Best Wear OS watch 2019: our list of the top ex-Android Wear smartwatches

 techradar.com  08/21/2019 13:09:04  3  James Peckham

Google's Android Wear had a shaky start, but it's now an increasingly mature platform thanks to the Android Wear 2.0 update and the switchover to the Wear OS name in early 2018.

Android Wear may be over, but Wear OS is now better than the former ever was thanks to updates to improve navigation, battery life and more on the platform. This list has changed a lot since we first ranked the best Android Wear watches.

Originally known as Android Wear, Wear OS is Google's own operating system for smartwatches. Many manufacturers such as Fossil, LG, Huawei, Mobvoi and more use the OS for its smartwatches.

One of the main reasons Google renamed its operating system is to make the watches more palatable to those who own an iPhone. Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones, but it's worth checking compatibility before you buy as each watch will only work with certain devices.

Below we've put together the definitive list of the best Wear OS watches available right now. 

Each has been extensively tested throughout our review process and we've then ranked the watches according to some of the most important features including price, design, battery and features.

Image 1 of 4

Image 2 of 4

Image 3 of 4

Image 4 of 4

1. Fossil Sport

Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz | Band sizes: 22mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Two days | Charging method: Proprietary | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS

Lightweight design

Powerful watch

Lacks high-end features

GPS can be slow

Looking for the greatest Wear OS watch money can buy? We currently think that's the Fossil Sport. It's not the very best smartwatch overall, and it doesn't boast many unique features but it does offer a fantastic all round package.

The Fossil Sport is a great combination of value and features in a lightweight body that you're able to wear comfortably day-to-day or when you're working out. There's GPS, the battery life often lasts around two days and you have access to all of the latest Wear OS apps too.

Our favorite part is that this is one of the first smartwatches to sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset. That means this watch offers a smoother experience than a lot of the others in this list, and if you're often frustrated by smartwatch software you may find this to work much better.

Overall, if you're looking for a smoother experience or an easy to use smartwatch. you're almost certain to enjoy the Fossil Sport.

Read the full Fossil Sport review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

2. TicWatch E2

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 48h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Affordable price

Easily two day battery life

No NFC for payments

Bland design

We'll jump right to it - the reason the TicWatch E2 sits so highly in this list is largely down to its price. It's one of the best cheap smartwatches money can buy, and it sports the latest in Wear OS software.

Compared to the last-gen TicWatch E, you'll get 30% better battery life here with our reviewer saying it lasted for over two days with average usage. You'll get less if you're using lots of fitness features though.

It's waterproof so you can take this watch into the swimming pool, there's GPS to track your location and there are lots of other features here too. It lacks NFC, so you can't use this for Google Pay but considering the price you'll likely love what the TicWatch E2 can do.

Read the full TicWatch E2 review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

3. TicWatch Pro

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.4" 400 x 400 OLED paired with LCD screen | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h, 5 extra days in Essential mode | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Innovative screen tech

Premium design

No LTE

Limited app

This watch from Mobvoi is a powerhouse that comes with two displays. That doesn't mean there's one display on each side of the watch, but instead it has a transparent LCD display on top of a full color OLED. When it's conserving battery, the watch will switch to the LCD screen that shows you the time, your step count and more.

The normal OLED screen will work like your average smartwatch, but the other display means the watch has much better battery life than a lot of the other watches on this list.

The TicWatch Pro also has a premium design, a heart rate sensor, great GPS tracking, NFC for Google Pay and much more alongside the latest Wear OS software powering the whole watch.

Read the full TicWatch Pro review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

4. TicWatch S2

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 48h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Affordable

Waterproof design

Lacks NFC

No LTE variant

This watch is very similar to the TicWatch E2 on paper, and that's largely because it is. In fact, all of the spec is exactly the same here and the company has released two versions with different names because they have differing designs.

The TicWatch S2 stands for 'Sport' and that's because it has a more durable design than the E2 that is listed above.

It has military grade durability so it should be able to take a bit more of a beating than any other watch on this list making it suitable for adventurers as well as runners.

Other than that, you'll have two-day battery life, GPS, a waterproof design and all the other benefits of the latest Wear OS software. If you're trying to save money look at the TicWatch E2, but if you prefer this design the S2 isn't much more expensive.

Read the full TicWatch S2 review

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

5. Misfit Vapor 2

Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch display, 360 x 360 AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: 20mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: A day | Charging method: Proprietary | IP rating: N/A | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS

Affordable price

NFC for Google Pay

No LTE option

Kind of flimsy

Misfit's second attempt at a Wear OS watch is a positive step in the right direction with this new product solving a lot of the issues we found with the first generation. There's NFC here for Google Pay, GPS so you can track your runs and you can get it in two separate sizes.

The design of this watch is simple, and that may be something you're looking for from your smartwatch. There's either a 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch display in the center of the watch, which is more than enough room to navigate around Wear OS.

This is one of the best smartwatches for exercising, and the lower price point than some of the alternative smartwatches on the market makes the Misfit Vapor 2 an attractive option for a lot of people.

Read the full Misfit Vapor 2 review

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

6. TicWatch C2

Compatibility: Android, iOS | Display: 1.3-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED | Processor: Dual-core 1.0GHz | Band sizes: 20mm or 18mm straps | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: A day | Charging method: Proprietary | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS

Low price

Google Pay and GPS

Limited straps

Outdated internals

This isn't our favorite device in the TicWatch range - which takes up a lot of places near the top of this list - and that's because it isn't as innovative as the TicWatch Pro. That said, it's still a good option if you're looking for an affordable smartwatch.

In fact, this is one of the most affordable smartwatches if you want GPS and Google Pay support in the same package. 

This isn't as built for fitness fans as a lot of other options on this list, but it does feature some elements for you to use to workout. With some impressive tech built-in considering the price, you should take a look at the TicWatch C2 before buying any other watch on this list.

Read the full TicWatch C2 review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

7. Huawei Watch 2

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2" 390 x 390 | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Charging method: Conductive USB-C charger | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G + 4G LTE

Built-in GPS and NFC

Optional 4G model

Screen too small

Performance can be sluggish

The Huawei Watch 2 is an attempt by the Chinese company to widen the use of Wear OS watches. Huawei has tried to include a variety of new features in its latest smartwatch and it's not entirely clear if it succeeded with the Watch 2.

We like the built-in GPS and NFC on the watch as well as the option to have a 4G model, but the Huawei Watch 2 can be sluggish and the screen is a little small for some. 

This may suit you though with an attractive design and a plethora of features, but the price is much higher than the original Huawei Watch.

Read the full Huawei Watch 2 review

Image 1 of 5

Image 2 of 5

Image 3 of 5

Image 4 of 5

Image 5 of 5

8. LG Watch Style

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2" 360 x 360 P-OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB charger | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Devilishly good-looking

Reasonably priced

Disappointing battery life

Lacks NFC and broader connectivity

The LG Watch Style is every bit as stylish as its name suggests, with a sand-blasted stainless steel chassis and a circular display. It's also one of the thinnest Wear OS watches around at just 10.8mm. 

That means that while it will look great on anyone's wrist it's especially at home on smaller wrists, which is worth noting, since a lot of smartwatches are chunky things that could dwarf a small wrist.

The LG Watch Style also benefits from a rotatable crown, which helps you navigate the interface without prodding its tiny screen. It's a good screen though, being a 1.2-inch P-OLED one and fully circular - there's no flat tire here.

The core specs are fairly standard but up there with pricier watches, because despite the Watch Style's great looks it's actually quite affordable. Some sacrifices have been made though to keep the cost down and the watch slim, as there's no GPS or heart rate monitor here.

Read the LG Watch Style review

Photo illustration: TechRadar; Mobvoi; Huawei; Misfit

« Go back