Image source: Garmin

Top smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists

Not too long ago, activity trackers started off as chunky and unattractive devices aimed at fitness freaks and techno-buffs. Thankfully, those days are behind us and the tech community has grasped the importance of designing products that are both functional and attractive.

This article is our pick of the best fitness trackers for women, devices designed with female fitness enthusiasts in mind. Our criteria is based on a combination of visual appeal, smaller sizes and functionality.

For these practicality and functionality are certainly key – but not at the sacrifice of fashion. These are wearables that are designed to keep track of activity and sleep so should not be confused with safety wearables, i.e. devices which make it easy to call for help in case of emergency.

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Fitbit Versa 3 | Garmin Vivoactive 4 | Apple Watch Series 6 | Amazfit Bip S | Kate Spade Sport | Fossil Q Venture HR | Skagen Falster 3 | Garmin Lily | Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 | Bellabeat | Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Versa 3

Ten smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists
Image source: Fitbit

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 third 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).

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.

The main addition of Fitbit Versa 3 is the slightly larger display and built-in GPS. If you can live without these, the previous generation also presents an attractive buy.

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Garmin Vivoactive 4/4s/Venu

Top smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists
Image source: Garmin

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.

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Amazon | Garmin*

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch fall detection might land you in prison If you’re in the market for the best smartwatch experience, look no further than the Apple Watch. With each iteration, the device is getting better at tracking your fitness, too.

The Series 6 device takes across everything from its predecessors and and slaps on some new things. This includes a blood oxygen sensor and the new dual-core processor which is 20% faster than before. Other improvements come as part of watchOS 7. The most important of these is a native sleep tracking app.

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 6 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.

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Amazfit Bip S

Ten smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists
Image source: Amazfit

Amazfit Bip S 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 40 days of battery life, and that’s with an always on colour touch-screen! With GPS switched on it comes down to an excellent 22 hours.

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.

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Amazon | Amazfit*

Kate Spade Sport

Kate Spade Sport gets added to Fossil Group lineup
Image source: Kate Spade

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 .

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Amazon | Kate Spade*

Fossil Q Venture HR

Top smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists
Image source: Fossil

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.

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Amazon | Fossil*

Skagen Falster 3

Top smartwatches for women: stylish timepieces built for small wrists
Image source: Skagen

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.

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Amazon | Skagen*

Garmin Lily

Garmin Lilly vs Vivoactive 4s vs Fenix 6s: watches for small wrists
Garmin Lily | Image source: Garmin

Lily is Garmin’s first smartwatch specifically designed for women. Launched in early 2021, it comes with the standard Garmin technology but packed away in something that looks nice and feminine.

The watch has a 34.5mm face and weights a mere 24 grams. There’s a 1 inch (25.4mm) TFT LCD panel on-board. This is not color. Rather, it can display 16 shades of grey on a multicolored background. The combination makes the screen stand out beautifully.

Under the hood you get the usuals which include an accelerometer, heart rate sensor and SpO2, but no built-in GPS or altimeter. Battery life is around 5 days.

A useful add-on is an emergency help function. If in need, it allows you to transmit your location to pre-defined contacts.

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Amazon | Garmin*

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

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.

Samsung finally makes Galaxy Watch Active 2 official
Image source: Samsung

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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Amazon | Samsung*

Bellabeat Leaf & Urban

Merging fashion with fitness, ten activity trackers for women
Image source: Bellabeat

Founded in 2014, Bellabeat is a wellness-oriented outfit dedicated to creating attractive connected wearables for women. This smart piece of jewellery is designed to track your health. Wear it as a necklace or bracelet with accessories or items you already own – or clip it to any clothing item as a stylish accent.

The tracker learns about you and provides insights and improvements to your daily routine to help you feel your best. The wearable tracks your breathing, sleep, activity and monthly cycles through the smartphone app. If you are feeling stressed, you can follow one of its breathing routines to try and calm yourself down. Its advanced technology is hidden inside the wood housing, giving it a soft natural appeal.

No need to worry about charging. The tracker is powered by a replaceable battery that lasts up to 6 months. There is also 14 days worth of built-in memory, so you only need to sync it every couple of weeks.

Right are a few versions to choose from including Leaf and Urban. Slightly smaller in design, Urban has advanced features to help you deal with stress. The feature analyzes different lifestyle habits to help you not only manage this silent killer, but also prevent it by determining the triggers that cause it.

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Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 3 or Versa: which is right for you?
Image source: Fitbit

Charge 4 is a new and improved version of Fitbit’s best selling Charge 3 fitness tracker. The design and pretty much everything else is unchanged. You still get the same stylish look and OLED display.

The all-important difference is the built-in GPS. It is something avid runners or cyclists will appreciate, as it means they can leave their smartphone behind when exercising. The functionality helps make Charge 4 a viable alternative to fully fledged sports watches.

Other improvements probably won’t make a difference to most. They include NFC for contactless payments on all versions of the device, the ability to operate Spotify and some software-based activity tracking improvements.

All in all, this is a sleek looking device which comes with everything an average person needs to keep tabs on their activity 24/7.

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