Smartwatches can be great tools.
You can use them for maps, fitness tracking, scheduling, or keeping track of messages.
But can you get the features you want on a tight budget?
A cheap smartwatch can be worth it if you know what to look for. An ideal smartwatch will be compatible with your smartphone and have the features most important to you. It’s best to also consider fit and style to better ensure you actually wear and use the watch, making the purchase worthwhile.
In this post, I’ll show you some very popular smartwatches available today, all for under $200.
I’ll also tell you a little more about how smartwatches work and how to shop for them.
7 Cheap Smart Watches Worth Buying
Here are 7 cheap smartwatches for you to consider.
All are available on Amazon.com, and each has its own set of useful features that make these cheap options worth buying.
Apple Watch Series 3
Let’s get one bit of bad news out of the way.
Apple’s products have a reputation of being on the cutting edge of engineering, and the designs are very well done.
But in terms of smartwatches, they tend to be a little pricey.
Still, the Series 3 features GPS, heart rate monitoring, and a pedometer, so it’s a solid tool for staying in shape.
With its waterproof case, you could even take it for a swim.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use it with your phone to answer calls.
The large and sharp Retina display makes it easy to read the clock face and other features. It also stores audio files.
Aside from the (relatively) high price, the Series three does suffer from one drawback: battery power is limited to 18 hours on a charge.
Samsung Galaxy Active
As you might guess from the name, this smartwatch is designed for those with an active lifestyle.
The Active offers motion detectors that not only detect motion but actually identify different types of exercises.
Furthermore, this watch doesn’t just monitor your heart rate; it’ll alert you if your heartbeat is too fast or too slow.
But it isn’t just for your active lifestyle.
This smartwatch monitors when you’re resting, evaluates the quality of your sleep, and suggests when it’s time for you to wind down so you get a better night’s sleep.
The Active is designed to sync up easily with Galaxy model phones using Bluetooth connectivity.
Battery usage can range from a full day to several days.
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
This update of the Galaxy Active offers all the same activity and sleep monitoring features as the original.
It syncs easily with Galaxy phones and has a larger watch face and GPS.
You can use Bixby voice activation to place calls, read messages, or access your Spotify playlist.
Battery life has been enhanced. The Active 2 can generally go at least two days between charges.
The new features do add to the cost, but it’s still more affordable than most.
The Fitbit Ionic is a solid watch with a lot of features, including GPS and heart rate monitoring.
Bluetooth connectivity allows it to sync with both Android and Apple phones. You can also access your Pandora playlist.
One nice touch: the Ionic comes with two watchbands.
So, if you have a larger or smaller than average wrist — or you’re just particular about fit– it’s still worn comfortably.
Battery usage varies, but a charge should last four days for an average user.
The Ticwatch operates on Google’s Wear OS system. This means it should sync smoothly with any Android phone.
You can download apps, such as Uber or Spotify, from the Google store. It’s connectable via Bluetooth.
This rugged watch meets US military standards, making it great for outdoor enthusiasts.
It can even be used when diving — up to a depth of 50 meters (164 feet).
The Ticwatch’s most notable feature is its large face, measuring 1.4 inches (3.6 cm) wide; it’s easy to ready and relatively easy to interact with the touchscreen.
Paired with your phone, you can use the Ticwatch to check incoming calls and messages, but the watch lacks a speaker, so you can’t take calls through it without your cell phone or play audio files.
Amazfit Bip S Lite
The Amazfit Bip S Lite is one of the least expensive smartwatches out there.
It’s Bluetooth connectable and can sync with most phones, and offers a heart rate monitor.
It doesn’t have GPS, however.
Aside from its modest price, the Amazfit Bip S Lite does have one other big thing going for it: a powerful battery that can go up to a month between charges.
A step up from the Bip, the Amazfit T-Rex is another rugged watch with US military certification for its ability to handle harsh environments.
The T-Rex offers more complete features, including GPS and Bluetooth connectivity using Amazfit’s operating system.
The Amazfit also offers a robust battery setup that can go nearly three weeks between charges.
You might also want to know: Should Smart Devices Be on a Separate Network? The Truth
Features To Consider When Shopping for Smart Watches
There’s no single best smartwatch.
When shopping, keep in mind that you may have to make some compromises.
But some smartwatches do stand out for their features, durability, and cost.
Here are some features to consider:
The best situation is to have a smartwatch that runs on an operating system that’s similar to the one your phone uses.
Having compatible software makes it easier for the two to work together.
That means if you carry an Apple iPhone your best options will probably be Apple watches.
If your phone uses the Android operating system, look for a watch with Google’s matching wearOS system.
You have a bit more flexibility if your phone is a Samsung model. Samsung offers watches of its own, which run on Tizen.
But most Samsung phones use the Android operating system, so you may want to check out wearOS watches too.
Also, Samsung and Google have partnered on phone and wearable technology, and these systems may merge in the future.
If you’re less worried about synching up your phone and your watch, then you might look at watches that use the Fitbit or Huawei Lite OS systems.
Batteries can be a big issue for a smartwatch buyer.
Some smartwatches can last up to a month on a charge, and others can drain a battery in less than a day.
How much you use their special features will also affect how long a charge lasts.
If you work a lot of long days or plan on using the additional features of a smartwatch regularly, you’ll want to pay close attention to the batteries and power usage.
Reading recommendation: Should You Turn Off Your Smartwatch at Night? 5 Scenarios
It’s important to consider exactly what you want your smartwatch to do.
For instance, one common use of smartwatches is to help you make the most of your workouts.
If that’s the case, you might want to look for a watch that offers heart rate monitoring.
If you like to jog, consider getting the heart monitor and a map function so you can plan and adjust your route.
Some features and apps that you can use on your smartwatch include:
- GPS/Geolocation and maps
- Health Monitoring (Heart rate and blood pressure)
- Pedometer (counts your steps — a good measure of your daily activity)
- Voice communications
Yes, you can use some smartwatches to answer the phone, but you need to have your actual phone connected to wifi or close at hand for that to work.
If you’re working on a tight budget, you’ll need to prioritize which features are most important to you.
Learn more: Why are smartwatches so expensive?
There are plenty of good options for the budget-conscious smartwatch shopper.
Many of the watches on this list offer a complete range of features.
A savvy consumer should be able to find a watch that fits his or her lifestyle at a modest price.