11 Best Standalone Smartwatches to Leave Your Phone Behind

It is really frustrating to carry a phone when running. How about a standalone smartwatch that does not require a phone to work?

Some questions might have already lined up in your mind. First up, what about the calls that you cannot afford to miss? The smartwatches we are talking about have a sim card slot (4G/LTE) so you will be able to make and receive calls.

But smartphones are not just about calls, right? You are still covered because the following smartwatches, more or less, will have everything you could do with a normal smartphone.

Without further ado let’s jump right into it.

Top Picks

Best Performance

1. Apple Watch Series 5 – Best Performing Standalone Smartwatch

Apple has been consistently good with its smartwatches and Apple Watch Series 5 is no exception. The features are significantly better than the one that came out last year.

The display now has an LTPO OLED always-on technology. LTPO has an improved power efficiency and even though the display is always-on, it does not shorten the battery life.

From Series 4, there is one new hardware called electrical heart rate sensor. You still have the traditional optical sensor in it for tracking heart rate, but the electrical sensor adds up the option to generate something that looks like an ECG (Electrocardiogram).

The body of the watch is available in different finishes. It can be aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic which was previously just aluminum. Compared to Series 3, you can opt for a slightly bigger frame (up to 44mm).

Other notable changes are that it got a compass built-in and a fall detection sensor. What fall detection does is when a person falls on to the ground, the watch will automate calls to emergency contacts.

Apple Watch Series 5 is our most favorite standalone smartwatch with 4G support simply because the performance is great and the features work exactly as described.

Pros
  • LTPO OLED retina display with always-on technology
  • Electrical heart rate sensor in addition to optical sensor
  • Generates ECG through ECG app
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
Cons
  • No native sleep tracking just yet (third-party workarounds are available)
  • Expensive
  • Compatible with only iPhone

2. Samsung Galaxy Watch3 – Best Overall Standalone Smartwatch

Samsung’s Tizen OS powered smartwatches are best known for its wide compatibility and smooth user experience. Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is downright one of the top products in their lineup.

It features the largest Super AMOLED screen among all Samsung smartwatches (1.4 inches) in a 45 mm or 411 mm frame without cutting anything in the battery life. We are talking about millimeter difference but in reality, the difference is fairly noticeable.

Like any other Samsung watch, this one is also packed with activity tracking features. That includes heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, sports tracking, and so on.

One new addition to this watch is the hand gesture. Some cool gestures are clenching and unclenching fist to answer calls, shaking hands to ignore calls, etc.

Samsung is having a hard time getting its Health Monitor app approved by the FDA. But once it is cleared, this watch will be able to tell blood pressure and generate ECG (Electrocardiogram) throwing a competition to Apple Watch Series 5.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is no doubt one of the best standalone smartwatches with sim card, if not the best. If you are someone who changes smartphones very often, this watch will make sure it is always compatible.

Pros
  • Crowns the largest Super AMOLED display among all Samsung smartwatches
  • Physical rotating bezel
  • Hard fall detection and hand gesture
  • Compatible with Samsung, Android and iPhone
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Pros
  • Small cut on the RAM
  • ECG and blood pressure update delayed

3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

Samsung Galaxy Active2 gives Galaxy Watch3 a good competition and it is a matter of relativity which one is better.

It features a gorgeous Super AMOLED display in a stainless steel frame whose size can go up to 44 mm. Samsung has put a lot of effort to make this watch significantly lighter and slimmer than the others. Although this watch is available in both Stainless Steel and Aluminum, the LTE version comes in Stainless Steel only.

Galaxy Watch Active2 is more sport-oriented and its lightweight design complements it nicely. It offers continuous heart rate monitoring, built-in GPS for tracking distance, and other forms of activities integrated such as running, cycling, etc.

One feature that I highly miss in this device is the rotating bezel. The physical rotation has been replaced with a pseudo-touch-sensitive rotation. It might sound like an upgrade but the physical rotation was more fun and accurate.

In addition to that, ECG and blood pressure updates have been delayed several times now and nobody knows exactly when it will be available worldwide.

Pros
  • Super AMOLED display
  • Hard fall detection
  • Compatible with Samsung, Android and iPhone
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • Physical rotating bezel replaced with touch sensitive
  • ECG and blood pressure update delayed

4. TicWatch Pro

TicWatch Pro, when it was launched back in 2018, had quite a few complaints and was seriously lagging behind its competitors. But they made a huge comeback with their TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE.

The first and the most unique feature of this watch is the dual-screen setup. So the main screen is a 1.39 inch OLED and on top of that, there is a second FSTN LCD display.

Here is how it works. When you use the watch in normal mode, the OLED display works. But when you switch it to Essential Mode, only the LCD display will power up. Running it in Essential Mode can guarantee you a battery life of up to 30 days. Of course, many features will be unavailable in the Essential Mode.

Talking about the built quality, TicWatch Pro has a US Military-grade design with 810G certification. This combined with Corning Gorilla 3 and IP68 water resistance can withstand in any kind of sport including swimming.

Performance-wise, TicWatch Pro brought some improvement. Now it has a 1GB ram which was previously 512MB. It runs Wear OS quite smoothly now and looks ready to accommodate Google’s next version of Wear OS.

Pros
  • Military grade built quality
  • Dual screen technology (OLED and LCD)
  • TicPulse heart rate monitoring with abnormality detection
  • TicMotion for automatic sport detection
  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • Only supports Verizon
  • Chunky

5. Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch is a little bulkier (up to 46 mm) and perfectly fits those who have a bigger wrist. Some people for no reason just like chunky watches over those slim ones.

The biggest selling point of this watch has to be the massive battery life. Where a normal smartwatch struggles to last a day or two, Samsung Galaxy Watch 46 mm can last up to 4 days on one charge.

Samsung’s physical rotating bezel always has been a key feature in their smartwatches and this watch retains it just well. Fitness and health tracking wise, the integrated features are just as good as the others.

Being a 2018 watch, it does however going to miss some planned features. Samsung is rolling its Health Monitor app out worldwide with interesting features such as ECG, Blood Pressure, etc. which are not supported in this device.

Pros
  • Super AMOLED display
  • Physical rotating bezel
  • Compatible with Samsung, Android and iPhone
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM)
  • Up to 4 days of battery life
Cons
  • Will not receive ECG, Blood Pressure
  • Little bulky

6. Apple Watch Series 3 – Best Budget Standalone Smartwatch

Those who are slightly on a budget but cannot think of anything but an apple watch, the Apple Watch Series 3 could be a good option.

Why do we think in that way? The difference between Series 3 and Series 5 is subpar and none of the upgrades worth dumping the old model just yet.

Series 3 features an OLED retina display compared to LTPO OLED always-on retina on Series 5. But this is still very good and bright for day-to-day use. Working outdoor directly under the sun should not be a problem.

The optical heart rate sensor allows you to track heart rate on-the-go while also gives you the option to enable notification for high and low heart rates, and irregularity in heart rhythm.

Apple Watch Series 3 is the last smartwatch before Apple increased the frame size of their watches. Here you can choose a 38mm or 42mm frame for your watch, while the newer ones offer 40mm and 44mm. This could be the only downsize as people are inclined to bigger displays.

Activity and fitness tracking are covered really well in this and all the other watches from Apple. Until now there was sleep tracking missing but Apple has announced that in watchOS 7 there will be a native sleep tracking app.

If you are short on money, Apple Watch Series 3 could be your budget standalone smartwatch solution. It may lack some newest features but what it offers are still powerful. Plus, you will be paying way less money.

Pros
  • Fitness and activity tracking
  • OLED retina display
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
Cons
  • Compatible with only iPhone
  • Smaller frame size compared to newer Apple watches
  • No integrated sleep tracking just yet

7. Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

From the name you can tell already, Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music is made for offline music playback (supports music streaming services too), while also offering some limited cellular connectivity.

What does that mean? You can activate this watch with Verizon and have some cellular features such as receiving and replying to text messages, sending tracking data to the app, etc. It is also important to note that it does not support calls. It has local storage to accommodate up to 500 songs.

Garmin has always been spot-on with its tracking features and this watch just follows that instinct. There are 15 preloaded sports apps which include cardio, strength training, running, cycling, and more. Continuous heart rate monitoring is available just like any other watch on this list.

It also includes an incident detection feature. When you can have like a fall or drastic change in movement, this watch will send text messages to your emergency contacts including your current location.

The biggest drawback of this watch is that you can only text using the cellular connection. I was reluctant to include this watch here on this list but then I thought some people might still be interested.

Pros
  • Incident detection and emergency calling
  • Pretty accurate heart rate and tracking data
  • Offline music and music steaming service support
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Up to 5 days of battery life
Cons
  • Only supports Verizon
  • No calls functionality (only text messages are supported)

8. Zeblaze Thor 5 Pro

We thought about including some not-so-popular brands into the mix. First of all, no everybody is sure if he needs a phone watch. So these could be some sort of trial before opting for a good one.

Zeblaze Thor 5 Pro looks and sounds promising. It boasts support for 5 different networks and 22 global bands, claiming that it is usable anywhere in the world.

The display is pretty big (1.6 inches) with IPS and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 technology. It utilizes a MediaTek Quad-Core processor with a 3GB of RAM. It is safe not to get overwhelmed by the numbers as the real performance could vary.

This watch is like a small size android phone for your wrist. It has access to Google Play Store so that you can download your favorite apps. One thing that surely did catch my attention was the dual camera (one front-facing and one on the side).

Pros
  • Support for 22 global network bands
  • Heart rate monitor and activity tracking
  • Dual-camera setup
  • Google Play Store support
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • Price is high for what it’s worth
  • Lesser known brand

9. Kospet Prime

Kospet Prime features a 1.6-inches IPS display with 326PPI. It is the first of its kind that offers Face ID unlock on a watch. It has two cameras one front-facing and the other on the side.

This watch runs on Android 7.1.1 and claims to support most of the applications available on Google Play for this Android version. It supports different 4G networks such as TDD LTE, FDD LTE, etc.

It also has GPS integrated which in conjunction with fitness apps can allow you to track different activities such as running, cycling and more.

One big drawback and also something that the company itself claims is that it can get hot when you run multiple apps at a time or use it when charging the battery. The reason according to them is the size and the accommodation of many hardware.

Pros
  • Face ID and pattern unlock
  • Supports global network bands
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • No heart rate sensor
  • Gets hot pretty easily

10. Ticwris Max

Ticwris Max is easily comparable to a small size smartphone that has a giant 2.86-inches display. Some products just catch attention by surprise and this is definitely one of them.

This watch is feature-wise quite overloaded. First of all, it has support for different networks that include 2G, 3G, and 4G, claimed to be working in every corner of the world.

Interestingly it supports Face ID unlock like the previous two we discussed here in this blog post. It is also equipped with a heart rate sensor that can monitor your heart rate as you exercise or perform activities.

What we realized after close observation is that the main purpose of this watch is to replace your smartwatch. Although it is completely unthinkable for the time being, they did come up with something that more or less works.

If you need a standalone smartwatch with camera, it is worth giving a try. It has some pretty interesting features and the whole concept of a smartphone-free smartwatch could work for you.

Pros
  • Giant 2.86 inches LCD display
  • Built-in GPS and heart rate sensor
  • Face ID unlock
  • Support for all types of networks and bands
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • Heavy because of the battery
  • Old Android version

11. Allcall GT

Allcall GT is the last product in our list today that features a dual-layer display technology (LCD sitting on top of AMOLED) and a Face ID unlock.

The operating system is Android OS so you will be able to download some apps directly from Google Play Store. It comes with two cameras and a big 32GB internal storage to accommodate them.

The basic activity tracking is included which are heart rate, distance, calories, and steps. There are also some sports modes built-in making it an option for fitness enthusiasts.

Pros
  • Dual-layer display (AMOLED and LCD)
  • Face ID unlock
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Up to 2 days of battery life
Cons
  • Not quite cheap
  • Old version of Android
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