Microsoft discontinued Windows phones by the end of 2019, and the fans were left in the lurch. The phones would no longer receive updates, there were limited apps for the platform(windows 10), and the users were hard-pressed to move on to other smartphones.
A great majority did. Those left, out of their sheer love for the windows phones or for any other reason, have to make several compromises. One of the compromises is to be left out on many exciting new techs, and unfortunately, smartwatches.
To find the best smartwatches for Windows phones is like to find a gem lost in a heap of garbage. We have scoured the internet for hours and hours, and it seemed like a wild goose chase.
Except for the Fitbit, there was hardly any popular smartwatch brand that developed compatible apps for Windows OS. And so, we have added only Fitbit smartwatches here. Like it or not, you will have to get your hands on the Fitbit smartwatches for seamless compatibility with windows phones.
If you are not interested in reading the complete article, better jump to our curated list of the best smartwatches for Windows phones. (Windows Phone 10, Windows Phone 8.1)
Table of Contents
Why Is It Hard To Find Any Compatible Smartwatch For Windows Phone?
The best smartwatches for athletes and specifically runners, mostly by Garmin, Suunto, and Casio, are not compatible with Windows 8 or 10. They just can’t develop compatible apps for discontinued phones. Similarly, most smartwatches for other purposes like fitness tracking, exercise, regular uses have checked off windows phones from their priority list.
Nevertheless, there is still hope. Fitbit, a popular brand owned now by Google, still has an active application for Windows phones. The minimum requirement of the app is as follows.
Xbox One, Windows 10 version 16299.0 or higher, Windows 8 Mobile
x86, x64, ARM, ARM64
If you own a Windows phone, Fitbit accessories are your best bet. In 2015, Vector Watches launched the flagship model that was highly compatible with Lumia 950. But the company is now owned by Fitbit. So in the end, you will come back to Fitbit smartwatches for windows phones.
Is There A Way To Connect Your Garmin, Suunto, Fossil Smartwatches To Windows Phone?
Yes, there is an escape door for DIY enthusiasts. If only they can install android apps on windows phones, they could circumvent the shortcoming of the latter: the unavailability of compatible applications on the Microsoft store. It needs little technical knowledge and yet is not a piece of cake.
‘Project Astoria’ was Microsoft’s desperate attempt to keep its windows phones alive. Basically a translator, it was supposed to mediate between Windows Mobile and the Android app (called Android sub-system) However, the project never made it to the masses.
Later on, two developers Fadil Fadz and Tourniquet picked on where Microsoft left off. They released an app that works similar to Project Astoria.
This resource can help you install android apps on windows phones. That way, you can connect any smartwatch to your windows phone. Yes, smartwatches of nearly all brands and will all-powerful features that have compatible apps for Android OS.
Has Microsoft Ever Released Any Smartwatch Or Band For Windows Phone?
The company released ‘Microsoft Band 1’ and ‘Microsoft Band 2’ almost five years ago. But then decided against continuing this line of products. Band 2 was discontinued on 3rd October 2016 and On May 31, 2019, the Band’s companion app stopped working. These bands were compatible with Android and IOS devices, in addition to Windows OS.
You can find them on Amazon still being sold by some manufacturers. These are the most compatible fitness bands for windows phones.
However, when it comes to smartwatches, the company to the disappointment of many of its users canceled the ‘Moonraker’ project. When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s HArdware business, the latter was developing a smartwatch (codenamed Moonraker). It was in the initial development stage and the company was planning to launch it alongside Lumia 930 at the Mobile World Congress 2014.
Best Smartwatches For Windows Phone: Buying Guide
You should make a checklist of the following features as it will help you to identify the best smartwatch for your needs. Though the best smartwatches for windows phones users have one and only one prerequisite, compatibility, the enlisted features further narrow down the search to the least minimum.
The battery life of a premium smartwatch is dependent on the advanced features that come with it. A few have an extraordinary battery life of more than a month, Amazfit Bip, whereas many allow for 12-18 hours of usage.
To overcome the hassle involved in frequently charging your watch, you should look for a smartwatch with at least 3-5 days of battery life on a single charge.
It relies on hardware-software sophistication. For a watch to be the best fitness tracker, it must have the necessary sensors to track different modes: running, swimming, and weight lifting. Plus, they should be highly accurate.
Apart from the sensors, the application should fully exploit the capability of the sensors and present tracked data in the most intuitive format.
The build quality of a smartwatch speaks volumes about its manufacturer. Premium brands make their smartwatches attractive, comfortable, but most importantly, dependable.
The watch should have a formidable construction to withstand the wear and tear of time and usage. The strap should be interchangeable, but if not, should be highly comfortable.
Water and Dust Resistance:
IP, ATM rating, and MIL-STD-810G standard are all standard rating systems for watches. You will find most watches IP rated with usually IP67 or IP68 designation. To know about all these rating systems, jump to this page.
As a rule of thumb, you should pick a watch that has water resistance for up to 4 meters and has zero dust ingression. I.e, IP68 rated or ATM 5 rated smartwatches.
Display And Screen Size:
For your convenience, look for large screen size to easily read notifications. Ideally, the screen must be gorilla glass protected, have an Amoled type(always-on) display, and touch-enabled.
1.24-1.28-inch screen size is optimal for average users. There must be on-board watch-faces.
The smartwatch can connect to your phone or other devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but is recommended to have both these features. The connectivity range should be more than 10 m.
Bluetooth 5 is the fastest, the most latest technology. For seamless connectivity, try to get a smartwatch with Bluetooth 5.
The Fitbit Ionic smartwatch was launched in 2018, and was officially discontinued by the company last year. The latest model, Fitbit Versa 2 and Versa 3 have a better design and fills many gaps ionic has in its design. And yet, Ionic has two star features, GPS and NFC, to remain relevant in the market even today.
Apart from the sensors, the watch has a rugged construction: Gorilla glass screen, ATM 5 rated and so on. As a fitness tracker, it was above all its contemporaries including Apple Series 3. And on top of that, more than 4 days of battery life eclipsed all its shortcomings.
One of the most overlooked features, which I think should be duly credited, is the music player and storage capacity of the watch. It allows you to connect to the wireless headphones to listen to your favorite songs, podcast or instructions during Guided sessions.
Fitbit ionic comes with multiple sport modes like running, cycling, weight lifting and swimming. The tracks data accurately, but more important than that is the way it presents it to users. The complementary Fitbit would never disappoint you when it comes to keeping track of all your exercises and activities.
Speaking of drawbacks, the watch has its reasons to disappoint users. It has a small screen size, but even if we cut it some slack, it doesn’t show full-length notifications or allows you to add a reply. Like it or not, you will have to take out your smartphone to read the full email or messages.
It has a very short connectivity range. Also, the design isn’t very impressive, it is far behind Apple and Samsung watches when it comes to the aesthetic appeal of the watch.
Built-in GPS, NFC for contactless payments
Rugged yet lightweight design
Compatible with Windows phones
Robust and accurate Fitness tracking
The Bluetooth connectivity is not great. It takes a while to transfer data, and the connectivity range is very short.
You might end up hating its design
Notification Alert Feature is disappointing (You can’t reply to messages, nor see the full size notification)
Fitbit Ionic is a bit old school, but then your window phone isn’t the best in the league of modern smartphones. They both will make a perfect fit. Fitbit Ionic is lightweight, durable, and is inexpensive. On-board GPS and NFC are the star features in this watch. You would neither have to take your phone on the run nor your wallet.
On-board Alexa to set alarms or timers and control echo devices on the go
Seamless connectivity, (Syncing range – up to 6.1 meters)
Available in 6 exciting colors with the freedom to change bands
Fitbit Versa 2 is a compromise between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, and in overall performance, it is more of a fitness tracker than a smartwatch. The heart rate tracking is better than the Fitbit Ionic thanks to advanced sensors, there is a special female health mode, and its advanced sleep tracking gives you a better insight of your sleep quality.
There is no built-in GPS, and so the smartwatch will have to use the GPS of your smartphone. Not only that you will have to carry your phone with you to accurately track outdoor exercise, but also turning on the GPS on the phone will take a heavy toll on the battery life. Apart from running, the watch supports other exercise modes including cycling, swimming, and weight lifting.
Now, the perceptible feature that sets it apart from Fitbit Ionic is the on-board Voice-assistant—Alexa. You can set up alarms, timers, control your echo devices, and check the weather forecasts on voice command. But, there is a caveat. Your experience with Alexa can be a bit hit-and-miss. It is highly inconsistent at times and so excruciatingly annoying.
With its design, verse 2 has plugged many holes left by Versa and Ionic. Contrary to the Ionic design, Versa 2 design is welcomed by a great majority of users. Although the screen is small, the bezel is thinner. The OLED display is crisp and extremely bright.
Lastly, Fitbit versa has a great price point to offer. It is cheaper than the Fitbit Ionic, and if you can’t live without GPS and Contactless payments, you can buy Versa 3 by paying $100 more.
Long battery life(6 days on regular use, 2 days with Always-on Display
The screen is extremely bright and crisp
Comfortable, sleek design with the freedom of strap swap
Accurate Sleep and Heart Rate tracking
Alexa works inconsistently. It would often take a few tries to get Alexa to respond to a command
Lack of GPS, the watch uses the phone’s GPS while tracking several exercises and it is, therefore, a heavy drain on the phone’s battery life.
Changing straps is a hard nut to crack despite the quick-release pins.
As the windows phone has very limited options to choose from, Fitbit Versa 2 is a better option than the Fitbit Ionic in several aspects: It is affordable, has a better design, long battery life, and above all a built-in voice assistant.
Fitbit Ionic, on the other hand, has built-in GPS and NFC for contactless payment. The choice, in the end, will depend on your personal preference.
Activity, calorie, distance, and sleep tracking & reports
Allows you to Read all your incoming texts, emails, and phone notifications at a glance
You can rejects or accept phone calls from your wrist, have the ‘find my phone’ function
Crafted from solid 316L stainless steel and mineral glass,
5ATM water-resistant. Stainless steel brushed case with high polished details.
Black, padded leather strap with stainless steel buckle
Vector Luna was launched in 2015 and the company is now owned by Fitbit. With Luna, the company challenged the monopoly of luxury mechanical watches. It was the best smartwatch of its time with respect to the design and battery life. Vector watches were and are compatible with IOS, Android platforms, but most importantly, it is compatible with windows phones.
On regular usage, the watch can last more than 4 weeks. The fitness and activity tracking is remarkable, but not up to the standard of modern smartwatches. Remember, you are buying this watch under a compulsion: you are an unfortunate user of windows phones. So there is little you can complain about.
Like the previous models added in this roundup, this smartwatch is 5 ATM rated, which means it can be submerged in water for up to 50m and has robust protection against dust ingression. The stainless steel case with high polish details and a padded leather strap with stainless steel buckle is very telling of an exquisite design.
One handy feature of the watch is smart gesture control. You will be alerted by vibration whenever a new notification arrives. Within 10 seconds, if you raise your watch to look at it, the watch will automatically show you the notification. The notification will be automatically dismissed if you lower your hand.
The sensors on the watch allow you to track activity, calories, distance, and sleep. All the data is presented in an easy-to-understand format in the app. Unfortunately, there is no heart rate monitoring available on the watch.
Since its inception, the vector watches application has been consistently made compatible with the window phones. Ironically, none of the two last to date. Vector watches are now owned by Fitbit, and so its proprietary software, whereas windows phones, as discussed earlier are officially discontinued. To name a few, The watch works seamlessly with Microsoft Lumia 950.
Customizable watch face
Robust resistance to water and dust ingression
Classy design ( can beat luxury watches and smartwatches in looks)
Highly compatible smartwatch with windows phones (Especially Lumia 950)
Advanced features like GPS, contactless payment, voice assistant are absent
The watch is often unavailable, and many of the features on it are outdated
If you own a Lumia phone and can shell out a little extra for a smartwatch, this vector watch is the best option for you. Like your phone, this may not update as the company is not allowed to further develop the watch by its parent company (Fitbit)
Stress management, ECG, Skin Temperature, spO2 levels, and sleep tracking
Water-resistant to 50m (5ATM)
A Vibrant l AMOLED display With laser-bonded Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Gyroscope, Altimeter, 3-axis accelerometer
Speaker (75dB SPL @10cm) and Microphone
Can Store and play music & podcasts on Deezer or Pandora and control Spotify
Allows you to choose from up to 20+ exercise modes to get real-time stats during your workouts
Fitbit Sense was launched by the company just a month ago and is a top-notch health watch. It rivals Apple Series 6 and Samsung Latest Galaxy watches and has set itself apart by getting approval from FDA for the safe ECG of users. It shows irregular heart rhythms that are associated with aFib, plus give high and low heart rate alerts.
Other health parameters include stress level tracking, Skin Temperature updates, spO2, and sleep tracking. Unlike Apple and Samsung watches it measures blood oxygen level while sleeping.
There are more than 20+ exercise modes to choose from, so you can track nearly everything from cycling to swimming. Both GPS and NFC are there to reduce dependency on smartphones while exercising.
When compared head-to-head, it is very powerful in health-related features to Fitbit versa, but the latter is cheaper and a well-rounded smartwatch. And as you won’t be getting any way forward with your windows phone, it would be an unwise decision to buy this watch only to pair it with windows phones. You can enjoy its best and all features on Android.
Tracks your stress, temperature, blood oxygen, and sleep.
Solid premium design
Voice Assistant: Google & Alexa
Speaker and Microphone to Attend phone calls
Smartphone notifications pointless
Limited third-party app support
Not as responsive or fast as other smartwatches
Fitbit Sense is an expensive watch with extraordinary health features. For Windows phones, you won’t find any better than this watch, but keep in mind, it might act a little flaky when showing notifications. Many of the smartwatch features of the watch are useless and are overkill for the price. So unless you are deeply conscious about your health, skip this watch.