Best cheap smartwatches: devices we’ve tested from just $79


If you’re looking for a cheap smartwatch under $200/£200 there’s never been more choice. And for the first time there are sub-$100/£100 smartwatches that actually stack up as excellent smartwatches.
The likes of Amazfit and Xiaomi are making genuinely powerful smartwatches for low prices, and Apple has had to respond by slashing the price of its Apple Watch Series 3.
While top smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 still command top prices for features like ECG, there’s an influx of cheaper devices going big on features and little on price. And in 2020, they’re actually offering good experiences that are easy to recommend.
If you’ve been trawling the nonsense sold on Amazon, check out our guide pulled from devices we’ve tried and tested.
Also have a gander at our list of upcoming smartwatches for 2020, as there are forthcoming budget smartwatches worth considering.
Update: We first published this article in September 2014. It was updated in October 2020 to reflect new reviews and to look forward to new smartwatches launching this Fall.Incoming affordable smartwatchesWe’re entering the era of the sub-$100 smartwatch, but tantalizingly, many are still waiting to be released.
The global edition of the Xiaomi Mi Watch has been teased for a global release costing $99, but it’s still only “coming soon” according to the Chinese phone maker.
We’re also excited by the prospect of the TicWatch GTX, which comes in at a super low price of $54.99. It runs its own OS, rather than Wear OS that we’ve become accustomed to from Mobvoi, but offers seven days of battery life, fitness tracking features and workout tracking modes.
Finally, Amazfit does have new smartwatches incoming. The Amazfit GTS2 (and GTR2) are all heading this way at some point this year after being released in China. They don’t make the sub $100 cut, but will cost around $150.
But the Amazfit Bip U (or the Amazfit Pop) would improve the company’s sub-$100 offering – if those devices get a global release. Nothing is confirmed.
Amazfit Bip SPrice when reviewed: $79.99Xiaomi’s wearable maker Huami, which also owns the Amazfit brand, has been making budget smartwatches for some time, but its latest effort is its most compelling. And now there’s an improved Amazfit Bip S waiting to be reviewed.
The lovechild of a Pebble and an Apple Watch has an impressive headline feature, too: 45 days of battery life. That figure blows the competition out the water, though this naturally reduces if you turn on some more advanced features, like continuous heart rate monitoring.
It’s also extremely light and comfortable, though this is more down to the plastic case and silicon band, which have their issues with durability. The interface is also a little clunky and takes some getting used to, so keep that in mind.
For those looking for the best smartwatch below $100, though, this is our current pick of the bunch – at least until we fully test out the just-announced Xiaomi Mi Watch.
Huawei Watch GT2ePrice when reviewed: $122.99
The Huawei Watch’s potent mix of sport and health features and great price has seen it surge to second in the global shipments leaderboard – and it’s easy to see why.
The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is bright and clear – and you get a bunch of sport profiles including swimming (thanks to 5ATM water resistance), cycling and an excellent running experience and decent sleep tracking.It runs Lite OS rather than Google’s Wear OS, and the pay-off is excellent battery life with 14 days solid use.
Huawei Watch GT2e is actually really good for runners, thanks to loads of metrics, a clear screen, and Firstbeat’s VO2 Max and recovery stats. The only downside is that due to a lack of third party plugs ins, so you can’t boot data out to Strava, and there’s no other apps to use.
There are a couple of caveats, as usual.
Android smartphone users can benefit from native music storage and stress tracking too but for iOS people the app feels a little under-cooked and bare.
Read our Huawei Watch GT2e reviewApple Watch Series 3Price when reviewed: $199.99When the latest generation of the Apple Watch was announced in September, the older Series 3 was cut into budget smartwatch territory for the first time – now available at just $199.99.
And as we go into Black Friday or the holidays, you may be able to nab it for even less.However, be aware that this base price tag is for the 38mm, GPS model. If you want the cellular model, or indeed the bigger, 42mm case variation, you’ll have to pay slightly more.
So, what else do you get for your money? Well, the Series 3 is able to run on the same watchOS 7 software as the Series 5, and you still get GPS for location tracking, 4G/LTE for cellular support, Apple Pay, swim tracking and heart rate monitoring.
You’ll have to put up with the slightly boxier design, and you don’t get things like the always-on display or ECG monitoring, but the core features are all still here.
Read our full Apple Watch Series 3 reviewAmazfit GTSPrice when reviewed: $149.99It’s an Apple Watch clone, for sure but Amazfit has got so much right on the Amazfit GTS. And for once it’s not just the price.It’s a health and fitness smartwatch that actually delivers, with good sleep tracking and a weekly rating of your activity and fitness using Mio’s PAI score. It’s a single number derived from all your weekly health and fitness activity – and we have a lot of respect for that technology and glad it’s seen the light of day here.
You get 14 tracked sports, with outdoor workouts tracked by GPS that passed mustard in terms of accuracy.
There’s an always-on display and you’re looking at around a week of battery life with all the advanced features turned on, which is certainly more than the Apple Watch’s single-day.
But just be aware we are expecting the Amazfit GTS2 to be launched any time.
Read our full Amazfit GTS review.
Fitbit Versa Lite EditionPrice when reviewed: $159.95The Fitbit Versa Lite Edition offers the core functionality of the Versa, but at a much more wallet-friendly price. While the Versa 2 does indeed slide into the sub $160 market itself, bargain hunters should firmly have it’s Lite cousin in their sights.
You get the top notch health tracking and the same sleep monitoring, calls, notifications and four day battery life as its bigger brother. As well as a heart rate monitor, which can track beats around the clock, there’s also the SpO2 sensor, which will leverage biometric information, such as sleep apnea detection.
However, it’s easier to list what you don’t get. There’s no Alexa, no NFC mobile payments. You also miss out on swim tracking, which could be a dealbreaker for some, and music storage via Pandora/Deezer too. There’s also no altimeter.
So there are a far few features culled in the name of cost saving – but if you’re more interested in monitoring your resting heart rate and tracking sleep than fiddling around with apps and taking calls directly from your wrist, this is the device for you.
You’ll have to live without GPS and things like offline Spotify support, but this neat and customizable Fitbit is still an excellent choice for both men and women.
Realme WatchCredit: WareableThe Realme Watch’s $50 price tag makes it worthy of consideration – if you use an Android smartphone. That’s because the Realme Watch only pairs using an Android app, so iOS users can’t get on-board.
You have to make sacrifices at this price point, but if you can look beyond some weaknesses, there’s good value here.
The 1.4-inch, 320 x 320 touchscreen colour display but it lacks responsiveness when swiping, and suffers from a big black space around the display that ruins the effect. Plus it’s only splash-proof so you can’t take it in the shower, and there’s no GPS.
However it’s a capable fitness tracker, and the sleep monitoring stood up well in our testing – and you get 4 days of battery life.
And it even has an SpO2 that lets you spot check blood oxygen.
There are 14 workout modes, and you can piggy-back your phone’s GPS if you want.
The heart rate monitor stood up well in our tests, and was comparable to a chest strap in steady runs, although lost the plot during HIIT sessions.
The Realme Watch isn’t nearly as stylish, complete or functional as most rivals on this list – but if you’re trawling the horrible cheap options on Amazon wondering what to choose, you’re much better off here.
Read our full Realme Watch review.
Amazfit GTRPrice when reviewed: $179If you prefer your watches round, the Amazfit GTR could be a better choice.It’s got an 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 454×454 (for the 47mm version) looks superb, and there’s a host of vibrant watch faces to download.
You get 24 day battery life for the larger model, and there’s GPS and heart rate monitoring on board, too.
In our testing of the 47mm model the battery life was half that stated by Amazfit – although still an impressive 12 days.
This is achieved by the custom OS, but that means that third party apps aren’t available as they are on Apple Watch or Wear OS.
TicWatch E2Price when reviewed: $159.99If you prefer the look of Google’s Wear OS to something from Apple or Fitbit, the TicWatch E2 is the best option you can pick on a budget.
Mobvoi’s smartwatch gives you a balanced, affordable entry into smartwatches. Everything you want is here: a design that’ll remind you of an old Swatch, solid GPS performance, waterproofing, apps, customizable watch faces, Google Assistant and more.
A little disappointingly, battery life is only around 24-36 hours, but it’s a solid all-rounder that does a great job for the price.
Just be aware that this only comes in a 46mm case, which is also 13mm thick and only available in black; it’s by no means the prettiest smartwatch you can buy, but one that should suit those with larger wrists just fine.
Read our full TicWatch E2 reviewWithings Move ECGPrice when reviewed: $129.95Following a short stint under the Nokia brand, Withings is back to being a scrappy startup, with the Move ECG one of the first products of the new era. It’s a simple hybrid with plenty of character – all at a super affordable price.There are actually two versions here to pick between, the regular Withings Move and the Withings Move ECG, with the latter offering an electrocardiogram sensor for a bump in price – one that makes this the cheapest way to get an ECG reading from a wearable.
You essentially get the same package in both, except for that ECG functionality and a six month difference in battery life (the Move has 18 months, compared to the Move ECG’s year-long battery), with things like 24/7 activity tracking and automatic sleep tracking all logged in the intuitive Withings Health Mate app.There’s waterproofing to 5 ATM, as well, and, if you opt for the standard Withings Move, you get the choice to customize your watch dial, case, hand and band.The standard Move costs just $69.95, while the ECG version is priced at $129.95 and is now clinically approved in the US and EU.Read our full Withings Move ECG review

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