Friday, December 1, 2023

These are the best smartwatches for measuring SpO2 levels


If you’re a passionate smartwatch enthusiast, you’re probably aware that blood oxygen monitoring is a common feature these days. It’s especially helpful during sleep tracking or when you’re at high altitudes. Not to mention, it can also alert you to potential issues such as sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions that require medical attention. The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a superior running watch on its own, but it also has a built-in SpO2 sensor which makes it even more appealing to detail-oriented users. We’ve rounded up some of the best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring.

Best overall: Garmin Forerunner 245


Whether you prefer to run, bike, or swim, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is an excellent choice. It has the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels, which can help gauge how your body is absorbing oxygen. It also comes with built-in GPS, heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, 5 ATM water resistance, and seven days of battery life.

We’d be remiss not to mention that this watch also has the company’s exclusive Body Battery feature, which is designed to track your energy levels throughout the day. This feature will help you determine the optimal times for activity and rest. With so many features to enjoy, it’s no wonder the Forerunner 245 continues to be one of the best Garmin smartwatches you can buy.

You won’t have more advanced features, like mobile payments with Garmin Pay or onboard music storage, but this watch is made to focus on fitness. More specifically, this is a running watch for first-time runners and more experienced runners. It’s worth noting that you can pay a bit more for a music version of this watch if you consider it a must-have feature. That being said, this watch is a perfect opportunity to experience everything Garmin offers without spending a fortune.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • A week of battery life
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Pulse Ox sensor and Body Battery
  • Menstrual tracking


  • Lacks mobile payments
  • Music version is more expensive
  • No altimeter

Best overall

Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS Running Smartwatch


  • $225 at Amazon
  • From $225 at Best Buy
  • $225 at Walmart

A great running watch

This is one of the best Garmin running watches out there, with various tracking metrics for monitoring your progress.

Best value: Fitbit Versa 3


Fitbit has made a name for itself as one of the most trusted names in the world of fitness trackers, and the Versa 3 is no exception. As usual, you’ll enjoy impeccable sleep tracking, but you also have the added benefit of a built-in SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen tracking. It maintains the unique squircle design with a modern twist and an improved band system that’s much easier to use. Not to mention that you’ll have an easier time finding replacement Fitbit Versa 3 bands. However, keep in mind that old Versa bands won’t work with the new system.

Did we mention the built-in microphone and speaker? As you can imagine, using the voice assistant options is more enjoyable with this new addition. You can also dictate text replies and take Bluetooth calls on your wrist. You also have access to Fitbit Pay so that you can leave your wallet at home. Most importantly, onboard GPS is now available, too. This makes it a great fitness smartwatch for athletes.

Overall, the Fitbit Versa 3 has a lot to offer for the price. It may not be an advanced smartwatch with premium features, but it makes up for it in other areas. It’s come a long way since the Fitbit Versa 2. For instance, the innovative on-screen workouts offer helpful data, the battery life has improved, and you have local music storage. Let’s not forget about the convenience of having Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the wrist. If you want to save money on a wearable, you can also find a built-in SpO2 sensor on the Versa, Versa 2, and the Versa Lite.


  • Onboard GPS
  • On-screen workouts
  • 6-day battery life
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant


  • App selection needs work
  • Old Versa bands aren’t compatible

Best value

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch


  • From $180 at Amazon
  • $180 at Best Buy
  • $180 at Walmart

It doesn’t get any better

The Versa 3 offers amazing improvements, like onboard GPS, longer battery life, Active Zone Minutes, and more.

Best battery: Garmin Venu 2


The Venu 2 is one of the newest releases from Garmin. It’s an upgrade from the predecessor in many ways. For starters, you’ll be able to choose between a 40mm and a 45mm model. The larger version comes with an extra day of battery life for a whopping total of eleven days on a single charge. Another new feature is the battery saver mode that allows your watch to last for an additional day. Don’t forget that you also have rapid charging, which means the Garmin Venu 2 can reach a full day of battery after a mere 10 minutes on the charger.

As far as the features go, you’ll enjoy all of the Garmin essentials, including onboard GPS, 5 ATM water resistance, activity/sleep/stress tracking, heart-rate monitoring, music storage, and Garmin Pay. You also have the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor that gauges your blood oxygen saturation throughout the day and as you sleep to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen. Some new features include fitness age, sleep score, Health Snapshot, and additional activity profile.

It’s nice to see Garmin making an effort with its successors. The Venu 2 is an impressive upgrade with many new features. You also have two sizes to choose from and double the battery life of the previous models. Unfortunately, these watches are pretty expensive for what they are. However, if you’re sold on the design, battery life, and new features, you might be willing to splurge.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Up to eleven-day battery life
  • Garmin Pay & music storage
  • Excellent health/activity tracking
  • Sleep score and fitness age
  • 5 ATM water resistance


  • 45mm has fewer color choices
  • 40mm isn’t more affordable
  • Extremely expensive

Best battery

Garmin Venu 2 GPS Smartwatch


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

A stunning watch that does it all

Want a stylish watch that offers stellar battery life? TheVenu 2 is ideal with GPS, Garmin Pay, music storage, and more.

Best premium pick: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4


One of this year’s most anticipated releases, the Galaxy Watch 4, is officially available for preorder. While it’s not the only Samsung smartwatch with blood oxygen tracking, there are many other benefits to this new wearable. Not unlike its predecessor, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers two size options, optional LTE connectivity, ECG readings, and advanced health/fitness tracking. While it’s only expected to get 40 hours of battery life, it’s an improvement from other watches that require daily charging.

Users will also appreciate the new 3-in-1 BioActive sensor. This technology made it possible for Samsung to use a single chip containing three important sensors, including optical heart rate, electrical heart (ECG), and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), to measure overall body composition. The company also noted that the placement of the chip puts the measurement tool closer to your skin, which should increase measurement accuracy. The BioActive sensor can take a heart-rate reading, record an ECG measurement, and measure your blood oxygen levels.

While sleep tracking isn’t a new feature, Samsung has improved its accuracy and detail quite a bit. In addition to providing you with an advanced Sleep Score and tracking your blood oxygen levels during sleep, your compatible smartphone can now detect the sound of your snores. This gives you a better look at the bigger picture, which can help you determine how to improve your sleep quality over time. If you’re not deterred by the price tag and the limitations of the new operating system, this is one of the best smartwatches for blood oxygen monitoring and other types of detailed tracking.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Optional LTE
  • Samsung Pay, Google Pay
  • Improved health/fitness features
  • New Wear OS 3


  • Battery life could be better
  • No compatibility for iOS users
  • Some features only work for Galaxy phone owners

Best premium pick

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Smartwatch


  • From $210 at Samsung
  • $210 at Amazon
  • $210 at Best Buy

Premium features and performance

If you want the newest tech, the Galaxy Watch 4 may appeal to you. Blood oxygen tracking is just one of many great health perks.

Best for outdoor enthusiasts: Garmin Fenix 6


The Fenix 6 Series is another powerhouse from Garmin that’s loaded with features. This one is geared toward outdoor athletes who need all of the help they can get. The standard model is still a giant at 47mm. As you might’ve guessed, the higher up the ladder you go of the Fenix Series, the more expensive the models will get.

Battery life can also vary, but you can expect it to last up to 14 days in smartwatch mode with the standard model. When you’re in basic GPS mode, it should last 36 hours. You get more information from the Pulse Ox sensor with an advanced running watch like this. It’s used for altitude acclimation and sleep monitoring and lets you know how well your body absorbs oxygen.

This watch isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s large and in charge — quite literally. You’ll have GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, ensuring accuracy and allowing you to track in more challenging environments. The obvious downside here is the steep price tag. Most ordinary people wouldn’t think twice about spending this much on a watch. However, you don’t buy a watch like this for ordinary tracking. The Fenix 6 is built for outdoor enthusiasts who spend most of their time adventuring and exploring. If that’s you, you can’t go wrong with this watch.


  • Advanced GPS tracking
  • 10 ATM water resistance
  • Military-grad durability
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Garmin Pay


  • Too pricey for most people
  • Huge and not for stylish folks
  • Not many new features from predecessor

Best for outdoor enthusiasts

Garmin Fenix 6 Premium Multisport GPS Watch


  • $390 at Amazon
  • $549 at Walmart

For true adventurers

Outdoor enthusiasts will surely appreciate the Garmin Fenix 6 for its advanced GPS support and multiple activity profiles.

Best health features: Fitbit Sense


Perhaps you’re familiar with the Fitbit ecosystem, and that’s what you’re most comfortable with. The Fitbit Sense is one of the newest additions to the family. This is the best choice if you’re looking for a smartwatch with advanced health perks. It’s more expensive than many other Fitbit watches, but it may be worth it if you want built-in GPS along with other perks such as 5 ATM water resistance, six days of battery life, heart-rate monitoring, music storage, and also Fitbit Pay. This is yet another Fitbit smartwatch with the SpO2 sensor for monitoring blood oxygen levels, but it takes health tracking to the next level with other new perks.

New health features include an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for checking your heart’s rhythm. This sensor can help detect irregularities such as atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib. You also get the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, measuring how your body responds to stress. Fitbit’s goal is to provide you with a better understanding of your stress levels throughout the day while encouraging you to take care of your mental and physical health. Additionally, a temperature sensor offers minute-by-minute readings of how your body temperature changes while you’re asleep at night.

You have to admit that these sensors are pretty impressive and offer a lot of important data. However, you’ll have to decide if the expensive price tag is worth it. If you don’t have much use for these advanced health sensors, you might be better off with the more affordable and simplistic Versa 3.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • ECG & EDA sensors
  • Six-day battery life
  • Fitbit Pay


  • Awkward unattractive design
  • Prone to scratches
  • Limited smartwatch functionality

Best health features

Fitbit Sense Advanced Health & Fitness Smartwatch


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

For health nuts

If you’re a Fitbit fan seeking an advanced health smartwatch with stellar battery life and onboard GPS, choose the Sense.

Best for Wear OS users: TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS

Mobvoi is known for its TicWatch Pro Series, and the new TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is another impressive achievement. It’s an especially wise choice for Wear OS watch users who are determined to invest in a device that will eventually upgrade to the new Wear OS 3 platform. Other than that guarantee, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS offers some other subtle improvements that may compel you to upgrade.

If you’re not familiar, these watches are equipped with dual-layer display technology that helps extend battery life. Now, the display offers a new customizable backlight feature for the top layer display. Users can pick from 18 backlight colors, which is a great way to customize the look of your watch. Additionally, the battery can last for up to 72 hours in Smart mode. You can lean on Essential mode in a pinch to extend battery life, but it limits what features you can use. This watch also comes with a military-grade durability rating, so you know it’s built to last.

One of the main concerns when buying a Wear OS device is whether or not it will upgrade to the new Wear OS 3 platform. Some users may not be too worried about this, but others want peace of mind. Luckily, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS will be eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3 in 2022. You might have to wait a bit, but at least you know the update is coming to your watch eventually.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Customizable backlight
  • Activity/sleep tracking
  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery life


  • Only one size/one color
  • Too big for some wrists
  • Expensive

Best for Wear OS users

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS Smartwatch


  • $300 at Amazon
  • $300 at Mobvoi

Do it all and then some

If you’re all about design and performance upgrades, you may have met your match with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS.

Best for Apple users: Apple Watch Series 7


Deciding whether or not to upgrade your smartwatch when a new model is released is a hot topic. As for the new Apple Watch Series 7, many users might consider it a worthy upgrade. In addition to advanced health and fitness tracking with ECG readings, blood oxygen monitoring, and heart-rate tracking, Apple has made some other improvements that might appeal to you.

The design has improved in several ways. Apple offers larger case sizes to choose from this time: 41mm and 45mm. Additionally, these watches have significantly slimmer bezels, which leads to a larger display area. This means the watch can now fit 50% more text on its display than its predecessor. You’ll now be able to use a full QWERTY keyboard for easier typing, too. There are five color options to pick from within the aluminum lineup: Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED.

While battery life is still as disappointing as ever, Apple has introduced a new USB-C charging cable with the Series 7. This means you’ll be able to charge your watch much faster than before. In fact, you can get your dead watch from zero to 80% in just 45 minutes. So if you’re having a hectic morning and need a fast charge, you can get your watch up to 8 hours of battery life after charging it for only 8 minutes. The overall battery life hasn’t improved, but fast charging is a big help.


  • Onboard GPS
  • Optional LTE
  • ECG and SpO2
  • Larger Display
  • Fast charging


  • Not compatible with Android phones
  • Short battery life
  • Expensive

Best for Apple users

Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41mm)


  • From $350 at Amazon
  • $399 at Best Buy
  • $349 at Walmart

iOS users only

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers some significant upgrades, including a larger display, thinner bezels, and faster-charging speeds.

Best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring: How to choose

It’s no secret that smartwatches are becoming more and more advanced with time, which is why so many new smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring are hitting the market these days. You’ll find that many of the options on this list are a good place to start, and we’d venture to say there will be plenty more to come. The Garmin Forerunner 245 has remained a top pick in this category for several reasons. Not only does it offer extensive tracking abilities, built-in GPS, and seriously long battery life, but it also has a Pulse Ox sensor for tracking blood oxygen saturation levels with great precision.

There are more affordable options on this list, depending on your needs. Perhaps you’re not a frequent runner, or you’re simply more focused on the physical design of your watch. Whatever the case, these are some of the best Android smartwatches for tracking your blood oxygen saturation levels.

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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