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The best cheap smartwatches: Apple, Garmin, Samsung, and more (March 2022)
A decent smartwatch doesn’t have to set you back. There are plenty of options for tighter budgets. Whether you’re looking for basic smartwatch features, fitness tracking, or even higher-end health sensors, there’s an inexpensive option for every need. To narrow it down, we rounded up the best cheap smartwatches.
See also: The best cheap fitness trackers
Buying the best cheap smartwatch for your needs
The smartwatch landscape keeps expanding and these days, there’s a worthwhile device for every budget. Do you want to strap on a basic smartphone companion or track progress while you break a sweat? Whatever your smartwatch needs, you can find something that will check the right boxes without breaking the bank.
A budget Apple Watch offers tons of app support. Our pick from Mobvoi provides a hopeful future. Meanwhile, an option from Fitbit strikes the perfect balance of price and features. Can you live without advanced health sensors but need onboard GPS? Maybe fitness tracking isn’t a priority, but you’re keen on Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support. Deciding what you can and can’t live without is the best way to save money without sacrificing too many essentials.
With big displays, app support, and notifications, smartwatches are often more expensive than fitness trackers. The devices below break the mold with plenty of smartwatch features and much more palatable price tags. Now you just need to find out which one is the best choice for you.
The best cheap smartwatches
- Apple Watch SE: This is the best overall budget smartwatch and hands down the best option for iOS users. The Apple Watch SE has most of Apple’s top features at an affordable price.
- Mobvoi TicWatch E3: This is the best option for Wear OS users with a promising upgrade ahead. Plus, this is also the only inexpensive wearable currently eligible for Wear OS 3 in 2022.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: Samsung’s 2019 fitness watch is the best Wear OS alternative for Android users. Still running Samsung’s platform, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a unique choice for Tizen loyalists.
- Fitbit Versa 3: This is the Fitbit smartwatch with the best value for your money. The Fitbit Versa 3 opts out of a few advanced features for a very solid Fitbit device at a great price.
- Garmin Venu Sq: The best cheap smartwatch for Garmin enthusiasts, the Venu Sq brings back most of what made the original Venu such a great wearable.
- Xiaomi Mi Watch: Xiaomi’s Mi Watch is the best cheap smartwatch for even tighter budgets. At a $100 price point, this device offers the basics and does it well.
Apple Watch SE: The best cheap Apple smartwatch
To stay affordable, the Apple Watch SE skips on the always-on display, ECG, and pulse oximeter. These are features most users can live without, especially to keep some money in their pockets. Like all Apple Watches, the SE also has obnoxiously insufficient battery life.
- High-quality hardware
- Bright display
- Plentiful features
- Short battery life
- No ECG
- Limited sleep tracking
- Limited color selection
Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple Watch SE.
Mobvoi TicWatch E3: The best option for Wear OS users
Most importantly, the TicWatch E3 is slated to receive the Wear OS 3 update sometime in 2022, making it a worthwhile investment. So far, no other budget options have made the list of devices eligible for the latest software.
- Well-built hardware
- Good display
- Decent battery life
- IP68 rated
- NFC and Google Pay
- Iffy automatic activity tracking
- Inconsistent sleep tracking
- Stuck on Wear OS 2 until later notice
- Cheap strap
Check out our full review to learn more about the Mobvoi TicWatch E3.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2: The best cheap Tizen smartwatch
In our review, we ran into some health and fitness tracking issues, so we wouldn’t suggest this option for someone especially interested in a workout tool. The heart rate monitor and GPS were especially inconsistent and can be a hindrance to athletes looking for detailed stats.
- Sleek, premium design
- Sharp AMOLED display
- Touch-enabled bezel for quick navigation
- Bluetooth + LTE variants for more flexibility
- ~2 day battery life
- Fantastic sleep tracking
- No MST payments with Samsung Pay
- Tizen app ecosystem is still lacking compared to Wear OS
- Heart rate, GPS, and altimeter sensor can be wonky
- Setup process still needs work
Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Fitbit Versa 3: The best cheap smartwatch from Fitbit
There are certainly cheaper options when it comes to the Fitbit stable, but compared to the Fitbit Sense, the Fitbit Versa 3 is the option with phenomenal value. In a way similar to the Apple Watch SE, the Versa 3 has pretty much every necessary feature of its higher-priced sibling. Users can expect accurate health tracking, sleep tracking, SpO2 monitoring, built-in GPS, voice assistant support, and more. Plus, you can typically find the Versa 3 around the $200 mark.
If that still feels a bit out of reach, the Fitbit Versa 2 remains a strong contender. However, with the Versa 2, users will miss out on some of the Versa 3’s health tracking as well as voice assistant support.
- Decent battery life
- Pretty accurate health tracking
- Built-in GPS
- Google Assistant and Alexa support
- Good price
- Very small app library
- Onboard music limited to two services
- Capacitive button isn’t ideal
- Proprietary charging cable
Check out our full review to learn more about the Fitbit Versa 3.
Garmin Venu Sq: The best cheap smartwatch from Garmin
The Garmin Venu Sq is the $200 version of Garmin’s Venu line. As shown above, it swaps the original Venu’s OLED display for a square LCD one and features a lightweight, plastic case. On the inside, it’s a multisport smartwatch with standalone GPS, an optical heart rate sensor, a pulse oximeter, Body Battery, workout modes, and much more. For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a home run.
However, if you’re set on music support, you’ll need to spring for the Venu Sq Music Edition. The price jump isn’t insignificant, but we know that for some runners, music can be a deal-breaker.
- Entry-level price point
- Long battery life
- Garmin Pay support on all models
- Accurate fitness and health tracking
- Useful and accurate sleep tracking
- Music Edition costs $50 more
- Small display can be difficult to use
- GPS accuracy could use work
Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Venu Sq.
Xiaomi Mi Watch: The best strict budget smartwatch
We wouldn’t count on finding a better option than the Xiaomi Mi Watch for under €100. It’s a zero-frills device with a variety of sports-tracking features, including over 100 sport profiles, onboard GPS, an optical heart rate sensor, an SpO2 sensor, and sleep tracking. You won’t find an app store, but preloaded apps offer basic smartwatch features plus support for Amazon Alexa.
Meanwhile, for even tighter budgets, the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is another ultra-cheap smartwatch from the Chinese brand that lists at just €50. To say this smartwatch option is bare-bones is putting it nicely, but it’s a good fitness tracker and a fine choice for the price.
- Big, bright display
- Simple, sleek design
- Lots of fitness data and sport profiles
- Workout analysis powered by Firstbeat
- Fantastic battery life
- Amazon Alexa support
- Limited smartwatch features
- SpO2 sensor is nothing more than a flex on the spec sheet
- Poor heart rate monitoring
- Xiaomi Wear app needs a lot of work
Check out our full review to learn more about the Xiaomi Mi Watch.
That’s it for our list of the best cheap smartwatches you can buy, but it’s only a fraction of what’s out there. We also want to give an honorable mention to the following products:
- Amazfit Bip U ($60): At about $60, with a 1.43-inch display, SpO2 sensors, heart rate monitoring, and more than 60 sport modes, the Amazfit Bip U is well worth its price tag.
- Amazfit Bip U Pro ($70): For just $10 more, the Amazfit Bip U Pro offers built-in GPS. It also boasts Amazon Alexa support, but the results are mixed.
- Amazfit GTR 2e ($130): The Amazfit GTR 2e, is another solid entry-level smartwatch with a fitness focus. In addition to in-depth sleep tracking, limited notifications, and music playback, it also features 90 sport modes so the odds are you’ll be able to track whatever fitness interest you might have.
Q: Is the Apple Watch SE worth it?
A: The Apple Watch SE is a great option for iOS users looking to dip a toe in the Apple Watch experience. It is a significant upgrade over the Apple Watch 3 without the high price tag of the Series 6 or Series 7.
Q: Are cheap smartwatches safe?
A: The short answer is yes! The smartwatches above are inherently safe devices to wear and use. The longer answer is all wearables are tools and can be misused. It is important not to rely solely on your device for health management. Additionally, statistics like calories burned can be triggering for some individuals. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns.
Q: What is the best-looking budget smartwatch?
A: For a fashion smartwatch on a budget, we suggest the Fossil Gen 5. It might not be packing the absolute newest tech, but it’s a classy Wear OS device with plenty of great smartwatch features.
Q: What is the best midrange smartwatch?
A: Everyone’s budget is different, but we consider devices like the Apple Watch 7 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 to be midrange devices. More importantly, both of these options make our list for the best smartwatch you can buy.
Q: Which is better, Garmin or Fitbit?
A: Two top smartwatch ecosystems, Fitbit and Garmin each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right fit comes down to what type of user you are and what tools you value most. Luckily, we have a dedicated guide to help you compare both options.