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.
Shop The Best Smartwatches For Texting
In a hurry? Here’s five of the best smartwatches for texting:
- The Best For iPhone: Apple Watch Series 7
- The Best For Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- The Best With Google OS: TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
- The Best For Active Lifestyles: Fitbit Versa 3
- A Budget Pick With Text Alerts: MVEFOIT Smart Watch
- The Most Stylish: Fossil Gen 6
- An Investment-Worthy Pick: Garmin Venu 2 Plus
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
— Also available on Walmart, $329
The Apple Watch Series 7 offers a variety of texting functions, from dictating through Siri to customizable templates and smart replies. A large display makes it easy to read and write messages while a feature known as Scribble 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.
“I’ve had my Apple watch for years and it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made,” says Bustle Senior Commerce Editor, Amy Biggart. “Not only is it an amazing workout and activity tracker, but it works seamlessly with all of my Apple products, including my iPhone. I can answer and respond to texts on the watch face, control phone calls, pull up Spotify, basically everything I need,” she adds. “It’s pricey and it does need to be charged every day, but I can’t recommend it enough.”
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 7, 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.
Compatibility: iPhone only | Battery life: 3-4 days | Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters | Available colors: 5, including blue, red, and green
Special features: Emergency SOS, Apple Pay, blood oxygen monitoring, three free months of Apple Fitness+
One fan raved: “This watch is absolutely beautiful. The screen is bright and texts are crisp. It's blazingly fast compared to my apple watch 4. Thanks to the bigger screen we can view more information on the watch face. I thoroughly enjoy all the smart features apple brings to this watch and its ecosystem. Think of this apple watch as a mini iphone but can track a lot of fitness features and health info.”
2. The Best For Android
— Also available on Samsung, $199
For Android users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 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.
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 IPX8 rating. It's worth noting that the Watch 4 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.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations) | Battery life: 3-4 days | Water-resistance rating: Up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes | Available colors: 5, including pink gold, black, and silver
Special features: Share personalized health readings with your doctor, connect to live coaching workout sessions, Google Maps, contactless payments
One fan raved: "I had the Samsung Active 2 before this and it didn't link very much with my S22 Ultra. Like my text would pop up, but once they were cleared no text saved in the phone anywhere. If I missed a notification for somethings there was no going back.So I made the jump to the 4 and it's been night and day. Everything has worked and synced perfectly. It did what it could to bring what it could from my old watch.”
3. The Best Watch With A Google OS
— Also available on Mobovi, $209
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.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations) | Battery life: Up to 6 days | Water-resistance rating: Up to 1.5 meters | Available colors: Black
Special features: Google Pay, extended battery life, automatic brightness adjustment, over 100 workout modes
One fan raved: "I got this primarily as a smartwatch that could track basic fitness. It does exactly what I want, and it does it well. The smartwatch features are easy to use: texting, calendar, music, weather, etc. - all snappy and responsive. With the new WearOS update, the fitness stuff is much better.”
4. The Best For Active Lifestyles
— Also available on Kohls, $156
Designed for fitness-minded users, the Fitbit Versa 3 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 3 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.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations) | Battery life: Up to 6 days | Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters | Available colors: 3, including black, blue, and pink
Special features: Built-in Amazon Alexa, “daily readiness” fitness scores, track your pace and distance while running
One fan raved: "I love my versa 3! I also love the fact that I could receive phone calls and respond to text messages. Very happy with it so far.”
5. A Budget Pick With Text Alerts
The MVEFOIT 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, it is still possible — and you still can get alerts that notify you when you receive a message. To send a reply using your smartwatch, you must first be connected your phone via Bluetooth and then use the watch’s AI Voice to respond to a text. According to reviewers, this smartwatch also has a good battery life that lasts for days.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone | Battery life: 2-3 days | Water-resistance rating: 1.5 meters | Available colors: 3, including black, pink, and gray
Special features: Hydration and sedimentary reminder, music and camera control, 8 workout modes
One fan raved: "This product was very easy to setup, no directions necessary, the app is user friendly, and the battery life is good. The watch itself is easy to navigate. I like how it shows who's calling and you can answer it right from the watch. It shows you when you have Facebook messages and also text messages. I would definitely rate this 5 stars.”
6. The Most Stylish
— Also available on Fossil Gen 6, $229
Aesthetically speaking, the Fossil Gen 6 tops this list of the best smartwatches for texting. Compared to other options on the list, the Fossil Gen 6 looks more like a traditional watch than a smartwatch with its circular face. Some users even suggest that the rounder design makes it easier to see/read text.
It’s compatible with Android and iOs however Android users will benefit more from features such as Amazon Alexa. Both types of users report easy transfer and connectivity, although iOs will have to download apps separately via the Google Play store as those will not transfer. Nonetheless, iOs users still have the ability to read and receive texts, just not respond to them as Android users can.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone (with texting limitations) | Battery life: 24+ plus | Water-resistance rating: Up to 30 meters | Available colors: 10 including gunmetal, purple, and rose gold
Special features: Built-in Amazon Alexa, sedentary reminder, fast magnetic charging, thousands of personalized watch face options, contactless payment
One fan raved: “This watch blew my mind. It's snappy and responsive, with three customizable buttons to get to the things you need even faster. The sleep tracking beats any I've ever had, including on the Apple Watch. It took me 5 minutes to pair it to my phone and get it set up. You can make and take phone calls with it. The mic and speaker are great. It has health sensors and apps, all of which work well. Even the built-in faces are cool.”
7. An Investment-Worthy Pick
— Also available on Kohls, $450
The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the highest-priced smartwatch on this list but it has the most impressive features to back it up. For starters, it’s compatible with both Android and iPhone offering the same capabilities for both users. Make and take phone calls and conveniently respond to texts using the voice assistant feature — which can also control compatible smart home devices.
Another special highlight of this watch is its battery life. Get up to nine days of battery life in smartwatch mode and eight hours of battery life in GPS mode. The Garmin Venu is also a top pick among fitness users as it comes equipped with more than 25 preloaded fitness apps with tons of workouts ranging from strength training to pilates. As for specific health features, the Garmin can track everything from respiration, hydration and stress levels, sleep, and even your menstrual cycle.
If you’re looking for a Garmin smartwatch at a more affordable price (and with a little fewer bells and whistles), the Garmin Venu Sq is a highly-rated pick.
Compatibility: iPhone, Android | Battery life: Up to 9 days | Water-resistance rating: Up to 50 meters | Available colors: 3 including light gold, slate, and silver
Special features: Download up to 650 songs, 25 pre-loaded fitness apps, contactless payment
One fan raved: “Seriously love my new Garmin watch. Fits perfectly and has all the info I like to track. Steps, calories burned, water intake, women's menstrual, sleep, weight, and water tracking. You can see who is calling and read your text messages right on the watch. High recommend.”
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