Best smartwatches you can buy in South Africa — including one under R4,000

There are a variety of premium smartwatches to choose from in South Africa.

When shopping for a smartwatch, keeping your wrist size in mind is important, as this will determine the best watch face size for you.

For example, Garmin recommends that their 45mm Venu 2 watch best suits a wrist circumference between 135mm to 200mm.

Other features to consider are battery life, whether it has a contactless payments system supported in South Africa, and compatibility with different smartphone brands.

We have listed the five best smartwatches based on features, performance, and battery life.

For a measure of which smartwatches are best, we looked at reviews from Tom’s Guide and Trusted Reviews, and Techradar.

Apple Watch Series 7 — Starting from R8,299 (Takealot)

The Watch Series 7 is the newest smartwatch from Apple and is one of the best choices for users already invested in the tech giant’s ecosystem.

The Apple Series 7’s 45mm model boasts the biggest screen at 1.9 inches, featuring a 484×396 OLED display.

The watch’s ECG heart rate scanner and blood oxygen sensors monitor your health, and it supports NFC payments via Apple Pay.

It also sports the highest amount of storage on this list, at 32 GB. Its closest competitor, the Galaxy Watch 4, comes in at 16 GB.

Trusted Reviews, Tom’s Guide, and TechRadar gave this watch a 4.5-star rating.

Apple Watch Series 7
OS WatchOS 8
Display 41mm: 1.61-inch 430 x 352 OLED
45mm: 1.9-inch 484 x 396 OLED
Processor Apple S7
Storage 32GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Barometric altimeter
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Light Sensor
Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Electrical Heart Sensor
Blood Oxygen Sensor
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Battery Up to 18 hours
Water resistance Up to 50 metres
NFC payments Yes — Apple Pay

Garmin Venu 2S / Plus / 2 — Starting from R7,499 (Takealot)

Garmin’s Venu 2 comes in various sizes, each with a different name — the 40mm is the Venu 2S, the 43 mm is the Plus, and the 45 mm is the 2.

The Venu 2 (45 mm) boasts an impressive 11-day battery life in smartwatch mode, which decreases to 8 hours in GPS mode with music playback.

The Garmin smartwatch caters to fitness enthusiasts and features a fibre-reinforced polymer case and 5ATM water resistance, making it ideal for outdoor use.

Trusted Reviews gave the Venu 2 a 4.5-star rating, while Tom’s Guide rated the Venu 2 Plus at 4 stars.

Garmin Venu 2S / Plus / 2
OS Garmin Connect
Display 40mm: 1.10-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED (2S)
43mm: 1.30-inch 416 x 416 AMOLED (Plus)
45mm: 1.30-inch 416 x416 AMOLED (2)
Processor Undisclosed
Storage 7 GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Barometric altimeter
Blood Oxygen Sensor
Electrical Heart Sensor
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Light Sensor
Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth
Battery 40mm: up to 10 days
43mm: up to 9 days
45mm: up to 11 days
Water resistance up to 50 metres
NFC payments Yes — Garmin Pay

Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS — R6,999 (Navworld)

The Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra features a secondary FSTN display, used exclusively in essential mode to offer a battery life of 45 days.

Regular usage in smart mode should have the watch last 72 hours.

The watch’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor and 1 GB of RAM make it very responsive, and its 8 GB storage is more than adequate for everyday use.

TechRadar’s rating for this watch was 4 stars, with Trusted Reviews giving it a 3.5.

Ticwatch Pro 3
OS Wear OS by Google
Display 1.4-inch 454 x 454 326ppi AMOLED + FSTN
Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system
Storage 8 GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Gyro Sensor
HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor
SpO2 Sensor
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi:802.11b/g/n
Battery 72 hours (Smart Mode)
45 days 9Essential Mode)
Water resistance 1.5 metres for 30 minutes (IP68)
NFC payments Yes — Google Pay

Huawei Watch GT 3 — Starting from R4,499 (Takealot)

While Huawei’s Watch GT 3 only has 4 GB storage, the 46mm model boasts an impressive 14-day battery life.

The 42mm variant features a 1.32-inch AMOLED display, which increases to 1.43-inches for the 46mm model.

The one drawback of the GT 3 is that it does not support contactless payments.

The GT 3 got 3.5 stars from Trusted Reviews, while TechRadar rated it at 4 stars.

Huawei Watch GT3
OS HarmonyOS 2.0
Display 42 mm: 1.32-inch 466 x 466 AMOLED
46 mm: 1.43-inch 466 x 466 AMOLED
Processor Unspecified
Storage 4 GB
Sensors Accelerometer sensor
Gyroscope sensor
Geomagnetic sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Air pressure sensor
Temperature sensor
Connectivity GPS, Bluetooth
Battery 42 mm: 7 days (maximum)
46 mm: 14 days (maximum)
Water resistance 50-meter pressure for 10 minutes (5 ATM)
NFC payments No

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 — Starting from R3,714 (Takealot)

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 has the widest selection of sizes, ranging from 40mm to 46mm.

Whereas Samsung previously used its in-house Tizen operating system for its smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 4 ships with Google’s Wear OS.

This lets users install third-party applications directly from Google Play Store, instead of being limited to apps from Samsung’s Galaxy Store.

Samsung rates the Watch 4’s battery life at 40 hours, although reviewers have noted that this can be inconsistent.

At launch, the watch’s ECG, blood pressure, and oxygen sensors were disabled in South Africa. Samsung enabled the ECG and blood pressure monitors with a software update in 2022. However, the blood oxygen sensor remains disabled.

The Watch 4 received a 4.5-star rating from Trusted Reviews, with Tom’s Guide and TechRadar giving it 4 stars.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
OS Android Wear OS
Display 40mm and 42mm: 1.2-inch 396 x 396 OLED
44mm and 46mm: 1.4-inch 450 x 450 OLED
Processor Exynos W920
Storage 16 GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Light Sensor
Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Electrical Heart Sensor
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Sensor
Blood Oxygen Sensor (Disabled)
Hall Sensor
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE optional
Battery Up to 40 hours
Water resistance Up to 50 metres
NFC payments Yes — Samsung Pay

Now read: Apple could be launching three new smartwatches this year — including a rugged model

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Best smartwatches you can buy in South Africa — including one under R4,000