Frankly, instead of asking yourself which options are the best smartwatches for iPhone, you should ask yourself which Apple Watch to get. While you’ll find some good smartwatches that are compatible with iPhones and that don’t run on iOS, the best compatibility you get will be from an Apple Watch whether you’re using an iPhone 11, iPhone X, iPhone 7, or our old favorite iPhone 6.
Our Top Picks:
|Smartwatch||Heart Rate Monitor||GPS|
|Apple Watch Series 5||Available||Available|
|Apple Watch Series 4||Available||Available|
|Apple Watch Series 3||Available||Available|
|Michael Kors Access Sofie||Available||Available|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3||Available||Available|
|Mobvoi Ticwatch E2||Available||Available|
|Fossil Gen 5||Available||Available|
The 7 Best Smartwatches for iPhone in 2020
1. Apple Watch Series 5 – Best for Technology
What makes the Series 5 special? Its always-on display, which isn’t available on any other Apple watch. But the always-on feature on the Series 5 isn’t as bland as other watches, showing only time. When your watch is inactive, it shows you a slightly dimmer version of all the info on your watch face.
In addition to the amazing features and technology found on the Series 4, this watch comes with a built-in compass and the watchOS 6 feature that enhance the experience in every way possible.
I loved the new features that include a cycle tracking app to log period flow and symptoms, a calculator app that includes a built-in tip calculator, the noise app that displays decibel levels, and the new independent Watch App store.
If you want to save battery, you can turn off the always-on display through the Settings app and enjoy a couple of extra hours of functionality.
You shouldn’t buy the Series 5 expecting any changes in the design from the Series 4, because, well, there aren’t any.
Its price, however, is admittedly a bit hefty –especially if you get the cellular-enabled model, which is about a hundred bucks more expensive.
There are also a stainless steel model, a titanium model, and a white ceramic special edition model. Of course, all coming at increasingly higher prices.
Having to set up the watch with an iPhone is the only thing standing between the Series 5 and being a completely independent device.
- Always-on screen
- Superb display
- A wider variety of available apps
- Battery life still only lasts 18 hours
- No third-party watch faces
- Pretty pricey
The Apple Watch Series 5 is an incremental upgrade from the previous Apple watches, just adding a cherry on top. Although many other watches have had always-on displays first, they don’t perform as smoothly as the Series 5 does. It’s a good choice for someone who’s shopping for their first watch or for an upgrade from the Series 3 or older.
2. Apple Watch Series 4 – Best Overall
Although the Series 4 isn’t available through Apple anymore, you can still grab it from a third-party app.
The Series 4 was successfully able to increase the size of the display without using a larger case or reducing battery life. It utilizes a power-efficient LTPO display technology that enables it to provide you with various features and lasts 18 hours on a single charge.
It has a smooth design with curved corners and a responsive touchscreen. You can easily view your stats and info at a glance using its eight complications.
Moreover, the rotating Digital Crown and Haptic feedback that delivers a click-like feeling throughout scrolling make navigation through apps and menus all the more effortless.
The impressive System in Package (SiP) technology enables the Series 4 to pack so much technology into a compact space. It also delivers very smooth performance thanks to the S4 chip that makes twice as fast as rivals of the same class.
Not only that, but the Series 4 is equipped with numerous sensors that are able to detect various workouts, track progress, and display your metrics.
As for the smart features, you’ll definitely love the different infographic watch faces the watch has to offer, including heart rate, activity, and more. Female health tracking is also available through Apple’s health app.
Finally, to deliver the clearest calls, the Series 4 combines built-in speakers that are 50% louder and larger than before with its echo-reducing mic.
- Reliable S4 processing chip for fast performance
- Advanced SiP (System in Package) technology
- Amazing display
- Great health features
- A little pricey
- Battery life could be improved
The Series 4 is a middle ground between the technology for the Series 5 and the affordability of the Series 3. It has both beauty and brains, and you can tell just by looking at it (and its price tag).
3. Apple Watch Series 3 – Best Waterproof Smartwatch for iPhones
Down the Apple Watch line, the Series 3 is when everything began getting more technological and advanced with the introduction of LTE connectivity.
The watch has an excellent design with options for both the watch and the strap, including a sports one that dries faster and feels more comfortable.
Moreover, it’s not only excellent in terms of design but also performance as the activity monitoring is top-notch. The famous three-ring system keeps you motivated to stay on track and achieve your daily activity goals.
As for the heart rate monitor, it’s quite accurate and detailed as it displays your resting heart rate and average heart rate during walking. It also sends you a notification if your heart rate reaches an unexpectedly high level during workouts.
Its apps are pretty great, but admittedly, they don’t even come close to what the Series 5 has to offer.
Setting the length of the pool at the beginning of your swimming session and pressing “Go” activates the waterproof mode. When you’re done and want to do something else on the watch, you have to deactivate waterproof mode by rotating the Digital Crown.
- Ideal combination of technology and affordability
- Fast and reliable performance
- Not meant for swimming
- Doesn’t suit runners
- Lacks advanced features found on the Series 4 and 5
If you don’t want the bells and whistles found on the more advanced models in exchange for a more affordable option, I’d totally recommend the Series 3.
4. Michael Kors Access Sofie –Best Women’s Smartwatch for iPhone
Looking for a smartwatch that speaks of your sophisticated taste? None would say that better than the Michael Kors Access Sofie.
It comes with an extra buckle to enable you to use interchangeable straps –all of which are absolutely mesmerizing.
The Access Sofie delivers all smartphones notifications to its high-resolution 1.2-inch display.
Frankly, in terms of fitness tracking –it’s not the most effective. While it does have various activity and custom goal tracking, it’s not by any means extensive.
This watch is one of those models that you’ll have to take off during showers or swims as its water-resistance capability is only 1 ATM, which is around 33 feet.
The music control capability is a nice addition, admittedly. However, the 24-hour battery life isn’t half as impressive when you consider how few the features it has to offer are.
- Fashionable look
- Customizable watch faces
- Easily interchangeable straps
- Elegant design
- A little pricey
- Short battery life
- Limited fitness features
If you’re looking for a feminine smartwatch with stellar looks and adequate performance, Michael Kors Access Sofie is a great choice. However, its beauty is a little skin-deep as it doesn’t have many features to offer.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 3 – Best Fitness Smartwatch for iPhones
Coming with a lightweight package, the Vivoactive 3 packs a surprising number of fitness-tracking capabilities.
It has a conventional round face design that displays the time in a traditional analog design on a 1.3-inch display that’s easy to read even in direct sunlight. However, the resolution doesn’t seem to fit the size of the watch.
To access the menus and navigate through apps, you can use the touchscreen as well as the one side button. You can also set alarms, change watch settings, view your stats or recent notifications, and check the weather.
The four-pin charging port on the back doesn’t feel bothersome when you wear it on your skin and provides the watch with quick and seamless charging.
Generally, its performance is pretty great save for the occasional lag in the interface. To get the best out of your Garmin Vivoactive 3, you should pair it with the companion Garmin Connect app that is available for iOS. From there, you can install new watch faces and sync all your workout data.
The best thing about this watch is its extremely long battery life that can last up to seven days on a single charge –heaven compared to the 18-hour battery life of Apple watches.
- Long battery life
- Accurate distance tracking
- Good GPS and heart rate monitor
- Easy to read display
- Inaccurate sleep tracking
- No music storage on-board
- Garmin Pay isn’t commonly available
The best fitness-focused smartwatch you can get is definitely the Vivoactive 3. And it still has plenty of features like smart notifications, all-day heart rate tracking, and GPS all fit into a lightweight package that doesn’t hinder your movement.
6. Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 – Best Budget Smartwatch for iPhones
A decent and budget-friendly non-iOS smartwatch is what you get when you buy the Ticwatch E2. Nothing too impressive or innovative, however.
It features a 400 x 400-pixel, 1.4″ OLED display, which is an amazing combination for a watch at its price. It does have a bulky 13mm case, though. Its 165-feet water-resistance makes up for the bulkiness as you can easily take it swimming.
This snapdragon wear features the 2100 version and a reliable battery that lasts a whole day and gives you 30% superior battery performance to the Ticwatch E.
In the duration of a day, you’ll be getting constant updates about the steps you’ve taken, exercise, calories burned, and your heart-rate. However, its sensors aren’t as accurate as the Apple Watches’, so I wouldn’t completely rely on them.
Using Google Pay, you can pay online thanks to the presence of an NFC chip, and the built-in GPS enables you to track your location at all times as well as discover new places.
To navigate the menus, you should press the buttons. However, it would have been smoother if it had a rotating bezel through which you could hop between menus and apps.
- Great value
- Nice display
- Superb fitness-tracking features
- Smart functions are limited
- Battery life isn’t the best
Looking for a decent, all-around smartwatch that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? The Ticwatch E2 is your best bet. Yes, its features aren’t the most comprehensive, but it’s still quite convenient.
7. Fossil Gen 5 – Best Wear OS Smartwatch for iPhones
You can’t not love the unique and stylish round design that the Fossil Gen 5 has. Compared to other available options, this watch has one of the biggest RAMs and built-in storage you can find, which is a real performance booster.
Which is natural when you consider that it utilizes a 1 GB RAM and 8 GB built-in memory.
It features a 1.28″ AMOLED display screen with interchangeable bands of sizes 28mm or 22mm as well as a 44mm case size. You can change the straps with any other Fossil watch.
The Fossil Gen 5 runs on Wear OS, which makes it compatible with iOS 9.3+. You can download a wide variety of third-party apps on the watch and make use of various available ones.
Moreover, it charges pretty fast as it can reach up to 80% of its battery capacity in only an hour. Not only that, but its battery is long-lasting and can power the watch for days without needing to recharge it between.
In addition, the Gen 5 is water-resistant to about 100 feet in water, has heart rate tracking and GPS capabilities. The latter allows you to track your running distance so you can get full feedback on your walks or runs.
Finally, it’s equipped with built-in speakers that deliver audible alerts in addition to the built-in microphone that enables you to make calls as well as send out texts using voice dictation.
- Stylish design
- Lots of great watch faces preinstalled
- Excellent performance due to extra RAM
- Built-in speaker
- GPS and NFS
- Wear OS inconsistency
- Display brightness is too dim
- Inconsistent battery
The Fossil Gen 5 really puts its huge RAM and built-in memory with all the third-party apps available to use through it. All without compromising the smoothness of performance and reliability of built-in features.
How to Pick a Smartwatch for iPhone
Your top priority when you’re looking for a smartwatch for your iPhone should be compatibility. Not only that but the degree of it as well. While some smartwatches will pair with your iPhone easily, they might not offer their full potential except with Android systems. So you should get that off your checklist first.
After that, there are a couple of things you should consider, and these are as follows:
The majority of smartwatches available on the market use AMOLED or LCD screens to display your content and stats in vibrant colors and bright tones that are easy to read.
Something you should keep in mind, though, is that your battery life gets shorter, the better the quality of your display is.
2. Design and Style
Naturally, you’d want a smartwatch that has interchangeable straps so you can customize it according to your own preference and style.
Apart from looks, you should also consider how easy it is to fasten and unfasten the strap of your watch –especially if you’d have to take it off often for showers-, how slim the design is, and how comfortable the material of the strap feels on your wrist.
3. Smart Features
Since you’re in the market for a smartwatch, features like delivering notifications, calls, emails, and text messages should be the bare minimum it has to offer.
Some watches offer built-in LTE, which enables you to leave your phone behind as you’d be able to make and receive calls right from your watch.
And if you want to leave your wallet behind as well, go for a watch with built-in NFC to allow you to make online payments.
If you get a watch with built-in LTE, you can leave your phone behind and conduct full calls right from your wrist.
4. Fitness and Health Features
Just because you’re getting a smartwatch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for fitness-tracking features as well. Almost all options come with step-counting and calorie-tracking. Some are also equipped with GPS capabilities and a heart-rate monitor to keep you informed on how well you’re doing health-wise. Apple Watches are generally praised for the accuracy of their heart rate monitors.
When it comes to activity-tracking, though, hardly anything can beat the Garmin Vivoactive 3.
5. Battery Life and Charging
You shouldn’t expect a modern smartwatch to last more than a day on a single charge. Although some options can last a couple, with GPS and constant heart-rate monitoring, you shouldn’t get your hopes up.
Moreover, the smarter features your smartwatch packs, the less battery life it will have. This is one of the main reasons Apple Watches have such poor battery lives.
If you go for a smartwatch that you have to recharge often, go with one that has inductive wireless charging to make the process easier and more seamless.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Smartwatches Work with iPhone?
Most smartwatches that connect via Bluetooth will be compatible with your iPhone. However, to get full compatibility and features, I recommend using a watch that runs on iOS. In essence, an Apple Series Watch –be it the Series 5, 4, 3, or 2.
Are Samsung Watches Compatible with iPhones?
While connection might be a bit questionable, if you do establish a successful pairing, most functions will be missing. So while you can connect the two devices, it’s not going to be worth the effort or the money you invest in the smartwatch.
Are Wear OS Watches Compatible with iPhones?
You can pair a Wear OS smartwatch with an iPhone, that’s for sure. However, you’ll face many limitations in terms of features available and compatibility in general. If you want full functionality, you should opt for an iOS smartwatch.
While all the options I’ve listed can easily be considered the best smartwatches for iPhone on the market, the Apple Watches are definitely the more recommended options.
The Series 5 takes the cake for full functionality and most advanced technology, but if you can do without the extras and want to save some money, you should opt for the Series 3.
If you’re looking for more fitness-tracking capabilities, however, I’d recommend the Garmin Vivoactive 3.