A smartwatch with an electrocardiogram is helpful because it allows you to measure your heart’s rhythm when it’s convenient for you. This allows you to check for unusual rhythm and can be part of the process for identifying atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.
ECGs are a fairly new addition to smartwatches so they tend to be limited to premium and flagship devices. In this article, I have listed all of the smartwatches with ECG along with a full review of each to help find the perfect device for your needs.
The best smartwatch with ECG is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 because it’s got a fast operating system, has a design suitable for all occasions and can be used with both iPhone and Android devices. You can take an ECG in just 30 seconds with the results being tracked in the Samsung Health app and sent to you via a PDF afterward.
Keep reading for our full list of recommendations including picks for fitness enthusiasts and one with a battery life of up to 12 months.
Disclaimer: ECG smartwatches are helpful to spot irregular heart rhythms but none of them are able to fully diagnose heart conditions, you can use them as part of the process but always consult with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.
- 1 Best ECG Smartwatches in 2021
Best ECG Smartwatches in 2021
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Send a PDF of your ECG direct to your doctor
Rotating bezel makes it easy to navigate the watch
8GB of internal storage for offline music listening
18-hour battery life can be a problem
My top ECG Smartwatch is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, the latest flagship watch from Samsung. It runs on their Tizen operating system which is very fast, especially given the watch has 1Gb of RAM.
The ECG is accessed through the Samsung Health Monitor app which is also where you can see your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen.
To take an ECG reading, you’ll need to be wearing the watch and place your finger from the opposite hand on the top button. This allows the watch to measure the electrical beats from your heart. You’ll need to do this for around 30 seconds to get the full ECG.
One unique feature that the other watches here don’t have is that you get a PDF sent to your phone after taking an ECG which can be helpful if you need to share it with your doctor.
The main feature I love about this watch is the rotating bezel which can be used to navigate the user interface seamlessly. This was first introduced back in the Samsung Gear S2 and has since become a signature feature in their devices.
Aside from this, the Galaxy Watch 3 has everything else you’d expect a modern-day smartwatch to have, plus more. You can install third-party apps such as Spotify and download music to the 8Gb of local storage, track your workouts using the built-in GPS, and make contactless payments thanks to an NFC chip.
The downside is the battery life. Being such a powerful watch, you’ll be lucky to get 18 hours out of it with regular use so daily recharging is required.
Best for Fitness: Samsung Galaxy Active 2
Slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy Watch 3
Silicone strap is more suited to exercising
Access all of Samsungs key services including Samsung Pay
Reduced internal storage of 4GB
If the main aim of your smartwatch is to keep track of your activity and workouts, the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 is a great pick. It brings across most of the features found in the flagship Galaxy Watch 3 found above, however, they have given it a slimmer and lighter profile which makes it more comfortable to wear whilst exercising.
To achieve the slim profile, they have removed the physical bezel and replaced it with a touch-sensitive bezel that accomplishes a similar task, although the trade-off is that the lack of a bezel makes the screen more prone to scratches. There is also an aluminum option which is lighter than the stainless steel galaxy watch 3, and the band is made from flexible silicone instead of leather which is better for use while working out.
Aside from the design of the watch, it runs Samsung’s Tizen smartwatch operating system so the user experience and the features of the watch are near-identical to the Galaxy Watch 3.
This includes the ability to install third-party apps, the ECG for monitoring your heart rhythm, and internal storage for downloading music from Spotify and Youtube Music (although the storage limit is 4GB as opposed to 8GB in the Galaxy Watch 3).
Samsung’s watches will work with both iPhone and Android devices, but they integrate especially well with Samsung smartphones as they can be used with Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and their voice assistant Bixby.
Best for Health Tracking: Fitbit Sense
Proactively alerts you to signs of afib
Indsutry-leading sleep tracking with daily sleep score
Some advanced reports require a Fitbit Premium subscription
Fitbit Sense is Fitbit’s most premium smartwatch and the only one to feature an electrocardiogram alongside its other health-tracking features.
The method for taking an ECG is slightly different from the other watches as you need to place two fingers on the watch and it can take up to a minute compared to 30 seconds in the other devices.
Fitbit is the only smartwatch with an ECG that will proactively tell you if your heart shows signs of atrial fibrillation, a cause of heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. Studies have found the watch to be 98.7% accurate in identifying afib cases (source). However, you should consult with your doctor for a full diagnosis before taking any action.
The Fitbit Sense is best for those looking to extensively track their health, it also includes a heart rate monitor, stress management, an SpO2 monitor for tracking the amount of oxygen in your blood, and a sleep score. The sleep score is based on your heart rate, how long you spend awake or restless, and your sleep stages such as how long you spend in REM sleep.
The Fitbit Sense does have a limited range of third-party apps you can install such as Strava and Uber to add extra functionality. Fitbit claims a battery life of up to 6 days, although users on Amazon advise that 3 days is more likely with regular usage.
Keep in mind that Fitbit does require an ongoing subscription to one of their premium health reporting (6-month free trial included), although the ECG reports are all free.
Best for iPhone Users: Apple Watch Series 6
Accurate ECG app that displays waveform on the watch face
Premium look and feel with several materials to choose from
Smooth and fast user experience
Only works with iPhones
Nest up is the Apple Watch 6 which does an excellent job at combining style and usability, this is no surprise coming from Apple. The Series 6 is their high-end watch with all the bells and whistles including an electrocardiogram.
Taking an ECG on the Apple Watch is similar to other devices, you need to touch the crowd dial with your finger, this creates a closed circuit between your arms so it can track electrical signals of your heart. Taking an ECG on the Apple Watch takes around 30 seconds and will show you a waveform on the screen, alerting you if there are any causes for concern.
ECG isn’t the only health tracking feature that the Series 6 has up its sleeve. There’s also a heart rate monitor, pulse oximeter for measuring the oxygen saturation in your blood, and Apple Health which is where all your data is stored and displayed in easy-to-understand formats. The health features are so good that several Apple Watch users claim it saved their lives!
The watch isn’t just aimed at health and fitness monitoring, it’s a great everyday watch with GPS, voice assistant, the ability to download music and control your smart home.
Where the Apple Watch falls down is with its battery life. It will typically last around 18 hours on a full charge so you’ll need to recharge it every day.
This recommendation is for iPhone users only because the Apple Watch currently doesn’t work with Android phones. If you are an iPhone user, chances are you use some of Apple’s other services such as Siri, Apple Music, and Apple Pay, all of which are fully built-in to the watch and can be used tether-free.
Affordable Pick: Apple Watch Series 5
Cheaper than the flagship Series 6
Digital crown with haptic feedback
Access all of Apple’s services such as Apple Music and Siri
No SpO2 monitor or always-on display
If you’re an iPhone user but don’t want to splash out on their highest spec watch, the Apple Watch Series 5 also has an ECG but comes in at a lower price point. The ECG app is identical to the Series 6, however, there are a few other differences which I’ll explain here.
You’ll still get a slick-looking watch that’s available in aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic. Unlike some of the previous generations, it has a digital crown with haptic feedback alongside a retina display. However, the Series 5 is lacking some of the other premium features found in the Series 6.
It doesn’t have the pulse oximeter for monitoring your blood oxygen, nor does it have the always-on display. Whilst it has the same 18-hour battery life as the Series 6, it doesn’t come with fast charging so takes around 2.5 hours from 0-100%.
The watch does have a slightly slower processor, although you shouldn’t notice too much difference during regular usage unless you frequently switch apps.
Being an Apple Watch, it integrates well with Apple’s ecosystem and has a large range of third-party apps that can be installed from Airport boarding cards to contactless hotel door keys. You can also use Spotify, YouTube Music, or Apple Music for offline music downloads to use the watch whilst away from your phone.
As with the Series 6 mentioned above, the Series 5 will only work with iPhones.
Best for Battery life: Withings Move ECG
Substantial battery life of 12 months
Affordable hybrid smartwatch
Limited features compared to other smartwatches
No screen on the device at all
Withings have taken a different approach to their wearables than the previous manufacturers, opting instead for a hybrid smartwatch that houses all of the sensors of a smartwatch but still looks like a regular watch with an analog watch face.
The main benefit of this is battery life. Typically, the screen is the most power-hungry part of a smartwatch. But, with no screen to account for, the watch can last 12 months without charge.
The watch will also track your sleep and progress towards daily fitness goals. There is a second, smaller dial on the watch with a scale from 0-100 which shows your step count as a percentage of your goal. Unlike their flagship Withings HR and the Scanwatch below, the Withings Move ECG cannot mirror smartphone notifications which feels like a major missing feature to me.
Aside from telling the time and seeing your step count progress, everything else must be accessed via the smartphone app. However, the watch will continue to track your key vitals without your phone and sync up when it’s in range so you can still take it on runs tether-free if you#’re happy to go without any music.
You might expect the device to be slimmer than others here given that there is less technology inside, however, it’s 2mm thicker than the Galaxy Watch 3.
Best Hybrid: Withings ScanWatch
Has a decent 30-day battery life
Small digital screen can display key information and notifications
Stylish analog watch design
Limited features compared to other smartwatches
If you like the sound of the Withings Move ECG above but would like a few extra features, the Withings Scanwatch might be a good choice.
Again the Scanwatch is a hybrid-style smartwatch, Withings have opted for an analog watch face rather than a smartwatch display, although it does have a small digital screen within the watch face which can be used for basic information such as step count, heart rate, or notifications.
Let’s take a look at the plethora of sensors packed into this device. There’s a medical-grade ECG, a pulse oximeter for measuring your blood oxygen, and a heart rate monitor.
The ECG feature works the same way as the dedicated Withings ECG watch, you have to place your finger on the watch bezel for 30 seconds, a report will then be generated. You won’t be able to see your ECG recording on the watch as the screen is too small, so you’ll need to have your smartphone with you to use this feature.
There are a few features missing that can be found in some of the other devices mentioned here, for example, there’s no NFC so you can’t make payments with the watch and it doesn’t have GPS for using map features such as tracking your running routes.
The extra features on this watch including the screen, meaning that its battery life is shorter than the Withings ECG watch. Expect it to run for around 30 days between charges which is still an impressive battery life compared to other brands.