Top Pick: Apple Watch Series 6 | $320+ | Amazon
While lots of people use their smartwatches for things like tracking fitness or as a meeting reminder delivery system, sometimes it’s just nice to have to stop you from having to pull your phone out as much. If you’re looking for the best smartwatches for texting on iOS, Android, or whatever else, then you’ll be happy to know that we’ve got the lowdown you need right here.
Best for iPhone Users: Apple Watch Series 6
If you own an iPhone and you’re looking for the best smartwatch for texting on iOS, then you should probably get an Apple Watch. The fact is that they just work when paired with an iPhone, and it’s that kind of simple melding that makes this one of the best smartwatches around anyway. You could absolutely go for the Apple Watch Series 7 if you want to, but we think that the value of the Series 6 is a little better at the moment.
The current Series 6 packs in a GPS, blood oxygen sensor, and other health and fitness perks, plus there’s a version with LTE connectivity so you can text without having your phone near. There’s also the more affordable Apple Watch SE, which cuts a couple premium elements but still can send and receive text messages like a champ. If you’re feeling fancy though, you can always grab the Series 7 anyway, as it does do a little bit more, but the price definitely over-reflects that.
Best for Android Users: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
It’d be natural to assume that the best smartwatch for Android users Google’s Wear OS, but that’s not the case. While it’s not a bad OS, it’s not the one that the best Android smartwatch for texting uses. Instead, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is the best Android smartwatch, even though it runs Samsung’s Tizen OS. It’s incredibly easy to use, it works wonderfully alongside Android phones, and it comes replete with every kind of health track you could want. We’re not as keen on Bixby as an AI pal, but it does the job nevertheless as one of the best non-Apple smartwatches available today.
Best Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit Versa 3 is one of the better dedicated fitness trackers that still comes with the ability to send and receive texts. It piggybacks off the notification system in Android so it can reply to messages from any app, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Discord, or Slack. If you want a fitness tracker but don’t want a full-fledged smartwatch, this is a good option for you.
The Best Watch With a Classic Design: Fossil Gen 5
If you’re not a fan of the modern, square design many smartwatches have, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of smartwatches that have a more classic design, like the Fossil Gen 5. With the right watch band and face, it can almost pass for a traditional watch, right up until you get a text message and speak a reply into your wrist.
Best for Reading Texts Under $100: Amazfit Bip U Pro
It’s really hard to find a good smartwatch for under $100 at all, and one that’s capable of texting is even harder. That’s why the Amazfit Bip U Pro strikes such an awkward middle ground. It can show you notifications, so you don’t have to pull out your phone to read your messages, but it’s not capable of replying (which would require voice transcription). It’s a pretty hard limit to live with, but it also only costs $70, and looks just a little bit like an Apple Watch if you squint hard enough. It’s not the most powerful thing around, but if you need to be able to keep up with your messages and don’t want to spend a ton of money, it’s a workable compromise.
This story was originally published by Eric Ravenscraft on 03/11/2021 and updated by Jason Coles with new information on 01/28/2022.