5 Apple Watch Alternatives Worth Checking Out

Garmin Instinct smartwatch with red Apple accessories 2 Credit: Pepi Stojanovski
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In case you’ve been living under a rock, Apple has been embroiled in a legal battle that temporarily banned the company from selling two of its best-selling products: the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Although Apple won a temporary reprieve from the ban, it was short-lived, and Apple was ultimately forced to disable the blood oxygen sensor to continue selling those Apple Watch models in the US.

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However, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Apple is facing another patent infringement lawsuit over the Apple Watch heart rate sensors, which already nearly led to another Apple Watch ban a year ago; Apple avoided this on a technicality, but the whole thing is still under appeal, leaving the Apple Watch with an uncertain future, at least in the United States.

That doesn’t mean you need to sit and wait until all of this is over. Sure, Apple can sell the Apple Watch right now, albeit in a hampered form, but who knows what’s going to happen down the road.

As it turns out, there are a lot of solid alternatives on the market that you can buy right now. Granted, they might not be the same as wearing a premium Apple Watch, but they all offer a ton of amazing perks that will make you love them instantly.

If you’re looking for a new smartwatch, here are the best alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 right now.

Second-Generation Apple Watch SE

That’s right; Apple is still selling the budget-friendly Apple Watch SE. The reason is that this second-generation Apple Watch doesn’t feature the blood oxygen sensor that creates this whole dispute.

Besides the blood oxygen sensor, the Apple Watch SE also lacks a few other features you will only find on the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, like an always-on display and the Double Tap feature.

Still, this affordable Apple Watch has everything you need to keep track of your health. For instance, you can track your heart rate and your sleep, log your medications, and track all of your workouts.

Even if you’re missing a couple of features, you can rest assured that Apple will continue to sell and support this model, at least for the time being.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

If you’re looking for a complete smartwatch that has all the Apple Watch features you’re used to and then some, then the Garmin Venu 2 Plus is perfect for you.

With the Venu 2 Plus, not only will you be able to check your notifications and manage your workouts, but you also can use it to track your sleep, your stress, your pulse, and even your “body battery energy,” which will tell you how much energy your body has throughout the day.

And another thing that makes the Venu 2 Plus stand out is battery life. According to Garmin, this smartwatch can last up to 9 days with a single charge, which is far more than Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 owners could ever dream of.

Fitbit Sense 2

The Fitbit brand has been around for many years, and there’s a good reason for that. All of the Fitbit products are reliable and helpful, and they look good on your wrist.

The Fitbit Sense 2 is no exception. This elegant-looking smartwatch has many of the same features as the Apple Watch Series 9 and then some.

Since Fitbit is owned by Google, you’ll find the same features as the Google Pixel Watch — but with the iPhone compatibility that Google’s full-fledged smartwatch lacks. That means you’ll be able to track your heart rate, sleep, and workouts.

Plus, you’ll also be able to check your skin temperature and your levels of stress with its ElectroDermal Activity feature.

While you can’t use Siri with these smartwatches, you can still use Amazon Alexa as your voice assistant.

Fitbit Charge 6

If you’re looking for a smaller smartwatch that can still accurately track your heart rate and workouts, then the Fitbit Charge 6 is a great option.

Like the Apple Watch, you can easily track your heart, sleep, and even your Cardio Fitness Level. Additionally, the Charge 6 also does other things the current Apple Watch models can’t. For instance, you can track your skin temperature and your stress management.

Granted, when it comes to other features, the Charge 6 isn’t as good as an Apple Watch. You won’t find as many different apps, and customization isn’t the Charge 6’s priority.

With that said, you’ll still get notifications right on your wrist, and you can use it for up to seven days on a single charge.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar

If you’re looking for a great Apple Watch Ultra 2 alternative to take with you on your most extreme adventures, the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar is the way to go.

This smartwatch is strong and durable, and it has everything you need to keep yourself healthy. Besides monitoring and tracking your heart rate, workouts, and stress levels, the Garmin Instinct 2 Solar also features GPS tracking, so you’ll never get lost outdoors.

Not only that, but as you can guess by its name, this smartwatch supports solar charging, which means you can take it with you and not worry about charging it when you’re hiking or camping.

And the best part is that it’s only $300. That’s 50% cheaper than the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Can You Still Buy the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2?

If you really don’t want to buy an alternative and you want what Apple offers instead, we’ve got some good news for you. At the time of writing, you can still buy the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

While Apple can no longer offer the blood oxygen monitoring technology on Apple Watch devices sold in the US, the ban only applies to importing new units and those sold directly by Apple. That means you may still be able to find pre-ban models on sale at Amazon, Best Buy, and and other retailers, and the good news is that it’s easy to check if the Apple Watch you’re buying has the blood oxygen sensor enabled.

However, this might only be temporary. While Apple has managed to get around the blood oxygen patent, it still faces other looming bans for heart rate monitoring and other technologies that could force it to pull the Apple Watch from shelves in the US again, or at the very least disable even more of its most useful health technologies.

If this happens, not only will you not be able to buy an Apple Watch, but you probably won’t be able to get it repaired. Apple is already prohibited from repairing or replacing any Apple Watch with a blood oxygen sensor, although there’s an exception for those under warranty.

It’s definitely something to consider before buying your next smartwatch, but it’s also worth mentioning that this entire issue only affects Apple Watch models sold in the US. It’s business as usual for the Apple Watch in the rest of the world, and we haven’t seen any looming lawsuits that are likely to change that.

Get the Best Apple Watch Alternatives

As you can see, even if Apple couldn’t sell the Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2, you can still get a lot of amazing smartwatches that work with your Apple Watch.

You can get the Apple Watch SE 2 if you still want something from Apple. However, as you can see from the list, the other alternatives offer a ton of unique and exclusive features that Apple hasn’t even added to the current-generation Apple Watch. Moreover, you can also save money by grabbing one of these alternatives.

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