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When Apple unveiled the world’s first smartwatch back in 2015, very few believed that there was a need for a wearable device to reduce the workload of a smartphone. The smartphone was considered the ultimate mobile gadget that people need to accomplish daily tasks.
But instead, Smartwatches proved to be a massive success as they allowed users to keep up with their daily mobile tasks, such as checking notifications, tracking fitness, setting timers, and so on, without having a phone on them.
Apple took the next step in the smartwatch revolution and came up with nearly independent smartwatches called Standalone watches. These watches are equipped with integrated Wifi and GPS antennas and work with an e-sim card, basically working as a wearable smartphone that you can use for calls, texting, and internet-related tasks.
It was just a matter of time before brands like Huawei and Samsung joined the race and came up with their own standalone smartwatches. Today we will talk about the best ones on the market. In the end, I will also add a buying guide to understand which features you must look for in a smartwatch.
Let’s get going.
Best Standalone Smartwatches 2022
1. Apple Watch Series 4
- Display – 1.57-inch 324 x 394 LTPO AMOLED
- RAM/Storage – 0.768GB/16GB
- Operating System – Watch OS by Apple
- Compatibility – iOS 12 and higher, iPhone 5s and higher
- Battery Life – 24-30 hours
- Sensors – HRM, gyro, altimeter, ECG, accelerometer
No brand matches Apple when it comes to the design and functionality of smartwatches. The Series 4 watch from Apple features a sporty look that suits every occasion and dressing style. You can choose between aluminum and stainless steel watch cases; both look equally stunning, enough to catch anyone’s attention.
A mic and speaker are located on each side of the watch, making it the perfect calling device with the highest quality. Along with the analog watch dial, there are eight shortcuts on the home screen, giving you the freedom to access directly from the watch’s face. The AMOLED display is bright enough and won’t minimize the visibility even under direct sunlight.
It has two size options, 44mm and 40mm, fitting almost any wrist size. Although the 44mm stainless steel watch might be a bit heavier for some, it is also more durable. However, if you want to enjoy cellular services, you will have to purchase the stainless steel version, the more expensive one.
For tracking, the watch has all the latest sensors, including ECG, which can monitor your heart rate with high accuracy and other fitness-related activities. The watch can go all day with a single charge which is impressive considering the number of sensors working constantly.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch
- RAM/Storage – 0.768GB/4GB
- Operating System – Tizen OS
- Compatibility – Android 5 and higher, iOS 9 and higher
- Battery Life – 2-3 days
- Sensors – Barometer, HRM, accelerometer, gyroscope
If you are looking for a universal standalone smartwatch that works seamlessly with Android and iOS, the Samsung Galaxy watch is the perfect option. The watch works like a charm with any Samsung smartphone but also pairs well with the iPhone.
Whether you want to track your workout, check notifications, or make a call, the Samsung Galaxy watch can do it all for you. This beautiful round watch comes in 2 size options – 46mm diameter (silver) and 42mm (Rose gold, midnight black). If you plan to use the watch as an alternative to your smartphone, you might be better off with the bigger size.
The watch supports LTE connectivity and provides high-quality voice calls without connection loss. The 1.3-inch super AMOLED panel is bright and contains deep blacks, making it a perfect outdoor watch. The icons look beautiful and appear more lively on display.
The Samsung Galaxy smartwatch is packed with all the latest sensors, including a barometer that can accurately monitor air pressure.
Even though the watch is loaded with sensors, it still manages to pull an excellent screen time. The watch will last for up to 4 days, depending on the activities you are doing on it. To maximize the battery life, you can turn off the sensors that are not in use.
The galaxy smartwatch is an excellent alternative to the Apple watch and provides better value for the money. With a rotating bezel and customizable watch faces, you can turn it into a completely new watch every day.
3. Huawei Watch 2 Sport
- Display – 1.2-inch 390 x 390 full-color AMOLED
- RAM/Storage – 768MB/4GB
- Operating System – Wear OS 2.0
- Compatibility – Android 4.4 and higher, iOS 9 and higher
- Battery Life – Up to 30 hours
- Sensors – HRM, accelerometer, Gyroscope
Chinese tech giant Huawei is known for its high-end smartphones, and the company is slowly making its way into the smartwatch market. Their Wear OS 2.0 has a tonne of cool features, perfect for smartwatch enthusiasts.
When it comes to design, the watch is perfect for any style and occasion. All you have to do is to change the strap of your choice. All the necessary antennas are integrated into the watch bezel, such as NFC, LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, making it less prone to interference. The call quality is exceptional, considering it’s just a tiny wearable device.
Thanks to the onboard HRM sensor, the watch can track your workout activities and heart rate accurately. You also get a gyro and accelerometer that give you precise readings of your movements. The sensors are always active so that you can see the history of your movements, sleep cycles, workout activities, and more.
Even though his watch is feature-packed and always busy, it will last for up to 30 hours on a single charge, which is excellent at this price point. It comes in 2 stunning colors – carbon black and dynamic orange.
4. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
- Display – 1.3-inch 360 x 360 Super AMOLED
- RAM/Storage – 1.5GB/4GB
- Operating System – Tizen OS
- Compatibility – Android 4.4 and above, iOS 9 and above
- Battery Life – Up to 4 days
- Sensors – Gyroscope, barometer, accelerometer, HRM
If there is one smartwatch that can match all the latest releases, It’s the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. Although the watch has been around for over two years, it still packs enough features to compete with any other smartwatch on the market.
Talking about the design, it features the familiar rotating round bezel made of stainless steel. It resembles a chronograph watch from a distance, making it a perfect choice for sporty people.
The 1.3-inch super AMOLED panel on S3 Frontier makes everything look bright and beautiful. Thanks to enhanced brightness and sharp texts, you won’t have any problem reading texts and notifications outdoors.
You get all the sensors, including a heart rate monitor that keeps track of your pulse 24/7. You can analyze your sleep quality, movement history, step counts, calories burned, and much more.
The watch has all the required features for calling and connectivity, including LTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi, making it a perfect alternative to a smartphone. It also pairs seamlessly with any Android and iOS device with the help of the Samsung watch application.
In terms of battery life, S3 Frontier will give you up to 4 days of screen time, depending on the features you use. It’s advisable to keep the sensors turned off if you are not using them.
5. KingWear KW88
- Display – 1.39-inch 400 x 400 full-color AMOLED
- Memory – 1GB/16GB
- Operating System – Android 7
- Compatibility – Android 5+ and iOS 9+
- Battery Life – Up to 4 days
- Sensors –HRM, Pedometer, gyro
Want an affordable and stylish smartwatch that looks just like a classic timepiece? KingWear KW88 is a decent standalone watch from an emerging Chinese company that gives you power-packed performance and excellent connectivity options.
For starters, it features enormous 16GB internal storage, one of the highest in smartwatches, along with a decent 1GB of ram, making multitasking a breeze on the watch. Whether it’s reading notifications, a long call, or tracking your workout, there are no lags whatsoever.
The high-resolution (400×400) AMOLED display is a sight to behold, especially with a classic watch face design. It looks like an expensive timepiece, making it perfect to wear for your sporty outfit.
The KW88 comes with Android 7 and is compatible with all smartphones running Android 5/iOS 9 or higher. What’s more, you get the built-in Google Assistant that you can activate with a simple voice command and accomplish many tasks.
Regarding the build quality, KW88 features a sturdy stainless steel watch case and hard sapphire glass that is 100% scratch-resistant. The soft silicon strap gives it a classic sports-watch look while giving you a perfect and comfortable fit for your wrist.
You get a built-in GPS and gyro to track your outdoor movements and navigation. A heart rate monitor also keeps track of your heartbeat 24/7. The pedometer will keep tabs on your step count and distance covered. Overall, it’s an excellent standalone watch for fitness freaks.
The only downside of KingWear is that it supports only 3G networking, which is a bit outdated for 2022. You will still be able to send and receive texts and make calls easily. But don’t worry; you still have Wi-Fi to download apps and other data. There is a 2MP camera available if you are into some quick photography if you need to take a proof or capture a document.
6. Kospet Hope 4G
- Display – 1.39-inch 400 x 400 full-color AMOLED
- Memory – 3GB/16GB
- Operating System – Android 7.1
- Compatibility – Android 5.1 and higher, iOS 8 and higher
- Battery Life – Up to 30 hours
- Sensors – Pedometer, accelerometer, HRM
The last one on the list is Hope smartwatch by Kospet. It’s an LTE standalone watch that you can use as your secondary smartphone and accomplish nearly anything. For the price, the watch offers exceptional hardware and a handful of features that will make your life easier in many ways.
The watch features a 1.39-inch full-color super AMOLED screen, carrying the same quality and color representation as an OLED smartphone. The blacks are deep, making the icons more visible with high color saturation levels. The resolution is 400×400, one of the highest in smartwatches. The high pixel density and AMOLED panel make it a perfect outdoor watch. Even under direct sunlight, you will be able to identify everything on the watch.
There is a large 3GB RAM for multitasking, twice as much as the Samsung smartwatch, and four times more than Apple Series 3. The Android 7 takes full advantage of the high-capacity RAM and provides seamless animations, quick boot times, and stutter-free multitasking. You also get Google Assistant, which can be activated anytime by saying, Ok Google.
Unlike Samsung and Apple, it features a nano-sim for LTE cellular connectivity. You can make calls, send/receive texts, or connect to the internet easily. For faster connectivity, you have the built-in Wi-Fi antenna so that you won’t have any problem downloading data and applications.
If you are into portable photography, there is an 8MP camera onboard, which can serve as a quick alternative to the smartphone camera. In our battery-drain test, the watch lasted for an entire day, which is slightly disappointing.
Smartwatch Buying Guide
If you are looking to buy a standalone smartwatch, here are the features you should consider:
1. Hardware & Performance
The watch’s hardware determines its performance. Although smartwatches don’t require high-end specifications, it’s something to consider if you are going to use the watch as an alternative to a smartphone. Usually, smartwatches come with less than a gigabyte of RAM and sophisticated software; the performance might drop if you download too many apps.
Particularly, standalone smartwatches have additional antennas to work with, so make sure the watch hardware is sufficient to handle the workload.
Always consider the feature you want to use in a smartwatch. Manufacturers keep introducing new features to them, but not all of them might be necessary for you. Make sure you are not paying high-price for something irrelevant to you.
Most smartwatches have advanced sensors to track movements, heart rate, etc. But since you are looking for a standalone watch, ensure it has LTE capabilities. Some watch still with 3G, which many network carriers may not support.
3. Battery Life
The most important feature of any smartwatch is its battery life. Generally, standalone watches deliver a poor battery life as the cellular antenna is permanently active. Companies don’t usually reveal the exact battery capacity, but you will get a full day of screen time on a single charge in most cases.
The battery life becomes even more crucial if you want to monitor your movements, workouts, and sleep cycles. The cellular antenna also eats up a whole lot of battery life. So keep those things in mind while purchasing the watch.
Standalone watches are loaded with connectivity features, including Wi-Fi, GPS, cellular facility, and Bluetooth. Some low-end models might skip crucial elements, such as LTE connectivity.
Another thing to remember while buying the standalone watch is the type of SIM card it supports. Most watches come with a nano-SIM card slot, but Apple and Samsung recently started an e-SIM facility where you don’t need a physical SIM card to access the cellular network. But this SIM card requires a smartphone activation, and changing the carrier may be hectic.
If you are sick of carrying your phone everywhere and looking for a smaller alternative, the standalone smartwatch is a perfect option. Compared to casual smartwatches, these wearables offer superb connectivity options and can do much more than count your steps and show notifications.
The battery life, however, is not the most powerful suite of standalone watches; all the models I’ve mentioned will easily get you through the day.