Damien Wilde / Android Authority
Time never stands still, and that’s especially true for the best smartwatches. Since moving to Wear OS, Samsung has been at the forefront of the wearable drive for Android smartphone owners, and the Galaxy Watch 6 is here to set a new benchmark. But what if you don’t like Samsung’s iterative update approach or you are an iPhone user? Read on for our list of the best Galaxy Watch 6 alternatives.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Large display • Wear OS 4 • Upgraded features
One step closer to being a computer on your wrist
With improved activity tracking and more advanced features, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is a capable Smartwatch. A large display and full Samsung Wallet app make the Watch 6 a powerful standalone device, while integration with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 makes the Watch 6 a valuable part of your Galaxy ecosystem.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Rotating crown is back • Updated tracking features • Wear OS 4
The 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.
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 alternatives
Table of Contents
Looking to make a quick decision? Here are our top alternatives to the best Samsung smartwatch on offer and a brief breakdown of who these devices will suit:
- The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best overall alternative. Although it’s pricier than the Galaxy Watch 6, it presents a balanced health monitoring feature set with a smattering of essential smartwatch features. It also pairs with iPhones — something you won’t find with the Galaxy Watch 6.
- The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best alternative for iPhone users. Apple’s wearable prowess is well documented, and the Series 8 cements this. It presents minimal changes over its predecessor, creating a much-improved user experience. An added temperature sensor to improve menstrual health tracking and watchOS 10’s updates have further set it apart. This is the best smartwatch to buy if you’re an Apple aficionado.
- The Google Pixel Watch is the best Wear OS alternative. Although the Pixel Watch has shortcomings, Google’s first smartwatch gives users an aesthetically-striking device with a clean software experience. You’ll also benefit from Fitbit’s health tracking kit and the wealth of third- and first-party apps from the Play Store. The Pixel Watch is the best option if you crave a unique wearable or already own Pixel products.
- The Garmin Venu Sq 2 is the best value alternative. Garmin has given its premier square smartwatch upgraded health sensors, a new display, and a battery life buff to compete against much pricier devices. You won’t get the wealth of apps available with Wear OS or deep integration with Android, but iOS users can also join in on the fun. If you want a Venu 2 Plus but can’t afford one, the Venu Sq 2 will fill the gap.
- The Fitbit Versa 3 is the best cheap alternative. Fitbit still has a horse in this race, and it’s the cheap and cheerful Versa 3. It packs all the essential health and fitness tracking features with a minimal list of smart additions. It’s now showing its age, but time has also been kind to its price. Get the Versa 3 if you need a Galaxy Watch 6 alternative for under $200.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Excellent display • Fast charging battery • Phone calls
Phone calls and a voice assistant on your wrist.
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus takes all of the fitness- and health-tracking features of the original Venu 2 and adds the ability to receive phone calls and access your phone’s voice assistant.
Garmin’s best smartwatch is the best Galaxy Watch 6 alternative you can buy. Despite its age, it remains a remarkably capable wearable that pairs with iPhones and Android smartphones. It blends Garmin’s usual solid build quality, a focus on health and fitness, and a handful of useful smart features into a balanced and capable wearable.
There’s plenty to like about this watch. As mentioned, Garmin built a solid yet understated wearable that should withstand the office, gym, and overgrown trail. There are two sizes to choose from, too, so all wrist sizes are welcome. Beyond its clean aesthetic, the Venu 2 Plus has a stacked list of unique fitness and wellness features. As detailed in our review, one of our favorites is Health Snapshot, which collates core health data over two minutes, like heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen saturation, respiration rate, and stress levels, into a sheet you can share with your doctor. Other favorites like the Body Battery energy estimates and detailed sleep tracking heighten the watch’s appeal.
Despite the fitness slant, the Venu 2 Plus is the smartest watch in the Garmin stable. It features voice assistant support that supports Google Assistant, Siri, and others, while you can also take calls from your wrist. It remains the only watch in Garmin’s stable with a built-in ECG to monitor heart health.
This watch comes at a price, though. It’s pricier than the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Apple Watch Series 8. You’ll also miss out on Samsung’s body composition features, the extensive Wear OS app library, and a more integrated device with Android. In our experience, the new smart features also weigh down battery life. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind the premium, the Venu 2 Plus remains the most balanced Galaxy Watch 6 alternative on the market.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus vs Galaxy Watch 6: Advantages
- The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is platform agnostic, pairing with iOS and Android devices.
- It has a more acute focus on fitness, training, and recovery than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- Body Battery and Health Snapshot are excellent Garmin-exclusive features.
Garmin Venu 2 Plus vs Galaxy Watch 6: Disadvantages
- The Galaxy Watch 6 has a larger array of apps with closer integration with Android.
- The Galaxy Watch 6 also has an LTE variant, the Garmin does not.
- The Venu 2 Plus is $150 more expensive than the Galaxy Watch 6 and $50 more than the Classic.
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
Excellent Retina display • Premium design and build • Advanced health tracking sensors
A very powerful device for anyone inside Apple’s walled garden
The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features advanced fitness and health tracking tools, including a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and better insights into women’s cycles. The device also features a thick front crystal over its display for improved durability. Additional highlights include Crash Detection, Low Power Mode, and extensive third-party app support.
The Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for those in Apple’s ecosystem. If you own an iPhone, the Galaxy Watch 6 is simply not an option. The Apple Watch Series 8 may not be the most exciting or adventurous choice, but it improves on previous models in small but meaningful ways.
The current model packs a more durable body and face, a built-in temperature sensor to improve fertility tracking, and the same launch price as its predecessors. The usual health features, like a built-in ECG, SpO2 tracking, and a reliable heart rate monitor, make it an ideal wearable for improving and monitoring wellness. We’ve seen Apple pay special attention to sleep tracking and workout management in recent years, and watchOS 10 brings welcome changes too. A new UI makes finding and absorbing relevant information easier when required, while mental health is getting a dedicated space within the Health app. Overall, the OS feels slick and swift.
Of course, even the best devices make compromises. The Apple Watch Series 8 is a no-go for Android smartphone users. Even with low power mode, we still desire more battery life than the Series 8 is willing to give. Its lack of customization options, and a small selection of new watch faces, will leave many who value a personal touch wanting a little more.
At $399, it’s $100 pricier than the Galaxy Watch 6 but on par with the Classic model. However, the price shouldn’t perturb you if you’re already a member of Apple’s walled garden club.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Advantages
- The Apple Watch Series 8 can pair with iPhones, something the Samsung cannot do.
- It has a more mature array of apps than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- The Apple Watch Series 8 is our heart rate monitoring watch of choice.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Disadvantages
- The Apple Watch Series 8’s battery life is shorter than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- Only iPhone users can use the Series 8 with their devices.
- The Apple Watch Series 8 is $100 pricier than the Galaxy Watch 6.
Google Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch
Voice-to-text assistance • Play Store integrated • Wear OS
The Pixel Watch is the first wearable with the Big G.
The Google Pixel Watch is a Wear OS-powered wearable that’s aiming to be the smartwatch for everyone. It has a robust app library, plenty of Fitbit-based health-tracking features, and a classy design.
The Google Pixel Watch is far from perfect, but it is the best Galaxy Watch 6 alternative for Pixel smartphone owners. It comes with the benefit of Google’s backing, a clean software experience, Fitbit fitness tracking, and unique aesthetic traits.
Speaking of that aesthetic, the Pixel Watch looks like nothing else on the market. Its smooth pebble-like face stands out on the wrist, although it may be too reflective for some. Google uses a proprietary band system that makes removing and replacing bands an absolute chore. Notably, the Pixel Watch only comes in one relatively small 41mm size. This makes it inadequate for those with larger wrists. Internally, the Pixel Watch isn’t powered by the most exciting or modern hardware. It employs an older Samsung chipset, but we never truly felt that this was a performance issue throughout our usage. We rarely encountered graphical hitches while using the crown to gloss through menus. The clean implementation of Wear OS also aids that.
For fitness fiends, Google ropes in Fitbit’s feature set. Heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, and sleep tracking are all handled through familiar Fitbit processes and the Fitbit app. While not marketed as a serious workout watch, we found the Pixel Watch’s GPS performance and tracking sensors are reliable and accurate.
As you may have gathered from our initial gripes, the Pixel Watch isn’t perfect. Google’s first smartwatch leaves us wanting in the battery department. As noted in our review, heavy users will struggle to go 18 hours without reaching for the charger. This has improved since the Pixel Watch’s first days, but the experience remains inferior to the Galaxy Watch 6. Additionally, while its curved glass face is gorgeous, we wouldn’t recommend using the watch without some degree of protection.
At $329, it’s slightly pricier than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, but it stands out as something unique in the smartwatch world.
Google Pixel Watch vs Galaxy Watch 6: Advantages
- The Pixel Watch runs the cleanest Wear OS experience around.
- It features a more striking aesthetic than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- The Pixel Watch’s crown makes navigating Wear OS a breeze.
Google Pixel Watch vs Galaxy Watch 6: Disadvantages
- Google offers a single 41mm size option that’s awkward on larger wrists.
- The Pixel Watch has worse battery life than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- Google uses much older hardware in the Pixel Watch than the Galaxy Watch 6.
Garmin Venu Sq 2
Garmin Venu Sq 2
Updated heart rate sensor • Data downloadable • Bright and colorful display
A brighter display meets newer sensors
The Venu Sq 2 smartwatch lands with a brighter display fitted to its now customary square body. It boasts an extensive array of health analysis, from Garmin’s Body Battery to detailed sleep tracking. The data collected is downloadable, and it offers connective features with external captors.
Garmin’s square smartwatch offers excellent value to those looking for a cheaper companion. While the Venu Sq 2 targets the Apple Watch SE 2, we think it also makes a great Galaxy Watch 6 alternative.
The sequel builds on what was an already solid platform. It packs a bright, square AMOLED screen that’s highly legible in all conditions. Despite this change, we also see a nice battery bump. As noted in our Venu Sq 2 review, the watch can now go over a week between charges, even with heavy use. And you’ll want to use it frequently — an accurate GPS and an upgraded heart rate sensor make the Venu Sq 2 a surprisingly good gym companion. All the famous Garmin features are present, too, including Body Battery and Health Snapshot. As far as smart features go, you’ll find a modest selection. The essentials are all here, including text responses, Garmin’s LiveTrack and incident detection features, and a modest array of apps. However, don’t expect deep integration with Android here. As a positive, iPhone users can also grab a Venu Sq 2.
There are some silly omissions from Garmin, though. If you value onboard music storage, you must pay an extra $50 for that privilege. It’s ridiculous that this is still a pay-to-win feature on Garmin watches. Fitness-minded folk will be disappointed by the lack of an altimeter, which instantly makes this watch less appealing to weekend hikers or high-rise dwellers.
At $249, the Garmin Venu 2 Sq is pricier than its predecessor but still undercuts the Galaxy Watch 6 by $50. If you don’t need all the trappings provided by Samsung or the Venu 2 Plus, you’ll be well looked after by this modest understudy.
Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Advantages
- Battery life on the Venu Sq 2 trumps the Galaxy Watch 6.
- The Venu Sq 2 comes with Body Battery and Health Snapshot, two useful health features.
- The Venu Sq 2 is more affordable than the Galaxy Watch 6.
Garmin Venu Sq 2 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Disadvantages
- Music storage is a paid-for extra on the Venu Sq 2.
- It lacks some of the advanced health features on the Galaxy Watch 6.
- The Venu Sq 2 is less durable than the Galaxy Watch 6.
Fitbit Versa 3
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.
The Fitbit Versa 3 may be getting long in the tooth, but we billed it as one of the best Fitbit smartwatches when it launched. In 2023, it’s still a great option for budget buyers.
There’s a lot to love about the Versa 3. It’s a compact smartwatch that’s comfortable to wear and easy to use. Although we’re not huge fans of the inductive home button, we like how the AMOLED screen pops in all lighting conditions and is particularly useful during outdoor workouts. Speaking of breaking a sweat, the Versa 3 covers all the essential health-tracking metrics, from heart rate tracking to blood oxygen monitoring. Premium subscribers also benefit from a Daily Readiness score, which advises how hard to train on a given day. As for smart features, the Versa 3 bests its successor, with support for third-party apps, the option to use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant companions, and the ability to take calls over Bluetooth. All this is backed by a stellar battery that can ensure up to four days between charges.
Not all is gold, though. As mentioned, Fitbit Premium users get a more detailed history of metrics and a few unique features. These are unavailable to general users, diminishing the Versa 3’s budget appeal. The third-party app library is also nothing to write home about. Additionally, now that Google has the Pixel Watch in its purview, we’re unlikely to see any active development of the existing Fitbit OS platform.
You can now regularly snag a Versa 3 for under $200, making it a much cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Watch 6. Shedding those digits also sheds smart features, but if fitness tracking on a budget is your core use case, you can’t go wrong with the Versa 3.
Fitbit Versa 3 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Advantages
- The Versa 3 is much cheaper than the Galaxy Watch 6.
- Fitbit OS is much simpler to use than Wear OS.
- The Versa weighs slightly less than the Galaxy Watch 6.
Fitbit Versa 3 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Disadvantages
- The Versa 3 lacks the advanced fitness features of the Galaxy Watch 6.
- Fitbit OS isn’t under active development, Wear OS certainly is.
- The Versa 3 lacks several smart features you’ll find on the Galaxy Watch 6.