I think we can all agree that mobile contactless payments are the future. I use Google Pay and Samsung Pay all the time, it makes things easier because you don’t have to worry about bringing your wallet and losing important cards.
But what about smartwatches? Are there are any smartwatches that support Google Pay? What are the best ones out there? If you have been thinking about buying a smartwatch but you need one that has NFC and supports your mobile payment apps, this article is for you.
When you think of a smartwatch, probably the first thing that comes to mind is those Fitbit trackers that monitor your heart-rate and whatnot. Those are useful too, and a lot cheaper than the smartwatches we’re going to talk about, but they don’t have NFC or Google Pay support.
Are Smartwatches Worth it?
New smartwatches are more of a fashion symbol than a real need. In my opinion, if you find a smartwatch within your budget, and you’ll use the features on a daily basis, then it’s totally worth it.
However, I wouldn’t recommend smartwatches for everyone. They can be very pricey and some of the features are very niche, meaning they only appeal to a very specific group of people. We’ll talk about a couple of smartwatch alternatives later on.
Why would you want Google Pay on your smartwatch? The main reason would be to make purchases without having to bring your phone with you. Having a smartwatch that supports Google Pay is super-convenient because it’s wearable and lightweight.
A smartwatch can be used much like the contactless payments on your phone; simply hold the smartwatch to the terminal and wait for a “Payment successful” notification. Let’s take a closer look at some specific models:
Bear in mind, smartwatches can be rather expensive, some of them even cost more than modern laptops. But if you have the money to spare, and you want to treat yourself to something cool and trendy, buying a smartwatch is a good idea.
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Here’s a list of smartwatches that support Google Pay:
Smartwatches that Support Google Pay:
Price: 💲💲💲 3/5 (Higher-end)
TicWatch is well known for creating a wide range of wearable gadgets, including their own version of Airpods, called Ticpods. But probably the most popular TicWatch products are their smartwatches, they have a rather large line-up of high-tech smartwatches, for men, women, and even children.
The particular model, TicWatch Pro 2020 is getting a lot of praise online for being reliable and feature-rich.
There’s another version, TicWatch Pro 4G that supports mobile networks, but it’s only available to Verizon members, it won’t work with any other provider. There are really a lot of features packed into this watch, it’s basically like a mini-phone on your wrist, powered by Google’s Wear OS.
(Most of the apps that are available on Google Wear OS will work on this watch).
- IP68 Waterproof
- NFC and Google Pay Compatible
- 1 GB of RAM
- Heart Rate
- Sleep Tracker
- 4 GB of Storage
- Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, NFX
- Battery life: 2-5 Days
- And many others.
The TicWatch 2020 Pro is definitely worth a look. It also comes in a variety of styles and colors, so there’s a little something for everyone.
As for the price, I would say it’s in the middle range, not too expensive, but also not very budget-friendly. When you consider the features, the value is pretty good.
Price: 💲💲 2/5 (Budget friendlier)
Fossil is another company known for making a wide variety of smartwatches, including some with a more traditional style. Most Fossil smartwatches have a nice minimalistic, light, modern design.
One smartwatch that stood out to me is the Fossil Men’s Explorist, but you’re free to take a look at the other models, they have smartwatches for women too. I like the Explorist because it comes in a variety of colors and styles, and it is compatible with most Wear OS apps.
The Fossil Men’s Explorist has NFC so it works with Google Pay too
- Smartphone notifications
- Control music
- Fitness Tracker, Heart Rate, etc
- 24 Hr Battery
What I liked?
The appearance, it has a classic design, and enough screen area to use the touchscreen. It’s also not too expensive, cheaper than the first smartwatch I mentioned, and it has a nice minimalistic appearance. You can also buy custom straps!
The downside that I see people complaining about a lot online is the battery life, it only tends to last 24 hours until you have to charge. The good news is it does support fast-charging so it doesn’t take long to charge, but it’s a little annoying to have to charge your watch over and over.
Fossil has a lot of smartwatches, if you don’t like this one, you can look through some of the other Fossil NFC smartwatches, there’s bound to be something that you like on there. Overall, though, a pretty decent budget-friendly smartwatch that supports Google Pay.
Price: 💲💲💲 3/5 (Pricey but GOOD)
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is a best-seller on Amazon for good reasons. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is pretty much what any Samsung fan would want. It’s durable, feature-rich, and has great battery life. It also just looks good!
The main issue with this watch is that it does not support Google Pay at the moment, but it does support Samsung Pay which is a good alternative.
Let’s run through the main features:
- Operating System: Tizen 4.0
What about battery life? You’ll be happy to hear that the battery life on this smartwatch can last between 2 to 3 days with average use. Charging is very fast too via the wireless charger. Overall, a very good battery life, unlike some of the other NFC smartwatches we came across.
Do bear in mind, since the operating system is Tizen 4.0, the usual Android apps aren’t compatible with this watch. While it does have Samsung alternatives, if you rely heavily on Google apps, this might not be the watch for you.
I use a combination of Samsung and Google apps, I actually use Samsung Pay more often than Google Pay, so this issue isn’t a complete dealbreaker for me. You’ll also have access to Samsung Health, Samsung Things, and other useful Samsung apps. In short, a great smartwatch, but you’ll be limited to Samsung apps.
You can feel free to browse other good NFC smartwatches, most NFC watches work with Google Pay and Samsung Pay the two most popular contactless payment options at the moment. For Apple Pay, you’ll need an Apple Watch.
Let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about smartwatches:
Can Smartwatches Work with Google Pay Offline?
As it turns out, Google Pay uses offline tokens, so you can actually use Google Pay without an internet connection. But it depends on your bank, not all banks send offline tokens to Google Pay, and the number varies too, so it can be a little unreliable.
In most cases, you can get around four offlines tokens before Google Pay requires an internet connection. The good news is as soon as you connect to the internet, Google Pay should automatically reset the offline tokens.
So, in short, a smartwatch that is NFC and Google Pay compatible should work for mobile payments, even if it’s not connected to your phone and doesn’t have an active internet connection.
Can I Use Samsung Pay Offline?
Much like Google Pay, Samsung Pay uses offline tokens, so you can make purchases through Samsung Pay even if your device does not have an internet connection. The caveat is you’re limited 10 offline payments, which will reset when you have a connection.
Can I Use My Smartwatch Without a Smartphone?
It depends on the smartwatch model you choose, 4G or Wi-fi compatible smartwatches can work without a smartphone. You’ll always be able to tell the time and other basic information with a smartwatch.
However, most smartwatches need to be paired via Bluetooth with a phone for most of the features to work, for example, view messages and notifications, etc. Most of the apps are designed to work with a phone too, so using a smartwatch without a smartphone won’t be the full experience.
Wrapping it Up:
To conclude, there are plenty of smartwatches that support Google Pay but you’ll need to do a bit of research to see if you’ll actually use the features.
I like the idea of smartwatches, but I’m not sure if dropping hundreds of dollars on one is a good idea. For fitness enthusiasts and hikers, it can be quite useful, but for the average person, not so much.
Nevertheless, having contactless payment options on your watch is super-convenient and futuristic, now you can impress your parents “The future is now old man!”.
What do you think about smartwatches? Are they a waste of cash? Or are they a useful tech gadget for our daily needs?