Smartwatches are multi-functional wearable devices that can do a little bit of everything, but the best cheap smartwatches do many of the same functions as their more expensive counterparts without breaking the bank. The majority of low-cost smartwatches have standard functionality like fitness monitoring and smartphone alerts, while some advanced capabilities like LTE connectivity may be unavailable.
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What to Look for in Best Cheap Smartwatches
Prior to buying any smartwatch, you should consider the following points:
Smartwatches require a strong working relationship with a smartphone, so check to see if yours is. Many models are compatible with both iOS and Android, but make sure you have the most recent version of the operating system so you don’t miss out on features that are exclusive to one OS over the other. Canned text responses are available on some smartwatches for Android but not for iOS.
2. Fitness and Wellness Features
Smartwatches are noted for their fitness tracking functions for a variety of indoor and outdoor workouts, in addition to smart features for daily connectivity and productivity. Make sure the model you purchase has the features and technologies you want, such as wrist-based cardiac monitoring and the ability to track additional data like sleep, VO2 max, and blood oxygen saturation.
3. Battery Life
Before requiring a charge, the best smartwatches should last at least one day, if not two. If multi-day battery life is vital, look for models that don’t include a lot of smart features or extras that can deplete the smartphone. Models with battery-saving settings, on the other hand, may allow you to enjoy the functions you use the most while simultaneously extending battery life.
Best Cheap Smartwatches of 2021
With any of the top smartwatches, well-roundedness is the word of the game. The Apple Watch Series 3, one of the most budget-friendly variants of the Apple Watch, is our top selection for bargain hunters thanks to its unrivaled adaptability. This intelligent wearable is hard to beat if you’re an iPhone user looking for a companion smartwatch. To help you pick your first or next smartwatch for less, we looked at and reviewed leading fitness-oriented, hybrid, and full-fledged smartwatches from other well-known manufacturers.
1. Best Overall: Apple Series 3 GPS Watch
The Apple Watch is a natural choice for iPhone users contemplating a smartwatch. If you don’t want to spend the extra for the most recent models of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 3 is a good compromise. If you are looking for Best Cheap Smartwatches, this might be fit your needs.
You’ll get the same sleek design that’s a mix of sporty and contemporary, as well as pretty much every smartwatch feature you could want, such as onboard GPS and a swim-proof design for detailed workout tracking, all-day heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, Apple Music access, and contact-less Apple Pay. This watch, being an Apple product, is compatible with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
While you won’t get to enjoy the latest Apple Watch features like an onboard ECG monitor, blood oxygen app, or the ability to make phone calls and send messages with cellular connectivity, battery life is comparable to the newest edition of this watch at around 18 hours. This will get you through the majority of the day, but this device still has to be charged on a daily basis. For serious iPhone and Apple users interested in adding a compatible wearable to their routines, this isn’t unreasonable given the vast array of capabilities available.
- Supports Apple Pay
- Loaded with fitness features
- Works seamlessly across Apple devices
- Battery life maxes out at 18 hours
- Lacks the latest watchOS technology
- No cellular connectivity
2. Best for Android Users: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle
The Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle mixes traditional wristwatch designs with contemporary wearable electronics to create a feature-rich smartwatch that fits into your lifestyle. The Gen 5 Carlyle runs on Wear OS, which is compatible with both iOS and Android, however Android users will get the most out of this gadget.
When your (Android) phone is close, a speaker and microphone combo makes Google Assistant accessible with a simple voice prompt and allows for quick smart home device control and Bluetooth calling. Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS are all examples of connectivity. This is also one of the best Best Cheap Smartwatches.
This watch has sensor technology to allow activity tracking, such as swimming, exercises, and sleep, in addition to connected functionality. Thousands of watch faces to choose from make personalization a breeze. The Gen 5 Carlyle also has enough capacity to accommodate your favorite Google Play fitness and productivity apps. Because the Google Fit app’s measurements are limited, an alternative app may be better for precise fitness data.
While there are a few battery options that can aid increase battery life, using smart features depletes the battery in roughly a day. Fortunately, this watch charges quickly: the battery will be recharged to 80% in 50 minutes.
- Bluetooth phone calls
- Built-in Google Assistant
- Fast to charge
- Onboard GPS and heart-rate monitoring
- Limited battery with smart features enabled
- Lacks detailed fitness data
3. Best Minimalist: Samsung Galaxy Fit
The Samsung Galaxy Fit could be a great wearable if you care about being active but don’t want a lot of hardware on your wrist or a big hole in your budget. This slim bracelet-style watch is ultra-light at 23 grams, so it won’t weigh you down. While the close-fitting band closure is ideal for smaller wrists and those looking for a simple accessory, it may be uncomfortable for some. Plus, the 1-inch display doesn’t have a lot of surface area to interact with, which might lead to swiping and tapping gestures going wrong.
The Fit lives up to its name as an exercise tracker. Despite the lack of inbuilt GPS, workout numbers for casual daily exercise tracking are often accurate. Plus, for little under $100, this watch offers a slew of handy smart features (like programmed text replies with a Galaxy smartphone), a great week-long battery life, and military-grade durability.
- Very lightweight
- Week-long battery life
- Accurate activity tracking
- Unresponsive touchscreen at times
- Band fit can be awkward
- Lacks onboard GPS
4. Best for Wellness: Fitbit Versa 2 Fitness Smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 2 has a lot to offer wellness fanatics. With an upscale, square-shaped display and a plush silicone band that looks and feels amazing, the Fitbit Versa 2 takes a page from the Apple Watch’s playbook in terms of design. The Versa 2 monitors practically everything you can think of to deliver a complete wellness picture, in addition to an aesthetically beautiful design factor. All-day activity and calorie burn, heart rate, sleep quality, blood oxygen saturation, stress, and mensuration are all factors to consider.
Aside from sophisticated wellness and fitness tracking, the Versa 2 has advanced smart capabilities like NFC payment, Alexa integration, and the ability to respond to text messages if you have an Android phone nearby. This gadget can also store music (up to 300 songs with a premium Deezer or Pandora subscription), but Spotify users will only be able to listen to it. Finally, the watch has a battery life of almost six days, which is rather outstanding.
- Lightweight, premium design
- Good battery life
- Many advanced fitness/wellness features
- Music storage limited to Pandora and Deezer
- Spotify playback only
- Canned text reply limited to Android phones
5. Best Battery: Amazfit Bip
Another smartwatch that illustrates you don’t have to spend a premium for the convenience of a wrist-based wearable is the Amazfit Bip. This budget-friendly smartwatch has a thin design that weighs just 32 grams and a bright, 1.2-inch always-on display that is dust and water-resistant thanks to IP68. Popular smartwatch features such as text and phone notifications, fitness tracking, and heart rate, and sleep monitoring are all supported by this comfy beginner wearable, though accuracy may vary.
While heart rate tracking and built-in GPS sensors are clever additions that rival more expensive models, the Bip lacks the customization capability of more expensive models when it comes to adding extra applications or widgets, replying to texts, and other sophisticated wellness functions. It also lacks the ability to control music playback on your connected smartphone. However, if you only need the necessities, this inexpensive wearable delivers, with a battery life of up to 45 days.
- Excellent battery life
- Durable but lightweight build
- No music storage or playback
- Lacks advanced smartwatch features
- No option to customize with other apps
6. Best for Kids: VTech Kidizoom DX2
Wearable technology is accessible and age-appropriate for even little children, due to products like the VTech Kidizoom DX2. This affordable watch features a pedometer and comes in fun colors that youngsters will like. This is also one of the best best cheap smartwatches.
The company claims that the band is splashproof and built exclusively for youngsters, so parents won’t have to worry about durability or a secure fit. Aside from being fit, all applications and games have time-telling lessons, mental teasers, and activity-based games that encourage movement and play.
While the feature set is restricted beyond these instructional aids, and charging necessitates the use of the included micro-USB cable, the benefit of limited connectivity is that adults can safeguard children from potential internet content vulnerabilities. These features contribute to the Kidizoom DX2 being a safe and friendly introduction to smartwatches and wearable technology for children aged 4 and up.
- Fun, durable, kid-friendly design
- Helpful learning games and features
- Motion sensor encourages activity
- Affordably priced
- Charges via micro-USB cable
- Limited functionality
Final Verdict: Best Cheap Smartwatches of 2021
The Apple Watch Series 3 has a lot of good features at a low price, which is why we think it’s the best cheap wristwatch for iPhone owners. Much of what it has to offer, from a sleek and straightforward design to seamless iPhone connectivity, wellness monitoring, and fitness tracking, and conveniences like Apple Pay, sets the bar high for other major smartwatch companies.
We recommend the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle for Android users because it combines classic watch styling with sophisticated capabilities like NFC payment, Google voice assistant, and Bluetooth phone calls.