Smartwatches have evolved from buggy gadgets to genuinely useful and powerful wearables. Whether you want a notification device that works seamlessly with your phone or a reliable fitness tracker, the choice and quality of smartwatches improves each year.
We’re looking forward to the next wave of smartwatches in 2020. Most manufacturers have already established themselves in the market, so a lot of what we are expecting is upgrades to existing models.
But there are still big tech companies yet to release a smartwatch. With Google’s recent acquisition of Fitbit, we’re keen to see what the company will put out – will 2020 be the year we finally see a Pixel Watch?
How will Apple improve the excellent Apple Watch Series 5, and will Samsung fall into a regular update cycle as it hones its Galaxy Watch series?
Here are the five smartwatches we most want to see in 2020.
Apple Watch Series 6
It’s the obvious pick but considering the Apple Watch Series 5 is hands down the best smartwatch ever made, it has to be. We expect to see the Series 6 make its debut at the launch of the iPhone 12 in September.
The Series 5 brought an always-on display to the Apple Watch for the first time, and it is available with aluminium, titanium or ceramic build. It’s a little hard to see what Apple can add to the Series 6, and the design might even stay the same as it did from the Series 4 to 5.
We want to see better battery life – at a push the Series 5 is a two-day smartwatch, but realistically you have to charge it every night if you’re using all its features. We also hope Apple finally adds sleep tracking, as has been rumoured, but it’ll need a better battery to make that realistic.
Google Pixel Watch
It has been rumoured for years and Google has its own smartwatch software platform in Wear OS, but there has never been a Google-branded smartwatch. This could be set to change in 2020 and we’d love to see a Pixel Watch.
There were rumours of a Pixel Watch as far back as the Pixel 3 launch in 2018, but now the Pixel 4 has come out and there’s still no sign of a Google-named wearable.
Google acquired Fitbit in late 2019, signalling it wants to up its health tracking game to compete with Apple Watch. But with no signs yet as to whether Google will keep the Fitbit branding or bring out a Pixel Watch, things are a little unclear. You can be sure, however, that 2020 will be a big year for Google and Fitbit.
Huawei Watch GT 3
Huawei quietly impressed us with the Huawei Watch GT 2 in 2019. It’s not as fully featured as other smartwatches and lacks third-party apps, but knocks it out of the park with its two-week battery life and GPS activity tracking.
It’s admittedly more of a fitness tracker in the body of a smartwatch, but we don’t mind when we don’t have to charge it every day. Huawei’s Lite OS software is a little primitive, though, so we are excited for the Watch GT 3 in 2020.
If Huawei can improve the notification interaction and add some new watch faces, the GT 3 will be a great success for the company as it attempts to forge a line of products that don’t rely on Google’s Android or Wear OS.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 2
Samsung bases its smartwatches on its own Tizen OS, which matured excellently in 2019 with the arrival of the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Watch Active2 in quick succession. The original Galaxy Watch was released at the end of 2018, and we hope Samsung follows it up with a Galaxy Watch 2.
The Active series dropped the physically rotating bezel for a digital one and put fitness first with its smaller size, but we like the original design and want to see it return on the Galaxy Watch 2.
As Samsung improves its third-party support, there’s a huge opportunity for the company to pitch the Galaxy Watch 2 against the Apple Watch Series 6 as a genuine fashion accessory – something arguably only Apple has succeeded with so far in the smartwatch market.
A new TicWatch
Next to these big four companies, Mobvoi is rather small, but we like to see a disruptor in every tech space. The relatively new company impressed us in 2019 with its TicWatch line of affordable, functional Wear OS smartwatches that performed just as well as products twice their price.
We’d like to see something as innovative as the TicWatch Pro, which combined two screen technologies in one watch design and eked out exceptional battery life. TicWatch smartwatches might not be for everyone in terms of function or appearance but for Android users they are incredibly underrated.