The prediction of the magnetic field is a prerequisite to investigate the motor performance. This paper focuses on the magnetic field estimation of surface-mounted permanent-magnet (SMPM) motors based on two approximations, i.e., the magnetic circuit analysis and the finite-element analysis (FEA). An equivalent magnetic circuit model is applied to analytically evaluate the magnetic field of a SMPM motor with exterior-rotor configuration. The two-dimensional FEA is then applied to numerically calculate the magnetic field and to verify the validity of the magnetic circuit model. The results show that the errors between the analytical predictions and FEA results are less than 6%. It is of benefit to further design purposes and optimization of SMPM motors.