Best Standalone Smartwatch Reviews

Updated May 1, 2022

Carrying both your smartwatch and smartphone with you on your workout feels counter-productive. Well, you don’t have to if you have the right standalone smartwatch to cater to your lifestyle!

A smartwatch with a SIM card is everything you need! You can receive and send text messages and phone calls without your smartphone being near.

Furthermore, some advanced options can help wearers stay up-to-date with their social media profiles as well.

However, many watch manufacturers are producing standalone smartwatches with features that may overwhelm the average consumer.

Therefore, we rounded up a list of the best standalone smartwatch options available on the market to help you choose the right one.

Read on for our review and buying guide:

 

See Our Best Standalone Smartwatches

#PREVIEWProduct
1 Apple - Watch Series 5
Best Overall
Apple – Watch Series 5
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2 Samsung - Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch
Best For Higher Budgets
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Standalone Smartwatch
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3 Fitbit - Blaze Smart Fitness Watch
Best For Low Budgets
Fitbit Blaze Special Edition Standalone Smartwatch
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4 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
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5 Ticwris Android Smart Watch
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6 Asus - WI503Q-SL-BG ZenWatch 3 1.39-Inch Amoled Smart Watch Asus ZenWatch Amoled Standalone Smartwatch
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1. Apple – Watch Series 5

Highlights
  • Access to the app store means you can download surf apps
  • GPS technology
  • Electrical and optical heart sensor 
  • Activity tracker measures movement and exercise
Best Overall
Apple - Watch Series 5

Apple may not be the brand that springs to mind when you think of a surf watch, however the Apple Watch 5 was their first which could be used for swimming, opening up new uses.

Although the watch isn’t designed as a surf watch, the fact that it has access to the huge variety of apps in the App Store means you can easily tailor it to your surfing needs.

The design of this watch offers everything you’d expect from Apple – a sleek face with always-on retina display set on a comfortable band.

This is far more than a timepiece, with the capability to monitor your heart rate, track your movement and exercise, listen to music, call, text and even make payments.

The battery life is up to 18 hours so you will need to charge it daily, but as an all-round performer, this watch is hard to beat.

Specifications

Material:
Aluminium, Strengthened Glass, Composite Back
Case Diameter:
40 mm x 44 mm x 10.7 mm
Watch Strap:
24 mm, Fluroelastomer
Battery Life:
Up to 18 hours (rechargeable)

Pros

  • Ability to call, text, listen to music and even make payments
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Battery life of up to 18 hours means it needs a daily recharge
  • You’ll need to pair with other Apple products

2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Standalone Smartwatch

Highlights
  • Samsung Pay feature
  • Rotating steel bezel
  • Wireless charging dock
  • Bluetooth capabilities
Best For Higher Budgets
Samsung - Gear S3 Frontier Smartwatch

The Samsung Gear 3 provides a quintessentially classic look that you’d expect from a leather-strapped diving watch. It also boasts a distinctive steel bezel and a buckle strap.

The steel bezel also rotates, allowing you to browse through apps and notifications, providing easy access during running or workout sessions.

This watch is Bluetooth-enable and lets you stay updated with texts, calls, and notifications when paired with your smartphone.

For added convenience, it comes with a wireless charging dock – a feature that further removes the monotonous features of a smartphone. Its military-grade build is tough as nails, withstanding drops, moisture, dust, and extreme temperatures.

Lastly, the Samsung Pay option lets you make cashless payments anywhere, and the long-lasting battery promises charge-free use for up to 3 days. These features make it ideal for wanderers and travelers.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
1.93 x 1.81 x 0.51 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
46 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm silicone band
Battery Life:
3 days

Pros

  • Access apps by rotating the bezel
  • Contactless payments
  • Military-grade resilience
  • Trendy design

Cons

  • Heavy for some wearers
  • Some users complained that it got a little uncomfortable after prolonged wearing

3. Fitbit Blaze Special Edition Standalone Smartwatch

Highlights
  • PurePulse feature
  • GPS connectivity
  • FitStar workouts
  • Simplified heart rate zones
Best For Low Budgets
Fitbit - Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

The Fitbit Blaze is the perfect combination of form and functionality. It is the smartwatch with the longest battery life among all contenders in this size and price range.

With this watch, you can maximize every workout and exercise routine while looking classy.

This smartwatch offers GPS tracking services along with customized FitStar workouts to help you with your exercises. You can also monitor your activities with its activity-tracking feature.

Furthermore, if you get bored with your current watch face, you can choose from a multitude of options. Also, you can easily replace the band if required.

It can be synced with a smartphone to receive social media updates, emails, and calls so that you won’t be missing out on any important notifications.

Keep a check on the calories burned, distance traveled, steps climbed, and active minutes with this Fitbit watch and get step-by-step instructions for your fitness regime.

And with its long battery life, you can work out with ease, without worrying about juking up your tracker.

Specifications

Material:
Aluminum
Size:
10 x 1.67 x 0.43 inches
Movement:
Electronic
Case Diameter:
1.66 inches
Watch Strap:
Leather band comes in small, medium, and large size; measuring between 6.7 - 8.1 Inches
Battery Life:
Up to 5 days depending on usage

Pros

  • Activity tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Attractive aesthetic
  • Bluetooth syncing range up to 6.1 meters

Cons

  • Some users felt a slight skin irritation after prolonged use

4. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Highlights

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 3 (41mm, GPS, Bluetooth) Smart Watch with Advanced Health Monitoring, Fitness Tracking, and Long Lasting Battery – Mystic Silver (US Version)

Supported Application Phone, GPS, Camera, Heart Rate Monitor
Brand Samsung Electronics
Wireless Communication Standard Bluetooth
Color Silver
Connectivity Technology Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS
Band Color Black
Compatible Devices Smartphone
Human Interface Input Touchscreen, Buttons
Screen Size 41
Water Resistance Level Waterproof

About this item

  • STYLE YOU CAN COUNT ON: Galaxy Watch3 combines style—two sizes, two finishes, three colors and, 50,000 plus watch faces-with military-grade durability and water resistance
  • LEAVE YOUR PHONE BEHIND: Galaxy Watch3 gives you the freedom to call, text, stream music and get notifications via Bluetooth connectivity. No ANT plus
  • You can share the PDF report of your ECG recording with your health care provider using the Samsung Health Monitor app on your compatible Galaxy phone
  • BATTERY BUILT FOR ENDURANCE: The Galaxy Watch3’s long-lasting battery can go for more than a day on a single charge, and you can always get a quick boost from your compatible Galaxy phone with Wireless Power Share
  • STRONGER INSIGHTS. NEXT-LEVEL FITNESS: Spend your time moving while Galaxy Watch3 tracks seven popular activities automatically. Get more out of each movement thanks to built-in run coaching
  • LEVEL UP YOUR DOWNTIME: Galaxy Watch3’s automatic sleep tracker offers insights on how to get a better night’s sleep. It also monitors your stress level and helps you recenter with breathing guides
  • SMARTWATCH. SMART LIFE: Integrated Bixby voice functionality can read your texts, make a call or initiate coaching on command and on the go. Samsung Pay lets you leave home without a wallet. And a multilayered defense-grade security platform keeps all your data safe.
  • ANDROID/iOS COMPATIBLE: Pairs seamlessly with Android devices and select iOS devices
  • Supported on both Android and IOS. This device passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) testing against a subset of 10 specific conditions, Including drops from 4.9 feet, extreme temperatures, dust, shock/vibration, and low pressure/high altitude. Water-resistant up to 50 meters per ISO standard 22810:210. Not intended for scuba diving

Specifications

Size:
41 mm
Weight:
12.6 ounces

Pros

  • What's in the box:
  • Watch Strap
  • Charger

5. Ticwris Android Smart Watch

Highlights
  • Both Android and iOS are compatible
  • 4G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • GPS tracker
  • Camera supported
  • Microphone and speaker
  • Pedometer
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Alarm
  • Calendar
  • Music
  • Video call

Ticwris is one of the most efficient standalone smartwatches available on the market. It has a large display screen that looks like a mini phone itself!

It allows for personalization by adding social networking, logistics, and food delivery widgets on its big screen. Not only this, but you can also stay connected on all your socials and cellular contact with this model.

Furthermore, it comes with 4G connectivity that keeps you connected with your friends and family through phone calls, messages, and other notifications.

The watch also has an embedded heart rate monitor and sensor for recording vitals during cardio exercises. In addition to that, you can also monitor your walking, resting, breathing, and recovery heart rates the entire day.

What makes it so good is that it has a long battery life that can keep you motivated and avoid charging-related distractions.

Specifications

Material:
Metal
Size:
4.29 x 3.82 x 3.23 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
72.6 mm
Watch Strap:
Silicone band
Battery Life:
5-7 days

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • High-quality build
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Unique design

Cons

  • Some users commented that the user interface could be a little better
  • It would have been much appreciated if the bands could be removed

6. Asus ZenWatch Amoled Standalone Smartwatch

Highlights
  • AMOLED display
  • Stainless steel case
  • Leather strap
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Embedded speaker and microphone
  • Light sensor
  • Touch screen
  • Android wear
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • MP3 player
  • 4GB storage

Zenwatch 3 is the latest smartwatch by ASUS. It delivers a detail-focused, luxurious design coupled with a high-quality build that can last longer than your expectations.

This model offers timely information regarding your schedule and a broad range of handy features to make life more comfortable.

The smartwatch comes with various customized themes and almost fifty exclusive faces, so you can personalize it according to how you want it to look.

You can also pair it with the smartphone to enhance functionality. Furthermore, it offers two-way communication, which means you can get and send text messages and calls to your loved ones.

Furthermore, its accompanying ASUS ZenFit app works as a fitness tracker, as it counts steps and provides a detailed report of your daily workout.

Lastly, it’s an IP67 water-resistant smartwatch that can handle splashes, occasional rain, and frequent hand washes. However, it would be best to remove it when showering or swimming.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
1.8 x 9.8 x 0.42 inches
Movement:
Electronic/Smart
Case Diameter:
45 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm leather band
Battery Life:
4 days

Pros

  • IP67 water-resistant
  • Long battery life
  • Sleek and unique design

Cons

  • Not compatible with iOS
  • Some users said that they would have loved to see NFC support on this smartwatch

Smartwatch With SIM Card Buying Guide

BEST OVERALL
Apple – Watch Series 5

Sim Card

Standalone smartwatches establish a 3G, 4G, or LTE connection using an eSIM card or SIM card.

SIM cards provide smartwatches with necessary access to a mobile network. This network allows the watch to make or receive text messages and phone calls, among other things.

In short, these standalone smartwatches are wrist companions that do not require a phone.

Phone Calls & Messages

Not many smartwatches allow two-way communication — letting your watch receive and send phone calls and text messages directly from your wrist.

They allow you to reply to your incoming emails and text messages with several different options: instant smart replies, keyboard typed, and speech-to-text.

Standalone smartwatches also let you dismiss, accept and initiate phone calls from the wrist itself.

It would be best to choose a standalone smartwatch that provides all the functionalities mentioned above.

Operating System

Most people already have smartphones, and almost all smartwatches are made to serve along with your smartphones.

Therefore, you need to consider the device’s compatibility before making a purchase.

There are two commonly used operating systems: Android and iOS. It would help if you got a smartwatch that can connect to your Apple or Android device.

Android Wear is Google’s operating system and works perfectly well with Android smartphones, like a pixel smartwatch. They also pair with iPhones, however, with restricted connectivity.

On the other hand, you should choose a Wear OS smartwatch if you have Android smartphone.

Features

Smartwatches are more demanding than regular watches because of the number of features they have.

Therefore it is essential to focus on acquiring specific capabilities that lead to seamless functionality, even with the number of features:

Fitness Tracking

The majority of smartwatches with a SIM card include essential fitness tracking features such as step count notifications and pedometers.

However, if you’re a fitness buff and staying healthy is your primary goal, you should consider buying a standalone watch designed specifically for fitness tracking.

That’s because they will allow you to monitor heart rate, calorie counts, sports performance, and more.

Heart Rate Monitoring

Measuring and monitoring your heart rate is paramount if you want to track fitness levels or burn fat.

Some of the best fitness standalone smartwatches will monitor your heart rate during your workout or cardio exercise.

Not only this, but they will also track your heart rate when you’re resting.

Additionally, some trackers will also measure your recovery rate after a workout to inform you about your heart health.

Wi-Fi

Smartwatches with Wi-Fi connectivity can pair with local networks. It is probably the most crucial feature in any modern electronic companion.

It will allow uninterrupted connectivity for notifications and internet-dependent features.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is an integral part of any Android standalone smartwatch.

It can dictate fast replies, initiate workouts, monitor weather updates, and a lot more, with a simple press of the ‘Assistant’ button.

GPS

Most new cellular smartwatches also have embedded GPS systems that allow wearers to track their pace and distance for fitness reasons.

In addition to that, it also provides you location-specific alerts. This could come in handy if you are buying a GPS smartwatch for your kid.

Also, if you prefer to do your workouts without the burden of carrying a smartphone, a smartwatch with a GPS tracker is the best option.

Camera

Many standalone smartwatches also come with cameras that can snap pictures, record videos, and more.

If you want to capture random moments during your day or want to record images of your workout routines, it’s a useful feature to look for!

Materials

When you buy premium standalone smartwatches, your primary concern will be the build quality.

Stainless steel is unquestionably one of the superior materials used for high-end standalone smartwatches. It’s durable, reliable, and resists discoloration or tarnation.

Apart from that, you can also choose a smartwatch with rubber or leather straps, as these are comfortable on the wrist for extended wear.

When making a purchase, look for crystal glass such as sapphire or mineral. These help to avoid scratches on the watch face.

Battery Life

Extensive battery life is essential for trails, hikes, or remote locations that require 3G, 4G, or LTE for connectivity.

Many standalone smartwatches provide a battery life that can last not more than a day, which is ideal for those who charge it regularly.

However, for fitness buffs and outdoor enthusiasts, a smartwatch with three to five days of battery life is perfect.

Nevertheless, smartwatches with SIM cards tend to have a battery life anywhere between eighteen hours to thirty days and more.

If you are looking specifically for smartwatches with long battery life, you should check out our guide on it.

Our Verdict

When smartwatches were first introduced, they worked as mere extensions to the smartphone. Requiring synchronization between both devices for optimal functionality.

Without this connection, they would function as just time-telling devices.

However, everything changed with standalone smartwatches. These devices allow you to make and receive messages, emails, and phone calls on the go without your smartphone.

Though all products we reviewed were exceptional, our top pick is Apple Watch Series 5.

It offers excellent features: 5ATM water resistance, superior build quality, larger screen, interchangeable bands, precise compass, embedded GPS and GLONASS, always-on display, ECG, optical and electrical heart sensors, emergency SOS, and more.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a standalone smartwatch?
A:

A a standalone smartwatch is a smartwatch with a SIM card! You can receive and send text messages and phone calls without your smartphone being near.

Furthermore, some advanced options can help wearers stay up-to-date with their social media profiles as well.

 

Q: Does a smartwatch need a data plan?
A:

If it is standalone and you want to receive messages and emails then you need a cellular account to operate it.