The 6 Best Smartwatches for Texting in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

With smartphones getting bigger and bigger, you no longer have to hold them at all times, thanks to the presence of smartwatches that now serve as an extension (or even a replacement) to your smartphone.

Wearable technology is now capable of keeping you connected with your friends and family through texting and sometimes even making and receiving phone calls. Most smartwatches now provide speech-to-text, default messages, emojis, or even typing with full keyboards. And texting can be as easy as the watch’s interface allows. 

The options are plenty on the market, from Apple smartwatches running Apple OS and multiple brands running Google’s Wear OS. Which one should you buy? That’s what we’re to help you with – we’ve reviewed the top picks on the market, and you get to choose the best smartwatch for texting for you! 

List of The Best smartwatches for Texting

1. Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle – Best Overall

2. AppleWatch Series 5 – Runner-up

3. Ticwatch E – Most Comfortable

4. Samsung Gear Sport – Best Waterproof 

5. Samsung Gear S3 – Budget Pick

6. Garmin Vívoactive 3 – Best for Fitness Tracking

The 6 Best Smartwatches for Texting in 2021

Without further ado, let’s get into the detailed reviews of each of these smartwatches and why they made it to this list.

1. Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle – Best Overall

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

CHECK LATEST PRICE

Fossil has been growing rapidly in popularity for their fantastic wearables, and the Gen 5 Carlyle is an excellent example of their technological power, offering smartwatch texting capabilities like no other right on your wrist.

When it comes to texting, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle comes with an added plus of a full keyboard. This is relatively new to smartwatches but is undoubtedly a welcome addition to a smartwatch next to speech-to-text, smart replies, and scribbling.

Yet, it’s better to swipe letters than to tap them on the touch screen when sending text messages as the keyboard is relatively small. On another note, you can take phone calls through this smartwatch if you connect your phone to Bluetooth!

The Fossil Gen 5 Carlye offers thousands of watch faces that you can choose from according to your preference, so you’ll never get bored with how the screen looks. Plus, if you’re not into silicone bands that much, the smartwatch comes in stainless steel and leather variants, so you could choose the one that matches your personality.

Not only that, it boasts an always-on touch screen accompanied by multiple battery options, so you don’t have to worry about having a one-day battery life as the Extended Mode will let you go for days on a single charge.

Moreover, the watch is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, although features might be limited when paired with an iPhone.

When it comes to fitness features, the smartwatch provides you access to Google Fit to track your heart rate using the heart rate monitor, steps, and GPS tracking. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is water-resistant up to 3ATM, so you could use it underwater, which is great!

Pros:

  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Thousands of watch faces
  • Battery options
  • A full keyboard

Cons:

  • Not IP68 water-resistant
  • The keyboard is relatively small

Our Take

This Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is an excellent example of Wear OS capabilities and reliability, especially considering the full keyboard that makes texting as convenient as ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re rocking an Android smartphone or an iPhone; it’ll give you amazing features and great personalization options. 

2. Apple Watch Series 5 – Runner-up

AppleWatch Series 5

CHECK LATEST PRICE

In the tech world, Apple is always known for its quality products, and the Apple Watch Series 5 is no exception. From speech-to-text functionality to default messages, your smartwatch texting will be as hassle-free as possible.

Texting on the Apple Watch Series 5 is pretty simple. First, you just need to pair it with your iPhone using Bluetooth, or alternatively, you can opt for the 4G LTE option (sim card). You can use the speech-to-text functionality to detect what you’re saying with your voice through the Voice Assistant and turn it into a text message.

And if you’re stuck in a meeting or the supermarket, another option offered by the Apple Watch Series 5 is sending default messages that you can set up, like “yes” or “no” or “I’ll call you later.”

That’s not all yet; you also have the option of scribbling the letters on the touch screen with your fingers to form a message, which can be slow, to be honest, but it is there if you want it. Aside from that, you can also send emojis or stickers on the Apple Watch Series 5 easily.

It also has an always-on Retina display, so you don’t have to raise it to open like many other watches, although this feature requires more battery power. But, the bright side is that you’ll always be alert when you receive a text and that you get a high-quality display, making your texting experience even better.

To complement that hassle-free experience, you get to tailor your Apple Watch 5’s look in terms of design. This Apple Watch model comes in two different sizes: 40mm and 44mm. And it also has changeable straps to match it with any outfit.

The Apple Watch Series 5 isn’t all about smart features; it also offers a lot of fitness tracking aspects, including a heart rate monitor, a barometer, an accelerometer, and a compass to keep track of your fitness on a daily basis. It even goes as far as offering sleep tracking to enable you to meet your sleep goals.

One major drawback of the Apple watch series, though, is that it’s only compatible with iPhones. In an age where there are non-Apple smartwatches that can be paired with iPhones, Apple still hasn’t made a smartwatch that can work with operating systems other than their own.

Pros:

  • Fitness sensors
  • Always-on display
  • Multiple texting options
  • Variety of design options
  • Sleep tracking
  • 4G LTE (sim card) variant

Cons:

  • Not compatible with non-Apple products
  • Relatively short battery life

Our Take

The Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch for texting if you own an Apple smartphone. It has all the fitness and smart features you need and is definitely on the right side of the fence when it comes to texting, offering you not one or two but three options for networking on the go.

3. Ticwatch E – Most Comfortable

Ticwatch E

CHECK LATEST PRICE

The Ticwatch E is yet another Wear OS smartwatch with great functions, but what stands out is how comfortable it is to wear all day. When you combine that with its texting abilities, you get a smartwatch that’s excellent for everyday use!

Texting on this smartwatch is seamless, with the standard speech-to-text and smart replies along with a full keyboard option. So, there basically isn’t an option that it doesn’t have!

And to complement that, the Ticwatch E features Google Play Music, so if you enjoy listening to music while texting, you’ll be able to do just that with this one. Plus, it’s water-resistant with IP67 resistance, which means you don’t have to worry if some water gets on it if it’s raining or you’re washing your hands, so feel free to wear it outdoors as much as you’d like.

Before we move on, we want to stress that just because this smartwatch is comfortable doesn’t mean it’s not appealing. It’s exceptionally sleek with multiple faces to customize its look the way you like.

On the fitness tracking front, the Ticwatch E doesn’t disappoint. Running on Google Fit, you’ll be able to track your activities and stay up to date with your health. Be careful not to use it while swimming, though, because it’s not IP68 resistant. In other words, it’s water-resistant but not waterproof.

If we were to pinpoint a drawback of the Ticwatch E, it would be that you can’t make phone calls, and texts aren’t supported when paired with an iPhone, which is a major bummer.

Pros:

  • Full keyboard
  • Extremely comfortable to wear
  • Customizable design options
  • Features Google Play Music
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Fitness features

Cons:

  • Phone calls and texts aren’t supported with Apple iPhones
  • Not IP68 waterproof

Our Take 

If you’re looking for a smartwatch to wear daily and use for texting, you won’t find one more comfortable than the Ticwatch E.

4. Samsung Gear Sport – Best Waterproof

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

CHECK LATEST PRICE

As its name implies, the Samsung Gear Sport is a watch that speaks reliability on multiple levels. With various texting options accompanied by being waterproof, with one, you’ll be getting yourself a smartwatch that’s made to last.

Keeping up with friends is a piece of cake with the Gear Sport, offering options like speech-to-text, smart replies that you can change according to your preferences, and also a keyboard. We also want to highlight that it’s compatible with iOS, so iPhone users, you’re very much welcome to get your hands on this one!

We also love that this watch is waterproof, so if you’re an athlete, you can make perfect use of it as both a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters with ISO standards, making it great for swimming and use underwater with no worry. Other features include a heart monitor and general Google Fit compatibility.

The drawback with the Gear Sport smartwatch is that it doesn’t have a speaker, though, so you won’t be able to make a phone call through it.

Pros:

  • Full keyboard
  • Multiple texting features
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters 
  • Google Fit compatibility

Cons:

  • No speakers
  • Limited features for iOS users

Our Take

If you’re an athlete who wants to track their fitness while being able to text on the go without their phone, the Samsung Gear Sport is the way to go!

5. Samsung Gear S3 – Budget Pick

Samsung Gear S3

CHECK LATEST PRICE

If you want a smartwatch for texting that doesn’t break the bank, the Samsung Gear S3 is the one for you.

For starters, you can reply to text messages using speech-to-text for ease of use if you don’t feel like typing text messages, but if you want to type, then it also has a keyboard. While the keyboard is expectedly small, it still does the job when it’s needed. However, unlike the Gear Sport, this one isn’t compatible with iOS.

On another note, the Gear S3 has 4GB of memory to enable you to store some songs for music listening outdoors without having your phone on you. While that isn’t the highest, it’s still better than nothing!

The Samsung watch also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fitness tracking. With built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor, and a barometer, this smartwatch got all the sporty features you need for your athletic life. Also, it’s water-resistant up to 1.5 meters, so it’s suitable for the pool but not for snorkeling in the open sea.

Pros:

  • Different texting options 
  • Affordable
  • Built-in GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Barometer
  • Water-resistant up to 1.5 meters

Cons:

  • Not compatible with Apple iOS
  • Relatively low storage capacity

Our Take

If you’re on a tight budget but want to be part of the trend and text on the go, don’t look further than the Samsung Gear S3 – it’s one of the best smartwatches for texting!

6. Garmin Vívoactive 3 – Best for Fitness Tracking

Garmin vívoactive 3

CHECK LATEST PRICE

If you’re looking for a smartwatch for texting but also place a high emphasis on fitness tracking, you don’t have to let go of one for the other! The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is one of the best smartwatches that enables you to do both at once.

While for texting, the watch only offers you the option to reply to texts with preset custom messages, it’s fine since you’re more concerned with the fitness features the Garmin Vivoactive 3 offers.

Featuring a built-in GPS with 15 pre-installed fitness apps for indoors and outdoor activity tracking, the Garmin Vívoactive 3 watch offers heart rate and distance tracking and gives you detailed metrics to enable you to track yourself and improve if needed.

Not to mention, its battery life is off the charts, with seven days of normal usage on a single charge and 13 hours on GPS mode. This is by far the best battery life on this list, especially considering all the apps it comes with and how much GPS typically shortens battery life.

Pros:

  • 15 sports apps
  • Sleep tracking
  • Long battery life even with GPS on
  • Indoor and outdoor activity tracking

Cons:

  • Can only reply to texts with preset responses
  • No texting option for Apple iPhone users

Our Take

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a watch for sports enthusiasts, giving you excellent battery life and GPS functionality to last you for days on your long workouts. You may not be able to connect with friends all that much, but you can make use of preset responses to stay in touch!

What to Look for in a Smartwatch for Texting

When buying a smartwatch for messaging, there are a few things you need to consider, and we’re about to introduce you to them, so make sure you consider them while making your final purchase decision. 

Replying to Text Messages

When it comes to connecting with friends and family and answering work emails through your watch, you need to have the best options that perfectly utilize the small display. A lot of smartwatches claim to offer text messaging, while in reality, they’re merely referring to preset responses, which isn’t bad but isn’t the best you can get.

Today, a lot of smartwatches enable you to send a message through speech-to-text, where you speak to the watch or your earpiece, and it’ll accurately turn your words into a text message.

Other options include sending default replies, the option we spoke about, which in most watches, can be freely customized in the form of short generic responses to send us a message. You can also send emojis, and in some watches, you can scribble the emoji on the watch, and it’ll turn into the right one.

Speaking of the scribble feature, if you need to type longer and more complicated text messages, you can go for scribbling each letter, but it can take a long time to send text messages that way.

Accordingly, some watches now add full, on-screen keyboards to quickly formulate text messages if you don’t feel like taking out your phone.

Size & Display

Smartwatches come in different sizes and displays, and each gives a different fit depending on the size of your wrist. For instance, you don’t want to get a smartwatch that’s too big for you so that it’s uncomfortable and may come loose. Similarly, if you have a rather larger wrist, you don’t want to opt for a smartwatch with a small display, so you need to try out the watch first.

As for screen display, you want to be able to visualize the text messages and the smartwatch in general. Smartwatches have gone a long way, so it’s not hard to find a smartwatch with a high-quality screen display – your best bet would be to go for a screen above 300 x 300 pixels.

Fitness Tracking Features

While fitness trackers tend to focus more on measurements and fitness tools, smartwatches have been adding fitness sensors that can sometimes compete with dedicated fitness trackers.

The best smartwatches for texting on the market now have a heart rate monitor that can be entirely accurate, but it’s definitely not a replacement for medical equipment.

Moreover, in most smartwatches, you’ll find an accelerometer, a barometer, and built-in GPS tracking to track your distance when you’re off running or hiking. Just make sure the smartwatch has a long battery life so it wouldn’t drain quickly while you’re out exercising.

However, some smartwatches have gone the extra mile and added preloaded apps for compatibility with different sports tracking to get you started on your athletic journeys while keeping you connected to loved ones and coworkers.

Smartphone Compatibility

Some people like iOS, others like Android, but you can actually combine both in some cases. Apple watches aren’t compatible with smartphones other than iPhones, as we’ve seen with the Apple Watch Series 5, but many Android watches can smoothly work with iPhones, albeit with some limitations.

The Apple Watch Series’ offer all the features you’re looking for with the reliability that Apple has always been known for, but, as expected, at premium prices. If you get an Android (or Wear OS now) watch, you’ll find even more features and personalization options with lower prices; in many cases, they usually work with any OS (operating system).

Both, of course, have their drawbacks, but according to what kind of phone you’re rocking and what type of interface you’re more familiar with, you’ll be able to pick what best suits you. Just be sure that you’re choosing a smartwatch for texting that’s compatible with your smartphone.

Water Resistance

If you’re going to use your smartwatch for texting, you’re probably going to wear it regularly, and sometimes, you’ll even forget that it’s placed on your wrist. Therefore, it’s best to opt for an option that’s splash-resistant at minimum, in case you accidentally get some water splashes on the watch.

Final Thoughts

We hope that by now, you’ve been able to pick the best smartwatch for texting for you! Ultimately, it’s all about the perfect balance between texting features and other features you also care about. If you’re still confused, we’re here to give you our final recommendations.

For iPhone users, the Apple Watch Series 5 is your best bet. With its great always-on display and how easy it makes texting easy with speech-to-text and smart replies, it’ll be your new best friend, and that actually applies to the entire Apple Watch Series.

If you’re an Android user, then the options are many. A great option is the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle, with the thousands of watch faces you can choose from and its excellent battery options to keep it running for days on end. This watch is a fantastic choice if you want a full keyboard on your wrist.

Moreover, watches differ in their focus from smart features to fitness tracking. A great example of that from the list is the Garmin Vìvoactive 3, which comes with 15 sports apps preloaded for indoors and outdoors activity tracking. It may not have many texting options, but it does keep you connected to people on your morning run.