Smartwatches are no longer excess accessories – as they were once perceived to be. Through the onset of the covid-19 pandemic and thereafter, smartwatches have become a gadget that users have regularly invested in. While the initial phase of purchasing wearables began as a way to keep track of fitness while being at home without splurging, budget smartwatch makers put the onus on the overall sector to grow in India, by offering features that added value. For instance, smartwatches today can give a reasonably accurate view of your blood oxygen levels, which has become a key metric to follow for many.
Alongside, smartwatches today offer an easy way to track smartphone notifications while working from home. The latest report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said that the first three months of 2022 saw over 13.9 million wearables shipped in India, with 3.7 million of them being smartwatches. The latter also saw a 173 percent growth in shipments in the country, clearly showing the demand that they have today. On this note, here’s looking at the key reasons why you should own a smartwatch today – and if you choose to buy, which are the best ones in the market.
Things to consider when buying a smartwatch
Just like smartphones, you’ll find specific operating systems made for smartwatches. If you’re an iPhone user, then it is best to go for an Apple Watch, as it offers the best compatibility. For Android users, you have a variety of options to choose from. These either use Google’s WearOS software, or their own independent OS that can be paired with a dedicated app.
It’s recommended to buy a smartwatch that is compatible with your smartphone. The compatibility is what makes the smartwatch an extension of the phone. Therefore, for iPhone users, the Apple Watch is the best option. The Apple Watch will not work with Android phones as it won’t be able to connect to Android OS. Similarly, it’s best to buy a WearOS smartwatch for your Android device. You may be able to use these with an iPhone, but most of the things will not work properly.
Looks, design, and build
It is also important to figure out what kind of design you are looking for. Aesthetics are kind of important, after all, you’re going to be wearing the smartphone on your wrist. There are primarily two types of smartwatches available today, one with the traditional round dial, and the other with a rectangular/square face. If you’re someone who prefers a smartwatch that looks like a traditional watch, then the Apple Watch is going to disappoint since it only comes with a rectangular casing. On the other hand, Samsung has been making round smartwatches and they’ve honestly become quite good at it.
Apart from how the smartwatch looks, you should also make sure that the watch is built well. The best smartwatches will have a durable case, front glass, and strap. It’ll also offer good water and dust resistance, which is important as you might wear the watch while swimming or in the rain. A smartwatch with an aluminium or steel case will be more durable than something with a plastic case.
It’s also a good idea to read up on the display and its features. A smartwatch is essentially a display that shows you variety of information right onto your wrist. Therefore, it is important that you choose a smartwatch with a good display that works great outdoors and under direct sunlight. It should also be responsive, or big enough to tap or respond to notifications.
Other things to look at include brightness, sharpness, smoothness when navigating through the UI, and the type of panel used (AMOLED/OLED is always better). An AMOLED display is not only offers better contrast, colours, and deep blacks, but it is also more efficient than LCD panels.
Connectivity, apps and features
The best smartwatches will offer loads of health tracking sensors, support apps, and come with connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular/LTE, and built-in GPS. A smartwatch with built-in GPS and cellular connectivity gives you the ability to use it without being tethered to a smartphone. This means that you can take such smartwatches for your morning runs, or you can even make phone calls or navigate using the built-in GPS using the smartwatch when the phone runs out of battery.
As mentioned in the beginning, there are two main categories of smartwatch operating systems — one that is built for the Apple Watch, and the other for Android watches. Not all smartwatches will offer an app store, and you’ll only be able to use the pre-installed apps. Therefore, it’s best to buy a smartwatch that supports an application store. This way, you can download your favorite compatible apps on the smartwatch.
Smartwatches will also offer a bunch of health tracking features. The best ones will come with a good heart rate scanner, SpO2 sensor, step counter, and ECG monitor. These are all essential features to have on a smartwatch, as they can be used for health tracking and help you stay fit.
Due to the small size of the smartwatch, most of them do not offer great battery life. They offer the best of features, technology, build, and design, but battery life is still something that is a pain point on most smartwatches. One has to charge the smartwatch every night, especially if you go for something like the Apple Watch. However, there are a some that don’t offer a plethora of features, and can therefore provide longer battery life. Some of the mid-range smartwatches available in the market can offer anywhere between three to seven days of battery life with continuous health tracking and GPS disabled.
Battery life is therefore an important feature to look at when purchasing a smartwatch, and most of the times, you’ll have to sacrifice on battery life if you want the best features.
Brand value, price, and service
Smartwatches from reputed brands should be considered first. A good trusted brand will make sure that their products are well built, durable, and tested. You should also look at the brand history, and how their products have evolved over the years. Always go for a smartwatch from a trusted and reliable brand.
Price is another important factor when purchasing a smartwatch that is feature rich and well built. The most expensive watches available in India are from brands such as Apple, Samsung, and Garmin. These offer the best of features, hardware, design, and sensors. Depending on your budget, look for the best smartwatches that offer good design, features, build, and reliability.
Finally, you should also do some research and find out if the smartwatch brand has a good network of offline service centers or resellers in case something goes wrong with the watch.
Best smartwatches to buy in India
|Apple Watch Series 7||Rs 41,900|
|Apple Watch SE||Rs 29,900|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4||Rs 23,999|
|Mi Watch Revolve Active||Rs 9,999|
|TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra||Rs 29,999|
|Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic||Rs 31,999|
|Fossil Gen 6||Rs 23,995|
|Garmin Venu 2 Plus||Rs 46,990|
|Fitbit Sense||Rs 22,999|
|Amazfit GTR 2 (2022)||Rs 11,999|
|OnePlus Watch||Rs 14,990|
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 is the latest smartwatch from Apple and it’s loaded with features as well as an improved design, bigger display, and a faster processor. The watch is available in two case sizes – 41mm and 45mm, which offer a 1.69-inch and 1.9-inch Retina OLED LTPO display. It is equipped with the S7 dual-core chipset and gets up to 32GB of internal storage. In terms of sensors, the Watch Series 7 offers a heart rate sensor, SpO2 monitor, ECG (in certain regions), barometer, compass, and gets Ultra Wideband support. Depending on the model, the smartwatch gets either an aluminium, steel, or titanium case. The watch is also IP6X water and dust resistant.
The Apple Watch Series 7 Aluminium case variant with GPS starts at Rs 41,900, whereas the same with Cellular is Rs 50,900. The Steel case model gets both GPS and Cellular while starting at Rs 69,900. The Titanium case version (GPS + Cellular), also called Watch Edition Series 7, starts at Rs 83,900.
- Excellent always-on display
- Powerful hardware
- Health tracking is highly accurate
- Battery life
- No charger in box
Apple Watch SE
If you’re looking for the best budget Apple Watch, then the Watch SE is an excellent option. It has got most of the features from the Apple Watch Series 5, and is considerably cheaper than the latest Watch Series 7. The smartwatch gets a 1.57-inch and 1.78-inch display on the 40mm and 44mm cases, respectively. Powered by the Apple S5 dual-core chipset, it also comes with 32GB of internal storage, IP67 dust and water resistance rating, and is available in both GPS and GPS + Cellular variants. It also comes with a heart rate sensor, barometer, step counter, and an altimeter.
The Watch SE is only available in an aluminium case and starts at Rs 29,900 for the GPS variant. The GPS + Cellular version is Rs 33,900.
- Cheapest Apple Watch
- Good battery life with GPS disabled
- Good performance
- Slow charging
- No Always-on-display
Samsung Galaxy Watch4
The Galaxy Watch series from Samsung is the Apple Watch alternative for Android users. It offers excellent design, features, and a fairly good price tag. The latest Galaxy Watch4 comes in two dial sizes – 40 and 44mm. It is the first Galaxy smartwatch to feature the WearOS from Google. However, the WearOS now features some bits from Samsung’s TizenOS as well. The Watch4 has an optical heart rate sensor, an electrical heart sensor, and display varying from 1.2 to 1.4-inches diagonally. The smartwatch features a slim body with a circular case, giving it a traditional watch look.
The Galaxy Watch4 is available in both GPS and Cellular variants. The Bluetooth only version starts at Rs 23,999, whereas the Cellular starts at Rs 28,999.
- Slim traditional watch design
- Excellent AMOLED display
- WearOS and speedy performance
- Battery life isn’t great
- Slow charging
Mi Watch Revolve Active
Xiaomi’s Mi Watch Revolve Active is the most affordable smartwatch in this list. It features a circular dial and a slim design that gives it a classy look. The watch features a reinforced plastic frame, and a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with always-on mode. It comes with built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, and offer SpO2 monitor as well. The smartwatch has over 117 workout modes, and works best with Android phones. Another interesting aspect of this smartwatch is that it offers up to 14 days of battery life.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is available online for Rs 9,999.
- Affordable pricing
- 14 days claimed battery life
- Sleek design
- No app store
- Can’t answer calls
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is available for purchase at Rs 29,999.
- Battery life
- Fast performance
- Rugged design
- No Cellular connectivity
- Some app syncing issues
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic
Although the Galaxy Watch4 Classic shares its hardware with the standard Watch4, we had to list it separately for a couple of reasons. First, the Watch4 Classic has the rotating bezel from the original Galaxy Watch. Second, it has larger display options as it’s available in either a 42 or 46mm case, and it’s also more expensive. The watch still runs on the new WearOS powered by Samsung, and it gets both Bluetooth and Cellular variants. The material used here is stainless steel, which gives the watch a sophisticated look and feel. The rotating bezel can be used to perform various tasks such as switch apps, navigate through the UI, and more.
The Galaxy Watch4 Classic Bluetooth is available at a starting price of Rs 31,999. The Cellular variant starts at Rs 36,999.
- Design and display
- Rotating bezel
- Battery life
- ECG and Blood Pressure monitor restricted to few countries
Fossil Gen 6
Fossil makes several smartwatches and has been using Google’s WearOS for some time now. The latest Gen 6 watch from Fossil gets the the signature Fossil look with a stainless steel case and a 1.28-inch AMOLED display. The smartwatch uses the latest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform that delivers 30-percent faster performance and improved efficiency when compared to older Gen 5 smartwatches. It gets a heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, 8GB storage, IP68 rating, two case sizes of 44 and 42mm, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, and a decent battery life. You can make and answer calls when connected to a smartphone, and the watch will get much better with the upcoming Wear OS 3 update.
The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch can be purchased online for Rs 23,995.
- Design and build
- Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset
- Improved health sensors
- Wear OS 2 holds the watch back
- No proper companion app
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
If you are in the market for a fully-featured smartwatch, which is compatible with both Android and iOS, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is an excellent choice to make. The wearable comes with Garmin’s reputation of being a maker of ‘professional’ equipment for outdoor, industrial and sports activities, which in turn has trickled down to its smartwatches and the fitness data that they offer. In terms of its features, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus has a polymer case with a stainless steel bezel and a 44mm case size. This premium smartwatch offers a 1.3-inch AMOLED display, which also has an always-on mode. The Venu 2 Plus further features Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen protection and has three colour variants to choose from. The watch can work for up to eight hours with GPS and music streaming enabled and can log in up to 200 hours of activity data if you cannot sync your phone immediately.
The smartwatch also gets all the regular fitness features, along with a body battery energy monitor and a stress monitor to gauge your exertion levels, as well as sleep, hydration and menstruation insights. The Garmin Venu 2 Plus also brings all the goodness of Garmin’s professional fitness and training exercise tracking, coupled with good looks, which makes it a great smartwatch to buy.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus costs Rs 46,990 in India right now.
- Looks premium
- Accurate exercise tracking
- Heavy for long-wearing hours
Fitbit is another smartwatch maker whose main goal is to please the fitness folks. The Fitbit Sense is mainly a fitness tracker that also works well as a smartwatch. It comes with several advanced health features such as Stress Management score, ECG, skin temperature sensor, SpO2 monitoring, EDA scan, sleep tracking, and more. The watch comes with a 1.58-inch square AMOLED display, a good looking design, and is comfortable to wear. It gets a stainless steel and aluminium case, which makes the watch premium to touch. According to Fitbit, the Sense can last for up to 6 days on a single charge in smartwatch mode. It also features built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, Wi-Fi, NFC, and can answer/make calls via Bluetooth. It is also swimproof thanks to its 5ATM rating.
The Fitbit Sense smartwatch can be purchased online for Rs 22,999.
- Bright display
- 6 day battery life
- Premium design and quick-release straps
- EDA and ECG not very accurate
- Fitbit OS not smooth
Amazfit GTR 2 (2022)
The latest version of the Amazfit GTR 2 is a premium smartwatch that also offers plenty of perks for professional mountain climbers and athletes. If you’re serious about your workout regimes, Amazfit’s PAI score offered through its app is one of the most interesting metrics to follow. The latter takes into account your everyday workouts and gives you a daily score goal to keep up with. For the watch itself, the Amazfit GTR 2 comes with nearly no bezels on its display, hence allowing it to fit in a 1.4-inch AMOLED display into the 46mm aluminium alloy watch case. The wearable has tempered glass on top, and two colour variants on offer as well. The Amazfit GTR 2 (2022) is rated to last for over six days even on heavy usage.
The watch gets up to 90 sport tracking modes and all the usual health and wellness features such as menstruation, sleep tracking and a blood oxygen monitor, rounding it off as one of the most well-featured smartwatches on the market today. It even has 3GB of local storage for you to copy your offline music to the watch to listen to them during workouts. The Amazfit GTR 2 also comes with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant support.
The new Amazfit GTR 2 costs Rs 11,999 in India.
- Looks good
- Great battery life
- Offline storage for music
- Too big for many wrists
- Alexa voice assistant is not seamless
OnePlus has cashed in on the reputation built with its smartphones to offer what it claims is a premium experience with its first smartwatch. It has been largely well-received as well, thanks to a well-designed watch interface and accompanying health tracking app – even though it has a near-identical feature set to the new Amazfit GTR 2. The OnePlus Watch also packs over 100 sport and activity tracking modes, along with blood oxygen measurement. The wearable even gets a vibrant display, with a 1.4-inch AMOLED screen producing great, rich graphics on the watch. The case itself has a very premium and neat soft-touch finish, giving it a watch-like in-hand feel, something that smartwatches often struggle with.
Another key feature that the OnePlus smartwatch offers is fast charging, which too is a rarity among smartwatches. Finally, if you have a OnePlus TV, you can control that through your watch as well. Perhaps the only letdown is the lack of an always-on display, which would have been great to have on the OnePlus Watch – considering that otherwise, on nearly every front, it is among the best smartwatches to buy in India for both Android and iOS.
The OnePlus Watch costs Rs 14,990 in India.
- Premium looks
- Excellent battery life
- Seamless voice calls and UI
- No always-on display
- Limited watch faces
- Heavy for wearing to sleep