The best cheap smartwatches can help you stay connected without having to spend an arm and a leg for something that goes on your wrist.
As with the best smartwatches, these budget models offer such features as smartphone notifications and some fitness tracking capabilities, but may not be as robust, nor offer the fit and finish of higher-end models.
- Apple Watch Series 5 vs. Series 3: Which should you buy?
- Looking to get in shape? Check out our best fitness trackers picks.
- Best smartwatches
After testing a number of models, the best cheap smartwatch overall is the Apple Watch Series 3. With a starting price of $199, it's at the high end for a cheap smartwatch, but has the most to offer when it comes to apps, notifications, fitness tracking, and more. However, you'll need an iPhone.
The best cheap smartwatch for Android users is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, which is also $199, but has great fitness tracking and a great design.
Looking for the best cheap smartwatch under $100? Look no further than the Amazfit Bip, which costs just $70, yet has a heart rate monitor, GPS, and more. If you want something more stylish, check out the Fossil Sport.
while replacing your fitness tracker. And you don't have to be an iPhone user to wear a smartwatch, because there are a slew of Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) watches from which to choose. Even the Apple Watch itself has become cheaper.
Amazfit has introduced a few new models, including the $60 Amazfit Bip S, which promises 40-day battery life, and the rugged Amazfit T-Rex smartwatch for $140. We'll see if either of those models crashes our list of top-rated options, but here's what we think of the cheap smartwatches available now.
The best cheap smartwatches you can buy today
1. Apple Watch Series 3
Best cheap smartwatch for iPhone owners
Works with: iOS | Display: 38mm or 42mm | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: Yes, for $100 more | Battery Life: 18 hours | Water Resistance: Swim-proof | Mobile Payments: Apple Pay
The 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS is the best cheap smartwatch for most iPhone owners. The watch integrates seamlessly with the phone, so you can easily view notifications and respond to messages directly on the wrist. The Series 3 also has many of the same fitness-tracking and heart-health features that we love about the higher-priced Series 4. The more affordable Series 3 can passively monitor your heart rate and send you a notification if it detects an irregular heart rhythm.
The good news: You don't need to splurge on the LTE model to get the best features. Apple rolled out watchOS 6 this fall, bringing even more features to the Series 3, including a stand-alone Watch App Store and fully independent watch apps, popular iPhone apps like Calculator and Voice Memos, and new health apps for tracking periods and measuring noise levels.
Read our full Apple Watch Series 3 review.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
The best cheap smartwatch for Android owners
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.1 inch Super AMOLED (360 x 360) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: Yes | Battery Life: 24-36 hours | Water Resistance: Swim-proof | Mobile Payments: Samsung Pay
Samsung's first-gen Galaxy Watch Active smartwatch is its most affordable — and also one of the best cheap smartwatches for Android users. The Galaxy Watch Active sports a faster processor and easier-to-use software than other Android watches that run on Google's Wear OS platform.
The only downside: The Galaxy Watch Active doesn't have many well-known apps, especially compared with the Apple Watch. Luckily, Samsung's built-in apps, including its fitness-focused options, are more than capable of handling most tasks.
Samsung just released its second-gen Galaxy Watch Active 2, which comes in two sizes and includes LTE connectivity and an ECG sensor that will eventually be able to detect atrial fibrillation. However, that watch is more expensive, starting at $279.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review.
3. Fossil Sport
Best cheap Wear OS smartwatch
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: AMOLED | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: No | Battery Life: 24 hours | Water Resistance: 164 feet (swim-proof) | Mobile Payments: Google Pay
At $99, the Fossil Sport is one of the least expensive, yet most stylish smartwatches around. While it debuted in 2018, it runs the most current Qualcomm 3100 processor. Plus, it has GPS, a heart-rate monitor, NFC for mobile payments, and Wi-Fi.
Wear OS still has a few things we think could be improved, especially when compared to Apple's Watch OS, but this is the best Wear OS smartwatch you can get for less than $100.
Read our full Fossil Sport review.
4. Amazfit Bip
Another great cheap smartwatch under $100
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.28 inch (176 x 176) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: No | Battery Life: 45 days | Water Resistance: Up to 5 feet | Mobile Payments: No
The best cheap smartwatch under $100, the Amazfit Bip is a stylish touchscreen watch with smartphone notifications, lengthy battery life and built-in heart-rate monitor, GPS and GLONASS for accurate workout tracking. Cheap heart-rate-tracking devices are notoriously unreliable, but we put the Bip to the test and found it to be almost as accurate as our Garmin Forerunner.
You can eke out 45 days of battery life from the Bip without using any of its smart features, but even using the heart-rate monitor and GPS to track workouts, we went two weeks before the watch dipped below 50 percent. That's incredible for a smartwatch. The Bip's 1.28-inch, 176 x 176-pixel color screen isn't stellar, but the always-on display is useful for using the watch as, you know, a watch.
The one downside: The Bip lacks an app store, so it's not really playing in the same field as the Apple Watch, Samsung's Tizen OS watches, Fitbit's Ionic and Versa, or Wear OS smartwatches from companies like Fossil and LG. But that's a small price to pay for such a bargain.
Read our full Amazfit Bip review.
5. Fitbit Versa 2
The best cheap smartwatch for sleep-tracking
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.4 inches | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Connected to phone | LTE: No | Battery Life: Five days (two with always-on display) | Water Resistance: Swim-proof | Mobile Payments: Fitbit Pay
The Fitbit's Versa 2 makes slight tweaks on the original Versa, including an AMOLED display and built-in Alexa. Fitbit's smartwatch offers all of the features we liked in the original Versa, such as accurate heart-rate tracking, lengthy battery life, colorful touchscreen display and in-depth sleep analysis. That's why the Versa 2 made it to our best cheap smartwatch list.
The Versa doesn't have onboard GPS, which would make it a more capable Apple Watch rival, and its app store isn't as well-stocked as Apple's. But with five-day battery life, cross-platform compatibility, an affordable price and sophisticated sleep-tracking features, the Versa 2 is a solid smartwatch for most people.
Read our full Fitbit Versa 2 review.
6. MyKronoz ZeTime
Best cheap hybrid smartwatch
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.22 inches (240 x 240) or 1.05 inches (240 x 240) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: No | LTE: No | Battery Life: Three days | Water Resistance: Up to 50 meters | Mobile Payments: No
The MyKronoz ZeTime hybrid smartwatch is an elegant and versatile timepiece that combines traditional watch functionality with a high-tech touch screen in a fairly organic fashion. I appreciate that the company offers two models, to accommodate different wrist sizes. Paired with an iOS or Android app, the ZeTime delivers a long list of smartwatch functions without overwhelming the user.
Its weakest link is the software, particularly its use of European rather than North American formats, the confusing hand setup instructions and a glitchy music app. Also, the lack of third-party apps, compared with similarly priced Android Wear watches, limits its usefulness.
Read our full MyKronoz ZeTime review.
7. Fitbit Versa Lite
A fashionable cheap smartwatch
.95Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.34 inches (300 x 300) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Connected to phone | LTE: No | Battery Life: Four days | Water Resistance: Splash-proof | Mobile Payments: Fitbit Pay (with Versa Special Edition, $90 extra)
The Fitbit Versa Lite is one of the best cheap smartwatches on the market and offers many of the same features that make the Versa our favorite mainstream smartwatch. It's also more colorful than its higher-priced siblings, with Marina Blue and Mulberry Plum options alongside a classic silver with colorful bands.
But the Versa Lite also sacrifices some of the features that make the Versa so well-rounded, including swim tracking and onboard music storage. If those features are less important than price, the Versa Lite is worth buying for the battery life and solid fitness tracking.
Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite review.
8. Samsung Gear Sport
Easy to use cheap smartwatch with rotating bezel
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.2-inch Super AMOLED (360 x 360) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: No | Battery Life: Three days (rated) | Water Resistance: Swim-proof | Mobile Payments: Samsung Pay
Samsung's Gear Sport is a fitness-focused smartwatch that isn't quite as good as Samsung's newer Galaxy Watch Active, but the older watch can be had for a cheaper price. If you want a larger Samsung watch with a rotating bezel, the Gear Sport is still a solid choice among the best cheap smartwatches.
Read our full Samsung Gear Sport review.
9. Ticwatch E
A cheap smartwatch with GPS
Works with: Android, iOS | Display: 1.4-inch OLED (400 x 400) | Heart Rate: Yes | GPS: Yes | LTE: No | Battery Life: 24 hours | Water Resistance: Splash-proof | Mobile Payments: No
The Ticwatch E (for Express) is a simple, fitness-focused Wear OS watch that impresses with built-in GPS and GLONASS for more accurate run tracking. It offers the usual smartwatch features, though, as with all Wear OS devices, you'll get more from pairing it with an Android phone than an iPhone, because then you can answer calls and texts from the watch. The Ticwatch doesn't have an LTE connection, so it relays those calls and texts from your phone.
I also love the band on the Ticwatch E, which is interchangeable if you prefer a less sporty look.
Read our full Ticwatch E review.