Discover the wearables to choose for smart features, fitness tracking and perfect fit with our pick of the best smartwatches for women
Smartwatches are constantly evolving, and today’s app-enabled wearables can be used for a wealth of everyday tasks. Whether it’s receiving voicecalls and messages on your wrist or providing detailed sleep and fitness tracking, these tiny devices can help keep you fit and connected. Thankfully, most models are now available in various sizes suitable for smaller wrists, and this means that the best smartwatches for women drop the bulk without forgoing the key features.
Smartwatches are increasingly geared towards a wellness-conscious audience, and this means that fitness and sleep tracking are becoming standard features across most models. That said, if you’re solely interested in health and fitness tracking, for a fuller insight into GPS, distance, speed, calories and general health and wellbeing, a dedicated fitness tracker will deliver more data and offer dramatically better battery life.
Generally speaking, the best smartwatches for women overlap with the best overall smartwatches, not least because many models come in different sizes, but here we’ve taken into account specific nuances, such as wrist strap and casing sizes and specific health apps, that cater to women. If you’re unsure which smartwatch will work best for you, then our buying guide below will explain all the key features to look out for. Scroll further down the page and you’ll find our pick of the best smartwatch options out there for women right now.
Best smartwatches for women: At a glance
How to buy the best smartwatch for women
Is your smartphone compatible with your chosen smartwatch?
In order to ensure your smartphone and smartwatch can communicate, you will need to ensure their operating systems are compatible. Apple Watches require users to have an iPhone in order to set them up, for example, but most wearables from other brands, including Garmin, Fitbit and Samsung, are compatible with both Android and iOS. It’s always worth checking before splashing out.
What kinds of apps, features and sensors do you want on your wrist?
When it comes to smartwatches, apps are pretty key for maximising utility. While most smartwatches come equipped with a basic roster of apps for counting your steps or reading the weather, access to third-party apps is where it really gets interesting.
If you’re an app fiend and want to download a range of third-party apps, an Apple Watch or a device running Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) are your best bet. Garmin and Samsung smartwatches, meanwhile, lag slightly behind on this front.
Sensors – and what they can facilitate – are another important consideration. If you’re health-conscious, you’ll likely want a heart-rate sensor, while GPS is a must for run- or ride-tracking. Keen shoppers will benefit from NFC, which enables users to make contactless payments at the brush of a wrist.
What kind of style and size of watch suits you best?
If your wrist is on the smaller end of the spectrum, it’s worth considering the size of the band and the smartwatch face. You may not want anything too chunky or conspicuous, depending on your fashion style. Most smartwatch faces range from between 40mm to 47mm, so we recommend sticking to the bottom end of this range if you’re wary of the watch looking and feeling oversized.
In conjunction with size is style: smartwatches come in an enormous range of styles, from the pared-back TicWatch to the pearlescent Apple Watch SE and the industrial-looking Fenix 7S. If you’re investing in a smartwatch, you’ll quickly find it becomes integral to your daily routine, so it’s worth mulling over what kind of aesthetic suits you best.
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How we test smartwatches for women
To give you the most in-depth and useful buying advice possible, we go hands-on with every smartwatch we include on this roundup. For example, where possible, we test the fitness tracking features on these smartwatches by comparing their heart rate monitoring and GPS accuracy with the readings from an ECG chest strap and a Stryd Wind pod.
During testing, we also assess battery life, performance, ease of use and the look and feel of the watch, weighing these factors up against the device’s price to try and assess the relative value for money you’ll be getting. And of course, most importantly, we test and note the watches’ smart features, looking for things like effective mapping software, local music playback, voice assistant capabilities, third-party app support and more.
Simply, if a watch matches our criteria for value, performs well in our tests and feels good in use, it’ll make it onto our list – and if it doesn’t, it won’t.
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The best smartwatches for women in 2023
1. Apple Watch Series 7: The best overall smartwatch for women
Price when reviewed: £369 | Check price at John Lewis
If you’re an iPhone user, you can’t really go wrong with the Apple Watch Series 7. With the caveat that it’s not a budget option, the Series 7 is a top-of-its-game smartwatch: it boasts a screen that’s 20% bigger than its predecessor and significantly quicker charging (a reported 33% faster than before). It’s also now dust-resistant (IP6X) for bolstered durability.
If you’re someone who’s out and about frequently, it’s worth noting the lacklustre battery life: 18 hours with the always-on display activated. Nonetheless, the Apple Watch Series 7 is a sleek, vibrant, high-performance smartwatch that’s available in two sizes: 45mm and 41mm, for smaller sized wrists.
Key specs – Operating system: watchOS; Screen size and type: 1.9in 484 x 396 Retina LTPO OLED; Battery life: Up to 18 hours; Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes; Heart rate: Yes; NFC: Yes
2. TicWatch E2: The best budget smartwatch for women
Price when reviewed: £92 | Check price at Amazon
This streamlined, lightweight offering from Mobvoi represents excellent value for women on a budget. The Wear OS TicWatch E2 smartwatch has built-in GPS, an optical heart-rate sensor and a decent 4GB of storage. The E2 also offers built-in swim tracking and is waterproof to 50m; if you’re inclined towards your local beach or pool, this is a great wallet-friendly shout for you.
Design-wise, it boasts a pared-down black strap (rid of the plastic smell of its predecessor, the TicWatch E) with a striking 1.39in AMOLED display. Its only real drawbacks are the lack of NFC (used for cashless payments) and a built-in speaker. In our full-length TicWatch E2 review, we lauded it for offering “unbeatable value for money”.
Key specs – Operating system: Wear OS; Screen size and type: 1.39in 400 x 400 AMOLED; Battery life: Up to two days; Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes; Heart rate: Yes; NFC: No
3. Garmin Fenix 7S: The best multi-sports smartwatch for active women
Price when reviewed: £600 | Check price at Amazon
Whether it’s hiking, cycling or football you’re into, the Garmin Fenix 7S offers a full spectrum of sports tracking, along with tailor-made advice to help you improve your exercise routine. And if attention to detail is your thing, the accuracy achieved by this model is outstanding: we called it a “highly impressive performer” in the areas of heart-rate monitoring and GPS accuracy in our full-length Garmin Fenix 7 review here.
What makes this smartwatch stand out from the rest of the wearables on this list is battery life: in its standard mode, the Fenix 7S (the smallest of the Fenix 7 lineup) can last an impressive 11 days (up to 14 with the solar model). That makes the Apple Watch Series 7’s 18 hours look fairly paltry in comparison. The Garmin Fenix 7S isn’t cheap, but if you like to stay active, and value fitness tracking accuracy and long battery life, this investment piece is right for you.
Key specs – Operating system: Proprietary OS; Screen size and type: 1.3in 250 x 260 MIP touchscreen; Battery life: Up to 14 days (solar model); Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes; Heart rate: Yes
4. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: The best Samsung smartwatch for women
Price when reviewed: £274 | Check price at John Lewis
If you’re a Samsung user with a penchant for organisation, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4’s recently bolstered app offerings will set your world alight. Its overhauled operating system now comprises a version of Google’s Wear OS “powered by Samsung”, unlocking a wealth of Google and third-party apps.
Health-conscious women will be impressed by the Galaxy Watch 4’s “BioActive” sensor, which has the ability to measure your BMI, skeletal muscle mass and basal metabolic rate.
The device comes in four sizes: 40mm and 44mm for the digital bezel, and 42mm and 46mm for the physical rotating bezel. We’d recommend going for the first option if your wrist is on the smaller end of the spectrum.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review for more details
Key specs (46mm Watch 4 Classic) – Operating system: Wear OS; Screen size and type: 1.4in 450 x 450 AMOLED; Battery life: Approx 40 hours; Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes; Heart rate: Yes; NFC: Yes
5. Apple Watch SE: The best cheap Apple smartwatch for women
Price when reviewed: £240 | Check price at Amazon
Okay, calling the Apple Watch SE “cheap” may be a bit of a stretch, but for an Apple Watch with stellar functionality, it’s certainly on the budget-friendly end of the smartwatch spectrum. Sporting that timeless, glossy, rounded-bezel design that’s become synonymous with the Apple brand, the Apple Watch SE can do much of what the Apple Watch Series 6 can do, but at the relatively affordable price of £240.
The model comes in a range of sumptuous colours, including the ethereally named Starlight, Midnight and Abyss Blue.
There’s a heart-rate monitor, accurate GPS tracking, NFC and it’s water-resistant down to 50m, so you can wear it to the local pool. You’ll have to forgo ECG and blood oxygen readings, there’s no always-on display and the charging could be a tad quicker, but if you’re after Apple on a budget, the Apple Watch SE’s combination of style and performance is hard to beat for the money.
Read our full Apple Watch SE review for more details
Key specs – Operating system: watchOS; Screen size and type: 1.57in 394 x 324 Retina LTPO OLED; Battery life: Up to 18 hours; Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes; Heart rate: Yes; NFC: Yes