You can wear any smartwatch you like. In fact, most top smartwatches these days are pretty much unisex with differing sizes and customizable features on offer making them great for women.
But there are a few key things we know women want from a smartwatch. Offering up different sizes to cater for smaller wrists is important. Smartwatches with a large, thick form factor can make a statement on small wrists – but they can also feel uncomfortable and look bulky.
What’s more, women tend to choose options that match their style. That could be sporty and understated, which means many smartwatches will appeal. But there’s no denying some watches, marketed primarily at men, have a pretty set style that can look large, angular and mimic the style of high-end, regular watches with lots of dials and chunky dimensions.
But there are plenty of smartwatches and hybrid smartwatches (devices hide the technology under an analogue watch face) from fashion brands and tech brands alike available in a range of designs, sizes and finishes.
There are also software and apps to consider. Some smartwatches have built-in features aimed solely at women, including menstrual tracking. And there are other health apps designed to beat stress, monitor heart health or track sleep that appeal to women interested in a holistic look at their health.
With this in mind, we’ve selected our favorite smartwatches for women. Most of these are also our favorite smartwatches too, which means you don’t have to sacrifice features and tech for style and choice. Also, check out our best sub-$200 smartwatch round up.
Update: This article was originally written in 2015 and is regularly updated. In April 2020 we completely revamped it with new testing and refined round-up of devices.
Apple Watch Series 5
Price when reviewed: From £399
The Apple Watch Series 5 comes in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. Combine the 40mm size with the smartwatch’s slim 10.74mm depth casing and it’s one of the best options for smaller wrists.
Choose from a number of different finishes: aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic. You can also opt for a silicone or woven sport band, leather strap or stainless steel band, all in a range of colours. There’s a big third-party market for Apple Watch straps too – no other smartwatch we’ve tested offers this level of customization.
The Apple Watch Series 5 has built-in GPS and LTE for making calls and streaming music when you’re away from your phone. Its fitness tracking is highly accurate and provides a good level of detail, as well as nice visualizations and simple controls, for a range of exercises. It’s also waterproof, so just as happy accompanying you to the pool as it is on the treadmill.
On-board ECG offers serious heart health monitoring. There’s also an app for breathing exercises, one to monitor your hearing and another to track your menstrual cycle. This is a flawlessly-finished smartwatch, fitness tracker and health device rolled into one.
Fitbit Versa 2
Price when reviewed: £199
With a similar design to the Apple Watch Series 5, the Versa 2 is a small smartwatch with 40mm casing that’s 12mm deep. There are black, silver and rose gold options, as well as a range of strap colours.
It has a vibrant 300 x 300 pixel resolution AMOLED display, which makes it a solid workout companion. Fitness tracking is very accurate and caters for a wide range of activities. With 50m water resistance it can be taken swimming (you can track pool workouts). Although it needs to be paired with a phone for GPS, you can listen to music as you run with offline playlists from Deezer and (for US users only) Pandora.
With Fitbit’s excellent sleep tracking features, menstrual tracking from the screen and breathing exercises on board it’s also a solid smartwatch for the health conscious.
Unlike the original Versa, it also has built-in Fitbit Pay as well as Amazon Alexa – although you’ll only get text-based responses.
The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is a good alternative if you’re on a budget. It does away with music support and Amazon Alexa but has most of the Versa 2’s best bits in a range of fun colours.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Price when reviewed: £269
The Watch Active 2 isn’t Samsung’s top-end smartwatch (that’s still the Samsung Galaxy Watch), but we think this is the nicer Samsung smartwatch when it comes to looks and fit.
The Active 2 is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes. Both feature AMOLED screens, a waterproof design and pretty much every feature you could think of in Tizen.
Aside from being let down on apps, this could be a neat choice for Android owners who aren’t convinced by Wear OS. Notifications, solid fitness and sports tracking and thoughtful design all help the Galaxy Watch to stand out in a sea of smartwatches. While this one doesn’t have the same physical rotating bezel you get on the pricier Galaxy Watch, it does now have a touch sensitive one, which works well.
Battery life has been beefed up from the first Active and Samsung is promising to add features in the future including ECG and fall detection modes. If you want to go sportier, there’s also an Under Armour edition that offers a more gym-friendly watch band and some extra watch faces.
For our money, the Active 2 is our current Samsung fave and we think you’ll like it too.
Kate Spade Sport Smartwatch
Price when reviewed: £250
Here’s a new Kate Spade smartwatch with a sporty twist. Kate Spade’s previous smartwatches did have some fitness and activity tracking features built-in, but this latest version is geared-up for workouts and the design changes make it much more versatile in our opinion.
For starters, rather than a linked strap or leather strap there’s now a silicone strap, which means it’s much more gym and sweat-friendly, like the Fitbit Versa 2, than previous Kate Spade models. It has a light nylon and aluminium case that measures 41mm.
It’s available in three different colorways. One with a pink strap and bronzed finish, another with a nice deep green strap and that same finish, while there’s an all-black option with light purple accents, too.
With this sporty smartwatch you can track a range of activities, set goals and monitor your heart rate. There’s also everything you’d expect from a Wear OS-powered smartwatch, like built-in Google Assistant, NFC for Google Pay and notifications.
Michael Kors Access MKGO
Price when reviewed: £279
Like the Kate Spade Sport Smartwatch above, the Access MKGO is a more versatile and fitness-friendly offering from Michael Kors. Which makes sense given one of the main reasons many people buy a smartwatch is for its activity-tracking smarts.
However, it’s still a big departure from the glitzy, classic looks of the Sofie and Runway styles. Having said that, this watch could definitely be considered unisex. Which is maybe why it comes in a 43mm size and there’s no smaller option – although it does sit flush against your skin and doesn’t look at all bulky on smaller wrists.
There are four bold looks on offer, each with a 1.19-inch AMOLED screen. The watch itself has all of the hardware you’d expect from the latest Wear OS smartwatches, including built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor and a swim-friendly design to make it suitable for all kinds of sports.
For a simple sports watch under £100 that also looks good, we recommend the Fossil Sport.
Built for those with a more active lifestyle, the Fossil Sport is swim-proof, has an on-board heart-rate monitor, as well as untethered GPS – making it a solid option for runners who want to leave their phones at home. However, in our testing we found the heart-rate can be a little hit and miss.
It comes in a choice of 41mm and 43mm case sizes and is very lightweight. Opt for the 41mm option and it’ll look good on smaller wrists. The sweat-friendly silicone strap comes in a range of fun colours – you can switch these out for new ones if you get bored of the colour you chose.
It’s also a solid smartwatch with everything you’d expect from a wearable running Wear OS, including NFC for Google Pay, email, notifications and app alerts.
This is a basic hybrid smartwatch. But it’s small, measuring just 38mm, slim, and you can customise exactly how you want it to look.
There’s no bright OLED screen here, but a traditional watch face that comes in a range of different colours – you can customise the detailing, strap and casing with simple shades or a bunch of fun colours and patterns.
Activity is tracked directly on the dial with the watch’s third hand and it can pick up walking, running, swimming and more. Although you’ll need to push the button on the side because tracking isn’t automatic.
Withings is known for its solid sleep tech and the Withings Move can track light and deep sleep cycles, duration and sleep quality well.
No fancy screen means a fantastic 18 months of battery life, but obviously you miss out on a lot of the features you’d find in most of the other smartwatches above. That’s why this is a great option for those who want a minimal wristwatch with just a few smart tracking features, a nice app experience and little else.
Skagen Falster 3
Price when reviewed: £299
If you’re in the market for a really good smartwatch, the Skagen Falster 3 is currently our favourite Wear OS smartwatch. It’s the brand’s third smartwatch to date and, yet again, it’s a great-looking wearable packed with features.
If your style is minimal and simple then this smartwatch is a good choice. It has a round stainless steel watch case with your choice of leather or a metallic mesh strap and a nice selection of watch faces for more customisation. It has a depth of 11mm (the same as the Falster 2) and, therefore, one of the slimmer options on this list.
It handles fitness tracking well (although not perfectly we found in our testing) and is equipped with built-in GPS and a good heart rate monitor. It also has a 3ATM waterproof rating, which makes it suitable for swimming too.
Also, you’re getting everything Wear OS has to offer including Google Pay, music controls and notifications. You can also take calls from your wrist. But there’s no LTE on-board – you’ll need your phone nearby.
Wareable verdict: Skagen Falster 3 review
Michael Kors Access Sofie Heart Rate
Price when reviewed: From £365
The original Michael Kors Sofie smartwatch had an update in 2019, which brought the wearable a smaller form-factor and a suite of new features.
It’s still a dressy, blingy full-screen smartwatch, with a nice slim pavé bezel and 41mm case in a range of finishes. However for 2019, that case is now waterproof to 3ATM, while MK has also added a heart rate monitor and NFC for Google Pay.
It still looks good on the wrist and comes with those added extras, which do make it much more useful day-to-day than similar smartwatches.
However, it’s better suited to casual gym goers rather than hardcore sports fans. If you’ve been looking for a fashion-focused smartwatch that offers a nice balance between design and features, there’s still a whole lot to like about the Access Sofie Heart Rate.
Michael Kors Access Runway
Price when reviewed: £249
The Access Runway, Michael Kors’ third Wear OS smartwatch for women, is a lovely-looking smartwatch with a high-resolution display and sleek stylish design. Although it’s best-suited to those who like the look of wearables that straddle the line between watch and jewellery.
It won’t beat the Versa for activity tracking but otherwise it’s a beautiful, comfortable to wear all-rounder that gives you alerts, apps, Google Pay and a selection of custom Michael Kors watch faces. There’s also built-in GPS, heart rate tracking and a swimproof build, though there’s still work to be done on making this an everyday smartwatch you can work out or play sports with.
It’s a 41mm watch, with a 1.19-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED touchscreen display, so still slightly oversized, but it looks good on the wrist. You can get both stainless steel and leather straps for the Access Runway and it’s also available in a slightly more expensive Ceramic model.
Price when reviewed: £169
Bellabeat has made its name with minimal, nice-looking activity trackers, and it pushed into the world of smartwatches with the Time, which is more focused on general wellness than exercise.
Yes you get activity and sleep tracking, but the watch also works in tandem with the Bellabeat app to track stress, meditation, hydration and menstrual cycles. Plus, it’ll send you a vibrating notification on your wrist when you’ve been stationary for too long.
The watch comes in silver or rose gold, with a stylish and minimal design which should fit most wrists. Since it uses a quartz movement and is also a regular watch, you’ll get six months of battery life too, which is another major bonus over the screened-up smartwatches in the list.
However, it won’t compare when it comes to features, so we’d only recommend the Bellabeat Time for those who want just a little bit more from their regular watch rather than a simple smartwatch.
Fossil Q Neely
Price when reviewed: From £159
Like the Bellabeat Time, Fossil’s slim hybrid smartwatch, the £159 Q Neely, keeps things simple and stylish. It’s seriously light and small at 36mm, fairly slim at 12mm thick and comfortable to wear on the wrist. Plus, it looks almost identical to a regular watch.
As well as activity and sleep tracking, which you can monitor in the Fossil Q app, you can also set up vibration alerts, which you can allocate to a number on the watch face. So if you get a WhatsApp, the watch hands on the 40mm watch face could move to the 1 o’clock position, for instance – though this does take a few days to get to grips with.
Also nice (and more straightforward) are the features you can set up for the three buttons on the right hand edge – remote selfie, remote music controls etc. Just be careful with the 16mm leather straps as they get dirty quickly – we’d suggest splashing out on the metal band.
Kate Spade Scallop 2
Price when reviewed: From £279
Kate Spade’s first Wear OS watch was a Wareable fave, and now there’s a second version on the scene, which maintains the same stunning looks while bringing its features in line with the rest of the Fossil family.
That means it has the latest Wear OS on-board, a heart rate sensor, built-in GPS, NFC for Google Pay and 3ATM water resistance for swimming. Cosmetically, not a lot has changed here: there are new straps and dials to play with, and a new shortcut button that’s been added just below the crown. The “Choose your look” micro app returns, helping you match the perfect watch face to your day’s clothes and accessories.
In terms of tech, the Scallop 2 features a round 2-inch AMOLED display, with no flat tyre – although it still manages to pack in an ambient light sensor, which regulates brightness to save on battery life.
Garmin Vivomove 3
Price when reviewed: £219.99
Many of Garmin’s wearables are solid options for women. But we think the Vivomove HR is one of the best-looking hybrid devices and great for everyday wear – Garmin’s running watches on the other hand, are fantastic for serious training.
The watch face is 43mm and has a 11.6mm thickness, which makes it one of the bigger options on the list, but not the thickest. There are plenty of choices when it comes to appearance, with black, silver and rose gold casing options, as well as the choice of a leather or silicone band in a few different shades.
This is a hybrid smartwatch with a difference, as it does have a touchscreen but the display is, for the most part, hidden. This means you see real watch hands show the time, but you can also swipe through screens to see messages, heart rate and other data.
Step, calorie, fitness and sleep tracking is on-board, as well as all-day stress tracking thanks to the built-in heart rate monitor and a relaxation timer to calm stress. It’s the best of both worlds if you’ve had your eye on a smartwatch but like the aesthetic of a traditional wristwatch.