Angela Lang, CNET
Most smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, offer some degree of fitness and health features, with other useful tools like GPS, messaging and contactless payment.
When choosing the best smartwatch for your needs, there are a lot of factors to consider — especially since it will probably be strapped to your wrist 24/7.
You’ll want to decide on the look of the watch, if you want something compatible with iOS or Android, what fitness and health features you desire — like sleep tracking and electrocardiogram — or what third-party apps you’ll need.
A smartwatch should be able to offer everything from heart rate monitoring to GPS. Some can even be used for contactless payment. They should all work seamlessly with smartphone notifications.
Here are three of CNET’s top choices of the best smartwatches based on function, price and compatibility.
Best affordable Apple Watch alternative
Fitbit Versa 3
Starts at $230
The Fitbit Versa 3 is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, and it lets you choose between Alexa or Google Assistant as your go-to voice assistant. It’s well rounded, with plenty of health and fitness features, like onboard GPS, as well as the best sleep tracking on this list and even a breakout of your body temperature overnight. Also, Its battery life is better than most.
Sets the standard for Android smartwatches
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Starts at $250
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 runs the new Google Wear platform, co-designed by Samsung and Google. It has EKG and heart rate tracking, plus an impedance-based electrical sensor that can tell you more about your body composition. But some of the key features are compatible only with Samsung phones for now, and the battery life is not as strong as other smartwatches.
The best Apple Watch for your money
Apple Watch SE
Starts at $279
If you want the best Apple Watch that’s also more affordable, this is the one to get. The Apple Watch SE is a cheaper alternative to the Series 7 with a lot of the same great features, plus slightly longer battery life. It doesn’t have the Series 7’s extra health sensors (EKG and SpO2), and it doesn’t have an always-on display, but it does everything most people need.
This is a high-quality Bluetooth boombox option if you have a big enough budget. Extremely loud with crisp highs and booming lows, this waterproof speaker has a 24-hour battery life, so it’s ideal for outdoor use. $500
This Bluetooth speaker has high-quality drivers for excellent sound clarity and intense bass. With a 24-hour battery life, it’s great for outdoor use — lightweight and waterproof. $110
With the look of a classic ’90s boombox, this machine also features a CD player, FM radio and Bluetooth compatibility. You can plug it into a power outlet, or fit it with six D batteries for on the go. $130
With two tweeters, two subwoofers and two passive bass radiators, this waterproof boombox is capable of decent volumes and has rich, punchy sound. It has an impressive 24-hour battery life, and you can even charge your devices from it. $100
In addition to its classic looks, this compact Bluetooth boombox features an AM/FM radio and a cassette player, so it really is a blast from the past. Though affordably priced, it isn’t especially loud. $50
This barrel-shaped Bluetooth boombox is simple to use. It features an FM radio and slots for an SD card and USB stick, from which you can play music. The speaker runs on a wall plug or a rechargeable battery with three hours of playtime. $84
This retro-looking Bluetooth boombox is available with either a rechargeable battery, or four D batteries slots. It has a CD player, radio, carrying handle and remote control. $130
This Bluetooth boombox has the quality you’d expect from a Sony product, with rich, deep bass. In addition to Bluetooth capability, it has a built-in CD player and an AM/FM radio. It’s great for use outdoors and on the go as its battery plays for up to 26 hours. $120
If you’re in the market for a Bluetooth boombox with that classic boxy ’80s vibe, look no further. This model features a built-in cassette player and a four-band radio. The analog buttons complete the look. It runs on D batteries or plugs into a power outlet. $50
While the main purpose of this boombox is to be used as a Bluetooth speaker, it also has an aux input, so you can use it as a portable amp for a mic or guitar. It’s loud and powerful with quality speakers that give clear sound with deep bass. The detachable strap makes it easy to carry sound with you. The battery life lasts up to 5 hours, but it can be plugged into an outlet. $110
This stylish retro-look Bluetooth boombox is ideal for anyone who wants an ’80s throwback. This model also has an AM/FM radio and a cassette player, though some users have reported minor issues with the latter. It runs on an AC adapter wall plug into an outlet or four D batteries. $89
*All prices as listed on amazon.com.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.