Technophiles love to talk about top-of-the-line smartwatches and smartwatches with all the bells and whistles. And brands love to flood your feed with commercials of the most expensive smartwatches. But what about folks who want affordable, cheap smartwatches they can grab for themselves even if they don’t have a lot of cash?
Like most consumers, I used to think that the only worthwhile smartwatches were the opposite of budget friendly. After all, you have to spend a lot of cash to get a great gadget. Right?
Wrong. It turns out that there are lots of great cheap smartwatches available, probably because the smartwatch market has expanded since the first devices were strapped to well-to-do wrists. These days, many of the best affordable smartwatches also come from some of the best brands or lines – for instance, there’s a Fitbit Versa Lite that has many of the same advantages and features as its more expensive counterpart, while still being affordable.
You know me. I love reviewing smartwatches. So I figured I’d also check out the best cheap smartwatches on the market just in case you need a last-minute gift for a family member (or yourself!) and don’t want to break the bank in the process. Let’s dive in!
- Top 10 Cheap Smartwatches – At a Glance
- Best Cheap Smartwatches of 2020
- 1. TOZO S2 Smart Watch – Best Overall Cheap Smartwatch
- 2. Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker – Best Cheap Fitbit Alternative
- 3. Amazfit Bip – Best Battery Life Cheap Smartwatch
- 4. Minecraft Touchscreen Interactive Smartwatch – Best Cheap Smartwatch for Kids
- 5. AGPTEK IP68 Waterproof Smartwatch – Best Cheap Feminine Smartwatch
- 6. Fitpolo Smartwatch – Best Health and Sleep Tracking Cheap Smartwatch
- 7. Garmin Vivoactive 3 – Best Cheap Smartwatch for the Apps
- 8. Huawei Watch GT2e – Best Cheap Smartwatch for Custom Workouts
- 9. LIGE Smartwatch – Best Cheap Masculine Smartwatch
- 10. Amazfit Bip Pro – Best GPS Tracking on a Cheap Smartwatch
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
- Top Rated Cheap Smartwatches
Top 10 Cheap Smartwatches – At a Glance
- Best Overall Cheap Smartwatch – TOZO S2 Smart Watch
- Best Cheap Fitbit Alternative – Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker
- Cheap Smartwatch with the Best Battery Life – Amazfit Bip
- Best Cheap Smartwatch for Kids – Minecraft Touchscreen Interactive Smartwatch
- Best Cheap Feminine Smartwatch – AGPTEK IP68 Waterproof Smartwatch
- Best Health and Sleep Tracking Cheap Smartwatch – Fitpolo Smartwatch
- Best Cheap Smartwatch for the Apps – Garmin Vivoactive 3
- Best Cheap Smartwatch for Custom Workouts – Huawei Watch GT2e
- Best Cheap Masculine Smartwatch – LIGE Smartwatch
- Best GPS Tracking on a Cheap Smartwatch – Amazfit Bip Pro
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Cheap Smartwatches of 2020
1. TOZO S2 Smart Watch – Best Overall Cheap Smartwatch
First up on our list is the TOZO S2 Smartwatch. We have named this product the best overall cheap smartwatch because it is highly affordable, yet it comes with all the features you want from a smartwatch. It has a gender-neutral appearance, so it will fit practically any style.
All you have to do is download the S2 smartwatch app to use this watch. Don’t worry, the app is free for download. With the app, you will be able to connect the watch to your phone through Bluetooth. Because of the Bluetooth features, the product even has Alexa built-in so that you can control your watch with your voice.
The TOZO S2 Smart Watch has practically every feature you would want from a smartwatch. For example, it has heart rate tracking, sleep timing, and blood and activity tracking built-in. These features will allow you to accurately monitor your health in real-time. Of course, the watch automatically records your step count, distance, and calories burned.
This smartwatch even has long battery life. The battery has a large capacity of 300 mAh. At the same time, the watch is designed to be low power consumption. Whenever you leave the watch in the auto-monitoring mode for heart rate, it will last 10 days without needing to be recharged. If you change the mode to instant detections, it will last a week before it dies.
You don’t have to worry about damaging this watch whenever it rains either. It has a 5ATM waterproof rating. This allows the watch to be waterproof at 50 meters. In other words, you can even wear this watch whenever you are swimming without worrying about damage.
Appearance-wise, this watch is very modern, sleek, and simple. The face is a rectangle, and the straps are simple black. This coloration will allow the watch to fit into practically any style and life. Whether you are a feminine girl or a blue-collar worker, this watch will perfectly fit your life and style.
To top it all off, this watch is highly affordable. You can easily fit it into your budget. In fact, it is the cheapest adult watch on our list. Only the kid’s pick is cheaper!
People who buy the TOZO S2 Smart Watch agree with our consensus. It has over a four-star rating on Amazon, and it has a five-star rating for its value for the money. Almost every reviewer notes that it is a fantastic smartwatch for the price.
Whenever there were negative reviews, they were very minimal. For example, there were a couple of complaints that the watch isn’t super sensitive. Still, almost every user noted that they would repurchase this watch despite the drawbacks because it has a lot of features and great functionality for the price.
Overall, get the TOZO S2 Smart Watch if you are looking for the best cheap smartwatch. It is affordable and reliable, yet it comes with several features that rival more expensive watches.
- Easy connection
- Many features
- Alexa built-in
- Long battery life
- Versatile appearance
- Watch face not sensitive
2. Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker – Best Cheap Fitbit Alternative
Do you love the look of a Fitbit but hate the price? If so, you will likely love the Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker. This tracker is designed to look and function like a regular Fitbit. Still, it is way more affordable than its highbrow counterpart.
The Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker connects to your phone via Bluetooth for maximum convenience. This Bluetooth connection is easy, reliable, and suitable for practically all smartphones. The Bluetooth connectivity even allows you to talk to your smartwatch via Alexa.
Through Bluetooth, you can track all of your vitals and even have access to your phone when your phone is away. On the one hand, this smartwatch acts as a fitness tracker. It monitors your heart rate, sleep, steps, blood saturation, and more. It even has 11 sports modes.
On the other hand, it will allow you access to many of your phone’s apps. You can get notifications about social media, text messages, emails, alarms, and many other similar apps. So, you don’t have to worry about missing a notification even if your phone isn’t on you.
This smartwatch has one of the most impressive battery lives. This model has a 15-day battery life, which will allow you to use the watch for two whole weeks without needing to be recharged. This fact is great whenever you go out of town and don’t want to pack another charger.
This model looks a lot like a Fitbit in that it has a slim design. It also has multiple clockface options so that you can customize the face screen. There are three different bands you can choose between – midnight black, olive, and orange – for further customization.
Despite these features and customizable appearance, the Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker is highly affordable. It is about the same price as our best overall pick.
According to reviews, this product is perfect if you want a budget-friendly Fitbit dupe. Users report that it offers excellent features, and you really get your money’s worth out of this product. The only drawback is that there are a few issues with accuracy, but this is an issue of all smartwatches, not just this model.
With all of this in mind, the Amazfit Band 5 Activity Fitness Tracker is a great product for people who want a Fitbit at a lower cost. It looks just like a Fitbit and comes with the same features, but it is only a fraction of the price.
- Looks like a Fitbit
- Comes with many features
- Easy connection
- Customizable appearance
- Highly affordable
- Not completely accurate
3. Amazfit Bip – Best Battery Life Cheap Smartwatch
Amazon has recently gotten into the smartwatch market for itself (along with practically every other market, it seems). The Amazfit Bip series is known for its affordability and reliability, and the main Bip offering is a perfect example of balancing budget and functionality.
All in all, the watch comes with over 60 different sports modes, allowing it to track basic stats like your BPM or kcal as you do your favorite sports or other activities. Since it can track a variety of different sports, you’ll get customized stats and analyses instead of having to rely on basic stats that really only work for running or swimming.
Speaking of swimming, this smartwatch is very water-resistant, and it can monitor both your heart rate and your sleep cycles for better wellness across the board. Everything can be viewed from the surprisingly vibrant HD display, which is fairly customizable.
However, where this smartwatch really shines is its battery life. It can last for up to nine days in total on average thanks to its power-optimized components. This means you’ll only rarely need to recharge the smartwatch, even if you use power-intensive features like its GPS tracking.
It’s also one of the lightest and most comfortable smartwatches you can find on the market, as it only weighs 31 g and uses a slim band that comes in a wide variety of colors. Additional features, such as feminine health tracking, blood oxygen level monitoring, and even stress level monitoring round out the Amazfit Bip and mark it as a solid smartwatch overall, while also being extremely budget-friendly.
In fact, I’d specifically recommend it for newcomers to smartwatches, as it’s easy to get used to and won’t cost you too much if you end up discovering that smartwatches are more of a curiosity to you than a necessity.
- Has arguably the best battery life in the industry for any smartwatch
- Very lightweight and comfortable
- Has good sensors for monitoring your health metrics and fitness goals
- Offers customized stats for different exercises
- Long-term durability may be questionable – given the low asking price, however, this isn’t such a big deal
4. Minecraft Touchscreen Interactive Smartwatch – Best Cheap Smartwatch for Kids
If you are looking for the best cheap smartwatch for kids, look no further than the Minecraft Touchscreen Interactive Smartwatch. This smartwatch is perfect for children because it has a Minecraft design. Still, it will allow them to keep track of time and be responsible with their time due to its features.
Because this watch is designed for children, it is slightly different than the other smartwatches on this list. For starters, it doesn’t connect via Bluetooth. Instead, you have to physically connect the watch to a computer using a USB cord. This both charges the watch and allows you to view different vitals.
There are tons of preset features and games that children love. It has child-friendly educational games. It also has a camera so that your child can have fun taking selfies or videotaping the world around them. The watch itself comes with storage space to save the photos and videos.
One of the best features for children is the alarm mode. You can set alarms to keep your child responsible and on track of their time.
It’s important to note that the preset features and the lack of Bluetooth technology makes this watch incredibly child friendly. You do not have to worry about your child gaining access to something they shouldn’t. Instead, they have a watch to keep them entertained without risking exposure.
The battery life is very long. Unfortunately, Minecraft does not list how long the battery lasts, but users report that it truly is long-lasting. This will allow you to rest easy, knowing that your child’s watch will not die throughout the day.
The appearance is probably the best feature when it comes to kids. Since it is actually sold by the Minecraft brand, it is designed in a pixelated fashion and has a bright green color. Any child will quickly recognize that it is a Minecraft product.
Most parents rave about how fantastic this watch is for their youngsters. Most users note that it is an excellent smartwatch for young children. It teaches them responsibility, but you don’t have to worry about wasting a fortune on the watch.
The one drawback of this model is that it does not come with an instruction booklet. The lack of an instruction booklet makes it difficult to utilize all the features and functions. Additionally, this watch is not waterproof. Make sure your child takes the watch off before getting wet.
As long as you are willing to experiment with the watch, the Minecraft Touchscreen Interactive Smartwatch is a perfect choice for your child. It is affordable, friendly, and teaches responsibility while having a Minecraft design that children love.
- Easy to connect
- Many kid-friendly features
- Long battery life
- Fun Minecraft appearance
- Does not come with instructions
- Not waterproof
5. AGPTEK IP68 Waterproof Smartwatch – Best Cheap Feminine Smartwatch
Most smartwatches have a masculine, athletic design. If you are looking for a feminine smartwatch, you might feel short on options. Luckily, the AGPTEK IP68 Waterproof Smartwatch has a pink feminine color perfect for those who want the best cheap feminine smartwatch.
This watch will connect to your phone via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connects whenever you download the free app that comes with the watch. This app is convenient and allows you to control every aspect of the watch from your phone.
Through Bluetooth connectivity, there are many features you can enjoy with this watch. You can enjoy the activity tracker, including the pedometer, calories, distance, heart rate, sports mode, and sleep monitoring. You can also get notified from your phone, including phone calls, text messages, and app notifications.
The battery life is nothing short of impressive. It only takes 2 hours to charge completely, and it can be used for seven to 10 days on one charge. If you aren’t using the watch, it can last 30 days in standby mode before it needs to be charged.
The appearance of this watch is why we’ve named it our feminine pick. Although there are three color choices, the pink is very feminine. It is a dusty rose color that is perfect for the working adult. It has gold accents that complement the watch and make it look expensive. You can even customize the screen to match your style perfectly.
You don’t even have to worry about damaging the watch whenever you wash your hands. It is waterproof for small amounts of water, but you should not wear it in the shower or when you are swimming.
This watch is slightly more expensive than our best overall pick, but it is still really affordable. Especially when you consider all the features and its beautiful appearance, the price is very reasonable compared to the competition.
Reviews and pictures of the product show that this watch lives up to its expectations. It is just as beautiful on your wrist as it is in person. It also works just as it should and makes a great purchase given its price. One thing to keep in mind is that the watch is a bit large. Users note that it isn’t heavy or in the way, but its face is larger than some expected.
At the end of the day, the AGPTEK IP68 Waterproof Smartwatch is the choice for you if you want a feminine, beautiful watch. Its dusty rose pink color is the best choice if you want a girly style.
- Many features
- Long battery life
- Looks more expensive than it is
- Large face
6. Fitpolo Smartwatch – Best Health and Sleep Tracking Cheap Smartwatch
One of the primary uses of a smartwatch is to track your health and important vitals. Although most smartwatches have these functions, the features aren’t always equal. The best cheap smartwatch for fitness and sleep tracking is the Fitpolo Smartwatch.
To use this watch, all you need to do is download the free app so that it connects the watch to your phone. Note, you must have a phone with iOS 8.0 or Android 4.4 and above for the app to work. Luckily, almost all smartphones used today meet these stipulations.
Once you connect the watch, you can utilize several apps and features on your phone, such as your calendar, text, and apps. More importantly, this watch allows you to monitor practically every health statistic you might want to know about yourself.
Based on health monitoring capabilities, this is one of the best watches you can buy. The watch automatically monitors your heart rate and sleep, and you can see your deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time. It has nine exercise modes, menstrual health tracking, and many other health features.
The battery life is comparable to the other watches we have looked at. Its large capacity allows you to use this watch for seven days before it needs to be recharged. When on standby, the watch can last a total of 35 days.
This watch is designed to look almost like an Apple Watch. It has a square face that is large for easy viewing. The bands come in four colors so that you can customize your watch to your ideal style and coloration.
Even though this watch looks like an Apple Watch, it is way more affordable. It is the same price as our best overall pick, proving its affordability. Sometimes, this watch even comes with an additional coupon offered through Amazon.
Users who have bought this watch report that it is one of the most accurate watches for its price point. Users go on to note that if you are looking for an affordable health tracker, this is the best watch on the market. One thing to note is that the watch has a large base and may need to be reset.
Considering all of that, the Fitpolo Smartwatch is an excellent pick if you want to monitor your health. It offers many features at a low price, making it well worth the money for nearly all buyers.
- Easy to connect
- Many great features for health monitoring
- Long battery life
- Multiple color options to choose from
- Large face
- Sometimes needs to be reset
7. Garmin Vivoactive 3 – Best Cheap Smartwatch for the Apps
Some smartwatches are defined by their hardware or aesthetics. Others are defined by the apps they bring to the table. The latter is definitely the case with the Garmin Vivoactive 3, which comes with some of the best smartwatch apps on the market at an affordable price.
Let’s start with Garmin Pay, the watch’s contactless payment solution. This feature is so convenient that many people consider it a must-have. You can use your watch to securely pay for purchases thanks to the digital security included with the watch’s software, which prevents your personal details from being scooped as you use it.
Beyond that, the watch also comes with 15 preloaded indoor and outdoor sports apps. You’ll be able to monitor your fitness routines, results, and health metrics for things like yoga, swimming, running, and much more. It even comes with excellent GPS tracking so you’ll be able to monitor your steps and how far you run, or plot out new routes using the map you can bring up right on the watch screen.
It’s really good for measuring your fitness level overall thanks to the exercise and stat apps, such as VO2 Max. Stress tracking is included as well, which can be a good choice if you have a stress-filled lifestyle due to your exercise or your work.
Another great feature is the way it connects with your smartphone to provide you with notifications and automatically upload data to Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect is a proprietary app that allows you to connect with a thriving online community, similar to Strava or MapMyRun, which could be good if you want some extra support in starting a new exercise routine or keeping progress up when the going gets tough.
Live Track is another great app that carefully tracks your daily activity levels and allows you to set custom goals.
This watch is also great in terms of customization. You can use the Garmin Connect IQ store to download hundreds of different watch faces and widgets. This allows you to personalize the watch specifically to your needs.
The downside is that the exterior is not nearly as customizable as other smartwatches on the market; bands only come in white or black. Watch face colors for the exterior are limited as well. Still, there’s a lot to like about this budget-friendly smartwatch. It’s a good pick for folks who need something affordable but worthwhile in terms of software and app functionality.
- Excellent battery life
- Each watch face is made with stainless steel, so it’s durable
- Great for connecting to your phone to stay in-synch with communications or app notifications
- Great apps across the board, such as Live Track, Garmin Connect, and lots of fitness apps tailored for particular sports or activities
- You can personalize the watch with thousands of free watch faces, widgets, and apps
- Exterior colors and style aren’t very customizable
8. Huawei Watch GT2e – Best Cheap Smartwatch for Custom Workouts
Sometimes, relying on a basic workout routine that someone else pre-programmed into your smartwatch just won’t cut it. This is especially true if you’re looking to push your limits and really become fit.
In that case, the Huawei Watch GT2e is an excellent budget-friendly choice that allows you to use custom workout modes to really tailor your smartwatch experience to your needs. Indeed, I found that the watch has 85 custom workout modes in total, each of which can be tweaked here and there to better fit different sports or exercise activities.
You’ll be able to use these custom workout modes to gather accurate data about your progress as you become more fit, or use those modes to help motivate you and keep you on track throughout a long-term workout plan (of, say, several months).
However, the watch also comes with 15 professional workout modes you’ll be able to use if you want to stick with pre-made and proven routines. I like that you can switch between both at the touch of a button, plus the fact that the watch comes with a 14-day battery life. This way, you don’t need to worry about running out of juice in the middle of your workout session.
Plus, it’s designed with special sensors that collect accurate readings as you work out. These include blood oxygen saturation monitoring, heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and more. GPS tracking is included as well, and this makes it a great watch for running or for hiking around in unfamiliar territory.
While you’re working out, you can sync the watch to your phone and play music at the touch of a button. This is a lot easier than having to reach for your phone every time. Thanks to its excellent Bluetooth connectivity, the Huawei Watch GT2e doesn’t usually disconnect from your phone, even if it’s in your pocket or some meters away.
It also has some neat additional features thanks to its 3.53 cms AMOLED display. For instance, it can help you set up remote phone pictures once linked. This makes it a great watch overall for taking off-road or for capturing some favorite moments with you and your significant other or friends. It’s one of the few smartwatches that can help to control your camera from afar; most don’t even bother with this feature.
It doesn’t have a ton of color options, and you’re stuck with a basic-but-sporty aesthetic. Still, I think this is a particularly good choice for outdoor enthusiasts who need something to help them meet their exercise goals even if their workouts don’t adhere to normal routines or activities.
- Great for creating custom workout programs or tracking your exercise results through a wide variety of activities
- Has good sensors and GPS tracking
- You can control your camera from the phone, allowing for remote shutter control
- Pretty durable overall thanks to its waterproofing and excellent materials
- Good battery life and is easy to recharge thanks to the magnetic recharging thimble
- Color choices are limited, and each watch looks basically the same except for the color
- No speaker or microphone whatsoever
9. LIGE Smartwatch – Best Cheap Masculine Smartwatch
Many smartwatches are designed to look modern. As a result, they are modeled after Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other comparable brands. However, you may be looking for a masculine watch that looks classy enough to wear to work. If that’s what you’re looking for, you need the masculine LIGE Smartwatch.
This watch looks like a regular watch, but it can connect to your phone through Bluetooth. It is compatible with most smartphones, including those with IOS 8.0, Android 4.4, and Bluetooth 4.0 or above.
Using Bluetooth technology, this watch will allow you to stay connected to your phone. The watch will alert you whenever you get a call, text, or app message. It also offers 24-hour health monitoring. The health monitoring includes several sports modes, blood pressure, steps, and similar data.
One of the most excellent features of this watch is that it allows you to make calls and even answer calls, all using your watch. All you have to do is push certain buttons on the watch’s face to answer calls, hang up, and use the watch to make phone calls.
The appearance of this watch is also quite notable. This watch looks just like a highly expensive gentlemen’s watch from a distance. It does not have rubber straps. Instead, it has a linked stainless steel construction that is durable and masculine.
This watch is a little bit more expensive than our best overall pick. It is about the same amount as our feminine pick. Given that this model is made from stainless steel, the LIGE Smartwatch is very affordable when you compare it to other models.
Users seem to go crazy For this watch. Most users say that it is exquisite and functional. Some even go on to say that it is better than Apple Watch. Especially when you consider the price, customers note that the LIGE Smartwatch is one of a kind. There aren’t any significant drawbacks except for some minor technical issues that are to be expected from a watch at this price range.
Needless to say, the LIGE Smartwatch is the way to go if you want a masculine watch. It looks classy with its stainless steel-linked design, but it offers the same functionality as an Apple Watch at a much lower price.
- Many features
- Answer calls and talk over the watch
- Stainless steel design
- Linked design mimics classic watches
- Small technical drawbacks
10. Amazfit Bip Pro – Best GPS Tracking on a Cheap Smartwatch
Finally, we’ve come upon our last watch. Suppose you want a watch for GPS tracking. In that case, we recommend the Amazfit Bip Pro. This watch has GPS built-in for easy and convenient monitoring.
Like most other models on this roundup, connect your watch to your phone using Bluetooth integration. With Bluetooth connectivity, you will access several features and capabilities, ranging from phone use to activity monitoring.
The watch allows you to get notifications from many apps on your phone. You will have access to text, incoming calls, apps, alarm clocks, and other similar features. Of course, there are many health tracking metrics, including your heart rate, stress levels, and over 60 sports modes.
The most unique feature of this watch is the built-in Alexa and the built-in GPS tracker. The Alexa will allow you to pull up information just using your voice. Additionally, the GPS will allow you to automatically track where you are so that you are never lost.
The battery life is outstanding too. It can last nine days when fully charged and used regularly. This will allow you to travel without a charger when needed. It also has waterproof capabilities so that you do not have to worry about the watch getting damaged. It is water-resistant for up to 50 meters.
The look of this watch is very unsuspecting. It has a square face and multiple color options. We prefer the black-colored band, but you can select one of the other options if you prefer.
This watch is the most expensive on our list in terms of price. Even so, it is still an affordable option. If you compare this watch to other watches with built-in GPS trackers, this model is only a fraction of the price.
Users who purchased the Amazfit Bip Pro were in love with the results. The GPS tracking and battery life were noted explicitly as highly functional and fabulous for the price. Some of the other features are not as outstanding as the GPS tracking. Still, all of the features are above average, making it a great purchase for the money.
Once again, the Amazfit Bip Pro is an excellent pick if you need a watch with a built-in tracker. Its tracking feature is one of the most impressive on the market. All the while, the watch is attractive and affordable. Never get lost again with the Amazfit Bip Pro.
- Easy to connect
- Many features and sports modes
- Built-in GPS
- Long battery life
- Most expensive product on the list
Long-time readers already know how I write what I do, but for those not in the know, here’s the breakdown:
- When I do a smartwatch review, I check them all out personally
- I fiddle with them for a bit before writing down notes
- In the event that I don’t buy the smartwatches, I’ll read more user reviews since those represent real, firsthand experiences with the products in question
- Combined, all this gives me enough information to write an effective smartwatch review
It was the same process as I tried to figure out which was the best overall cheap smartwatch from the bunch, plus figure out my own personal favorite. Fortunately, I work with a lot of tech heads who usually get new smartwatches or other devices when they can afford them.
Since none of us are millionaires, many of them also had relatively affordable or budget-friendly smartwatches that were also conveniently the same ones I was trying to review.
In the end, I got plenty of hands-on experience and read through dozens of other reviews to come to my conclusions. I think that, if you do end up buying any of the smartwatches above, you’ll find that your experience is pretty close or identical to what I talk about.
Look, my opinion about which cheap smartwatches are really the best is one thing, but it’s another to take a deep look yourself and make some decisions. Want to know how to figure out which cheap smartwatch is really worth your time and money? Let’s do some digging.
Why Buy a Cheap Smartwatch, Anyway?
First and foremost, it’s a good idea to figure out if a cheap smartwatch will be a good investment. “Cheap” is relative, especially when it comes to these gadgets. Even the most affordable smartwatches will usually run you around $50 at minimum (though you can sometimes find cheaper devices, especially if you look for certain deals or sales).
This means that folks on really tight budgets may still need to consider whether a smartwatch is a device they really need or want before pulling the proverbial trigger.
Cheap smartwatches, despite not having as many features or extra widgets as their more expensive competitors, are still great devices that will, on average, be able to:
- work as a regular watch, of course
- monitor your heart rate and sleep activity or cycles
- monitor certain exercise activities, such as steps walked or distance run
- connect to a smartphone or another mobile device to bring you text notifications
- play music
- track your location using GPS
- and more
All of these “staple” features should still be present with even the most inexpensive smartwatches, since they’re considered to be industry standards. However, cheap smartwatches will often forgo certain more advanced features, like:
- phone calling or voice commands
- advanced apps and tracking stats
- LTE connectivity (i.e. can make calls without using Bluetooth to link to your phone)
This isn’t to say that cheap smartwatches won’t have these specs or features, but some or all of them may be missing depending on the model in question.
To this end, I think you should consider why you want a smartwatch in the first place and figure out whether getting a budget smartwatch is worth the cost or if you’d be better off saving up for a more expensive but more robust model instead.
It’s all up to you. In my book, cheap smartwatches can be great gifts, particularly for friends or family who aren’t super device savvy, as they might be happy with a basic gizmo instead of the latest, top-of-the-line offering. Cheap smartwatches also serve as good gifts for kids or teenagers who may not need all of the more advanced apps or features given their lifestyles and interests.
What to Look for in a Budget Smartwatch?
If you do decide to go after a budget smartwatch, it’s important to compare their different features and aspects so you’ll know if a given watch is right for you.
The operating system for a smartwatch is pretty crucial. Some of the best use Wear OS by Google, which is prized across the industry since it’s the only operating system designed specifically for smartwatches. This means that it’s built for smaller screens and many of the apps or functions common to these devices, rather than being an OS derived from software made for regular computers, such as Android OS or iOS.
Wear OS isn’t the only worthwhile option, however. Apple has its own smartwatch OS, and Android usually works pretty well given that the OS was designed for modular or small devices from the get-go. You might prefer one operating system or the other based on which tablets or smartphones you use. For example, Android smartwatches operate pretty similarly to Android phones.
One similar thing to check is which phones or devices a given smartwatch is compatible with (I noted this aspect in each of my reviews). The vast majority of cheap smartwatches will be compatible with both iOS and Android phones, but some may be limited to one or the other. Just double-check before purchasing so you don’t accidentally buy a smartwatch that doesn’t connect to your phone.
Features and Specs
I’d also recommend that you check out the features and specifications of a smartwatch. Smartwatch specs include things like:
- how big the watch face is
- the size and color of the band
- the materials used to make the smartwatch
- how long the battery life is
In other words, smartwatch specs are its physical attributes and aspects. These matter since they determine how well a smartwatch works with your aesthetics or wrist size, among other things.
Smartwatch features are the widgets, apps, and functions that it brings to the table. It’s everything the smartwatch allows you to do or that it does for you. These include things like:
- fitness and sleep tracking
- monitors for your biometrics, like your heart rate or stress levels
- apps and widgets, such as calendar apps, texting apps, and more
- fitness apps and digital coaches
The more features a smartwatch has, the better overall value it usually offers since you’ll just be able to do more with it. Of course, budget-friendly smartwatches usually have fewer features than their pricier counterparts, though this isn’t always true.
Be sure to investigate all of the features a smartwatch has so you don’t buy a smartwatch expecting one thing, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t have something necessary for your enjoyment.
Some cheap smartwatches are way more customizable than others. Personalization for smartwatches applies in two areas: the exterior wristband or watch face and the screen or interface.
Many cheap smartwatches only have a few different color options or band choices – this is probably related to their low prices. Beggars can’t always be choosers, right?
However, some may have as many as five or more different band color or material choices for you to pick between. Consider these aspects carefully since certain smartwatches are better for sporty or fitness clothes while others can be worn even to formal occasions without looking out of place.
Similarly, personalization of screen details might matter a lot to you if you like to tinker with and personalize all of your device’s details. However, simple smartwatches may only have limited customization features since their purpose is to provide basic functions, not to necessarily be a super decorative trinket.
Lastly, be sure to look at the battery life for any cheap smartwatch. Battery lives can range from as little as one day while running normally to up to several weeks or months depending on the watch in question.
I really tend to prefer smartwatches with long battery lives since these only need to be recharged once in a while instead of every night like your phone. However, remember that battery life values are averages and usually don’t take into account running the GPS function.
GPS drains a lot of battery and no smartwatch will last for longer than a day or so while using this feature. However, in my book, excellent smartwatches should run for at least several days before needing to recharge.
This is doubly true if you plan to use your smartwatch as a camping or traveling accessory since you may not be able to recharge it as often as you could if you were at home.
In the end, I personally found the Fossil Sport to be the best cheap smartwatch overall, even though I think most people will think of the TicWatch E2 as their personal favorites.
The reasoning is pretty simple – the Fossil Sport comes with Wear OS, which really enhances the experience and makes the most of the cheap watch’s features. But it’s also one of the best watches overall since it comes packed full of fantastic features, including the ability to work with Google Pay and Assistant.
Basically, it’s a one-size-fits-all, versatile smartwatch you can get for a relatively low price even if it doesn’t take calls. Then again, most of the time I use my phone for calls, so this functionality isn’t exactly a big downside for me.
However, it’s up to you to figure out which affordable smartwatch is your favorite. You might prioritize different things compared to me – I like functional and aesthetically pleasing devices that I’ll actually get a lot of use out of instead of things with tons of bells and whistles.
But it’s all subjective! Hopefully, the guide above can help you narrow down your options until you’re totally satisfied.
Q: Is Bluetooth my only choice for cheap smartwatch connectivity?
A: In general, yes. Other smartwatches might offer LTE connectivity versions, but this usually isn’t worthwhile in my book. For starters, LTE smartwatches still have to be hooked up to a phone plan to work, and some providers have difficulty making this work properly (looking at you, Verizon). For another, LTE calls on your smartwatches drain the battery really quickly, negating one of the big plus sides of many smartwatch devices.
Bluetooth smartwatches are flatly better 99% of the time, especially since most of us have our phones in our pockets all the time anyway.
Q: Are cheap smartwatches good choices for kids?
A: I think so. Cheap smartwatches for kids have many of the same staple features as their more expensive alternatives but they cost much less. Thus, they’re less risky investments if you aren’t sure whether your kid or teenager will really appreciate a smartwatch or use it as intended.
Think of it as an experimental gadget gift you can get them instead of a tablet or a much more expensive new smartphone. If they don’t like it, at least you didn’t spend too much money!
Q: Do cheap smartwatches last for a long time?
A: Some of them can. Some of the best cheap smartwatches are made with aluminum or stainless steel materials, both of which are pretty durable and lightweight. The latter is usually better in terms of raw durability since it resists corrosive damage, while the former is a little lighter in weight and may be more comfortable.
However, the wristbands for many cheap smartwatches aren’t always very long-lasting. Ultimately, your smartwatch will last for at least a year or so if you take care of it.
Q: Which cheap smartwatch is the best?
A: I personally think the Fossil Sport is the best cheap smartwatch you can find these days, even though there are a few more affordable alternatives. But the TicWatch E2 is also extremely popular and does most of what the Fossil Sport does for a lower price.
Q: Are cheap smartwatches really worth it?
A: It all depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget range is. In my book, cheap smartwatches fill a valuable niche and allow anyone with around 50 bucks to enjoy these fun, functional devices without totally breaking the bank.Sure, you don’t get everything that more expensive smartwatches can offer, but you get the gist of what these devices are about. Some people always choose affordable gadgets no matter what, too, and these are perfect fits for them.
Top Rated Cheap Smartwatches
Last update on 2023-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Leave a Reply