Best Budget Smartwatch in 2022
Updated: September 20,2022
Technological advances have freed us from the look and feel of traditional analog dials with rotating minute and hour hands. Today, we wear mini-computers on our wrists, and they do much more than just display time. With a smartwatch, you can track your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, access app stores, and answer calls and messages.
Unlike the majority of their predecessors, though, these aren’t exactly cheap watches. That’s why our guide is designed to help you find the best budget smartwatch, which will be the perfect blend of activity tracking, battery life, and, of course, price.
Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
- Long battery life
- Monitors sleep breathing
- Pomodoro clock and blood oxygen saturation measurement
- Workout readings prone to mistakes
- Limited app support
Smartwatch Design and Display
The simplicity of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini design is a step up from its predecessors, the Amazfit GTS 2 and GTS 2e. Although it shares some characteristics with the Apple Watch Series 6 in terms of design, this is by far the more affordable option and is widely considered the best low-cost smartwatch out there.
The Amazfit 2 GTS Mini feels remarkably light: The case is made from titanium alloy and plastic. The watch is suitable for showering and swimming, and you can dive down 50 meters while it’s strapped to your wrist. Customers can choose between three vibrant colors: flamingo pink, sage green, and midnight black.
The screen is somewhat smaller than other Amazfit models, but the AMOLED display enhances clarity and colors. This practical feature is just one of the things that makes this the top budget smartwatch.
Lab data shows that the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini provides up to 14 days of battery life. Still, that number should be taken with a grain of salt: Depending on numerous factors, such as the settings and operating conditions, this maximum endurance will no doubt be shortened. The battery life can be reduced by heavy usage and even different skin types. We’re happy to report that the battery lasted for six days while running every app and function available, including several blood oxygen tests, sleep and heart-rate monitoring, and 45-minute running sessions every day.
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini uses a 220 mAh battery, the same type of battery used on more expensive models. Battery-wise, this is one of the most economical smartwatch models available on the market today. It uses a charging cable with magnets and takes about two hours to fully charge.
Applications and Interface
Fitness tracking features are a crucial component of this device, which comes with more than 70 built-in sports modes. These provide everything from notifications about different exercise stages to heart-rate and physical-status monitoring. You’ll also get sports data reports after completing your workout.
Moreover, the device can serve as a personal health guardian by monitoring the oxygen saturation in the blood, heart rate, and sleep quality. Widely regarded as the best budget women’s smartwatch, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini comes with a menstrual cycle tracking tool.
A PAI Health assessment system uses an algorithm to process data about all the indicators it tracks to produce a score on your physical state. We tested out these health features and found them to be a reliable indicator of the impact your daily habits have on your overall condition.
Connectivity with this Amazfit model is a mixed bag, since there is no support for Wi-Fi on the GTS 2 Mini. However, it comes with Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0, which typically allows for data transfer speeds of up to 2 Mbps and communication over distances of 240 meters. This is also considered the best low-budget smartwatch because users can remotely control their mobile phones to snap selfies.
Overall, this smartwatch is an excellent fitness monitoring device for its price. It’s easy to use, responsive, the battery life is solid, and the selection of smart features makes up for any shortcomings. Our overall experience with the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini was impressive enough to get the device to the top of our list of prime budget smartwatch models.
Huawei Watch Fit
- Excellent display and design
- Fitness tracking
- Huawei Health app
- No third-party app support
- No mic
Smartwatch Design and Display
When seeing the Huawei Watch Fit, the first word that comes to mind is - stylish. It has one of the sleekest watch faces on our best low-cost smartwatch list. The case is made from durable polymer fiber with a matte finish, and the design borrows heavily from other devices in the Apple Watch series. On the downside, the strap feels a little too spongy.
Nonetheless, with a slightly arched AMOLED screen and vibrant colors, using the Huawei Watch Fit is a treat for your eyes. Everything is clearly displayed, and the interface is user-friendly. Thanks to the 456 x 280 HD resolution, the screen feels perfectly adequate. The only thing that bugged us was the relatively low visibility when the device was exposed to intense sunlight.
This is regarded by some as the best budget smartwatch for health activities thanks to its science-backed fitness guidance features. In addition, the water resistance rating of 50 meters allows you to use it for shallow-water activities, including swimming.
The Huawei Watch Fit comes with a 180 mAh battery that can last up to ten days if you enable sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring, work out for 30 minutes per week, and receive up to 50 messages and three calls every 24 hours. If you activate the GPS mode, you’ll need to charge the device after 12 hours. Ultimately, the battery life depends on user habits, but these are pretty accurate estimates that place Huawei among the best budget waterproof and GPS-capable smartwatch choices.
The magnetic charger isn't as impressive, especially if you want to use the smartwatch while it’s charging. Still, it’s powerful enough, as we managed to fully recharge the smartwatch within an hour.
Applications and Interface
Getting used to LiteOS takes a bit of time. Still, users will appreciate the visuals and responsiveness of the interface and installed apps. Simply swiping across the touchscreen will get you access to everything, from the activity dashboard, to heart-rate and stress-level monitoring, and even weather information.
The sheer range of health-related options in the apps justifies designating this device as the best smartwatch on a budget. Fitness aficionados will love what the Huawei Watch Fit can do.
The device comes with 96 workout modes, including real-time workout metrics for 11 sport modes. The remaining 85 modes can be customized. In addition to tracking workout duration, the watch also monitors your breathing, heart rate, and calorie burning.
The data collected is remarkably accurate, which is one of the defining characteristics of the greatest budget smartwatch for health. While there’s a music playback option, you can only play songs from your phone, not the actual smartwatch. One more thing we didn’t like was the lack of proper support for third-party apps.
Like much of the competition, the Huawei Watch Fit only supports Bluetooth 5.0. Although this is pretty standard for the best smartwatch in the price range, we would’ve liked to see more options. Of course, there are a few additional perks when you connect the device to a Huawei mobile phone.
You can snag one of these watches on Amazon for anywhere between $99.99 and $138.00, depending on the color you choose. This is widely regarded as the best cheap smartwatch among sports lovers, but those with other interests may not find it as useful.
- Tempered glass display
- Blood oxygen sensor
- Option to answer calls
- Low Bluetooth range
- No option to reply to messages
Smartwatch Design and Display
In our quest to answer the question: “What is the best budget smartwatch?,” we stumbled upon one device that a lot of consumers haven’t necessarily heard of but that seemed to have a lot to offer. The NDUR device was a pleasant surprise, thanks to several features that you wouldn’t commonly expect from a cheap smartwatch.
The body is made from zinc alloy, and it’s available in several colors, including gold and turquoise. The screen has a tempered-glass display, a responsive touchscreen, and a surprisingly bright display; this makes it easier to use in strong sunlight. The device is also water-resistant up to 1.5 meters in depth.
The NDUR smartwatch’s 170 mAh battery can last up to seven days with regular activity. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to brand it the top budget smartwatch with an activity tracker, as the battery lasted five days with intense fitness tracking usage. Surprisingly, it’s the notifications app that drains most of the battery’s resources. Of course, that comes down to how many notifications you’re receiving.
Applications and Interface
Blood pressure sensors are usually reserved for expensive smartwatches. However, despite its relatively low price tag, NDUR’s watch has this tool, along with a few other surprising options. As such, this device might just be the best cheap smartwatch with a blood pressure reading option.
You’ll also get a sensor for levels of oxygen in the blood, and fitness trackers for walking, running, badminton, cycling, soccer, and baseball. The heart-rate monitor gives a slightly higher reading than other devices, and the sleep-tracking tool might turn on when you’re merely lying down and watching television.
It’s also important to note that this smartwatch doesn’t have proprietary GPS; still, it can connect to your phone and use its built-in GPS to track running distances and chosen routes.
The core app, Da Fit, syncs the gathered data from your smartwatch to Google Fit for more detailed analysis. You can listen to music and get notifications about calls and messages, even those from social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat). Unfortunately, answering messages is currently not supported.
The smartwatch comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with any Android phone that is newer than 5.0+ and any iOS 9.0+ device. But don’t let the 4.0 protocol dissuade you. The speeds are similar to the ones you’d get with Bluetooth 5.0. The only reason this can’t be described as the best budget Bluetooth smartwatch is its distance limitation. It theoretically supports a range of up to 10 meters, as opposed to the 243 meters available with the 5.0 option. However, this is still more than enough for a stable connection with your smartphone.
To get a brand new NDUR smartwatch, you’ll need to part with a minimum of $65. The price goes up if you opt for special colors. Whatever design you choose, you’ll get an impressive set of features for this price range. Even outside the U.S., the NDUR offers excellent value, and at less than £50, it’s considered the finest budget smartwatch in the UK.
- Decent screen size
- Long battery duration
- No built-in GPS support
- Few fitness tracking options
Smartwatch Design and Display
The design won’t exactly take your breath away - the TicWatch GTX is bulky and looks a bit macho. Perhaps that explains why some regard it as the best cheap smartwatch for men on a budget.
There are two buttons on the right side: One is a shortcut to a workout tracking app, and the other opens the main screen with all the options.
Although the device is water and sweat proof, the IP68 rating means that it can only be submerged up to a maximum depth of 1.5 meters, notably more shallow than most other watches on our list. A few other components are sort of inferior, too: For instance, scrolling through the different screens can feel a bit laggy.
That said, this isn’t some cheap alternative to other devices that are competing for the best knock-off smartwatch award. The TicWatch GTX offers simplicity and the essentials at a highly affordable price.
The 200 mAh battery can last seven days with regular use and up to 10 days with Power Saving Mode on. Our testing shows that you can run the sleep and heart-rate tracking apps, and get notifications of incoming messages and calls for almost a week before having to charge the device - a quick process that only takes two hours. In short, you’re getting a smartwatch with a long battery life.
Applications and Interface
This may not be the best budget smartwatch for outdoors people, but it has its perks. You can get the complete list of workout tracking and heart rate monitoring apps by swiping sideways across your screen. The upper button on the left side of the smartwatch allows you to see all the available apps, such as TicPulse, TicExercise, and TicSleep.
The music control works fine, but you cannot use it during workout sessions nor add it as a widget. The core features, including the notifications app, enable you to view your incoming calls and messages, which you can then delete. But we can’t say that this is the best budget smartwatch with messaging capabilities because some messages break mid-sentence.
These fitness tracking apps employ a heart rate monitor and an accelerometer to track outdoor activity, monitor sleeping patterns, and count your steps. Unfortunately, there is no built-in GPS, so distance tracking isn’t always accurate.
The TicExercise app offers 14 workout modes for running, swimming, rowing, mountain climbing, basketball, jumping rope, and cycling. The app tracks everything from the duration of your workouts, to the number of calories burned, to your heart rate. However, the TicWatch GTX isn’t the best cheap smartwatch for heart-rate tracking because the readings tend to be inaccurate at times. On the other hand, this smartwatch and fitness tracker will still provide beneficial information about your step count and overall physical progress.
The TicWatch GTX uses Bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately, it has no Wi-Fi capabilities. Still, whatever it lacks in terms of connectivity, it makes up for it in price.
With a price tag of just $39.99, the TicWatch GTX is the most affordable option on our best budget smartwatch list. With its long battery life, notification app, and adequate fitness tracking options, this is a device you shouldn’t overlook if you’re shopping on a budget.
Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite
- Basic fitness trackers
- Firstbeat workout analysis tool
- GPS accuracy
- Certain apps limit data tracking
- No support for third-party apps
Smartwatch Design and Display
The square design is a departure from the traditionally round Xiaomi Mi watches. The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite borrows that aspect of its design from the Apple Watch series. But this device, which has a plastic case and a TRU strap, is actually the best budget Android smartwatch.
The display is solid, but the colors feel a bit muted since it’s not an AMOLED screen. Still, the touchscreen works admirably.
This smartwatch comes with a 230 mAh battery that should work for nine days before you need to recharge it. We’ve tested the battery life by activating daily tracking for workouts, heart rate, and sleep. With this heavy usage, the battery still lasted five days. In addition to being ranked among the best budget waterproof smartwatch options for its 50-meter resilience, this device allows you to enjoy up to 10 hours of continuous GPS usage.
Applications and Interface
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite provides all the essential tools you’d expect from a cheap smartwatch. You can receive call and message notifications, but you can’t answer them; on the other hand, you can control the music library on your phone.
You’ll get precise readings thanks to the three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope motion sensors, a barometer, and built-in GPS paired with GLONASS. It has 11 sports settings for running, swimming, cycling, and several other activities. Unfortunately, Xiaomi’s Mi Watch Lite won’t take the best budget blood pressure smartwatch title, since there’s no such feature. Still, it does have a PPG heart rate monitor for constant tracking and the Firstbeat app with multiple options for training and recovery.
We’ve tested the fitness tracking options with three-mile-long runs, and the readings were accurate and easy to check. However, the app removes additional information to simplify the results, and they can’t be transferred to another app, like Google Fit, for more details.
Connectivity support is solid for this cheap smartwatch. It has Bluetooth 5.0 with speeds up to 2 Mbps and over 200 m of distance tolerance. A nice bonus comes in the form of A2DP support for high-quality audio streaming between two A2DP devices.
For $80.99, you cannot go wrong with the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite. Admittedly, it’s light on health monitoring features, but what is there works great out of the box.
Most Affordable Smartwatch
- Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
- Huawei Watch Fit
- NDUR Smartwatch
- TicWatch GTX
- Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite
How Does a Smartwatch Help You?
Even the cheap smartwatches are still useful, multifunctional tools. These devices are capable of alerting you of important events, displaying notifications from your mobile phone, and some even allow for additional phone functionalities like answering calls.
Some are intended for specific purposes, like fitness tracking or analyzing your golf performance, and can automatically record a broad range of activities. Others allow you to browse the internet, receive GPS location-specific alerts, and, with some non-discount smartwatches, even watch movies on Netflix without feeling overwhelmed.
There are a couple of things to be mindful of when picking a smartwatch. For starters, if you’re on a tight budget, don’t expect to get your hands on the fastest and most feature-packed devices. That said, a cheap smartwatch still has plenty to offer.
The first thing to do is check the battery duration. Of course, the longer the battery lasts, the better. With a low-price smartwatch, a good battery should still get you through a few days with regular use, but you should always find out how long the battery lasts when all apps are active.
Next, find out if the smartwatch is water-resistant and if you can access its app store. Last are the deal breakers - connectivity options. Most smartwatches come with Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, or Long Term Evolution (LTE). These allow users to connect to cellular networks, use various apps, and transfer data between connected devices. Make sure your smartwatch has at least two, if not all three.
We use strict criteria when evaluating smartwatch capabilities. The most affordable smartwatch will likely come with flaws, so we thoroughly examine everything, from the design and touchscreen, to the battery life and overall user experience. We also look at the connectivity options and whether the device is waterproof. We’ll also assess the prices and tell you what kind of bang you get for your buck.
Most consumers want smartwatches that can accurately record their walking, running, biking, and even hiking sessions. As such, the best budget fitness smartwatch is one with a responsive touchscreen and clearly laid out menus but is sturdy enough to take a few knocks and falls. In addition to the design, we look at the hardware ticking at the heart of the device to ensure it’s up to par.
If you have an active lifestyle, you need a device with good battery duration and optimized power use. That said, even the best budget smartwatches can suffer from quick battery drain.
To help you avoid unpleasant situations, we look at how long the battery lasts after it’s juiced up. We also review other equally crucial factors, like the battery type and charger being used, to give you a realistic picture of what you’re getting.
Depending on its operating system, every smartwatch offers specific apps. These tools enable the best smartwatch you can get on a budget to assist you with different aspects of everyday life. Of course, not all smartwatches are created equal, and not all support the apps you’ll need.
In addition to identifying the operating system and device compatibility, we also look at the selection of preinstalled apps, if you can download additional apps, and if so, which ones.
For a gadget to be ranked as the best smartwatch within your budget, it should have wireless communications capabilities that enable users to connect to the internet or cellular networks.
We look at what you can expect from the smartwatch’s wireless connection and the feature roster for any other noteworthy features that may enhance the overall user experience and affect your purchasing decision. For example, if the device is suitable for some deep-sea diving, you’ll be the first one to know.
There is no such thing as the best generic smartwatch. Consumers need smartwatches for different things, and ultimately, the device you choose to wear around your wrist comes down to what you can afford.
The most expensive watch is not necessarily the best watch, as you can break the bank only to end up with a bunch of useless apps. We compared the offer prices and presented the available options for different tastes.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking for a cheap smartwatch and don’t have too many preferences when it comes to features, the Wyze Watch will cost you a mere $19.99. The aluminum case gives this best budget tough smartwatch a sturdy design, with a decent 1.4 inch TFT LCD touchscreen.
In addition, it tracks your heart rate, allows for blood oxygen monitoring, counts the number of steps, and tracks sleep patterns. Unfortunately, Wyze Watch uses motion sensor tracking that is not as accurate as GPS smartwatch tracking.
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is a great smartwatch exactly on that mark - it costs $99.99. It might be the best budget smartwatch for runners, considering its speaker assistant and dozens of workout programs. In addition, it uses a lightweight AMOLED screen with a high-quality finish and a battery that lasts up to 14 days.
By far, the best smartwatch available on the market is the Apple Watch Series 7. It has an excellent design, paired with a 1.69 or 1.90-inch Always-ON Retina OLED display and the dual-core Apple S7 processor. Keep in mind that the price is steep, as this Apple Watch doesn’t belong in the best budget iOS smartwatch category.
Despite the misleading title, Amazfit is owned by Huami, not Amazon. Huami works with Xiaomi as a smartwatch supplier. Aside from working on smartwatches, Amazfit also develops ear wearables.
It’s hard to compete with the high standards set by Fitbit, but Amazfit is getting closer to matching the top smartwatches on the market with every new model. Their smartwatches have a sophisticated design, stellar battery life, and many apps. These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the greatest cheap smartwatch list that doesn’t include Amazfit.
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