This year is shaping up to be massive for upcoming smartwatches, with a huge array of new devices confirmed.
Some of the most eagerly anticipated wearables are from a new Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung will arrive at some point in 2020. We’ve got confirmed releases from Chinese budget brands such as Xiaomi, Amazfit and Oppo, but also Swiss watch manufacturers like Montblanc and a brand new Tag Heuer Connected.
Top buys: The best smartwatches in the world 2020
That’s going to put pressure on the traditional smartwatch companies â especially the likes of Fossil, which has a huge range of new devices planned.
Here’s what we’re expecting from 2020.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
ETA outside China: 2020
Available in China but with no confirmed release date here in the West, we’re eagerly awaiting Xiaomi’s budget smartwatch to land.
As you’d expect from a Chinese powerhouse, it’s big on specs and low(ish) on price â with the smartwatch set to sell for roughly $185.
In terms of design, the watch features a 44mm square face, with a 1.78-inch AMOLED display pumping out a resolution of 410 x 410 pixels and a pixel density of 326 pixels-per-inch.
Internally, the smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 platform, Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS for location tracking and NFC for contactless payments.
The personalized skin of Wear OS, called MiUI for Watch, has been designed to enable stripped-down versions of Xiaomi apps, like Mi Home, Tasks and Maps. However, it’s not clear whether the watch will support current Wear OS apps when it lands or be paired with the Xiaomi Mi app.
We already know that Firstbeat has been called upon to license its technology for VO2 Max and heart rate analytics during sport. It’s the same algorithms that Garmin uses â and takes advantage of the Mi Watch’s heart rate sensor and GPS chip.
Check out our first impressions of the Xiaomi Mi Watch ahead of launch.
Xiaomi Mi Watch Color
ETA outside China: 2020
Not just a color version of its Apple Watch rip off â the Xiaomi Mi Watch Color is a totally different beast. Boasting a 1.39-inch round AMOLED display with an eye-searing 454×454 resolution â it’s a serious piece of kit.
There’s heart rate sensor, NTC and supports tracking for 10 sports. There’s 5ATM water resistance, and Firstbeat has leant its support to handle VO2 Max metrics from exercise.
It uses a custom OS not the MIUI operating system, which is based on Wear OS. That means less chance of usable third party apps, but you are getting a 14 day battery life.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Color is set to cost $198 â but its wider release outside of China is still a mystery.
ETA outside China: 2020
The Oppo Watch is official, but the company has rolled back on a global release and its first smartwatch will only land in China â for now at least.
And leaks were generally spot on. The Oppo Watch has a curved 326ppi AMOLED display, and ships in 1.6-inch and 1.9-inch sizes â that’s roughly 41mm and 46mm. It’s also waterproof to 50 metres and has an eSIM for LTE connectivity.
Yes, it looks just like the Apple Watch Series 5, and the similarities don’t just end at the design. The Oppo Watch has a heart rate monitor and it will take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings â firmly moving its tanks onto Apple’s lawn.
Like the Xiaomi Mi Watch (also limited to China for now) the Oppo Watch runs Wear OS, but uses a customised ColorOS skin on top â so it’s not a vanilla Google experience. That means battery life will be limited to just a couple of days.
In China the larger Oppo Watch will cost CNY 1,999, which works out around $288 â not as cheap as many would expect.
Amazfit Bip S
ETA: February 2020
Amazfit also unveiled the Bip S at CES 2020 â a follow-up to its Bip budget smartwatch.
It’s a pretty basic looking, boxy smartwatch that certainly looks like a copy of the Apple Watch at first glance â although comparisons quickly stop there with its overtly plasticky build.
There’s better water resistance and it now uses the PAI health score it licensed from Mio.
The Bip S ups its water-resistance to 5ATM and battery life to 40 days â and just like its predecessor has GPS and a heart rate monitor built in. It weighs just 31g, which is identical to the original Bip smartwatch.
However, here’s the headline: It’s going to cost just $70 when it’s released imminently in the US.
For those looking for the lowest cost way to jump into smartwatches, it’s going to be an extremely attractive proposition.
Check out our first impressions of the Bip S.
Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000
ETA: Mid-May 2020 (delayed one month)
A surprise release from Casio, the G-Shock BGD-H1000 is a powerful GPS sports watch, with advanced heart rate analytics and smartwatch capabilities. It will cost $399 in the US when it lands, and Â£379 in the UK. Availability has been pushed until Mid May because of coronavirus and the supply chain.
The G-Shock BGD-H1000 boasts 200 metres of water resistance, which outstrips most sports watches that will survive to depths of 50 metres. This puts it head-to-head with the likes of the Garmin Forerunner 945 and Amazfit T-Rex.
And the features donât end there. The H1000 will estimate VO2 Max by blending data from the heart rate and GPS. Firstbeat is handling the advanced metrics, the same company that does the job for Garmin watches. That means data like recovery, training effect and race predictor from your training runs.
You get 14 hours of GPS tracking, which is pretty impressive â but the watch does weigh an almighty 110g, so it’s hardly going to go unnoticed.
Timex Ironman R300
Another retro brand coming with the big sports tech, the Ironman R300 is an impressively specced GPS watch for triathlon sports, with a super low price.
There’s GPS, 30m water resistance and a heart rate monitor â and you can bag the Timex Ironman R300 for just $120 when it’s released.
The Ironman R300 has 20 hours of GPS tracking and comes witrh training schedules for running, cycling and tri. You can also race your own PBs, which should offer a bit of incentive to push those training sessions.
Clearly, the app and ecosystem will play a part â but at such a low price the Ironman looks like it has the mettle.
ETA: March 2020 (no update)
The Withings ScanWatch is a stylish looking hybrid smartwatch with serious med-tech power â and it’s able to both take ECG readings and detect medical conditions such as sleep apnea and heart arrhythmia.
There are 38mm and 42mm versions and it boasts a 30 day battery life.
On the dial is a small PMOLED screen that displays information including heart rate, steps, notifications and instructions on taking ECG readings.
Withings isn’t holding back on fitness tracking either. There’s 24/7 heart rate and step counting and it can track 30 sports. There’s no built-in GPS but it will pair to a smartphone to do the job.
Withings Health Mate app will show you a sleep score based on your night time heart rate, restfulness and sleep stages â and it boasts a Smart Alarm to wake you up in light parts of your sleep cycle.
There is a problem. Withings says its waiting for FDA approval of the sleep apnea features before a Q2 launch â but the company is still waiting for approval on its Move ECG watch that was announced in March 2019. So Withings either has a strong idea that approval is coming, or the ScanWatch could suffer the same fate.
You’ll also be able to pick the 42mm model up for $299, and the 38mm equivalent up for $249.
Read more in our Withings ScanWatch early review.
Alpina X Alive smartwatch
ETA: August 2020
Following on from the AlpinaX, the 45mm AlpinaX Alive brings an impressive array of sport features to the Swiss watch format.
Unlike the Tag Heuer Connected 2020, it’s not a full display smartwatch, but instead a hybrid smartwatch, that blends technology inside the case of an analogue device.
However, Alpina is not messing around when it comes to the sports tech inside its latest smartwatch.
Somewhat uniquely for a hybrid, the AlpinaX Alive packs in GPS â and there’s a Philips heart rate sensor underneath too. That’s also backed up by a host of advanced sport features, including sleep tracking, breathing reminders, and fitness coaching too.
In addition to the tracking of sleep cycles, thereâs also a smart alarm feature that uses a pre-set window to try and wake you in a light sleep phase rather than deep sleep.
The Alpina X Alive has sport profiles for tracking, running, swimming, yoga, walk, Nordic walking, treadmill and cycling. And it will report reporting VO2 Max â showing that Alpina is really focusing on the performance sport audience.
There’s a small touchscreen embedded into the watch face, to supplement the physical hands, which shows time and date, timers, battery percentage, heart rate, step count, alarms, notifications and hydration reminders.
There are two finishes â a blue fiberglass case and polished stainless steel, which retail for around $1,030 when it hits the US. It’s listed now on the Alpina site for 50% early bird deals, but to Switzerland only.
Shipping is slated for August 2020. Alpina is talking up its online configurator too, which enables you to customise the colour of things like the dials, hands and straps.
Montblanc Summit 2 Plus
ETA: April 2020
The Montblanc Summit 2+ also got a surprise release â and it’s a halfway house between minor update and a full blown new device. The main added feature is LTE – but pretty much all aspects of the Summit 2 have been upgradedStill running Wear OS, the AMOLED display is bigger; 1.28-inch as opposed to 1.19-inch.The Wear 3100 chip is backed up with 1GB of RAM â and the battery has been upgraded from 340mAh battery to 440mAh.
There is a gold and pink version amongst the four different new designs on offer (black diamond-like carbon steel, stainless steel and bronze steel and green, as well) so it’s clear the Swiss company doesn’t want to count female wrists out of its target audience completely though.
The Montblanc Summit 2 Plus will go on sale in April – so far only US pricing has been announced ($1,170). Watch this space for updates. It will be offered in partnership with Verizon in the US and Vodafone in the UK.
ETA: March 2020
(Image: Fossil Group)
Unlike all of Diesel’s previous offerings, the Fadelite is smaller – coming in a 43mm case – and features a transparent strap and translucent bezel in a choice of four colors.
The design makes it more appealing than any other Diesel Watch for both exercisers and those with small wrists, though the Wear OS experience is identical to what we’ve seen before; Google Pay, Google Assistant, heart rate tracking, customizable watch faces, music control and smartphone notifications are all here.
The smartwatch will release in March for $275 – read our Diesel Fadelite piece for all the details.
Apple Watch Series 6 (rumored)
(Image: Apple Watch Series 5 | Apple)
The Apple Watch has been updated annually every year since it was released in 2015, so we’re fully expecting the Apple Watch Series 6 to be announced in September 2020.
And the rumors are starting to land thick and fast.
Wareable has reported that new features could include native sleep tracking, along with the tracking of blood oxygen. That could also mean a battery life boost, which currently prohibits the Apple Watch from all-night wear.
Elsewhere, rumors persist that the new Series 6 could track panic attacks in the same way it warns about high heart rate, and that Touch ID could be introduced to the crown or screen. However, those could be Series 7 features.
One surprise twist could be a Kids Mode, that would let you pair and control more than one Apple Watch â and have it locked down for kids to use. This could also mean a tweaked activity tracking goal, possibly blending activity and calories burned, which would be easier for kids to understand.
Finally, patents for a new Apple Watch construction of ceramic and plastic have fuelled speculation that an Apple Watch Kids Edition could be on the way.
You can read our full Apple Watch Series 6 rumors guide â and don’t forget to check out our Apple Watch patents story, which covers a few of the current rumors and gives you a good idea of where Apple is heading.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 3 (rumored)
ETA: August 2020
(Image: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 | Wareable)
Samsung is well overdue a smartwatch release and it seems the Galaxy Watch Active 3 could be the next wearable out of the traps. There have been rumors that a model number SM-R840 is on the way, but seeing Samsung leaks like a sieve the lack of inside info means weâre unlikely to see anything until the latter half of the year.
So what do we know? A stainless steel build (using the same design) in three colours are the only rumors worth reporting â other than it will allegedly ship with 8GB of storage, which is double that of the original.
However, thereâs still a possibility the next Samsung watch could be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 2.