It’s been a long while since we talked about “the best Android Wear smartwatches.” Actually, we haven’t published one of these features since September of 2014. That’s a long time ago, so it’s way out of date, especially in the tech world.
Naturally, we decided to put together a more updated list of the best Android Wear smartwatches. Considering the market is wholly different now, we thought it was time to take a look at wearables like the Moto 360 2nd Gen, Fossil Q Founder, Asus ZenWatch 2, and many more.
Pretty soon, we’ll be gearing up to talk about the 2nd Generation Apple Watch, which is a huge deal. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the original Apple Watch was launched.
Nevertheless, if you’ve been trying to find the best Android Wear smartwatches or wearables, then you’ve come to the right place!
Android Wear Notable Features for 2016
Before we dive in and take a look at the best Android Wear smartwatches of 2016, it makes sense to briefly explore some of the notable features that were added to the platform through software updates.
For example, many of the newer watches – such as the Moto 360 2nd Gen or the Sony SmartWatch 3 – now support syncing with iOS (iPhone) smartphones. When the platform first launched, there’s no way we would have predicted that move.
Google made a smart decision and added support for iOS, tempting iPhone owners to pick up the cheaper, and decidedly different watches in terms of design. The Apple Watch, for instance, is rectangular in shape, while many Android Wear watches borrow from the round style of traditional wrist watches.
You are a little more limited in terms of what you can do with an Android Wear watch when pairing it to an iPhone, but honestly, you’ll still be pleasantly surprised at what you can do.
In one of the newer updates, Google also introduced gesture controls for some of the best Android Wear smartwatches. You can carry out actions with simple gestures like swipes, taps, and more. This makes navigating your smartwatch so much easier, especially considering the displays are only about 2″ in size.
One of the most exciting updates to the Android Wear line, however, was detailed in Google’s latest announcement. Although, you can swap out the wristband on a majority of Android Wear watches, it’s not exactly what you would call easy. Thanks to a partnership with b&nd by Hadley Roma, Android Wear owners will be able to purchase unique MODE snap-and-swap bands. They include a simple “slide button” and locking mechanism to attach and detach bands quickly from your watch. With these unique bands you’ll be able to seamlessly change band styles, just as often as you can change out the digital watchface.
Of course, there’s no way we could detail every feature and function of the best Android Wear smartwatches here – it would take up way too much space.
The Best Android Wear Smartwatches: 2016 Edition
Now that we’re properly acquainted, let’s take a look at the best Android Wear smartwatches that you can get right now.
Please keep in mind, the older Android Wear watches – like the original Moto 360 or Asus ZenWear – are still great. The hardware inside isn’t outdated, like you see happening with phones. We’re just not going to include them in the list because, well, they’ve already been covered extensively.
Fossil Q Founder
The Fossil Q Founder is one of the newest watches on our list of the best Android Wear smartwatches, and it’s Fossil’s first take on a “smart” watch. Because of that, it looks much more like a traditional wristwatch than anything else we’ve seen.
It has a pretty chunky, stainless steel makeup and includes a round display, like the Moto 360. Also like the original Moto 360, it includes a “flat tire” or bottom portion of the screen that is unusable – which is a shame.
You won’t find much in the way of special features for this one, as there’s no heart-rate monitor or advanced fitness tracking options. Otherwise, it can do pretty much everything that any other Android Wear smartwatch can, including showing off remote notifications, placing and taking calls, and much more.
It does come in multiple styles like rose gold, two-tone stainless, and brushed steel. Prices start at $295 and range up to $315 depending on the model you want.
Moto 360 Sport
The Moto 360 Sport is, well, a sporty edition of Motorola’s 2nd Generation smartwatch.
What makes it so sporty, is the fact that it comes bundled with a silicon strap, and boasts a solid, sleek design. It also comes with a screen and ambient light sensor that will automatically adjust brightness levels to make up for the surrounding brightness, including direct sunlight.
Sadly, one of the limitations of Android Wear as a platform is that there aren’t as many options when it comes to fitness and sport-tracking apps. Therefore, you’d be better suited picking up a fitness tracker if that’s what you want a wearable for specifically.
Still, this thing looks pretty good, and it feels good on the wrist.
Plus, it’s powered by Android Wear so it can do anything that any other AW watch can.
The Moto 360 Sport comes in three colors: black, white, and flame orange. All models start at $299.99, but this watch seems to go on sale regularly.
Casio Smart Outdoor Watch (WSD-F10)
The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch looks exactly like a traditional wristwatch you’d find in Casio’s lineup. After all, the company has been in the timepiece business for years.
What makes this watch special is that it’s powered by Android Wear, and it’s rugged. The watch and urethane band are designed to take a little extra wear and tear. It’s so durable, it meets the military standard (MIL-STD-810G) compliance. For the layman, that means it’s water resistant up to 165 feet, and is safe for taking on a short swim or in the shower (but not diving or snorkeling).
It also sports a quad-sensor system to provide activity tracking, altimeter, barometer, and compass readings even without a synced phone.
The only downside is the price, because the Casio Smart Outdoor Watch is no joke at $500. It is available in several color styles luckily.
LG Watch Urbane
To round out our complete list of best android wear smartwatches – that happen to look more like a regular watch – we have the LG Watch Urbane. It borrows the same design elements as LG’s previous model, the G Watch R.
As you’d expect, it flaunts a round display, and round form factor. More importantly, the exterior polish gives it a classic, sleek look and feel.
The Watch Urbane is one of the most dated watches on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out.
You can pick up the LG Watch Urbane for $249.99, and it comes in either gold or silver.
Asus ZenWatch 2
The original Asus ZenWatch is still one of our all-time favorite Android Wear watches, so we were definitely excited when Asus decided to update the brand.
The ZenWatch 2 keeps the same design and specifications with a few notable upgrades. Worth import is the option to make and receive calls remotely – thanks to an integrated microphone.
It is one of the few Android Wear watches to include the rectangular design of the initial smartwatches.
The ZenWatch 2 also borrows a page from Apple offering two different sizes: 1.45″ and 1.63″. Both versions start at $169, and prices vary depending on the model and materials you choose.
Moto 360 2 (2nd Generation)
The 2nd Gen model does still have a “flat tire” on the bottom of the display, but it has one remarkably promising feature: you can build your own design in Moto Maker just like the Moto X smartphones. This means there are a wide variety of styling options, that allow you to really make the Moto 360 2 your own. There’s even a woman’s version that includes a more feminine design – and is tailored for smaller wrists.
The Moto 360 2 is $299.99.
It seemed like it took forever for the Huawei Watch to become available, with the company teasing us constantly at how gorgeous their watch is.
Then it launched and it surpassed pretty much all expectations we had for it. The round display is bright, vivid, and sharp. The straps – all styles – are solid and comfortable. And finally, there are a ton of colors to choose from, and they all look great; every single one.
The Huawei Watch also includes an integrated microphone, and recently received an update that allows users to make and take phone calls directly from their wrist.
Best Android Wear Smartwatches: Not on the List
Of course, there are a few other models that we didn’t include on our best android wear smartwatches list that are still worth mentioning!
- TAG Heuer Connected
- LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition
- Sony SmartWatch 3
- Samsung Gear S2 (powered by Tizen not Android Wear)
What smartwatch(es) are you most interested in? Do you own one of the watches mentioned in our list?