The best smartwatches of April 2020

Smartwatches have become an increasingly popular accessory amongst several people. They not only tell the time but also perform multiple other functions such as tracking physical activities, alerting you of notifications from your phone, tracking your sleep, measuring your heart rate and more.

If you are on the search for a smartwatch and have a hard time deciding which to buy, we have put together a list that should help you make a decision.

Huawei Watch GT 2 – For the sports enthusiast

The Huawei Watch GT 2 is Huawei’s latest smartwatch and a successor to the Watch GT released back in 2018. Available in two sizes – 42mm and 47mm – the selling point of this watch is its battery life which is up to 14 days on the larger model.

The watch can track up to 15 different activities including elliptical workout, rowing, and free training. It also has automatic workout detection for six activities and a professional sports trainer. There is support for GPS and GLONASS for accurate positional tracking.

Unlike a lot of other watches on this list, the Watch GT 2 can store up to 500 audio files, so you have something to listen to while working out (only supported on Huawei and Honor phones). It also supports voice calls over Bluetooth (46mm version only). Other features include stress-monitoring, sleep monitoring, oxygen saturation detection (SpO2), and menstrual cycle tracking.

Honorable Mention Watch GT 2e – this is a more sports-oriented version of the Watch GT 2. It boasts the same 2-week battery life and can also track several physical activities with the addition of personalized training modes for activities such as skateboarding, surfing, parkour, and rock climbing. The price is €199.

Amazfit GTR – Best Battery Life

When it comes to the smartwatches and fitness trackers, Amazfit has become a sort of household name. The manufacturer (Huami) is not only known for its Amazfit-branded products which also includes earbuds and running shoes but is also known as the contractor for Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness trackers.

The Amazfit GTR is the first of a new series of smartwatches from the manufacturer. It has a lot going for it from its Gorilla Glass protected AMOLED display to its aluminum/stainless steel/titanium bezel to its support for 12 different activities including elliptical, swimming, and free training. However, top of it all is its 24-day battery life (up to 74 days in basic watch mode) which puts that of the Huawei Watch GT 2 to shame.

The GTR is available in two sizes – 47mm and 42mm – and also comes in several color variants. It is also pretty affordable with a price tag that starts at ¥799 (~$113). However, it sells for a bit higher from third-party retailers.

Amazfit GTS – An Amazfit GTR in a different body

Don’t like round watches, the Amazfit GTS has got you covered with its Super-Retina-grade square AMOLED display. Even with its minimalist design, the GTS is a stylish watch and packs several of the same features as the GTR. It has GPS, NFC, up to 12 activity tracking, music playback control, a heart rate sensor, and is waterproof up to 50 meters. It also has an amazing battery life – up to 46 days in basic watch mode and 14 days of regular use (NFC, notifications, GPS on for 30 minutes each day, sleep monitoring, and heart rate monitoring on).

The Amazfit GTS launched with a more expensive price tag than the GTR and can be purchased for $160 on Giztop.

OPPO Watch – Premium but familiar design

OPPO joined the smartwatch-makers league this year with the OPPO Watch. The smartwatch’s design is greatly-inspired by Apple’s own watch which might make it unpopular among folks who do not want people calling their smartwatch a clone. Design aside, the OPPO Watch is actually a pretty capable smartwatch.

The 46mm version of the watch has a 1.91-inch flexible hyperboloid AMOLED display. Unlike several of the watches on this list, you can download apps onto the OPPO Watch, thanks to its Android-based ColorOS Watch system.

Alongside all the tracking and measuring you will expect of a smartwatch, the OPPO Watch can also make and receive calls even without being paired to a phone and that is because it has an eSIM and cellular connectivity. You can choose to have a different phone number for the watch or have it share one with your phone.

With respect to battery life, the OPPO Watch can last up to 21 days in power saver mode (or basic watch mode). Smart Mode which is when you use all the features including as a phone and connected to the internet, its battery life is 40 hours. Thankfully, the watch supports Watch VOOC fast charge, allowing you to charge it from empty to 50% in just 17 minutes.

The OPPO Watch starts at ¥1499 (~$212) for the 41mm aluminum version and goes up to ¥2499 (~$354) for the Stainless Steel 46mm version.

Mi Watch – A 4G Smartwatch with a familiar design

The Mi Watch launched before the OPPO Watch above and got its own fair share of “Apple Watch-clone” remarks. We will leave it for to you to decide which one is more of a clone. When you finally accept the design, you will realize it actually packs some really interesting features.

This watch has an eSIM, 4G, a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, and a custom-version of Wear OS called MIUI for Watch. There is support for app downloads, NFC payments, and a built-in smart assistant (XiaoAI). The Mi Watch also boasts a 2-day battery life.

The Mi Watch has a starting price of ¥1299 (~$185).


Xiaomi Watch Color Silver

Xiaomi Watch Color – A less-expensive Amazfit GTR (47mm) but without the battery life

The Xiaomi Watch Color can be termed as a less-expensive alternative to the Amazfit GTR. It has a similar design and even shares some of its specs but skips on some features such as battery life (2-weeks for normal use and 22 days in basic watch mode ) and the number of activities it can track (down to 10). However, you do get NFC, GPS+GLONASS, heart-rate monitoring, and sleep tracking. One feature it has that the Amazfit GTR doesn’t is a built-in smart assistant (XiaoAI) though one that users outside China will find useless.

The Xiaomi Watch Color has an MSRP of ¥799 (~$113) but sells up north of $130 from 3rd-party retailers.

Haylou Watch Solar – Budget with a big B

You are probably wondering why a watch that is yet to go on sale is on this list. Yes, that is because we have faith in the Haylou Watch Solar based on what its sibling, the Haylou LS01, offers.

The Halou Solar is the cheapest watch on this list with a price tag that is a third of the second-cheapest watch on the list. A low-price tag isn’t the only thing this watch has got to offer. The watch has a 1.28-inch display (TFT not AMOLED) that Haylou claims is bright even under direct sunlight. While they have skipped on the type of display, the rest of the features are great.

You get a metal frame (surprisingly not plastic) and 22mm silicone rubber straps (not sure about the quality of the straps, you can purchase replacement bands made from various other materials).

The Haylou Solar can track a total of 12 physical activities including gymnastics, basketball, soccer, yoga, and rowing. It also has 24-hour heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, music playback control, and support for notification alerts. Haylou tops it off with a 30-day battery life in basic watch mode (2 weeks with 24-hour heart rate tracking).

The Haylou Solar has an MSRP of ¥149 (~$21) but expect it to sell for between $30 – $35 when it goes on sale. Even at that, it sure is still one of the cheapest smartwatches you can buy.

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