Gone are the days when smartwatches and activity trackers were confined to chunky, geeky looking gadgets built for fitness geeks. Quite rightly, wearable tech manufacturers have realized the importance of churning out devices with both sexes in mind.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Here’s our pick of the best smartwatches for women. For these practicality and functionality are certainly key – but not at the sacrifice of fashion. This list is not to be confused with fitness trackers for women which is the subject of a separate article.
Anyone with even a passing interest in this topic will have heard of Fitbit, one of the pioneers of the wearable tech market. The king of fitness trackers also has a few smartwatches under its belt. One of these is Versa, which is now on its second generation.
When it comes to 24/7 activity monitoring this device ticks most boxes. Step count, distance, calories, floors, heart rate, pulse Ox, sleep – its all there. Plus you get Fitbit’s simple to use app and web dashboard.
The water-resistant gizmo comes with an AMOLED display and Fitbit says its the lightest metal smartwatch sold in the US. You’ll also get Fitbit’s female health tracking feature, along with on-board storage for music and NFC payments (selected models). There is no built-in GPS though, only connected GPS.
With a battery life of around 5 days, this is a stylish device which represents a great compromise between a fully fledged smartwatch and fitness tracker.
Vivoactive 4 is a Swiss knife of activity trackers. But one that has been designed to appeal to both men and women. The fourth generation brings a couple of size options to choose from (45mm and 40mm), as well as Venu – a version with a gorgeous 43mm AMOLED display.
Added features of the fourth generation include pulse oxygen readings and estimated respiration. There’s also the new Body Battery function, abnormal heart rate alerts, tracking of heart rate under water, Yoga workouts, Pilates workouts and on-screen workout animations. All of these will make the watch an even better all-round fitness companion.
Apart from the aesthetics, built-in GPS and tracking everything under the sun, the timepiece also comes with some smartwatch features such as Garmin Pay and built-in storage for music.
The Series 5 device takes across everything from its predecessors and finally slaps on a innovative display that is always on. The Cupertino outfit has opted to leave out the sleep tracking functionality for another year. It would be kind of pointless introducing it considering most people will still opt to recharge their device during the night.
Other than that, the Apple Watch dishes out pretty accurate fitness tracking stats, and can identify and send out alerts if you fall or trip. Something that will no doubt be of use to the older generation. Series 5 also intermittently analyzes heart rhythms and sends alerts for atrial fibrillation.
And let’s not forget its new FDA-approved ECG sensor. This provides a full report that lets you know if your heart rhythm is normal or there are issues.
Amazfit Bip comes packed with features such as built-in GPS, heart rate sensor and notifications. In addition to keeping tabs on your activity 24/7 the timepiece provides tracking of your runs, cycling and other sports with mapped routes, detailed stats and heart rate zones.
But Bip’s claim to fame is its astonishing 30+ days of battery life, and that’s with an always on colour touch-screen! Choose the ‘minimal notification’ setting and battery life climbs to 45 days.
In terms of looks, this is a cheerful-looking smartwatch. Most would equate it to a blend between Pebble Time and the Apple Watch.
Is it perfect? No. It doesn’t have an altimeter for counting floors climbed and the non-fitness features pretty much end with notification support.
But if you’re after a simple wearable that keeps tabs on your fitness, tracks your running and cycling with GPS and you don’t want to be bothered with charging often, the Bip makes a strong case for itself. You’ll struggle to find a smartwatch that delivers anywhere near the same level of features for the price.
Kate Spade is a designer brand but this is not just a flashy watch as it comes with Fossil Group 5th generation smarts. This entails a built-in speaker, the Snapdragon 3100 processor, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. Other than that there is built-in GPS, NFC for contactless payments, smartphone music control, Google Assistant and more.
Heart rate is measured at regular intervals throughout the day and continuously when in workout mode. The timepiece uses Google Fit to monitor your activity stats, show progress towards goals and dissect your workout metrics. These can be viewed in the smartphone app or the 1.19-inch AMOLED display.
Weighing just 40g, the swim proof (3 ATM) watch comes in three different colour-ways including black and lilac, pink and red, and evergreen and black. In a sense the sporty device still has the signature Kate Spades look, only now the scallop is around the 42mm lightweight aluminum topring .
Fossil Q Venture HR comes with the company’s Generation 4 technology. This includes the addition of a heart rate sensor and GPS inside for use without a smartphone. There’s also an NFC chip that allows users to make payments through Google Pay.
There is also the usual array of sensors, including an altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light and microphone. Combined with Google Fit, the Wear OS device now has some serious fitness tracking smarts.
Design improvements mean the timepiece is water-resistant. You can finally hop in the shover, bath or go for a swim without risking your Fossil Venture watch.
There are a few different designs to choose from, as well as 36+ different watch faces to customize the look.
Launched earlier this year, Skagen Falster 3 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor, a speaker and the rest of the Fossil Gen 5 smarts. This means you’ll get everything you need to track your fitness around the clock, built-in GPS, water-resistance and more.
At around 24 hours, battery life remains a sticking point. But there are less power intensive Extended Battery Modes which will give it a few more days of life.
The timepiece comes in a few design options. These include a choice between Black Silicone, Blue Silicone, Gun Metal Steel Mesh and Leather – Silicone based straps. A limited edition design from a collaboration with Norwegian DJ Kygo will also be available soon. That’s an award-winning Norwegian DJ, songwriter and producer in case you were wondering.
The American luxury fashion company has a range of connected devices on offer. One of these is the Michael Kors Bradshaw 2. This is a watch for those who are looking for technological innovation, social connectivity and great style.
The distinction here is the premium design and you certainly get that from Michael Kors. The Wear OS watch comes with a 1.28 inch 328 ppi resolution AMOLED screen that fits in a 44mm stainless steel case and bezel.
Again, you get the Fossil 5 Gen smarts. In addition to the more powerful Snapdragon 3100 chip, the watch comes with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. This should keep it running very smoothly. There’s the ability to take calls from the wrist thanks to the addition of a built-in speaker, a slew of fitness sensors and more.
Bradshaw 2 is available in gunmetal, rose gold-tone, gold-tone or silver-tone stainless steel. You’ll also be able to pretty it up with custom watch-faces. A new micro-app, My Dials lets you choose from pre-set categories or let you create one of your own.
Samsung released both the first and second generation of Watch Active last year. Watch Active 2 comes with a fresh new look, design and size options, ECG sensors, an LTE variant and more.
The trademark bezel has not made a return. However, you are able to navigate the watch via the black border that surrounds the screen and functions as a touch sensitive strip. That’s alongside the touchscreen and physical buttons, of course.
More interestingly, Samsung has added size choices this time around. The original Galaxy Watch Active only come in a 40mm variant. The second generation comes in an additional 44mm option.
This is primarly a fitness focused device. There’s built-in GPS and a slew of activity tracking sensors including an accelerometer, heart rate, gyro and barometer. Samsung says the full eight photodiodes on the rear side improve on the heart rate monitoring capability. The better precision is coupled with alerts when their heart beat goes above or below normal levels.
There’s now an LTE variant in addition to the standard Bluetooth version. The first comes packing a 340 mAh battery, the second a 237 mAh one. Both are good for around a day of battery life.
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