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CNET: Best smartwatches for 2021

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Published in Science & Technology News

If you're looking for your first smartwatch or replacing an old one, there are a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure out the best smartwatch for your needs — especially since it will probably be strapped to your wrist 24/7. You'll want to decide on your preferred shape for the watch face, whether you want a model with a fitness emphasis (sleep tracking, a heart rate monitor) versus other smart features (working well with third party apps) and which operating system you want (iOS versus Android).

But that just scratches the surface. A smartwatch should be able to offer everything from heart-rate monitoring and activity tracking to GPS tracking and smart notifications. Some smartwatches can even be used for contactless payment. They should all work seamlessly with smartphone notifications. And, regardless of whether you're an Android user and iPhone user, you should be able to make the most of your wearable device.

We've rounded up the best smartwatches based on function, price and compatibility, and here are three of CNET's top choices.

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The best Apple Watch for your money

Apple Watch SE

 

CNET TAKE: If you've never owned an Apple Watch, this is the one to get. The Apple Watch SE is a cheaper alternative to the Series 6 with a lot of the same great features plus a slightly longer battery life. Aside from the extra health sensors (ECG and SpO2), the most notable difference between the two is that the SE doesn't have an always-on display. But you probably won't miss it if you've never had this feature.

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The best value Android smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

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