The 10 Hottest New Wearable Devices Of 2020

This year’s big wearable device launches included smartwatches such as the Apple Watch Series 6 and smart assistant-equipped earbuds such as Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

Wearables To Wish For

A number of innovative new wearable products that launched in 2020 has helped to reignite interest in the wearables category, according to research firm IDC. Demand surged for wearables during the third quarter of the year, with shipments jumping 35.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, the firm reported. The two biggest contributors to wearables sales included smartwatches and hearables. (IDC defines hearables as earworn devices that include more functionality than just audio, such as access to a smart assistant.) Along with the debut of new wearables products, other factors driving the wearables boom included the shift of consumer spending to electronics as spending has waned on travel and dining out, IDC said. “The double-digit growth not only indicates strong demand, but also suggests that many people got a wearable device for the first time in both emerging and developed markets,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for Mobile Devices and AR/VR at IDC.

That means “a larger installed base of wearable device users going forward and a larger opportunity for device replacements in the years to come. And, as some wearers own multiple devices – like earwear and wristwear – the wearables market will enjoy sustained demand,” Llamas said.

What follows are our picks for the 10 hottest new wearable devices of 2020.

Get more of CRN’s 2020 tech year in review.

Apple Watch Series 6

The biggest advancement touted by Apple for the sixth-gen Apple Watch is measurement of blood oxygen—a vital sign that provides information about breathing and circulation (and is especially relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic). Other updates for the Apple Watch Series 6 include the addition of a new dual-core processor that enables a 20-percent improvement in performance over the prior generation. The display, meanwhile, is now 2.5X brighter for outdoor use. A number of new options for the band are also being introduced for the new Apple Watch, including a “solo loop” band that is one continuous piece, as well as a braided solo loop.

Apple Watch SE

For the first time, Apple also introduced a more affordably priced SE model for its Apple Watch lineup (leveraging the iPhone SE concept). The Apple Watch SE offers 2X faster performance and a 30 percent larger display than the Apple Watch 3, according to Apple. The wearable also includes many of the same health and fitness features of the more-expensive Apple Watch models, including fall detection and sleep tracking.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

With the recently launched Galaxy Watch3, Samsung brings together luxury-caliber design with advanced features in health and wellness. The wearable is made from materials such as stainless steel and leather, and is being offered as a new titanium model (pictured), as well. The smartwatch is also thinner and lighter than the prior model. For health and wellness features, the Galaxy Watch3 introduces blood oxygen measurement to track oxygen saturation over time, along with blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram readings and fall detection--which can send a notification to chosen contacts in the event of a potential fall. And for fitness features, the smartwatch includes running analysis--which provides real-time feedback during runs--along with six-factor post-workout reports and a new sleep score and insights feature for improving sleep.

Wyze Band

Wyze Band is an affordable fitness band from the maker of the Wyze Cam and other inexpensive smart home devices. At $24.99, the Band comes with an AMOLED color screen, a dual microphone array, 24/7 heart rate tracking and built-in Amazon Alexa voice communication. The Band can also control other Wyze devices, like Wyze Plug or Wyze Bulb, through its touch interface or Alexa voice command. In addition, it can connect with a smartphone to push app notifications and alerts. The layout, background and color of the Band‘s screen can also be customized. Lastly, it is 5ATM water resistant and has a battery that can last 10-14 days on a single charge.


Device maker Withings is pitching the ScanWatch as the “most advanced health wearable ever designed,” with the ability to detect both arrhythmia and sleep apnea. The device, which Withings says is clinically validated, can detect if the user has arrhythmia or an otherwise irregular heartbeat through its embedded PPG sensor and then perform an electrocardiogram test on demand. The results can then be easily shared with a doctor or healthcare professional. The ScanWatch can also detect sleep apnea episodes with its blood oxygen. In addition, the device can monitor sleep and analyze sleep patterns, which can be used to inform the device‘s Smart Wake-Up alarm feature.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro are hugely popular for good reason. Based on our usage, we’ve found them to be both immensely useful and brilliantly designed. The AirPods Pro not only sound great, but they also pair and unpair from your iPhone automatically and intelligently; they can recharge in their case, and include mics that are excellent for calls; and they come with three different silicone ear tips to choose from. Oh, and best of all, the AirPods Pro feature terrific Active Noise Cancellation—something not available in standard AirPods. The result is a superb listening experience from wireless earbuds that have a strong likelihood of being able to stay in your ears. The AirPods Pro also include Siri voice control and “transparency mode” for being able to listen to music while also hearing the sounds in the environment.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Samsung has its own wireless earbuds that offer voice control using smart assistants. Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds+ this year as a follow-up to the original Galaxy Buds from last year. One of the biggest improvements with the Galaxy Buds+ is the extended battery life, which Samsung has pegged at up to 11 hours on a charge—compared to six hours for the original Galaxy Buds. Charging up the Galaxy Buds+ in their case expands the potential battery life even further, to 22 hours. As for audio quality, while the Galaxy Buds+ don’t feature Active Noise Cancellation, they do boast top-notch sound from AKG along with a two-way speaker system that includes an added tweeter. The Galaxy Buds+ also come with three mics and improved “ambient sound” that allows users to remain aware of the environment while still experiencing great audio. And in terms of support for smart assistants, the Galaxy Buds+ work with Samsung’s Bixby as well as Amazon’s Alexa.

Kinexon SafeZone

Kinexon Safezone is an enterprise wearable solution designed to help employees maintain a safe distance from each other to prevent disease spread in the same facility. The solution consists of a fleet of wristbands worn by employees, and the wristbands send an alert when an employee comes within a predefined proximity of a co-worker. If an employee is found to have a virus, the employer‘s HR director can match the worker’s real name with the pseudonym assigned to their wristband to identify any co-workers that may have encountered the infected employee for contact tracing. The wristbands only track proximity to other wristbands and not location, which, in addition to the use of pseudonyms for the wristbands, were designed to protect the privacy of employees.

Sony Reon Pocket

Sony Reon Pocket is a wearable air conditioner that is meant to fit in the pocket below the back of the neck in a specially designed shirt that is sold with the device. Using the companion smartphone app, the Reon Pocket can lower the temperature by 23 degrees Fahrenheit on hot days and increase it by 14 degrees Fahrenheit on cold days. The device has a battery life of up to 90 minutes, and it can reach a full charge in roughly two hours. The Sony Reon Pocket is currently only sold in Japan--however, the app does work in English and the device can be ordered from Amazon Japan.

Whistle Fit

The Whistle Fit is essentially a Fitbit for your dog. Pitched as a preventative healthcare tool, the Whistle Fit attaches to the collar and monitors the dog‘s key health behaviors, food intake management and activity. Unlike the Whistle Go and Whistle Go Explore, the Whistle Fit doesn’t come with GPS location tracking. Instead, the new device measures things like calories burned, distance traveled and minutes active. With the Whistle Fit’s smartphone companion app, the dog’s owner can set recommended daily activity goals based on the dog’s breed, age and weight — and the app can send alerts, notifications and weekly wellness reports to keep owners apprised of potential health issues.