Best Wear OS watch 2018: our list of the top ex-Android Wear smartwatches
Google's Android Wear had a shaky start, but it's now an increasingly mature platform thanks to the Android Wear 2.0 update and the more recent switchover to the Wear OS name.
Android Wear may be dead, but Wear OS is now better than the former ever was thanks to updates to improve navigation, battery life and more on the platform.
We originally ranked the best Android Wear watches you can buy, but we've now changed this list since Google rebranded its smartwatch platform to Wear OS in early 2018.
One of the main reasons Google renamed its operating system is to make the watches more palatable to those who own an iPhone. Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones, but it's worth checking compatibility before you buy as each watch will only work with certain devices.
- Check out our list of all the best smartwatches money can buy
- Check out our collection of the best Wear OS apps
- Best Wear OS watch faces that you can download now
There's no better time than now to grab yourself a smartwatch, so below we've put together the definitive list of the best available on the market right now.
Each has been extensively tested throughout our review process and we've then ranked the watches according to some of the most important features including price, design, battery and features.
Our number one Wear OS watch you can buy right now is the new Ticwatch Pro. You may not have heard of this brand before, but the latest from parent company Mobvoi is a powerhouse of a watch and comes with two displays.
That doesn't mean there's one display on each side of the watch, but instead it has a transparent LCD display on top of a full color OLED. When it's conserving battery, the watch will switch to the LCD screen that shows you the time, your step count and more.
The normal OLED screen will work like your average smartwatch, but the other display means the watch has much better battery life than a lot of the other watches on this list.
The Ticwatch Pro also has a premium design, a heart rate sensor, great GPS tracking, NFC for Google Pay and much more alongside the latest Wear OS software powering the whole watch.
If you're looking for something different at a relatively affordable price, the Ticwatch Pro is sure to scratch that itch better than any other Wear OS watch you can buy right now. Meanwhile, if you want something cheap from Ticwatch you're in luck below.
Read the full Ticwatch Pro review
Once rated as our best Android Wear watch, the Ticwatch E is now our second favorite Wear OS watch. This Ticwatch offers some top notch hardware for a lower price than a lot of the rest of the competition.
The Ticwatch E largely sits so high in this list because of it has a low price alongside the fact it features almost everything you'd expect from a Wear OS watch. There's GPS and a heart rate sensor onboard, which we found to work swiftly and accurately.
The design is attractive – although it won't be to everyone's taste as it's made of plastic – and it offers at least a full day's battery life from a single charge. All of that said, it doesn't come with NFC so there's no Google Pay here and it lacks wireless charging so instead opts for a three-pin pad design.
All in all, if you're looking for an affordable smartwatch that packs the latest in Wear OS software you probably don't need to scroll any further down this list.
Read the full Ticwatch E review
What's next? Our advice would be to wait a few days before you buy as we expect to hear about the upcoming Ticwatch E2 on October 24.
The Vapor is the first time we've seen Misfit attempt to make a smartwatch and it succeeded in creating something that looks great on your wrist while also offering a large amount of top-end features.
Misfit's first smartwatch is one of the more attractive options on this list having a lighter design than most of the other watches and a premium finish that doesn't mess around with screen flat tires or cheap materials.
The strap is comfortable to wear while exercising, but it also looks good on a night out – or you can buy a leather strap if you want it to match particular outfits. As for the tech, most of what you'd expect is in here and we find it speedy with good battery life too.
Misfit's low price is one of the other main highlights here and we particularly like how affordable this is considering the price of most other Wear OS watches.
Read the full Misfit Vapor review
What's next? A new rumor suggests the Misfit Vapor 2 is in production, so we may hear more officially about that in the next couple of months.
Much like the Ticwatch Pro and E up higher in this list, we love the Ticwatch S. The differences between the Ticwatch E and the S are limited, but these may be dramatic enough to make you want one watch over the other.
The first thing to note is the thicker bezel on the Ticwatch S. It makes it easier to read the time, but it also means the watch is that little bit bigger and it's a touch heavier than the Ticwatch E too.
It still features a heart rate sensor and many other features alongside its day long battery life but it doesn't feature swappable straps. That's because the GPS is included within the strap, which Ticwatch claims makes it more accurate than other watches.
There's no LTE or NFC here, plus the price is a touch higher than the Ticwatch E as well. This is still a great watch though, it's just whether you'd want to invest in this over the other choices on this list.
Read the full Ticwatch S review
The LG Watch Style is every bit as stylish as its name suggests, with a sand-blasted stainless steel chassis and a circular display. It's also one of the thinnest Wear OS watches around at just 10.8mm.
That means that while it will look great on anyone's wrist it's especially at home on smaller wrists, which is worth noting, since a lot of smartwatches are chunky things that could dwarf a small wrist.
The LG Watch Style also benefits from a rotatable crown, which helps you navigate the interface without prodding its tiny screen. It's a good screen though, being a 1.2-inch P-OLED one and fully circular – there's no flat tire here.
The core specs are fairly standard but up there with pricier watches, because despite the Watch Style's great looks it's actually quite affordable. Some sacrifices have been made though to keep the cost down and the watch slim, as there's no GPS or heart rate monitor here.
Read the LG Watch Style review
The Huawei Watch 2 is an attempt by the Chinese company to widen the use of Wear OS watches. Huawei has tried to include a variety of new features in its latest smartwatch and it's not entirely clear if it has succeeded with the Watch 2.
We like the built-in GPS and NFC on the watch as well as the option to have a 4G model, but the Huawei Watch 2 can be sluggish and the screen is a little small for some.
This may suit you though with an attractive design and a plethora of features, but the price is much higher than the original Huawei Watch which we currently have ranked above this one.
Read the full Huawei Watch 2 review
Launched alongside the LG Watch Style, the LG Watch Sport is in many ways it opposite, with a chunky, uninspiring build but absolutely loaded full of features.
It has a heart rate monitor, GPS, a barometer and optionally even 4G connectivity, making it a strong option for the athletically inclined or for anyone who wants to leave their smartphone at home.
It also has a bigger, sharper screen than the LG Watch Style and one that's just as circular. Of course it's also one of the pricier smartwatches available, which is why it doesn't feature higher on our list.
Read the full LG Watch Sport review
One of Fossil's most recent watches, we really like the Q Venture despite the fact it is missing some of the key features you'd hope for on an Wear OS watch.
The highlight here is the design that looks like your average high-end watch, but instead it's stealth packing all of the features we know and love from Android Wear 2.0 in the form of Wear OS.
If you're looking for a fitness watch, this won't be it though as there's no heart rate monitor, GPS or even NFC. If you're instead after a watch with good battery life and an attractive design, you may be the perfect match for the Q Venture.
Read the Fossil Q Venture review