What to look for in a budget smartwatch in 2022
As the smartwatch market matured, budget smartwatches went from glorious pedometers to smart gadgets with a reasonably decent set of features. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying a budget smartwatch.
The most important thing to consider is compatibility. Unfortunately, not all smartwatches can be paired with both Android and iOS. For example, the Apple Watch SE only works on the iPhone. Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is only compatible with Android. Therefore, make sure the smartwatch you buy is compatible with your smartphone.
Battery life is another important detail. This ranges from a day to a few weeks, but usually depends on the smartwatch’s feature set and usage. Unless you’re happy with your smartwatch’s daily charging, make sure you’re happy with how often your purchase needs to be charged before you withdraw your credit card.
Premium smartwatches usually have a fairly robust set of health and fitness tracking options, but budget smartwatches can sacrifice some tracking capabilities to keep costs down. Therefore, it is wise to see if your smartwatch can track the activities and exercises you are attending.
In addition, depending on your usage and budget, you can also check your smartwatch for water resistance, GPS and cellular connectivity. Finally, design and build quality is also important. You want something that you are comfortable and happy to wear.
If you don’t understand the basics, take a closer look at the recommendations.
- ✓ ✓ Blood oxygen and heart rate monitoring
- ✓ ✓ Long battery life
- ✓ ✓ Bright and vivid display
- ✓ ✓ Built-in GPS
- ✗ Third party apps are not supported
- ✗ GPS signal lock problem
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is the king of low-priced smartwatches. It’s packed with lots of features and costs only a few of the premium options on the market.
This smartwatch comes with a titanium alloy and plastic combo structure and feels well done. It’s a safe design that doesn’t stand out, but it looks good. That said, the removable 20mm silicone strap allows you to try out the look of your watch if you want to try a different watch band.
The 1.55 inch AMOLED display is bright and vibrant. In addition, this watch has a water resistance of 5 ATM and you can swim with it.
The GTS 2 Mini has a variety of tracking options. For example, you can monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, sleep, stress levels, and menstrual cycle. In addition, there are about 70 sport modes available for tracking a variety of indoor and outdoor training and activities.
With excellent battery life, the smartwatch lasts almost 5 days with an always-on display and frequent use. If you are a light user, you may be able to take advantage of the battery even more.
The company also incorporates GPS into smartwatches. This is very useful for tracking running and walking, but it can often take a long time to lock your location. Unfortunately, there is no support for third-party apps, but most budget smartwatches have to sacrifice.
Best budget smartwatch overall
Amazfit GTS2 Mini
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini provides the ideal midpoint between an inexpensive activity tracker and a premium smartwatch.
- ✓ ✓ Long battery life
- ✓ ✓ Heart rate and sleep tracking
- ✓ ✓ Tile integration
- ✗ GPS is not built-in
- ✗ No color display
- ✗ Requires payment for premium subscriptions from the first year onwards
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a no-frills fitness tracker perfect for those looking for something affordable. An unpretentious wearable with a 1.4-inch monochrome OLED display.
The screen is relatively small and displays only a limited amount of information. However, it’s big enough to display smartphone notifications without any problems.
In terms of health and fitness features, Inspire 2 can track sleep, stress, heart rate and more. There are more than 20 exercise modes, many of which the watch can automatically recognize and cover most average fitness tracker users.
Another highlight of the Fitbit tracker is its long battery life. It lasts up to 10 days on a single charge, so you don’t have to recharge it all the time.
Fitbit bundles a year of premium subscriptions with the tracker, but after the free period, it costs $ 10 per month. Subscription fees aren’t ideal for budget fitness trackers, but it takes at least a year to determine if a feature is worth the price.
Unfortunately, Inspire 2 doesn’t have GPS built-in. Therefore, you need to carry your smartphone with you to track your runs, bike rides, and hikes. If you need a built-in GPS, it’s a good idea to choose the best method overall.
Best budget fitness tracker
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a great activity tracker with a slim design, long battery life, and great fitness features.
- ✓ ✓ Support for third-party apps
- ✓ ✓ Sophisticated operating system
- ✓ ✓ Optional cellular connection
- ✗ Average battery life
- ✗ No constant display
Apple Watch SE is the best value smartwatch for iPhone users. However, it is not exactly cheap compared to other recommendations. But this is the best iPhone user can get without spending nearly $ 400 on the Apple Watch Series 7.
The Watch SE looks like any other Apple Watch model and features curved edges, a rounded aluminum chassis, and an OLED display. Despite being in the middle of the Apple Watch lineup, this watch is much more powerful than the Series 3 and has only a few points compared to the Series 7.
With SE, you can take advantage of many health and wellness features. For example, a watch can monitor your heart rate, sleep, and menstrual cycle. It also supports dozens of trainings and can track them effectively. In addition, if you forget to start manually, you will get automatic detection of the exercises.
When it comes to software, watchOS is arguably the best smartwatch platform on the market. You’ll have access to hundreds of third-party apps, a sophisticated interface, a Siri voice assistant, and plenty of watch faces.
You can also take advantage of your Apple Fitness + subscription. It curated training, a guided experience, and much more. An Apple Watch is required for your subscription to work effectively. This is because the fitness data that Apple Watch collects helps you create these personalized workouts.
Another highlight of the Apple Watch SE is the optional support for cellular connections. So whether you get the mobile version of Watch SE or throw away your iPhone, you’ll still have access to calls, text messages, notifications, and more.
Unfortunately, the Watch SE has an average battery life, but it doesn’t have always-on display support. The battery lasts a full day or so, so you need to charge it daily to make sure everything is tracked.
Best budget Apple Watch
Apple Watch SE
If you need an affordable smartwatch that supports your iPhone, there’s no better option than the Apple Watch SE.
A low-cost smartwatch with the best battery life: Amazfit GTS 2e
- ✓ ✓ It lasts up to 10 days with frequent use
- ✓ ✓ Bright and vivid display
- ✓ ✓ 90 sport modes for tracking
- ✓ ✓ Heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring
- ✗ Limited smartwatch functionality
- ✗ Third party apps are not supported
Battery life is one of the key features that many consumers demand when buying a new smartwatch. So if you need an affordable smartwatch that can last for more than a few days, there is no better option than the Amazfit GTS2e.
GTS 2e is easy to use for 7-10 days with frequent use. If you are a light user, you can also extend your backup to 2 weeks. This is great.
Battery life isn’t the only good thing about this Amazfit watch. The GTS 2e features a 1.65 inch AMOLED screen that provides black and vibrant colors. It will also be bright enough to improve visibility in the sun.
The activity and health tracking options are also solid. There are about 90 training modes that cover the most common training and sports. Your smartwatch can also automatically detect some of these activities. In addition, there are heart rate monitoring, stress monitoring, sleep tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring.
Unfortunately, because it’s a budget smartwatch, the GTS2e has some limitations. For example, you can view notifications from your smartphone, but you can’t use your watch to reply to text messages or answer calls. Also, like other GTS series watches, 2e does not support third party apps.
Best budget smartwatch for battery life
Amazfit GTS 2e
The Amazfit GTS 2e lasts up to 2 weeks on a single charge and has many health and fitness features.
- ✓ ✓ Durability and water resistance
- ✓ ✓ Tracking steps and activities
- ✓ ✓ Replaceable battery and 1 year backup
- ✗ No cellular connection or built-in GPS
- ✗ Activating the backlight can be difficult for children
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 will check many suitable boxes if you are looking for a smartwatch for your child. For example, it is durable, features a color display, and is water resistant. The smartwatch also comes with a replaceable coin battery that can be used for up to a year.
The Garmin smartwatch can track your steps, sleep, and activity time from a functional point of view. It also encourages children to stay active by unlocking games, adventures, quizzes and more when they reach a certain activity level. In addition, parents can use their smartphone paired with their watch to schedule reminders for household chores and other tasks for their children.
The tracker’s color screen is easy to read with good lighting, but it can be difficult for children to activate the backlight when needed due to the multiple steps required. This should be noted if your child needs to look at the watch frequently in the dark.
Unfortunately, Garmin smartwatches don’t have cellular connections and GPS, so they don’t help track your child’s location. Some parents may want such a feature to ensure the safety of their children. Thankfully, the major mobile operators that offer alternative smartwatches have other options.
For cellular connections and GPS, we recommend using Verizon’s Gizmo Watch 2. This is a great smartwatch that supports activity tracking, GPS tracking, geofence and voice calls.
However, if you prefer a smartwatch that runs on T-Mobile’s network, Xplora X5 Play is for you. In addition to most of the features found on Verizon watches, it features an interactive gaming platform that encourages children to become active.
For AT & T users, the Angel Watch Series R is the best option. Apart from the usual smartwatch features for kids, it supports video calls and can track your child’s temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and heart rate.
Best budget smartwatch for kids
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3
The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 is an excellent kids smartwatch with basic activity tracking, a durable build and a color display.