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In order for a smartwatch to connect with a Dexcom G6 transmitter, then both need to be connected via a smartphone that can ferry data between them. This means that you’ll need a smartwatch which is compatible with the OS of both the smartphone and the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System.
In this article we’ve found five watches that will work with a Dexcom G6 CGM and have outlined their pros and cons to cut through all the jargon of the tech market for ease of reading.
We’ve also included a buyers’ guide and an FAQ so that you can see which specs and features you should look for in a smartwatch to use with a CGM.
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We chose the Apple Watch Series 5 since it was from a successful brand that had the specs to match and doubled up in other features that looked out for your physical health.
See exactly why we chose it below:
- This watch has other features that monitor your health such as its built-in ECG app, heartbeat sensors and an emergency SOS system that triggers when the watch detects a fall.
- Allows you to keep tabs on your location with a built-in compass and GPS capability.
- The smartwatch is as durable as a watch needs to be, being swim-proof so that it can survive under the water for some period of time.
Best Smartwatch for Dexcom G6 - Comparison Table
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Best Smartwatch for Dexcom G6 - Reviews
It’s probably no surprise that an Apple product is at the top of this list with their Series 5 Watch. This is because, aside from its connectivity with phones that can also connect to the Dexcom G6, the watch has a multitude of other features intended to monitor your health.
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a built-in ECG app that works with electrical and heart sensors in the watch to report your heart rate back to you. It also has an emergency SOS system that includes fall detection that can alert nominated emergency contacts or emergency services.
It also has GPS capability with a built-in compass so that you’ll always know exactly where you are, and is swim-proof, meaning that it’s waterproof for a given period of time and so should withstand any water it’ll come across.
It has a poorer battery life than other smartwatches, but you Apple detractors in the readership probably knew that was the case anyway.
Our second watch is one that’s great value for money considering the features it has, and we’d even say it stands very close to our number one product.
It’s the TicWatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch, and it’s swimming in features that make it not only a competent smartwatch but, more specifically, a watch that’s capable of monitoring the health of its wearer.
The foremost of these is the TicPulse technology that monitors the heart rate all day (or as long as you wear it) and even warns of any complications that can arise, like abnormal heart rates. The TicSleep app can also make this watch track your sleeping patterns to see if it's healthy.
If you are on a Verizon phone plan then you’ll be glad to see that this watch is capable of connecting to the plan to make and receive that phone’s calls and texts, as well as music streaming and even smart home controls.
It has a long battery life that depends on the power settings, with two days on smart mode, five days on essential mode, and eighteen hours when the watch is hosting cellular usage. That longevity can also be said for its design, being certified to 810G durability to the US military standard, and it’s also waterproofed to an IP68 rating, meaning it’s suitable for pool swimming.
Some have expressed concern that the watch has subpar fitness monitoring capabilities. By fitness we mean sporty or dietary fitness, such as calorie counting.
Our next product is the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Touchscreen Smartwatch, a Wear OS powered watch that’ll be compatible with most smartphones and your Dexcom G6 CGM.
Aside from those compatibilities, the watch uses the fitness support tech of Google Fit and has a built-in GPS so that you can track the distance you’ve walked or ran. It’ll also deliver your notifications for many apps like Audible and can take phone calls.
Like our previous options the watch has several smart battery modes that will reduce the functionality of the watch in exchange for more use from it. It can be recharged with the included magnetic USB charger cable.
There’s plenty of room for third party apps with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM to execute those apps. The physical watch itself is rated to 3 ATM waterproofness, meaning that it is splash and rain resistant but isn’t suited for extended submersion in water.
One consideration that may be of interest is the fact that it can be harder to see in low-light conditions than other watch models.
Our next product on the list is another Fossil product, the Gen 4 Explorist Touchscreen Smartwatch, and it’s the cheapest smartwatch on the list for those of you on a budget.
It’s named for its 45mm explorist touchscreen that tracks your heart rate, and it also has Google Fit functionality which analyses that and reports your health back to you. It also has a built-in GPS and a Google search assistant to answer any queries you may have.
You can receive notifications for calls and messages on this phone, as well as download third party apps that’ll work seamlessly with it. The watch itself is rated to 3 ATM, so it can take splashes and slight contact with water.
The battery life can be unpredictable, lasting anywhere from 24 hours to two days depending on the power settings and use time. However, during heavy use the battery can be very limited.
Our final product on this list is from a brand you’ve undoubtedly heard of. The Emporio Armani Men’s Smartwatch 2 is the second priciest watch on the list, but we suppose that’s little surprise when considering the brand.
This watch has your back with its heart rate and GPS trackers that allow you to keep track of your health and your route when running. It’s also compatible with smartphones to receive notifications and features an NFC chip that can be used to make payments.
As for its physical design, it’s waterproof to 5ATM, so it can withstand water pressure down to 50 meters before being damaged. This makes it ideal for most casual swims you’d want to go on.
The reason it’s last on this list is because it’s effective but simple, and that makes it stand out against other watches that cost less but have many of the same features. It also lacks native sleep tracking, but we’re sure a downloadable app can help with that.
Best Smartwatch for Dexcom G6 - Buyers Guide
How to pick the best smartwatch
The best smartwatches are those that are far more than a timepiece. With this buyers’ guide, we’ll go through some of the many features that you should look for in a smartwatch. Such things to consider will be price, compatibility, OS, and the features you’ll need.
Like with anything, price is often an indicator of a product’s quality since higher prices generally mean higher manufacturing costs for the material and tech required. However, it can be naïve and irresponsible to assume that higher prices translate into quality, especially when you have a specific goal like CGM compatibility in mind.
Higher-end smartwatches will often be a designer brand and made with flashy materials, sometimes even precious stones. These can set you back about $500 but will offer more functionality too to justify that price.
However, smartwatches can come very cheap too, and these can be ideal for casual use as long as you ensure that the low price doesn’t affect the durability of the watch’s materials or lackluster features. The list above has a selection of smartwatches, though we’d say they’re all in the mid- to high-range in terms of quality.
The OS and Compatibility
This is important when considering why you want the phone. There are very few smartwatches, at the time of writing, that are able to communicate directly to CGMs like Dexcom G6s. This means that they instead both connect to the smartphone which mediates the connection between the two.
Cross-compatibility is a growing phenomenon that will hopefully clear up confusion and market segmentation, but for now there’s still a few tidbits to be aware of. First of all, if you have an Android phone stay away from number one, perhaps two will be more to your speed. We say this because Apple Watches, and most Apple products for that matter, tend not to play nice with other tech.
Another OS to watch out for is Tizen, being Samsung’s smartwatch OS that operates off of the Linux system. It was at first restricted to Samsung phones before branching out, but we’d still check before your purchase if your devices are in the list of compatibles.
Finally, we have the Google Wear OS, the OS we decided to go for with this list. This well-maintained OS benefits from many updates and the wealth of apps that you can find on the Play Store, but its most attractive feature was its compatibility with many different phones. The exception here are iPhones. Wear OS will work with iPhones, but not to the degree it’ll work with Android ones.
Assuming that you’re going with some of the models above, there’s a near infinite source of features in the form of third party downloadable apps, but here’s a look at some of the native features you should look for in a quality smartwatch.
Fitness tracking is a plus. Its priority will be based on your lifestyle and your intentions with the smartwatch, but when smartwatches first started hitting the market it was their fitness tracking capabilities that were front and center. Heart rate monitoring and running route tracking via built-in GPS are two features you’ll see prominently above. They also tend towards waterproofness, but we’ll get into that further on.
Battery life is an important one, considering that you’re planning on wearing it outside where charging options will be scarce. The more features a smartwatch has the more intensive that’ll be on the battery life, so it’s important to try and strike a balance between functionality and longevity, skewing it in either direction depending on how you plan to use it.
We mentioned downloadable apps at the start of this section, but what good are downloadable apps without the space to store them? You’ll want about 4GB or more to be sure that you’ll have the space for not only those apps but any music you’ll want too, especially if you plan on running with these and want to import your workout playlist over.
Cellular connectivity is important if you want to send or receive phone calls from your smartwatch. For this you’ll need to ensure your cell phone and your smartwatch are with the same network carrier, and even then, only a relatively small amount of them are capable of this type of smartwatch communication.
Waterproofness is something that some people look for in their smartwatches. At the very least your smartwatch should be able to withstand splashes of water. Waterproofness is measured in two separate ratings, the IP scale for immersion in water and the ATM measurement that quantifies water resistance during swimming. Try for IP67 or 68, and for ATM a measurement of three will do for splash-proofing, but five ATM allows the watch to reach 50 meters below the water.
Other simple enough features that are nice to have are NFC or MST chips that allow you to make card payments with your watch, and WiFi quality so that you can use your watch for online functions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What OS are compatible with Dexcom G6?
The Dexcom G6 App is required to establish connectivity between the watch and your CGM. OS that support the app range from Apple iOS 11 to 13.3.1 to Android Wear OS 1.0 to 2.0. Between these a large number of phones are covered, but let us elaborate on some of the other systems that support the Dexcom app.
Google Pixel, from one to three and including all XL variants, can support the app but you may encounter problems if you’re using the Google Services 8.1.0 APK. Otherwise the Huaweu P20 and P20 Pro are compatible, as are the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, and their Edge variants, as well as S8, S9, and S10 including their plus versions.
Why connect Dexcom G6 to a smartwatch?
By using the app on your smartphone to connect both your smartwatch and your Dexcom, you can not only customize your Dexcom alerts but also transmit from the Dexcom to your smart devices, allowing for you to receive glucose data on the app.
When a smartwatch is paired with your phone, and your phone is in turn connected with the Dexcom, you can use your smartwatch to see this info when walking out in public, making it a lot easier and convenient to keep tabs on your health.