The best smartwatches you can buy in South Africa

iStore has opened pre-orders for the GPS + Cellular models of the Apple Watch Series 5.

Apple released its Series 5 smartwatch, including both a GPS-only and GPS + Cellular version, in September 2019.

Until now, however, only the GPS variant of the Apple Watch Series 5 had been available locally.

With the launch of the GPS + Cellular model, users are able to make phone calls, send messages, and stream music directly from their watch – without connecting it to a smartphone.

iStore said in its pre-order mail that the Apple eSIM functionality – which enables the cellular connection – will be available exclusively on Vodacom’s network.

To see how the new Apple Watch compares against its rivals from Samsung and Huawei, we detailed the devices below.


Apple Watch Series 5

The Watch Series 5 is one of the best smartwatches available in South Africa.

It offers 18-hour battery life, runs Apple’s watchOS, and features an always-on retina display which allows you to tell the time even when the screen is inactive.

It also includes various health features – including cycle tracking, a noise safety app, and activity trends. As mentioned, it comes in GPS-only and GPS + Cellular options.

The Apple Watch Series 5 40mm GPS-only is priced at R7,999, while the 44m version costs R8,799.

The GPS + Cellular versions range range in price from R12,499 to R19,999.

Apple Watch Series 5 44mm


Huawei Watch GT 2

The Huawei Watch GT 2 is a significant upgrade over the original Watch GT, positioning it as one of the best smartwatches on the market today.

Launched in September 2019, the Watch GT 2 increased its storage from 128MB in the original version to 4GB.

It also supports Bluetooth 5, and the 46mm version has a microphone which enables Bluetooth calling.

Like the Apple Watch Series 5, the Watch GT 2 uses an always-on display which dims if you’re not actively using your watch.

According to Huawei, the smartwatch offers two weeks of battery life in its 46mm version thanks to a 455mAh battery.

It also offers a variety of health features, is made of stainless steel, and comes in both sport and classic models in 46mm and 42mm form factors.

It is important to note that it does not support Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, however.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 is priced at R4,849 for the 42mm version and R5,479 for the 46mm version from Takealot.


Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is another impressive smartwatch which launched in the past year.

Like the Apple Watch Series 5, the Galaxy Watch Active2 supports eSIM – running on the Vodacom network.

It sports 1.5GB of memory, 4GB of storage, an Exynos 9110 chipset, Bluetooth 5, and a digital rotating dial with haptic feedback.

A variety of fitness features are included, too – such as automatic workout tracking for seven types of exercise and manual tracking for many more.

It also has a running coach function which will provide you with useful advice while you exercise in real-time.

It comes in 40mm and 44mm versions, with the former priced at R5,699 from Technomobi, while the latter costs R6,999.

If you want the Galaxy Watch Active2 with eSIM support, you will pay R6,499 and R7,599 for the 40mm and 44mm versions, respectively.

Galaxy Watch Active 2 3


Specifications compared

The specifications of these three smartwatches have been compared below.

Specifications Galaxy Watch Active2 Apple Watch Series 5 Huawei Watch GT 2
Display 1.4-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED 1.78-inch 448 x 368 AMOLED 1.39-inch 454 x 454 AMOLED
CPU Exynos 9110 Apple S5 Kirin A1
RAM 1.5GB Not stated Not stated
Storage 4GB 32GB 4GB
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS, Cellular Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS, Cellular Bluetooth 5.1, GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Heart Rate, Ambient Light Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Light Sensor Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer
Battery 340mAh Not stated 455mAh

Now read: Apple Watch with eSIM – South African pricing

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The best smartwatches you can buy in South Africa