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Best Smartwatch Reviews: Samsung Gear S2 vs Apple Watch vs Pebble vs Moto 360 vs LG Urbane & More!

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Wearable tech is everywhere. Smartwatches are popping up from every mobile company. How do you find out which one is the best? Will a smartwatch replace your smartphone? We’re here to help! Read this article to find the best smartwatch for you. If there’s one you don’t see listed here, let us know so we can investigate.

What is a Smartwatch – Will a Smartwatch Replace My Phone?

Our research indicates that smartwatches are not meant to replace your smartphone (at least not until they find a way to replicate the large screen capabilities). At the present moment, they are meant to enhance your connectivity and communication. This can save a great deal of battery life on your smartphone if you aren’t constantly pressing the home button to see if you have any new notifications. What can a smartwatch do? They have the ability to notify you of call, text, app and email alerts. Some can control music while others have fitness tracking capabilities. Different smartwatches may appeal to you over others depending on your interests. We chose the best smartwatches based on platform, features, fashion, price and more.

Best for iOS: Apple Watch Series 2 Review

Apple Watch Series 2View at Best Buy

Apple Watch Series 2 is the “belle of the ball.” You just can’t beat the quality and service you get when you purchase a product from Apple. That’s why we’ve chosen it as the best smartwatch for iOS. It was the most talked about and highly anticipated smartwatch before its release. The first edition was released in April 2015 and it is now in its second edition. The downside is that it’s only compatible with iPhones, so if you don’t have an iPhone, look at our Android choice. The watch looks like a mini iPhone on your wrist, and it can basically do anything your iPhone does. This includes making calls, sending texts, checking the weather, talking with Siri, music control and more. There are other things included that your iPhone can’t do, like draw a sketch and send it to another smartwatch user, or track your heart beat. By the way, despite rumors that this smartwatch would fall in line with Apple’s gadget naming convention and be called iWatch, the official name is Apple Watch.

Pros

Cons

  • Lift your wrist and the face will light up (when you aren’t using it the screen will be black)
  • Lots of bells and whistles such as a sketch feature and displaying your heart rate
  • Watch face and bands available in 2 different sizes
  • Customizable watch faces
  • Tracks your fitness via the Activity app and includes an accelerometer and heart rate sensor
  • Apple Pay
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters, so you can swim with it
  • Built in GPS
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Emergency call feature allows you to hold a button and contact 911 as well as your emergency contacts
  • Can play Pokemon Go on Apple Watch
  • Viewranger hiking app
  • Watch automatically adjusts when daylight savings occurs and when you move from one time zone to the next

Tech Specs

  • Use the watch as a remote for your iPhone camera
  • 1 year warranty
  • iOS

Pricing

Price is determined by the watch face size and the style of band and watch.

  • MSRP $269-$1,049

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of what you can do with the Apple Watch Series 2.

Click here to read our in-depth Apple Watch Review

Best for Android: Samsung Gear S2 Review

Samsung Gear S2 watch View on Amazon

We have chosen the Samsung Gear S2 as our pick for best Android smartwatch. Samsung Gear S2 allows you to make and answer calls, as well as check your texts, emails and updates. A heart rate monitor is included to help track your activity. The Find My Phone feature can be handy if you’re one to misplace items. You can also stream and listen to music from your smartwatch. It has a great battery life, Samsung claims you can get up to three days, which is one of the best we’ve seen in regards to smartwatches. Customers also like that it looks like a normal watch, it’s not too flashy and it doesn’t stick out.

Pros

Cons

  • Can play music without phone
  • Capability to act as TV remote
  • Fitness tracker
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Find My Phone feature
  • Draw emojis
  • Can wear in the shower
  • Looks like a regular watch
  • Wireless charge
  • Up to 3 days battery life
  • Compatible with most Android devices but not iOS
  • Only water resistant, cannot wear swimming
  • No built in GPS
  • Few apps

Tech Specs

  • Use the watch as a remote for your Android phone
  • 1 year warranty
  • Android only

Pricing

  • MSRP $249.99-$349.99

Best Smartwatch Comparison Table

 Best for iOS: Apple Watch Series 2Best for Android: Samsung Gear S2CogitoCookooLG Watch Urbane LTEMartian ActiveMotorola Moto 360Pebble 2+Razer NabuSony SmartWatch 3
Best for iOS: Apple Watch Series 2Best for Android: Samsung GearCogitoCookooLG Watch Urbane LTEMartian ActiveMotorola Moto 360Pebble TimeRazer NabuSony SmartWatch 3
Buy NowView at Best BuyView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Starting Cost$269.00$249.99$89.99$129.00$199.99$129.00$349.99$129.99$99.99$129.99
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 YearUnknown1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year
Battery Life18 HoursUp to 3 DaysA Couple MonthsUp to 1 Year1 Day5 Days2 Days7 DaysUp to 6 Days2 Days
Charge TimeOvernight2 HoursNo RechargeNo RechargeUnknown2 Hours2 Hours15 Minutes30 Minutes1 Hour
AndroidCheckmarkSamsung Galaxy OnlyCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
iOSCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
BluetoothCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Water ResistantCheckmarkIP 6810 ATM10 ATMIP 67Splash ResistantIP 67Up to 30 MetersIP 68
Send Emails/TextsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Read Emails/TextsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkOnly NotificationsCheckmarkCheckmark
CameraRemote ControlRemote ControlRemote ControlRemote ControlUnknownRemote ControlRemote ControlRemote Control (must purchase $2.99 app)
Tracks ActivityCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
SwimproofCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Buy NowView at Best BuyView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Terminologies

  • ATM (Atmospheres) – the amount of water pressure a watch can withstand before it is harmed. For example, a 10ATM watch can withstand about 100 meters of water depth.
  • IP (Ingress Protection) – when followed by the numbers after, it stands for its protection against dust and water. Dust-resistance levels go from 0 to 6 and water-resistance goes from 0 to 9. For example, IP 68 = 6 protects against dust, 8 protects against water (down to 2 meters).

Other Smart Watches Reviewed

Below is a list of other smartwatches we reviewed for this article. Click on the name below to learn more about one specifically, or scroll down and learn about each product individually.

Cogito | Cookoo | LG Urbane | Martian Active | Meta | Motorola Moto 360 | Pebble | Razer Nabu | Sony Smartwatch 3

Cogito Review

Cogito WatchView on Amazon

Cogito offers three different watches: Cogito Classic, Cogito Pop and Cogito Fit. All versions appear to have a more athletic look as opposed to a professional look. These watches may be difficult to dress up for a formal event or for work. Cogito does the basics: caller ID, email, text and social media notifications, etc. One cool feature is the Find Phone/Watch function. This function allows your watch to find your phone and vice versa. The Cogito watches are similar to regular watches when it comes to the battery style. You don’t charge these watches at all. Instead, the batteries last a few months and you replace when needed. The watch alerts you when the battery needs replacing.

Pros

Cons

  • Long battery life with guaranteed power for a few months without a charge
  • Find watch/phone feature
  • Water resistant
  • Activity tracking
  • Limited features
  • Complaints of poor Bluetooth connections
  • Not very durable, many complaints of breaking with regular use
  • Cannot send email/texts
  • Must purchase new battery like a regular watch so it could get expensive
  • Cogito Fit is in the pre-order stage

Tech Specs

  • Use the watch as a remote control for your phone to take pictures
  • 1 year warranty
  • iOS and Android

Pricing

  • Cogito Pop – MSRP $89.99
  • Cogito Fit – MSRP $99.99
  • Cogito Classic – MSRP $179.99 – $299.99

Cookoo Review

Cookoo WatchView on Amazon

Cookoo displays tons of notifications including: calls, social media, calendar reminders, text and emails. The watch alerts you when you are too far out of range for your watch and phone to sync up. Cookoo has music control capabilities and a Find Phone/Watch feature. One unique feature is that it alerts you when your phone has a low battery.

Pros

Cons

  • Battery lasts up to 1 year
  • Water resistant
  • Music control
  • Find phone/watch feature
  • Tracks activity
  • Can swim with it
  • Connection problems
  • Can’t read or send texts/emails

Tech Specs

  • Take pictures with your phone using your smartwatch as a remote
  • 1 year warranty
  • iOS and Android

Pricing

  • MSRP $149.99

LG Watch Urbane Review

LG Watch UrbaneView on Amazon

The LG Watch Urbane is fully customizable and includes many fitness tracking features. It can make calls, read texts, send messages…basically do everything your smartphone can do. The battery life isn’t the best (you must charge it daily) and it has limited iOS features. So if you’re an iPhone user this may not be the best option for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Customizable
  • Accelerometer
  • Compass
  • Barometer
  • Heart rate monitor
  • GPS
  • Draw emojis
  • WiFi
  • Limited iOS features
  • Must be charged every day

Tech Specs

  • Android and iOS

Pricing

  • Price at time of writing: $199.99

Martian Active Review

Martian ActiveView on Amazon

Martian watches have a large number of features. They offer different style watches in various colors, but more specifically, we’re going to talk about Martian Active. The watches send alerts regarding call, text, social media, weather, email, calendar, games, bank account, fitness and more. You can tap the watch glass to dismiss notifications or recall them. In addition, you have the ability to customize vibration patterns to distinguish between the different notifications that you are receiving. A silent alarm can be used so you don’t wake up others with the typical loud alarm. Martian smartwatches have a Find Phone feature that will activate a tone on your phone to help you locate it. These watches can also be used as a camera shutter control for smartphones. The top-tier smartwatch offered by Martian is the Active collection which offers five different face and band options ranging from casual to dressy.

Pros

Cons

  • Styles that can blend in with casual or dressy outfits
  • Subtle text box to display alerts
  • Silent alarm
  • Find your phone feature
  • Customizable vibration patterns
  • Speaker and microphone
  • Charge for 2 hours and have 5 day battery life
  • Only splash resistant (if any water gets on the watch you need to wipe it off immediately)
  • Difficult to sync up and stay connected to phone sometimes

Tech Specs

  • 1 year warranty
  • Call, text, social media, weather, email, calendar, game, bank account and fitness alerts
  • Camera shutter control
  • Works with iOS and Android devices

Pricing

  • MSRP $249-$299

Meta Review

Meta Watch is no longer in our review because they no longer offer smartwatches for sale.

Motorola Moto 360 2nd Generation Review

Motorola Moto 360 2nd GenerationView on Amazon

Motorola Moto 360 2nd Generation has high quality performance. Although this smartwatch is Android only, it has one of the largest number of features of any smartwatch. You can set reminders, get directions, track your fitness and more with this watch. It has a flat watch face for a more modern look. You can use Google Voice to send texts or read texts when you’re on the go.

Pros

Cons

  • Microphone equipped for voice commands
  • Charger doubles as a clock for nightstand
  • Activity tracker capabilities to track your heart rate, steps, distance and calories burned
  • Get directions to a location
  • Weather, flight and traffic notifications
  • Moto Maker lets you customize your watch
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Android only
  • Battery lasts up to 2 days

Tech Specs

  • 1 year warranty
  • Android only

Pricing

  • MSRP starts at $349.99

Pebble 2+ Review

Pebble 2+View on Amazon

Pebble started our as our #1 pick, dropped to the #3 pick and is now not among the top contenders for us. We still think Pebble is a great smartwatch, but other companies are coming out with better versions quicker than Pebble can keep up. Their most recent watch, the Pebble 2+ heart rate, is a fitness tracker and a smartwatch in one. And while we respect that Pebble is not conforming to the sleek, modern designs of other smartwatch competitors, we can’t help but think this watch looks like something you’d get out of a 1990s vending machine. The graphics look outdated, giving this watch an unfashionable feel to it. Design aside, Pebble watches perform great. Pebble integrates with Jawbone UP to give it fitness tracker capabilities. You can track your sleep, swim, bike, walk and run activities with Pebble. This device also has smart alerts for calls, texts and emails and you can control your music from your wrist, change your watchface to your preference, change the band and more.

Pros

Cons

  • Inexpensive compared to others on the market
  • Pebble app store allows a customizable watch face
  • Dim e-paper display always on
  • 7 days of battery use
  • Fitness tracker capabilities
  • Quick change bands
  • 14mm or 20mm band
  • Built-in microphone
  • Voice reply
  • Can’t send email/texts from watch (unless you use voice)
  • Watches are regularly out of stock or take longer to ship

Tech Specs

Pricing

  • MSRP $129.99

Razer Nabu Review

Razer NabuView on Amazon

This smartwatch offers basic features like call and text notifications. One cool feature is Nabu Pulse. This feature allows you and other Nabu users to exchange contact info by a handshake or high-five. The downside is they only offer basic smartwatch features. So, if you’re looking for something more tech-savvy you may want to look elsewhere.

Pros

Cons

  • Up to 6 days battery life
  • Cool social functions, like High 5
  • 30 minute charge time
  • Sleep alarm and tracks sleep
  • Activity tracking
  • Only offers basic smartwatch features

Tech Specs

  • 1 year warranty
  • Android and iOS

Pricing

  • $99.99

Sony SmartWatch 3 Review

Sony SW3View on Amazon

The Sony Smartwatch 3 allows you to view incoming messages and calls, set an alarm, change music and use your GPS without having to touch your phone. You can also view your calendar and check your social media platforms for updates.

Pros

Cons

  • GPS
  • Music capabilities
  • Google Voice
  • Android only
  • Only 2 day battery life
  • Screen gets scratched easily
  • Black band gathers lint

Tech Specs

  • 1 year warranty
  • Android

Pricing

  • $129.99

Purchase the Right Gadget

As you can see, smartwatches aren’t a cheap accessory. So, you don’t want to spend money on something that isn’t compatible with your smartphone or hasn’t had the quirks worked out yet. Be patient and do the research to make sure you’re making the right purchase. This is a fairly young market, so there is still great potential for even more advanced smart watches.

Are you considering getting a smartwatch? Which brand most appeals to you?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.
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10 Comments on "Best Smartwatch Reviews: Samsung Gear S2 vs Apple Watch vs Pebble vs Moto 360 vs LG Urbane & More!"

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Jeff C
Jeff C
Haha. The typical Apple bias. Is this written for iOS users or all users? If it’s written for all users, then how could you pick a watch as being the best that is only compatible with one phone O/S? Bet let’s for argument sake throw O/S compatibility out the window. What do you think would probably be a criteria of most importance to most users, maybe, umm, battery life? With phone we are used to recharging them, not with watches. Any non-biased critical review of all aspects of the watch with importance places on the most significant criteria is going… Read more »
Jeff C
Jeff C
Excellent points. But I disagree with the relative importance you are placing on the various criteria. (And it’s okay to agree to disagree. 🙂 We all have our own personal biases based on our own personal style of usage. The reason I place most importance on price and battery life is because (a) to utilize all the functions of these watches (except to tell time) you need your phone on you anyway, and (b) I like good value. I would argue, your phone has a better interface to perform almost all functions you want to perform. If the premise of… Read more »
David Farris
David Farris

You lost credibility when you include the iWatch which is not released, priced, reviewed or in production. In other words you’re not a believable source.

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