We might be already halfway through 2020, but the second half still looks set to be massive for upcoming smartwatches, with a huge array of new devices confirmed.
We’ve got confirmed releases from Chinese budget brands such as Xiaomi, Amazfit and Oppo, but also Swiss watch manufacturers like Montblanc, Hublot and a brand new Tag Heuer Connected. So there’s been a lot to talk about.
That’s going to put pressure on the traditional smartwatch companies â especially the likes of Fossil, which we anticipate might also be prepping new watches too.
Here’s what we’re expecting from the rest of 2020.
The Oppo Watch is now officially available outside of China, but there have been changes.
Yes, it still looks just like the Apple Watch Series 5, and it’s available in two sizes.
There are 46mm and 41mm, which feature (enormous) 1.91-inch and 1.6-inch AMOLED displays. That’s thanks to the curved glass, which allows for more screen real-estate than equivalently sized rivals.
While the Chinese version wowed us with the promise of ECG, that feature has not made it to the global edition.
And that’s not the only change.
Wear OS is the operating system on board, which means access to third party apps. But the move to Wear OS hasn’t negatively impacted battery life.
The Oppo Watch manages two day battery life (better than most Wear OS devices and the Apple Watch), and brings some clever power management. A power saver mode extends battery life to 21 days, and it can still carry on with basic fitness tracking. What’s more, you can fast charge and get 16 hours of juice in just 15 minutes. Impressive stuff.
But there’s also an availability issue. Oppo isn’t launching its smartwatch in the US â although we’re sure it will arrive via resellers. Therefore we don’t have a US price, but in the UK the 46mm LTE version will be Â£329 ($400ish) â so it’s not cheap. The 41mm is Â£229 ($300-ish).
The smaller 41mm will be available in September and the 46mm LTE will follow in October.
ETA: August 2020
(Image: Evan Blass)
Samsung is well overdue a smartwatch release, and it seems that the Galaxy Watch 3 will be the next wearable release from the company.
You didnât miss a generation, but it looks like Samsung will skip on to Watch 3 to avoid confusion with the Galaxy Watch Active 2.
There’s little doubt it’s going to happen, with multiple leaked videos, FCC listings, renders and even official blog posts pointing to an impending smartwatch.
So what do we know? The size is different to the older Galaxy Watch with 45mm and 41mm options â so it should be good for both men and women. There will also be LTE versions of each size too.
It will be made from stainless steel, and there will be a rose gold version â pictured below:
(Image: Evan Blass)
It will have GPS and a heart rate monitor, and the ability to take ECG and blood pressure readings â but that depends on getting approval in the US and Europe which will be easier said than done.
That’s the stuff we learned from the FCC filing, but there are also rumors we’ll see 8GB of internal storage and that it will retain the twisty bezel as an alternative control method to the touchscreen. That stuff is very much TBC.
It’s expected to unveiled at Samsung’s Unpacked event on August 5. Samsung’s mobile exec Tae-moon Roh revealed in a blog post that there will be five new devices announced including one for the wrist. So it seems we won’t have to wait much longer to see the next Galaxy Watch.
ETA outside China: TBC
A surprise new addition to the Amazfit range, the Amazfit Ares is a tough outdoor-friendly sports watch, with a big spec sheet and sub-$100 price tag.
It’s already available in China at just CNY499 â which is about $70, so we’re confident it will stay on the right side of $100 when it hits Western shores.
It boasts a 1.28-inch, 206 x 640 display, and 5ATM water resistance, with 70 sports tracking profiles including running, cycling, swimming and, curiously, dance.
Thereâs a heart rate sensor, as youâd imagine â and sports analysis goes a step further than the Amazfit T-Rex. It uses the PAI score to rate your weekly activity and ensure youâre getting your full quota of exercise, at elevated heart rates.
Firstbeat has chipped in with its VO2 Max and heart rate variability metrics too, such as Recovery Time, Training Load and Training Effect, which means it can be compared to Garmin watches in terms of sports stats.
Battery life looks to be around 14 days with 20 hours of GPS tracking – and after the Amazfit T-Rex and Amazfit GTS both reviewed well with our experts, this is certainly a budget option to watch.
Read our full Amazfit Ares guide.
ETA: Ships October 2020
We have to say the Amazfit X excites us a bit â not because we believe it will be a groundbreaking device â but we’re excited to see how powerful this crowdfunding one-shot can be.
Bringing advanced smartwatch and wellness smarts into a cuff-like band, the Amazfit X features a 2.07-inch curved AMOLED display, with a totally button free design, that makes use of the generous touchscreen. It has a super bright 400nit screen with a 206 x 640 resolution, and takes a 22mm strap.
Itâs no slouch in terms of heart rate tracking either, with an optical sensor which also features an SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen tracking. Thatâs backed up by GPS with GLONASS support for outdoor workout tracking. The Amazfit X has 9 profiles for sports tracking, from running and cycling to open water swimming and treadmill tracking.
Amazfit knows this won’t be for everyone, so it’s gone to Indiegogo rather than selling through online stores. It’s more about demonstrating the engineering power of Huami, which should be scaring the likes of Fitbit and Garmin with its powerful devices and incredible prices.
It raised well over $1 million and is tipped to ship a month later than originally stated before it also jump up to a full retail price of $329.
It might be worth that to get hold of a true wearable curiosity. Read our full Amazfit X story.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
ETA outside China: 2020
Available in China but with no confirmed release date here in the West, we’re eagerly awaiting Xiaomi’s budget smartwatch to land.
As you’d expect from a Chinese powerhouse, it’s big on specs and low(ish) on price â with the smartwatch set to sell for roughly $185.
In terms of design, the watch features a 44mm square face, with a 1.78-inch AMOLED display pumping out a resolution of 410 x 410 pixels and a pixel density of 326 pixels-per-inch.
Internally, the smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 platform, Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS for location tracking and NFC for contactless payments.
The personalized skin of Wear OS, called MiUI for Watch, has been designed to enable stripped-down versions of Xiaomi apps, like Mi Home, Tasks and Maps. However, it’s not clear whether the watch will support current Wear OS apps when it lands or be paired with the Xiaomi Mi app.
We already know that the Firstbeat (recently acquired by Garmin) has been called upon to license its technology for VO2 Max and heart rate analytics during sport. It’s the same algorithms that Garmin uses â and takes advantage of the Mi Watch’s heart rate sensor and GPS chip.
Check out our first impressions of the Xiaomi Mi Watch ahead of launch.
Xiaomi Mi Watch Color/Revolve
ETA outside China: 2020
Not just a color version of its Apple Watch rip off â the Xiaomi Mi Watch Color is a totally different beast.
Boasting a 1.39-inch round AMOLED display with an eye-searing 454×454 resolution â it’s a serious piece of kit.
It’s already been out in Xiaomi’s native China, but word from XDA Developers is that the company is plotting a new name for the global release â the Mi Watch Resolve.
There’s heart rate sensor, NTC and supports tracking for 10 sports. There’s 5ATM water resistance, and Firstbeat has leant its support to handle VO2 Max metrics from exercise.
It uses a custom OS not the MIUI operating system, which is based on Wear OS. That means less chance of usable third party apps, but you are getting a 14 day battery life.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Color is set to cost $198 â but its wider release outside of China is still a mystery.
Timex Metropolitan R
Timex has teamed up with Amazfit for a new range of full-screen smartwatches, and the Timex Metropolitan R looks the pick of the bunch so far.
We’ve not got hands on with the device yet, but from what we can tell it’s a rebadged (or very close to it) Amazfit GTR with a dose of extra style on top. And that’s absolutely fine.
We rated the Amazfit GTR in our review, and there’s a lot to like about the company’s smartwatches. Giving it a makeover, with a gunmetal finish and leather/silicone combo strap is a more than welcome upgrade.
It comes with a 42mm case, so it’s pretty slim on the wrist, and you get 12 days of battery life. There’s GPS, heart rate and Amazfit’s health tracking is pretty good, and it comes in a package that costs $179.99.
We’ll need to put it through our full review before we can give it the same vote of confidence here as the GTR.
The Withings ScanWatch is a stylish looking hybrid smartwatch with serious med-tech power â and it’s able to both take ECG readings and detect medical conditions such as sleep apnea and heart arrhythmia.
There are 38mm and 42mm versions and it boasts a 30 day battery life.
On the dial is a small PMOLED screen that displays information including heart rate, steps, notifications and instructions on taking ECG readings.
Withings isn’t holding back on fitness tracking either. There’s 24/7 heart rate and step counting and it can track 30 sports. There’s no built-in GPS but it will pair to a smartphone to do the job.
The Withings Health Mate app will show you a sleep score based on your night time heart rate, restfulness and sleep stages â and it boasts a Smart Alarm to wake you up in light parts of your sleep cycle.
There is a problem. Withings says its waiting for FDA approval of the sleep apnea features before a Q2 launch â but the company is still waiting for approval on its Move ECG watch that was announced in March 2019. So Withings either has a strong idea that approval is coming, or the ScanWatch could suffer the same fate.
You’ll also be able to pick the 42mm model up for $299, and the 38mm equivalent up for $249.
Read more in our Withings ScanWatch early review.
Alpina X Alive smartwatch
ETA: August 2020
Following on from the AlpinaX, the 45mm AlpinaX Alive brings an impressive array of sport features to the Swiss watch format.
Unlike the Tag Heuer Connected 2020, it’s not a full display smartwatch, but instead a hybrid smartwatch, that blends technology inside the case of an analogue device.
However, Alpina is not messing around when it comes to the sports tech inside its latest smartwatch.
Somewhat uniquely for a hybrid, the AlpinaX Alive packs in GPS â and there’s a Philips heart rate sensor underneath too. That’s also backed up by a host of advanced sport features, including sleep tracking, breathing reminders, and fitness coaching too.
In addition to the tracking of sleep cycles, thereâs also a smart alarm feature that uses a pre-set window to try and wake you in a light sleep phase rather than deep sleep.
The Alpina X Alive has sport profiles for tracking, running, swimming, yoga, walk, Nordic walking, treadmill and cycling. And it will report reporting VO2 Max â showing that Alpina is really focusing on the performance sport audience.
There’s a small touchscreen embedded into the watch face, to supplement the physical hands, which shows time and date, timers, battery percentage, heart rate, step count, alarms, notifications and hydration reminders.
There are two finishes â a blue fiberglass case and polished stainless steel, which retail for around $1,030 when it hits the US. It’s listed now on the Alpina site for 50% early bird deals, but to Switzerland only.
Shipping is slated for August 2020. Alpina is talking up its online configurator too, which enables you to customise the colour of things like the dials, hands and straps.
Montblanc Summit 2 Plus
The Montblanc Summit 2+ also got a surprise release â and it’s a halfway house between minor update and a full blown new device. The main added feature is LTE – but pretty much all aspects of the Summit 2 have been upgraded.
It’s still running Wear OS, the AMOLED display is bigger; 1.28-inch as opposed to 1.19-inch. The Wear 3100 chip is backed up with 1GB of RAM â and the battery has been upgraded from 340mAh battery to 440mAh.
There is a gold and pink version amongst the four different new designs on offer (black diamond-like carbon steel, stainless steel and bronze steel and green, as well) so it’s clear the Swiss company doesn’t want to count female wrists out of its target audience completely though.
The Montblanc Summit 2 Plus was supposed to go on sale in April, though it’s still not available through its website. Pricing in the US is $1,170. It will be offered in partnership with Verizon in the US and Vodafone in the UK.
ETA: Available now
(Image: Fossil Group)
Unlike all of Diesel’s previous offerings, the Fadelite is smaller – coming in a 43mm case – and features a transparent strap and translucent bezel in a choice of four colors.
The design makes it more appealing than any other Diesel Watch for both exercisers and those with small wrists, though the Wear OS experience is identical to what we’ve seen before; Google Pay, Google Assistant, heart rate tracking, customizable watch faces, music control and smartphone notifications are all here.
The smartwatch is currently available in the US priced at $275 and will cost Â£249 when it launches in the UK – read our Diesel Fadelite piece for all the details.
Hublot Big Bang E
The Big Bang E comes packed into a 42mm case, down from a whopping 49mm on the 2018 edition. It runs Google Wear OS and is powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage.
At 42mm it’s pretty compact compared to the megaliths weâve seen out of Switzerland in the past, such as the Tag Heuer Connected and Alpina X Alive. There will be two versions, one with a titanium case and the other in ceramic.
The Big Bang Referee 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia was the last outing from Hublot, and there were rumors that its successor would focus on Euro 2020. But the Big Bang E is gimmick free, and undeniably classy.
But it will cost you. The titanium edition is going for $5,200 and you’ll need $5,800 for the ceramic.
This one’s been confirmed officially, and we have a picture, but nothing else.
The TicWatch Pro 3 was unveiled by Qualcomm as it showed off its forthcoming Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip â and it will be the first to run the new processor.
Details are scarce on what that would mean, but Qualcomm boasts that its new chip is 85% faster with 25% better battery life, so we should see a few days from the TicWatch Pro 3.
And better battery life offers more use cases, so we’d love to see Mobvoi push the potential of better sleep racking and perhaps low power modes.
Watch this space.
Huawei Mate Watch (rumored)
Huawei already has its line of Watch GT smartwatches (pictured above), but recent speculation has suggested it might be adding another connected watch to its collection.
It’s being dubbed the Huawei Mate Watch and could be tied in with the company’s Mate line of smartphones. That could suggest something more high end that could end up mirroring Samsung’s strategy with the sportier Watch GT being the Galaxy Watch Active equivalent and the new Mate Watch a rival for the more traditional Galaxy Watch.
Nothing in the way of specs has leaked about this potential new smartwatch, though it could end up being the first smartwatch to run on Huawei’s own HarmonyOS. When the new operating system was first announced, Huawei revealed the platform would be built for numerous devices including smartwatches.
A launch has been rumored for October. If the Huawei Mate Watch does happen, we think it should target Samsung, not Apple.
Apple Watch Series 6 (rumored)
(Image: Apple Watch Series 5 | Apple)
The Apple Watch has been updated annually every year since it was released in 2015, so we’re fully expecting the Apple Watch Series 6 to be announced in September 2020.
And the rumors are starting to land thick and fast.
Native sleep tracking already arrived thanks to watchOS 7 unveiled at WWDC, but we could see native tracking of blood oxygen.
Elsewhere, rumors persist that the new Series 6 could track panic attacks in the same way it warns about high heart rate, and that Touch ID could be introduced to the crown or screen. However, those could be Series 7 features.
One surprise twist could be a Kids Mode, that would let you pair and control more than one Apple Watch â and have it locked down for kids to use. This could also mean a tweaked activity tracking goal, possibly blending activity and calories burned, which would be easier for kids to understand.
Finally, patents for a new Apple Watch construction of ceramic and plastic have fuelled speculation that an Apple Watch Kids Edition could be on the way.
You can read our full Apple Watch Series 6 rumors guide â and don’t forget to check out our Apple Watch patents story, which covers a few of the current rumors and gives you a good idea of where Apple is heading.