Best smartwatches and fitness wearables of 2022
Smartwatches and fitness wearables continue to grow in popularity, with India being one of the world’s leading markets for wearables. While much of this growth can be seen in the affordable smartwatch segment, we also saw strong performance from brands in the premium sector, where Apple and Samsung continue to excel. If you’re looking to buy a new smartwatch and want to know what your options are, our list of the best devices launching in 2022 is definitely worth checking out.
Just like in 2021, the spoils of 2022 are once again shared by Apple and Samsung. However, we have a few additional recommendations based on form factor, features, use case and price, with brands such as Fossil, Garmin and Noise earning honorable mentions. Here’s our list of the best smartwatches and fitness wearables of 2022.
Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Much like last year, it’s a strong tie between Apple and Samsung for our pick of the best smartwatch of 2022. This is due to the platform exclusivity of the two devices – the Apple Watch only works with iPhones, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can only be used with Android smartphones. Naturally, your preference here will depend on the smartphone you’re using.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8, like previous versions of the product line, isn’t radically different or groundbreaking in any way, and that’s totally fine. The smartwatch remains among the best performing, best equipped and most accurate of any smartwatch you can buy today.
It serves as a true wrist extension of your smartphone, allowing you to view and answer calls and notifications, track your fitness, and more. Various improvements in advanced health and safety tracking, fast charging, fitness and sleep tracking, and a great display make it our top pick for 2022.
However, as before, the Apple Watch Series 8 only works with an iPhone, so it’s only relevant if you already have one or plan to buy one soon. Apple Watch Series 8 prices start at Rs. 45,900 for the aluminum case models, and there are two size options – 41mm and 45mm. You can also choose between having cellular connectivity in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or just the latter two.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
While the idea of a “Pro” version isn’t new to Samsung when it comes to other product categories, this is the first time the Korean brand has implemented it for its smartwatches. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is, as you might expect, a particularly impressive smartwatch, with a solid and sturdy titanium case, precise fitness tracking, and the benefits of Samsung’s unique combination of WearOS software and OneUI Watch.
Although a bit more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, the Pro version offers better looks and build quality, a much nicer strap in the box, and better battery life. You have the choice of Bluetooth-only or LTE and Bluetooth connectivity, the latter offering eSIM functionality and the ability to make and receive calls directly from the smartwatch, even with the smartphone out of connection range.
Of course, a key point to note here is that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro only works with Android smartphones, so it’s the one to choose if that’s your use case. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is, by far, the best smartwatch for Android right now, significantly outperforming the competition in the segment.
Best hybrid smartwatch: Fossil Machine Gen 6 Hybrid
Smartwatches generally have notable drawbacks compared to regular mechanical wristwatches when it comes to traditional design and battery life. However, hybrid smartwatches offer the best of both worlds, and the Fossil Machine Gen 6 Hybrid is quite possibly among the best we’ve come across in this segment. With good looks, a power-efficient E Ink display, top-notch battery life, and Alexa voice assistant functionality, this is a smartwatch that’s well worth the price.
The controls are understandably a bit fiddly as there’s no touchscreen and navigation relies entirely on the physical buttons. However, the Fossil Machine Gen 6 is fully functional in many ways, including pushing notifications, offering hands-free voice assistant functions, and providing accurate fitness and health tracking. The only real downside might be that the device is a bit heavy, but it’s worth it if you want a combination of old school and new age in one.
Best for fitness tracking: Garmin Venu 2 Plus
If fitness tracking is your primary focus, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is our top pick for 2022. With accurate fitness tracking, an excellent AMOLED display, platform support for iOS and Android and great battery life, it’s the perfect choice for fitness enthusiasts looking for something that bridges the gap between a full-featured fitness tracker and a smartwatch.
That said, the Garmin Venu 2 Plus comes at a steep price, and you might want to consider a full-fledged smartwatch with cellular connectivity at that price. However, it’s the fitness and health tracking as well as the ease of use that really sets the Garmin Venu 2 Plus apart.
Best affordable smartwatch: Noise ColorFit Pro 4
It’s the affordable smartwatch segment that’s really driving the volumes, and the Noise ColorFit Pro is among the best budget devices launched this year. With a crisp and bright color display, convenient Bluetooth calling functionality, reliable connectivity and notifications, and dynamic watch faces, the Noise ColorFit Pro 4 offers excellent value for money. Battery life is also decent.
Fitness and health tracking isn’t usually where budget devices excel, and the Noise ColorFit Pro 4 is no different. However, it’s the personalization, notifications, crisp and detailed screen, and Bluetooth calling that make it a worthy recommendation, especially considering the price of the device.