Thehits shelves next week, boasting new hands-free functionality, a faster chip and even more health and fitness features. But if you don't have an iPhone, you won't be able to get the full experience out of any Apple Watch. And even if you do, you might not be ready to drop $400 on a watch.
Whatever the case is, we've rounded up our favorite alternatives to the Apple Watch 9 that come with a lower price tag, but still have similar features and functionality. So if you're still on the fence about whether to preorder the Apple Watch 9, take a few minutes to consider your other smartwatch options.
Closest match to the Apple Watch 9: Apple Watch 8
The Apple Watch 8 is naturally the best substitute for the Apple Watch 9. The design, user interface, and even many of the features are the same. And right now, you can get the 4.7-star rated watch for just $310 on Amazon (reduced from $399).
The previous generation includes advanced health sensors and apps. You can take an ECG, measure heart rate and blood oxygen and track temperature changes for advanced insights into your menstrual cycle.
This version of the Apple Watch tracks vertical oscillation, stride length and ground contact time for even more detailed insights into your running performance. You can also create custom workouts with intervals to get alerted when its time to speed up, slow down, take a rest or begin your cool down session. The only major things its missing compared to the Apple Watch 9 are the new Double Tap gesture and the Siri Health functionality.
Top features of Apple Watch Series 8:
- You can take an ECG anytime.
- The Apple Fitness+ app (three months free) offers new ways to train and gives deeper metrics into your body's performance.
- Use Apple Wallet on the go so you can step out for a run without your phone.
- The Apple Watch 8 has advanced performance metrics tailored specifically to runners, including cadence, vertical oscillation, stride length and ground contact time.
- This watch includes many of the same features and functionality as the Apple Watch 9 but at a new, lower clearance price.
Best Android alternative to the Apple Watch 9: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Starting at $300 rather than $400, the latest Galaxy Watch 6 from Samsung is already cheaper than the Apple Watch 9, even at full price. Just released last month, the latest generation of the Galaxy Watch features a longer battery life and a bigger display.
You also get built-in GPS and advanced health sensors like heart rate, temperature and more. It's got great sleep tracking features and the ability to create custom workouts, too.
You get tons of everyday use features that are on par with the Apple Watch 9 like Samsung Wallet, so you can pay with your watch and leave your wallet at home. You can also answer calls and texts right from you watch. So if you want a daily-use smartwatch as versatile as Apple's, you'll find a lot of the features you're looking for in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Top features of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6:
- The convenient features like Samsung Wallet and the ability to answer calls and texts make this a great daily smartwatch.
- The built-in GPS lets you easily track your run (or ride).
- Track over 90 different kinds of activities.
- The advanced sleep tracking tools give you insights on your sleep stages, sleep quality, and even help you plan your bedtime.
Best fitness-focused alternative to the Apple Watch 9: Coros Pace 3
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 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 it for just $229 on Amazon.
Top features of the Coros Pace 3:
- Get free access to super advanced health and fitness features like Coros training hub, EvoLab and tons of free training plans and workouts.
- Get real-time personalized insights on whether you're over or under training, how much progress you're making toward your fitness goal, and how much longer you need to recover from your last workout.
- Create custom workouts on your phone and download them to your watch.
- The fitness test mode gives you a baseline measure of current fitness level to design a more personalized training plan.
Shop more top-rated smartwatches under $400 on Amazon:
- Best smartwatch under $100: Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Smart Watch, $70 (reduced from $100)
- A rugged GPS smartwatch with a few extra frills: Garmin Instinct, $170 (reduced from $250)
- A fitness-first smartwatch with Google Wallet and Alexa: Fitbit Versa 4, $199