The latest Which? smartwatch test reveals the first Best Buy smartwatches, plus some disappointing models that aren’t worth investing in.
Our tough smartwatch tests have proved that not all smartwatches are up to scratch. We first started testing smartwatches in early 2015, but unusually we didn’t find any Which? Best Buy devices during our first year of testing.
As part of our ongoing aim to ensure our testing reflects how people are using their devices, as well as to keep up with market trends, we revamped our smartwatch testing in the summer of 2016.
In the first batch under the new test programme we tested seven smartwatches from brands such as Apple, Pebble and Samsung. Our tough tests found two smartwatches worthy of our prestigious Best Buy award.
Find a smartwatch that will be an asset to your wrist – check out our Best Buy smartwatches.
The new test programme
You can trust that a Best Buy smartwatch will provide helpful smart notifications on your wrist, be comfortable to wear and have useful extras such as accurate fitness tracking – particularly with our tough new test programme. The worst will have unimpressive battery life, uncomfortable bands and lack features that make them useful.
We test every smartwatch in a range of different scenarios to find out how they perform – from day-to-day use, and both in and out of the lab.
Our test assesses how well they receive notifications from your smartphone, such as texts, calls and calendar alerts. We’ve found differences in the level of detail you can see and how easy they are to view. Some simply tell you that you’re getting a call or you have a Facebook notification, so you’ll have to dig around for your phone to find out exactly what’s happening.
Many smartwatches capture your fitness data – including heart-rate monitoring, step counting and calorie burn. Our test participants walk on a calibrated treadmill at 4.8km/h for 10 minutes and run at 9-10km/h for 10 minutes, as well as going through a routine of daily tasks. This means we can compare how well each smart watch logs steps taken and distance travelled.
To find out more about our new and improved test programme, visit how we test smartwatches.
Cheap vs expensive smartwatches
To make sure we can help you find the best smartwatch for your budget, we test smartwatches from different brands. In our latest batch, we’ve got smartwatches from the likes of Apple, Pebble and Samsung.
The models in our latest test range from £80 to £300, but price isn’t always an indicator of quality. One of our Best Buy smartwatches is available for under £150.
Just in: new smartwatch reviews
Click on the links below to head to individual reviews. Smartwatches are listed in alphabetical order:
- Alcatel OneTouch Watch, £100
- Apple Watch Sport, £299
- Garmin Vivoactive, £140
- Huawei Watch, £289
- Pebble Classic, £80
- Pebble Time Round, £180
- Samsung Gear S2, £300
(Prices correct as of 31 August 2016.)