Best cheap smartwatches under £100 and £200
Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular, even among less techy types. Fortunately, they're now far more affordable, so you no longer have to justify a large expense to get involved.
Another great reason to consider a cheap smartwatch is that there are attractive discounts on slightly older models – you could find yourself saving more than 50% on the original retail price if you buy at the right time.
It's still important to tread carefully, though – poor smartwatches can be uncomfortable, awkward to use and inaccurate. We'll help you pick the right model at a great price.
In general you're unlikely to find a Best Buy smartwatch for less than £100. But that's not to say there aren't good models around – just be prepared to sacrifice a little in terms of features, flexibility and performance.
If you're willing to up your budget, you'll find a far bigger range of smartwatches for less than £200, including some Best Buys. You'll often get a better build and a sleek design for the extra money, along with more advanced features such as dedicated exercise modes. Built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor and more advanced sleep-tracking is also more common.
Cheap Apple Watches
For many people, Apple and the Apple Watch are synonymous with smartwatches. They're also synonymous with high quality and a high price. It's unlikely you'll find an Apple Watch at a price that most people would consider 'cheap', although it is possible to find older models discounted just enough to make them squeeze into our 'under £200' bracket.
At the time of writing, the was available for £195 at quite a few stores, including Amazon, John Lewis & Partners and Currys PC World, so if you have your heart set on an Apple Watch, it's worth keeping an eye out for it at this price.
Which other brands make the best cheap smartwatches?
Cheap Amazfit smartwatches
Amazfit is a relatively unknown brand, but is making a name for itself at the cheaper end of the market. Its smartwatches tend to adopt a square-faced design, which makes some models quite reminiscent of the Apple Watch.
Entry-level devices in the Amazfit line include the and . They're unlikely to turn any heads, but do have a simplistic charm that should satisfy most people looking for a cheap entry point to this market. They're also lightweight and offer a decent range of features, including heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking, and you'll get a good range of notifications from your phone.
Cheap Huawei smartwatches
Huawei may be better known for its mobile phones, but it also does a good line in popular smartwatches, many of which are packed with features.
Better yet, Huawei smartwatches tend to get attractive discounts – older models in particular, once superceded, see price drops of up to or even more than 50%.
Never models, such as the and offer slightly different designs, but all of its watches tend to have a good range of features, including a heart-rate monitor and sleep tracking, plus a range of notifications to save you checking your phone.
Cheap Garmin smartwatches
Garmin is one of the most popular smartwatch brands and has a wide range of models at different price points. These include pricey, more specialist smartwatches, costing upwards of £400, but you can find some cheaper options.
Its Forerunner range, which as the name suggests is aimed more at runners and offers features such as preset training plans, can be quite expensive. A cheaper option in this range is the , which you'll find for around £150.
The Vivoactive range is more of an all-rounder – if less specialist for those serious about their sports. The comes in at a similar price – £150, and has a built-in speaker to play music from the watch itself.
Cheap Fitbit smartwatches
Fitbit is well known for its fitness trackers, but it has ventured into the smartwatch market and has a few models available. They're quite cheap as well – we've tested four models and they all cost less than £200.
The cheapest is the , which you could find for less than £100. It has a square, Apple Watch-esque design, and while it doesn't feature GPS, there are a range of workout modes, along with heart rate and sleep tracking.
Cheap Smartwatches from Amazon and other marketplaces: Apachie, Aquarius and more
If you've shopped around for a cheap smartwatch on an online marketplace, such as Amazon or eBay, or seen them on deal websites such as Groupon, you may be wondering why you should pay more than £20.
There are a wide range of brands doing the rounds at tantalisingly cheap prices. Many of these have lots of positive customer reviews and some may even be labelled with an endorsement such as Amazon's Choice.
Our advice when shopping in this market is to be very wary. We've had some experience with these cheaper models – our first look review of the offers a taster, and we haven't been impressed. Many of these devices seem to be packed with features, but rarely look or feel as polished or high quality as they might appear on a product photo. They can also be frustratingly awkward to use and inaccurate.
We think it's worth spending more on a device as personal as a watch that you'll want to wear, use and enjoy, day in and day out.
What to look for in a cheap smartwatch
Smartwatches are inherently versatile and usually quite feature-packed devices, and the final decision around which one to choose, just like a real watch, can be more about the fit than the features. Ideally, you'll try on a smartwatch before you buy, if you can find one on display in a high street store. Otherwise, consider the following when you're shopping around.
Shape and style
A basic but important first question to ask is what sort of watch are you looking for? Designs are usually square or circular, some come with thick bezels and others adopt a more slimline approach. Settle on your preferred style to narrow down your initial options.
Size and weight
This is equally important, as it's often difficult to tell how big a watch is from a photo. Pay careful attention to the watch face size and dimensions – including weight. Compare this to your own watch for a point of reference. Some smartwatches can quite large and chunky, which is fine if that's the style you like, but may be uncomfortable on smaller wrists.
Make sure you know what the watch is made of – especially important when shopping for cheaper smartwatches. A metal or ceramic and plastic enclosure will be far more durable than something made entirely of cheap plastic.
This is important for a few reasons. First of all it makes the watch more versatile – a strap that you can swap out helps you coordinate better for different occasions, or tailor better for different uses. It's also useful if the strap wears or breaks over time, since you can easily purchase a new one.
Key features (eg: heart-rate monitor, GPS)
Finally, check to make sure the features you really want are present and correct on the watch. Every watch should have the basics, such as a step counter and notifications, but specifics such as GPS or a heart-rate monitor, if you're keen on having them, are worth checking for.