Saturday, June 22, 2024

Do more than tell time with the best smartwatches for women



It can be fun to accessorize but sometimes it’s a battle to find the perfect blend of function and fashion, like when choosing the best Android smartwatch for women. The good news is that there are tons of options for women these days. Our favorite is the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna, which offers premium features while boasting a classic, stylish design. This is just one of the options when it comes to choosing the best smartwatch for women. We’ve rounded up the best picks to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Best Overall: Fossil Gen 5 Julianna


If you were a fan of the Gen 4 smartwatches from Fossil but hoped for improvements, the moment has arrived. The Gen 5 smartwatches — including the gorgeous Julianna — come with a new stylish design, more RAM, and an external speaker. It also does everything you need it to do: activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance (depth of up to 30 meters), Google Pay, Google Assistant, GPS, and notifications.

The new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor is present, which helps with battery life. If you were hoping for a major upgrade, you might be disappointed; the Julianna has an estimated 24+ hours of life, which isn’t exactly the improvement we were hoping for.

However, thanks to the new processor and battery-saving modes, you can get more usage between charges. Extended mode turns off nonessential features, like the always-on display, speaker, Wi-Fi, and touch to wake. Location and NFC are set to “on-demand” so those radios are only turned on when apps are using them. Time Only mode gives you a few extra hours when the battery is low by functioning as a watch only. In short, if you plan on taking full advantage of all of the features the Gen 5 offers, you’ll need to charge it daily.


  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • External speaker, more storage
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Google Assistant


  • Mediocre battery life
  • Display could be brighter
  • Battery saving modes limit functionality

Best Overall

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna


  • $177 at Amazon
  • $199 at Best Buy
  • $261 at Walmart

New and improved

Fossil fans will love this watch. It has activity and heart rate tracking, Google Pay, and GPS. It’s lightweight and stylish, too.

Best Value: Michael Kors Access Runway


Sometimes you’re aiming for the best of both worlds: a solid activity tracker with tons of features in the form of an affordable smartwatch. The Michael Kors Access Runway will check all of these boxes. You’ll enjoy an estimated 24 hours of battery life, onboard GPS, activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance, Google Assistant, Google Play, and more. It comes in various colors, including gold, pink, black, silver, and rose gold. The beautiful design might make this watch seem like it’s only about looks but that’s not the case.

The Access Runway allows you to set customized fitness goals, track calories burned, and map exercise routes. There’s a wide selection of activities to choose from, like elliptical, aerobics, boxing, circuit training, and more. If you’re a fashion-forward individual who wants a fancy watch that can track your activity, this might be the one for you.

The only real con is that iOS users will need to have the Wear OS app running in the background for the smartwatch to stay connected or you won’t receive notifications. When your phone is connected, you’ll be able to accept or reject calls (there’s no speaker, so be prepared to use headphones). Android Users can reply to texts but iOS users won’t have that luxury.


  • Various color options
  • Google Assistant
  • Customized activity tracking
  • Reply to texts; answer calls on Android


  • Limited iOS functionality
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Design isn’t ideal for intense workouts

Best Value

Michael Kors Access Runway


  • From $215 at Amazon
  • $207 at Walmart

Best of both worlds

Want a stunning smartwatch full of impressive features and activity tracking perks? The Michael Kors Access Runway is a winner.

Best Slim Design: Fossil Gen 5E


For those who like Fossil watches but want something slimmer, you’ll be interested in the new Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch. It has most of the same great features as the Fossil Gen 5, including heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, NFC payments, and battery-saving modes.

The main difference is that the Fossil Gen 5E comes in a smaller and slimmer 42mm case, which is ideal for those with dainty wrists. There are multiple color schemes to choose from, including SIlver/Gold, Pink, Rose Gold, and more. If you liked the Gen 5 models but you want something slightly more affordable that comes in a smaller case size, the Gen 5E smartwatch is a great pick.

The major con is that you don’t get onboard GPS, so you’ll need to have your phone available for connected GPS. It does have the Snapdragon 3100 Wear processor, but this time you’ll only have 4GB of storage rather than 8GB. Other similarities include a 3 ATM water resistance rating, a built-in microphone, speaker, and a stylish design. The multi-day battery modes are helpful when you’re in a bind, it does limit the features you’ll be able to use. Keep in mind that without using those modes, the battery will only last for 24 hours before it needs to be charged again.


  • Activity and heart rate tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • NFC payments
  • Swimproof technology
  • Built-in mic/speaker


  • Short battery life
  • Lacks onboard GPS
  • Less storage than Gen 5

Best Slim Design

Fossil Gen 5E


  • From $149 at Amazon
  • $149 at Best Buy
  • $298 at Walmart
  • Small but impressive

If you want something a bit smaller for your dainty wrist, you’ll love the Fossil Gen 5E and its stylish appeal.

Best for Basics: Garmin Lily


If it’s a small but elegant timepiece you’re after, you’ll have met your match with the new Garmin Lily. This is the newest smartwatch for women on this list, and it happens to be made exclusively for women. It focuses on fashion first and features second, but it’s still a great option for those who want both.

You get up to 5 days of battery life on a single charge, 5 ATM water resistance, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and much more. It comes in a Sport model with aluminum hardware and a silicone band or you can choose the Classic model with stainless steel hardware and a leather band. You’ll want to keep in mind that the Classic model is slightly more expensive.

There are a few missing features that might affect your decision. The Garmin Lily does not offer onboard GPS, music storage, or NFC payments. Another common perk that’s not present is the bright AMOLED display. Instead, you get a liquid crystal monochromatic touchscreen. It’s still easy to read and use, but it’s not quite the same as those attractive color displays that you might be used to. Another small gripe is that the bands are not interchangeable. The Lily uses Garmin’s proprietary T-bar lugs, so you’ll need a special tool to swap out the bands. You also won’t have the choice of exploring band options from third-party sellers such as Amazon.


  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • SpO2 monitoring
  • Up to 5 days of battery life


  • No color display
  • Lacks GPS and NFC
  • Proprietary straps

Best for Basics

Garmin Lily


  • $200 at Amazon
  • $200 at Walmart

Keep it simple

If you prefer to keep things simple and want a smartwatch that focuses on looks before features, the Lily is a solid pick.

Best for Fashion: Kate Spade Scallop 2


The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is a major step up from its predecessor. It offers a ton of features that weren’t on the table before, including built-in GPS, Google Pay, and heart-rate monitoring, not to mention there’s an array of fashionable designs to choose from. The 41mm case is available in black, rose gold, gold, pink, and white. You can choose the band style you prefer, whether it be silicone, leather, or classic stainless steel.

Did we mention that it also comes with a 3ATM water resistance rating? This smartwatch estimates around 24 hours of battery life depending on your usage. You’ll also be able to use Google Assistant, view notifications at a glance, control your music, customize watch faces, and more. Let’s not forget about the basic activity tracking that lets you keep track of your steps taken and calories burned throughout the day while monitoring your heart rate and tracking your route.

We’re bummed it’s still using the old Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, but it’s a small compromise for all that you get. The good news is that the price has gone down some since the initial release. If you’re not willing to settle when it comes to finding a stylish smartwatch, you’ll love the Kate Spade Scallop 2.


  • Activity tracking
  • Music controls
  • Great design options
  • Different band styles


  • Uses Snapdragon 2100
  • Short battery life

Best for Fashion

Kate Spade Scallop 2


  • $149 at Amazon

Fashion at its finest

Looking to make a fashion statement while still having the functionality you need? Look no further than the Kate Spade Scallop 2.

Best for Sports: Fitbit Versa 3


While the new Fitbit Versa 3 isn’t exclusively for women, it can certainly pass as a women’s smartwatch. You can make it rugged and durable with the right band when you head outdoors for an intense workout. When the evening time rolls around, switch to an elegant band for a night out on the town. A fitness smartwatch can be feminine if you want it to be! There are many improvements worth noting, especially the addition of onboard GPS as well as a whopping 6 days of battery life.

This smartwatch offers some other important upgrades from the original, like Google Assistant, a built-in mic/speaker, local music storage, and an improved proprietary band system. The mic/speaker means you can take calls on your wrist and hear your voice assistant responses. You’ll have all of the basics you know and love on the Fitbit Versa 3, including activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, menstrual-cycle tracking, Fitbit Pay, and more.

As always, app selection is rather limited, so don’t expect much on that front. While the battery life is usually pretty good, using the always-on display feature will bring that figure down quite a bit. This is one of the best smartwatches you can buy right now. Best of all? It has way more positives than negatives.


  • Improved battery life
  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Fitbit Pay, music storage
  • Built-in mic/speaker


  • App selection is limited
  • Always-on display kills battery life

Best for Sports

Fitbit Versa 3


  • $200 at Amazon
  • $199 at Best Buy
  • $200 at Walmart

Exercise your heart out

The Fitbit Versa 3 is ideal for women who want a fitness watch with GPS, activity tracking, and heart-rate monitoring.

Best for Versatility: Galaxy Watch Active 2


Perhaps the most anticipated release of the year is the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which offers optional LTE connectivity with select models. Again, this wearable isn’t specifically designed for women but there are plenty of color options that can suit anyone. It’s compatible with 20mm interchangeable bands, so you’ll be able to wear it casually or dress it up as you please. Your watch will always match your outfit with the My Style color extraction app that lets you take a photo of your outfit so it can generate a selection of watch faces to go with it.

There are some other new features to look forward to, including a faster and more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor, advanced accelerometer, improved GPS, and an embedded ECG sensor. As far as activity tracking, the Running Coach feature now provides real-time pace metrics with a rundown of what to expect before you start your workout. Whether you’re walking, jogging, or running, the feature coaches you with audio cues through the device speaker or your Bluetooth headphones. You’ll also have 5 ATM water resistance with the new edition and a day or two of battery life, which will vary based on the model you choose and your usage.

This is another popular pick, so you won’t find too many problems with it. Be prepared to pay more if you choose to buy a model with LTE connectivity. On that note, the battery life will be slightly less when you have an LTE model and use other key features such as GPS and always-on display.


  • Improved sensors
  • Optional LTE connectivity
  • Samsung Pay
  • Two size options


  • Questionable battery life
  • Can get expensive with LTE

Best for Versatility

Galaxy Watch Active 2


  • $199 at Amazon
  • $200 at Best Buy
  • $199 at Walmart

Do it all

If you want a watch that can do it all and easily be tailored to suit various occasions, you’ll love the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Best for Apple Fans: Apple Watch Series 6


The new Apple Watch Series 6 is another superb choice when shopping for a women’s smartwatch, especially if you’re already an Apple enthusiast. This new model provides a few subtle updates, most notably the addition of blood oxygen monitoring as well as sleep tracking. Believe it or not, the Apple Watch has not offered built-in sleep tracking until now. It’s safe to say many users will be pleased with this upgrade. It’s not much, but it puts it in a position to compete with other watches that offer these features.

As far as activity tracking and other smartwatch features go, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers a lot of the same. You’ll still have in-depth health and fitness tracking, built-in GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, Apple Pay, smartphone notifications, and more. This smartwatch can also measure your blood oxygen levels as well as take electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, which can detect irregular heartbeats.

Not surprisingly, the battery life on this watch at all. You can expect the Apple Watch Series 6 to last for the better part of a day before it needs to be recharged. It’s also worth mentioning that this wearable is for iOS users. Android users will need to choose another option on this list.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • Built-in ECG
  • Optional LTE
  • Apple Pay


  • Short battery life
  • Not for Android users
  • Very expensive

Best for Apple Fans

Apple Watch Series 6


  • $350 at Amazon
  • $399 at Best Buy
  • $399 at Walmart

Improved health tracking

The Apple Watch 6 has built-in sleep tracking as well as blood oxygen monitoring, which health enthusiasts will appreciate.

Best smartwatch for women How to choose

The bottom line is that you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. Of course, it all depends on what you’re looking for in a smartwatch. If you want a smartwatch that also serves as a fitness tracker but you don’t want to compromise on fashion, there are plenty of options out there. No matter which one you choose, you’ll receive a stunning design with a solid feature set.

Make sure you think about what you want from your device before you make your final decision. If it’s a feminine look you’re after, you can choose a smartwatch that is specifically designed for women. If you desire a specific set of features, you can just as easily go for one of the unisex options that has everything you need.

With all of that in mind, one of the best smartwatches for women is the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna. The eye-catching design is nice enough on its own but there’s a lot under the hood of this smartwatch, too. You’ll have everything you need from activity and heart rate tracking to Google Pay to onboard GPS. Don’t forget about the additional RAM and external speaker. To put it simply, it’s what smartwatch dreams are made of.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide


Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She’s obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.

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