Smartwatches are nonobtrusive enough to disappear into the crowd, or flashy enough to make a fashion statement, while also being powerful digital assistants that make our daily routine more productive and also become healthy and fit.
We've compiled a list of the five best smartwatches you can get if you've got a budget of Rs 25,000 - although most of these devices are actually on offer at much cheaper prices due to festival discounts, so grab one before they get sold out!
Apple Watch Series 3 - Rs. 20,900
Released two years ago, the Apple Watch Series 3 still remains as the most powerful and capable smartwatch in this list. With the recent price drop to Rs 20,900 (some online retailers sell it for as low as 18,000) and WatchOS 6 compatibility making it the best-valued smartwatch to buy. However, it remains restricted to those already within Apple's expensive ecosystem, being only compatible with the iPhone 6 and above.
The Watch comes in two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and 2 models - one with GPS+Cellular connectivity, and the lesser-priced GPS only model. The display for both device sizes is a brilliant retina AMOLED 'force touch' panel with a resolution of 312x390 pixels and 272x340 pixels respectively, covered by Ion X glass that does a good job of protecting it from scratches.
The overall design of the Watch 3 is nearly identical to the previous generation, retaining the iconic, instantly recognizable yet divisive rectangular aluminium body and interchangeable bands. On the side is the 'digital crown' to navigate through the apps, with a red dot painted on to distinguish it from the Series 2. The device is powered by Apple's S3 dual-core processor, which is claimed to be 30% faster than the S2, making app launches and using Siri much more fluid and snappy. The GPS only model comes with 8 gigabytes of internal memory, while the cellular model has a larger 16GB capacity.
Apple has stated that the battery lasts for a full day of active use, although they have not disclosed the battery capacity. The watch has an accelerometer that can measure up to 16 G-forces, a gyroscope, an ambient light sensor, an optical heart rate sensor, a speaker and a microphone. It also has a barometric altimeter, a sensor usually found on dedicated high end fitness equipment, which allows it to measure elevation changes while working out, running, or climbing stairs.
With all these sensors, the Apple Watch 3 makes for a very accurate fitness companion, with it's Watch OS adding a lot more useful software features to enhance the capabilities. The activity rings to track the user's daily progress in Move, Exercise and Stand metrics, while Trends tracks progress over longer periods of time, providing data for the same. The watch can automatically detect your current workout, including HIIT. Being water-resistant up to 50 metres, you can take the watch for your swimming sessions, and it will even detect the kind of swimming stroke you use. Watch OS also brings applications that track menstrual cycles and alert the user of damaging ambient noise levels. The dedicated App store brings an unrivaled selection of programs including ones that customise the watch faces, receive and reply to messages, hire cabs, stream music, and make calls directly from the Watch 3, but does not support Google Maps.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is by far the most powerful and efficient smartwatches here, but is limited to iOS users and is priced at the upper end of this range. However, if you've already invested in Apple's ecosystem and want a new smartwatch, then don't hesitate to buy it.
Samsung Galaxy Watch - Rs. 19,990
Samsung's Galaxy Watch is seen by many as the Android compatible alternative to the Apple Watch, with it being similarly priced to the 3rd iteration of Apple device. Made out of stainless steel, the circular watch case with removable watch bands contains a 1.2 inch (for the 42mm model and a slightly larger 1.3 inch display for the 46mm model) 360x360 pixel resolution super AMOLED touch display covered by Corning's highly scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass DX+ and surrounded by a stylized, rotating bezel used for interface navigation.
The two hardware buttons on the side of the case are used as a back button and a home button. The IP68 rated device is noticeably heavy, with internals packing an accelerometer, a barometer, a gyrosensor, a heart rate sensor, an ambient light sensor, and a 270 mAh hour battery which provides about 2 days of use, according to Samsung.
The Galaxy Watch is powered by Samsung's proprietary Exynos 9110 dual-core processor running at 1.5 gigahertz, has 765 megabytes of RAM and 4 gigabytes of internal storage. The Linux based Tizen OS software is well designed, with many useful features like an always-on display, but is severely limited in terms of the apps available on it, lacking even Facebook, Whatsapp and Google Maps compatibility. However, the rotating bezel is the most intuitive way to use a smartwatch to date, having far more functionality than the Apple Watch's digital crown.
The Galaxy Watch also functions well as a fitness tracker, being able to autodetect six workouts and manually track a further 33, apart from monitoring sleep and stress levels and daily water, caffeine and calorie intakes. With Samsung's Health app, you can even challenge friends to workout if they have any Samsung Gear device.
The Galaxy Watch does have a lot of the features of it's Apple rival, and although it has it's flaws, they are mostly software related and might be fixed via updates in the future, making it the possible preferred option for those of you out there who own Android phone.
Fossil Sport Smartwatch - Rs. 17,995
The Fossil Sport Smartwatch came into the limelight for being one of the first smartwatches in India to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. Designed and manufactured by a company known for it's traditional watches, the smartwatch has an eyecatching round case with an aluminium upper half and a nylon plastic base with an optical heart sensor. The display is a 1.2 inch circular OLED touch panel, and the watchband is a standard 18 or 22mm watch strap depending on whether you get the 41 or 43mm body, making for a very convenient customization experience. There are three hardware buttons on the side, with the centre crown similar in function to the Apple digital crown, and the other two programmable to launch the apps of your choice.
Internally, the Fossil Smartwatch has the Wear 3100 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, an accelerometer, altimeter, an ambient light sensor, a gyroscope, NFC chip, GPS, and a 350 mAh battery that provides a less-than-stellar one day life or slightly lower. It has a water resistance of 5ATM (upto 50 metres) but has no speaker in order to achieve that rating. Google's WearOS runs on the Watch, and is very easy to navigate using the crown and touch gestures.
Huawei Watch GT - Rs. 10,999
The Huawei Watch GT has an attractive design with a 5ATM water-resistant circular, stainless steel body housing a large 1.39-inch AMOLED touch panel with a sharp 454x454 pixels, making it one of the best displays in this list. There are two physical buttons on the side of the device, with the upper one opening a list of all the apps, and the lower button opening the fitness tracking menu.
On the inside, the watch has surprisingly no free usable storage, making it impossible to store maps or music locally. It does, however, have 128MB storage, 16MB of RAM to complement the custom dual Cortex - M4 chipset that gets the job done for most applications, including the Huawei Health and Services app used to pair your phone with the watch.
In addition to fitness tracking, it can monitor blood oxygen levels. But, the LiteOS does not work with many popular third-party apps, a seemingly recurring theme with Android smartwatch operating systems. In fact, there are no software capabilities for music control on this device, meaning you'd have to use the controller on your headset- a mild inconvenience but a noticeable one for sure. However, the Huawei Watch GT comes with a 420 mAh battery that provides a monster 14 day projected battery life on a single charge.
The Huawei Watch GT lacks in a few key features like storage and music control support, but with its beautiful display, classy design, and huge battery life and at it's discounted price, it's a steal of a smartwatch.
TicWatch C2 - Rs. 17,999
Beijing based Mobvoi's TicWatch C2 won the iF Design Award 2019 and the Red Dot Design Award 2019, and for good reason. The TicWatch is gorgeously crafted, with a sleek, round, stainless steel case, removable straps made of genuine leather, and three colours options- Onyx and Platinum 20mm models, and a Rose Gold 18mm model. It has IP68 water and dustproof rating.
A 1.3-inch AMOLED touch screen with a 360x360 pixel resolution and covered with Corning Gorilla glass forms the main interface, with two side hardware buttons for additional navigation.
The watch runs Google's WearOS, has 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal memory, and is powered by the one generation old Qualcomm Wear 2100 processor. It also has an NFC chip, GPS, a 400 mAh battery with a claimed 2 day life on one charge, and an accelerometer, gyrometer, and a 24 hour heart rate sensor on the rear that works with the TicHealth app on your smartphone. The device does suffer from the pitfalls of WearOS, but it does most of its functions very well, with notifications, alarms, texts and calls made accessible right from your wrist.
If you want a smartwatch to replace your more traditional watch, but dislike the weight and general design of most models on the market, then get the TicWatch C2 - a fairly capable smartwatch that looks so good, it'll fit right in with a bespoke suit at a fancy restaurant.