Always on display smartwatch review

The creator of this post has chosen the Apple watch 5 as the best smartwatch with AOD feature.

The exclusive technological advancements have left back the era of sophisticated analog watches which were considered a status symbol at the time. They have been aptly replaced by Smartwatches that can do much more than just telling time. But, if you have been a smartwatch fan and have used them, the one thing that feels quite irritating and clumsy is the odd shaking that needs to be done in order to wake it up.

Most of the screens of the smartwatches turn completely dark when we put our hands down, and to access the most trivial features like viewing the time, you need to raise your hand or at least shake it.

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This gesture looks quite unprofessional and embarrassing while in a meeting or other privileged places. This long-awaited alteration has been recognized by the watch giants and has had addressed in many smartwatches.

List of Top 10 AOD Smartwatches

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Below is the list of the 10 best smartwatches that retains always-on display in 2021 and help us to improve the overall experience.

10 Smartwatches with always-on display (Updated)

1# Amazfit BIP Smartwatch

Amazfit BIP AOD Smartwatch
Amazfit BIP Smartwatch

Amazfit BIP smartwatch embarks a great reflective tech display with always-on display and perfect visibility even under direct sunlight. The 1.28-inch screen is protected by a crystal clear 2.5D Corning Gorilla glass and AF coating and is IP68 water-resistant but is not swim-proof. The always-on display lets you view notifications or time at a glance paired with a comfortable fit that you can wear all day.

It is one of the cheapest smartwatch with always on display feature.

It accentuates all the basic activity-tracking features like Outdoor running, Treadmill, Cycling, Walking accompanying heart rate, pace and distance data. It doesn’t have a sim slot but makes a Bluetooth connection to your phone so that you get call and message notifications at your wrist.

The battery life is one of the best here, it lasts for about 30 days and is surely impressive and worth buying.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.28 inch, 176 X 176 pixels,
  • No storage or sim card slot available,
  • Price: $80


  • Blood oxygen monitor
  • Water-Resistant
  • Very Cheap Always-on display watch
  • A light rectangular shape (similar to Apple watch)


  • Available only with Silicon strap
  • Very Few Watch faces
  • Not a Premium Smartwatch

2# Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 with Always-on Retina display

Another massive incarnation of the tech giant Apple’s smartwatch models is the Apple Watch Series 5. This standalone smartwatch flaunts great design with recycled aluminum and titanium finishes along with the previous stainless steel and ceramic options.

The new wearable has quite the same features and battery backup as its predecessor, with some major advancements. The top-most leap is the much-awaited always-on display.

This feature lets you view the time without having to move your wrist like the previous versions. Although the screen would bear low brightness during the inactive mode, it will switch to full brightness as soon as it detects wrist-movements.

It also inhabits a built-in compass and emergency calling for international countries along with all the other activity-tracking features and 18-hour battery backup.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.78-inch LTPO inches capacitive touchscreen,448 X 368 pixels,
  • 32 GB internal memory,
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC,
  • Price: $310


  • Accurate heart rate monitoring
  • Premium Smartwatch
  • Latest WEAR OS 6 with Smooth performance
  • Built-in Compass


  • Higher Price
  • Average Battery life

3# Mobvoi Ticwatch E

Mobvoi Ticwatch E
Mobvoi Ticwatch E

Mobvoi has provided the smartwatch arena with some lovely budget-friendly pieces. One of them is the Ticwatch Express or Ticwatch E that offers a solid feature set and exquisite design. The watch can be found in three attractive color variants- black, white, and lemon, with a glossy finish. It is IP67 dust and water-resistant with scratch-resistant glass.

It has the default always-on Retina display showing the time and can be activated completely by shaking, tapping the watch, or pressing the side buttons. The always-on mode can be turned off to save battery. With Google’s Wear OS, it depicts all the latest apps like music, emails, texts, WhatsApp, built-in Google Assistant, etc.. It is equally compatible with the iPhone and has in-built GPS too.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.4in OLED,400×400 pixels,
  • 512 MB RAM,
  • Bluetooth, GPS, e-compass,
  • Price: $112


  • Accurate GPS and heart rate monitor
  • Affordable Premium smartwatch
  • Lightweight and durable build
  • Large screen (Good for Texting)


  • Not for small wrist
  • Average Battery life
  • No NFC

4# Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2 always on display
Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch

The latest iteration of the well-established activity -tracker company, Fitbit, is the Fitbit Versa 2. This waterproof smartwatch has on-board Amazon Alexa, Fitbit Pay, and an always-on display making it exceptionally powerful among the wearables. The always-on AMOLED display shows the date, time, and battery life in black and white, while the full-color display gets available after shaking.

It is the first Fitbit tracker with a digital assistant and SPOTIFY Connect to customize music library on your nearby devices.

With the soon releasing Fitbit Premium, the mini-computer will offer a variety of fitness programs that are personalized based on your set goals and complete insight into your health and activities. A new added somber feature is the Smart Wake which wakes you from bed more gently. The battery lasts for about two days with the always-on feature enabled and five days otherwise.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.34 inch AMOLED, 300 X 300 pixels,
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC,
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters,
  • Price: $185


  • Good Battery Life ( more than 1 week)
  • AMOLED Screen With Always-On Display
  • Alexa Built-In
  • Spotify Supported
  • Plenty of Color options


  • No Built-in GPS
  • Less customization

5# Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch
Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

Fossil Gen 5 is another gem from the reputed company Fossil with classic and comfortable styling. It has a soothing, bright, and always-on display, that can be turned off to save battery.

Equipped with all the newest features like GPS, NFC, Google Assistant, you can take phone calls directly on the watch. The different battery modes help to extend battery life for multiple days. It has a speaker installed that can respond to your queries (through Google Assistant) and can help you hear songs on the go. It is swim-proof and showerproof with 5 ATM ratings and location tracking using untethered GPS.

Key Features:

  • Display: AMOLED circular display,
  • 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage,
  • Price: $295


  • Lightweight & Premium look
  • Built-in Speaker
  • NFC Supported


  • Average Display
  • High Price

6# Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung Gear Sport
Samsung Gear Sport

The Samsung Gear Sport is a lightweight and completely customizable smartwatch with a multitude of straps and watches faces to choose from. The watch is water-resistant up to 50 meters and it is 1.2 inches always-on display has a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. The screen is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

It is best to watch for you if you are a fitness freak as it comes with a built-in training guide application that has over 60 workouts to choose from, and once you have chosen a workout it will guide you through motions while measuring your heart rate. It will also make sure that you stay in shape as it updates you daily about your caloric intake.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.2 inches
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Customizable
  • Price: $230


  • An abundance of fitness-related features
  • Scroll wheel for better usability
  • Always on Retina display


  • Large in size
  • Higher cost
  • Few color option

7# Diesel On Full Guard 2.5

This smartwatch from Diesel runs on the Wear OS operating system which means you get notifications about weather conditions, text messages, and missed calls. It is compatible with both Android and iOs devices and is both water-resistant and dust-proof. It comes with a 1.3-inches always-on display with 400 x 400-pixel resolution.

It is made out of aluminum which makes it both lightweight and durable. The watch has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chipset and a battery capacity of 300mAh. It will also fit on various occasions as the watch face is completely customizable.

Key Features:

  • Display: 1.3-inches
  • Snapdragon 2100 chipset
  • 300 mAh battery
  • Price: $160


  • Large 4GB Internal Storage
  • Scroll wheel for better usability
  • Built-in Speaker
  • Fast charging smartwatch


  • No GPS
  • No NFC
  • No calling facility

8# Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch

Galaxy Watch is another cool smartwatch from Samsung with 1.3-inch always-on retina display. It also has a standalone model that enables you to make and receive calls. The screen of the watch is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ and the watch face, as well as straps, are fully customizable.

It has a dual-core 1.15 GHz Cortx-A53 processor on Exynose 9110  chipset. It comes with a 472 mAh Li-ion battery which can be charged wirelessly. Moreover here you get 4GB of storage and 768 MB of RAM which can be upgraded to 1.5 GB.

Key features:

  • Display: 1.3-inches (360 x 360p)
  • 4GB ROM
  • 768MB RAM (expandable up to 1.5 GB)
  • Price: $220


  • Always on AMOLED display
  • Rotating bezel
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Water Resistant smartwatch


  • Not good for small wrist
  • Expensive

9# Samsung Gear S3 Classic

Samsung Gear S3 Classic is truly a standalone smartwatch that has the ability to be fully functional without the need for a connected phone. With this, you can reply to emails, texts, phone calls, and also make your payments with its Samsung Pay feature. It comes with an always-on display of 1.3 inches having 360 x 360-pixel resolution.

The watch is water-resistant, dustproof and Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ protected for durability. It comes with a built-in GPS and can last for up to 3 days on a full charge and can be easily charged wirelessly.

Key features

  • Display: 1.3-inches
  • 4GB ROM
  • 768MB RAM
  • Price: $280


  • Long battery life
  • Rotating bezel
  • Smooth OS
  • Rotary dial


  • Not a premium smartwatch
  • Companion App could be better

10# Garmin Instinct Solar

Garmin Instinct Solar

The list of always-on display smartwatches can not be completed without a solar smartwatch. Such smartwatches use solar energy to always brighten their screen. Garmin Instinct smartwatch is one of such smartwatch, it is made with US military standard. This smartwatch is fully water and thermal heat resistant.

Garmin instinct watch is not just a rugged smartwatch, you can also get plenty of features like a heart rate monitor, pedometer, Global navigation, etc. Its accurate GPS track each of your movements. In this watch, you can easily view how various settings and sensors impact your watch’s battery life. This way you can also enhance your battery life.

This Garmin watch is also available in various color variants, which is a very rare thing in a rugged watch.

Key features

  • Display: 0.9” x 0.9” inches
  • 10 ATM Water rating
  • Silicone straps
  • Price: $300


  • Solar charging
  • Long Battery life
  • Thermal Resistant watch
  • Various color option


  • Rugged design
  • Very few sensors
  • High Price
  • Limited features


1. Which smartwatch has an always-on display?

The Always-on display feature has become popular nowadays. Many brands like Fitbit, Garmin, Apple are using this feature in their smartwatches.

2. Why all the smartwatches don’t have AOD feature?

This feature needs special technology to brighten up the display all the time. It is a very power-consuming feature so wearable with low battery capacity cannot handle it.

3. Do Apple make AOD smartwatches?

The latest Apple watches series 6 has this amazing feature. However in the earlier versions of the Apple watch lack this feature.

4. Does always on display kill battery?

Yes. The always-on display drains a lot of battery. However, this technology is quite new we can see a lot of improvements in this feature in coming time.

5. Which are the cheapest smartwatches with an Always-on display?

According to our research, the Amazfit BIP has the AOD feature. This smartwatch is available at as low as $80!

These are some of the latest always-on display wearables in the market in 2021. Each one has its own pros and cons and you can buy any one as per your specifications.


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