May 28, 2022

Best smartwatches that can measure blood oxygen saturation levels 2022

By Courtney Lynch Michael L Hicks published 11 days ago

Make sure you’re getting enough air, or if you could have a breathing condition you don’t know about.

Included in this guide:1

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GarminForerunner 245CHECK PRICE2

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FitbitVersa 3CHECK PRICE3

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GarminVenu 2CHECK PRICE4

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SamsungGalaxy Watch 4CHECK PRICE5

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FitbitSenseCHECK PRICE6

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WithingsScanWatchVIEW7

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AppleWatch Series 7VIEW

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Fitbit Versa 3

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you’re a passionate smartwatch enthusiast, you’re probably aware that blood oxygen monitoring is a common feature these days. It’s especially helpful during sleep tracking or when you’re at high altitudes. Not to mention, it can also alert you to potential issues such as sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions that require medical attention. Aside from budget models, most fitness watches include the SpO2 sensor these days. But some models are better than others at helping you access that data or at measuring it constantly without destroying the battery life. Starting with the Garmin Forerunner 245, we’ve rounded up some of the best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring.

Get a breath of fresh air with these great SpO2-compatible watches

Garmin Forerunner 245 sitting on top of shoes
(Image credit: Android Central)

Garmin Forerunner 245 GPS

A great running watchTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZONView at Garmin USView at Tredz LimitedSee all prices (20 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+Heart-rate monitoring+A week of battery life+5 ATM water resistance+Pulse Ox sensor and Body Battery+Menstrual tracking

REASONS TO AVOID

-Lacks mobile payments-Music version is more expensive-No altimeter

Whether you prefer to run, bike, or swim, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is an excellent choice. It has the wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels, which can help gauge how your body is absorbing oxygen. You can activate Sleep Pulse Ox to get a wealth of readings overnight, and the seven-day battery life means it can handle the demanding feature better than other brands.

We’d be remiss not to mention that this watch also has the company’s exclusive Body Battery feature, which is designed to track your energy levels throughout the day. This feature will help you determine the optimal times for activity and rest. With so many features to enjoy, it’s no wonder the Forerunner 245 continues to be one of the best Garmin smartwatches you can buy.

You won’t have more advanced features, like mobile payments with Garmin Pay or onboard music storage, but this watch is made to focus on fitness. More specifically, this is a running watch for first-time runners and more experienced runners. It’s worth noting that you can pay a bit more for a music version of this watch if you consider it a must-have feature. That being said, this watch is a perfect opportunity to experience everything Garmin offers without spending a fortune.

Fitbit Versa 3 Heart Rate
(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Fitbit Versa 3

It doesn’t get any betterTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZON

Prime

View at AmazonView at Adorama WWSee all prices (6 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+On-screen workouts+6-day battery life+Heart-rate monitoring+5 ATM water resistance+Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

REASONS TO AVOID

-App selection needs work-Old Versa bands aren’t compatible-Need watch face to see SpO2 data

Fitbit has made a name for itself as one of the most trusted names in the world of fitness trackers, and the Versa 3 is no exception. As usual, you’ll enjoy impeccable sleep tracking, but you also have the added benefit of a built-in SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen tracking. You have to install the Fitbit SpO2 app and watch face, at which point your battery life will be cut in half. You’ll then be able to see your most recent score on the face and your nighttime averages on the app. There isn’t a SpO2 spot-check option, however, and you need Premium to see more than a week back in your nightly SpO2 data.

Still, in our Fitbit Versa 3 review, we noted how easy it is to “transition from SpO2 to step count, to heart rate, to Active Zone Minutes, to floors climbed” with just a few taps. It makes all of your information feel accessible at any time, while other watches make this data harder to find.

The Versa 3 maintains the unique squircle design with a modern twist and an improved band system that’s much easier to use. It has a built-in microphone and speaker for calls and using the voice assistant, as well as Fitbit Pay and onboard GPS.

Overall, the Fitbit Versa 3 has a lot to offer for the price. It may not be an advanced smartwatch with premium features, but it makes up for it in other areas. You can also get the built-in SpO2 sensor on previous Versa models, but they lack tools like the speaker, built-in GPS, and Active Zone Minutes, so it’s worth getting the latest version, which we consider one of the best running watches available.

Garmin Venu 2 body battery
(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Garmin Venu 2 GPS Smartwatch

A stunning watch that does it allTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZONView at Garmin USView at Conrad ElectronicSee all prices (9 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+Up to eleven-day battery life+Garmin Pay & music storage+Excellent health/activity tracking+Sleep score and fitness age+5 ATM water resistance

REASONS TO AVOID

-45mm has fewer color choices-40mm isn’t more affordable-Expensive

The Venu 2 and 2S give you the excellent Garmin data and metrics you’re used to, but with a beautiful AMOLED display for a more stylish design than the brand typically sells. And like other Garmin trackers, it gives you the option to turn SpO2 tracking on all day or during sleep. Thanks to the 11-day battery life, it can absorb the blood oxygen battery hit better than any Fitbit or cheaper Garmin model.

Our Garmin Venu 2 review breaks down all the ways it gives you a premium fitness smartwatch experience. The combination of buttons and touchscreen makes it easier to navigate than watches that only offer one or the other, the battery holds up to Garmin’s claims, and you get in-depth health metrics like fitness age, sleep score, and body battery so you know exactly how your body is doing. You even get HIIT workout timers and animated exercises for the gym to help improve your fitness.

For the complete feature package, you’ll have to upgrade to the Venu 2 Plus: it adds a mic and speaker for answering calls or speaking to your voice assistant, plus a third button for shortcuts, but costs slightly extra. Otherwise, the 2S offers a more petite package with a smaller battery but also a more comfortable fit for sleep tracking. All three models are expensive but offer a quality experience.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 SpO2 reading
(Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Premium features and performanceTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZONView at Microsoft USView at AT&TSee all prices (20 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+Optional LTE+Samsung Pay, Google Pay+Improved health/fitness features+New Wear OS 3

REASONS TO AVOID

-Battery life could be better-No compatibility for iOS users-Some features only work for Galaxy phone owners

The Galaxy Watch 4 is our favorite Android smartwatch for a host of reasons: the lightweight design, the fast performance on the new Wear OS 3 UI, and the new 3-in-1 BioActive sensor that tracks optical heart rate, electrical heart (ECG), and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). As our Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 review notes, it’s one of the most advanced health-tracking watches available — able to measure anything from blood pressure to blood oxygen — while also offering some of the best performance of any watch.

You can take a manual SpO2 measurement or have it track levels during sleep. Unlike other watches that only provide averages or measurements at long intervals, the Galaxy Watch 4 can measure levels every minute for the most detailed results possible. Unfortunately, it only hits 40 hours of battery life at the best of times, and with SpO2 tracking, you’ll certainly need daily charges.

While it’s not the only Samsung smartwatch with blood oxygen tracking, the Galaxy Watch 4 has plenty of new perks over its predecessors. For sleep tracking, it’ll give you an advanced Sleep Score by measuring SpO2 and the sound of your snores. And outside of that, you have two size options: the fitness-focused 4 or the stylish 4 Classic with a rotating bezel. 

SpO2 reading on Fitbit Sense
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Fitbit Sense

For health nutsTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZON

Prime

View at AmazonView at AmazonSee all prices (4 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+Heart-rate monitoring+5 ATM water resistance+ECG & EDA sensors+Six-day battery life+Fitbit Pay

REASONS TO AVOID

-Requires SpO2 app and Premium-Prone to scratches-Limited smartwatch functionality

Like the Versa 3, the Fitbit Sense supports SpO2 tracking but with the same limitations. You’ll need to install the watch face to see the readings on the Sense itself, or pay for Fitbit Premium to see your full history of O2 readings over time. Otherwise, you’ll need to install the app and accept the 6-to-3-day battery life drop to see your overall blood oxygen trends while sleeping. Arguably, this is more valuable than spot checks during the day, but you may still lack the inability to take an instant reading as with other watches.

If it helps, the Fitbit Sense offers excellent health data to go along with its SpO2 readings. New health features include an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for checking your heart’s rhythm. This sensor can help detect irregularities such as atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib. You also get the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, measuring how your body responds to stress.

Fitbit’s goal is to provide you with a better understanding of your stress levels throughout the day while encouraging you to take care of your mental and physical health. Additionally, a temperature sensor offers minute-by-minute readings of how your body temperature changes while you’re asleep at night.

Overall, while it’s more expensive than many other Fitbit watches, all the health tracking it provides makes it one of our favorites. Our Fitbit Sense review not only praised the gorgeous display and battery life, but also how Fitbit has updated its software regularly over the last year to make it a more well-rounded device.

Withings ScanWatch SpO2 reading
(Image credit: Withings)

Withings ScanWatch

Actually FDA approvedTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Specifically designed to detect health conditions+Medically rated to test for AFib+Approved to detect sleep apnea+30-day battery life

REASONS TO AVOID

-Only a hybrid smartwatch with limited features-No built-in GPS

Most smartwatches have Pulse Ox these days, but you can never be fully sure how accurate the readings are. While most smartwatches ask for FDA approval for the accuracy of their heart rate monitors, they don’t do the same for their SpO2 sensors because they’re much more difficult to get right. In fact, as far as we know, only one smartwatch has SpO2 tracking FDA approval(opens in new tab): the Withings ScanWatch. 

This isn’t your traditional smartwatch with proper apps, but that ensures it can last 30 days per charge with automatic 24/7 heart rate monitoring. And it has “clinically validated oxygen saturation” readings and combines it with the HRM, breathing, and movement data for some of the best sleep tracking data and sleep apnea detection you can get from a device that isn’t medical-grade. It can also detect AFib and offers some standard workout tracking, though not quite at the level of a Garmin or Fitbit.

If you can accept the tiny circular display and the fact that most of its data must be viewed on your phone, the ScanWatch is what you want if accurate SpO2 readings are what matter to you, first and foremost.

Apple Watch Series 7 SpO2 reading
(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 41mm)

iOS users onlyTODAY’S BEST DEALS

Prime

VIEW AT AMAZON

Prime

View at AmazonView at AT&TSee all prices (25 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Onboard GPS+Optional LTE+ECG and SpO2+Larger Display+Fast charging

REASONS TO AVOID

-Not compatible with Android phones-Short battery life-Expensive

The Apple Watch Series 7 made some significant upgrades over its predecessor, including larger case sizes, slimmer bezels, support for a QWERTY keyboard, and faster charging via USB-C than ever before. Otherwise, it’s the same high-quality smartwatch that Apple users know and love, which our Apple Watch Series 7 review called “the only premium smartwatch you should buy” thanks to the performance speed, beautiful OLED display, and “class-leading health monitoring.”

What makes the Series 7 especially convenient as a health tracking watch is that you can quickly and simply measure your blood oxygen levels or take an ECG simply by placing your finger on the digital crown. Otherwise, you can set your watch to send SpO2 readings while you’re sleeping or unmoving, via the Blood Oxygen app. As a cool side note, there’s a Theater mode option where it dims the screen and disables SpO2 readings, so the flashing lights of the sensor don’t distract anyone.

As with any lifestyle smartwatch, battery life is the issue here. It can last 1.5 days without SpO2, but will certainly need daily charging with it enabled. And, as Apple itself days, its sensor is considered a “wellness” sensor that’s meant to be instructive, rather than something as accurate as the Withings ScanWatch.

Best smartwatches with blood oxygen monitoring: How to choose

Blood oxygen monitoring has become so commonplace in advanced smartwatches that you almost assume it’ll be there. But beyond the physical presence of the sensor, it’s just as important how the Pulse Ox actually works on your watch, and how the software makes use of the data.

Both Fitbit and Garmin generally take a similar approach, silently collecting blood oxygen data and giving you a score or average of how well you’re actually sleeping. The difference is that you can manually take a SpO2 reading on the Garmin Forerunner 245 (or any Garmin) whenever you want, while the Fitbits mostly run behind the scenes. Either way, they’ll give you a general sense if you’re having trouble getting enough oxygen while sleeping, and their large batteries ensure running the Pulse Ox won’t require daily charges.

Otherwise, Apple and Samsung support nightly Pulse Ox readings as well, with Samsung, in particular, offering the most health data and frequent SpO2 readings. Or you can accept a less “smart” watch and choose the Withings ScanWatch, instead.Round up of today’s best dealsREDUCED PRICE

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Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch 

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She’s obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.MORE ABOUT…Best Verizon phones 2022Best Samsung Galaxy A33 screen protectors 2022LATESTHelm Audio’s $99 Bolt DAC is the easiest way to get better audio out of your phone

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