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If you're unhappy with your Apple Watch or are looking for a budget-friendly option, our list can help you pick the right smart assistant. Image Credit: Unsplash/Artur Łuczka

You don't have to be a staunch iOS fan to admit that the Apple Watch is a stunning piece of engineering. When we think of a smartwatch, most of us pin the Apple device down as the blueprint, with its powerful health sensors and seamless cellular connectivity. Only, it comes at a premium price and is limited to the Apple ecosystem.

Plenty of worthy alternatives from well-known brands exist in the market. These are less rigid in terms of software, so it doesn't matter if you own an Android phone or an iPhone, both operating systems pair instantly. You can even luck out with similar features, such as the electrocardiogram (ECG) readings on the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Fitness enthusiasts will be even happier with a durable, activity-focused smartwatch from Amazfit or Fitbit.

We picked out the best-rated options for various users in search of a reliable assistant on the wrist. iOS users looking for a wearable device similar to the Apple Watch will also find this a choice selection. Reviewers on Amazon help us weigh in on the performance, battery life, connectivity and features of each.

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1. Best Overall: Amazfit GTS 4 Smart Watch


  • Great battery life of eight days
  • Advanced PPG sensor to track heart rate
  • Built-in memory for storing music
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Water-resistant in upto 50 metres


  • No cellular connectivity

This one might surprise you. Amazfit's latest GTS model not only resembles Apple Watch's iconic rectangular face with rounded corners but also surpasses it in some aspects. The 1.75-inch AMOLED display aside, this smartwatch delivers a battery life like no other - you get to spend eight days without reaching for a charging cable, which ex-Apple Watch users in the reviews are ecstatic about. It uses six satellite positioning systems for accurate GPS tracking, no matter where you find yourself - the Zepp App even lets you track your real-time movement. There's no ECG heart rate monitoring here, but the watch does come with the new BioTracker 4.0 PPG (photoplethysmography) sensor to keep data as precise as possible. Monitor your stress levels, blood oxygen saturation, sleep quality and over 150 sports activities, including swimming. Reviewers compare readings with the Apple Watch and are blown away by the GTS 4's value for money. The only compromise is the absence of a cellular connection, so you'll need to have your phone close to you to answer texts and calls, though it connects to the Wi-Fi independently.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh43.23 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh35 and two years for Dh57.

2. Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2


  • Takes real-time ECG readings
  • Measures blood pressure if sensors are calibrated
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for calls and texts
  • Water-resistant for swimming


  • Not enough sports modes
  • No cellular connectivity
  • ECG and blood pressure readings are reserved for Galaxy phones

Only select Samsung smartwatch models can pair with an iOS device, like the Galaxy Watch Active2, which works with iPhone 5 and up. It has a large circular display with a touch bezel and an aluminium design, looking every bit stylish on the wrist. As the name suggests, it's a great companion for fitness activities. You can even touch a button on the bezel to get an ECG reading on the go or check your blood pressure wherever you are, as long as you've calibrated the sensors with a cuff first. Like the Amazfit GTS 4, it monitors sleep, offers guided breathing and supports swimming. The battery life, however, does run shorter, about up to a day with all your sensors running. Reviewers attest to the watch working seamlessly with their Apple devices.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh49.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh35 and two years for Dh57.

3. Best User-Friendly Watch: Fitbit Versa 4 Fitness Smartwatch


  • User-friendly and easy to read
  • Built-in GPS
  • Monitors sleep, heart rate, breathing, 40-plus exercises and more
  • Long battery life
  • Bluetooth connectivity for texts, calls and emails


  • No cellular connectivity
  • Bracelet can come loose

Another smartwatch close in design to the Apple model is the popular Fitbit Versa 4. It's compatible with iOS 13 and higher, lasts for up to six days and survives in a depth of 50 metres. Through a Bluetooth connection, you can check calls, texts and phone notifications on the wide display. As far as fitness features go, the watch is more user-friendly than most sports wearable devices, so wading through 40-plus exercise modes and health-monitoring apps will be a breeze. You also get interesting insights, like skin temperature and a personalised sleep profile. Reviewers speak to the enhanced readability of the display and longer battery life than the Apple Watch.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh49.03 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh35 and two years for Dh57.

4. Best Rugged Smartwatch: Amazfit T Rex 2 Smart Watch


  • Rugged, military-grade smartwatch
  • Basic health metrics, from sleep to stress levels
  • Up to 24 days of battery life
  • Over 150 sports modes
  • Water-resistant in a depth of 100 metres


  • Only displays notifications from a paired iPhone
  • No cellular connectivity

Smartwatches carry delicate screens, which is why a scratched display is a pressing concern for many. If you're looking for a watch that can handle more than just a trip to the gym, we've got just the device for you. Amazfit T Rex 2 is a smartwatch for the thrill-seeker. It looks like any other robust Casio wristwatch but with staggering 150-plus sports modes and a 24-day battery life. It doesn't rely on GPS alone; it's constantly talking with six navigation satellite systems to track your whereabouts in more challenging environments. View your stats underwater or high up in the mountains on the HD AMOLED display. Simple health metrics support your adventures: heart rate, breath rate, sleep, blood-oxygen level and stress detection. Positive reviews pour in from various users, all of whom either mountain bike or simply travel a lot for work. Connection to an iPhone is fast, though there are some hiccups when it comes to answering calls and texts. It's definitely a strong contender for Android users.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh47.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh35 and two years for Dh57.

5. Best Hybrid Watch: Withings Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch


  • Elegant watch face with analogue and digital display
  • Tracks over 30 sports
  • 25-day battery life
  • Water-resistant in up to 50 metres
  • Syncs with Apple Health


  • Doesn't have a full-screen colour display
  • Dependent on the Withings app for detailed reports
  • No cellular connectivity

A hybrid smartwatch is absolutely worth paying a premium for, especially if you don't like the 'sporty' design of the Apple Watch. On the surface, the Withings Steel HR smartwatch looks like any other fashionable timepiece with ticking hands and a traditional bezel. Except, it's capable of very smart features, right down to tracking swims and your heart rate around the clock. Get reports on your sleep score, which gently nudges you awake at the best time according to your sleep cycle, too. There's automatic exercise recognition of over 30 sports, in combination with the GPS of your phone. Its small embedded digital screen is also capable of displaying notifications. Withings can sync your data to and from Apple Health. The best part? You get a battery life of up to 25 days! Reviewers pick it up for their teenage children who are too young for a smartwatch but could benefit from health and sports metrics.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh93.89 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh69 and two years for Dh113.

6. Best for Daily Wear: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3


  • Dress watch design
  • Takes ECG readings in real-time
  • Detects hard falls
  • Activity tracking with sleep monitoring and GPS


  • ECG and blood pressure features are reserved for Galaxy phones
  • No cellular connectivity

Like the Withings watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 comes in a discreet design with rotating bezels and leather straps. It's the only latest model of Galaxy smartwatches that's compatible with iOS devices. Unlike the Steel HR, however, you're getting a full-colour display. There's the famous ECG feature for accurate heart rhythm results, which is only accessible via the Samsung Health Monitor app on a Galaxy phone. The Galaxy Watch3 detects hard falls as well, triggering an SOS to your emergency contact with your location - this is similar to Apple's fall detection feature. You can access your phone notifications via Bluetooth, though answering calls on an iPhone might prove tricky. The battery life is still at a two-day mark, so that's something to keep in mind.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh38.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.