Paying for something with your watch is incredibly convenient and, dare I say, kind of cool. However, there's not one main payment provider. So while Google Wallet is available on any Android phone with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, not all of the best smartwatches have the chip. That could be because the makers are pushing their own payment platform or using their own tailor-made bespoke OS (without Google Wallet support), or maybe because the wearables don't support contactless payments.
If having a smartwatch with Google Wallet is a priority, we've got your back. We've compiled a list of the best smartwatches that currently support Google Wallet, going far beyond Google's own Pixel Watch. Prices start at $200, so hopefully, there's something for everyone.
Source: GoogleStaff pick$280 $350 Save $70
Double-press the crown, pick the card you want on-screen and hold the Pixel Watch near the terminal until you hear the chime. Done. The stylish-looking Pixel Watch has a brilliant integration with Google's other services and Fitbit's health tracking. However, it is rather expensive, and you'll have to charge the battery every day. Although it's not great to run out of juice when you need Google Wallet, the watch remains a magnificant showcase of what Wear OS can do.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 ProPremium pick$400 $450 Save $50
Now that Samsung smartwatches have adopted Wear OS, you can make payments with Google Wallet or Samsung Pay. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro justifies its higher price tag over the regular version due to its rugged 1.36-inch titanium case with a 590mAh battery. It also offers a few nice extras, such as GPS mapping for various exercises. While some will love the bold and bright 1.3-inch screen, the 46.5g weight might be heavy on smaller wrists.
Mobvoi TicWatch E3Best value$130 $200 Save $70
The original TicWatches were a Kickstarter success story, and Mobvoi has stuck with Wear OS on a budget. Despite the lower cost, the TicWatch E3 still includes NFC, so Google Wallet is ready to go. You also get the snappy Qualcomm Wear 4100 chipset and a whole gigabyte of RAM to play with. Mobvoi has largely kept the price low through its LCD screen, with weaker contrast than its OLED-toting rivals. This watch is also a chunky beast at 12.6mm thick.
Source: SamsungGreat Samsung watch for Google Wallet
Samsung didn’t just slip Google Wallet into its more premium Pro model. You’ll also find it in the 40- and 44mm Galaxy Watch 5 wearables. The upgrade to scratch-resistant sapphire glass is welcome, as are the larger batteries. Samsung retained the refined Galaxy Watch experience, and it shows when you strap this on; however, it’s disappointing that the company did away with the “Classic” model and its physical rotating bezel for navigating the interface. This haptic alternative doesn’t work half as well.
Fitbit Sense 2
Although Fitbit Pay is no more, Google Wallet is still creating watches, including the Sense 2. The embedded sensors keep tabs on temperature, stress, and blood oxygen levels. Ideal for casual fitness seekers who want some health-focused guidance from a fairly deep app, it tracks activity, offers breathing exercises, and has week-long battery life. But bafflingly, Fitbit has stripped features like music playback, Wi-Fi, and the app gallery. Still, there's Google Wallet and Google Maps.
Fitbit Versa 4
The Fitbit Versa 4 is slightly below the Sense 2 because it contains all of the same problems (a limited OS and fewer features than the Versa 3) and fewer perks due to being a stripped-back product. For instance, there's no temperature, EDA, or ECG sensor on the Versa 4. There's still a lot to like, though, such as the sleek design and week-long battery life. Plus, it's $70 cheaper. Just be prepared for a smart-ish watch.
TicWatch 3 Pro Ultra
Pay extra for Mobvoi's more advanced smartwatch, and you'll get quite a lot more, including a chunky 41g and 12.3mm thick watch, a slightly faster chipset (the Wear 4100+), a higher-resolution OLED screen, MIL-STD-810G durability, and a massive 577mAh battery. This will easily last over 24 hours, but if you need to eke out a bit more, the watch has a unique dual-layer display that can switch to a super-low-power mode.
Skagen Falster Gen 6
This is the kind of smartwatch you wear for looks more than productivity, but at least Skagen sticks to an update cycle. The Falster Gen 6 got new life when it received the Wear OS 3 update, making Google Wallet ready to pay whenever you are. Battery-wise, although it doesn't take long to charge, the battery life forces you to charge it on a daily basis.
$193 $319 Save $126
Luxury brand Fossil has had reasonable success with its smartwatches, and the Fossil Gen 6 is another solid entry in the series. It has NFC, so Google Wallet is supported, and the bottom button opens Wallet by default for quick payments. It's undoubtedly sturdy and well-built, and the presence of three buttons is welcome for those who find touchscreens a bit fiddly. Though, it can be a tough sell with occasional performance stutters and less-than-stellar battery life.
Hooray for Google Wallet
After a dicey few years when Wear OS devices were few and far between, smartwatches with Google Wallet are finally coming back into fashion. For that, we can thank Google itself (both with the Pixel Watch and the purchase of Fitbit) and Samsung for giving up Tizen in favor of Wear OS.
The number of devices worth recommending is getting longer, albeit slowly, and the Google Pixel Watch is my best overall pick for the simple fact that it was built to integrate Google's own apps and services. The feature-packed, premium Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a lovely pick if money is no object, while those on a budget won't be disappointed by the affordable and cheerful $200 TicWatch E3. Hopefully, we'll see more Google Wallet-supporting smartwatches in the years ahead, but if you're buying today, there are plenty of solid options to choose from.