Smartwatches have been on the market for a while, but each year they become more and more advanced. Whether you’re looking for something sleek and sharp, or maybe a little sportier for working out, there is a Smartwatch for you out there. We saw new companies, like Withings and HUAWEI this year, and past favourites like Fitbit still impressing.
Here are CGMs nominees for Best Smartwatch 2021/22:
Writer: Brendan Frye
Starting things off, the OnePlus Watch carries over the company’s design concepts seen in the recent OnePlus 9 range of smartphones. The box has the simple stark red design and has a minimalistic feel while still maintaining the striking look that the company has been known for. Once you open things up, the OnePlus Watch is as minimalist as the packaging would suggest, with fluoroelastomer straps, a large round screen, and two buttons on the right side of the face.
The battery life is one area I was very impressed with the OnePlus Watch. Boasting a 14-day battery life at peak performance, this is more than enough for most people’s needs. Granted, should you use some of the more advanced features such as SpO2 while sleeping, or audio playback, you will cut this down—in testing even after a full 5 days of use, the watch is still sitting at around 72%, and this is with trying all the features currently available.
While lacking some features found on the latest Apple Watch or Fitbit, the OnePlus watch is a great entry level offering that should please most people, provided they have their expectations in check.
Fitbit Versa 3
Writer: Sachin Bahal
One of the bigger changes with Versa 3 is the new design. While the Versa 2 had a more squarish design, the new watch offers a curved design. The new design also brings a bigger display, now at 1.58-inches with a 336 by 336 resolution. The screen on the Versa 3 looks great and can get very bright, that’s thanks to the AMOLED display. With an AMOLED screen, the Versa 3 has the option for an Always-On display, so you can see the time at any moment.
The interface of Fitbit OS is fairly straightforward, the main screen is the watch face. Swiping to the left is where you’ll find your quick settings toggles like Do Not Disturb, Sleep Mode, Brightness and Always-On.Swiping up from the clock face shows the weather and some of your stats like steps, floors etc. Swiping down from the main screen shows your phone notifications. When you swipe to the left, you’ll see all your installed apps on multiple pages.
With its long battery life, the Fitbit Versa 3 is one of the best fitness smartwatches on the market.
Withings Steel HR
Writer: Brendan Frye
The Withings Steel HR feels somewhere in the middle of what you could find on a standard watch, a fitness tracker, and an actual smartwatch. The Steel HR is an elegant yet simple timepiece offering a very minimal face, with an hour and minute hand and the obligatory tick marks delineating the different hours in the day. But unlike a standard watch, you will find two other areas on the face, one being an analog activity tracker, with the other being a small circular LED that will blend into the face of the watch while not in use.
The Steel HR comes with a rechargeable battery, so that while it may not last months on a single charge, you can safely get over three weeks without issue. It can be stretched beyond that with the LED and heart rate features turned off, lasting well over another week or so beyond even that.
There is something to be said about the minimalistic style the withings steel hr brings to the table, while still offering tracking for the fitness lovers in all of us.
Writer: David Walters
The stainless-steel band and beautiful face/screen greeted me once I opened the box, I was impressed right away. When trying it on, I quickly realized that it would need to have a link or two removed to fit my wrist. Thankfully, HUAWEI has made it very simple to add or remove links from the band on the Watch GT3, simply by sliding the pin of the link to the side and slipping it out. One link removed from either side of the face, and I was welcoming a snug fit and beautiful look.
The screen on the HUAWEI Watch GT3 is immaculate. I received the 46 mm version, which boasts a resolution of 466×466, and has a PPI (pixels per inch) of 326 in the 46 mm version (352 in the 42 mmm version). At no point did I ever see a picture that was grainy, or out of focus. Everything appeared crisp and vibrant. The Watch GT3 has an AMOLED colour screen that supports full-screen swiping, pressing, tapping, holding, etc. so your navigations on the watch are beautiful as much as they are simple.
The HUAWEI Watch GT3 makes it simple to get yourself in the game and do it in style. Not only is the watch easy to use, but it’s beautiful to look at too.
Fitbit Luxe (Winner, Best Smartwatch 2021)
Writer: Brendan Frye
The Fitbit Luxe is one of the smallest wearables the company makes and takes inspiration from previous trackers such as the Inspire 2. While the Fitbit Inspire 2 was a plastic device, the Luxe is a much more premium offering, delivering a stainless-steel casing that comes in black, gold and silver. It also has a stainless-steel buckle that gives the Luxe a much more clean, premium feel that many people will appreciate.
While the overall look of the Luxe feels very similar to past offerings, the screen is the real stand out. Past Fitbit devices are known to have monochrome OLED display, that while they get the job done, are not the most exciting thing to look at. The Fitbit Luxe mixes up the formula and offers a full colour AMOLED with a 206 x 124 pixel resolution. Along with being beautiful to look at, the screen feels fast, responsive, and easy to use, even with the Luxe having no physical buttons.
Delivering style and performance, the Fitbit Luxe is one of the best looking and easiest to use fitness trackers to date.