The smartwatches are fashionable. This is, in part, due to the large number of functions they offer you, such as access to your favorite applications from your wrist or the possibility of listening to music or answering calls even if you do not carry your smartphone with you.
The biggest advantage that best cheap smartwatches have over other types of wearables is that you don’t have to get used to carrying a new device , but rather that a multitude of functionalities have been added to a complement that you are already used to using.
You will be able to find some very basic ones with which you can only access the notifications of your phone, without the possibility of answering, and others that are almost like carrying your smartphone on your wrist.
But before deciding on one, you will have to assess well what your needs are and what functionalities can cover them . You certainly don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t meet your expectations or, worse still, buy the most expensive smartwatch and end up not using even half of its options.
In this guide you will find the 5 best cheap smartwatches according to our expert analysts and user opinions. At the end we have also left you a practical comparison table and a complete buying guide so that you have no doubts before making your choice.
The 10 best smartwatches of 2021
The following smartwatches have been selected as the best of the moment for their excellent value for money and the ratings of their users.
1. Garmin Vivoactive 3
- Autonomy: 7 days
- Screen: 1.6 ″
- Payments: Yes
- Answer calls: No
With a round screen of 1.6 inches in diameter, the Vivoactive 3 has a built-in GPS that, together with the pre-installed indoor sports applications, will make it much easier for you to control your sports activities . It is also water resistant to 50 m and has a very easy to read screen, even in bright sunlight, with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels.
And so that nothing escapes your control, thanks to its heart rate technology on the wrist, you can have an estimate of your VO 2 maximum, the variability of your heart rate and even your stress level.
Regarding its connectivity, this device allows you to link it to your smartphone (Android 4.4 and iOS 10.0 or later) to check notifications on your social networks, in addition to receiving and sending messages. We cannot fail to mention its compatibility with Garmin Pay to pay using only the watch.
On the other hand, its main disadvantages are a memory and a battery that are a bit low, the latter being up to 7 days in smartwatch mode but only about 13 hours with active GPS.
2. Amazfit Stratos 2 Xiaomi
- Autonomy: 5 days
- Screen: 1.34 ″
- Payments: No
- Answer calls: No
This smartwatch allows you to keep track of your sports activity thanks to its eleven sport modes. It also has a heart rate monitor, sleep monitor and is waterproof up to 50 m.
If sport is your thing outside the gym, you can use your GPS to record data such as the frequency of your stride, the kilometers traveled or even the altitude. It will help you both to analyze your training and to design new routes.
You should know that it is compatible with both Android (4.4) and iOS (9.0), so you can keep up to date with all your notifications. You will also know who they come from, although you will not be able to view or answer them directly on the device.
If you can’t live without your favorite music, simply use Bluetooth to connect it to your headphones and enjoy your favorite songs without the need for your smartphone .
It has an elegant and resistant design, with a 1.34-inch round screen and has a battery that lasts up to 5 days with regular use.
3. Lifebee Smartwatch
- Autonomy: 10 days
- Screen: 1.3 ″
- Payments: No
- Answer calls: No
Maybe the Lifebee brand does not sound like much to you, but keep this information: since it entered the market at the end of 2019 this smartwatch has gone directly to the list of best sellers.The secret? Good price and many features, including things like:
24-hour activity monitoring, with a sedentary lifestyle alert. It tells you if you have not moved for too long, so you can get moving, even if it is by stretching your legs.Sleep monitoring, to know not only how much you sleep but also the quality of rest. Heart rate monitor integrated into the wrist, which allows you to monitor your heart rate whenever you want.
9 sports modes, so you can choose the one that best suits your activity. Waterproof up to 50 m, with IP68 protection. It will hold up to a pool session, but don’t use it for freediving.
In addition, the 1.3-inch square screen is tactile and allows you to manage different display modes through a physical button on the side. And you can choose three different colors for the strap: black, dark green and pink. Be careful, this last color is very light and if you use it a lot outdoors, it stains easily.
The battery lasts approximately 10 days and includes a USB charging cable. Accessing the connection is simple and you do not need to remove the strap, thus damaging the waterproofing.
Logically, this is not a high-end smartwatch and is far from brands like Garmin or Apple, but its options cover normal use to spare.
It includes notifications of calls and messages so you don’t miss anything, and you can control your songs and playlists, listening to the music you prefer without carrying your mobile in your hand.
If you do professional sports training, the measurements may fall short, but at this price you will not find anything like the Lifebee.
4. Amazfit Bip Lite
- Autonomy: 45 days
- Screen: 1.28 ″
- Payments: No
- Answer calls: No
The Amazfit Bip Lite is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market due to its low cost and high autonomy. Its design is simple, balanced and customizable with spheres and straps. It uses resistant materials and one aspect to improve is the edges of the screen, which are not used to integrate a larger panel.
The screen offers a bittersweet experience: it looks good outdoors, but its resolution and sensitivity are lower than on other models. Also, some letters are very small.
The set of interface and application is intuitive and easy to use . One of its strengths is the battery , with more than a month of life even with active users, and which charges in less than three hours (figures much higher than the most popular models).
At the level of functions, the Amazfit Bip Lite is more like an activity bracelet than a watch because we can monitor: steps, heart rate, calories, distance, hours of sleep and some workouts (running, treadmill, cycling and walking). For outdoor activities, we will have to carry the phone with us to use its GPS since the Bip Lite does not have it.
With the phone nearby we can receive notifications when they call us and messages from apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and social networks. But with no microphone or speaker, we will not be able to answer calls.
The Amazfit Bip Lite is a basic smartwatch with satisfactory performance for users who want a simple device to monitor their daily activity. If you want to know more about this smartwacht and see it live, here is our unboxing video and our opinion:
And if you are looking for an in-depth analysis with all the characteristics of the product, opinions and better prices, you can take a look at the complete guide to the Amazfit Bip Lite .
5. Samsung Galaxy Watch
- Autonomy: 4 days
- Screen: 1.3 ″
- Payments: Yes
- Answer calls: Yes
This watch is perfect for those looking for elegance on their wrist. Its appearance is that of a traditional watch , with a round dial and a 1.3-inch screen, three hands and even that characteristic tick tock . It also offers the ability to change the dial, strap and lighting effects.
It has practically any functionality you may need. It is waterproof up to 50 m and can measure up to 35 different sports activities, monitor your health including calorie intake and heart rate, record both the patterns and quality of your sleep and even your stress level.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch allows you to play music by connecting your headphones via Bluetooth and pay through Samsung Pay simply by bringing your wrist to the dataphone. Likewise, and in case it is difficult for you to handle such a small touch screen, you can scroll left or right simply by turning the crown.
One of its advantages is its Tizen operating system , which is compatible with Android 5.0 and iOS 9.0 or higher, although on the other hand, it must be mentioned that sports measurements are not always completely reliable and that it does not have a virtual assistant.
Among the models mentioned, these are the ones that we recommend based on your characteristics and needs.
Best women’s smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch
This smartwatch is not specific for women, but it is a model that Samsung has taken advantage of, since it allows great customization. Its dial is round, which highlights the similarities with traditional watches and marks the differences with sports watches, which are usually larger and square. This simple design detail makes it look more elegant and can be combined with any type of outfit.
Gender roles aside, women tend to have a smaller body volume than men, even when they regularly engage in sports or exercise. Because of this, the smaller size of this watch makes it especially comfortable to wear.
As if this were not enough, you can choose from a wide variety of spheres and lighting effects ,
as well as having the possibility to further personalize this piece by changing the strap. From Samsung they offer you silicone straps of different colors, but it is a model compatible with either 20 or 22 mm.As a curiosity, it should be noted that there is a model designed especially for women, being gold and pink.
Best men’s smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 5
This Apple smartwatch incorporates the best of the brand: cutting-edge technology that places it in our first place of the best smartwatches for this year. In addition, we have selected it as the best smartwatch for men due, above all, to its aesthetics.
Its square dial makes it look a bit more sporty than other watches on this list, but that does not detract from the elegance that this brand carries as its flag. And you can also choose the materials of the case and change the strap with ease, depending on whether you need a sports watch or more formal.
The large number of functions that you can access from it makes practically no need to have your iPhone. From answering calls or messages to listening to music, going through solving any
If we add to these the sports possibilities (accuracy in measurements, different training modes for indoor and outdoor, waterproof case) and the health ones (heart rate alerts, SOS for falls and environmental noise measurement), the Apple Watch is makes it the perfect companion.
Of course, including the high-quality materials expected from Apple. If you are a fan of the brand, we don’t need to say much more. If not … you may be one purchase away from becoming a convert.
Best cheap smartwatch: Willful SW016
Cheap is not always synonymous with poor quality, and the Willful SW016 is a great proof of that. It is true that it has less functionality than the two mentioned above, but you should not forget that its price is also about 300 euros lower.
This device has slots to add both a TF card that expands the memory and a SIM card to be able to move it away from the phone without losing any of its functions. Its speaker is of great quality and allows you to answer calls without any problem. It also allows you to receive almost any notification from text messages, instant messages or social networks.
It is very useful if you are an athlete, as it has features such as a pedometer, distance calorie counter or sleep monitor. The only downside is that you will not be able to use it for water sports, since it is not submersible.
Its aesthetic is very similar to that of the Apple Watch, although unlike this, many of its functionalities are only compatible with Android devices. Despite its low price, it has great features that have nothing to envy of many other smart watches.
Smartwatch buying guide
The first step to be completely right when buying a smartwatch is to be very clear about what you want and what criteria you should look at in order to meet those needs. There are some items that may seem trivial at first glance, but end up being critical for your daily use.
That is why we have created this buying guide, to help you on the way of choosing your new smartwatch so that you can find the most suitable one for your tastes and needs.
Difference between smartwatch and activity bracelet
Differentiating between a smartwatch and an activity bracelet may seem simple at first glance, but the advancement of technologies means that more and more functions are shared, which sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish. In fact, even the online stores themselves sometimes show these bracelets within their category of smartwatches .
The main feature of smart watches is that, in addition to showing you the time, they offer you the option of synchronizing them with your smartphone . In this way you can have on your wrist any notification that reaches your mobile phone.
Even many of them already offer the option of responding with a simple touch on the screen or with your own voice, although it is still common to find others that allow you to view notifications but not respond to them, which you must do from the phone.
These devices usually also have some functionalities to listen to music or monitor aspects of your life such as your physical activity or your sleep routines. If you are a very active and demanding person in your workouts, you may have to opt for a sports watch, but in case you have a moderate physical activity, a smartwatch will be enough to have control over it.
On the other hand, the activity bracelets or smartband are more compact, which makes them especially comfortable when practicing some type of exercise. They may or may not have a screen, as being designed with less functionality than smart watches, in many cases it is not necessary. They also have a series of sensors that monitor your daily activity and, by synchronizing them with your smartphone, you can see your results.
In short, the clearest differences between a smart watch and an activity bracelet are the design and functionalities that allow you to synchronize with your smartphone . If you only want to know the time and some basic parameters of your daily activity, you should opt for a smartband , but if you are looking for a complement or even an alternative to using your mobile phone, what you are looking for is a smartwatch .
The autonomy of the battery of these watches is one of the key elements before deciding on one or the other. Perhaps you have found the perfect smartwatch , with the functionalities you need, an attractive design and an affordable price, but if its battery does not last even the time you spend away from home every day, it will only act as a decorative bracelet.
It is worth stopping a moment to investigate the battery life of the device you are going to buy. Typically, they last at least one to two days. This is not a problem if you get used to charging it every night, as you probably do with your mobile phone.
If you configure it so that, instead of always showing the time, it remains off and is activated with a turn of the wrist, the autonomy will be greater. You will also achieve this goal by adjusting the brightness of the screen and deactivating applications or notifications that you do not need. Finally, remember that having Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 3G activated, will make the battery drain faster.
Fortunately, technology has evolved a lot in a very short time, so you can already find smart watches with autonomies of up to five days or even a week.
It is not necessarily better devices that have the most functionalities, but you should ask yourself which ones you need and choose the one that best suits them.
It is useless to have a smart watch that has all the existing functions on the market if you are only going to use it to check your email and to answer calls, for example. Some of the functionalities that you should pay attention to are the following:
Activity and physical exercise monitoring
If you do sports frequently, you probably want to be able to measure your times, the distances traveled, the calories burned or your heart rate. And if you are an athlete, you may even be interested in opting for a watch that, in addition to this, has different sports modes for specific activities.
On the other hand, if what you like is to train outdoors, it will be a good option to opt for a device that has GPS or that allows you to listen to music without having to carry your phone with you.
These are some options that for an athlete have great relevance, but which you can do without in case exercise is not your thing.
Notifications and the possibility of responding to them
Practically any smartwatch on the market will offer you the option of accessing your notifications, but not all of them will give you the possibility to answer them.
It will depend once again on your needs, as there are those who only seek to be aware in real time of any notification they may receive, to be able to answer with their own mobile phone, and those who seek to be able to do it from their wrist. And even among the latter there are different profiles: those who seek to respond by typing and those who prefer to do so by voice.
Any watch that allows you to answer messages will offer you the option of the keyboard, but to use your voice you must choose one with a virtual assistant, such as the Ticwatch E Shadow or the Apple Watch Series 3
Does it have a built-in speaker and microphone?
The speaker and microphone are important elements if you want to answer calls and even use your voice to operate your smartwatch, thus taking advantage of it independently of your phone.
To do this, you will only need to activate your assistant as you do with your smartphone : saying aloud “OK Google” for the Google assistant and “Hey Siri” for Apple.
On the other hand, if using the speaker makes you feel like you’re losing privacy, many smartwatches allow you to connect headphones via Bluetooth. So you can continue to enjoy the freedom that the watch gives you and the privacy of your conversations.
That a smart watch has WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity to synchronize it with your smartphone is common. But it is increasingly common to see devices that allow you to add a SIM card, facilitating 4G connectivity and the use of data even if you do not have the phone nearby.
If you are looking for a device that you can use instead of your mobile phone, instead of as a complement to it, you must make sure that it has this type of connectivity and that you can add your own SIM card or that it has a built-in eSIM card.
With this last type of card, you can associate several devices to the same number and even different numbers in the same eSIM. Also, by not needing that extra space to insert it, it will not increase its thickness.
GPS connectivity has become essential if you do sports outdoors on a regular basis. Monitoring your routes and even being able to make maps of them is a very attractive feature, as is the security provided by staying connected at all times, even if you don’t have your mobile on you.
We leave for the last place the type of connectivity that has appeared more recently: the NFC chip , which allows you to make mobile payments through your smartwatch .
Have you tried the advantages of paying directly with your phone without the need for cash or cards? Well imagine that comfort on your wrist. The NFC allows you to pay simply by bringing your watch to the POS of any store, which will give you the possibility of leaving home without cash, without cards and also without a mobile phone.
It is a feature that is beginning to make an appearance on some smartphones and is setting a clear trend. Although you should check that this type of payment is compatible with your bank, it is not always so.
If there is a fundamental element that you should check when buying a smartwatch, it is, without a doubt, its compatibility. Keep in mind that not all of them can be used with any type of smartphone . Some are only compatible with the Android operating system (for example, the Willful SW016, whose apps only work with it) and others only with iOS (such as the Apple Watch Series 3). Furthermore, compatibility will also depend on the version of these systems.
Smartwatches from the Samsung brand, for example, usually have Tizen as their own operating system. In this case, you should know that it is compatible with both Android and iOS.
The fact that there is compatibility between both devices will guarantee communication between them and that you will be able to use all the features they offer, since many of them are linked to the phone.
It is probably not worth buying the cheapest smartwatch on the market if it has hardly any functionality and its battery does not last even a full day. Just as it is not a good idea to buy the most expensive one, if for a cheaper price you can get one that has only the ones you need and the ones you are going to use.
In any case, it is currently easy to find smart watches with acceptable functionalities at very affordable prices. A division can be made, roughly, into three price ranges.
From € 0 to € 50
In this range you can find some decent watches, always keeping in mind that they probably do not have as many features or their appearance does not look as much as that of other higher priced ones. Here you will find many of the activity bracelets and some Chinese watches.
From € 50 to € 100
In this price range it is common to find watches from lesser-known brands that seek to compete with the large ones on the market. We can also mention those who have lowered their price for having launched new versions or new models.Many do not have much to envy the more expensive smartwatches .
More than € 100
Here you will find smartwatches from big brands that combine numerous functionalities and, almost always, a very elegant design. This price is justified, above all, by the quality of the materials used.
Valuing the design is also essential in the case of smart watches. In fact, the usual thing is that, with the same characteristics, you opt for the one that looks more attractive to you visually.
Currently, brands take this into account, which is why they have created different watches according to the user’s gender, being especially designed for the smallest women .
Also pay attention to whether the watch you want to buy offers you the possibility of changing the strap. Sometimes the same brand will offer you different types, but they can even be compatible with any other of the same width.
The size and weight of them are also characteristics that you should pay attention to. Perhaps the design seems very attractive to you but later you cannot get used to wearing it on your wrist due to some of these peculiarities.
Another important aspect of the design is the appearance of the dial . Square ones are used especially for sports watches, as they offer a more casual image. However, the round dials – especially if made with materials such as steel – make the watch look more traditional and elegant.
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