Smartwatches have come such a long way. The most advanced models can now be used autonomously, completely untethered from a smartphone. With a smartwatch, you get app, call, and message notifications, music playback, fitness tracking, and plenty more. Three of the best wearables right now, the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 5, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, are all on sale at Amazon and B&H Photo for as cheap as $169. Hurry and take advantage of these deals immediately as we’re seeing limited availability on all three models.
Apple Watch Series 3 – from $169
The Apple Watch Series 3 used to be the best smartwatch that you could buy (that honor has now been bestowed upon the Series 5), with an interface that easily eclipses Android Wear and a design that’s a huge hit among consumers. It also functions phenomenally as a fitness tracker and, thanks to a new dual-core processor, it has become faster than ever. And since it’s no longer the latest model, it’s not hard to find the Series 3 with massive price cuts on several online retail sites. Right now, you can get it at Amazon starting from $169 instead of the usual $199.
Syncing the Apple Watch Series 3 to your iPhone via Bluetooth allows you to receive real-time notifications and music playback control. You can get notified of calls, text messages, and social media alerts even if your phone is tucked away in your bag. This smartwatch doesn’t have a built-in eSim card, though, so you cannot make phone calls on your wrist. For that, you need to spend a few extra bucks and get the cellular version. The Series 3 is a very reliable fitness tracker. It boasts a gamut of health-centric sensors, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyroscope. With this watch, you can track a multitude of activities, including walking, running, swimming, and cycling. When you’ve been sitting for too long, this watch will remind you to get off your feet and take a brief walk. It also helps you relieve pent-up stress through the Breathe feature. All health stats and metrics are aggregated in the Activity app. Even though it’s not the latest or the most feature-packed Apple Watch, the Series 3 is still great value for money.
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm, GPS) — $169, was $199:
Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm, GPS) — $199 was $229:
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 – $229, was $279
If you’ve got an Android phone, the best smartwatch to augment it with is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. Looking like a rounded cousin of the Apple Watch, this wearable boasts comprehensive fitness tracking, a gorgeous display, a wonderfully fluid interface, and two-day battery life. Its main highlight is its digital rotating bezel. It’s not as satisfying as the “clicking” mechanical rotating bezels of the Gear Sport and Galaxy Watch, and it makes the watch a fingerprint magnet, but it’s fun and easy to use nonetheless. The Tizen interface also remains fluid and well-organized. Apps and notifications are presented in an orderly fashion, but we still prefer the Wear OS’s single-file list view though.
All the basics in fitness and wellness tracking are present in the Active 2, plus plenty more. Walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, elliptical training, and dynamic workouts are automatically tracked, and you can measure your stress levels with heart rate data and choose to receive reminders to stand, stretch, or go for a quick stroll. The Samsung Health can give you weekly summaries of your wellness trends, including your sleep patterns, activity levels, and heart rate information. We have to mention though that this device lacks a functional electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. It’s there, but it hasn’t been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration yet, making it useless as of now. Finally, with light usage, you can extend this watch’s battery life up to two days, making it possible to do sleep tracking, unlike with the Apple Watch Series 5.
Apple Watch Series 5 – from $379
The Apple Watch has come a long way since the release of the Apple Watch Series 1. What used to be an extravagant accessory at most has now become an indispensable wrist-worn health tool. Its most essential health feature, the electrocardiogram monitor (first introduced on the Series 4), is designed to detect any irregularity in your heart rate. Having it there will provide peace of mind to anyone with cardiac concerns, as it will send a notification if a problem is detected. Aside from the ECG monitor, the Series 5 also has an internal compass, an even more powerful S5 processor, and a much larger storage capacity. The interface is fun and simple to use. Using the digital crown to zoom in and out of the app screen is great, and the haptic feedback provides an impressively tactile experience. All your basic fitness-tracking needs are covered, plus a few more. It takes care of steps, calories, hourly movement, relaxation, VO2 Max data, hours spent standing, and workout tracking for a range of sports including swimming and biking, and it even handles more unusual activities like yoga and elliptical training.
Visually, there’s nothing that sets the Apple Watch Series 5 apart from its predecessor the Series 4. It still sports the same square design and digital crown control system. Its case is made of 100% recycled aluminum (perfect for the environmentally conscious), although it also comes in titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic if you have the money to splurge, with a case size of either 44mm or 40mm. Curvy and ergonomic, it’s small and light enough to let you feel like you’re not wearing it, and it won’t get caught on your shirt cuff. The biggest difference between the Apple Watch Series 5 and the previous Apple Watch iterations is its always-on display. It will always show the time and you no longer need to raise your wrist in order to wake the screen up. And if you’re thinking that the always-on display will take a serious toll on the battery life, don’t fret. It’s possible to get a full day and a half out of a single charge. Recharging takes about an hour.
Apple Watch Series 5 (40mm, GPS) — $379, was $399:
Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm, GPS) — $414, was $429: