Smartwatches revolutionize our daily lives in so many different ways. The technology utilized in them, due to its adaptability and size, does not often come cheap. That’s why so many of the leading smartwatches by companies like Apple and Samsung are usually so expensive.
But, when a technological breakthrough occurs, some companies sought to make it available to a broader consumer base. With that being the case, in 2019, there are plenty of smartwatches on the market at an affordable price.
However, few offer that vital combination of amazing capabilities and great value. The best cheap smartwatch is one that has advanced technology and a price tag that doesn’t shock and horrify. You also don’t want the watch to hurt your image, so it needs to look presentable.
Compiled within this list are the cutting-edge smartwatches that don’t break the bank and don’t hurt your image either!
8 Best Cheap Smartwatches in 2019
Our Top Pick – Samsung Gear S2 (An all-round fantastic smartwatch, with functionality and image resolution rivaling the Apple Watch series)
Best under $50 – Letsfit ID205 (Water resistance, touchscreen and more leading smartwatch features for a fraction of the price)
Best under $100 – Amazfit Bip (An Apple Watch design and accurate built in GPS tracking, the Bip undercuts some of the most expensive smartwatches on the market)
Best for Wear OS – Mobvoi Ticwatch E (A sleek, budget smartwatch with a powerful operating system and Google Assistant)
Best for Android – Pebble 2 (A durable smartwatch with easy Android set-up and usability, with some activity tracker features)
We’ve performed a lengthy review of the smartwatch market, holding both value and functionality in equal stead as we’ve cross-referenced a multitude of watches. For example, even if a smartwatch tries to fit all the features it possibly can, but upon review, if it doesn’t deliver on the quality, it is excluded.
Equally, we have given attention to those companies that have paired down the number of apps and features to provide a fantastic budget smartwatch.
We have tried to include a cheap option for all of the needs and desires of consumers (fitness tracking, daily organization, connectivity). Within the list are all types of watches for you to review, analyze, and make your own choice.
Our Top Pick
Samsung Gear S2
OS: Tizen for Wearables | Compatibility: iOS/Android | Display: Super AMOLED 1.2” Screen Multi- Touch | Processor: 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8x26 | Band sizes: comes in sizes 20 – 22mm | Battery Life: 2 – 3 days | Charging method: Charging cradle | IP rating: up to 1.5m | Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC | Colors: Dark Gray, Silver
Our top pick is the Samsung Gear S2. A tizen-based smartwatch released in 2015, it still provides users with a fantastic experience. Its inoffensive circular display is a positive departure from the blocky design of the Apple Watch. And its customizable watch faces do completely reinvent how the watch looks on your wrist.
Its ingenious use of a rotating bezel allows you to answer texts, play music and check the weather all with a simple twist. Heart rate monitoring, a step counter and even a water vs caffeine intake are all present in its design.
Why we love it: an imaginative design with a whole lot of operating power under the hood.
The ID205 provides users with a beautiful touchscreen display, breathing guidance, menstrual cycle tracking, and so much more. The watch has a long battery life after being charged for just 2-3 hours, and its design is simple and not overbearing.
It boasts all-day activity tracking and even music control, making the most of its connectivity with your smartphone. A variation of sports and modes are accounted for, allowing the user freedom enjoyed only with high-end watches. With a price tag below $50, it is the exact image of value for money.
Why we love it: it’s a smartwatch that allows the user a tremendous amount of freedom and ease-of-use for very little expense.
The best price on the market
Female menstrual tracking
Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity despite the price tag
Fitness tracking can be inaccurate
Robust design with little customization
Not the best image resolution
Best Smartwatch Under $100
OS: Proprietary OS | Compatibility: Android 4.4 and iOS8 and above | Display: 1.28” Reflective color display screen | Processor: 1.2GHz Dual-Core | Band sizes: 145 – 208mm | Battery Life: up to 45 days | Charging method: USB Charger Seat | IP rating: 1.5m | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 BLE | Colors: Onyx Black, White Cloud, Kokoda Green, Cinnabar Red
This beautifully crafted watch includes GPS + GLONASS dual-mode positioning, resulting in accurate location and fitness tracking. It tracks Outdoor/Indoor Running, Cycling, and Walking, and displays a range of user data directly from the watch face.
Style and design are what separates the Amazfit Bip. Its polycarbonate bezel comes in a range of colors, allowing the user to customize its look. It’s very durable with the screen material made up of 2.5D Corning Gorilla 3rd glass with AF coating.
Amazfit also provides access to Mi Fit 3.0, a fantastic sports app that lets you analyze data collected and share it with millions of other users.
Style and functionality are hard to find together. However, with the Bip providing both for under $100, it was a must-have for this list.
Why we love it: The Bip is incredibly stylish but doesn’t let you down when it comes to tracking.
As lightweight as a smartband
The choice of colors is inspired
Phone app Mi Fit 3.0 provides socializing opportunities
Powerful battery life
No gym tracking
Bulky design that can be uncomfortable to wear
Best Smartwatch Under $200
Fitbit Versa Lite
OS: Proprietary OS | Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows | Processor: 1.2GHz Dual-Core | Display: 1.32” IPS LCD | Band sizes: 140-180mm, 180-220mm | Battery Life: up to 4 days | Charging method: Charging Cradle | IP rating: Water resistant to 50m | Connectivity: Bluetooth LE wireless, WiFi | Colors: White, Lilac, Mulberry, Marine Blue, Charcoal
Fitbit, one of the best wearable brands out there, provides a fantastic smartwatch with a beautifully molded design and a vibrant color choice. The smartwatch itself is actually a more affordable version of its predecessor the Fitbit Versa. The Fitbit Versa Lite a wealth of features including contactless payment, music storage, and playability, over 15 sports modes, and watch face customization.
The Fitbit Versa Lite also features daily reminders, everything from manual alarms to tips on how to breathe and relax. You can also view your sleep stages and optimize your downtime with the intuitive sleep tracker.
Designed with a beautiful light geometric case, the Fitbit Versa Lite is one of the best watches for every occasion including exercising, on-the-go, or in a board meeting.
Why we love it: the Fitbit Versa Lite compiles so many neat features every Fitbit tracker offers along smartwatch functionality in a neat affordable package.
OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: iOS/Android | Display: 1.4″ OLED | Processor: MTK MT2601 1.2 Ghz Dual Core | Band sizes: 150-216mm | Battery Life: up to 120 hours | Charging method: Magnetic Pin Charging | IP rating: up to 1 meter | Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi | Colors: Knight, Shadow, Ice, Glacier, Aurora
The Ticwatch E offers a sleek-looking design with a choice of imaginative colors. The watch face does protrude from the wrist. However when you understand you are dealing with a watch to rival smartphones, this makes a bit more sense.
The Ticwatch E uses Google’s recently updated operating system Wear OS. This allows the watch to handle emails, texts, calls and even WhatsApps with little trouble. Not only is this the case, but the watch also inhabits a heart rate monitor and a GPS, serving the main duties of a fitness watch. This Google connectivity also features built in Google assistant.
Why we love it: a smartwatch with a powerful operating system that can perform fairly well as a fitness tracker
OS: Pebble OS (Emery) | Compatibility: iOS/Android | Display: 1.5″ E-Paper | Processor: 144 MHz ARM Cortex M7 | Band sizes: 120-230mm | Battery Life: up to 10 days | Charging method: USB Cable | IP rating: up to 30 meters | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Colors: Black, Silver, Gold
This watch serves as an upgrade to the kickstarter Pebble Time. The updates to the watch are small but relevant, the same E-Paper display is now protected with Corning Gorilla Glass providing a rugged durability. The E-Paper display remains entirely viewable in light and dark.
The water resistance for this updated version is very impressive, allowing for up to 30m submerged.
Why we love it: a smartwatch with a powerful operating system that can perform fairly well as a fitness tracker
Inhabits the functionality of a smartphone
Trustworthy fitness features
Color choices feature glossy finish
Not very waterproof
Faulty connection with iPhones
Battery life does not live up to expectations
Best style for Women
Fossil’s Jacqueline Smartwatch
OS: N/A | Compatibility: iOS/Android | Display: Classic Analogue| Processor: N/A | Band sizes: 130-190mm | Battery Life: up to 6 months | Charging method: Replaceable coin cell | IP rating: up to 52 meters | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Colors: Black, Silver, Gold
From classic watchmaker Fossil comes this wonderful, cheap hybrid smartwatch for women. It comes with either a beautiful leather strap or stainless steel. Being that it is a hybrid, it has an ornate analogue face and a massive battery life of up to 6 months.
This watch offers sleep and activity tracking, as well as a charting and analysis of your menstrual cycle. It also provides smart notifications with a gentle, uninvasive vibration. The smartwatch also has customization potential, allowing you to pick what command you want for the 3 side buttons
Why we love it: the elegant design, combined with its versatile features make this a woman’s dream.
Graceful female-orientated design
Huge battery life
Acts like a fully digital smartwatch
Amazing water resistance
Lacks LED touchscreen
Not for fans of classic smartwatches
Best style for fitness tracking
Garmin Forerunner 35
OS: Proprietary OS | Compatibility: iOS/Android | Display: 1” MIP | Processor: inbuilt | Band sizes: 140-220mm | Battery Life: up to 9 days | Charging method: Charging cradle | IP rating: 5ATM | Connectivity: WiFi and Bluetooth | Colors: White, Frost Blue, Limelight, Black
Trusted smartwatch provider Garmin provide a fitness tracker on a budget. Though the screen is lacking from their other smartwatches, the Forerunner 35 provides many of their features for cheap. The Garmin Elevate heart rate monitor is included. This means that no strap or other accessory is needed to measure heart rate.
The watch also gives you access to Garmin Connect. The widely popular app that helps you to achieve your fitness goals and share your results with the Garmin community. Smart notifications are also available when connected with your phone, allowing you to stay connected on the go.
Why we love it: this watch provides the best opportunity to partake in Garmin’s wonderful fitness community for a little price.
Sports watches require accurate built in GPS tracking, which can often cost quite a lot. The best budget smartwatch for sports is the Forerunner 35. It provides several dedicated modes and also has incredibly accurate tracking. Though the watch is quite bulky to wear, as it was built solely for sports.
It is possible to get a cheap smartwatches for sports, for instance, this one from GARINEMAX. But bear in mind, the cheaper you go, the more likely it is that you are giving up accuracy and functionality. These features are integral to a useful sports smartwatch.
Another adequate choice for a multisport watch would be this one from SMA.
Even if your budget is on the small side, you can still get a watch built to the best mix of wear and functionality. Hybrid smartwatches often have a premium look, but they aren’t necessarily expensive.
When looking for a cheap hybrid smartwatch, one must accept that you probably won’t find one with social media or a camera. But when you understand the capabilities of a hybrid smartwatch, there are some valuable ones out there for you to wear.
Fossil provides a vast range of hybrid models at a reasonable price
The demand for a smartwatch that does it all is very high as classic consumers flood the market. Samsung has built one of the best smartwatch designs with Gear S2. Style, functionality, and features, the smartwatch provides all of them in perfect measure.
Most smartwatches will be somewhat resistant to water. Though it is essential to check how resilient to dust, water and damages the materials are before plunging them into the pool.
What to look for in a good affordable smartwatch?
Design & Material
A lot of companies will try and cut corners when it comes to the materials that they built the smartwatch with. When you are searching for a good deal, make sure that you check the material used. The glass of the screen needs to have some protective layer built over the top.
The technological innards of the watch need to be adequately protected by some form of durable carbon fiber or polycarbonate for the screen. Stainless steel is always the best method of protection.
Just because you are looking for a smartwatch with the value being a prominent factor, doesn’t mean you are going to have a lifeless block on your wrist. Some simple functionalities that should be included are customizable alarms, smart notifications of calls, messages (or social media notifications possibly), some activity tracking.
Some will provide smartphone functionality, like the ability to answer calls. Gadgets standalone smartwatches can remove the need to carry a phone around with you. These phones include a sim card and try and give users everything they need right on their wrist.
Try to weigh cost with functionality and be selective. If you are looking for an affordable smart watch, and one pops up promising every feature under the sun including apps for under $50, it probably isn’t very high quality.
The best part about buying a smartwatch for a low price is that the operating system is never going to be too complicated. An example of a high-end operating system is WearOS from Google. This system allows the smartwatches utilizing it to operate like a sized-down computer.
What you will find is cheaper smartwatches run on something known as proprietary OS. This is an operating system designed by the watchmakers themselves to keep costs down. What you’ll find is that this OS is simple to use and intuitive, with the drawbacks being a lack of customization.
Connectivity comes in different forms in budget smartwatches. Most, if not all, smartwatches are compatible with iPhone or Android devices. Some of the more functional ones will allow you to read messages and even respond to smart notifications as well.
As we have previously mentioned, standalone smartwatches will enable you to answer phone calls. High-quality smartwatches will allow you to connect with your favorite apps, but apps are hard to work on a budget smartwatch.
Battery life can go one of two ways with a cheap smartwatch. On the one hand, some designers will cut costs on the battery, resulting in a shorter life. This is one problem with the Fitbit Versa Lite. But, because of the restricted functionality of the watch, the battery can go for quite some time.
One thing to look out for is not to be tricked by promotional jargon. If the watch says it lasts a year in sleep mode, this means that you can’t use it for that battery life to be realized. Look closely at the battery capabilities when in active modes like GPS.
Contrary to popular belief, cheap smartwatches are out there. Though front-runners like Apple are not keen to dial back their designs and offer an affordable alternative, plenty of other companies are. The letsfit smartwatch is one of the best examples of a company providing a reliable smartwatch for a small amount of money. While you are always going to struggle with somewhat unknown brands, it’s possible to find affordable brilliance from a household name.
Liam writes articles for a myriad of sites and publications. With a deep-set love for electronics and music, often finds himself drawn to writing about the latest bands and gadgets. He has a degree in Drama and English, enjoys acting, producing music and writing in a number of formats. He also works as a copywriter, providing content for clients around the world.