Pebble, also known as the original smartwatch, had developed a loyal crowd of followers over the past few years. That’s why the fall of Pebble and it’s eventual acquisition by Fitbit taken so poorly by fans.
Pebble’s fall has felt more like a sign than ever that there just isn’t much of a market left for smartwatches. However, if you do happen to be in the business of wanting to get one, there are actually quite a few good options.
Here are the five best alternatives to the Pebble Watch:
5. Huawei Watch 2
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, Huawei finally unveiled the successor to its first smartwatch, the 2015 Huawei Watch, at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The new version, aptly named Huawei Watch 2, is thicker, chunkier, sportier and more capable.
It’s a shame, given how gorgeous the original was and how fantastic Huawei has proven to be when it comes to manufacturing gadget hardware, that the company couldn’t find a way to include all those nifty features while keeping the design svelte and appealing.—Eric Walters
4. Fitbit Blaze
Ever since Fitbit acquired Pebble, we’ve had the sneaking suspicion that we’re going to see a Pebble-like smartwatch coming from the company in the near future. When it does eventually integrate the design and technology behind the acquisition, the device just might shoot up to the top of this list. In the meantime, the best Fitbit smartwatch is the Blaze.
The Fitbit Blaze is an example of the fitness tracker plus model—a device that has a lot of the functionality of a smartwatch, except with an added emphasis on fitness. The Blaze is the best of the bunch with its color display and easy-to-use software. The heart rate monitor might not quite be up to snuff for fitness buffs, but for beginners, the Fitbit Blaze is a really solid, balanced activity tracker with just enough smartwatch features to make it feel worth the money.—Luke Larsen
3. LG Watch Sport
LG has, rather quietly, been building up momentum in the Android world, taking advantage of Samsung’s recent woes to steam ahead with not just an impressive line of new phones, but their own special takes on Android-based smartwatches. They are the first manufacturer out of the gate to release a watch natively running Android Wear 2.0, so reviewing a product like the LG Watch Sport is a two-fold affair.
Ruggedly built, with smooth lines and a comfortably weight, the LG Watch Sport is definitely a watch that says something. It has all the features you need for daily wear and working out, but comes up short in battery life. Even with that caveat, the Sport is close to being my favorite Android Wear watch, but definitely isn’t the choice for traveling or really long days.—Jason D’Aprile
2. Samsung Gear S3
In spite of its short list of shortcomings, the Gear S3 still manages to be one of the smartest looking smartwatches on the market. The watch’s brilliant display, variety of watch faces and support for third-party watch straps make the Gear S3 highly personalized and customizable.
Even though you can use the watch as a speakerphone for your smartphone using the Bluetooth connection, the LTE model allows you leave your phone behind altogether and stay connected to the world with its own phone and data plan. Long battery life, sportwatch functionality and the ability to leave behind your wallet makes the Gear S3 a winner on your wrist, provided you’re able to live with a limited catalog of third-party apps.—EW
1. Apple Watch Series 2
Series 2 may not be the Apple Watch update we all hoped for, but it is what the Apple Watch should have been in the first place. Though Apple would never term it in this way, Series 2 is a reboot. The new version is faster, has built-in GPS, a bigger battery and is water resistant up to 50 meters. Apple doubled down on fitness with the aforementioned new features, making it suddenly one hell of a fitness device when it released this fall, a fact that has to make the likes of Fitbit nervous.
On top of its fantastic fitness features, the Apple Watch remains the best smart device for iPhone users with the kind of integration the Apple ecosystem excels at, or at least used to before the company’s “courageous” end to 2016. If you’ve been on the fence about an Apple Watch, Series 2 should help you fall to one side. It’s the best option for those on iOS and also the best alternative to the Pebble out there.—EW