Best smartwatch for iPhones

Wearable Technology

To measure blood oxygen, most smartwatches use sensors that reflect light off blood vessels in the wrist. Some smartwatches also analyze heart rates with an ECM touch sensor that measures electric signals through the finger.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which smartwatch for iPhones is best?

If you are used to having all of the capabilities of an iPhone at your fingertips, but want a hands-free option, look for a smartwatch that can sync with it. Smartwatch products are capable of connecting to newer generation iPhones and enhancing their functionality in different ways.

Why buy a smartwatch?

In an age of smartphones with internal clocks that automatically adjust to your time zone or daylight saving changes, wrist-watches have waned in popularity. In contrast, smartwatches have grown more popular among consumers engaged in health, fitness and outdoor activities. 

Most smartwatches have built-in sensors and fitness apps that let wearers keep track of fitness routines and sleep schedules or check their heart rate and blood oxygen count. These same smartwatches are also designed to withstand sudden collisions, temperature extremes or immersion in water — hazards that would break other mobile devices.

Furthermore, many of these smartwatch models can connect wirelessly to a user’s smartphone, letting them back up information, receive notifications and run smartphone apps. This lets athletes bring useful smartphone functions during outdoor activities where smartphones would be best left behind. With feedback from physicians, people can even use their smartwatches to monitor certain chronic medical conditions.

In short, a well-made smartwatch product can be a great asset for iPhone users looking to expand the functionality of their mobile devices and cultivate their personal health, particularly if they acquire a model well suited to their needs.

How to find the right smartwatch for your iPhone

There are many smartwatch products on the market, making it challenging to identify the best models and bargains. The key is to make a list of qualities you’d most like to see in a smartwatch, then find smartwatch models with some or all of those qualities.

Features  

When shopping for a smartwatch, start by searching for models with the features you want and prices that fit your budget. Basic smartwatch models with minimal functionality, such as counting steps or sharing notifications, range from $100-$199. Smartwatches that can sync with the apps of nearby smartphones have prices ranging from $200-$399, while smartwatch products with the LTE functionality, hardware and software needed to run smartphone apps on their own can cost $400 or more. 

Phone compatibility

Apple Watch Series 6

Once you’ve picked a smartwatch model with the right ratio of functionality and affordability, read through its specifications online to make sure it can interface with the operating system of your current iPhone. For instance, the Apple Watch Series 6 can pair with any iPhone model running iOS 14 or a newer operating system. Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 can be paired with both Android and iOS devices.

Interface capabilities

Most iOS-compatible smartwatch products sync with iPhones through free fitness apps available on the Apple Store. Before purchasing a smartwatch, look at their associated fitness apps, evaluating the elegance of their designs, the accessibility of their interfaces and the ease of transferring data from watch to phone.

Best iPhone-compatible smartwatches

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense

This iPhone-compatible smartwatch stands out thanks to the sheer number of fitness-related features it possesses. Using the Fitbit: Health & Fitness App, iPhone users can tap into this smartwatch’s myriad sensors to monitor their heart rhythms, sleep patterns, skin temperature and stress, while a swim-proof casing and built-in GPS let wearers use it during a variety of outdoor excursions.

Sold by Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

This elegantly designed smartwatch has features for measuring biorhythms and detecting falls. It also can run multiple smartphone apps and LTE functionality that lets wearers make calls, reply to texts or listen to music away from their mobile device. In addition, the Galaxy Watch3 can sync with the iPhone 5 and newer models through the Samsung Galaxy Watch (Gear S) iOS app.

Sold by Amazon 

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

This smartwatch can monitor the wearer’s heart rate, calories and blood oxygen while keeping track of their sleep schedule and exercise routines. What’s more, the Galaxy Watch Active2 aluminum casing model can sync with both Android devices and iPhones via the Galaxy Watch Gear S app.

Sold by Amazon

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Smartwatch

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Smartwatch

This smartwatch is designed to be compatible with Google-designed apps and Android phone software but can be paired with iPhones using the Wear OS app from the Apple Store. The stylish-looking Fossil Gen 5 also has functions for preserving battery life, answering calls, receiving notifications, GPS tracking and controlling smart-home devices.

Sold by Amazon

Garmin Instinct Solar

Garmin Instinct Solar

A particularly rugged smartwatch made for outdoor wilderness activities, featuring a built-in compass and barometric altimeter, access to three satellite-based navigation systems and a casing resistant to water or extreme weather conditions. The various health and fitness functions available on this smartwatch can be synced to an iPhone using the Garmin Connect iOS app.

Sold by Amazon

Apple Watch Series 6 

Apple Watch Series 6 

When it comes to wrist-mounted devices that can be linked to an iPhone, few smartwatch products can beat out the Apple Watch Series 6 in terms of compatibility. However, through the Apple Store’s Fitness App, wearers of this smartwatch can keep track of their workouts, heart rhythms, blood oxygen and sleep schedule while accessing iOS apps such as Apple Pay, Maps, Messages or Siri even when not near their iPhones.

Sold by Amazon

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch

An interesting blend of a modern smartwatch and a classic analog wristwatch, the Withings Steel HR tells time through physical hour and minute hands while also letting wearers access health monitoring functions, GPS tracking and notifications from their smartphone through a small central screen. In addition, this particular smartwatch model can sync up with iPhones through Withings Health Mate, Apple Health and several other iOS partner apps.

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Coleman Gailloreto writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.