The smartwatch industry has certainly come a long way since the release of the first really “smart” wrist wearable in 2014, the LG “G”.
At that time, the model definitely had a “wow” factor. With that said, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that in today’s fast-paced world, it’s already regarded as outdated.
Only a few years ago a wrist device that can track our heartbeat patterns was considered a genius invention. Nowadays, basically, all newly-released smartwatches have the function and the wearers expect many more perks that can help us keep track of our everyday well-being.
Apart from the ECG feature that can detect various heart conditions, another excellent and useful app is the Blood Oxygen monitor. The sensor is capable of precisely monitoring your blood’s oxygen saturation. In other words, it tells you what proportion of oxygen your red blood cells transport from your lungs to the rest of your body.
With each year, more brands include the feature in their newly-released models. In this article, we will help you pick the best smartwatch with a blood oxygen sensor by reviewing the leading 5 models available in 2022.
We will start with having a look at the 3 top products – all picked for different reasons. If none of these cater to your taste, further down the article additional two models await.
So, which smartwatch has an oxygen sensor and is worth your money?
Without further ado, let’s go.
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At a Glance: TOP 3
- Best for iPhone: Apple Watch 6
- Best for Android: Samsung Galaxy Active 4
- Budget Pick: Garmin Vivoactive 4S
Best Smartwatch With Oxygen Sensor (Top 3 Reviewed)
Apple Watch 6
We open up today’s list with arguably the most feature-rich model on the market and arguably the best smartwatch with a blood oxygen sensor.
Series 6 is the latest release by Apple and there are not many, if any, that can compete with what’s on offer with the model in terms of functions and technology.
None of the Apple Watch series is compatible with Android mobile phones as they support iPhones only. Please move to the next model if you’re an Android user.
Apple Watch 6 is the first of the series that offers highly accurate blood oxygen saturation measurements. But it’s far from the only feature you’re likely to use regularly – especially if you lead an active lifestyle and are looking for a watch to support it.
For a start, what’s worth noting is that the model is one of very few smartwatches on the market that offers an FDA-approved ECG application. Because of how reliable the app is, the smartwatch is the favorite pick amongst people with pre-existing heart conditions.
Another feature that is rather unique is the Fall Detector. When your watch detects a heavy fall, it allows you to call for an emergency with a simple tap. It’s extremely popular, especially amongst senior citizens.
We could go on about the list of useful apps for some time but the top ones that deserve a mention are:
- heart rate monitor – 24/7 monitoring of your heartbeat
- sleep quality tracker – helps you understand your sleeping/rest patterns
- calories counter – keeps track of your daily excursions
- pedometer – shows how far you’ve walked
- Apple Pay – allows for contactless payments
Last but not least, the model comes in two versions: the standard GPS version that needs to be connected to your smartphone and the Cellular version that allows you to use the watch as a standalone device. You can learn more about standalone smartwatches by clicking here.
Design & Durability
Apple Watch comes with a slew of extra customization choices in addition to the two listed above. To begin, you have the option of a 40mm or 44mm case size. Choose the smaller one if you’re a woman or a guy with a slim wrist. If you have a medium-to-large wrist, go for the larger option.
You have a plethora of band alternatives to choose from, depending on your preferences and requirements. The options are many, ranging from a silicone sports version to stainless steel to a beautiful leather strap.
The same is true for cases: all Apple models come in a variety of materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. Furthermore, if you work in a high-risk job like EMT, fireman, or construction worker, you may improve the durability of your Apple Watch even more by purchasing one of the near-unbreakable covers available for pennies on Amazon.
Since we’re on the subject of durability, this is a good moment to add that the Apple Watch 6 is made of high-quality glass to prevent cracks and scratches. Ion-X glass is used in the cheaper edition of the model with aluminum casing, whereas sapphire glass is used in the stainless steel and titanium variants. The model is water-resistant up to 50m which makes it okay to wear during a shower or even short swimming sessions.
Finally, to complete the Apple Watch’s appearance, it’s worth noting that the wristwatch comes with dozens of free watch faces, allowing you to customize the display to fit various situations. Apple has had the so-called Always-On-Display on its iPhones since Series 5, allowing you to check the time just like you would on a regular timepiece. There’s no need for any more strange wrist motions.
The watch is water-resistant up to 50m.
Whilst Apple Watch 6 deserves all the praise coming its way, it’s not perfect.
One area in which the brand could definitely improve is the battery life. In the normal mode, the watch can run for 18h-24h which means you have to charge it daily. On the bright side, plugging the device for 90 minutes is enough. That’s around 30% quicker charging time than the predecessor, Apple Watch 5.
Samsung Galaxy Active 4
If you’re an Android smartphone user, the newest Galaxy Active 4 is probably the best smartwatch with a SpO2 sensor.
Samsung Galaxy Active 4 is the first smartwatch from the series that works exclusively with Android smartphones. If you own an iPhone, skip this product.
Because of the number and quality of functions it offers, it’s probably the closest match for the Apple model discussed above.
Apart from being the best Samsung smartwatch with an oxygen sensor, it includes a number of health and fitness apps, including GPS for run tracking, an optical heart rate sensor, and the ECG app.
The biggest upgrade on the predecessor, Samsung Galaxy Active 3, is the new 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor, which allows the watch to measure heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and body composition. The only new feature in the list is the final one, but it’s the first time the sensors have been combined.
Samsung claims that its body composition measuring tools allow users to view important fitness parameters like skeletal muscle mass and body fat percentage. These scans are simple to do, but you must remain motionless for them to operate.
Other important apps that are present in the Apple Watch (HR monitor, sleep quality tracker, pedometer, calorie counter) are also available. The Samsung series also offers its own contactless payment solution – Samsung Pay.
Design & Durability
Unlike Apple, Samsung opts for the classic round case that definitely resembles a regular wristwatch.
Because it’s still a fresh release (launched in August 2021), there are not that many customization options yet. However, there should be more variations to pick from in the coming months. At this moment, the model is available in four colors: black, silver, green and pink gold. All use silicone bands and aluminum casing.
Naturally, the watch offers an endless list of free watch faces. It also allows for Always-On Display mode.
When it comes to the screen, the material used is Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ which is an improved, more scratch-resistant version of Corning Gorilla Glass DX used in previous models. On the durability scale, it’s somewhere between mineral glass and sapphire crystal.
Thanks to the 50m water resistance, the model is a safe option to wear during showering or swimming in shallow waters.
In terms of battery life, Samsung Galaxy Active 4 smartwatch is a noticeable improvement on the Apple Series. On average, you can expect it to run approximately 40 hours on a single charge which means it requires plugging in every second day.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
If you feel like the two smartwatches with SpO2 sensors discussed above are a bit too pricey, Garmin Vivoactive 4 is an excellent and slightly cheaper alternative. As things stand, it’s probably the best budget smartwatch with an oxygen sensor.
Granted, the model is not as advanced as the two covered above. However, it still offers a rich list of functions that can help you get better insights into your everyday performance.
Most importantly, it’s equipped with a really accurate Blood OX sensor. On top of the basic wellness apps such as heart rate monitor, pedometer, calories counter and sleep tracker, it offers a lot more. Those that certainly deserve a mention are:
- Body Battery – measures your body energy levels throughout the day so you know how to find your peak performance
- Stress Tracker – lets you know whether you’re having a calm, normal or stressful day
- Hydration Tracker – keeps track of your daily fluid intake based on how much you sweat
- Respiration Tracker – checks for your breathing patterns during the day, sleep or breathwork and yoga activities
- Animated Workouts – easy-to-follow, animated cardio, strength, yoga, and Pilates routines, and you can add more via the Garmin Connect app.
Furthermore, just like the previous two models above, Garmin Vivoactive 4 allows your contactless payments thanks to the Garmin Pay app.
Needless to say, the watch is equipped with GPS. Unlike the Apple and Samsung smartwatches, it works perfectly fine with both Android and iOS smartphones.
Design & Durability
There are 4 color variations to pick from and all the models come with silicone bands. The color options are dust rose, gray, black, and white. The bands are interchangeable so you can get extra ones to suit different styles and occasions. The same applies to watch faces: Garmin offers a lot of these that are free and look great in different settings.
The screen is made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is slightly weaker than the options offered by Apple and Samsung. On the durability scale, it’s probably equal to mineral crystal glass.
On the waterproofing front, the smartwatch can withstand depths of up to 50m which, as you have already learned, is a pretty standard result.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 is clearly a better choice if you don’t like charging your device daily. The model can last up to 8 days which is a considerable improvement on both Apple Watch 6 and Samsung Galaxy Active 4.
Best Smartwatch With O2 Sensor: Alternatives
If for some reason neither of the three watches with oxygen sensors seems tempting enough, below find two alternatives that will deliver further food for thought.
As things stand, Sense is the most advanced model from the American company and thus the most reliable Fitbit smartwatch with an oxygen sensor.
Because of the number of premium health-tracking applications and the nature of the brand, the product is considered more of a health device than a smartwatch. With that said, it still works perfectly well with both iOS and Android smartphones and offers all the essential perks such as notifications, alerts, etc.
Sense is one of a few Fitbit models offering accurate measurement of blood oxygen saturation levels through its SpO2 monitor. But it’s far from the only premium wellness application offered by the much-praised model.
Amongst others, it’s equipped with:
- ECG – next to Apple and Samsung, the only watch with the FDA approval
- Skin temperature checks
- EDA sensor – measures stress levels in your body
- Sleep quality tracking
- Contactless payments with Fitbit Pay
All the essential features such as GPS, pedometer, calorie counter, and heart rate monitor are also available. Crucially, the model works with both Android and iOS devices.
Design & Durability
There’s also no way to select between different case sizes. The diameter of the Fitbit Sense casing is 40,5mm. It is, nevertheless, suited for all wrist sizes.
When it comes to bands, there are two sizes to choose from – S and L. The tiny one, designed for individuals with small wrists, is 140-180mm in length. The big size may accommodate wrists up to 221mm in circumference. Unfortunately, other strap materials are not available, and the only one accessible is silicone.
However, the smartwatch offers a plethora of free watch faces with which you can customize the look.
Fitbit Senses has an AMOLED screen composed of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, just like the Garmin model above. No surprises on the waterproofing front as the model is water-resistant up to 50m.
Fitbit Sense battery should last for approximately 6 days although frequent exploitation of the more advanced apps might significantly shorten the lifespan.
Garmin Vivosmart 4
There are more Garmin watches with oxygen sensors and Vivosmart 4 is an excellent budget option. With that said, it’s more of a fitness tracker than an actual smartwatch.
Because of the bargain-basement pricing, the list of premium features is very small. However, all the essentials are on board; heart rate tracking, pedometer, and calorie counter, just to name a few.
Crucially, Vivosmart 4 offers blood oxygen saturation measurement. However, whilst all four smartwatches we covered above can take measurements 24/7, this product limits the feature to 4 hours per day. It’s recommended to use it during sleep.
Other useful apps that certainly need mentioning are:
- Body Battery Energy Monitor
- All-day Stress Tracker
- Relaxation Reminder
- Sleep Quality Tracker
- Hydration Timer
Unfortunately, the model doesn’t support Garmin Pay meaning that contactless payments are not allowed. GPS distance tracking is allowed when connected to the smartphone. Garmin Vivosmart 4 supports both Android and iOS models.
Design & Durability
As already mentioned, Vivosmart 4 is more of a fitness band than a smartwatch. Hence, the looks are in great contrast to the other models.
The model is available in two sizes: small/medium and large. The first fits wrists with a circumference of 122-188mm whilst the second is suitable for wrists with a circumference of 148-215mm. Color-wise, there are four options for the small/medium version: gray, black, purple, and blue. The large model is available exclusively in black.
The bezel is made from aluminum, the lens from polycarbonate, and the strap from silicone. Sounds a lot cheaper than what’s offered by the other smartwatches with oxygen sensors but you get what you pay for.
On a brighter note, the model is water-resistant up to 50m.
Similar to the previous Garmin smartwatch with an oxygen sensor, Vivoactive 4, the battery life of this model is also impressive. On average, it should easily last for at least a week (possibly more due to the smaller number of apps).
Best Smartwatch With Oxygen Sensor: Buying Guide
We have high hopes that today’s article has helped you pick the best watch with an O2 sensor. At the same time, we’re well aware that there’s no accounting for taste and just because we really like all 5 products on the list, it doesn’t mean you will as well.
Hence, below you will find a short and easy-to-grasp Buying Guide that will help you the best oxygen sensor smartwatch on your own.
Also, further down the article, we’ve collected the most frequently asked questions on the subject.
Best Smartwatch With Oxygen Sensor: Things to Look For
It’s all good that a smartwatch offers accurate blood saturation measurements but it’s not the only metric you should cross off the list before deciding to go ahead with the purchase. That’s if you want the watch to serve you well for years.
Even the most functional wearables won’t be of much use if the durability standards are not up to scratch.
a) Glass – because of the AMOLED or LED displays, these are usually more prone to damage than regular wristwatches that are equipped with more durable glass.
Hence, avoid acrylic or another form of the plastic lens at all costs! These are super fragile and replacing them can be a hassle. Instead, consider smartwatches that at the very least use Corning Gorilla Glass or mineral glass. The most secure option is sapphire crystal but it comes at a price.
b) Band – the sporty nature of smartwatches means they should be light, suitable for any environment, and easy to clean. In this case, silicone or rubber bands are the best options.
Of course, if a given brand offers interchangeable straps and you’d like to have a few for different occasions (ie. stainless steel or leather), go for it. However, bear in mind that wearing a leather band during sports activities will quickly wear it off and in time produce an unpleasant smell.
c) Water resistance – protection against water damage is so essential. Unfortunately, the vast majority of smartwatches on the market won’t allow for more adventurous activities such as diving. However, many of them (like all listed in the article) are absolutely safe to wear during heavy rain, showering, or even swimming. Target products offering at the very least IP68 rating (splashproof) or water-resistant up to 50m.
Even if the watch has the best blood oxygen sensors out there, you also have to feel great wearing it. Go for watches that won’t look out of place in any setting so you don’t have to chop and change depending on the occasion.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of metrics such as size and weight. The watch should look good on your wrist and make you forget you’re actually wearing it. If you’re a person with a slender wrist, don’t go for oversized cases. In contrast, go for bigger cases (45mm+) if your wrist is massive.
More often than not, if the watch is equipped with a fairly accurate SpO2 sensor, it also comes with a myriad of other useful apps.
However, the first thing you need to verify is whether it’s compatible with your smartwatch. For example, all Apple Watches work exclusively with iPhones. Up until Samsung Galaxy Active 4, the Galaxy series was working perfectly fine with both Android and iOS phones. However, the latest release is compatible with only Android. Most other brands work with both.
Other useful features that can help you keep track of your well-being include a 24/7 heart monitor, sleep quality tracker, pedometer, calories counter, or a list f pre-programmed workouts.
Best O2 Sensor Watch: FAQ
Below find some of the popular questions asked by folks mulling over the purchase of this type of smartwatch.
What’s the Best Smartwatch With Oximeter and Blood Pressure Monitor?
At the time of writing, the only smartwatch that offers both blood saturation and blood pressure measurements is Samsung Galaxy Active. The versions capable of performing the task are Galaxy Active 3 and Galaxy Active 4.
What’s the Best Smartwatch With Oxygen Sensor and ECG?
As things stand, there are quite a few smartwatches that can take SpO2 measurements. but only three can also take ECG readings. If you’re looking for a smartwatch with ECG and oxygen sensors, consider Apple Watch (4, 5 or 6), Samsung Galaxy Active (3 or 4), or Fitbit Sense.
Does Samsung Watch Have Oxygen Sensor?
Does Blood Measurement Drain Battery?
Like any other application, blood oxygen monitors add to the exploitation of the battery. However, if you measure the oxygen just a few times during the day or a few hours during sleep, it shouldn’t make much of a difference.
How Accurate Are Smartwatches With Oxygen Monitors?
Even if a sensor is worn in the correct location, its measurements might be influenced by a variety of circumstances. This is especially true for gadgets that aren’t your typical fingertip reader.
Because of these potential flaws, companies like Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin make a point of emphasizing that the measurements you obtain from their wearables are not meant to be used for medical diagnosis.
Without context, a short snapshot that informs you of your SpO2 levels right now isn’t very useful. Finally, if you’re concerned about your oxygen levels, you should see a doctor who can follow the data over time and evaluate the results.