The 5 Best Smartwatches for Texting in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Texting has become the most common method of communication, and when you’re busy or active, it can become the only way to communicate.

In 2020, smartwatches are made in all shapes and sizes. They are also packed with more and more features than their early 2000s predecessors. Yet, many smartwatches lack the ability to respond to texts and can only notify you of them.

Needless to say, we had to do our own research to find the ones that do text and then decide our favorite ones. So, let’s get right into the best smartwatches for texting.

List of the Best Smartwatches for Texting:

  • Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) – Best for iPhone Users
  • Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch – Best Standalone Smartwatch
  • Garmin vívoactive 3 – Best for Fitness Tracking
  • Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth) –  Most Stylish Choice at a Budget
  • Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch (Bluetooth) – Best for Android Users

Top 5 Smartwatches That Can Text

Smartwatch

Price

Size Options (mm)

Display Size (in)

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)

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38/42

1.65

Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch

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45

1.39

Garmin vívoactive 3

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43

1.2

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth)

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43

1.2

Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch (Bluetooth)CHECK PRICE

46

1.3

The 5 Best Smartwatches for Texting in 2020

1. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) – Best for iPhone Users

Apple Watch Series 3

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Apple owns the smartwatch market, no questions asked.

They didn’t change the design much from the previous models, which is cool because Apple designs don’t need many improvements. Our top pick has a square design, but it still looks more attractive than most smartwatches we’ve seen.

Apple Watch Series 3 includes cellular data, a bigger battery than previous models, and a dual-core S3 processor, all without making it too bulky, which is impressive and not easy to do.

There’s a red dot on the digital crown to distinguish the LTE version from the non-cellular one.

It comes into colors: Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band and Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band. Interchangeable bands apply as we’re used to from Apple, so you can always buy a different band for more variety in colors.

The interface is quite simplistic, and it looks nice. In addition, the 1000-nit OLED display is even brighter than newer versions of the Apple Watch Series, so you can see crisp colors and nice graphics in direct sunlight.

Our top pick comes in two sizes. The 38-mm size targets small-to-medium wrists, and the 42-mm size is for medium-to-large wrists.

Usually, any smartwatch that’s packed with features has a short battery life, especially when you add cellular data to that. However, the Apple Watch Series 3 does a decent job of maintaining its battery life for a day with average use. Yet, it’s just decent, not great.

Before you ask, the Apple Watch Series 3 has your back in terms of health and fitness.

Most smartwatches have a basic heart rate tracker, but the Apple Watch Series 3 tracker is far from basic. It monitors your heart rate accurately and notifies you with any irregularities, which is such a helpful feature for anyone who’s concerned about having heart problems.

In addition, it guides you through breathing exercises for higher mindfulness. Furthermore, it helps women’s health with menstrual cycle tracking. Don’t forget that it has emergency calling, as well.

We love the improved Workout app that not only tracks your workouts but also helps you set goals and motivates you to achieve them. In addition, it has features like cadence and pace alert for runners. Also, the watch can connect to enabled gym equipment to track your workout.

Thanks to its spot-in GPS, this watch is pretty good at tracking your distance and average pace.  It also has a barometric altimeter, so it even tracks elevation gain; this feature is useful for hikers, skiers, cyclists, skateboarding, and even stair climbers.

Swimmers can rest assured that the Apple Watch Series 3 has 5 ATM water resistance up to 50 meters. They will also love that the watch tracks swimming and detects different stroke types.

Apple watch series 3 has two-way texting and calling abilities, whether it’s by connecting the watch to your iPhone or through its eSIM card. In addition, it has the scribble feature, so you can write the words yourself, and the watch will convert it into text.

Furthermore, you can respond to texts using a GIF, a voice note, or preset replies.

Another thing we love is Apple Pay because it enables you to pay for things without needing your wallet or credit cards.

One of the best things about this watch is the ability to stream music from Apple Music without needing your phone, which is incredible for runners who love listening to music. You also get notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and more.

Now, let’s get into the downside. First, syncing your music that you regularly stream from your phone takes a lot of time. Second, Apple Watch Series doesn’t have its own sleep tracker.

Pros:

  • Two-way calling and texting
  • Emergency calling
  • Heart rate tracking and notifications
  • Decent battery life
  • GPS
  • Dual-core S3 processor
  • eSIM card
  • Scribble feature
  • Menstrual cycle tracking
  • Workout app

Cons:

  • Syncing music takes time
  • No sleep tracking

Bottom Line

No doubt about it, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the best smartwatch for texting for iPhone users, thanks to its two-way communications and eSIM card.

2. Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch – Best Standalone Smartwatch

Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatc

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Let’s start with materials. The watch case is made of polyamide and glass fiber. It has a stainless-steel bezel with minute markers and an aluminum rear cover. These aspects aren’t new; yet, this model is lighter than previous models. The straps are lightweight silicone.

It has two metal buttons, as well. Also, our standalone pick has the durable Gorilla 3 anti-fingerprint cover glass, so you won’t have to worry about any finger smudging. Because of its high durability, this watch is MIL-STD-810G certified.

It has an IP68 waterproof rating, which means you can swim in shallow pool water. In addition, the watch has a built-in speaker that is resistant to unwanted water and moisture buildup.

Thanks to the bright and sharp 1.39″ AMOLED display, you can see perfectly clear in direct sunlight. Furthermore, this watch has a smart dual-screen display; a transparent LCD display is on top of the AMOLED one. The dual-screen setup changes screens depending on the mode.

The LCD screen only shows essential information to save power, and it is activated on Essential Mode, which can extend battery life to up to 30 days of battery life. Smart Mode, which has the AMOLED display, makes battery life last 2 days and 5 if it automatically switches to Essential.

Medium-to-large wrists will love the watch’s 45-mm size; however, people with smaller wrists may have to look elsewhere.

TicPulse, the heart rate monitor, does 24/7 heart rate monitoring, even in Essential Mode. In addition, TicSleep tracks your sleep and offers detailed metrics about the quality of your sleep and its stages.

Let’s get down to fitness. TicExercise has six workouts presets outdoor running, outdoor walking, outdoor cycling, indoor running, freestyle, and pool swimming.

TicMotion, which is TicWatch’s proprietary AI algorithms, automatically detects and tracks running, walking, swimming styles, and cycling.

What about smart features? This watch has built-in GPS, which helps you track your runs.

Also, our 4G LTE watch enables you to call, text, cloud sync notifications, stream music, remotely control smart home devices, and automatically call 911. You can do all of this without resorting to your Bluetooth or wifi.

Furthermore, thanks to Google Pay, you can make your payments anytime, anywhere, without your wallet or cards. Also, you can use voice commands to do anything hands-free with Google Assistant.

Needless to say, this smartwatch has its faults. First, it has no ATM rating, which is such a basic thing that a smartwatch should have. Without it, the smartwatch isn’t reliable underwater. Second, the LTE advantages work on the Verizon network only.

Pros:

  • Smart sleep tracking
  • Great battery life with smart modes
  • Google Pay and Google Assistant
  • TicMotion and TicExercise
  • 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • Gorilla 3 anti-fingerprint cover glass
  • Built-in water-resistant speaker
  • Bright 1.39″ AMOLED display
  • SOS feature
  • Built-in GPS

Cons:

  • No ATM rating
  • 4G LTE is for Verizon only

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a standalone watch that you can take on a run without having to have your phone to text, call, listen to music or pay for things, the Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE is your best shot.

3. Garmin Vívoactive 3 – Best for Fitness Tracking

Garmin vívoactive 3

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If there is one thing Garmin is good at, it’s fitness-focused smartwatches. The Garmin vívoactive 3 is no exception. They’re here to help you work out and text. So, what’s not to love?

Our top pick for fitness tracking has a popular and well-loved round design. It’s not small at 43 mm, but doesn’t look bulky or oversized; it feels and looks just right.

The case is made of fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover. Also, the silicone strap is super comfortable, and it comes in many color options. This bad boy has 5 ATM water resistance to 50 meters. Also, the Gorilla Glass 3 is scratch-resistant and durable.

The Vivoactive 3’s 1.2″ Garmin Chroma display is super bright and easy to read even under direct sunlight, which is beneficial for when you’re on the run. You can always adjust the brightness anyway. There’s one button on the side that performs many actions.

Battery life is great. It can last up to 7 days in Smartwatch Mode and 13 hours in GPS Mode. It finishes charging in a little over an hour.

Now, we’re onto the health. Not only does it track your heart, but it also tracks your heart rate variability to help you watch your stress levels. In addition, it estimates your VO2 max and fitness age, which helps you watch the progress of your health and fitness over time.

In addition, the Garmin Vívoactive 3 has detailed menstrual cycle tracking that helps you have all the information needed, such as symptoms and irregularities in one place. It also educates you about each phase of the cycle and will send you reminders.

Fitness junkies will love the fact that this watch has more than 15 preloaded sports apps, so whatever workout choice you have in mind will be tracked with the built-in GPS and evaluated. This watch couldn’t be more fitness-focused, even if it tried.

In addition, it lets you create your custom running, cycling, cardio, or strength workouts, and the watch will track the mileage, pace, and heart rate for you. Online communities that this watch connects you with can help motivate and encourage you to improve.

Now that we’re done with fitness let’s get into the smart features.

The Garmin Vívoactive 3 notifies you and enables you to respond to texts. You’ll get social media updates and emails. Also, you can listen to music when you’re connected to your smartphone.

If you’re sick of having to pay for everything in person or even on your phone, we have good news. This watch has Garmin Pay, which helps you make all of your online payments through the watch alone. Also, the SmartThings app lets you control smart devices at home.

Like anything ever made, this watch has its flaws. First, the sleep tracker is weird and inaccurate; it counts your non-sleep as sleep and vice versa. Second, you can’t stream music or store music on this version of Garmin Vívoactive 3.

Pros:

  • Garmin Pay
  • Great battery life with smart modes
  • 24/7 heart-rate monitoring
  • More than 15 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps
  • VO2 max and fitness age
  • Built-in GPS
  • Menstrual cycle tracking
  • SmartThings app

Cons:

  • Sleep tracking is flawed
  • No onboard music storage or music apps

Bottom Line

All in all, the Garmin Vívoactive 3 is the best smartwatch for texting and working out, with a nice variety of color and comfortable design.

4. Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth) –  Most Stylish Choice at a Budget

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

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The Samsung Gear Sport offers a lot of styles, fitness tracking, and texting abilities at a reasonable price. Samsung once again adds its touch to the smartwatch market.

Let’s get into design. Our stop budget pick comes in a round design with more compact dimensions than other Samsung Gear, so it’s perfect for everyday use and fitness. The silicone strap is lightweight and comfortable, and it comes in two attractive colors: black and blue.

The watch has a time-piece-like feel, thanks to its stainless steel body, rotating bezel, and two buttons. Despite being affordable, it feels sturdy and looks like it costs a lot more. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is scratch-resistant. Also, it has 5 ATM water resistance up to 50 meters.

Thanks to the 1.2” Super AMOLED Full-Color Always-On Display, the colors are vibrant and sharp; the readability under direct sunlight is great, as well.

The rotating bezel is Samsung’s advantage over Apple and its digital crown, as it is more practical and easy-to-use. Also, we have two side buttons: one is a back button, and the other is a home one. Our watch comes in one popular size, which is 43 mm.

Our watch helps you set health and diet goals, track them, and it offers you tips and insights to help you stay on track. In addition, it tracks your heart rate. The Samsung Gear Sport’s health tracking is nice to have, but it’s not ground-breaking, to be honest.

What about fitness? Well, it had to live up to the ‘sport’ in its name. You can select from more than 60 workouts, and it will guide you through them. Also, the Pear personal coach app is a nice touch that provides interactive audio coaching without needing your phone.

In addition, it automatically detects a lot of workouts, including swimming, thanks to Speedo On, which can track your splashing, stroke counts, types, and lap times. Another useful app for swimming is the Swim.com, which sets swimming goals, tracks your training, and more.

Now, let’s get into smart features. You’re looking for a smartwatch to text, right? With Bluetooth or wifi, you can respond to calls, thanks to the built-in mic, and texts by just rotating the bezel. Also, you can respond to texts with voice-to-text commands, voice notes, and preset replies.

Furthermore, you can stream your music and sync offline tracks on Spotify with Bluetooth headphones. The SmartThings app lets you connect your smartwatch with other smart devices at home. Finally, Samsung Pay saves you time and effort by letting you pay with your watch.

Of course, you want to know the downsides, as well. First, many users reported inaccuracies in sleep or fitness tracking. Second, S Voice is such a frustrating virtual assistant that it’s better not to depend on it. Third, the battery life needed to be better.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Rotating bezel
  • Pear personal coach app
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.2” Super AMOLED Full-Color AOD
  • SmartThings app
  • Samsung Pay
  • Built-in mic

Cons:

  • Some tracking can be inaccurate
  • S Voice sucks
  • Unsatisfactory battery life

Bottom Line

Samsung Gear Sport is the best smartwatch for texting with cool design and an affordable price.

5. Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch (Bluetooth) – Best for Android Users

Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch

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When it comes to smartwatches, it is better to stay in your operating-system’s lane than to go to a watch that is just compatible with yours. Android users, especially Samsung, will love what this watch has to offer in terms of texting and other features.

The first thing you’ll notice about this watch is its classic look, so it’s very business-appropriate, and it’s good for anyone that wants the balance of high-tech performance with low-tech looks. It has a weighty feel. The rotating steel bezel and classic-leather band tie the whole look.

Also, this watch is MIL-STD-810G certified, thanks to its resistance to drops from 4.9 feet, extreme temperatures, dust, shock/vibration, and low pressure/high altitude. In addition, it has an IP68 waterproof rating, which means up to 5 feet for up to 30 minutes.

We love the 1.3 full-color OLED AOD display because it’s larger than most smartwatches on the list while being bright and vibrant with high contrast. Also, the rotating bezel makes a classic-reminiscent sound while it helps you navigate effortlessly.

The Samsung Gear S3 Classic comes in a 43-mm size, which targets medium-to-large wrists more than anything.

If you’ve been disappointed by smartwatch batteries draining quickly, don’t fret. This watch’s battery life can last for 2 to 4 days, and you can always extend by activating smart modes or choosing more power-efficient watch faces.

Samsung Health tracks your calorie and caffeine intake, steps walked, stairs climbed, heart rate, sleep, and more. In addition, it has inactivity alerts to keep you moving when you need to.

Also, it automatically detects workouts like walking, running, cycling, elliptic, rowing machine, and more. You can also set goals, post results, and compare them in leaderboards. Reward notifications are here to motivate you and make you feel good about your accomplishments.

Thanks to the built-in mic, speaker, and connectivity with wifi and Bluetooth, you can have two-way texting and calling. We also love Samsung Pay and how it enables you to pay for whatever you want on your watch.

Let’s jump into the disadvantages. The watch is bulky, and it won’t look nice at all with smaller wrists. In addition, the app selection could have been better. Finally, the watch having no ATM rating means you can’t really swim with it.

Pros:

  • Rotating steel bezel
  • Samsung Pay
  • Built-in mic and speaker
  • Military-grade durability
  • 1.3 full-color OLED AOD display
  • Great battery life with smart modes
  • Samsung Health
  • Two-way texting and calling

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Limited app selection
  • No ATM rating

Bottom Line

The Samsung Gear S3 Classic covers all the basics you expect from a decent smartwatch, especially in texting, and it does it looking far nicer than most.

How to Pick a Smartwatch for Texting

1. Features

What’s a smartwatch without features? A watch. Since you’re paying for a smart device, the first thing you should look at is its features.

Since we’re interested in texting, some watches allow you to respond to texts with preset quick replies, respond normally, or even have a two-way texting advantage.

Look for watches with a built-in speaker and mic because they let you take calls and listen to music, whether on Spotify, Apple Music, or onboard music storage.

Many smartwatches allow you to make your online payments, so you don’t have to walk around with your wallet or credit card. Virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant help you organize your life more effortlessly and guide through everything.

If you regularly work out, look for smartwatches with fitness apps that track your activities 24/7, give you valuable insights, and coach you. Also, some smartwatches help you be a part of an online community where you share your activities with them and compete.

Smartwatches also have a lot to help you pay attention to your health and wellbeing, such as heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, sedentary reminders, guided breathing activities, and fall detection.

2. Compatibility

Many smartwatches are marketed as compatible with Android and iOS, and that is true; however, you don’t get the full features of a smartwatch, unless you pair it with a phone with the same operating system.

For example, if you use a Samsung smartwatch and pair with an iPhone, you won’t be able to text or receive calls and vice versa.

However, you can solve this problem by getting a standalone smartwatch where you won’t be at the mercy of your smartphone’s operating system or even location. Standalone smartwatches come with their own SIM card, so you can leave your phone behind completely.

Standalone smartwatches are more expensive, and they cost even more to pay for their data, so keep that in mind.

3. Battery Life

We categorize smartwatches in terms of battery life into 3 main categories: those that usually last less than a day, a day, or days.

Yet, you have to keep in mind that your own usage can affect battery life. If there are two users of the same watch, but one of them uses it more vigorously than the other, his watch would definitely drain faster.

Being feature-packed can drain the battery more quickly, as well, especially with more connectivity.

Some people don’t mind having to charge their smartwatches once a day, and you can always look for smartwatches with smart modes that help the battery last for longer.

4. Design and Interface

Design is far more important than you think when it comes to smartwatches.

Can you pair the smartwatch in question with your outfits? Are the materials comfortable or itchy? Is the smartwatch too flashy, too bulky, or just right? There are many questions to be considered in the design aspect alone.

Athletes love lightweight and comfortable material, while businessmen prefer classic-looking watches with elegant designs. Hikers and adventurers love sturdy and rugged watches with scratch-resistant glass.

Avid texters prefer watches with a large screen so that their fingers don’t take up the whole screen when they text. Rotating bezels and buttons do help, as well.

In addition, it’s always good to look for watches that offer nice customization when it comes to colors, materials, and watch faces to find what you’re exactly looking for.

Final Thoughts

In the list mentioned above, you’ll find the best smartwatches for texting, and one of them has to be the right choice for you. Let’s go through the basics one more time.

Since the article is focused on communication, we had to look for watches that enable two-way texting and calling, such as the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), Ticwatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch, and Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch.

However, there are average-to-avid athletes that want a watch that can text and track their fitness better than most. These users will love the Garmin Vívoactive 3 and Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth).