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How to Choose the Right High-End Smartwatch in 2023: 5+1 Critical Factors to Consider

Smartwatches are now widely accessible, compared to their past status as luxury items reserved for the wealthy. This is mainly due to their increased adoption and the availability of feature-packed smartwatches from popular brands like Apple and Samsung, available at different price points.

Although budget smartwatches can now be purchased for as low as USD 15, our focus is on premium smartwatches that offer precise tracking, support for third-party apps, and a long-lasting battery. If you are interested in buying your first premium smartwatch, here are some essential factors to consider.

OS compatibility

When purchasing a premium smartwatch, one of the most important considerations is the compatibility of the operating system. While budget smartwatches can be used with both Android and iOS devices, high-end smartwatches from manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung are only compatible with their respective devices. Therefore, if you have an iPhone, it is recommended to opt for an Apple Watch. Alternatively, if you use an Android device, you can choose a smartwatch with WearOS, which is compatible with most modern Android devices.

The Galaxy Watch 4, powered by WearOS, is one of the top and most reasonably priced smartwatches to consider in 2023, with a price tag of just USD 175. Similarly, the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE, priced at USD 399 on Amazon, is a well-balanced entry-level Apple Watch to consider this year.

Application support

When selecting a smartwatch, app support should be a key consideration. Currently, smartwatches with watchOS and WearOS have the most extensive third-party app support. As a result, we recommend opting for an Apple or WearOS-powered smartwatch for those seeking broader third-party app compatibility.

In addition to the aforementioned models, you could also consider the slightly more costly Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, priced at USD 375, or the Apple Watch Series 8, priced at USD 530. With enhanced hardware, these models will offer extended support and compatibility with more applications.

Fitness and health tracking

When purchasing a premium smartwatch, it’s important to consider its fitness features. While high-end models like the Apple Watch Ultra, priced at USD 1,100, and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, priced at USD 500, offer a broad range of features, most entry-level options also provide accurate heart rate monitoring, GPS, SpO2 oxygen saturation measurement, and other useful functionalities.

Once again, popular premium devices like the Apple Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are excellent choices. Additionally, the Garmin Venu, priced at USD 240, the Garmin Forerunner 55, priced at USD 300, and the Fitbit Sense 2, priced at USD 330, are some of the top fitness-focused premium smartwatches available.

Battery life

Premium smartwatches, unlike most budget options, typically have a shorter battery life. Most high-end smartwatches will last for about two days, with a few exceptions like the Apple Watch Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro that can last longer. However, models like the Garmin Instinct 2, priced at USD 530, and the Garmin Fenix 7X, priced at USD 1,770, feature solar charging support and provide unlimited battery backup, but they often lack third-party app support as they are primarily designed for outdoor activities.

Interchangeable straps

A smartwatch that is in high demand will not only have numerous first-party straps but also a wide range of third-party options. The Apple Watch, in particular, offers a vast selection of straps at varying price points. Additionally, any Apple Watch or Samsung Watch released in recent years will typically allow users to swap out straps easily and at a fraction of the cost.

A different opinion

As a developer for both Wear OS and HUAWEI smartwatches, I have several test devices from HUAWEI and Samsung. While Samsung with Wear OS is more intelligent and useful in many ways, its poor battery life leads me to switch between my HUAWEI watches depending on my mood that day. If I want a sporty look, I use the black GT 2. If I want a classy look, I use the GT 3 with a metal strap. If I want a lightweight device that resembles an Apple watch and can still do most things my other watches can do, I use the Fit 2.

For me, the HUAWEI smartwatches’ functionality is perfectly fine, and the 1-2 weeks of battery life make life much more manageable. I think you too should seriously consider HUAWEI as an option, in addition to market leaders Apple and Samsung.

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