Smartwatches are really small computers. As they typically have a larger case diameter than traditional watches it can be difficult for people with small wrists to find a smartwatch size that looks the part and works for them.
Personal preference plays a large part in how a watch wears and feels so it is very difficult to see this is the best smartwatch if you have a small wrists. What we can do, is offer you some guiding principles and example smartwatches to help you narrow down your options.
What is a small wrist?
Some people think that wrist size equates to body size. It tuns out that is not the case. People with larger bodies can have small wrists as well as smaller bodies with larger wrists. There is no hard and fast rule. To find out if you have a small wrist the best thing to do is measure your wrist
To determine the size of your wrist cut out a piece of string and wrap it around your wrist so that it is about as tight as you would wear a watch. If you then use a ruler to measure the piece of string when it is flat we have used the following table to determine wrist size
|Length of string in inches||Ideal case diameter||Ideal case thickness|
|< 6 inches||38 mm or less||10 mm or less|
|> 6 & < 6.75 inches||36 mm to 40 mm||12 mm or less|
|>6 75 & < 7.5 inches||40mm to 44mm||14 mm or less|
What size smartwatch should I get?
It is really hard to answer this questions as it is much down to a person’s needs and wants. Some people prefer big and chunky while others prefer subtle and discreet.
- Typically the advice states that you should be looking for a 38mm case for a wrist size of 5 inches and 40 mm for a wrist size of 6.5 inches. If you prefer larger go for it as it’s all down to personal preference
- Apple for example work around this problem by providing the Apple Watch in a 40mm variant and 44mm variant. With the earlier Apple Watch Series 3 also having a 38 mm version.
- you want this to be proportionate to your wrist size so it doesn’t look too bulky – typically you would expect this to be about 8mm for a smaller wrist –
- again should be in proportion to the case – watch manufactures generally recommend this is about 50% of the size of the case
- hard to believe but the material the band is made from can have a big impact on the way the smartwatch looks on your wrist. Any metal bands, will always look bigger and heavier. Because of this they can have the optical effect of making your wrist look small. To make the watch look smaller opt for a non metal band such as leather
- a flatter wrist shape is likely to be able to more comfortably wear a large case size
If you are looking to use the fitness tracker aspects of your smart watch you also need to ensure it fits your wrist correctly as skin contact is needed for features like the optical heart rate sensor and Wrist detect on the Apple Watch.
Normally, manufactures recommended that you wear the device around a finger width above your wrist bone and tighten it for workouts and loosen it afterwards.
So, what is the best smartwatch for small wrists?
1. Apple Watch Series 6
It is no surprise that one of the most famous smartwatches make this list. The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest incarnation comes with either a 40mm or 44mm case. If this seems to big the Apple Watch Series 3 is still available with a 38 or 40 mm case.
Depending on your personal taste, you may prefer the look of a larger or a smaller watch. But there are some subtle distinctions to consider. The 44mm display has more pixels, and text appears slightly larger in some places. It also weighs a few grams more than the 40mm case. Still not sure? Try on both sizes at an Apple Store.
The Series 6 has upped the ante in terms of health monitoring with a new sensor that allows you to take on demand or background blood oxygen readings, ecg capabilities. As well as fitness and sleep tracking capabilities and great integration with your phone.
In terms of sizing Apple have created something known as the solo loop that has no straps or buckles meaning that you should be able to get a strap size that fits your wrist following the guide linked below. Of course, even with a custom strap a 40mm or 44mm case is going to look quite big on a small wrist so its up to you
The downside of the Apple Watch is that it is quite expensive and doesn’t integrate with people who have Android devices
2. Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a lightweight watch which is slightly shallower in depth than its siblings the Galaxy Watch 3 and Fit 2. Design wise the screen is circular with a small bezel so might look a little less intrusive on a smaller wrist. As per the Apple Watch it is available in a 40mm or 44m case size and can be used with either Android or iOS phones.
Dependent on your model choices you can either get an LTE device that allows you to use your watch as a phone or opt for the cheaper Bluetooth enabled device. Our recommendation for smaller wrists would be the 40mm aluminium model as it weights a few grams less than the other model options.
3. Amazfit GTS
Sitting at the more budget end of the market is the Amazfit GTS. The GTS is an amazingly capable watch. Ok, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of an Apple Watch but it still gives you all the key functionality you would want in a smart watch.
Battery life is impressive with over 5 days between charges if you don’t use the GPS. The design has also been changed so that the watch is lightweight and weighs only 8.9 ounces which should make it easy to wear all day.
Because of the price point the majority of the functionality such as fitness tracking, apps and notifications is satisfactory rather than great. All in all, a solid smart watch that offers most of the features of more expensive options so would suit someone a budget.
4. Skagen Falster 2
The Skagen is probably one of the best looking smartwatches out there. It’s likely to draw compliments wherever you go. Round face 40mm case size
Running Wear OS the Falster2 as you would expect has good integration with all the goodies including Google Pay, Google Assistant and Google Fit. You can take it swimming as it is waterproof to 5 ATM and is equipped with a full colour touchscreen. Battery life is reported to be around 24 hours, reading reviews and forums it seems that this is with optimal settings and more typical use reduces this substantially.
5. Fossil Sport & Gen SE
The Fossil Sport is available in a 41mm case size with the Gen SE having a 42 mm case size
Both look stylish with a round watch face and come with an 18mm interchangeable strap which should allow the device to look small on your wrist.
Both the Sport and Gen SE run Wear OS and have a fairly typical set of smartwatch features including the ability to download apps as well as Toyota Remote Connect which allows you to starta car from afar.
Perhaps, the most useful feature is battery modes. You can choose between 4 different modes daily mode, extended mode, time only mode, custom mode.
Daily mode requires charging daily as it uses most features. However, if you want to extend your battery life you could choose time mode and just use your watch as a clock which gives you an entire week until you next need to find your charger.
It may be the case that the strap the comes with your trackers doesn’t allow you to tighten the strap to your smaller wrist. If not, it is possible on many devices to get replacement straps like these for the Apple Watch (at Amazon) and these for Fitbit (at Amazon) or even custom designs from Etsy
A lot of manufacturers now release their devices so that the straps can be changed. This has spurned a whole market in custom bands. The key thing to bear in mind is to get the right size. We’ve linked to a couple of sizing guides below where the general principle is to wrap a piece of paper around your wrist to give you the appropriate size for your wrist
And if all else fails, there is always the option of buying a leather strap and making additional holes a bit like you did with a belt when you were a child.
Other notable mentions / alternatives
In our research we also found these other smartwatches which we think would be appropriate for smaller wrists
- Garmin Vivoactive 4S
- LG Style Huawei Watch GT2
- ticwatch c2+
- fossil gen 5
- mi band
- Fitbit Inspire 2
Last update on 2021-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API