Digit Zero 1 Awards 2020: Best Smartwatches

Swapnil Mathur | Published on 11 Dec 2020
Digit Zero 1 Awards 2020: Best Smartwatches

The wearable category has managed to hold its ground and even show significant growth in recent years. While there’s not a whole lot that can be packed into a smartwatch, this year has seen some very interesting developments. Apple managed to pack a novel SpO2 sensor in its Apple Watch Series 6 while the Oppo Watch is designed to be a choice for the masses. Many manufacturers have released their own brands of smartwatches, but unfortunately, the segment continues to be heavily fragmented. Our evaluation for the best smartwatch is based on the Smartwatch’s fitness tracking accuracy and the kind of user experience offered by the watch with respect to notifications, messages and calls. Let’s delve right into it.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 6 LTE Edition

The Apple Watch Series 6 this year comes with an additional SpO2 sensor, which builds on top of the already excellent feature set the watch has had to offer. Our testing involved measuring fitness metrics gathered by the Apple Watch Series 6 against data collected by dedicated sensors. For example, heart rate date from the Watch was compared against HR data collected using a chest-strap based HR monitor and we found that the two data-sets were near identical. We found this behaviour to be consistent across walking, running and cycling. Simiarly, the Watch also accurately tracks the GPS location and delivers accurate speed and distance metrics for cycling, when measured against a dedicated Garmin Edge bike computer. Lastly, the Apple Watch Series 6 continues to offer an exceptional Smart experience, behaving more like an extension of the iPhone on your wrist. The user interface, to any iOS user, will be instantly familiar and the watch’s very fluid UI makes getting from one thing to another a breeze. The LTE edition allows you to make and receive calls without the presence of your phone, allowing you to go on your workouts without needing your phone.  (Click here to buy)

Runner Up: Oppo Watch

Typically, WearOS smartwatches tend to either be poorly designed or grossly underpowered. Smartwatches compatible with Android didn’t run WearOS, making their functionality somewhat limited, if you used them paired with a smartphone of another brand. The Oppo Watch is completely device agnostic and is a really great option for anyone looking for a wholesome experience. The Oppo Watch, when it comes to fitness is a great companion with heart rate tracking that is generally very accurate, unless you’re engaging in high-intensity workouts. In this case, the HR monitor tops out at 165bpm and doesn’t reliably register anything higher. When it comes to tracking physical activities, the Oppo Watch is spot on with respect to GPS mapping and distance travelled. For Android users, the “smart” experience is also rather good, with all notifications making their way seamlessly onto the watch, which can be responded to with great ease. The Oppo Watch would have been near perfect, had it not been for its spotty performance in high-heart rate situations where the Apple Watch Series 6 wins out by a long shot. (Click here to buy)

Best Buy: Huawei Watch GT2e

2020 has been particularly rough on Huawei, given the ban on them working with any America company. This, however, did not stop them from releasing the Huawei GT2e. The watch was claimed to have 14-day battery life and we recorded it to deliver on 13 of those days consistently. The watch also comes with a ridiculously large set of activities that it can track, including Yoga. While it tracks metrics very effectively, we found that its HR tracking was a little erratic, with the HR data not being recorded intermittently. The issue was not present on the replacement unit, leading us to believe that it could be a unit-specific issue, however, the lack of quality control does cost the Huawei Watch GT2e some points, knocking it off the top spots. While pretty decent at tracking activities, the smartwatch features of the watch leave a little to be desired. The watch delivers notifications to your wrist, but you can’t do much but dismiss them. With the lack of an onboard speaker and microphone, you can’t take calls either, but for the price, the value for money proposition of the Huawei Watch GT2e is hard to deny. (Click here to buy)

About Digit Zero 1 Awards:

With a legacy of 20 years, the Digit Zero 1 Awards is recognized as the Industry’s only performance-based awards. Digit rewards brands for putting in years of research in developing and introducing performance-driven products for their audience. All products are made to pass through a rigorous and scientific test process and compete with competitor brands in the same category. The Winner in each category is announced on the basis of their total score post complete performance analysis done across an average of 56 tests conducted for every category, across key performance parameters. The test process for the Zero1 Awards does not consider scores for features, price or design. The aim is to identify the very best products that money can buy, celebrate the innovations that push the industry forward, and reward the products that dare to disrupt the market.

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Swapnil Mathur

Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor

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