The Apple Watch 9 was briefly banned from the United States in December, and has since lost its blood oxygen tracking feature in the aftermath of a patent violation lawsuit by Massimo. Boasting new hands-free functionality, a faster chip and new health and fitness features, there is still plenty to love about the Apple Watch 9 even without the blood oxygen tracking. 

There's a major catch to the Apple Watch though -- it only works with the Apple iPhone. You can connect it to an Android phone, but its functionality will be limited.

If you're an Android owner, you're going to want an Apple Watch alternative that pairs and syncs with your phone without issue. And even if you're an iPhone owner, you might want to consider an Apple Watch alternative with a lower price, or a smartwatch that still has a working pulse oximeter.

To help you find the best match, we've been rounding up our favorite smartwatches that aren't the Apple Watch 9 -- alternatives that still have similar features and functionality.

The best Apple Watch alternatives

From a lower-cost Apple Watch to a feature-rich Garmin for athletes, keep reading for our favorite smartwatches that make great Apple Watch alternatives. 

Closest match to the Apple Watch 9: Apple Watch SE (second generation)


Originally designed without a pulse oximeter, the Apple Watch SE remains unchanged after the International Trade Commission's ruling. So if you want the same quality and seamless iPhone pairing as other models, this affordable version is a great pick. 

After all, if you're going to buy an Apple Watch without blood oxygen tracking, why pay Series 9 or Ultra 2 prices? 

True, the Apple Watch SE has a few other missing features compared to its pricier counterparts -- namely temperature sensing and the ability to take an ECG. But at a price $150 lower than the Apple Watch 9, it's a great value if you don't think you'll miss those features.

This version of the Apple Watch still boasts an accurate heart rate tracker, 18-hour battery life and important safety features like emergency SOS and fall detection. 

If you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch SE is definitely one of the best budget alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2. The design, user interface and many of the features are the same. 

The 40 mm size normally retails for $250, but we found the watch available at Amazon and Walmart for $199.

$199 at Amazon $199 at Walmart

The larger 44 mm size Apple Watch SE is available at Amazon for $229 (reduced from $279).

$229 at Amazon

Best Apple Watch alternative with a pulse oximeter: Google Pixel Watch 2


The Pixel Watch 2 is the latest model of Google's smartwatch and one of the best Apple Watch alternatives if you're set on getting a smartwatch with blood oxygen tracking

Borrowing tech from the now Google-owned Fitbit, the Pixel Watch has a pulse oximeter sensor. While you can't check blood oxygen levels on demand as you used to be able to with the Apple Watch, the Pixel Watch 2 monitors blood oxygen overnight and gives you a daily measure of your average levels.

It also added a skin temperature sensor and a continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor. A feature not even the Apple Watch has, the cEDA sensor continuously measures changes in the electrical currents on the surface of your skin to help track your stress levels.

Those new sensors give the Pixel Watch 2 the ability to offer new health insights like a sleep score and daily readiness score. One of the most impressive additions is "Body Response," a measure of stress and excitement that can send you a notification when it detects heightened stress and take you through guided breathing or mindfulness exercises to help you find your calm.

Beyond stress management, the new Pixel Watch 2 packs tons of new fitness tools. You can now do heart rate zone training with real-time feedback and coaching during your workout when you go above or below your target zone. You can also do pace training, with similar real-time alerts when you go above or below your target pace.

Get the stylish smartwatch at Amazon for $350.

$350 at Amazon

Best Apple Watch Ultra 2 alternative: Garmin Instinct 2 Solar


With Apple's most advanced smartwatch, the Apple Watch Ultra 2, also losing its pulse oximeter feature, adventurers will need an alternative that offers similar durability, safety features and activity tracking support. We think the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar fits the bill.

One of the best smartwatches you can take on the trail, the Garmin Instinct 2 solar boasts durability that can withstand life's adventures, including shock resistance and water resistance up to 100 meters.

The GPS watch from Garmin connects to three global navigation satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, so you'll be able to track your routes no matter how far off the beaten track you are. It also features TracBack routing so if you get turned around, just let your watch guide you back to your starting point. The track back feature is ideal for hikers, climbers, runners and adventurers.

The battery life is a plus as well -- unlimited in smartwatch mode (thanks to solar charging) and up to 48 hours in GPS mode.

You can train with pre-loaded activity profiles, while monitoring heart rate, activity and stress.

It also comes with advanced safety features like incident detection, which automatically detects an emergency during outdoor activities and sends a message to your emergency contacts with a LiveTrack link showing your real-time location.

The rugged outdoor smartwatch costs $378 on Amazon (reduced from $400), where it's rated 4.6 stars.

$378 at Amazon

Best fitness-focused alternative to the Apple Watch 9: Coros Pace 3


Built as a smartwatch for runners, but packed with features any fitness enthusiast would appreciate, the latest generation of the Coros Pace has some of the most advanced health and fitness features on the market. And you don't need to pay for a monthly subscription to use them. 

The Coros Pace 3 comes with free training plans and workouts, plus access to an advanced training hub on your desktop or phone that analyzes your past workouts and health data to give you detailed insights into your progress.

It's the only smartwatch on this list with a built-in rep counter to track your lifts, squats or other strength-training exercises that you usually have to count off in your head. 

It also packs tons of advanced running metrics, but its standout feature for runners is probably its navigation system. Not only can you map your run and get back-to-start navigation when you're ready to head home, but you'll also get deviation alerts when you stray from the route you're following.

The Coros Pace 3 is light on non-fitness features like calling and digital payments. But the free training features and advanced health metrics, including a recovery score, training load, fatigue, marathon readiness score and so much more, make this such a great addition to your health and fitness journey. 

You can get this 4.5-star-rated smartwatch for just $229 on Amazon.

$229 at Amazon

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