Best smartwatches in South Africa

Smartwatches are helpful devices for fitness fanatics and those who want to check their notifications without pulling out their phones frequently, and some of the best options come from brands like Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and Garmin.

In South Africa, highly capable smartwatches sell from R5,999, with top-tier models like the 2nd-generation Apple Watch Ultra going for R20,999.

MyBroadband found some of the best smartwatches available in South Africa that are suitable for various budgets and requirements.

We found four devices for between R6,000 and R7,000 that are ideal for sports and fitness fanatics or for those who want to use a smartwatch as a tool for working and communicating.

The cheapest option in this comparison was Samsung’s Galaxy Watch6, which starts at R5,999 for the 40mm, Bluetooth-only model.

The smartwatch packs the manufacturer’s Exynos 930 SiP and 16GB of internal storage, and its battery will last between 30 and 40 hours depending on whether the wearable’s Always-On Display feature is enabled.

For R500 more, you can get the base model 2nd-generation Apple Watch SE, which offers impressive specs at the price point.

It packs Apple’s S8 SiP, 32GB of storage, and an OLED display. However, it has the poorest self-reported battery life of 18 hours.

The similarly-priced Garmin Vivomove Trend is the most fitness-oriented wearable among the smartwatches listed.

It promises a battery life of up to five days in smartwatch mode. While Garmin hasn’t revealed internal storage specifications, it says the Vivomove Trend can store ten timed activities and up to 14 days of activity tracking data.

At R6,999, the Huawei Watch GT 4 offers impressive battery life at eight days with regular usage and up to 14 days with minimal use.

It should be noted that while the Huawei Watch GT 4 supports NFC, tap payments with the watch aren’t supported in South Africa.

For R7,999, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch6 Classic offers performance specs similar to the base Galaxy Watch6 but with slight design changes and larger displays.

The second generation of Apple’s Watch Ultra is the most expensive smartwatch listed, with prices starting from R20,999.

It has the largest display of all other devices listed at 49mm and features a wide range of sensors designed to help the wearer manage their health and safety.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 packs the tech giant’s S9 SiP and 64GB of internal storage.

Six of the best smartwatches available in South Africa are listed below with specifications and prices.


Samsung Galaxy Watch6 — From R5,999

Samsung Galaxy Watch6
OS Google WearOS 4
Display 40mm: 1.3-inch 432 x 432 OLED
44mm: 1.5-inch 480 x 480 OLED
Processor Samsung Exynos W930
Storage 16GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Altimeter
Barometer
Blood pressure sensor
Compass
Gyroscope
Heart rate monitor
Optical heart sensor
Proximity sensor
Temperature sensor
Connectivity LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life Up to 30 hours with Always-On Display
Up to 40 hours without Always-On Display
Water and dust resistance Up to 50 metres
IP68 dust-resistant
NFC payments
Yes — Google Pay and Samsung Pay

Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation) — From R6,599

Apple Watch SE (2nd-gen)
OS WatchOS 10
Display 40mm: 1.53-inch 394 x 324 OLED
44mm: 
1.78-inch 448 x 368 OLED
Processor Apple S8
Storage 32GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient light sensor
Compass
Electrical heart sensor
Gyroscope
Optical heart sensor
Proximity sensor
Connectivity LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life Up to 18 hours
Water and dust resistance Up to 50 metres
IP6X dust-resistant
NFC payments
Yes — Apple Pay

Garmin Vivomove Trend — From R6,599.95

Garmin Vivomove Trend
OS GarminOS
Display 1.3-inch 416 x 416 OLED
Processor Not specified
Storage 10 timed activities; 14 days of activity tracking data
Sensors Accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Barometric altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Gyroscope
Wrist heart rate monitor
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3
Battery life Up to 5 days in smartwatch mode
Up to 6 days in watch mode
Water and dust resistance Up to 50 metres
NFC payments
Yes — Garmin Pay

Huawei Watch GT 4 — From R6,999

Huawei Watch GT 4
OS HarmonyOS
Display 41mm: 1.32-inch 466 × 466 OLED
46mm
: 1.43-inch 466 × 466 OLED
Processor Not specified
Storage Not specified
Sensors Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Optical heart sensor
Proximity sensor
Temperature sensor
Connectivity LTE, Bluetooth 5.2
Battery life Up to 8 days with regular usage
14 days maximum battery life
Water and dust resistance Up to 50 metres
NFC payments
NFC capable, but no tap payments supported in South Africa

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic — From R7,995

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic
OS Google WearOS 4
Display 43mm: 1.5-inch 480 x 480 OLED
47mm: 1.5-inch 480 x 480 OLED
Processor Samsung Exynos W930
Storage 16GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Barometer
Blood pressure sensor
Compass
Electric heart rate sensor
Gyroscope
GPS
Optical heart rate sensor
Thermometer
Connectivity LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, Ultra Wideband
Battery life Up to 30 hours with Always-On Display
Up to 40 hours without Always-On Display
Water and dust resistance Up to 50 metres
IP60 dust-resistant
NFC payments
Yes — Google Pay and Samsung Pay

Apple Watch Ultra 2 — From R20,999

Apple Watch Ultra 2
OS WatchOS 10
Display 49mm: 1.92-inch 502 x 410 OLED
Up to 3,000 nits
Processor Apple S9 SiP
Storage 64GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Blood pressure sensor
Compass
Depth gauge
Electrical heart sensor
Gyroscope
Optical heart sensor
Proximity sensor
Temperature sensor
Water temperature sensor
Connectivity LTE, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, Ultra Wideband
Battery life Up to 36 hours in smartwatch mode
Up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode
Water and dust resistance Up to 100 metres
IP6X dust-resistant
NFC payments
Supported banks
Yes — Apple Pay
Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FNB, Investec, Nedbank, RMB, Standard Bank

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Best smartwatches in South Africa