Virtual reality in retail is still on its way and until it fully matures for users to reap maximum benefits, you will have to rely on old-school tricks.
Buying a watch online would have been a lot much easier if you had a VR set to try it on your wrist and assess how it looks. For people with extraordinary large wrists (predominantly men), taking the decision would have been a lot much easier.
You wouldn’t have been reading this blog if you had the choice to wear the smartwatch virtually or physically.
But as it goes, you are stuck with us.
Let’s help you find the best smartwatch for your big wrist without wasting any more time.
Do You Have A Big Wrist?
Certainly if your wrist circumference is greater than 7-inch or roughly 18 cm. And if it is greater than 9-inch you will have a hard time finding the right strap. The standard strap would be uncomfortable, annoying and possibly dig your skin.
Skip the next section if you already know your wrist circumference or size.
How To Measure The Wrist Size?
Let’s not complicate the process. If you have got a flexible tape, wrap it around your hand where your watch strap would usually sit (just below the wrist bone), and note the measurement. If not, wrap a paper around your hand, mark the point where the end meets itself, and then straighten it to measure the reading using a scale.
The following criteria will help you classify your wrist size. For your convenience we have added the standard units along with the customary.
Thin Wrists: 5.5-6.2 inches (14-16cm)
Slender Wrists: 6.2-6.7 inches (16-17cm)
Medium Wrists: 6.7-7 inches (17cm-18cm)
Big or Thick Wrists: 7-9 inches (18cm)
Huge Wrist: 9-11 inches
Choosing The Right Smartwatch If You Have A Big Wrist
Case size and strap size are two most important factors, and among these two, choosing the right case size should be your top priority. The straps are usually replaceable and even if the standard silicone strap doesn’t fit, there are a myriad of third-party alternatives.
What is the case? It is the metal or plastic shell in which rests all the hardware of the watch.
In smartwatches, the case can be circular or square usually with the edges curved. A mismatch of case size might end up embarrassing you and it’s perfectly fine to be conscious of it.
Pro tip:To be absolutely sure about it, you can scale the watch face to its original size on a word (DOC) file, and then get the print out. Cut the unnecessary part out and wrap the remaining around your wrist. Bingo! You can see it for yourself how the actual watch will look on your big wrist.
The above photo would give you a better idea. The shell should sit tightly at the middle, and for big wrists, it should cover a significant portion of it without pouring outside it.
For big wrists usually anything greater than 40mm would make a good choice. For really large wrist sizes (9, 10, 11-inch wrist) or plus, watches less than 46mm would be unnoticable.
The first and foremost condition for smartwatch straps is the freedom to replace it with third-party straps. The width, length, and material come later.
As a rule of thumb, the strap width should be half the size of the case. Given the case size of plus wrists, the ideal strap width would lie between 22-23mm.
The length of the strap is equally important and surprisingly the most overlooked feature. A small strap size discomforts the most. For a large wrist, always go for the largest strap available.
The band material, usually silicone, is comfortable for most people. However, if you are allergic or end up rashes on your skin, shell out extra dollars for a premium leather band.
These factors have nothing to do with a big wrist and are applicable to any smartwatch purchasing decision. For your ease, we won’t dig deeper. Rather we will touch upon the most important features or specifications.
The smartwatch should have a one day battery life (The bare minimum to expect from a smartwatch.)
It should be scratch, dust and water resistant (IP68 or ATM 5 rated)
Of all the fitness tracking features, accurate Heart rate tracking is a must even in the cheap ones.
The display should be vivid, crisp and sharp (High resolution, cutting-edge display technology)
Get a GPS in the smartwatch if you are into running or active sports.
A mic, Speaker (plus, of course a virtual assistant), cellular connectivity are must-have if you intend to use it as a standalone device.
Double check whether the watch offers seamless connectivity with your smartphone.
A powerful processor, large storage and memory should be expected if you are spending more than $150 on the watch.
The Watch OS must support all the popular wearable apps. Apple and Wear OS watches won’t have the problem.
Don’t fall for cheap prices and tall claims, and beware of marketing deception. Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin, Fossil are trusted and reliable brands.
Big Smartwatches For Big Wrists:
As the topic of the watch emphasizes the design or fashion perspective of the watch (How does it look on the wrist?), we have limited our review to this sphere only.
For instance, you might find us explaining at length about the case and strap size, but we won’t waste time elucidating the fitness features no matter if the watch is the best of its kind.
The features we mentioned above only scratch the surface. Apple Watch Series 6 is the most latest watch by the tech Giant, and you can only imagine the level of sophistication of the watch.
For iPhone users, who happen to have a thick wrist, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers perfect compatibility. You can get 44mm versions in Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5, and if your budget doesn’t allow you to buy these latest models, better skip Apple watches.
Series 6 has a Retina OLED screen with a brightness level(1000 nits) 2.5 times greater than Series 5. Apple has a reputation of inspiring many popular and unpopular brands, so speaking purely of its design, no other watch is up to par with its class.
Fortunately, Apple allows for interchangeable straps options in all their watches. So if you have an extraordinary wrist size, better keep looking for third-party straps as the standard strap only accommodates up to an 8.5-inch wrist.
Samsung Galaxy Active 2 has a stunning design. It is extremely lightweight thanks to its aluminum casing. The noteworthy feature is its touch rotating bezel.
The bands are interchangeable and highly comfortable. The 44mm version is suitable for extra-large wrists, even the large sizes like 9,10, and 11-inch.
Active 2 has a rugged built-up. It can withstand shock, can be submerged in water, and can take falls from a considerable height. As you can guess from the specs mentioned, it is a military-grade approved wearable.
The battery life is 5 days which reduces to a few hours if you switch on GPS and Cellular options.
Samsung Galaxy Active 2 is our personal favorite, and if you are already accustomed to the Samsung Ecosystem, this watch will be the most valuable addition in your life. Given the features it is offering, the price tag isn’t very expensive.
Samsung Galaxy Watch is the most affordable watch by Samsung that is nearly half the price of the Active 2 we discussed earlier but offers most of the features.
It is a chunky watch by all standards but the big, sporty look is just the right one for a thick wrist and heavy build. Like Active Watch 2, you can easily change the straps as per your liking.
The watch looks good overall; it’s not the world’s best-looking watch but certainly, something that’s well worth wearing anywhere from the gym to the office to a night out party. It is thicker, big, and a textbook example of a chunky design.
However, a bulky design doesn’t make it less comfortable. Though a little heavy, the premium build quality of the watch is perfect for day-long usage.
However, the unique selling point of the watch is a solid build. It is approved by all major standards for water and scratch resistance.
Fossil Gen 5 is for fashion enthusiasts or those who want to switch to a smartwatch from traditional smartwatch design. Gen 5 is a big smartwatch, so large that it would appear ridiculously big on a slender wrist.
Only a thick, big manly wrist can handle the big dial of the watch. Don’t get confused by the small screen size of the watch, it constitutes roughly 75% of the overall screen.
Like almost all watches in our curated list, Fossil Gen 5 allows for interchangeable straps. You can change the straps and attach third-party straps to the watch.
The latest version of the watch, Fossil Gen 5 LTE, offers cellular connectivity but you will have to pay $100 extra for it.
Key features you get include standalone GPS, Google Pay, Offline Spotify, and Google Assistant.
In-built GPS, Heart rate tracker, accelerometer sensors, geomagnetic and air pressure sensors.
Water Resistant (5 ATM rated)
Amazfit is a leading Chinese brand in the wearable industry and is famous for its cur-rate products. Amazfit GTS Watch is in line with the company’s policy to mimic proven designs and provide most features possible on a limited budget.
By the look of it, you can guess how unoriginal is the design of the watch. However, if you are on a shoestring budget, you couldn’t care less.
1.65″ AMOLED ALWAYS-ON Display is the secret behind its 14 days long battery life. The watch shell is large enough to accommodate large wrist sizes (9-11-inch) The glossy look of the watch adds to the overall style.
ATM 5 rated watch, you can submerge it in water up to 50m. There are a number of sport modes to choose from.
The fitness tracking features like heart rate, sleep, and stress tracking is up to par with modern watches.
Up to 6+ days battery life, 12 minutes fast charging
Water and dust Resistant (IP68 rated)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
When it comes to a fitness tracker-cum-smartwatch, any curated list would be incomplete without one or two products by fitbit. People with thick wrists looking for a wearable to help them maintain their fitness goals would find the best match in Fitbit Versa 3.
There is a problem though. The watch is suitable for only a large wrist (7-9inch)and not the extra-large type. (10-11-inch) Not that it won’t sit tight on the wrist but the fact that it would appear too small and an unmatching combination. Also, you will have a hard time finding the right strap size. The maximum strap size it comes with is 8.7-inch.
Display: 1.39-inch AMOLED display, 454 x 454 pixels
Sensors: Optical Heart Rate, GPS, barometer, etc
Battery: 48 hours
Water and dust resistance: 5 ATM
Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wifi
For sportsmen and athletes, especially those who can pay extra but can’t compromise on the features, Suunto 7 is the right fit. This 50mm watch has a chunky build suitable for large wrist sizes.
The watch has a remarkable 1.39-inch AMOLED display that offers 454 x 454 pixel resolution for clear, sharp and vivid image. High brightness level makes it easily visible in daylight.
The key strength of the watch is its powerful hardware and equally polished software. The accuracy of the watch is undeniably superior to cheaper alternatives, and the app shows detailed tracking records, key insights and all the important details related to athletic performance.
Suunto 7 is a watch for serious athletes and in the context of this article, especially those blessed with a large wrist.
Strap Material: silicone (Metal, leather bands are also available)
Garmin Fenix 5X Plus watch has only one downside for regular users: It is too big for the normal wrist. Its 51mm case makes it the biggest smartwatch in our list. But as you might have guessed, the big size of the watch is a blessing in disguise for someone with an extraordinarily large wrist.
Fenix 5X has features that makes it suitable for many purposes. Its rugged nature, ABC sensors and GPS connectivity makes it suitable for outdoor adventurers. A huge storage makes it a likely match for someone looking for a smartwatch with a huge storage capacity. (You can store songs and listen to music offline)
Fenix 5X plus offers a number of sports modes. If weight isn’t an issue, you can take it for long runs. Other sports include, golf;swimming, cycling, and hiking.
The watch comes with a durable strap but if you find it annoying, you can replace it with third-party apps.
Huawei is yet another Chinese brand that competes with pioneers like Apple, Garmin and Samsung. Their smartwatch, though, are notorious for unapologetically copying above mentioned brands.
The company attracts users by offering feature-rich gadgets at cut rate price. So if you are looking for a big, feature-laden smartwatch for your thick wrist, Huawei GT2 is a suitable choice.
The key strength of the watch is its 1.39-inch AMOLED display that offers a premium resolution of 454 x 454 px and a brightness of 1,000 nits, which makes it decently bright and sharp.
To polish the overall design, the company has adopted a 3D glass screen to create a bezel-less design, with curved edges that merge into the casing.
The fitness features are in abundance as you have everything covered from blood saturation and basic heart rate tracking.
Of all features, the battery life is the outlier. No other watch can beat Huawei products as they all are designed to give maximum battery performance. In this particular watch, Huawei added Kirin A1 chipset, which includes intelligent power-saving technology
Display: AMOLED Flexible Dual-Curved Display with 402×476 screen resolution
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
Battery: 21 Days
Water and Dust Resistance: 5 ATM
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wifi
Both OPPO and Oneplus are subsidiaries of Chinese-based BBK group so there is good reason to believe that, and as recommended by many users, OPPO watch is fully compatible with Oneplus phones. Though still shrouded in mystery, many experts believe that the Oneplus watch will be in line with OPPO watch design.
It has a bright, responsive AMOLED screen, Google Assistant support, and even native sleep monitoring. Though the sleep tracking isn’t as detailed as you will find on premium Apple Watches. Speaking of Apple, the OPPO watch has an uncanny similarity to Apple Watches.
To woo the users who can’t stick to one design, OPPO watch allows for swappable straps. You can buy it from the OPPO store or can attach third-party straps with the watch.
In terms of fitness features, the watch only covers the basics and it doesn’t always deliver the most reliable data. The heart rate tracking is the most reliable feature of the smartwatch.
The battery life of the watch is a real bummer and OPPO later released an update in the Google OS to extend the battery life. The problem is less with the hardware and more with the sluggish, space-hungry Wear OS. One key benefit is Oppo’s VOOC Flash Charger that fully revitalized the battery in about an hour.