Wearable tech wants to be in your life, but do you feel like letting it in?

Do you want to make sure you don't miss messages on your phone? Care about getting a bit healthier via a gadget? Do you run a lot? Are you an early adopter of status-symbol personal tech? Then maybe a smartwatch or fitness band is for you.

There are now dozens of smartwatches and fitness trackers now available, but below you'll find our recommendations right now, and why they stand out. Also make sure to check out our continually updated list of best wearable tech.

What to look for in a smartwatch or fitness band:

  • Design: Does it actually appeal to you? This is a matter of personal taste.
  • Phone support: You'll need Bluetooth 4.0, and your phone and OS need to be supported.
  • Is it waterproof, or swim-friendly? Do you shower with your watch on?
  • Battery life: Our baseline is an average of three days for a smartwatch, seven days average for a fitness band -- but very few current products meet those expectations.
  • What apps does it run? Pebble, Android Wear and Samsung Gear all use different apps.
  • Color screen, or black and white, or something else, or none at all? Some screens are always on.
  • Can it recognize your voice, and can it act as a speakerphone? Do you want that?
  • Is there a heart-rate monitor? How does it track fitness? Heart-rate monitors vary greatly, too.
  • What apps and ecosystems is it compatible with? For fitness bands, this is a big deal.

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