquatic exercises. This level of waterproofing used to only be available on Samsung’s Gear Sport smartwatches.

GPS 9/10
If you’re concerned about tracking your movements without needing to carry your phone around on your person, the Samsung Galaxy Watch can help. It features untethered GPS functionality, meaning you don’t have to connect the watch to your phone for tracking. This feature is great for adventurers who likely won’t get cell phone service in remote areas but still need a way to prevent themselves from getting lost. Needless to say it is even more important to track your kids with the best smartwatch for kids, so that you know where they are at all times.

 #2  Michael Kors Access Runway Smartwatch

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Our #2 Pick is the Michael Kors Access Runway
1,417 Reviews

Award: Best Women’s Android Smartwatch

Pros
  • Crisp and clear display
  • Untethered GPS
  • Standout design
Cons
  • Struggles with iOS devices
  • Battery life isn’t stellar
  • Slower processor

Why We Like It: The Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch is a designer’s watch with a standout design and easy-to-use watch interface. With interchangeable bands, you can easily style this watch to match your outfit. If you’re looking for something streamlined and elegant, this is the smartwatch for you.

Battery Life 9/10
​The Access Runway smartwatch features a 300mAh battery, which is rated to give you a full day’s worth of battery life. However, this battery life is very easily affected by GPS, notifications and the heart-rate sensor. We found that the battery lasted around 12 hours when we used it on a regular basis. This is still rather impressive for a watch with a bunch of high-end features.

Charging the battery to 100% usually takes around an hour, or a little over, which is really helpful when you need to charge it in a pinch.

OS Compatibility 10/10
​This smartwatch for women features the Wear operating system, which works best for Android phones. While the watch can still connect to iPhones, you won’t really be able to do much with it. You’ll need to keep the Wear OS app always running on your iPhone and you won’t be able to interact with any of your notifications or text messages from the watch.

Water Resistance 10/10
​​​You might think that such a good-looking watch wouldn’t be able to handle any exposure to water. Fortunately, the Access Runway can be fully submerged for distances up to 50 meters! That means you can still take this smartwatch swimming without fears of ruining it.

GPS 10/10
The Michael Kors Access Runway features built-in GPS tracking functionality that you can turn on or off as you please. This is helpful for a variety of different situations, including nights out with your friends, adventures outdoors or road trips. We did experience greater battery drain with GPS turned on, so be sure to watch your charge when you’re using it. It is a great alternative to the best apple watches.

 #3  Apple Watch Series 5

Our #3 Pick is the Apple Watch Series 5
120 Reviews
Our #3 Pick is the Apple Watch Series 5
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Award: Best Apple Watch for Women

Pros
  • Great design and durability
  • Super user friendly
  • Fitness features are superb
Cons
  • Shorter battery life
  • iPhone only
  • Expensive

Why We Like It: The Apple Watch is the quintessential smartwatch and one of the most popular options on our list. As with any Apple product, you’ll get stellar design and a super simple user experience with the Apple Watch Series 4. If you’re an iPhone user, this is the best choice.

Battery Life 9/10
The Apple Watch Series 4 is rated to last up to a day on a single charge. However, this is definitely the category in which the smartwatch suffers the most. Most users don’t get a full day’s use out of their iWatch, especially if they’re using GPS, cellular, activity tracking and the heart rate monitor.

However, these are all features that don’t need to constantly be running in the background. If you use your Apple Watch in a more casual way, you’ll definitely get through a full day with some juice leftover.

OS Compatibility 9.5/10
Apple is known for their extremely user friendly ecosystem of products that work really well with each other, but that don’t play nice with others. The Series 4 doesn’t break the trend. You can only use this smartwatch with iPhones.

And while other smartwatches only offer partial support for opposing operating systems, the Apple Watch doesn’t budge an inch for Android devices. If you’re an Apple user, this of course won’t phase you at all, but Android users who may be interested in the top-selling smartwatch are out of luck.

Water Resistance 10/10
Apple’s activity tracking functionality is one of this watch’s best features, so it makes sense that they would make the watch completely waterproof. You can use the Apple Watch Series 4 in water up to 50 meters without fear. As such, you can definitely fill up your activity rings while swimming.

GPS 10/10
The Apple Watch Series 4 features built-in GPS functionality, as well as the option to pay a little more to get full cellular capabilities. This means you could potentially use the watch without ever having your phone with you. Being untethered from the phone is an excellent option for women who are constantly getting out and about. You can see why it is one of the best watches around.

 #4  Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

Our #4 Pick is the Samsung Gear Sport
906 Reviews
Our #4 Pick is the Samsung Gear Sport
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Award: Best GPS Smartwatch for Women

Pros
  • Fun, colorful display
  • Slim, comfortable design
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Minimal 3rd-party apps
  • Playing music is limited
  • Lacks support for iPhone

Why We Like It: The Samsung Gear Sport is the perfect smartwatch for women who need something more functional for exercising and tracking workout goals. This watch is slim and sleek, with a more subtle design quality than other Samsung watches. If you’re looking for something lightweight and comfy for your workouts, this is a really good option.

Battery Life 9/10
​​​The Gear Sport features a 300mAh battery that’s rated to last around 2 days total. Real-world tests put the actual battery life pretty close to that, around a day and a half. Of course, like with other smartwatches, the things you do with your device can have a profound effect on the battery. Things like GPS and playing music will drain your battery much faster.

The watch comes with a dock charging station that’s relatively easy to use. Simply rest the watch on the dock and it will start to charge. When your watch is at 0% battery, you can expect to wait around an hour and a half before you get back to 100%.

OS Compatibility 10/10
​​Both Android and iOS devices are compatible with the Samsung Gear Sport, but it works best with Samsung phones. Android phones work really well with the watch, but iPhones can’t take advantage of the full capabilities of the watch.

If you’re on an iPhone, just keep in mind that you won’t be able to respond to any notifications and you’ll be much more limited with the Gear Sport.

Water Resistance 10/10
​​​As you might expect, the Samsung Gear Sport offers full water resistance submerged up to 50 meters in depth. The watch’s dynamic workout mode will recognize when you start swimming and start tracking your progress. You can also manually start this program.

One of the unique features of this watch is the fact that you can even use it in salt water, which is pretty rare to find on a smartwatch for women.

GPS 9/10
You get full GPS tracking functionality with this watch, but it’s definitely more geared toward exercise tracking. You can pair the GPS functionality with any of the fitness apps from the Galaxy Apps store to track your runs, bike rides or other workouts. Compare this model to the best android smartwatch and see which works best for you.

 #5  FitBit Versa Smartwatch

Our #5 Pick is the FitBit Versa
197 Reviews
Our #5 Pick is the FitBit Versa
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Award: Best GPS Smartwatch for Women

Pros
  • Superb battery life
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Geared toward fitness
Cons
  • Not great for music
  • Limited app availability
  • GPS through phone only

Why We Like It: FitBit has always focused on producing fitness-specific wearables, but the FitBit Versa goes further than that. This product is the most like premium smartwatches that FitBit offers. It gives you stellar battery life and a comprehensive set of fitness features.

Battery Life 10/10
​​​The Versa’s battery life is one of its best features, coming in at an estimated 3 to 4 days. This is impressive, especially when you consider that the battery is only a 145mAh battery, which is quite a bit smaller than most of the batteries on the market. However, since this watch doesn’t give you as robust features as other watches, the battery drains much slower.

OS Compatibility 10/10
​​FitBit works best with Android devices, even though it says that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Much like other smartwatches that aren’t the Apple Watch, the Versa struggles to provide full support to iPhones. This is due in part to Apple’s closed ecosystem, but it can still be frustrating for anyone who has an iPhone but doesn’t want an Apple Watch.

Water Resistance 10/10
​​​The Versa is rated to handle submersion in water up to 50 meters total, which is on par with the high-end watches on our list. This is especially important since the FitBit focuses so much on fitness. You can easily use this watch during your swimming routine without problem.

GPS 8/10
Unfortunately, the FitBit Versa doesn’t feature on-board GPS tracking capabilities. However, as long as you’re tethered to your phone, you’ll still be able to track your workout routes and location.

Smartwatches: Form over Function?

Sometimes it can be hard to find a smartwatch that is both stylish and functional. The bulk of the smartwatches on the market tend to value function over form, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Fortunately, more manufacturers have started to realize the importance of making smartwatches that appeal to a diverse customer base. They’ve started creating designer watches to appeal to customers with fashion-forward mindsets. Kate Spade New York has a range of smartwatches from stainless steel models to designs made from soft leather. For a sleek feminine design, check out Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active in Rose Gold.

As you start the shopping process, decide first what is more important to you. If you’re looking for something stylish and easy to accessorize, then find a watch that catches your eyes first and consider features after. If you’d rather have something more functional, decide on what features you’d like, then consider looks later.

How We Reviewed the Smartwatches

What do you need to think about when buying a new smartwatch? Take a look at the details you need to know about smartwatches for women.

Battery Life – You Need at Least a Day
Historically, smartwatches have been notorious for their short batter lives. When they first hit the market, people were having a hard time keeping a charge for an entire day, which defeats the purpose of having a wearable device.

Fortunately, manufacturers have started to release watches that have bigger and more compact batteries that give you more juice without requiring you to wear a brick on your wrist. The industry standard for smartwatch battery life is sitting right around 24 hours, but there are plenty of options that offer more or less charge.

If you have a habit of staying out and about for longer periods of time, you’ll definitely need to consider purchasing a watch that can last for a long time. Keep in mind that the more you use your watch, the more your battery will drain.

OS Compatibility – Buy a Watch for Your Phone
Not all smartwatches work with all mobile devices. Some are restricted to specific brands while others try to span across the entire operating system spectrum.

Unfortunately, most watches fall short on providing good reliability and support across Android and iOS. Plenty of watches that work really well with Android phones, offer Google pay, and are compatible with Google Assistant only provide minimal support for iPhones. And the Apple Watch only supports iPhones.

We recommend you purchase a watch specifically for the phone you’re using.

Water Resistance – 50 Meter Depth is Best
Your watch should be able to travel anywhere you go, so it’s important that it can stand up to any kind of environment or weather. The best smartwatches for women are completely sealed systems that provide superb water resistance (R) up to 50 meters of depth.

This is especially important if you’re a swimmer and want to track your swimming workouts. Some watches can even stay protected against salt water. This is rarer to find, so if you swim in salt water, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that feature.

GPS – Tracking for Safety and Exercise
If you want to track your workouts or simply want someone to always know where you’re at, you’ll definitely want to purchase a smartwatch purposely designed for fitness tracking that features built-in GPS receivers.

The best smartwatches don’t require a connected phone to still receive GPS signals. This is called untethered GPS and is the best configuration.

Some smartwatches can receive GPS signals (R), but only when connected to your phone. This is called tethered GPS. It’s still valuable to have, but not as flexible as tethered GPS. You’ll need to constantly have your phone with you to take advantage of this kind of GPS, which can limit you depending on cell service.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of questions are consumers asking about smartwatches? Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Why do I need a smartwatch?
Look, we’re not going to tell you that you absolutely need a smartwatch. Simply put, smartwatches add an additional level of convenience and style to your life. Essentially, they just keep you connected without looking at your phone. Plus, some models add a personal touch by letting you customize the design and choose from a variety of custom watch faces. They have even more features than the best fitbit. Just as the best running watches help you track your workout. Most models offer fantastic features that also help monitor your health and fitness such as heart rate tracking, activity logs and GPS.

How durable are smartwatches?
Smartwatch manufacturers know the risk of wearing an expensive device on your wrist. They’ve taken steps to make their watches as durable as possible, but you should still be careful swinging your arms around.

Can I change my smartwatch’s battery?
Technically yes, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy (R). Smartwatch batteries should last a long time, but if you ever have a problem, we recommend you take the watch into a tech repair store.

Are smartwatches water proof?
Most smartwatches only offer a high level of water resistance instead of being fully waterproof. While there are some waterproof smartwatches, they mostly are only good for submersion up to 50 meters for a short period of time.

What’s the difference between GPS and NFC?
If you’re not tech-savvy, it’s easy to get mixed up and confused over all the features and abbreviations tech companies use to advertise smart gadgets.  GPS NFC – it’s hard to know the difference if you’ve never owned a smart device before. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and utilizes a network of orbiting satellites that transmit data to a receiver that determines your position. NFC or Near Field Communication is different. NFC tags contain passive data which can be scanned by devices by detecting a reader and using the energy of the reader to transmit the data. It is technology that powers systems like Apple Pay and anti-theft devices seen in retail stores.

 

Because of this, we recommend you only use smartwatches for showering and casual swimming. You’ll want to avoid taking your smartwatch scuba diving.

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Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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