Best Cheap Smartwatch in 2019
- Our best overall choice
- Faster than most other cheap smartwatches
- Improved exercise tracking
- Compatible with both Android and iOS devices
- Can be charged wirelessly
- Allows local storage for Spotify playlists
The first Apple Watch was released in 2015. It was a proof of concept, but it was also a luxury product designed for a luxury market. In the following years, other companies have followed suit with their own high cost alternatives. But fortunately, the growth that these manufacturers have put into developing smart watches has allowed them to produce good products more effectively. You could throw a few hundred dollars down on a big brand name smartwatch, but you don’t need to.
The market today is rich with competition, and that means that the savvy shopper can get a good smart watch that covers all the fundamentals for a decent price. We’ve identified ten of the best cheap smartwatches, and we’re to help you make the right decision.
- The Best Cheap Smartwatches in 2019
- 1. Apple Watch Series 3
- 2. Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch
- 3. Huami Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
- 4. Garmin Forerunner 35 Smartwatch
- 5. Fossil Q Men’s Gen 3 Explorist Smartwatch
- 6. Fitbit Versa Smartwatch Lite Edition
- 7. Mobvoi TicWatch E2 Smartwatch
- 8. Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker
- 9. Garmin vívofit jr 2 Smartwatch
- 10. Qidoou Bluetooth Smartwatch
- 11. Padgene DZ09 Bluetooth Smart Watch
- Best Cheap Smartwatch Buyer’s Guide
The Best Cheap Smartwatches in 2019
1. Apple Watch Series 3
It may not be the latest or best in the Apple Watch Series; however, if you want to have a highly functional smartwatch that doesn't take a huge chunk out of your pocket, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the way to go. This iOS device comes with everything you'll want in a cheap smartwatch, including GPS tracking, fitness tracking, an optical heart rate sensor, as well as an accelerometer and gyrometer for precise workout readings.
Embedded in an elegant aluminum casing, the Apple Watch Series 3 is also swimproof, which means that you can take it for a dive in the pool. And thanks to its dual-core processor, you get a budget smartwatch that's fast and accurate. While the display isn’t as big as the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5, it’s almost as clear and vivid as they are. Other functionalities you get out of this watch includes the ability to make and receive calls on your watch, reply text and emails, Siri, as well as alarm and note reminders.
- Our best overall choice
- Faster than most other cheap smartwatches
- Improved exercise tracking
- Great battery life
- Crystal clear display
2. Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch
The Samsung Galaxy smartwatch pushes right against the mid-range in terms of pricing, but it's such a high-quality watch that it deserves inclusion on the list. The Samsung covers all the core functionality you'd expect from a good cheap smartwatch while also offering some nice luxury quality of life improvements. Most notable is the inclusion of voice activation via Samsung's proprietary virtual assistant Brixby.
In some ways, it even exceeds the top shelf Apple Watch. The fitness tracking is one of the best, and it rocks an ergonomic and more sensibly intuitive design than the Apple Watch. Spotify playlists can be downloaded directly to the watch, allowing you to listen to music without having to keep it tethered to your phone, and the watch's interface can be controlled either swiping on the touch screen or manipulating the physical bezel. The Samsung Galaxy smartwatch is the priciest but arguably the best option on our list.
- Compatible with both Android and iOS devices
- Can be charged wirelessly
- Allows local storage for Spotify playlists
- Smart and meticulous schedule tracking
3. Huami Amazfit Bip Smartwatch
Huami may not be the most well recognized name for tech wearables, but their Amazfit Bip model stacks a lot of power into a smartwatch that comes in at well under a hundred dollars. This could very well be the best cheap smartwatch in terms of value for pricing. It sports a simply amazing battery life of well over 30 days on a single two and a half hour charge, and its lightweight style evokes the look and feel of the Apple Watch.
And while this isn't going to be able to come close to competing with the Apple Watch head to head, its fitness features are respectable. This is a cheap smartwatch with heart rate monitor, but it also includes a dedicated pedometer and GPS. If you're looking for a watch to take with you on freeform hikes or jogs, the Amazfit Bip can serve you incredibly well.
- Exceptionally lightweight design
- One of the best cheapest smartwatches available today
- Color display offers good visibility despite its low power settings
- Soft band is a very comfortable fit
4. Garmin Forerunner 35 Smartwatch
Garmin has made a confident jump into the smartwatch field, even constructing their own operating system to run their line of models. The Forerunner 35 constitutes Garmin's move into the entry level space, and it's a confident gadget catered to the needs of more athletic consumers. There's no attempt to oversell the customer with gimmicks. Instead, the Forerunner is focused on getting the fundamentals right, sprinkling in a few nice bonuses, and producing a watch that's under budget without sacrificing build quality.
GPS, dedicated tracking modes for running and biking, and an optical heart rate monitor are all available here, but where this Garmin smartwatch really succeeds here is with the little things. Some thoughtful design decisions make this an ideal choice as an exercise watch. Notifications use a vibration function to ensure your exercise isn't interrupted, while the Move IQ system automates the exercise tracking process.
- Garmin Connect offers fitness insights, goals, and community challenges
- Automatically uploads your fitness metrics to an online database
- Incredibly accurate GPS functionality
- Color screen is easy to read even in bright sunlight
5. Fossil Q Men’s Gen 3 Explorist Smartwatch
Smartwatches aren't typically known for their fashion forward approach to design, but that's what helps Fossil's Explorist stand out. And while this is a good looking watch that evokes a rugged and classic design, it doesn't hold out on features either. Built off of the Wear OS, the Explorist covers all the fundamentals you'd expect from a mid-range smartwatch. These include activity tracking and notifications for texts, calls, and email. Music can be stored directly on the watch to allow you continuous listing even if you don't have your phone with you.
By building in the Wear OS rather than trying to construct their own proprietary alternative, Fossil is able to instead focus on build quality. This would be a great watch even without smart functions. The blue and silver metals and nice leather strap means it could be easily be mistaken for a more traditional casual timepiece.
- Makes the most of the Wear OS platform
- 22mm wrist straps can be easily swapped out
- Bright screen is easy to read while outdoors
- Utilizes conveniently programmable buttons
6. Fitbit Versa Smartwatch Lite Edition
Unlike many manufacturers that have entered the smartwatch market to expand their larger product lines, Fitbit is built exclusively around wearables. The Versa is their flagship entry in the market, and the specialization of their brand name allows them to pack more into their cheap smartwatch for iOS and Android than many of their competitors. It's significantly cheaper and slimmer than the Apple Watch but manages to pack a lot of value into that small space.
It's also one of very few women's watches that come with smart capabilities. A number of female-specific health tracking options are offered here, including period tracking and gender-specific information on potential health conditions. But the general fitness options are equally as well balanced. The sleep tracker is one of the best in the business, and over 15 different exercise modes are included. It doesn't have GPS natively, it can sync with your phone's GPS.
- SmartTrack lets you easily manage your ideal exercise modes
- Slim design is both comfortable and stylish
- Tracks every stage of the sleep cycle
- Includes 24/7 heart rate monitoring
7. Mobvoi TicWatch E2 Smartwatch
Chinese manufacturer Mobvoi has released a sensible and cheap smartwatch for Android and iOS devices with their TicWatch E2. While Google's Wear OS platform has earned something of a bad reputation in the smartwatch community, Mobvoi milks everything they can out of the aging technology. Part of that is accomplished through the presence of the versatile and powerful Snapdragon 2100 processor, but Mobvoi also makes some smart moves in terms of design. Functionality takes precedence over style here with a plain and slim body and a smoothly responsive touchscreen interface.
Mobvoi has positioned their smartwatch around outdoor use, a sensible choice since they have to opt out of some of the higher end features you'd expect from some fo the best digital watches. The waterproof case is supplemented by pre-loaded tracking modes for both swimming and surfing, and run and sleep tracking are also built in right out of the box.
- Cheap smartwatch with GPS functionality
- Voice support for Google Assistant
- Varied and interchangeable faces and straps
- Highly customizable ProActive Sports Tracking system
8. Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker
The Charge 3 comes in at roughly the same price as the other Fitbit on our list, but it does a solid job distinguishing itself from the Versa. Whereas the Versa takes some cautious steps into serving as a more all-purpose smartwatch, the Charge 3 is an exercise wearable through and through. Its strap is comfortable and secure while its face remarkably slim (bearing the same width as the band itself). And that streamlined approach comes with one important advantage: a significantly longer battery life. Without the need for features like music storage and third party apps, the power usage leaves a much smaller imprint.
But all of the good fitness related features from the Versa are here as well. In addition to robust health and exercising tracker, this is another smartwatch that includes metrics specifically tailored to women. It also includes the heart monitor feature standard.
- 24/7 heart rate monitoring functionality
- Automatically tracks time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep stages
- Includes over 15 different diverse exercise tracking modes
- Clean and smartly designed health and fitness dashboard
9. Garmin vívofit jr 2 Smartwatch
Good habits are best developed early, and there's no gadget that's better for developing good exercise habits than a quality smartwatch. If you want to help your son or daughter live a healthier life without having to invest a fortune, the Vivofit Jr. 2 is a great solution. It comes in a number of patterned designs that feature popular characters like Spider-Man, Minnie Mouse, and the Avengers, and it's built to be durable enough to keep working even when subjected to the rough habits of kids.
The apps built in are catered specifically for the needs of its younger audience. They include a smart variety of games that are intended to be engaging while also encouraging the wearer to stay active, but more traditional features like an accelerometer and pedometer are also built in. There's even a function that reminds your kid to engage in a mandatory hour of activity.
- One of the few smartwatches built specifically for kids
- Colorful and engaging designs
- Apps designed to turn healthy exercise into a game
- Syncs up with other Vivofit Jr. devices to encourage friendly competition
10. Qidoou Bluetooth Smartwatch
Qidoou's smartwatch is based off the same DZ09 design as the Padgene entry, and you can expect much the same from this model. The design is largely identical, and the base features are similarly comparable. The ability to pop in a GSM 2G micro SIM card is ac feature that's not readily available in most smartwatches, and it essentially allows you to use this watch as a dedicated phone without the need for tethering. Another rarity is available in the built-in camera.
The SIM card isn't just used for voice calling either. This watch can deliver notifications from popular social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter, and it also supports the playing of both locally stored and remote music. Sleep monitoring and activity recording are also included. Just don't expect them to be as robust as on more expensive models.
- Can control your phone camera remotely
- Easy phone synchronization using the QR code scanner
- Offers six sets of display clocks
- Camera supported by a dedicated image viewer
11. Padgene DZ09 Bluetooth Smart Watch
You won't find a smartwatch with a more appealing price than the Padgene DZ09 anywhere. With a retail price of $15, you'd be hard pressed to even find a decent traditional watch in the same price range. Just don't expect a watch that's going to blow you out of the water. This cheap smartwatch is focused solely on the fundamentals. Message notifications are available for a range of different social media platforms, email, and SMS. You can even engage voice calls as long as the DZ09 is tethered to your phone.
Notable is the fact that this is a cheap smartwatch with camera, a rarity in the field. The camera includes both a self-timer and the ability to remotely control your phone's camera through the touchscreen interface. Just keep in mind that a SIM card is required to make the most out of what the DZ09 offers.
- A shockingly cheap entry in the smartwatch market
- Offers a sleep monitor and a pedometer
- One of the few cheap smartwatches to include a camera
- Great level of interactivity with a connected phone
Best Cheap Smartwatch Buyer’s Guide
Each cheap smartwatch review on our list covers the basic details and relevant specs, but that might not mean much if this is your first time shopping for a wearable gadget. That’s why we’ve identified some of the most common questions asked by our users. Here you’ll find information on what some of those specs really mean and digs a little deeper into the sort of features you should focus on whilst looking for the best cheap smartwatch for you.
Related Post: If you have a budget in mind and you’re looking for a stylish watch, you might like our article on Best Watches under $200.
How Much Does the Operating System Matter?
Apple’s smartwatch variant of the iOS operating system is only allowed for first party uses, and Google’s Wear OS variant of Android has a reputation for consistency. That means that most manufacturers making a cheap smartwatch make use of a proprietary operating system. For many, these OS’ are functional, but there are a few worth talking about in more detail.
Fitbit and Garmin both use their own proprietary and unimaginatively named operating systems for their watches, and the advantages here are that these platforms are designed to complement what these brands do well: fitness tracking. Both have very solid fitness interfaces built right in, but they’ve also made changes in recent years to add more versatile functions like NFC payments and support for third party apps.
Tizen is present in all modern Samsung watches, and it’s one of the more powerful smartwatch operating systems around. Compatibility with iOS and Android are both smooth, so this can double as a cheap smartwatch for iPhone or Android.
While Tizen can run integrated (or pre-installed) and linked (streamed through your phone) apps, it’s relatively unique in that it provides support for external apps as well. The fact that these apps are written in versatile and simple HTML5 means that they tend to be prevalent. Tizen watches also often come with the convenient Bixby smart assistant.
Despite the fact that opinions are mixed on Google’s Wear OS, it appears in a decent number of smartwatches, and it comes with some distinct advantage. The fact that it’s built off the Android OS means that its compatibility with Android is top notch (though Wear OS watches are usually also compatible with iOS devices).
The fact that Wear OS is so widely adopted by third party manufacturers means that – despite a lack of development support from Google – it’s an OS that can really be pushed to its limits. Many Wear OS watches come with Google Assistant built in, and this voice-activated virtual assistant tends to be more reliable than Samsung’s Bixby.
But how much your operating system matters isn’t just an issue of what OS your watch is running. It’s also a matter of how powerful the watch is. The device’s processor is going to play a significant role in how many of the OS’ core functions your watch can readily access.
What Should I Look for in an Exercise Smartwatch?
If you’re looking for a budget smartwatch, chances are that you’ll have to sacrifice a full range of features in favor of specialization. Fortunately, many of the best budget smartwatches are designed with fitness in mind.
The two standouts in this field are Fitbit and Garmin. While both put a lot of focus on the needs of athletics and exercise, the latter tends to put more of an emphasis on outdoor activities like hiking and bicycling with durable designs and GPS functionality that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Build quality is going to be a big deal here. You need a watch with a comfortable band and preferably a face that’s not so heavy as to weigh you down during your daily routine. Some level of waterproofing is an absolute necessity if you’re planning on going swimming. An IP86 rating should be good enough to deal with sweat, rain, and splashing, but you’ll want a watch that’s waterproof at depths of 50 feet if you plan on taking a full dip in the pool or ocean.
But the biggest factor here is the quality of the apps and features built in. Most of the smartwatches we’ve reviewed here come with heart rate monitoring and some level of sleep tracking. Pedometers are also common, but if you really want a watch that will best suit your needs in the gym or on the track, you’ll want to look at more advanced exercise tracking.
These often take the form of built-in features, but Wear OS and Garmin OS support a variety of external apps as well, so you can always customize a fitness ecosystem that accommodates your needs. Especially useful is Garmin Connect, an innovative app that automatically logs your fitness activities and connects you to an expansive and global fitness community.
What Should I Look for in an All-Purpose Smartwatch?
If you’re not looking for a dedicated health wearable, there are a number of budget options that come with an array of more general purpose functions. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely end up spending somewhere in the range of $100-300 for the privilege.
This is a field where Tizen and Wear OS watches excel. Since they offer support for third party apps from their respective stores, you’ll have more variety to customize the sorts of features that matter to you. The inclusion of a voice assistant in most of these watches means that they’re significantly easier to navigate as well. Any decent smartwatch is going to come with decent notification support. You can expect phone, text, and email notifications on all of these models as well as limited notifications from other apps. But these tend to be a little more limited the cheaper the model, so you’ll want to check closely to make sure your favorite apps are supported.
You should be especially careful if your primary smartphone is an Apple device. Every one of our watches can sync up with both iOS and Android devices, but the closely guarded nature of Apple’s software means that iOS compatibility with third party devices are sometimes a bit more limited. In cases like these, you may want to look at something like the Galaxy which allows you to download apps without having to sync up with your smartphone.
The value of other features is going to vary depending on your preferences. While most devices allow you to sync up with Spotify and other music streaming services, the ability to store music locally can be a huge convenience, and many phones offer more than just notifications. If you want to be able to respond to your texts and emails rather than just reading them, be sure to look for a device that supports that. This is an instance where a larger screen and quality touch interface can make a big difference.
How Accurate Are Battery Life Ratings?
You may have noticed that some of the smartwatches on this list boast truly astronomical battery life that can number in weeks. While that’s technically true, it can also be a bit of a misnomer. The maximum battery life listed refers to watches that are running in standby mode or operating with just the bare minimum of features.
It can be hard to truly evaluate a watch’s battery life in terms of practical usage because it’s so dependent on what features and apps you use. You should treat the battery life as a baseline and adjust according to your usage. Unfortunately, better smartwatches will generally offer much shorter battery lives, because the power usage of more advanced features and apps are significantly higher.
Best Smartwatch for Women?
A watch is a personal accessory that reflects who you are and displays your sense of style. This is as true for smartwatches as it is for normal analog / digital watches. In 2019, many people will say that this is an absurd question, and that there is no difference between women and men and ultimately, there is no specific ‘best smartwatch’ feature that differentiates between whether it is suitable for either gender.
That said, the smartwatches best suited for women tend to be slimmer is design, include more conventional and stylish materials (steel, gold, leather) and embrace the visual design aesthetic of conventional women’s watches. If you are looking for the best smartwatch for 2019 available on Amazon for the woman in your life you should know what she likes, her style and design aesthetic – and then look for a watch that will look good on her wrist. The typical bulky design of most smartwatches seldom look good on women’s wrists and you are likely to be disappointed if you get such a watch and she does not wear it very often!
Best Smartwatch for Men?
A watch is a personal accessory that reflects who you are and displays your sense of style. This is as true for smartwatches as it is for normal analog / digital watches. Ultimately, there is no specific ‘best smartwatch’ feature that differentiates between whether it is suitable for a man or a woman. Again here we have to take into consideration that men tend to be more driven by the gadgetry and features that offer – and by resilience and toughness – e.g. features such a water resistance, scratch proof glass, etc.
Men tend not to object too much to the often bulky designs of most smartwatches and are more likely to be content with resin and rubber straps and bodies. So if you are looking for the best cheap smartwatch for 2019 available on Amazon for the man in your life pay most attention to all the bells and whistles that the watch has to offer!
Smartwatches are commonly seen as an expensive extravagance that just replicates the same features you’d find in a phone, but our list proves that you can get a smartwatch for less than $20. But whether you’re planning on spending twenty of two hundred, you can rest easy knowing that all the watches on our list are high-quality for their price. And if you’d like to expand your list of shopping options (and you’re willing to get a little more flexible with your spending budget), be sure to check out our list of the all-around best smartwatches.