The best budget smartwatch you can get - PhoneArena's top list

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The best budget smartwatch you can get
Nowadays, it feels like smartwatches are all the rage. What used to be a cool extra has turned into a must-have, and it's rare to spot someone without one clinging to their wrist. Of course, the definition of "budget" is a bit subjective – if you're cruising in a private jet, splurging a few grand on a swanky Swiss timepiece might not faze you.

But for this piece, let's consider anything under $200 as part of the budget crew. Now, don't forget, a budget smartwatch should still pack a punch in the "smart" department – it's got to do more than just count your steps. With that in mind, let's dive into some of the top budget smartwatches rocking the scene in 2024.

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The best budget smartwatches at a glance:


Amazfit BIP U Pro

Best budget smartwatch overall
The first Amazfit Bip watch was quite successful, and one of the main reasons for that success was its 45-day battery life. The original BIP also came equipped with some core smart features normally reserved for much more expensive devices.

The Amazfit Bip U Pro takes on where the original Bip left off. It's even lighter - only 31 grams - and still very comfortable to wear. The built-in GPS is present, alongside the heart-rate sensor, and you can monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels, stress levels, breathing, quality of sleep, and sleeping patterns.

Get your Amazfit Bip U Pro here:

Amazfit Bip U Pro Smart Watch

with Built-in GPS, 9-Day Battery Life, Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen, Heart Rate, Sleep, Stress Monitor, 60+ Sports Modes, 1.43" Large HD Display, Water Resistant

You get smart notifications, Alexa integration, 50 watch faces, 60+ workout modes, plus 5ATM water resistance. The only thing that's not up to the original Bip is the battery life. The 9 days on a single charge still sound pretty amazing, especially compared to other premium one-day smartwatches, but the Bip U Pro is nowhere near the 45-day battery life of the first model. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • All the basic features are present
  • Built-in GPS
  • Health and fitness tracking
  • Amazing price

Cons

  • It's a plastic built
  • Battery life not on par with the original Bip
  • No LTE connectivity
  • Screen resolution is on the lower side

Garmin Forerunner 55

best for runners
The Garmin Forerunner 55 is a budget smartwatch that's perfect for runners who want to take their training to the next level but don't want to empty their wallets completely. It's jam-packed with features that will help you track your runs, track your progress, and achieve your goals while remaining reasonably priced.

Get your Garmin Forerunner 55 here:

Garmin Forerunner 55

GPS Running Watch with Daily Suggested Workouts, Up to 2 Weeks of Battery Life, White

First off, it's got built-in GPS, so you can leave your phone at home and still track your route, distance, and pace. This is great for runners who prefer to run phone-free. Another cool feature is the heart rate monitor. It provides real-time heart rate data, so you can see how hard your heart is working during your runs.

You also get the best of Garmin's fitness expertise in the form of the Garmin Connect app, which offers a wide range of features. You can view your running data on your phone, share your runs with friends, and even compete with other runners. The Forerunner 55 is on the threshold of "budget," as you can often find it under $200, so keep an eye on this space for the best deal if you're into hitting the track often.

Fitbit Versa 4

Best-looking budget smartwatch
Fitbit made a bold move with the original Versa, which turned out to be pretty successful. The company decided to offer premium design and features in an affordable package. Now, the Fitbit Versa 4, the fourth iteration of the popular smartwatch, takes that idea a step further, bringing the price under $200, and offering one of the most affordable smartwatches on the market.

The Versa 4 looks great and can deal with notifications - it offers short customizable answers, so you can actually get away with using only the watch. On top of that the watch offers WiFi, onboard music storage and great battery life, plus 40+ exercise modes, sleep tracking for your perfect fitness and health regime.

Get your Fitbit Vesa 4 here:

Fitbit Versa 4 Smartwatch

GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Alexa Built-in, 6+ Days Battery


The Versa 4 also sports NFC, which means you can use it to pay your bills.  This smartwatch offers hundreds of apps and watch faces, some of which are pretty useful. It’s far from a full-fledged smartwatch, but at $199 we can’t complain much about it (also, there are great deals on the Versa 3, often bringing the price under $100).

Pros

  • Great design
  • GPS
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Mobile payment
  • Onboard music storage
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not exactly the cheapest out there


TicWatch E3

Best budget Wear OS smartwatch
The TicWatch E3 is your budget gateway to Wear OS - Google’s powerful wearable operating system. It’s the future - many manufacturers are moving toward Wear OS with the latest example being Samsung and its new Galaxy Watch 4 range.

So, back to the TicWatch E3. It’s not the best budget smartwatch on the market, nor is it the best-looking. What you’re getting for your $199 or so is a smartwatch with some pretty decent hardware specs - a Snapdragon 4100 chipset, 8GB of onboard storage, 1GB of RAM, WiFi, GPS, Google Assistant.

Get your TicWatch E3 here:

TicWatch E3 smartwatch

Built-in GPS 5ATM Waterproof 24h Heart Rate Monitoring Wear OS by Google


This covers all the basic smartwatch functionality but there's more, the TicWatch E3 sports NFC and mobile payment through Google Pay. The battery life is decent for this hardware, it’s a powerful watch with a great display, after all. The design is a bit bland and the watch itself - a bit bulky, but you won’t find a better Wear OS deal out there. The main drawback is the price, though. You can find the TicWatch E3 for $199 here and there, and it's sits on the absolute limit that we've set earlier.

Pros

  • Powerful internals
  • Wear OS
  • Voice commands
  • Mobile payments
  • Comprehensive fitness/sleep tracking
  • IP68 rating

Cons

  • No the most inspiring design
  • Bulky
  • Expensive


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Best deal at the moment

Now, here's an unusual face in the budget smartwatch category. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has been overthrown and overshadowed by the Galaxy Watch 5 but this only means that there are some crazy deals on the Watch 4 available. It's a great smartwatch, stylish, comfortable, pretty powerful, and sporting an amazing Super AMOLED display - Samsung's bread and butter.

Galaxy Watch 4, 40mm , US Version

Smartwatch with ECG Monitor, Tracker for Health, Fitness, Running, Sleep Cycles, GPS Fall Detection, Bluetooth

The watch can serve two masters and be your stylish, formal dinner device, as well as a comfortable and lightweight sports watch. The design is really ambivalent, and it can fit different styles and occasions - just put on a leather strap, and you’re good to go for that business dinner. Slap a rubber band on, and you can sweat in the gym all you want. 

This watch has some serious features on board. Smart notifications, GPS, onboard storage, NFC for mobile payment, all kinds of fitness and health tracking features and apps. The whole package! The only problem is the price. Normally, this watch goes for about $300, which is way above our budget threshold. Right now? You can find it under $200 (check out the Amazon link in the widget)! And at that price, it's a real bargain!


Apple Watch SE 2

Best budget watch for iPhone users
Apple Watch SE (2022)
8.9

Apple Watch SE (2022)


The Good

  • Premium build
  • Water resistant
  • Fast performance
  • Great value for money

The Bad

  • No always-on display
  • Thicker bezels
  • Slower charging
  • Still no ECG and blood oxygen sensor
The good old Apple Watch is bound to appear on this list. It's the new Series SE 2 iteration, which starts at $249 at the moment, making it just eligible for our best budget smartwatch competition. The Apple Watch SE 2 is brand-new and featuring some of the cool Series 8 features (crash detection, SiP8 chip), so it's a good deal. You're getting all the bells and whistles of an Apple device, and frankly, this is one of the best budget smartwatch choices if you have an iPhone.

This is also the only smartwatch on the list to offer cellular connectivity at this price point (the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is much more expensive outside deals). You also get your familiar WatchOS experience with notifications, WiFi, camera shutter controls, music streaming, and more. The battery life is 18 hours, which is kinda the standard that Apple aims for, even on newer models like the Apple Watch 8 and SE 2, so there's no real drawback here.

Get your Apple Watch SE 2 here:

Apple Watch SE (2022), 40mm: save 24% on Amazon

The Apple Watch SE (2022) is available at Amazon. The smartwatch currently retails at a 24% cheaper price, meaning you can get it for less than $200.

Apple Watch SE (2022) 44mm: get at Amazon and save 22%

The bigger version of the Watch SE (2022) is also available to order at Amazon. Right now, the GPS wearable arrives at a 22% cheaper price. Don't miss out.

OnePlus Watch

The new kid on the block
The OnePlus Watch is the company's first attempt at wearables and in this regard it's a success. There are three main factors that OnePlus had taken into consideration when designing this watch. The first is pure aesthetics - the OnePlus Watch looks much more premium than it really is. Clean and stylish lines meet to form one of the best-looking devices in this price range.

The second is battery life. Tired of charging your smartwatch every day or even twice a day? The OnePlus Watch can last 10 solid days on a single charge, and even if you squeeze everything out of it, the watch will go through a whole week easily. The third pillar is the price. This thing costs fitness band money. Sadly, in order to achieve all this, OnePlus had to make some compromises.

Get your OnePlus Watch here:

OnePlus Watch

Midnight Black

For starters, the watch is not very smart. You have the basics - notification support (although pretty limited), you can take calls but you need your phone connected, and there's limited space for widgets, or Cards, as OnePlus calls them. At the end of the day, though, the biggest advantages of the OnePlus Watch are its looks and its battery life.


Pros

  • Premium and stylish design
  • Long battery life
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Fitness tracking not accurate
  • Smart features pretty much non-existent
  • No third party software
  • Glitches and bugs
  • Only one size (46mm)

How to choose the best budget smartwatch:


  • Design and Comfort: Examine the design and comfort of the smartwatch. Consider factors like weight, strap material, and overall aesthetics. It should be comfortable to wear for long periods and suit your personal style.
  • Display: Consider the size and quality of the smartwatch display. A larger display may offer better readability and touch control. Look for a display with good brightness levels and vibrant colors for an enhanced user experience.
  • Connectivity: Check the connectivity options of the smartwatch. Most smartwatches connect to smartphones via Bluetooth, but some may also offer Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. Ensure the smartwatch has a stable and reliable connection to your phone.
  • Sensors and Health Tracking: Determine the health tracking features that matter to you, such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, or blood oxygen level measurement. Ensure the smartwatch has the necessary sensors to track your fitness goals effectively.
  • Battery Life and Charging: Assess the battery life and charging mechanism of the smartwatch. Look for models that offer longer battery life to avoid frequent charging. Also, consider the charging method (USB, magnetic, wireless) and check if the charger is included.
  • User Interface and Navigation: Test the user interface and navigation of the smartwatch. It should have an intuitive interface and easy-to-use controls. Some smartwatches have customizable watch faces or additional buttons for quick access to functions.
  • Compatibility: Check if the smartwatch is compatible with the apps you use or plan to use. Ensure that there is a good selection of third-party apps available for the smartwatch, such as fitness tracking apps or music streaming services.
  • Water Resistance: Verify if the smartwatch has water resistance or is suitable for swimming or showering. A water-resistant rating will protect the watch from damage due to water exposure.

Conclusion


The best budget smartwatch is a bit of an oddball, don't you think? Stuff that used to burn a hole in your pocket is now rocking the budget category – take the Apple Watch SE, for example. Mobile tech is sprinting ahead like Usain Bolt, and we're living in a golden age. Now, for less than a $100, you're scoring active health tracking, wrist notifications, GPS – things that would've set you back a on of cash just a couple of years ago!

Hold up, though – this list ain't set in stone! We're gonna update it and keep it fresh with serious love and care. So, stay tuned for some spanking new and wallet-friendly smartwatch options dropping real soon!

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