By Oktay Ozadam
In this article, I set out to find the best smartwatch for a small wrist, mainly because I know how hard it is to find one that fits when you have petite hands and wrists. Many people, especially women, encounter this problem when shopping for a good, slim smartwatch.
So, this will be a thorough review of all the products that fit the profile, to crown the single best small smartwatch for women or men.
- Why can't I Find a Small Smartwatch?
- What Should I Look for When Buying a Small Smartwatch?
- Wrist size matters!
- Compare Smartwatches by Dimension and Surface Area
- 1. Apple Watch 3 (38 or 42 mm)
- 2. LG Android Smart Watch (37.9 mm)
- 3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (39.5 / 40mm)
- 4. Garmin - Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch (40 mm/ 45 mm)
- 5. Fossil Women's Gen 4 Venture HR (40 mm)
- 6. Skagen Falster 2 (40 mm)
- 7. Movado Connect 2.0 (40 mm)
- The Small Smartwatch - FAQ
- Our Picks
Why can't I Find a Small Smartwatch?
Usually, you should have no trouble finding a traditional wrist watch to fit a small wrist. Not so with smartwatches, however. Because smartwatches need to show a lot more information, they tend to be bigger and bulkier in size.
Another reason why smartwatches are so big is the ever-popular screen size factor, as most device manufacturers compete to create a device screen that's as big as possible.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Small Smartwatch?
First of all, you need to be aware of the size you're looking for, especially if shopping online for a watch. Traditionally, a wristwatch needs to be about 35 mm or higher to fit a man's wrist, and around 34 or smaller for a female wrist.
Now, the trouble with smartwatches is that, at present, most of them don't go beneath the 38 mm mark, usually hovering in the 38-40 mm range.
Wrist size matters!
Wondering what the average size of a "small wrist" is?
In general, a wrist that measures around 5 – 6.5 inches is considered a "small wrist".
A "large wrist" goes somewhere around 7 to 8.5 inches. And when looking at watches, 2 inches is a huge difference.
Now, the tricky part here is that many smartwatch manufacturers do not list exact sizes on their websites, which made this review a bit difficult. But at the same time, it was really exciting, so without further ado, let's have a look at the best small smartwatches for women!
Compare Smartwatches by Dimension and Surface Area
A word before we move on: You might be surprised to find that the famous Pebble Time Round watch did not make the list. The watch measured 7.5mm thin, 38mm diameter, and weighs only 28g and was marketed as the 'lightest and thinnest smartwatch', which by all accounts, it was. Alas, the company shut down in 2016 and was bought by Fitbit. Although you may find some through online retailers, we couldn't include it as it has been discontinued.
1. Apple Watch 3 (38 or 42 mm)
Apple offers a wide range of smartwatches, numbered 1 through 5, with the Apple Watch 1 only coming in one size (38mm), the Apple Watch 2 with the same sizes as this one, and the fourth and fifth, as well as their Nike variant, in larger wrist sizes (40 and 44 mm).
The Apple Watch 3 seems like an excellent choice for a small smartwatch, with several customers noting that even the 42 mm variant fits their small wrist rather well.
According to specifications, it should fit what is commonly considered a small wrist (the watch fits wrist as small as 5.1 inches).
The Apple Watch 3 also allows you to change the strap quickly and easily, which means it fits a variety of outfits.
It's also a great smart device, in general, that comes complete with GPS, Siri, the ability to send and receive phone calls, texts, as well as use social media. It also doubles as a fitness tracker and sends out alarms and notifications.
Overall, it's as good a smart device as you'd expect from Apple.
2. LG Android Smart Watch (37.9 mm)
Best for Small Size
Although the rectangular display is somewhat taller than the other smartwatches on this list, the LG Android watch definitely takes home the title of "thinnest smartwatch", with a depth slightly below 10mm.
The size opinions for this one seems to be a little mixed, with some customers claiming it works excellent on their small wrist, while others say it's a little bit big.
LG watch has a standard-sized, adjustable wrist band, though it might not be for those of you with really small wrists.
Nevertheless, it's a high-quality smartwatch that has good battery life, GPS, the ability to text and call people or listen to music. It also has a discreet sedentary alarm, which is great if you spend a lot of time sitting down. And something a lot of people loved about this one was the sleek, elegant appearance.
It's a great choice if you're interested in a smartwatch with a slim screen.
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (39.5 / 40mm)
Best for Sports
What's interesting about the Samsung Galaxy Active is that it's a small round watch, which is a bit unusual in a world of (generally) rectangular smartwatches.
This 40 mm smartwatch is excellent if you lead an active life (naturally!), and makes for a great, compact device to take with you on a run or while swimming. It has an excellent workout-tracking function and can measure your heart rate if worn on the inside of your wrist.
Something I like about this one is that several customers called it "perfect for small wrists", with people with 5-something inch wrists saying it's a snug fit.
Like most smartwatches, it has GPS and works to show you notifications, let you send texts, receive calls, etc.
Samsung has also launched the Active 2, with improved sleep-tracking analysis and workout tracking. The smaller Active 2 is also a 40 mm, a good fit for skinny wrists, and has improved sensors and LTE. One downside seems to be that the battery drains faster (mainly because of the LTE), but otherwise, it's an excellent watch, by all accounts.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Active series (there are rumors of a Samsung Galaxy Active 3 launch in July of this year) is an excellent choice for athletes looking for a small smartwatch.
4. Garmin - Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch (40 mm/ 45 mm)
Garmin is one of the biggest names in the smartwatch manufacturing industry, so obviously, I had high hopes for this one. The Vivoactive has a gorgeous white-rose design that goes with a variety of outfits.
It can download Spotify playlists, connect through Bluetooth, uses GPS, and tracks runs. The battery life is a little on the slim side, but other than that, it's a great watch.
Now for the size…
While the 40 mm variant seems to be rather appropriate for smaller wrists, some customers have complained the watch is somewhat heavy and bulky and has a tendency to bump against the wrist bone (which makes it a bit uncomfortable).
Perfect for the smaller wrist, some say, although I have to add that this heavy-bumpy aspect is something of a downside, as is the weak battery life. Other than that, the Vivoactive seems like a stupendous and very chic smartwatch.
5. Fossil Women's Gen 4 Venture HR (40 mm)
Best for Elegant
This elegant 40 mm device from the reputable Fossil brand seems to be the perfect accessory for any occasion. With 13 different strap variants, you can find one to wear while you work out, to a hot date, or to an important business meeting. Whatever the occasion, ladies, Fossil has got you covered.
Several customers noted it's an excellent fit for smaller, thinner wrists, with some warning that the strap material may be a bit heavy, in which case you'd need a different strap or might need to have it sized.
This small round watch is equipped with all the features one might require from a smart device: GPS, calling, texting, alarms and notifications, music, fitness tracker, etc. It's got everything, and the small design manages to escape the bulkiness that is such a common pitfall for most smartwatches.
As is the case with most Fossil watches, this one's a classic and overall, a great choice for small to medium-sized wrists.
6. Skagen Falster 2 (40 mm)
Although I was super-ready to love the Skagen Falster 2 after reading about it, I have to say it falls a little short of expectations. The design is somewhat obnoxious and manly, and several users have complained that it's unpleasant to wear on your wrist all day.
It looks more like a man's watch, even though the screen itself is rather petite. I think the main issue is it has a very bulky design, even the variants that claim to be designed for women.
Some customers also reported a weak battery life, which is another disadvantage.
As for the size, again, there are mixed reviews, with some (seemingly medium-sized wrist) users saying it's a good fit, but with some complaining, it's just a tiny bit big for their small wrist.
Other than that, it has all the features you could wish for from a smartwatch (heart rate, fitness tracker, GPS, notifications, etc.). It's very techy and seems like a great watch. However, I just don't think it's what we're looking for in this case.
7. Movado Connect 2.0 (40 mm)
Best for Splurge
This smart and sleek 40 mm smartwatch is a little bit on the expensive side, though it seems to be worth it by its looks.
Its main attraction seems to be the classy design, which many smartwatches lose along the way. The Movado looks like a blast from the past. It brings together the benefits of the modern smartwatch, with the timeless elegance of a traditional wrist watch.
The battery seems to drain pretty quickly, and some customers had trouble with the speakers. Otherwise, it comes with all the usual smartwatch functions.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to unearth any reviews from customers with smaller wrists, so it's impossible to say how well it will fit on such a wrist. However, considering the fancy (but light) leather strap and that most of the other 40 mm watches were snug fits, I have to imagine it's a good watch for thin wrists, albeit a bit basic for the high price.
8. Tory Burch - GIGI SMARTWATCH (40 mm)
As most of us know, Tory Burch is a high-class brand, and of course, there are great things to be expected from it. This classic golden strap 40 mm smartwatch looks like a timeless, highly elegant piece to be worn for high-class events, as well as the day-to-day (albeit too fancy to wear during workouts).
Equipped with Google's own Wear OS, the Tory Burch smartwatch has all the necessary functions of such a device: GPS, e-mail, notifications, fitness, and health tracking, etc. Although the battery life seems a tad weak, it looks like a pretty good watch overall.
The size, as you see, is a classic 40 mm, which makes it a pretty decent (standard) size for most wrists, although it can be too big for some wrists. The biggest issue for users with smaller wrists, however, isn't so much the size, as the weight of the heavy strap, which may be uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.
A great smart device, it would seem, though I'd say there are better options out there for small wrists!
Best for Adaptable Design
Can't very well have a smartwatch review without at least mentioning the Fitbit, can you?
The tricky part about the Fitbit is that Apple does not provide a detailed size guide. It's a bit confusing, as the measurements they give out appear to be misleading. But according to users and other reviews, the actual size of this watch is closest to a 42 mm, which may be a bit large for those of you with really small wrists.
This Fitbit variant comes with two different strap sizes, which, according to users, is quite comfortable even for those with smaller wrists.
The strap material is not too heavy, which, as we've seen, can be an issue for people with petite wrists. But the Fitbit is comfortable to wear for pretty much everyone.
As a smart device, it has all the necessary functions, of course, with a focus on fitness tracking, heart rate, etc. It's a great watch because its simple look makes it appropriate when working out, but also at work and other more straight-laced functions.
The Small Smartwatch - FAQ
What's the smallest smart watch, then?
The smallest smart watch is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, at precisely 12.25 cm2 in surface area, when it comes to round smartwatches. The second smallest smartwatches, all measuring a surface area of 12,56 cm2 are the Fossil Women’s Gen 4 Venture HR, the Garmin Vivoactive 4S Smartwatch, the Skagen Falster 2 and the Movado Connect 2.0.
If, however, we’re talking about rectangular watches, then the Apple Watch 3, with a surface area of 12,85 cm2 is the smallest.
Which smartwatch is the thinnest?
The thinnest smartwatch out there is the LG Android Smart Watch, as it’s 9.95 mm thick. The second thinnest smartwatch is the Tory Burch Gigi Smartwatch 10.1 mm thickness, and the third thinnest is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, at 10.5 mm.
What's the best Apple Watch size for women?
Experts agree that the best Apple Watch size for women is 38 mm, though, of course, it also depends on the woman's wrist and personal taste.
Can a woman wear a 40 mm watch (or bigger)?
Technically, the recommended size for women's watches is between 34 mm and 40 mm, but depending on the size of her wrist, a woman can wear any size she needs and likes.
Although all the smartwatches mentioned above are fairly small in size, of high quality, and suited for all wearers, I have to go with one or two favorites here.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is my overall favorite for small wrists because of its small size (and its' cute design!).
The Fossil Women's Gen 4 Venture HR is also a fabulous choice if you're looking for something chic and elegant – by far the prettiest in the list, if you ask me.
And lastly, I also really liked the Apple Watch 3 for its high-class, innovative functions.
But in the end, the choice really depends on the size of your wrist and the things you'll most use your watch for.