Having a smartwatch nowadays is not just a fashion trend. It has become one of the essentials for those who want some help in monitoring their health or phone notifications. Some even allow you to make calls or send messages. But branded smartwatches tend to be on the expensive side. This is why most people consider smartwatches as a fad. But there are the best budget smartwatches that serve the same functions as the more expensive ones. You don’t have to shell out $500 just to get into this trend.
In this article, we have picked the best budget smartwatches that are light on your wallets. These selections can save you tons of money but pack the same features as their more expensive counterparts.
Top 13 Budget Smartwatches
The best smartwatches possess the same style and functions as the latest Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch series but without the hefty price associated with them. Here are the top 13 best budget smartwatches that fit the lifestyle of every kind of user today.
One of the best budget smartwatches today is perhaps still unknown to many because it is from a not-so-popular brand. The TicWatch S2 is the ideal smartwatch for everyone, from iOS to Android users. It possesses a rugged design that is suitable for hikers or gym buffs out there. Thanks to its MIL-STD-810G certification, sudden falls and shocks will no longer bother you. Water immersion of up to 5ATM won’t be a problem too.
Tracking outdoor exercises is easy with its standalone GPS. So whenever you go cycling, jogging, or hiking, the Ticwatch S2 can track that for you without the aid of a smartphone. Because this smartwatch sports Google’s Wear OS, it can handle your day-to-day tasks well without any hiccups.
On the other hand, its aesthetics may be a little off for some. The large 46.6 mm watch face can look humongous for those who have tiny wrists. This will feel like you’re wearing wrist weights if you do indoor workouts. The lack of LTE may also be a letdown for some. This means you cannot stream your Spotify playlists online or check your messages on WhatsApp without syncing them with your phone. Better look somewhere else if you want a smartwatch that can stand alone without a phone.
Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit Versa 3 is their latest iteration on the Versa series of Fitbit’s smartwatches. It has a stunning 1.58” AMOLED display that has an Always-On option. This watch can last up to six days with regular use or three days with intense usage. That obviously beats the competition when others only have a maximum of two days of battery life on average use.
The Fitbit Versa 3 may be the perfect smartwatch for health-conscious or fashion-forward people, but it has some major drawbacks. This watch may have its own GPS, but it is still heavily dependent on the companion app. At the end of the day, you’ll still need to pair the watch with your smartphone all the time. Fitbit Premium is not available upon purchase and you need to buy the premium subscription separately. This is a bummer because Fitbit Premium lets you unlock the full features of the watch like a deeper analysis of your activities.
Fitbit Versa 2
If you are skimping but still eyeing a Fitbit watch, go for the Versa 2. This version of the Versa series still possesses the signature long-lasting battery with a promised five-day life with the usual usage. You’ll also get an AMOLED screen that has an Always-On display. And Fitbit presents data analytics in the most comprehensive way. Studying your sleeping and workout patterns is a breeze with its comprehensive graphs. This can help you modify your sleeping patterns so you can live the healthy lifestyle you strive to achieve.
The Versa 2 does not have a built-in GPS, that is why you need to chuck your phone out whenever you’re exercising. Enabling the GPS will ensure that your exercise is accurately tracked. And just like the Versa 3, there is no offline Spotify integration with this watch. That is a bane especially when you want to instantly change the music while working out.
Fitbit Versa Lite
The Fitbit Versa Lite takes the Fitbit brand to a more affordable level. This budget smartwatch may be an entry-level one, but it doesn’t skimp on the good stuff. First, its fitness tracker shouts accuracy even without GPS. This watch is capable of accurately tracking your workouts, may it be indoors or outdoors. Its decent battery helps you to record your activities for up to six days.
The absence of GPS can be a hit or miss for some, however. If there was GPS in it, it can provide more accuracy on your physical activities. There is also no WiFi onboard this watch. Syncing your activities or updating the watch will definitely need your phone. If this matters to you, look at other Fitbit Versa watches.
Letsfit may not be a popular choice for a smartwatch, but this will definitely not break on you easily. It is a dedicated sports smartwatch that has 14 exercise activities that you can record. Just like other smartwatches, it can display notifications and alerts from your phone. But it is unique in the sense that it can display notifications from almost all social media sites.
Its large 1.3” display is quite large for its price. Now, you won’t squint your eyes whenever you are looking at notifications on your smartwatch. And speaking of the price, this smartwatch is priced at around $35 only. That’s dirt cheap for a truly functional smartwatch.
This watch is paired with Letsfit’s VeryFitPro app. The companion app needs further furnishing as the app lacks some functions such as editing your recorded periods of sleep and activities. This smartwatch also looks like a knock-off Apple Watch. This may be good for some, but this can be a deciding factor for others. Better get the real Apple Watch if you want more functionality and a true-blue Apple product.
Fossil Gen 4 Explorist HR
Fossil jumps to the smartwatch bandwagon with the Fossil Gen 4 Explorist HR. This can pass as a hybrid smartwatch because of its conventional design. It possesses pure elegance in its design because of its elegant strap and watch body.
You can also use this as your mobile wallet with the Google Pay app. Paying your shopping bills through NFC has never been this easy — you’ll only need to wear this watch for your payments. And because this watch has Wear OS, you can easily integrate Google Now with this watch. So whenever you need to know something, just ask the Google Assistant on your Watch. No need to bring out your phone just to ask Google.
Since this watch is more of a hybrid smartwatch, this will look awkward when worn while exercising. Yes, you can use this as a workout companion, but its classic design can look weird. It does not accurately record your workouts either. We recommend that you buy a sports smartwatch if you want to track your physical activities accurately.
Xiaomi creates a lot of digital stuff, from smartphones and robot vacuum cleaners to smartwatches. The Amazfit Bip is the primary offering of Xiaomi on the smartwatch market. It has a promising 45-day battery life with regular usage. Even with the constant use of GPS and activity tracking, you’ll still get two weeks of life on this watch.
Its aesthetics may also look like the Apple Watch, but it is packed with the same hardware as the more expensive ones. You’ve got yourself a GPS, pedometer, and heart rate monitor in this watch. This will not require a phone to record your exercises. This $99 smartwatch is truly packed with features you can only see on higher-end smartwatches.
Though this watch is jam-packed with a lot of great features, it also has its fallbacks. The pedometer and heart rate monitor may not accurately record your statistics. So better double-check if your statistics are recorded properly by the watch. The display is also not that vibrant and bright enough. Even with the decent 1.28” screen, you may need to squint your eyes when you are looking at the screen when you are under the sunlight. Get under the shade whenever you want to check the time or take a peek at your workout activity.
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple may come as a surprise in this list, but their Apple Watch Series 3 has significantly reduced its price. For just under $200, you’ll get a variation between the large 42 mm or the more compact 38 mm watch face. These screen sizes may vary, but their functions are truly Apple-certified. You’ll get a slew of fitness activities in this bad boy. Yoga, elliptical machines, treadmills, outdoor cycling, and running are just some examples of the fitness routines you can record with this watch.
There is also the cellular version of the watch. Even if you leave your iPhone at home or office, you can still respond to your missed messages with its texting and calling ability. If you want to know more about the different Apple Watch versions, check out our comparison between the Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular. This will help you choose the right Apple Watch for you.
Moreover, Apple Watches can’t connect to Android phones, and the Series 3 is no exception to that. This can be a letdown for those who want to try Apple products for the first time. The LTE version of the Apple Watch is also priced heftily. Even with the $200 price tag, there are more functional smartwatches out there. Having a phone-smartwatch hybrid is still a fad for now.
Garmin Forerunner 30
Garmin is famous for its premium outdoor gadgets. When you’re on a tight budget, the Garmin Forerunner 30 is the right budget sports smartwatch for you. It packs a 0.93” screen, which may be too small, but its clear enough to be seen even under the sun. Since it is a Garmin, expect stellar performance on recording your activities. It’s all thanks to its accurate GPS and heart rate monitor. The $265 price tag is very budget-friendly for Garmin equipment. The overall performance is already sufficient enough for your daily exercise routine.
Perhaps you might be turned off by the fact that it only has a touch panel in it. A touchscreen is necessary for navigation on most modern smartwatches. Its screen design also looks dated. Customizing the watch strap with cute-looking designs does not help with making the watch look modern. If you want a great-looking sports watch, many other qualified smartwatches cater to this need.
Realme doesn’t want to be left behind in the Internet of Things (IoT) competition, and they have just the smartwatch to compete. Aptly named the Realme Watch, this budget smartwatch competes with other premium smartwatches because of its premium features.
You’ve got an SpO2 tracker, which is basically a blood oxygen tracker. With this, you can check if you have a healthy amount of oxygen in your blood. This hardware is only seen with more expensive smartwatches. You’ll also get an IP68 rating with this watch. No matter what you do, whether you swim or hike, your watch can virtually absorb all these impacts. Even with extra SpO2 hardware, it is lightweight at only 31 g or more than 1 oz. This adds comfort to the feeling when wearing this watch.
We just wish they’ll improve their sports tracking. It can track your physical activities, albeit buggy. Its accuracy is somewhat off because it doesn’t have any GPS in it. Even with the watch paired with the phone’s GPS, its accuracy is still left to be desired. We also wish Realme can integrate this watch with iOS. This watch is not yet compatible with the Apple ecosystem. Having iOS compatibility will be great for those who want to be on the thrifty side.
Amazfit Bip S
The Amazfit Bip S is another Xiaomi smartwatch that is just as functional as the base model. It has got the same tanky battery. This smartwatch boasts up to two weeks of use even with the GPS always enabled. Thanks to this long battery life, you can ideally record every workout activity you do for the whole day.
Its display is also something to talk about. This smartwatch has got a “transflective screen,” which can let you see the watch’s display under the sunlight clearly without enabling any backlight. This makes it a compelling choice for those who frequently exercise outdoors.
We just wish Xiaomi would include a quick reply option to this watch. You can only see the chat or SMS notifications on your watch but cannot respond to them quickly. So you need to bring out your phone to respond to these. And if you forget to set up your watch before your workout, bad news for you. This smartwatch cannot detect your workouts automatically. That is a letdown, especially for a modern budget smartwatch.
Passionate athletes and athletes-wannabe will surely rave the Polar M200 budget smartwatch. You’ve got here a heart rate monitor which is great especially for those who do running exercises frequently. This smartwatch also has a smartphone notification feature in it. So whenever you do your usual workout activities, you can just check your watch when someone pings your inbox. This watch outpaces its competitors because it claims to record up to 100 physical activities. Now that is a dedicated sports smartwatch for those who love sports.
As this smartwatch was released almost five years ago, this may look outdated by today’s standards. It has the typical smartwatch functions of today that make this watch look obsolete. Its dot matrix display is one of those outdated specs. This display will make you teleport back to the 1990s, where digital wristwatches were on the rise to popularity. Its GPS can also be a headache to set up. It takes time before the GPS locks into your location. So better set up your watch before going to your workouts.
MyKronoz ZeTime Hybrid Smartwatch
Hybrid smartwatches are watches that mix the classic analog watch hands and the technology behind modern smartwatches. If that is more of your style, you can get started with the MyKronoz ZeTime Hybrid Smartwatch. You’ll be greeted by that classic look of an analog watch, but don’t be fooled by it. Tap on its screen once and you’ll get to see the functions of your typical smartwatch: heart rate monitor, some dedicated watch apps, and an activity tracker.
You’ll also get to choose the strap of your choice upon purchase. This can add to the simplicity or elegance of this watch. Its overall aesthetics is simple yet stunning because it gives you the quaint look of the classic watch within a smartwatch. When it comes to function, this hybrid smartwatch does not fail in its tasks. The heart rate monitor performs well during workouts and normal monitoring. Its activity tracker can also monitor your workouts from a general perspective. This is already enough if you are not that closely monitoring your health.
Just remember that this is not a sports smartwatch. So if you’re the sportsman that you are, better look for a dedicated sports smartwatch. The proprietary OS of this watch also needs some polishing. It has a simple interface in it, but you cannot sync this with other popular sports apps like MapMyFitness or Strava. We also wish the three buttons on this watch serve their function more intuitively. Using these buttons can get a little bit confusing even if you use this for a long time.
How to Pick the Right Smartwatch for You
You might not know this, but there are different types of smartwatches in the market today. Some of these lean more onto sporty people. Some are catered for those who want to closely monitor their health. Others just want to add glam to their outfits. Whatever the kind of smartwatch you are buying, you should be aware of how to pick the right smartwatch for you. Now that you know the best budget smartwatches in the market, you must ponder: what kind of smartwatch should you get?
Here are some of the considerations you should take whenever you’re on a hunt for a smartwatch:
As with any other gadgets, you would pick a smartwatch that can keep up with your day-to-day activities. Does it give a comprehensive look at your workouts? Is the heart rate monitor perfectly accurate? Do you need to up to the minute when your friends ping you on social media? Whatever the reasons are, you should look at the functionality of your prospect smartwatch.
This is related to the functionality of the smartwatch. It will look awkward when you wear a luxury-looking smartwatch while working out. The same goes for when you wear a sports smartwatch in a formal event. To avoid these awkward situations, choose the appropriate smartwatch that fits your lifestyle. If you want to add glam to your everyday outfit, pick a ravishing smartwatch. If you are a gym buff, better purchase a dedicated sports smartwatch.
Long battery life is another factor to consider when buying a smartwatch. This will reduce the hassle of removing and charging your watch every day. A three- to four-day battery life is sufficient enough for those who routinely monitor their health.
Smartwatches are slowly creeping into the world of fashion and fitness. These smartwatches not only help you on keeping a close eye on your health, but it also helps you on checking notifications on your phone. Now, everyone gets the privilege of having this piece of technology, thanks to the budget smartwatches. At last, being conscious of your health is easier for most of us.
Are you looking for a smartwatch for your kids? Check out our article for that too!