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Best cheap smartwatches 2020

Best cheap smartwatches

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. 

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

Best cheap smartwatches: Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3

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

Excellent fitness-tracking features
Faster Siri
Apple Music streaming with LTE
Still just 18-hour battery life (even shorter when connected to LTE)

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

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

Elegant software interface
Sleek design
Useful apps for fitness enthusiasts
Shorter battery life than other Galaxy Watches
Limited apps

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Fossil Sport

Fossil Sport. Credit: Tom's Guide (Image credit: Future)

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

Stylish, lightweight design
Good display
Google Fit needs work
Performance still lags in some spots

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Amazfit Bip

Amazfit Bip. Credit: Tom's Guide

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

Apple-Watch-like style
Soft band that fits all wrist sizes
GPS, heart-rate monitor, pedometer notifications
Transflective color display is easy on the eyes
Heart-rate and step-tracking not always precise
Low-res graphics
Lacks music storage and playback control
Can't respond to notifications

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2. Credit: Tom's Guide (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

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

Good battery life
Customized training programs (via subscription)
Sleep tracking
Lacks on-board GPS
Alexa works inconsistently

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: MyKronoz ZeTime

MyKronoz ZeTime. Credit: MyKronoz (Image credit: MyKronoz)

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

Hybrid style with mechanical hands and touch screen
Long battery life
Durable construction
Music app is glitchy
Hand calibration is confusing
Lacks third-party apps

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Fitbit Versa Lite

Fitbit Versa Lite. Credit: Tom's Guide

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)

Stellar battery life
Accurate sleep- and fitness-tracking
Fun color options
Limited app store
No onboard GPS
No onboard music storage

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung Gear Sport. Credit: Tom's Guide

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

Attractive, durable design
Good fitness-tracking features
Fun assortment of watch faces
Limited features when connected to iPhone
Few apps compared to watchOS

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.

Best cheap smartwatches: TicWatch E

TicWatch E (Image credit: TicWatch)

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

Cleaner design than TicWatch S
Built-in GPS and GLONASS
interchangeable bands
24-hour battery life

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.