Smartwatches are part of a somewhat fractured ecosystem these days, with offerings from Android, Apple, and even Samsung's software known as Tizen. There are several more operating systems competing for space in this crowded market.
However, one thing is for sure, whichever watch and its associated OS you eventually decide on, being able to play music is often a prerequisite for most people.
The smart wearable landscape is continually evolving with better health-related functionality every year. ECG monitoring devices and heart rate monitors are becoming more common in 2020 with fitness tracking watches and other associated gadgets.
We will run down what we consider to be the top 10 smartwatches that play music currently on the market.
Our criteria are that it must have either:
- Onboard storage
- Wifi or network connection to access streaming services
- OS must support the primary streaming services
- Bluetooth for listening with a wireless headset or speaker
The first three points are interchangeable, but it must have at least one of them, and Bluetooth is also essential.
Of course, the Apple watch will make this list as it is arguably the best smartwatch that plays music. However, their main downside is that they only work correctly with Apple devices. That isn't to say that you cannot use them with other smartphones, but it is best to connect them to an Apple device to get the most from it.
Although Apple did not use any fancy technology in creating the Apple Watch, they know how to manufacture it into an item that is fun, useful, and fashionable.
When it comes to the style aspect, Apple Watch is probably my favorite of all the smartwatch models. The design is sleek but still manages to look great while accessorizing it with a wide variety of accessories and bands.
Another great feature that I love about the original Apple Watch, besides the fact that it's very affordable, is that it can double as an iPod, making it a great way to listen to music on the go.
Fitbit is trying to outpace the rest of the pack with its latest smartwatch, the new Fitbit Sense, which offers many different features that we have been hoping for. The main selling point of the Fitbit watch is that it allows you to do calorie-burning exercises.
This allows the watch to be used by people who aren't serious fitness buffs but still want to lose weight. The Fitbit Sense offers several different workout routines, requiring specific movements and various body parts to complete.
It includes 4gb of onboard storage to store your favorite music to listen to while you exercise. This is super handy because when running or at the gym, having to hold your main phone with you can be cumbersome and inhibit your routine.
Fossil Gen 5
Fully updated to its fifth generation, the Fossil is running Android Wear OS and is fully capable of running Spotify (although not offline, which is a bit disappointing). However, it does come with 8 GB of onboard storage that rectifies this issue.
Not only are its music playing credentials top-notch, but it also looks excellent. When combined with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 (the latest chip specifically designed for high power and low battery consumption), it is a powerhouse and deserves its place here.
Motorola is a well-known entity in the tech world and has been around for decades now. Their foray into the smartphone world is an interesting one. It is a fairly standard fare (although this isn't necessarily a negative), but it doesn't go against the grain with style choices.
Nevertheless, it is a competent smartwatch and includes a decent 8 GB of onboard storage that you can use for your music needs.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro/4G
With Bluetooth and Wifi on board, there are numerous ways to connect to your favorite music app. As the name suggests, it also has a 4G LTE chip, which means that you can choose to stream music to it directly and cut out your phone entirely.
If you have run out of data and still need to head out or take the subway to work and cannot get a signal, it also provides a respectable amount of storage capacity at 4 GB.
Oppo has become a force to be reckoned with in the smartphone world. It seems that they are taking some of their expertise into the smartwatch arena.
The Oppo watch takes more than a few design cues from the Apple watch (not a bad thing in our experience), but it is its own thing!
One feature that is quite common with many Oppo products is its high-quality construction. The AMOLED display has an attractive curvature on both the right and left side and a display resolution of 401×476 and 316 PPI, which reaches your typical retina monitor level.
There are also more advanced features such as a stopwatch and heart rate monitor. The OPPO Watch has a feature called GPS technology, which allows you to track your location by entering a destination address.
A wide variety of straps are available, such as leather and cotton. Each strap has its features, but the basic strap is made from high-quality nylon, making it very lightweight.
GARMIN FENIX 6 PRO
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the most expensive on this list, but for a good reason. It is a remarkably high-quality timepiece in terms of both style and build quality.
With its built-in music player and impressive battery life, the Garmin is a fantastic watch for those adventure lovers out there.
Why will adventurers love this watch? Arguably, the best part is that it is waterproof up to 100m, meaning that this is no delicate fashion statement, but rather a hardcore watch for the modern era.
It should be noted that although the battery genuinely is impressive, this watch has so many advanced features that using many of them will ultimately impact battery life.