Ever since smartwatches, or rather the concept, were introduced in popular TV shows like Knight Rider, the whole world has been waiting for that concept to turn into a reality.
Today, the concept indeed has become a reality.
Unfortunately, that reality was still too far for many to reach as smartwatch prices were simply too prohibitive.
But as technology has improved, and with many players having joined the smartwatch manufacturing race, smartwatches are becoming more affordable.
But just because smartwatches are becoming cheaper, that does not mean their quality is going down.
If you have been dreaming of the day you will be able to look as cool as Michael Knight, sporting your own functional and good-looking smartwatch, then on this day, your dream has come true.
Why do I say that?
Because I will be showing you the best cheap smartwatch you can get yourself in 2018.
But because there are so many of them, I’ll show you the best 7 then I’ll leave you to get the one that tickles your fancy.
But before we get to the best smartwatch for you, let’s first look at a few smartwatch buying tips.
What Is A Smartwatch And How To Buy One
A smartwatch is a smart device much like a smartphone but in the size of a watch and is worn on the wrist.
Although the first smartwatches were touted as being capable of doing great things, they failed to deliver on their promises. But today, smartwatches are delivering pretty decent results.
Despite the popularity of Samsung and Apple smartwatches, the modern smartwatch owes its popularity to a company called Pebble (remember them?)
Pebble raised their funding for their first smartwatch on Kickstarter and launched the Pebble Classic, igniting the smartwatch craze in 2013.
Several years later, smartwatches are still ticking and getting even better. So how do you choose a good smartwatch for yourself? Especially on a budget?
Here are a few basic things you should look for in a smartwatch.
Compatibility With Your Phone
This is an obvious one, but it still needs to be mentioned. When buying a smartwatch, make sure it’s compatible with your phone and also easily connects.
Some smartwatches are only compatible with one OS, notably those from Apple, while others are compatible with either Android or both Android and iOS (like Google WearOS, formally Android Wear).
Speaking of operating systems, when it comes to cheap smartwatches, you’ll probably find some big brands running Android Wear instead of the upgraded and rebranded WearOS. Although you may miss out on the new features supported by WearOS, if you are looking for a basic smartphone, then Android Wear is not bad.
The only drawback is that the OS is not upgradeable.
One basic function of a smartwatch is to give you quick access to the notifications on your phone.
But beyond notifications, you should look for a smartphone that is capable of supporting a number of apps – especially your essential ones.
Fortunately, as the smartwatch evolves, it is beginning to be able to handle a number of apps seamlessly, even if it’s a budget smartwatch.
Good Battery Life
For every battery-powered device, battery life is a critical component in making it easier to use. When looking for the best budget smartwatch, make sure to look for one with enough battery life to take you through at least a day.
Fitness tracking is a good option to have on a smartwatch, even a budget one. Although a dedicated fitness band will serve you better, your smartwatch is able to give you the basic data you need like heart rate and a pedometer so as to help you keep track of your workouts.
Now that you know the basic functions to look for in a smartwatch, let’s get you the best cheap smartwatch you can find.
7 Best Cheap Smartwatches – More Than Just Time Keeping
As we look for the best cheap smartwatch, we’ll focus on the 7 best smartwatches that you can get for under $150.00.
Sure, you can get a smartwatch for $50.00, but it won’t really take you far.
- Looks like a watch, acts like a smartwatch. Smartphone notifications, activity tracking, custom goal setting, sleep...
- Charging not required, estimated 12 months battery life based on usage; a gentle buzz lets you know when you receive a...
Everyone who’s ever looked for a watch has come across the Fossil brand – and knows that most Fossil watches carry a hefty price tag.
If you are a fan of this iconic brand, you are in luck because Fossil has an affordable smartwatch for you – the Fossil Q Commuter.
For just over $150.00, you can get the Fossil Q Commuter smartwatch.
Featuring a beautiful chocolate brown leather strap and a screen to match, the Fossil Q Commuter can easily pass for a regular traditional watch.
But don't let the simplicity and elegance of this watch fool you.
The Fossil features classic hands that track the time while a set of smaller hands keeps track of your steps on the watch face. Being a smartwatch, the Fossil Q Commuter is Bluetooth-enabled and is compatible with most Android and Apple smartphones.
Apart from time tracking, this smartwatch can monitor everything from calories to sleep and can give you alerts like your regular alarms or text messages.
And if you love swimming, this smartwatch is water resistant up to 50m, definitely making it the best cheap smartwatch for you.
If $157.00 is not cheap enough for you, perhaps the next smartwatch will fit your bill for the best cheap smartwatch.
- Look as Good as You Feel: With a range of colors and options, the Bip is designed to be worn as an extension of your...
- Go the Distance: Use the Amazfit Bip for up to 30 days on a single 2.5-hour charge.
If you really want your wrist to have that Apple Watch 3 elegance without having to fork out the princely sum of an Apple Watch, then the Amazfit Bip is exactly the best cheap smartwatch for you.
This is actually one of the best value-for-money smartwatches around, especially considering that you’ll only pay $80.00.
The Amazfit Bip makes a very strong case for itself in more ways than just its good looks. For one, its 30-day long battery life is very impressive, especially since it takes you 2 hours 30 minutes to bring it to a full charge.
Although the Amazfit Bip is not the most robust smartwatch around, it’s pretty strong when it comes to delivering in functionality. It can push notifications from your smartphone, track your workouts with its built-in GPS, and a whole lot more – like sleep tracking. For the latter, the Amazfit Bip is so comfortable, lightweight, and features a low profile, making it a very good bedfellow.
This offering from the same company as the Xiaomi smartphone is quite a strong contender for the best cheap smartwatch award.
- Android Wear 2.0. Get your favorite apps and watch faces. Request a car ride. Perfect your golf swing. Explore a new...
- Follow your fitness.Track walks, runs, rides, heart rate and strength training with Google Fit and your favorite fitness...
If you’ve never heard of Mobvoi, or the Ticwatch smartwatch itself, you’ll be glad you dropped by. And that for only one reason – it runs on Android Wear 2.0.
Yes, the Ticwatch is probably the best cheap smartwatch running Google’s revolutionary OS for smartwatches. Most cheap smartwatches either run on their own OS or outdated versions. So this is a great plus for the multitudes living in the “Googlesphere”.
But OS aside, the Ticwatch is really a great smartwatch as it comes preloaded with many apps (thanks to the WearOS). Design-wise, it is a pretty basic watch that you can’t tell apart from a regular digital watch, apart from its always-on display.
Speaking of the display, this is the other impressive feature that has made many a smartwatch fan fall in love with the Ticwatch. Sporting a vibrant 1.4-inch OLED display, this smartwatch is definitely easy to read, no matter the environment you are in. Just so you know, the display’s 400 x 400 (287dpi) is a higher resolution than other more expensive options like the LG Watch Style and Huawei’s Watch 2.
Basically, the Ticwatch is a great bargain at $159.99.
Especially since the Ticwatch brings Google Assistant right to your wrist.
- Calls and Information Synchronization: CPU MTK2502C, high Speed perfectly support Both Apple iPhone iOS and Android...
- High sensitive touch screen: 1.3 inch IPS LCD round screen; 2.5 D RADIAN Capacitive touch screen resolution: 240*240...
If you are looking for a minimalistic smartwatch that gives you all the basic functions of a smartwatch, plus the added advantage of a SIN/TF card, then the Keoker smartwatch is probably the best cheap smartwatch you are looking for.
With this nifty watch, you can read messages and get social media notifications from your phone. The Keoker smartwatch can also help you live a healthy lifestyle by keeping track of your sleep patterns, heart rate, and many other stats you need to keep in check.
The only drawback with this smartwatch is that the battery does need to be recharged every day, oh, and the limited number of color options (black, silver, and gold).
For an $80.00 smartwatch, this is definitely a great buy – especially since it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
- Use voice commands - create calendar events, check weather & directions, set an alarm and search the web hands-free.
- Get push notifications from hundreds of your favorite social, news, fitness, sports and other apps.
Like something from a futuristic planet, the Martian mVoice smartwatch will definitely revolutionize your life – especially if you are an Amazon Alexa user.
If you haven’t invited Alexa into your home, you probably should.
But then I digress.
The Martian mVoice is an analog watch that also combines the modern pleasures of the digital age quite nicely. The watch face features traditional hands that make for a gorgeous timepiece while your notifications appear on the screen when you receive texts or incoming calls.
With this smartwatch, you have access to Amazon's Alexa service everywhere you go, given there’s internet connectivity of course. With the Martian mVoice smartwatch, you can, apart from getting notifications and receiving calls, control your smart home devices, load apps and set up your phone's camera.
Pretty neat for a cheap smartphone that only costs about $100.00.
If you are a fitness buff, however, this may not be the best cheap smartwatch for you as it is more focused on keeping you organized or for use as a standalone phone.
As for battery life, expect this smartwatch to see you through an average of 1 week, depending on the use of course.
- Operating System: Android Wear (Does NOT support iPhone IOS) Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects your ZenWatch 2 against...
- ASUS FaceDesigner enables you to Create the perfect watch face with style and functionality.
If you are looking for the best cheap smartwatch with some pedigree, then the Asus smartwatch is it. Coming from a company renowned for making some great laptops, you can expect nothing but great performance from the Asus ZenWatch 2.
The Asus ZenWatch 2 is another Android Wear-powered smartwatch that easily keeps you in tune with your phone – without even having to remove it from, well wherever you keep your phone.
With great speakers and a microphone, you’ll definitely be able to make and receive all your calls without much of a drop in the clarity of sound – on both ends. As for notifications and texts, it handles them extremely well too.
The biggest drawback with the ZenWatch 2 is its size – it’s bulkier than other smartwatches on the market. But it does make up for that with its beautiful and sturdy design, coupled with exceptional performance.
If you’ve got $155.00 to spare for a smartwatch, then this could definitely be the best cheap smartwatch for you.
- Built-in sports apps, including GPS-enabled running, biking and golfing plus swimming and activity tracking¹, let you...
- Refer to page 10 in the User Manual for troubleshooting steps.
When smartwatches hit the market, everyone was excited to able to track their fitness and health on the go. Everyone except swimmers that is.
Enter the Garmin Vivoactive smartwatch.
If you are looking for a smartwatch specifically designed for sports, this is it. Loaded with apps for most major sporting disciplines, including golf and swimming, this is definitely the best cheap smartwatch for sportspersons.
Yes, better than the Apple Watch.
You see, Apple’s smartwatches try to be all things to all men and succeed for some while they just don’t cut it for others. The Garmin, on the other hand, only tries to be one thing – a sports watch. And it does that very well.
Yes, the price is a bit north of $200.00, $214.99 to be exact, but it definitely is worth it for its versatility, functionality, and, well everything about it.
The Best Cheap Smartwatch For You
When it comes to smartwatches, no one watch can claim to be “the” watch. It all boils down to personal preference and your needs at the end of the day.
But when it comes to the best cheap smartwatches, the ones on this list a definitely do tick most boxes – at their price point of course.
Which is the best cheap smartwatch for you?
Take your pick.