The arrival of a new Apple Watch always sends waves through the wearables market as others compete to keep up with the latest and the leading. However, while Apple’s devices are iconic, they’re not the only smartwatches in the game. Whether your phone is incompatible or you just don’t want an Apple wearable, you can find plenty of other powerful devices up for grabs. We round up the best Apple Watch Series 9 alternatives to help you shop around.
Buying the right Apple Watch Series 9 alternative for your needs
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Before we lead anyone astray, we wholeheartedly believe that an Apple Watch is the best iPhone companion available. The company’s seamless integration and unmatched app support make its in-house devices hard to beat. The Series 9 is Apple’s newest traditional model and it’s loaded with useful health and fitness features. The Apple Watch Ultra offers a more rugged experience and niche features for outdoor adventuring. For those on a budget, Apple has you covered with the pared-down Apple Watch SE 2.
But what if you don’t want an Apple Watch? Devices from Garmin, Fitbit, and Google also have a lot to offer. Determine which features you’d like your Apple Watch alternative to emulate so you know what to look for while shopping. For example, for accurate fitness stats and reliable GPS, we highly recommend Garmin’s stable. For a well-rounded smartwatch experience compatible with Android phones, we suggest the Galaxy Watch 6 series.
The best Apple Watch Series 9 alternatives
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: The best Wear OS devices available, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 series consists of the two best choices for Android phone users. We recommend the Classic model with its rotating bezel and elevated look.
- Garmin Venu 3: Garmin’s newest smartwatch is the company’s most powerful yet, building on the successful Venu 2 Plus with automatic sleep detection and more.
- Fitbit Versa 3: Though not Fitbit’s newest smartwatch, the Versa 3 is the best smartwatch for anyone committed to the Fitbit ecosystem.
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another loaded Wear OS device, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 packs impressive specs and a unique dual-display, plus a rotating crown similar to that of the Apple Watch.
- Withings ScanWatch 2: The Withings ScanWatch 2 is the best medically approved hybrid device with a dedicated health focus and an attractive build.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: The best Wear OS Apple Watch Series 9 alternative
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Samsung currently reigns king with the only devices running the latest Wear OS 4. The Galaxy Watch 6 Series may only feature iterative improvements compared to last year’s lineup, but that doesn’t make them anything less than powerful smartwatches with a lot to offer. For the most refined, elevated aesthetic we recommend the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. It features the company’s fan-favorite rotating bezel for easier on-device navigation.
Beyond the bezel, the watch boasts a crisp AMOLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate and 2,000 nits maximum brightness. Below the glass, it packs the top-tier Wear OS featuring a bevy of useful smartwatch features, snappy performance, updated Google apps, and much more. It also offers a robust fitness tracking and health tracking suite including the same temperature sensor which the company debuted last year for deeper sleep insights and women’s health tracking.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
The rotating bezel is back • Elegant design and build materials • Ships with Wear OS 4
The rotating crown is back
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic rocks a rotating bezel! Better equipped than the base Galaxy Watch 6, the Classic model is a powerful watch with updated activity tracking, improved health features, and the full Samsung Wallet app for your mobile payments.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display • Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience • Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
Bigger and better.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 brings the best of Wear OS 4 and Samsung’s smartwatch features to the table. A large display and full Samsung Wallet app make the Watch 6 a powerful standalone device, while integration with Samsung phones makes the Watch 6 a valuable part of your Galaxy ecosystem.
- The rotating bezel is back
- Elegant design and build materials
- Ships with Wear OS 4
- Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
- Robust, snappy software experience
- Only minor upgrades over Watch 5
- Imperfect heart rate data
- Disappointing battery life
- Some features only work with Samsung phones
Garmin Venu 3: The best Garmin Apple Watch Series 9 alternative
Compared to Apple, Garmin devices don’t offer as many smartwatch features, but an Apple vs Garmin comparison shows they have plenty in common. Garmin’s Venu 3 is its most feature-packed smartwatch to date. Though we’re not yet through our review period, we can safely recommend this device to anyone looking for a smartwatch with rich fitness tracking. On top of the already impressive features found on its predecessor, the Venu 3 adds new tools for more advanced training including Recovery Time, Workout Benefit, and Perceived Exertion. Garmin also added tracking for wheelchair pushes as well as wheelchair-specific activity. Finally, Garmin updated the new generation with its latest Elevate V5 optical heart rate sensor, though it’s not yet certified to provide ECG readings.
Between workouts, the Venu 3 offers automatic nap detection which is a first for Garmin’s watches. This is in addition to the device’s complete overnight sleep tracking package, including sleep coaching. To make sure users have plenty of battery for stats day and night, the Venu 3 offers nearly 50% longer battery life. The 45mm model improves battery life to 14 days from 9 while the Venu 3S offers up to 10 days.
For smartwatch capabilities, the Venu 3 Plus still provides phone call support and voice assistant compatibility when a paired phone is nearby. It also features onboard music storage for soundtracking your longest runs.
Garmin Venu 3
Robust set of activity tracking • Next-gen sleep tracking
Health and fitness focused smartwatch
The Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3S focus on providing personalized data about your health and wellness with some of Garmin’s most advanced body tracking features. The Body Battery function informs you of your activity levels, and new sleep tracking includes nap detection.
Fitbit Versa 3: The best Apple Watch Series 9 alternative for Fitbit loyalists
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
The Versa line isn’t technically the top of Fitbit’s stable, that honor goes to the Sense lineup. However, we find most Fitbit users don’t miss the ECG, EDA, and skin temperature only found on the pricier option. We consider the Versa 3 the better value buy with plenty of features at a great price. Additionally, while the Versa 4 is now available, we don’t recommend the newest generation.
Fitbit health tracking is highly reputable and the ecosystem is a great choice for anyone new to tracking. The device records all the basics including steps and heart rate and offers one of the best sleep tracking platforms available. With built-in GPS, the Versa 3 adds even more detailed tracking for runners and cyclists. On the smartwatch front, the device supports on-wrist phone calls as well as Google Assistant and Alexa support. Unfortunately, Fitbit also dropped music storage support as well as a few popular community features in the Fitbit app.
Fitbit has continually pulled smartwatch features off its lineups in favor of the Pixel Watch, so these devices aren’t as powerful as they used to be. We’ve compiled a list of Fitbit alternatives for users losing heart over the recent changes. However, if you’re set on a Fitbit then the Versa 3 is the best option. We also recommend keeping an eye out for the incoming Pixel Watch 2 which will feature thorough Fitbit integration and many more smart features.
Fitbit Versa 3
Decent battery life • Accurate health tracking • Built-in GPS
The best value Fitbit smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 3 carries all the smart features you could want on a mid-range smartwatch, including Google Assistant support, voice replies, and reliable health tracking. It’s effectively a Fitbit Sense without the pricier specialized sensors.
- Decent battery life
- Pretty accurate health tracking
- Built-in GPS
- Google Assistant and Alexa support
- Speaker with phone call support
- Good price
- Very small app library
- Features are slowly being removed by Google
- Capacitive button isn’t ideal
- Proprietary charging cable
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another great Wear OS Apple Watch alternative
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Another solid Wear OS pick despite currently running a slightly older Wear OS, Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 5 boasts a powerful package that will only continue to improve as Google’s Wear OS 4 update reaches the device. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 chipset, the device offers snappy performance, impressive battery specs, and tons of features. Plus, the watch now features a useful digital crown (similar to the one found on Apple’s watches) so navigating tools and tiles is easier than ever.
On the smartwatch front, users will find staples like Google Maps, Google Wallet, and Google Pay as well as the Google Play Store for access to even more tools. For fitness tracking, the watch features 100 workout modes and records everything from basic activity to VO2 max. It also tracks overnight stats including sleep stages. Our favorite new feature is the device’s ability to show color-coded heart rate zones during workouts on its unique dual display.
We were also impressed with Mobvoi’s improvements to the line’s battery life. During our review period, the device typically lasted about three days including workout tracking.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5
Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 is snappy and efficient • Digital crown • Dual display
The latest Wear OS meets Qualcomm’s top chipset on this powerful device
Running Wear OS 3.5 out of the box, Mobvoi’s durable TicWatch Pro 5 elevates the brand’s lineup to the ranks of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series or Google Pixel Watch. The device also features a powerful processing chip for a smooth and seamless user experience, plus plenty of health and fitness tools. While Mobvoi’s unique power-saving dual display makes a welcome return, the company also adopts a digital crow for easier navigation of the watch has to offer.
- Runs on the latest Wear OS
- Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 is snappy and efficient
- Digital crown streamlines navigation
- Dual display adds even more functionality
- Pricier than its predecessor
- Inconsistent sleep tracking
- Band design is cheap and attracts dust
- No wireless charging
Withings ScanWatch 2: The best health-focused Apple Watch Series 9 alternative
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Stylish enough for daily wear and smart enough to keep users health-aware, the Withings ScanWatch 2 is a unique wearable within the crowded market. The hybrid device offers a more subtle experience that tracks your key health stats. Below its mostly analog face, the watch packs sensors for SpO2, ECG, and round-the-clock temperature tracking. It also provides continuous heart rate monitoring and on-device cycle tracking. Coming soon, the device will also add irregular heartbeat notifications, overnight heart rate variability (HRV) for sleep tracking, and respiratory rate data.
Meanwhile, because it doesn’t feature a flashy touchscreen, the ScanWatch offers fantastic battery life. The device offers up to 30 days of use between charges, an incredible time frame compared to AMOLED-touting watches. Of course, the device is also lacking in smart features compared to the alternatives as well. Users won’t find conveniences like NFC support on the ScanWatch 2, for example. However, if you’re after a pared-down smartwatch experience and medical-grade health companion, the latest from Withings is a beautiful choice.
The Apple Watch Series 9 requires an iPhone for set up.
No, it is not possible to sync the Apple Watch Series 9 with an Android smartphone.
If you do not already own an Apple Watch, the Series 9 is a great device. If you already own a Series 7 or 8, it may not have enough newness to warrant an upgrade.