Smartwatches have been a revolutionary invention. Probably because they appeal to the crowd to be more cautious and alert toward their health and fitness. People are ditching expensive watches and timepieces to wear one of these fantastic gadgets on their wrists.
Smartwatches can measure several vital stats of the human body and blood oxygen (SpO2) is one of them. It is especially important during your sleep and when you are at a higher altitude. It can also help you diagnose conditions like sleep apnea.
With the black clouds of Covid 19 hovering over us for almost a couple of years now, it is more important to keep track of our oxygen levels than ever. So, we present you with the top 5 smartwatches in the market with blood oxygen monitoring.
What makes a smartwatch the best smartwatch?
The answer is rather subjective, but most people generally define the best smartwatch as the one which has all of the most important features at a price they can think of.
Here are some of the key factors that have been used to identify the best smartwatches:
- Quality of sensors: The sensors of a smartwatch determine how well they can measure your health parameters.
- OS compatibility: This is one of the most important factors since practically all watches run on Android Wear. If you are an iOS user, make sure your watch of choice has Watch OS compatibility.
- The number of features available: There are only a handful of watches out there that can measure blood oxygen levels and even fewer which can do more than the basics.
- Price: A good smartwatch should be affordable but not cheap. You want something that is worth your money.
- Design: The design should be sleek and comfortable to wear. It shouldn’t compromise your comfort to look like a gadget.
- Robustness: The unibody construction and the overall feel should demonstrate durability and build quality. There is no point in investing your money in a watch that will break after a couple of falls.
- Battery life: If you are buying a smartwatch, make sure it has a battery life that can last more than one day. And if possible, the watch should be able to charge wirelessly – who wants wires on their wrists?
- Storage: A good smartwatch should have enough storage to take all your music and files with you.
Apple Watch Series 7 – The Best Apple (and probably overall) Watch out there!
Probably the leader of the Smartwatch industry with all OS combined, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch in the market right now. The quality and the accuracy of the sensors especially, the SpO2 measurement, in this particular gadget separates it from the rest of the bunch.
What makes Apple Watch Series 7 the best smartwatch for blood oxygen monitoring?
The accuracy of the sensors in the Apple Watch is what makes it our top pick. It has a very good SpO2 sensor and can measure all your other vitals too with ease. It can also track your workouts and activities – something that you will find in most smartwatches.
What are the downsides of the Apple Watch Series 7?
Apple Watch has a really short battery life and it takes a longer time to charge. The high price is also a big deterrent, but if you can spend the bucks, there is no better watch on the market right now.
Features of Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple watch series 7 Comes with a Larger display and thinner bezels which means 70 percent more brightness with always-on mode
- Apple Watch Series 7 comes with powerful features like Blood Oxygen (SpO2) and ECG loaded.
- Built with crack-resistant front crystal along with IP6X dust-resistance certification.
- WR50 water-resistant certification makes it swim-proof in the waves or pool.
- Sleep tracking features, a mindfulness app, and emergency SOS features make it one of the most sought-out smartwatches.
- Tracks almost all sports and exercises along with Taichi and Pilates workouts.
- Provides high and low heart rates along with the detection of irregular heart rhythms.
- You can stream and tune in to music and podcast on the go and leave your phone at your home.
- You can still be connected to your family and friends via texts and calls using the Apple Watch Series 7.
Apple Watch Series 7 Specifications:
Sizes available – 41mm and 45mm
Battery Life – 18 Hours
Compatible OS – iOS
Mobile Payment – Apple Pay
Apple Watch Series 7 Pros
- Larger and brighter display
- QWERTY keyboard available
- Type-C magnetic charger
- Quality of Apple brand
Apple Watch Series 7 Cons
- Battery life is low
- Expensive compared to other brands
- Limitations of Apple OS
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 (Best Android Smartwatch)
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is another premium smartwatch. It is engineered to be your best friend in your journey toward a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to hardware and sensors, it is a close competitor of the Apple Watch Series 7 and the best smartwatch available for Android. It runs on Wear OS from Samsung itself.
What makes SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 the best android smartwatch for blood oxygen monitoring?
Samsung watches are known for their accuracy and reliability. The Galaxy Watch 4 has the best SpO2 sensor which has made it one of the top choices for people who want to get an instant reading on their android smartphone.
What are the downsides of the SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4?
Being an Android watch, it doesn’t offer the same integration with iOS platforms. It also doesn’t have the variety of applications that you will find on an Apple watch or even on some other Samsung smartwatches.
Features of SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4
- Minimalistic design with a streamlined armor aluminum that gives the watch a gorgeous look and sturdy functionality
- The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 boasts a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Sensor that measures Body Composition like SpO2 quite accurately.
- There is a high-quality optical heart rate sensor ( Similar to ECG) present which facilitates monitoring of your heart health
- Specific health monitoring features like Advanced Sleep Analysis are present. Special attention and thus features for assessing Women’s health
- With Wear OS, you get enriched app availability and connectivity, credit to Samsung
- Detects and tracks almost all activities and fitness modes. It keeps an accurate count of your steps, and calories and keeps you on the grid.
- You also get a fun live message board so that you can have a collective stride toward a healthy life
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 Specifications
Sizes Available: 40 mm, 42 mm, 44 mm, 46 mm
Battery Life – 40 hours (Rated)
LTE option : Optional
Mobile Payment: Samsung Pay
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 Pros
- Minimalistic and slim design with creative watch faces
- 3-in-1 health sensor with body composition analysis
- Wear OS is all improved and updated
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 Cons
- Battery life may be inconsistent
- Pricier to some users
- Some features work with only Samsung Galaxy phones
Fitbit Versa 3 (the best budget smartwatch with blood oxygen monitoring)
If you’re looking for a smartwatch with all the advanced features like blood oxygen monitoring and it still doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet, Versa 3 from Fitbit might be for you. When I say budget, I mean lower in price than the rest but the features are in the same league as that of the premium ones like Samsung and Garmin.
What makes Fitbit Versa 3 the best budget smartwatch for blood oxygen monitoring?
The Fitbit Versa 3 is an excellent choice for health enthusiasts looking for a smartwatch that gives you the latest in wearable technology without burning a hole in your pocket. Its well-embedded sensors and wrist-based heart rate give you all the information about your environmental stats and fitness level.
What are some downsides of Fitbit Versa 3?
The Fitbit Versa 3 is not the best option for you if you’re looking for deeper connectivity with iOS devices. Its compatibility is mostly limited to Android and Windows phones only.
Fitbit Versa 3 Features
- Fitbit Versa 3 allows you to do all the outdoor activities without your phone. You can track your pace and distance in real-time with built-in GPS
- Advanced features like Active Zone Minutes use your resting heart rate to monitor your exercise effort and give you a buzz when you exceed your intensity
- The watch can function up to an altitude of 28000 ft and the temperature range for operation is -4 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- With PurePulse 2.0, Fitbit’s advanced heart rate technology Versa 3 tracks your heart-rate 24 x 7.
- There are a collection of SpO2 clock faces that monitors your blood oxygen level every night
- Works with smart assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can ask for quick updates or set reminders along with controlling your smart home devices using your Fitbit Versa 3
- There is a built-in mic and speaker present that allows you to take Bluetooth calls hands-free
- You can store and play music and songs on Deezer or Pandora. You can also control your Spotify from your Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3 Specifications
Size – Single Size
Battery life – 6 days (Rated)
LTE – Not Available
Fitbit Versa 3 Pros
- GPS onboard
- 5 ATM Water Resistant
- 6 days battery life
- Smart Assistant support
- On-Screen workouts
Fitbit Versa 3 Cons
- App selection is not up to the mark
- Old versa bands are not compatible
Garmin Forerunner 245 (The Underdog that performs exceptionally well )
Garmin is obviously the underdog that gives you great value for money. Probably the lack of a marketing scheme or product placement might be the reason for them being almost obscure unless you are a tech or fitness freak. Out of their different range of smartwatches, Garmin Forerunner 245 stands out and you should definitely check it out!
What makes Garmin Forerunner 245 the best underdog smartwatch for blood oxygen monitoring?
Garmin Forerunner 245 is an understated presence on your wrist with stunning features that make it a unique addition to the smartwatch market. The watch supports up to 7 workout types including swimming, biking, and running along with advanced metrics like calories burned, distance, average pace, and more. Forerunner 245 has a biometric sensor that helps you track your stress levels and fatigue, making it one of the best smartwatches for blood oxygen monitoring.
What are some downsides of the Garmin Forerunner 245?
The Forerunner 245 does not feature many of the more sophisticated features, such as a GPS connection and a touchscreen display. There aren’t many iOS-based applications on the market.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Features
- Garmin Forerunner 245 can be your perfect companion regardless of your physical activity. It comes with a wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor that monitors your blood oxygen level all the time
- It also monitors how your body is absorbing oxygen. Further, it comes with a built-in GPS and heart rate sensor which are accurate to a great degree
- With features like sleep tracking and an exclusive Body Battery feature, it can keep a record of your energy levels throughout the day
- The watch comes with 5 ATM water resistance and offers a battery life of approximately 7 days.
- Provides status about advanced running dynamics like ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio, and much more
- You can also get adaptive custom training plans from Garmin coach and work on your fitness with utter focus
- With an extra cost, you can get the music version of the watch
- But for the most, Garmin Forerunner 245 is something they should buy if they are into fitness strictly
Garmin Forerunner 245 Specifications
Sizes – One size only
LTE OPTION – NONE
Battery life – 7 days ( Rated)
Garmin Forerunner 245 Pros
- Pulse Ox sensor and body battery feature
- A week of battery life
- Menstrual tracking and heart rate monitoring
- 5 ATM water resistance
Garmin Forerunner 245 Cons
- The music version is expensive
- Mobile payment features are missing
- Absence of altimeter
Garmin Venu 2 (Best Battery Life in a Smartwatch)
Garmin doesn’t manufacture mediocre smartwatches Period! Garmin Venu 2 is another power performer when it comes to smartwatches. The users have liked it for all the good reasons and battery life is on top of them.
What makes Garmin Venu 2 the smartwatch with the best battery life for blood oxygen monitoring?
Garmin Venu 2 comes with a battery life of approximately 11 days, allowing users to engage in physical activities without having to worry about the smartwatch dying out on them. With Garmin Venu 2, you can monitor your blood oxygen levels and have an active lifestyle without having to worry about the battery running low.
What are the downsides of Garmin Venu 2?
The smartwatch does not have a GPS, making it difficult to keep track of how far you’ve gone. Aside from that, the smartwatch has no major disadvantages.
Garmin Venu 2 Features
- You get the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor like that on Forerunner 245. It will track the SpO2 throughout the day along with monitoring oxygen absorption when you are asleep.
- It has heart rate monitoring, sleep and stress monitoring, fitness age, sleep score, and onboard music storage
- It has a tremendous battery life of around 11 days and also boasts a payment system called Garmin pay
- You get a body battery energy monitoring feature that tracks your energy level during the day
- Women can track their menstrual cycle and pregnancy period. All the details are logged on your wrist
- The hydration tracking feature will remind you to intake fluid. You can also set goals for hydration
- Features like mindful breathing, and breathing tracking makes it eye candy for the fitness buffs
Garmin Venu 2 Specifications
Sizes – 40mm and 45mm
LTE – None
Payment – Garmin Pay
Battery Life – 11 days
Garmin Venu 2 Pros
- A great range of health tracking
- Garmin pay and music storage
- 5 ATM water resistance
- Long battery life
- Sleep score and fitness age
Garmin Venu 2 Cons
- Fewer color choices for 45mm dial
How accurate are Smartwatches with Oxygen Sensors?
Blood Oxygen level or SpO2 (Saturation Percentage of Oxygen) in the blood refers to the level of oxygen in the blood. A normal healthy human SpO2 level is over 95 percent. The higher the blood oxygen level, the better the health and metabolism of the body.
The Blood Oxygen Sensor (SpO2) measures the saturation of blood in the arteries. Specifically, SpO2 means the percentage of Haemoglobin combined with oxygen in the blood.
While it is helpful to have a SpO2 sensor on your smartwatch, the accuracy of the measurement is a debated topic. It will track your health which is a good thing but you won’t be able to make any solid medical decisions based on the SpO2 reading from the smartwatch oxygen sensor.
With the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, regular monitoring of SpO2 in the blood is essential. But the monitoring offered by smartwatches has not been recognized for medical diagnosis by regulating bodies like NMPA and FDA.
Some of the premium smartwatch manufacturers like Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, and Samsung have poured lots of money and manpower into improving the sensors for SpO2. This has further resulted in the release of upgraded and sophisticated smartwatches every month.
But still, the accuracy of a smartwatch has a long road to walk before it gets recognized for medical actions. Nevertheless, these sensors are accurate approximately 80 percent of the time and it is always a boon to have a consistent monitor on your wrist.
Which Smartwatch has the best SpO2 sensor?
There are numbers of premium and high-quality smartwatches out there that claim to have the best SpO2 Sensor. But when you search the web for the same, a couple of them can be seen in almost every listicle. The Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 are the two most popular smartwatches that have accurate SpO2 sensors.
It is believable, given the fact that both are tech giants and they can invest in the research and development of cutting-edge sensors for their respective smartwatches.
How does a smartwatch measure Oxygen levels?
There are two distinct methods to measure blood oxygen levels.
Transmissive Pulse Oximetry is used by the conventional medical pulse oximeter.
Reflectance Pulse Oximetry is used by Smartwatches and fitness bands.
In Transmissive Pulse Oximetry, Peripheral body parts like fingertips, toes in babies, and ear lobes are used where light (infrared and red) is measured which has been absorbed and can pass through the finger.
In Reflectance Pulse Oximetry used by Smartwatches, measures the light that is reflected rather than the light that has passed through the body part. With this procedure, you can measure the Oxygen Level percentage from body parts like the wrist and chest.
In the Reflectance method, Infrared and Red light is projected to the surface of the body. This light bounces back (gets reflected) off the tissue under the skin (subcutaneous tissue) or the bone to the sensor on the watch. The difference between light given out and light received is used to measure the SpO2 level.
Does Fitbit have Oximeter?
Yes, the majority of Fitbit’s smartwatches include an Oximeter sensor. The following are some of the most popular Fitbit models with an Oximeter:
Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Sense Series
Fitbit Versa Series
Does the apple watch monitor oxygen levels?
Yes, Apple Watch not only monitors oxygen levels but also they are one of the best smartwatches when it comes to the accuracy of that measurement. The Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 have pulse oximeter sensors in them that non-invasively can monitor the blood oxygen level in your body.
Does the Samsung watch have an oxygen sensor?
Samsung uses unique Bioactive sensors to monitor the blood oxygen levels in the body. The sensors emit a weak electrical current of 0.5 volts and measure the skin’s resistance to this current which decides the blood oxygen levels.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, 3, and 4, of them, have oxygen sensors in them.
Which smartwatch has ECG and SPO2?
These days, even budget-oriented smartwatches boast a SpO2 sensor. But only the premium, top-tier smartwatches have heart rate monitors or ECG sensors in them. Some of the brands with ECG and SPO2 are:
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- Fitbit Versa
- Garmin Venu
- Fitbit Sense
Have you found the smartwatch you were searching for? Let me know if you found one, and which one you selected.
If not, you may compare other smartwatches to those listed above. I recommend beginning with a low-cost smartwatch and seeing how it goes. You can always upgrade it later if you get the hang of it with a more expensive and durable one.