Smartwatch buying guide

Smartwatches have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. And there’s now a huge array of neat, powerful devices to choose from, packed with all kinds of clever features. From smartwatches that let you track and improve your fitness goals to easy-to-use smartwatches for kids, our handy guide is perfect for helping you choose the right one.

Smartwatches for different lifestyles

Best smartwatches for kids and teenagers

The Neo smart kids watch lets you easily check your child’s location, create your own set of pre-approved contacts, set parental controls and stay in touch1 using the built-in SIM. Kids will have a blast with the camera and activity tracker, and can personalise their watch with characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel2.

Older children and teenagers may want a device like the OPPO Watch – it’s affordable, durable and is great for teens who are starting to take an interest in running or working out. Its battery is built to last for up to 21 days, and with Watch VOOC Flash Charging, just a 15-minute charge can power a whole day of use1.

Pictured: Neo smart kids watch

Child skateboarding and wearing a Neo smartwatch

Best Android smartwatches

There are several outstanding Android smartwatches available, that easily pair with your Android phone for seamless connectivity, tracking and schedule management. 2020’s OPPO watch comes with a tough, flexible dual-curved display, Wear OS by Google, workout and health tracking, and up to 21 days of battery life1.

Streamline your daily routine with Samsung's Galaxy Watch4 series. The Galaxy Watch4 Classic and Galaxy Watch4 come with a massive range of extra features, including Samsung Pay, wireless connectivity for Buds and SmartThings Find, which helps you find your watch if it’s gone walkabout. Receive or reject calls on your wrist, check your social media updates and use the 16GB of internal storage to play thousands of songs when you’re offline.

Woman wearing an Android smartwatch

Best smartwatches for calls

All the smartwatches we sell allow you to make and receive calls, either by using your smartwatch as a speaker or by pairing your smartwatch with your headphones. If you’re already a Vodafone Pay monthly customer and you’re thinking of buying a smartwatch from us, we recommend setting up Vodafone OneNumber. Share your phone’s allowances, number and contacts with your smartwatch, allowing you to use your phone’s data even when you’re away from your phone or WiFi. Check if your plan is eligible

Receiving a call on a smartwatch

Best budget smartwatches

There are plenty of budget smartwatches with a stylish design and features that many premium models offer. If you're looking to pay a lower amount per month for a smartwatch, then the OPPO Watch is the perfect choice for a budget smartwatch.

It's a smart, stylish watch with heaps of useful features and a hardworking battery. The dual-curved flexible 1.91-inch AMOLED screen showcases crisp image quality with colours that pop, and an easy-to-read screen. Track your health with 24-hour heart rate notifications, sleep monitoring and breathing exercises3, and get a strong sense of your workouts with real-time fitness tracking from Google Fit. Wear OS by Google2 lets you check the weather, see message notifications, make mobile payments and much more. You can also save on costs when you share your phone’s allowances, number and contacts with your smartwatch through our OneNumber Connectivity Plan (with selected Vodafone Xtra Plans).

Smartwatches for fitness

If you'd like a smartwatch for different types of workouts where they might get wet, sweaty or need to withstand shock while tracking your miles, here's a guide to the best smartwatches for fitness.

Getting fit doesn’t have to mean endless runs around the park in the latest lycra creations. There are plenty of smartwatches available to track your workouts - no matter what you’re doing. Apple Watch Series 7Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Nike SE are built for people who want to improve their fitness levels and easily see their progress.

For Android users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 is the perfect pairing for a HIIT class, lifting weights, or just doing ten minutes of yoga. Use Samsung Health to learn more about your body so you can understand it better - from new body composition measurements (BIA) and measuring blood oxygen levels during sleep, to ECG and blood pressure monitoring1.

Get motivated with daily activity reports and group challenges - and with exercise tracking, your PB won’t be your best for long. You can even build towards a healthier lifestyle when you’re asleep, with advanced sleep insights and snoring detection.

Best smartwatches for running

Whether you’re new to running or you’re a seasoned jogger, there are plenty of smartwatches to help you plan, track and improve on your fitness goals. If you’re serious about taking your fitness to the next level, smartwatches like Apple Watch Series 7 measure blood oxygen1, track your sleep and take an ECG to check the your heart rhythm2. You can even share your activity with friends and family and see who’s covering the most miles.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 series uses Samsung Health to let you learn more about your body so you can understand it better. With new body composition measurements (BIA), measuring blood oxygen levels during sleep, ECG and blood pressure monitoring1, it's never been easier to track your wellbeing goals. Plus, if you're keen to join an online running community, you can also link the Galaxy Watch4 series to Strava and MayMyRun.

Most smartwatches come with built-in activity trackers, step counters and can track your running distance, so if you’re working on your running performance, a smartwatch is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal.

Tracking a run with a smartwatch

Best smartwatches for swimming

It’s tough to track how many lengths you’re doing if you’re a focused swimmer, so let your smartwatch take care of measuring your workouts, heart rate and more. Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE are both water resistant to 50 metres3, with their screens automatically turning on Water Lock when you start a swimming workout, keeping water out of your watch. You can also set your workout to Pool Swim or Open Water Swim, so your Apple Watch can track your lengths and distance.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic both come with 5ATM and IP68 water-resistance3, and are rated MIL-STD-810G. Track your lengths, keep an eye on your heart rate and push yourself even further.

We'd advise that you only use your smartwatch in freshwater, and that you rinse it after you've been in the pool or in freshwater.

Swimmers racing in a pool

Best smartwatches for hiking and walking

Apple Watch is a superb accompaniment if you’re looking to boost your daily steps, whether that’s a 15k hike or a quick walk to the shops and back. If you’ve just started exercising again after being unwell, Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE have high and low heart rate notifications, irregular heart rate alerts and Emergency SOS functionality4 in case you need help when you’re out. You can also see how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, how often you’ve been stationary, and how many calories you’ve burned - all while tracking your weekly progress and adjusting your goals if you need to.

Tracking walks using a smartwatch

Best smartwatches for cycling

Apple Watch Series 7 is a great choice for cyclists. Apple Watch now automatically detects when you begin pedalling and reminds you to start a workout. Fall Detection, now optimised for cycling and other workouts5, can call emergency services if you take a spill4. And to help you keep your eyes on the road, a voice feedback feature announces workout milestones, like speed, distance and more. For e-bikes, an improved algorithm more accurately calculates calories. Use the blood oxygen sensor to see how much oxygen is in your blood and safely push your limits, and track your heart rate and performance with the ECG app2. Plus, Apple Watch links with Maps to make it easy every step of the way. Gentle taps from the Taptic Engine let you know when it’s time to turn left or right, so you don’t have to look at your watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 is also highly recommended if you're looking for a smartwatch to get the most out of your rides. It links to several popular cycling apps including MapMyRide, and accurately tracks distance, location and your workout time. Use the built-in ECG tracker to get a quick snapshot of your heart's health, and accurately measure your blood oxygen level1.

Take a look at our Apple, Samsung and OPPO smartwatches

We currently offer the latest smartwatches from Apple, Samsung and OPPO. 

- Browse all Apple smartwatches
- Browse all Samsung smartwatches
- Browse all OPPO smartwatches

1All communication between approved contacts only. Features and accuracy of location subject to Vodafone network coverage and GPS signal.

2Characters may be subject to change. © Disney. © Disney/Pixar. © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2020 MARVEL.

IP68 withstands immersion in fresh water to a depth of 10 metres for up to 30 minutes. The watch is not designed for swimming, diving, or prolonged submersion in water.

Smart SIM works in over 100 countries.

Connectivity subscription required and Terms apply. See FAQs for more info.

 

1The aforementioned use and charging descriptions apply to OPPO Watch 46mm (Wi-Fi). OPPO Watch 46mm (LTE) has a battery life of up to 30 hours in Smart mode and 21 days in Power Saver mode, and charges to 46% in 15 minutes.

2Wear OS by Google is supported on Android devices running on Android 6.0 or higher (excluding Go edition). Available functions may vary by platforms and regions.

3The following conditions may impair the water resistance of the watch and should be avoided: a). Wearing the watch in the aforementioned unsuitable scenarios b). Dropping the watch or otherwise subjecting it to impact c). Exposing the watch to alkaline materials, including bath products such as soap or soapy water d).Exposing the watch to perfume, solvents, cleaning solutions, acid or acidic materials, insecticides, sunscreen, lotion, or hair dye e). Pressing buttons or performing operations on the watch under water f). Charging the watch under wet or humid conditions. OPPO Watch is not a medical device. The fitness and health data it provides are for reference only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment.

For best results, it is recommended to sync data, update the software to the latest version, and timely charge the watch within the first 3 days of watch use.

LTE connectivity availability may vary by region or carrier. For details, contact your local carrier or distributor.

1Blood Oxygen app measurements are not intended for medical use, including self-diagnosis or consultation with a doctor, and are only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.

2The ECG app and irregular rhythm notification require the latest version of watchOS and iOS, and are not intended for use by people under 22 years old. The ECG app is available on Apple Watch Series 4 or later (not including Apple Watch SE). The irregular rhythm notification is not designed for people who have been previously diagnosed with AF.

3Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE have a water resistance rating of 50 metres under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that they may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, they should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.

4Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular) and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) can use a mobile data connection for Emergency SOS. To use Emergency SOS on an Apple Watch without cellular connectivity, your iPhone needs to be nearby. If your iPhone isn’t nearby, your Apple Watch needs to be connected to a known Wi‑Fi network and you must set up Wi‑Fi Calling.

5Fall Detection in workouts coming soon. Fall Detection updates are available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later with watchOS 8 and later.

Wireless service plan required for cellular service. Contact your service provider for more details. International roaming is not supported. Check apple.com/uk/watch/cellular for participating network providers and eligibility. See support.apple.com/en-gb/HT207578 for additional setup instructions.

Apple Music requires a subscription.

Testing conducted by Apple in August 2021 using pre-production Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular) with Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charging USB-C Cable (Model A2515) and Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter (Model A2305), as well as Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) with Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable (Models A2255 and A2256) and Apple 5W USB Power Adapter (Model A1385); each Apple Watch paired with an iPhone, all devices tested with pre-release software. Charge time varies with region, settings and environmental factors; actual results will vary.

Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2020 using pre-production Apple Watch SE (GPS) and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with pre-release software. Battery life varies by use, network coverage, configuration and many other factors; actual results will vary. See apple.com/uk/batteries and apple.com/uk/watch/battery for more information.

1ECG and BP feature only to be used by 22 years+. For accurate BP readings, monthly calibration required by GP or BP monitor & arm cuff. Requires a Galaxy smartphone running Android 7.0 or above.

2Available to all Vodafone Pay Monthly Mobile customers on a Red Plan. You will use the allowance from your current PAYM or SIMO plan to call from your Samsung Watch. For initial set-up, wireless network and pairing with an Android smartphone with OS Android 5.0 or newer and at least 1.5GB RAM required.

3Water resistance rating of 50m under the ISO standard 22810:2010. It is not suitable for diving or high-pressure water activities.