Samsung high-end devices are amazing in themselves, but pairing yours with the right smartwatch can give you an even more enjoyable experience. While there are tons of smartwatch models on the market, not all can work perfectly with Samsung smartphones. In this post, we’d be looking at some of the best smartwatches for Samsung Galaxy devices such as the Note 9, Note 10, S9, S10, and others.
- 6 Best Smartwatches for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 & 10, S9, S10, etc: Our Top Recommendations
- 1. Samsung Gear S3 – the most feature-packed
- 2. Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch (US Version with Warranty)
- 3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (US Version with Warranty)
- 4. Garmin Vivoactive 3
- 5. Pebble Time Smartwatch
- 6. Garmin Fenix 3
6 Best Smartwatches for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 & 10, S9, S10, etc: Our Top Recommendations
We spent about 4 hours researching the best smartwatches on the market. We checked over 25 smartwatches and ranked them based on their compatibility with Note 9, Note 10, S9, S10, and other smartphones in the Samsung Galaxy series.
To corroborate our own opinions, we went through over 50 reviews — positive and negative — by users who are pairing these devices with their Samsung Galaxy phones. From all of this research, we winded up with recommendations you can trust.
Enter the best smartwatches for Samsung Note 9 and 10, Galaxy S9 and S10, and others in the J and A series.
1. Samsung Gear S3 – the most feature-packed
Bigger, bolder and more feature-rich than its predecessors, the Samsung Gear S3 has all the makings of one of the best smartwatches on the market. It is also probably the first smartwatch that promises a fully untethered experience.
Measuring 46 x 49mm, the Gear S3 is a really big watch compared to other models from Samsung, and it’s equally heavy, weighing 59g. It was built with durability in the mind, with IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.
For controls, there are two buttons on the side: one to take you to the home screen and your apps while the other functions as a universal black button. Underneath is the heart rate monitor which can track your heart beats throughout the day.
The display is bright enough to view both in the day and at night, thanks to the 1.3-inch AMOLED screen. Hardly should this surprise anyone since Samsung is known for making some of the best screens. With a resolution of 360 x 360, you will get a vivid color reproduction as well as detailed images. One of the features as hype for the Gear S3 is the Always On Display technology which keeps the screen partially lit at all times so you can always see the time.
As expected of smartwatches, the display of the Gear S3 is a touchscreen which is perfect since there’s only so much you can do with the buttons. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass and MIL-SPEC-810G so it can withstand drops of about 5 feet.
Another impressive feature is Samsung’s voice search service which allows you to set reminders and alarms, send messages, make phone calls and other tasks with your voice. The Gear S3 runs on Samsung’s own proprietary software, Tizen, which adopts features of Google and Apple’s operating systems. The OS is supported by 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. There are also several sensors on the smartwatch but a major downside is the lack of major fitness apps.
As per the battery life, the Gear S3 can deliver three days usage on a single charge provided you don’t use it for battery-consuming tasks like GPS tracking. There’s no fast charging technology here; what’s available is wireless charging. Overall, the battery performance is quite decent but you can get more out of it by turning off the Always On Display.
- Simple interface with rotating bezel
- Swift performance
- Good voice control
- Small third-party app support
2. Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch (US Version with Warranty)
Dubbed the Gear S4 in disguise, the Galaxy Watch SM-R800NZSAXAR was announced alongside the Galaxy Note 9. It is a step forward for smartwatches due to its attractive design and helpful fitness tracking even though it doesn’t have a killer reason to buy.
The smartwatch comes in three colors and two sizes: 44mm and 46mm with the former measuring 1.2-inch and the latter, 1.3-inch. Straight out of the box, the first thing that grabs your attention is its stylish looks which make it seem like a real watch. On the right side, two buttons adorn the Galaxy Watch as an excellent way of navigating the UI, cycling through apps and menus. This is a well-engineered watch as it feels nice on the wrist.
Both variants of the Galaxy Watch feature the same 360 x 360 AMOLED display so you will get fractionally lower pixel density in the larger model. The screen is bright and color-rich so you can see everything, even during an outdoor run. It is protected by Gorilla Glass DX. It is also dust and water-resistant to 165 feet, and you can even force liquid out of the watch by blasting its speaker. The downside is that the screen details are slow to update when woken up each time.
On the rear, there’s an optical heart rate monitor that can take readings throughout the day. Under the hood, the operations of the smartwatch is managed by the Exynos 9110 dual-core processor which clocks at 1.15GHz when paired with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. A notable disadvantage here is the Samsung Pay Support which is limited as many banks are yet to get onboard.
The Galaxy Watch can track 39 exercises in total including indoor exercises and strength-training exercises which we seldom see on more expensive watches. You can easily switch between the various tracking functions and modes by rotating the Galaxy Watch’s bezel. It also features GPS and GLONASS support which works alongside the optical heart rate monitor, accelerometer and barometer.
Coming to the battery of the Galaxy Watch, it has 427mAh stack of cells loaded into it which Samsung claims can last up to 4 days. The only way to top-up the battery is via wireless charging and it’s not fast.
- Stylish design
- Decent four-day battery life
- Rotating bezel cycles through UI
- Great array of fitness sensors
- Offline Spotify support
- Few apps
- Bixby far less capable than Google Assistant
- Limited Samsung Pay Support
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (US Version with Warranty)
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active SM-R500 was released during the launching of the Galaxy S10 as the follow-up to the Galaxy Watch. It offers high-end design, a plethora of fitness technologies and an affordable price all at the same time.
Most new smartwatches offer a chunky package but Samsung deviates from the trend to make the Galaxy Watch Active a smaller wearable. If you’ve used previous models, you might probably expect the smartwatch to also have the same feature but it doesn’t, and it appears the absence is an attempt to make a sportier design for the wearable.
The body is made of aluminum and it does have a premium look while two buttons are positioned on the right but they’re not that easy to find. On the back of the watch sits a heart rate monitor to track your pulse all through the day. It also has dust water resistance to depths of 5 meters so you can go swimming with it. One of the positive attributes of the Galaxy watch Active is comfort as it is lighter than its predecessor.
On the plus side, it has a 1.1-inch round AMOLED screen which is easy to read even in direct sunlight. Some people might have troubles using interacting via the touchscreen due to its small size, especially those who have used previous models.
The Galaxy Watch Active is powered by top-end internals such as the Exynos 9110 chipset which is a dual-core processor clocked at 1.15GHz and it is paired by 750MB of RAM. The UI also looks better due to the recently updated Tizen version 4.0 but while it packs a range of sensors such as heart rate monitor, blood pressure monitor, accelerometer, and so on. You will also get auto-tracking modes for 39 activities during the day and a sleep tracker for when you fall asleep.
Third-party apps are limited on the Galaxy Watch Active but there are a few popular apps onboard such as the Spotify app which lets you download music for offline listening, a feature not available on many Apple Watch versions. Unfortunately, the performance of Bixby is terrible as it doesn’t recognize basic commands except you say specific phrases. Google Assistant does a better job.
The battery performance hardly wows anyone as it comes with 230mAh which lasts for just about three days on moderate usage. There’s a small wireless charging pad in the box but it doesn’t charge fast.
- High-end design
- Competitive experience
- Lots of features
- Very bright screen
- Lacks rotating bezel
- No LTE variant
- Limited storage
- Few useful apps
4. Garmin Vivoactive 3
Garmin Vivoactive 3 is one of the best fitness-focused smartwatches available offering smart notifications, GPS and all-day heart-rate tracking in a slim, lightweight package. It also comes with Garmin Pay, the company’s contactless payment system.
The Vivoactive 3 takes on the round-faced traditional design that makes it look like an analog watch instead of a fitness tracking wearable. It sports a 1.3-inch display with a 240 x 240 pixel display which is easy to read even in direct sunlight. At 43mm, the device is just as big as any other smartwatch around, making it look like an oversize.
Unlike some of its contenders, the Vivoactive 3 has just one side button with which you can access the menus while you can use the touchscreen for other controls. From the touchscreen, you can set an alarm, view your stats, change watch settings, check the weather or view your recent notifications. On the rear, there’s a four-pin charging port which is hard to notice on your skin when you wear it.
While we can judge the performance to be seamless for the large part of the time we used the device, we did notice that its interface can at times lag slightly. However, to get the most out of the Vivoactive 3, you will need to pair it with the companion Garmin Connect app for iOS or Android so you can sync all your workout data and install new watch faces from the store.
If you were looking forward to playing songs from while wearing this smartwatch, you will be disappointed as there’s no onboard music storage neither does it have integration with music apps. You might be able to control song on your smartphone from your smartwatch but if your smartphone runs out of battery, get set to do your workouts in silence.
The battery life of the Garmin Vivoactive is exceptional as it can go up to seven days on a single charge. There’s no doubt that the transflective memory-in-pixel display is one of the reasons why the battery lasts long. The seven days accounts for using the smartwatch only for day-to-day tracking and not if you have your GPS on all the time. The charging is pretty easy as you just need to plug the small cable that came in the pack into the four-pin charging port. From our testing, the wearable charged up to half of its battery in about 30 minutes.
- Easy-to-read display
- Accurate distance tracking
- Good GPS and heart rate monitor
- Long battery life
- No onboard music storage
- Garmin Pay isn’t widely available
- Inaccurate sleep-tracking
5. Pebble Time Smartwatch
Having been in business for about two years prior to the release of Pebble Time, the company applies everything it has learned to make its flagship smartwatch. More care has been taken into its design as well as the functionalities, and this smartwatch is one of the least expensive wearable you will find on the market.
Design-wise, the Pebble Time has an understated design and it’s not an issue since the good design isn’t often a priority in smartwatches. Instead of relying solely on plastic, the wearable opts for a casual rubber strap that’s smooth and feels comfortable to wear. There’s now a metal bezel surrounding the display which is a touchscreen while there are three buttons for up, down and select functions. Flip the Pebble Time to the back and you will find a couple of small metal receptors which also serve the charging purpose.
The watch face sports a slightly curved profile that fits with a screen on the centre with a 1.25-icnh display which has a resolution of 144 x 146 pixels. This attribute drags the Pebble Time behind the competition as most rivals in its category offer better screens. It has an Always-On Colour Display that makes the screen visible all throughout the day even when you’re not using it. There’s no cause to worry here as the wearable can stay on 24/7 without gobbling up battery capacity.
Unlike many smartwatches on this list, the Pebble Time has lots of third-party apps but the apps come from the likes of Jawbone and Misfit, giving an impression that very little thought was given to fitness. In fact, most of the features on the previous model like voice-to-text replies and instantaneous notifications also find their way to this wearable. For onboard storage, there’s only 16MB of space which is another drawback.
Pebble Time runs on an ARM 100MHZ Cortex –M4 processor and has 256KB of RAM which is grossly inadequate in the light of what other smartwatches offer. The company also claims that the battery can last up to seven days but this isn’t the case here as the Pebble Time only lasted three hours which isn’t bad when compared to Android Wear Watches that typically last only a day.
- Impressive battery life
- Works on both Android and iOS
- Lots of apps
- Always-on colour display
- Attractive, simple UI
- Feels cheap
- Dodgy buttons
- iOS functionality is limited
- Childish animations
6. Garmin Fenix 3
The Garmin Fenix 3 is a fine device packed with a range of built-in sensors and the ability to harness the power of your smartphone. It is a complete smartwatch for a serious runner that is only let down by its price. If you’re casual runner, look elsewhere because the Garmin Fenix 3 is an extremely versatile multisport watch that can track a wide range of activities.
Once you unbox the package, the first thing you’d realize is that the Fenix 3 wasn’t designed to be aesthetically pleasing but it doesn’t look bad either. Perhaps, the second thing you’d notice is its build quality which shows that durability is a priority as it has a tough and muscular look, protruding at 17.6mm from your wrist. In spite of its seeming size, it sits well on the wrists, giving you no reason to worry even when you’re soaked in sweat or rain.
Going against the trend of the touchscreen, buttons are the only way to interact with the Fenix 3, and there are two of those on the right side for starting and stopping activities while three buttons are positioned on the left to navigate through menus and for turning on the backlight. The Fenix 3 is water-resistant to 10ATM which is a depth of about 330 feet.
Furthermore, the screen of the Fenix 3 is one of the upgrades from the Fenix 2, and it measures 1.2-inches with a 218 x 218 resolution. In effect, the low-power LCD panel translates to a full-colour, daylight-visible display screen that’s crisp and bright. It might not be the best screen on the market but it sure gets the job done.
In terms of battery life, the Fenix 3 doesn’t disappoint as it conserves battery juice so much so you can get up to a week’s use out of it on a single charge. Garmin claims the wearable can go up to three months if used without features like GPS and Always-On Display.
Obviously, the Fenix 3 was built with fitness in mind and it can track all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities, even though it’s best to use it for the great outdoors due to the tons of features that support it. One of them is the GPS Track Log which lets you leave digital breadcrumbs so you can always find your way back whenever you get lost in the woods.
- Excellent battery life
- Rugged and long-lasting
- Easy and intelligent configuration
- Loaded with sensors
- Basic on-screen display
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the top 3 entries on our list are Samsung Smartwatches. And that’s mainly because they have expectably been designed to be 100% compatible with Samsung smartphones. In addition, you won’t go wrong with any of them because the Samsung brand is synonymous with top-quality products.
But if you want to avoid Samsung smartwatches for any reason, you can consider the other options on our list. They’re also packed with amazing features and are very much compatible with Android devices by Samsung and other brands.
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- 7 Most Durable Fitness Trackers (2020)
- Best Smartwatches for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 & 10, S9, S10, etc.