Update: We’ve now included the Fitbit Versa Lite in the list below. It just squeezes in with a price of £149.99 in the UK, and some US retailers are offering it for just under $150.
Smartwatches have developed into great gadget companions for your wrist. Despite their compact size, today’s smartwatches couple date and time displays with various notifications, fitness uses and additional apps – so it’s no wonder some might think you can’t get a good smartwatch without spending lots on it.
That’s not entirely true though. The affordable end of the market when it comes to smartwatches is limited, there’s no denying that, but there are also solid budget options out there that won’t disappoint you.
We’ve put together this guide on the best affordable smartwatches right now – just the good cheap buys, mind you – so unlike our best smartwatch guide this isn’t as fit to burst with the latest and greatest products.
Instead this is more of a selection of our favorite products we’ve tested from across the spectrum, but the aim here is to only recommend products that cost under $150 / £150.
Prices may vary over time, so you may see some of the prices in this list edge just above that. None of the devices on this list should hit extortionate levels though as they’re all more affordable choices anyway. Scroll down below for our selection of the best affordable devices you can strap to your wrist.
1. Fitbit Versa Lite
Like a Fitbit Versa, but lighter on features
OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android 5+, iOS 10+ | Display: 1.34″ 300 x 300 | Processor: N/A | Onboard storage: N/A | Battery duration: Around four days | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: N/A
Cheaper than other Fitbits
Small and comfortable design
No Fitbit Pay
No onboard storage for music
You’ve probably already heard of the Fitbit Versa in your search for a new smartwatch, but did you know the company now has a less feature-rich and therefore more affordable version of it? It’s called the Fitbit Versa Lite, and it’s now our best cheap smartwatch.
It isn’t the most comprehensive smartwatch experience as notifications are limited, you can’t listen to music and there’s no contactless payment tech, but all of that said, if you’re looking for an attractive timepiece that tracks your workouts as well as offering a few basic smartwatch features this may suit you.
Before you buy the Fitbit Versa Lite, we’d recommend checking prices for the Fitbit Versa. In some markets it has cost a similar amount to the Lite, and if you can get the original watch you’ll get additional features such as music and swim tracking too.
If not, the Fitbit Versa Lite is a great companion if you’re looking for a fitness focused smartwatch.
Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite review
2. TicWatch E2
Basically the only great cheap Wear OS watch
OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+ | Display: 1.39″ 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Around 48h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Easily two day battery life
No NFC for payments
The TicWatch E2 isn’t a phenomenal upgrade upon the TicWatch E, but it will offer a waterproof design and better battery life for a similar price to the original watch.
The design of this watch hasn’t been improved much, so it still doesn’t feel particularly premium on your wrist but it’s still a good looking piece of tech that we’re happy to wear at all times of day.
You’ll get around two days of battery life from the watch, there’s GPS built-in and swim tracking as well if you like to take your devices into the pool for a dip.
One of the biggest frustrations is the lack of NFC which means you can’t use Google Pay on the watch, but you do get all of the rest of the benefits of Wear OS here. That’s something nothing else on this list offers.
Read our full TicWatch E2 review
3. Amazfit Bip
Looks like an Apple Watch, but it’s not as smart
OS: Amazfit OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: 1.28″ 400 x 400 LCD | Processor: MediaTek N/A | Onboard storage: Just for fitness data | Battery duration: Up to 45 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4
Excellent companion app
Auto-pause feature doesn’t work
OK, this isn’t the most inventive smartwatch you’re going to find to buy in 2019, but it is one of the cheapest. In fact, it may even be the most affordable watch that is actually worth buying.
It looks quite like an Apple Watch, but this device is a whopping six times cheaper than a top-end Apple Watch Series 4 when bought brand new.
It doesn’t do anywhere near as much as the Apple Watch, but it does sport some incredible battery life at 45 days and lots of features for cyclists and runners including a heart rate sensor.
Read our full Amazfit Bip review
4. Garmin Forerunner 30
A pared-back run tracker that packs in some serious features
OS: Garmin OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: 0.93″ 128 x 128 | Processor: N/A | Onboard storage: Just for fitness data | Battery duration: Up to 5 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: N/A (Garmin claims 5 ATM) | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Design isn’t incredible
The Garmin Forerunner 30 is the first dedicated fitness watch you’ll find on this list, and this is mostly built for runners. It’s a device you’ll want to wear if you’re big into your jogging, but it does have some features suitable for cyclists too.
It has GPS onboard, a heart rate monitor – that we found to be accurate in our testing – and a few other features that make is stand out as one of the most affordable running watches.
It has a VO2 Max monitor, which allows you to record your fitness level over time. That’s something that is usually reserved for top-end devices, and this is one of the cheapest devices to feature that.
There’s no touchscreen here to interact with the watch, but it does have a fantastic app that you’ll be using to control it.
Read the full Garmin Forerunner 30 review
5. Polar M200
Another running watch for your consideration
OS: Polar OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: 26mm diameter | Processor: N/A | Onboard storage: Just for fitness data | Battery duration: Up to 6 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: N/A (Polar claims water resistant) | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Good battery life
Not a premium design
The Polar M200 is one of the most affordable running watches money can buy and you’ll find it includes almost all of the fitness features you’ll want from a smartwatch.
We found the GPS could be a little slow at times, and the design isn’t as premium as some of the other devices we’ve seen from Polar, but apart this is a solid running watch with great battery life.
This won’t offer notifications and apps like some of the other devices on this list, but if fitness is the main aim for you the Polar M200 is an affordable choice that offers a variety of top features.
Read the full Polar M200 review
6. Fitbit Blaze
Looks like a smartwatch, acts like a fitness tracker
OS: Fitbit OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: Color LCD | Processor: N/A | Onboard storage: 7 days of fitness data | Battery duration: Up to 5 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: N/A (Fitbit claims water resistant) | Connectivity: Bluetooth
Excellent companion app
Auto-pause feature doesn’t work
OK, this one isn’t strictly a smartwatch. Again, like some of the watches above this, it won’t offer a full blown smartwatch experience and tries to be much more of a fitness tracker with a smartwatch look.
We decided to include it here though as the price has dropped in recent years, and it’s in the right price bracket. We prefer the Fitbit Versa, but it’s still a touch too expensive for us to refer to it as ‘cheap’.
We’ve included the Fitbit Versa Lite in this list now, but that sits at the top-end of budgets we’re looking at in this list.
The Fitbit Blaze may not be the best looking device, but it comes with a heart rate tracker and all the benefits of the Fitbit ecosystem. Just note this won’t run the same Fitbit apps you’ve seen on your friend’s Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Ionic.
This is a much more parred down experience, but it may suit you if you’re looking for a device that looks like a watch and offers notifications as well as some health tracking options too.
Read the full Fitbit Blaze review
Photo illustration: TechRadar; Mobvoi; Amazfit; Garmin