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The Best Smartwatches For Texting

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Smartwatches may not have full keyboards (yet), but you can still seamlessly send messages with the right one. The best smartwatches for texting have a variety of functions that allow you to send a message in any situation, while also offering all the other features you’d expect from a great smartwatch, such as a long battery life, a virtual assistant, and water resistance.

The first and most important aspect to consider when choosing your smartwatch is compatibility. Even if a smartwatch says it is compatible with your phone, check to make sure there aren’t any major restrictions. When phones and smartwatches aren’t fully compatible, functions can be restricted in small ways (think: limited access to health data) or in more significant ways (like not supporting texts or email).

Next, consider how you'll want to send messages. You can send texts through voice commands and customizable templates with most advanced smartwatches. Some models also include features like handwriting-to-text messaging and smart replies, which are generated based on your text conversation. If you want to be able to send emojis, audio messages, doodles, or stickers, check to make sure the smartwatch you’re considering has those functions.

Beyond compatibility and texting functionality, decide whether you want a smartwatch that can be connected directly to your phone plan or one that pairs with your phone via Bluetooth. For most people, a Bluetooth-only model will be the better and cheaper option, but if you don't typically keep your phone on you at all times, it might be worth upgrading to one with cellular capabilities.

Other factors to consider include battery life, display, and water resistance. If you think your smartwatch may get wet, carefully review the water-resistant rating. The two different ratings used with smartwatches are IP and ISO. Smartwatches with an IPX8 rating can be fully submerged, making them perfect for anyone who likes to swim. Smartwatches tested under the ISO 2281 standard will simply note how many meters they can be submerged.

That’s a lot of information, but fortunately we’ve compiled a simple list to help you navigate it. Take a look below to see our list of the best smartwatches for texting.

1. The Best For iPhone

  • Compatibility: iPhone only
  • Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters
  • Battery life: Up to 18 hours

The Apple Watch Series 6 offers a variety of texting functions, from dictating through Siri to customizable templates and smart replies. It also features Scribble, which converts messages handwritten on the screen on the screen into text. If you like to add a bit more personality to your texts, the Apple Watch Series 6 also makes it easy to reply with an audio clip, emoji, memoji, sticker, tapback, and digital touch.

Beyond texting, the Apple Watch Series 6 is a great all-around smartwatch. It has a fast Apple S6 processor and many other helpful features like an always-on display, a blood oxygen sensor, and a precise fitness tracker. It also works well for swimming, as it has a water-resistance rating of 50 meters. A large display makes it easy to read and write messages.

The biggest drawback to the Apple Watch Series 6 is the cost, so if you’re only interested in texting and are more budget-conscious, you may want to consider the Apple Watch SE. It lacks some features, such as the always-on display and blood oxygen sensor, and it has a slower processor compared to the Series 6, but it does have all the same texting functions. No matter which you choose, an Apple Watch is generally the best choice for iPhone users since other smartwatches are restricted in key areas when it comes to iPhones.

One fan raved: "I’m writing this review from the perspective of someone who’s been wearing a Withings Steel HR for quite some time. [...] This 40mm Apple Watch 6 was a large upgrade technologically and I don’t regret the switch at all. The charge lasts for the entire day and takes about 1.5 hrs to charge before bed. Everything seems to work flawlessly so far. The display is vibrant and slick. Super useful for fitness activities and also seems to be very accurate. Plus the watch faces are relatively customizable and your able to set multiple and swipe between them."

  • Available sizes: 40mm, 44mm
  • Available colors: 5, including blue, red, and space gray

2. The Best For Android

  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations)
  • Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters
  • Battery life: 3-4 days

For Android users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 has the best texting capabilities at a moderate price point. Users can respond to texts by dictating a message, using text templates, or using the handwriting-to-text function. It’s also easy to reply to messages with an emoji by simply tapping the emoji option. Like the Apple Watch, this watch is available in both Bluetooth-only and LTE versions. It also features a clear display and a 1.15GHz processor.

Beyond texting, this watch is also great for tracking your fitness. It has sensors to track your running pace and tracking for other popular sports like cycling. It's water- and dust-resistant, too, with an IP68 rating. It's worth noting that the Active2 is designed specifically for Samsung phone users. Non-Samsung Android phones will lack some smaller features, such as the ECG function, but iPhone users will have far more restrictions, including no text or email reply capabilities.

One fan raved: "Now I have no idea what I did before I had my watch. I can't believe how much I use it! I was afraid that I wouldn't get enough use out of it based on the cost. However I work in a school, and am often using this to not only check the time, but I can also check my emails, calls, or use my text messaging. It also tells me how active I've been during the day. I definitely did my research before purchasing any watch. This was definitely the best one for any Android phone! I also compared sizes and went for the smaller one. I am a female and the larger one looked too big for my wrist, but it can vary for others. I bought 2 watches. I especially appreciate how discrete they are when you are in a meeting. You can get important notifications without appearing rude."

  • Available sizes: 40mm, 44mm
  • Available colors: 5, including pink gold, black, and silver

3. The Best Watch With A Google OS

  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations)
  • Water-resistance rating: Up to 1.5 meters
  • Battery life: 3 days

Google’s operating system, WearOS, is available on a variety of different smartwatches, but the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS is one of the most innovative. For texting, you can dictate a message, select a pre-written message, or use the virtual keyboard. With Google Assistant, which comes equipped on this watch, dictating the perfect message is easy, too.

This smartwatch has an impressive battery life of up to 72 hours, in part thanks to the watch’s impressive dual display, which helps conserve battery life while still having an always-on design. With an IP68 rating, it can be submerged in water for a period of time. The display isn't the biggest on the market, but it does offer a look that's closer to a traditional watch, and the Snapdragon processor is designed specifically for wearables, so you're getting some of the best tech on the market.

Note that the TicWatch Pro (and all Google Wear OS watches) does not support texting with an iPhone. This smartwatch is also not available with a cellular capable option.

One fan raved: "ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH THIS WATCH!!!! If you're looking for a all-around amazing watch that comes with zero headaches, here's one I'd strongly recommend. The battery life does last 3 days as stated, which was surprising given that I put most of the features to track my vitals & activities for 24 hours & my busy business schedule comes with many notifications, messages, emails & calls (I love making calls on the watch). The processor is much faster than I expected, it flows through each screen with ease, responds to your voice quickly & seamlessly maintains connection with your phone. [...]

  • Available sizes: 45mm
  • Available colors: Black

4. The Best For Active Lifestyles

  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations)
  • Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters
  • Battery life: 6 days

Designed for fitness-minded users, the Fitbit Versa 2 has great texting capabilities. Android users can reply to messages using customizable text templates, or by using text-to-voice with the built-in Amazon Alexa assistant. It boasts a large, crisp display, and while the processor isn't listed, reviewers say that this smartwatch is pretty fast.

The FitBit Versa 2 also allows you to track over 15 exercises, and it can track real-time pace and distance by connecting to your phone’s GPS. It features an always-on display and an impressive six-day battery life. Note that if you don’t have an Android phone, you’ll be able to see texts, but you will need to use your phone to reply.

One fan raved: "I love my fitbit. I finally found what I was looking for in a watch. I love that I can receive my messages and can reply back with [pre-programmed] different sayings. It tracks my heart rate, my steps and so much more. [...] Highly recommend this watch."

  • Available sizes: 40mm
  • Available colors: 4, including bordeaux, smoke, and petal

Also Great: A Budget Pick With Text Alerts

  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone
  • Water-resistance rating: 1.5 meters
  • Battery life: Up to 10 days

The Willful Smart Watch doesn’t have all the fancy features of the others on this list, but it does have an unbeatable price. While you can’t reply to texts directly on this smartwatch, you do get alerts that notify you when you receive a message. It also has an amazing battery life of up to 10 days with standard usage, and 30 days on standby. Designed for working out, this smartwatch has 14 different exercise tracking modes, and with an IP68 water-resistant rating, you can take it swimming in depths up to 1.5 meters. It has a Bluetooth-only design, and does not feature voice control.

One fan raved: "I absolutely love this watch!! My family has always complained that I take forever to respond to texts and never answer the phone because I'm always busy and don't hear the phone. Now I feel the vibration from the watch on my wrist when a text or call comes in and can read my text and see the number calling right on my watch. It also checks your pulse and tracks your sleep which is really neat and very accurate. [...]"

  • Available sizes: 33mm
  • Available colors: 6, including black, pink, and red