The best smartwatches of 2021: Which is right for you?

Whether you like to play hard and need a watch that will keep up, or need a sleek business watch that makes work simpler, there are some great options for wearable fans this year.


2021 has been flying by fast, and with it has gone the release of a glut of smartwatches from tech giants and traditional timepiece manufacturers alike. There are a lot to choose from, and it can be hard to pick. 

Knowing which smartwatch to get, either for yourself or as a holiday gift, comes down to more than just knowing what kind of processing power, storage space, or bells and whistles a wearable device has. It means knowing what fits the niche in your life that a smartwatch could occupy. Those needs are going to differ greatly from person to person and professional to professional; these are just a few types of users who may find their perfect match in these best smartwatches of 2021. 

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One quick note: You might notice that there isn’t a “best fitness wearable” category in this list, and that’s intentional. A modern smartwatch without fitness tracking capabilities isn’t much of a smartwatch at all, and it’s safe to assume that if you’re shopping for one you probably assume it’s going to have those capabilities, which all the devices in this list do. 

The best smartwatch for Android users


The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 series.

Image: Samsung

The mobile wars have, in many ways, come down to a similar divide that we had in the early days of Mac and Windows: Apple was (and still is) a walled garden, while Windows PCs were more open, leading to security issues but allowing for more customization. 

We’re in that place now with iOS and Android, mimicking Mac and Windows, respectfully. If you use an Android device there’s no better watch to choose from than the new (as of August) Samsung Galaxy Watch4.

The latest generation of Samsung smartwatches has optical heart rate, electrical heart and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensors that Samsung said make it capable of…