Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- We tested dozens of smartwatches to see which ones are best for women in terms of style, size, and function.
- The 40mm Apple Watch Series 4 is the most stylish, high-tech smartwatch for women with its simple interface and attractive looks.
The first smartwatches were bulky, ugly monstrosities that only the most ardent of tech addicts could stomach wearing every day, but over the past few years, smartwatches have become much more fashionable.
As more and more fashion-forward brands join the latest tech craze, smartwatches for women have started to arrive. Fossil, Skagen, and Kate Spade are getting into the wearable world. Of course, traditional tech companies are taking notice of the trend, too.
Apple was one of the first tech companies to make female-friendly Apple Watch styles, and it remains the only company to have successfully made a smartwatch that’s small enough for women with dainty wrists. Meanwhile, Samsung, LG, Huawei, Motorola, and others have dabbled in making attractive versions of their smartwatches for women.
As a female tech reviewer for the past six years, I’ve tested nearly every smartwatch that has come out to date — no matter how big or manly — so I can confidently say that these are the best smartwatches for women.
Our buying guide of the best smartwatches for women includes all kinds of watches to suit every style, so whether you like gold, silver, or a unique finish; whether you like chunky watches, slim ones, or futuristic styles, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the best smartwatches for women in 2019:
- Best smartwatch for women overall: 40mm Apple Watch Series 4
- Best smartwatch with a feminine design: Kate Spade Scallop 2
- Best smartwatch with a classic design: Fossil Q Venture HR
- Best smartwatch with a minimalist design: Skagen Falster 2
- Best smartwatch for fitness lovers: Fitbit Versa
Updated on 03/22/2019 by Malarie Gokey: Added the updated versions of the Scallop and the Falster.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches you can buy
DON’T MISS: The best pieces of smart jewelry you can buy
The best smartwatch for women
Why you’ll love it: The Apple Watch Series 4 has a bigger screen, slimmer body, and impressive new health-focused features that make the best smartwatch you can buy better than ever.
It doesn’t get better than the Apple Watch Series 4. The new slimmer body and bigger screen make it sleeker and more stylish than ever before. The unique modern design works for both men and women. The smartwatch comes in 40mm and 44mm styles to fit wrists big and small. You can buy it in several finishes to match your style and there are dozens of Apple-made and third-party watch bands to make the Watch your own.
No other smartwatch offers this much variety and customization, especially when it comes to female-friendly options. The Apple Watch is the only smartwatch I’ve ever worn regularly each day for months on end. I’ve reviewed dozens of Android Wear watches, and although many of them are nice looking as well, they’re not as fully featured or easy to use as the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch boasts cutting-edge smartwatch tech including mobile payments with Apple Pay, stand-alone GPS, full waterproofing up to 50 meters, and thousands of apps. The user interface is very simple and attractive. It’s easy to use and it has advanced, easy-to-use fitness tracking features, thanks to a plethora of sensors and an excellent heart rate monitor.
The Series 4 now has several new health-focused features, which are very intriguing, including the ability to detect when you fall and even alert emergency contacts if need be, as well as an electrical heart rate sensor that works with an app to alert you to heart health issues. The electrocardiogram (ECG) app has been certified by the Food & Drug Administration, but it’s not out yet.
You can also get an LTE version of the Series 4 for standalone smartwatch functions like calls, texts, and internet access. That way, you can leave your phone at home when you go out on a run or a long hike.
The LTE connection will cost you about $10 a month at most carriers, and the LTE model does cost more. There’s a non-LTE version, too, if you’re not interested in the new feature. Most people probably don’t need LTE, frankly, unless you regularly go on hikes or long runs and you don’t want to be weighed down with your phone. Still, it’s a nice option to have.
The Series 4 lasts a full day on a charge, but you can get more out of it if you don’t get notifications from every app on your iPhone.
Tech reviewers across the board from call it the best smartwatch you can buy — period. Digital Trends even gave it a rare perfect score. While other companies struggle to pack tons of tech into bulky smartwatches, Apple effortlessly offers all the tech you need in the most compact and attractive smartwatch you can buy.
Pros: Gorgeous larger screen, slimmer watch case, haptic feedback from the crown, great watch faces, tons of band options, lots of apps, new health-focused features
Cons: Expensive, battery life is short, only works with iPhone
Buy the Apple Watch Series 4 at Macy’s for $399+
The best smartwatch for women with feminine details
Why you’ll love it: The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is a truly feminine, whimsical, and charming smartwatch that packs serious tech features like a heart rate monitor, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments.
Most smartwatches are still more unisex than specifically made for women. Even though Fossil, Skagen, and Apple make very convincing unisex watches that women can actually wear, none of them are unapologetically feminine. If you, like me, have been waiting for the day when you can look at a smartwatch and say, “Oh my God! It’s so cute!” your day has come.
The Kate Spade Scallop 2 is fully and completely designed for women. The round metal watch casing is relatively slim, very sleek, and absolutely adorable because it has the cute little detail of scalloping around the watch face.
The watch faces themselves are classic Kate Spade designs. You get a sultry winking moon face with perfectly curled lashes, calling you a leading lady; cute bubbly balloons for a digital watch face with numbers; a speeding cab that reassures you that you’ll be there in a New York minute; and a daisy that loses petals as the time ticks away in a classic game of “He loves me; he loves me not.”
The cute scalloped silicone band in black or a leather band in blush pink and the well-made, slim metal bracelet style watch band complete the feminine look. It is these little touches that make this watch so fun.
Underneath all the fun design is WearOS (formerly Android Wear) with all its skills and limitations. Like all the other WearOS watches in our guide, you can pair it an iPhone or Android device to get apps and all your notifications.
The second generation Scallop even has GPS, NFC for payments, and a heart rate monitor, making it more high tech than ever.
Pros: Adorable design, feminine watch faces and casing, cute straps, subtle details for fun, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitor
Cons: A bit expensive
Shop all Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch styles for $275 and up
The best smartwatch for women with a classic design
Why you’ll love it: The Fossil Q Venture HR is a sleek smartwatch with a classic design and the power of WearOS.
If you’re an Android user who wants a female-friendly smartwatch, you’re in luck. Over the past few years, fashion brands and watchmakers have started making great WearOS smartwatches. Fossil’s smartwatch line continues to grow each year, and the new Q Venture HR is its fourth-generation model.
The improvements are immediately obvious: The watch casing is smaller and less bulky and the touchscreen looks more refined. There’s also finally a heart rate sensor, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments.
Fossil offers several different finishes for the Q Venture’s watch casing. I love the simple rose gold casing and tan leather strap option, but you can also get one with a bedazzled ring around the watch face. There’s also a rose gold metal bracelet strap or one that mixes rose gold with a bold navy color.
Women who are less into trendy colors can obviously go for the more traditional finishes like the silver and gold. If you don’t like any of the included straps, Fossil and other brands sell dozens of 18mm watch straps you can choose instead to really make the Q Venture your own.
It’s a chunky watch, which is great for women who like bigger watches. It’s not as flashy as the Michael Kors Access Bradshaw smartwatch we’ll discuss later on in this article, though. Even though it’s stylish, this smartwatch is also waterproof up to 3 ATM, so you can swim with it on.
As for the tech inside, the Q Venture won’t let you down. It runs WearOS (previously known as Android Wear) and works with thousands of apps on the Google Play Store. You can answer texts, interact with notifications, and choose your own watch face — just like you would on any other smartwatch. Fossil has lots of nice watch faces in feminine colors, too.
It’ll work with both Android phones and the iPhone, but it’s best with Android devices. When Android Wear watches are paired to the iPhone, a lot of functions no longer work, and you’re left with a pretty watch that gives you notifications.
Pros: Classic watch design, stylish color options, lots of compatible watch straps, and it’s compatible with iPhones and Android phones
Cons: It’s a bit chunky, not as good with iPhone
Buy the Fossil Q Venture HR from Fossil for $255
See the rest of the story at Business Insider