The 5 Best Smartwatches for Men in 2020 – By Experts

When smartwatches first emerged, they seemed like a ridiculous idea to add more unnecessary tech into our lives. The bulky sizes that had no visual appeal and the lack of functionality didn’t help.

However, as time went by, manufacturers listened to customers of other smart devices and gave them equal functionality with different designs right on their wrists. So, nowadays, smartwatches are becoming more and more of an invariable part of men’s lives.

Yet, the abundance in brands, models, and functions makes choosing the best smartwatch for men a bit overwhelming. What you’re for in features or what design looks best on you can be hard to find in the same device.

But you don’t have to worry because we have a list of the best smartwatches for men.

List of the Best Smartwatches for Men:

  • Apple Watch Series 5 – Best for iPhone Users
  • Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Premium Multisport Choice
  • Garmin Instinct – Most Durable with GPS
  • Samsung Gear S3 Frontier – Best for Fitness Tracking
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch – Best for Android Users

Top Picks

Smartwatch

Size (mm)

Sleep Tracker

Heart-Rate Monitor

Apple Watch Series 5

40/44

Costs extra

Yes

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

42/47/51

Yes

Yes

Garmin Instinct

45

Yes

Yes

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

46

Yes

Yes

Samsung Galaxy Watch

42/46

Yes

Yes

The 5 Best Smartwatches for Men

1. Apple Watch Series 5 – Best for iPhone Users

Apple Watch Series 5

It’s no secret that apple smartwatches are expensive, but it’s a well-known fact that they’re worth every penny. The Apple Watch Series 5 is an upgrade from Apple Watch Series 4.

Let’s start with the design. It comes in different materials: recycled aluminum, 80% harder stainless steel, scratch-resistant ceramic, and specially-coated titanium.

Also, the customizable bands come in leather, fluoroelastomer, metal, and nylon weaves. Each band material offers different colors to cater to your personal style.

The level of customization in designs of the Apple Watch Series 5 sets a higher standard for other smartwatch brands to follow.

Regarding sizes, the Apple Watch Series 5 comes in 40 and 44 mm, which is a pretty average range for smartwatches for men. This model also has a 30% larger screen than the previous model.

Our watch has up to 18 hours of battery life, which is unsatisfactory but understandable when you think about the multitude of functions and features it has.

This watch addresses health and wellness needs well.

First, it has an ECG app to monitor your heart rate and even tell you if you’re showing any signs of atrial fibrillation, sinus rhythm, or any other irregularities, which helps you collect necessary data for your doctors.

Second, the Noise app tells you when the noise levels are too high, so you can move away to save your hearing. Third, the Breathe app helps you practice mindfulness and guides you into a more calming state of mind; it’s also available as a watch face for easy access.

Finally, it has multiple health-related apps for diabetes, meal tracking, meditation, fall detection, and calling international emergencies.

What about fitness? Swimmers can rejoice because this watch is water-resistant to 50 meters, thanks to its 5 ATM. Also, the Activity app helps you track your workouts in detail and train smarter. You can share workout information and compete with friends.

There are even two wheelchair-specific workouts, so everybody works out. In addition, there are fitness apps that benefit runners, hikers, skiers, and surfers.

Our ultimate best smartwatch for men has an Always-On Retina display that is way more detailed than any other competitor. It doesn’t just show you time; it shows you all the information that you see in your regular watch face and the brightness dims when you lower your wrist.

The built-in compass and ground elevation is a win for people on the go that need to know where they are quick. Your favorite Apple music store can be accessed to listen to music, and Apple Pay lets you pay all your online payments from the watch.

Siri, the world’s favorite and honestly funniest virtual assistant, is also on the watch to help you go through all your meetings, plans, chores, and activities much faster and more focused.  

Like anything in the world, this watch has its cons. Number one, it’s really expensive, and you pay more to the official sleeping tracker. Otherwise, you can settle with third-party apps. Number two, the battery life should have been better.

Pros:

  • 30% larger screen than the previous model
  • Always-On Retina display
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM)
  • Built-in compass
  • ECG app
  • Noise app
  • Breathe app
  • Activity app
  • Apple Music
  • Apple pay
  • Siri

Cons:

  • Sleep tracking costs extra
  • Unsatisfactory battery life

Bottom Line

Since its release, the Apple Watch Series 5 has proven to be the best thing the smartwatch market could come up with right now. It has it all: design, durability, and functionality.

Check also: Best Smartwatches for men in 2020

2. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire – Premium Multisport Choice

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire

A hiker, cyclist, runner, hill climber, or even diver will swear by this smartwatch, as they should. The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is not just an expensive luxury, but a necessity for every man who loves outdoor adventures.

Let’s start with the design that fits its purposes perfectly. It comes in either silicone straps or metallic ones for the 51 mm size. The first option looks fresh and trendy, while the metallic band adds a premium and heavy feel to the watch.

Thanks to the Quickfit watch band system you can swap your watch bands very easily and quickly.

What makes this watch so durable and rugged is the sapphire glass, which is scratch-resistant and tougher than normal glass. The stainless steel bezel and buttons are PVD-coated for extra durability. It is also water-resistant for up to 100 meters, thanks to its impressive 10 ATM.

The interface is very easy to use, and read, thanks to having a higher resolution than previous models, so it has more screen detail. Also, the LED backlighting helps you read the screen even in the harshest daylight. The five-button layout adds to the simplicity of navigation.

Furthermore, it adds to the variety of watch faces it already offers by letting you choose pictures from your own gallery.

Our premium pick comes in three different sizes: 42, 47, and 51 mm and the best thing is that these three different sizes basically cover men’s sizes in watches.

Battery life can last for weeks because it would be really annoying to have to cut your adventure short just because the battery died down.

If you’re interested in tracking your health, this watch has an always-on Elevate wrist heart rate technology on the back of the watch, which helps you understand how much effort you’re making in your activities.

The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire offers detailed sleep tracking that tells you how much you spent sleeping lightly or heavily. In addition, it tracks stress levels all throughout the day.

If you’re an athlete, you won’t need to use another smart device to track your fitness progress ever again. It tracks steps, stairs, stroke counts, calories burned, and much more. Any outdoor activity or workout can be tracked and evaluated.

Now let’s get into the good part, and that is the sensors. Our watch doesn’t just have GPS, it has full-color preloaded topographic and cycling maps, and you can always download more maps. The maps are detailed and labeled, so adventurers won’t need to seek help elsewhere.

But how can a watch do that? Well, that’s what you can achieve with GLONASS satellite reception. In addition, it has sensors for weather conditions, temperatures, and altitudes.

Of course, anything that cool had to have some imperfections to be real. First, it’s really expensive, and it can break the bank; however, when you think about all the features mentioned above and even ones you know as you explore, the price makes perfect sense.

Furthermore, it is really large and bulky, so if your priority is a relatively small smartwatch, you’re looking in the wrong place.

Pros:

  • Durable materials
  • Battery life can last for weeks
  • Quickfit watch band system
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters (10 ATM)
  • Preloaded topographic and cycling maps
  • Elevate wrist heart rate technology
  • GLONASS satellite reception
  • Sleep tracking

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Oversized

Bottom Line

The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is the best smartwatch for men who want premium features for outdoor activities.

3. Garmin Instinct – Most Durable with GPS

Garmin Instinct

If you really liked what Garmin Fenix 5X has to offer but can’t afford it, we recommend the more affordable Garmin Instinct.

Let’s talk about design. What’s interesting about the Garmin Instinct is that it’s bulky like all Garmin watches, yet it is so lightweight and comfortable, thanks to its fully-vented silicone bands. The Quickfit watch band system makes swapping bands a dream.

Since it is made to the U.S. military standard 810G, the Garmin Instinct has thermal, shock, and water resistance for up to 100 meters.

In addition to the water-resistance of 10 ATM, the fiber-reinforced polymer case gives the watch the durability needed to withstand rigorous activities. Also, the watch display is chemically-strengthened to be scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to get a screen protector.

If you’re a beginner to outdoor smartwatches, don’t worry; it’s very easy to use, thanks to the five-button layout and a pretty intuitive interface. The screen has high contrast, and it gets brighter when sunlight is too bright.

It comes in a 45-mm size, which is an average size that is comfortable for most men. What about battery life? Don’t fret because it lasts up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode.

Since the Garmin Instinct targets active men, it always provides information about your heart rate, your stress levels, and the intensity of your activity. In addition, its built-in sports apps track 28 kinds of workouts such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, and more.

We love the watch’s 24/7 activity tracking. Also, it tells you if you’ve been active enough and gives you adaptive step goals to help you improve. Of course, it tracks your sleep.

Now, let’s get down to business and why you would choose a Garmin watch in the first place.

In addition to the spot-on GPS, the GLONASS and Galileo support help do advanced mapping coverage, compared to any other smartwatch. Also, the 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter help you track elevation levels, weather conditions, and routes.

Have you ever taken a hike and couldn’t find your way back? Well, the TracBack feature guides you back to your starting point.

Besides receiving your notifications on your display, it allows you to respond to texts and calls if paired with an Android phone. In addition, you can control the music on your phone with your Bluetooth headset.

Now, let’s jump into the drawbacks. First, it doesn’t have the most good-looking design, which may affect your decision if you’re a man of aesthetics. Second, some users reported having a rash upon wearing it, so it’s worth checking if you’re sensitive to any materials.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Quickfit watch band system
  • U.S. military standard 810G for extreme durability
  • Excellent battery life with smart modes
  • Built-in sports apps
  • Sleep tracking
  • GLONASS and Galileo support
  • 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter
  • TracBack

Cons:

  • Not the most good-looking design
  • Some users reported having rash

Bottom Line

If you’re out there to conquer the jungle, explore the wilderness, or just work out a lot, there’s no better and more affordable companion than the Garmin Instinct.

4. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier – Best for Fitness Tracking

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier design has the best of both worlds, old and modern. It’s a feature-packed smartwatch, with looks that remind you of mechanical timepieces. So, if you’re into “old-looking” smartwatches, go for it.

Built with military-grade standards, this watch is resistant to water, dust, extreme temperatures, and the occasional drop. The rotating bezel is made of steel for extra durability and a rugged look. This watch’s 22-mm strap is made of silicone.

The interface is pretty simple and easy to use and it gets easier with the rotating bezel and buttons that make navigation much quicker, especially in the middle of a workout. Thanks to the Ambient Light Sensor, the display is bright and crisp even on the brightest day.

Something interesting we’ve noticed is how this watch only works for larger wrists because of its 46-mm size and bulky construction, so it basically targets men and their wrist sizes.

Nothing is more inconvenient than a short battery life that twists your arm in the middle of your activities. This watch’s battery won’t disappoint, as it lasts for 3 days on average.

If you’re looking into the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, chances are you’re interested in tracking your health and fitness better than the average smartwatch. For starters, it is an excellent and accurate heart and sleep tracker, which is hard to find in even more expensive watches.

You can also track your water and caffeine intake. Thanks to the built-in GPS, you can always track and share your location. The S Health app uses multiple sensors, such as an accelerometer, barometer, and gyro sensor to track your workouts automatically.

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier’s Bluetooth connectivity, along with the built-in mic and speaker, notify you and allow you to take calls, text, and listen to music hands-free. Furthermore, Samsung Pay helps you make your payments wherever you are.

A pro for some can be a con for others: the Gear S3’s large size caters to large men but fails smaller wrists, as it’s too bulky. Also, S Voice isn’t that good of a virtual assistant. Finally, there are major apps present, but many important ones are missing.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Rotating steel bezel
  • Samsung Pay
  • Built-in GPS
  • Battery life lasts for days (approximately 3)
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Built-in mic and speaker
  • Sleep tracking

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • S Voice is the virtual assistant
  • Limited app selection

Bottom Line

The necessity of a quality smartwatch for the active man cannot be overstated. Because of how it answers every athlete’s call, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is the best smartwatch for men who regularly workout.

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch – Best for Android Users

Samsung Galaxy Watch

It’s no secret that the best option for an Android user is an Android smartwatch and vice versa, even if the smartwatch is compatible with other operating systems. You get all features and functions when you stay in your lane, and that’s why Samsung always wins Android users.

Our watch is a well-designed classic-looking watch that fits every occasion, with the two larger sizes having a manly design and colors and it still doesn’t look too bulky or chunky.

It has a round stainless steel case, an attractive-looking bezel, and scratch-resistant Mil Std 810G Gorilla Glass DX+. In addition to the impressive durability, the Samsung Galaxy Watch has 5 ATM water resistance, which is up to 50 meters. 

We love the realistic-looking watch faces that make you forget you have a smartwatch in a good way. The rotating bezel and two buttons make menu navigation effortless, as your fingers won’t take up the screen, which is a common inconvenience in smartwatches.

The watch comes in two different sizes: 42 mm for small-to-medium wrists and 44 mm for medium-to-large wrists. What about battery life? Well, it lasts for days, with the largest size lasting the longest and vice versa.

This watch is excellent for health and fitness interests. Not every watch can track your sleep by its 4 stages. In addition, it counts your calorie intake and monitors your heart rate. Furthermore, the watch can guide you in meditations and stress management.

Also, it auto-detects 6 workouts, and you can manually make it track 33 workouts. The built-in GPS helps you track your workout routes even better. In addition, it reminds you to keep you moving.

We’re not done yet. If you’re tired of using cash or credit cards to pay for stuff, now you can skip all the hassle and pay online with Samsung Pay. Thanks to the built-in mic and speaker, you can make clear calls, text, and listen to music with Spotify.

Moreover, this bad boy has the IoT technology, which enables you to control other smart devices around the house.

As with every smartwatch on earth, it has its downside.

First, the app selection is limited because there isn’t any social media platform. Second, despite the excellent battery life, it takes a long time to charge. Finally, Bixby, the virtual assistant, is a poor choice because it’s frustrating and doesn’t understand the users well.

Pros:

  • Water-resistant to 50 meters (5 ATM)
  • Built-in mic and speaker
  • Built-in GPS
  • Samsung Pay
  • IoT
  • Battery life lasts for days
  • Sleep tracking
  • Heart rate monitor

Cons:

  • Limited app selection
  • Doesn’t charge quickly
  • Bixby doesn’t understand anything

Bottom Line

If you are an Android user, you won’t find this functionality, connectivity, and style elsewhere.

How to Pick The Best Smartwatch for Men?

1. Features

If you’re not buying smartwatches for their features, then stick to classic ones. When you buy a smartwatch, you’re basically buying features with other aspects on the side.

Health and fitness buffs need to keep an eye out for features like GPS tracking, heart monitoring, sleep tracking, automatic workout-tracking, and workout coaching.

Having fitness apps on hand is even more useful. In addition, a water-resistant smartwatch for swimmers would be a good idea, and the higher the ATM, the better.

Virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa make the smartwatch experience even more convenient. Also, rotating bezels make navigation easy and effortless.

A feature like NFC makes shopping hassle-free, as you won’t need to walk around with your credit cards or stand in lines to pay for things. Also, some smartwatches go beyond receiving notifications and calls and actually enable you to respond to them.

Music lovers will rejoice with smartwatches that have big music storage, support Spotify or Apple Music, and Bluetooth support for headphones.

2. Size

There’s no way you’re buying a smartwatch without checking if it has your size or not, especially when sizes are what separates smartwatches targeted at men from women’s.

Choosing the right size makes you feel comfortable with something that you’ll have on your wrist for prolonged periods of time. Right size also looks best.

Wrist sizes for men, which are addressed by the watch’s case diameter, can range from small (38-42 mm), average (43-46 mm), and large (47 mm and above). Band sizes also matter, and they range from 18 mm to 24 mm, with the smaller band having a thinner width and vice versa.

Sometimes watch material comes into play because metal bands can appear larger and heavier.

3. Battery Life

The majority of smartwatches have an estimated battery life of 24 hours. However, some smartwatches will need to be charged in much less than a day, while other watches can last for days and even months.

Your choice will depend on your lifestyle and how busy you are, which answers how often you can charge your smartwatch. Also, look for smartwatches with smart battery modes that make it last for longer and pay attention to watches that have very fast charging.

4. Design

Because you don’t pay very little for smartwatches, the way they look has to be taken into account.

Are you a fitness junky that needs a smartwatch to match their lifestyle with a lightweight design, or do you need a classic-looking business-appropriate watch?

Some smartwatches have a durable design with sturdy materials and scratch-resistant screens, while others can feel like cheap knockoffs although their price points aren’t cheap.

Finally, a variety of colors and finishes allows you to match your smartwatch to your outfits or lifestyle.

5. Smartphones and Compatibility

Many smartwatches are compatible with iPhones and Android like Google’s Wear OS or Samsung. However, the truth is you only get the full functions of a smartwatch if you choose one that matches your phone.

So, go for an Apple watch when you have an iPhone and go for a Samsung or a Wear OS one when your phone is an Android to enjoy the full functionality.

Final Thoughts

Among the list mentioned above of the best smartwatches for men, there has to be a choice that works best for you. Let’s go through the basics one more time.

Our top pick is the Apple Watch Series 5 because it offers unmatched customization, monitors your health in detail, and has an always-on display.

The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire and Garmin Instinct are the best smartwatches in GPS and mapping, so you definitely need one of the two if you’re an outdoor enthusiast.

Finally, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is worth checking out if you work out regularly and you need a quality hands-free tracker.