The 8 Best Cheap Smartwatches to Buy in 2019

Find the best feature-rich wearables — for less

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Thinking about buying a smartwatch? While you could spend your entire paycheck on the latest Apple creation, you can also find models from other manufacturers for a fraction of the price. From slim, stylish models that excel at fitness tracking to feature-packed units that do a whole lot more, you're not short on options.

The Rundown

  • Best Value: Ticwatch E at Walmart, "The dust- and water-resistant TicWatch S includes many of the features you'll find in big-name smartwatches, but at a price that's far more accessible."
  • Best for Women: Skagen Women's Signatur T-Bar at Amazon, "Compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, it will gently vibrate when you get a call, text, or notification."
  • Best Features: LEMFO LEM8 at Amazon, "Features include call and text notifications, lost phone mode, exercise tracking, heart rate and blood pressure sensors, and sleep monitoring."
  • Best from a Major Brand: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier at Amazon, " Samsung has crammed in a lot of features, from fitness tracking and an LTE radio to a tap-and-pay system, voice control, and more."
  • Best Design: Fossil Q Men's Machine at Amazon, "With its attractive dark case and stainless steel band, it's a stylish — albeit fairly chunky — device."
  • Best Under $100: Amazfit Bip at Walmart, "The battery life is quite impressive — you'll get weeks of use out of a single 2.5-hour charge."
  • Best Minimalist: Skagen Men's Holst at Amazon, "A plain black face and analog hands match perfectly with a grey titanium band."
  • Best for Kids: VTech Kidizoom DX2 at Amazon, "Bright colors and rugged construction replace stylish design, with a focus on learning and having fun rather than communication or fancy features."

Our Top Picks

Best Value: Mobvoi TicWatch S

Ticwatch E

Courtesy of Walmart

The dust- and water-resistant TicWatch S includes many of the features you'll find in big-name smartwatches, but at a price that's far more accessible. Monitor your heart rate during a workout or keep track of your sleep patterns with the sporty model's built-in GPS and fitness tracking sensors. The watch features five different sport modes, including walking, running, outdoor, cycling, and gym; activate one and you can track your performance in terms of speed, distance, steps, and calories burned. Beyond fitness capabilities, the watch also supports — and has plenty of storage for — offline music. If you're an Android user, you can also set up notifications for incoming texts, calls, and emails. With Google Assistant, voice commands are also enabled, and you can even call an Uber.

Since the watch runs on Android's Wear OS 2, you don't have to rely just on TicWatch's baked in apps, you can also download other programs from the app store. You'll get one to two days of battery life during normal use. Though the watch doesn't have wireless charging capabilities — you have to use a charging cable — you can juice it back up to 100 percent in less than an hour. The design is simple and more attractive than most budget smartwatches, and should you want a change, you always have the option to replace the band or download new watch faces from the Google Play Store.

Best for Women: Skagen Signatur T-Bar

Skagen Women's Signatur T-Bar

Courtesy of Nordstrom

In order to accommodate a good-size screen and decent battery, most smartwatches are quite bulky. Now that's fine if you've got big wrists, but if you're looking for something a little more trim, the options have traditionally been quite limited. Recognizing this, Skagen set out to make a range of women's smartwatches with smaller profiles. Though it sacrifices a few features in favor of pared-down style — the attractive watch face has a 1.42-inch diameter, while the bands are just 0.63-inches wide — the stainless steel Signatur T-Bar is the best design to come out of the series.

The Skagen Signatur T-Bar is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, and it will gently vibrate when you get a call, text, or notification, letting you decide whether to grab your phone and answer. Additionally, the watch feeds activity stats to your smartphone via the Skagen app. There, you can monitor your sleep and track your fitness goals. Other cool features include a phone finder mode (it will ring your missing phone if it's within Bluetooth range), wireless camera shutter control, and music controls. The timepiece is water-resistant up to 100 feet and uses a non-rechargeable battery that lasts up to six months before needing a replacement.

Best Features: LEMFO LEM8

Looking for a smartwatch that has plenty of features but don't want to pay a fortune for it? Take a look at the LEMFO LEM8. The round, 1.39-inch AMOLED display is surprisingly bright and clear for a device at this end of the market, and a range of different watch faces are available so you can style it how you like. The 4G watch is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Standard features include call and text notifications, lost phone mode, exercise tracking, heart rate and blood pressure sensors, and sleep monitoring.

A durable titanium alloy case and silicone strap complement the IP67 rating, which means the watch is resistant to dust and up to three feet of water for half an hour. Connectivity is impressive, with GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even a nano-SIM slot so the watch can stay connected anywhere you happen to be. There's also a camera built in, and while the 2MP sensor isn't really enough to take decent photos with, it's ideal for video calling on the go. The battery typically lasts for one to two days of moderate use. When it's time to recharge, three hours of plug-in time will get you back up to a full battery.

Best from a Major Brand: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

It's not easy to find an affordable smartwatch from a major manufacturer — most of the latest models sell for several hundred dollars. That's true for the current version of Samsung's watches too, but fortunately, you can pick up the previous (and still high-performing) S3 Frontier model for a lot less.

At 1.8 x 1.9 inches and 2.2 ounces (not counting the band), it's relatively big and heavy, but that extra size is put to good use. Samsung has crammed in a lot of features, from fitness tracking and an LTE radio to a tap-and-pay system, voice control, and more. You can answer calls directly from the watch, and send texts via an onscreen keyboard or voice dictation. Since it uses Samsung's own Tizen operating system, there aren't as many available apps as you'd find on Apple or Android-based watches. Still, many of the ones you're likely to want are there, including Uber, Yelp, and The Weather Channel. The S3 Frontier is designed to handle a bit of rough treatment and is able to survive being dropped or submerged in five feet of water for half an hour.

Best Design: Fossil Q Men's Machine

Fossil's entire Q range of smartwatches could easily be mistaken for typical timepieces, and the Machine is one of our favorites. With its attractive dark case and stainless steel band, it's a stylish — albeit fairly chunky — device that's rated to be water-resistant to an impressive 165 feet. The band is also replaceable if you'd prefer a different color or material.

The smart features here are limited compared to watches from the likes of Apple and Samsung, but it still does a reasonable amount when paired with Fossil's Android or iOS app. You can control music volume and playback, be notified of calls and texts, track your steps and distance, and more. The battery doesn't need charging but it will have to be replaced every four to six months. Travelers will appreciate the automatic time zone updates, which mean that as soon as the date and time on your phone changes, the hands on your watch will sync up as well.

Best Under $100: Amazfit Bip

Amazfit Blip

Courtesy of Walmart

If you've got less than $100 to spend on a smartwatch, the Amazfit Bip is your best choice right now. Given its low price, it's surprising just how much this device gets right. The Bip isn't the most stylish of watches, but the utilitarian design is at least available in four different colors. Most other standard 20mm bands will also fit should you decide to swap and a range of different watch faces are also available.

The Bip has GPS built in for accurate navigation, as well as the usual range of sleep and exercise-tracking options. You'll be notified of incoming calls and texts, and sent alerts from apps like Facebook and Twitter. For a fully digital smartwatch like this, the battery life is quite impressive; you'll get weeks of use out of a single 2.5-hour charge. It's also IP68-rated, so it won't get destroyed if you forget to take it off before hopping in the shower.

Best Minimalist: Skagen Men's Holst

Not everybody wants a smartwatch that looks like a smartwatch. If that sounds like you, Skagen's Holst may be exactly what you're after. The design is strikingly minimalist, the plain black face and analog hands matching perfectly with the grey titanium band. That band is replaceable, however, if you'd prefer something else. As with all the other models in the company's Hybrid range, power is provided via a replaceable battery that lasts up to six months.

Despite its sparse aesthetic, the Holst has a range of useful smart features. You'll get a gentle buzz on your wrist when your phone gets a selected notification, call, or text, and it can track your steps, sleep, and calories burned. If you misplace your phone and it's still within Bluetooth range, you can make it ring directly from the watch. Music playback and volume control are included, and you can also use the Holst as a remote shutter for your iPhone or Android camera.

Best for Kids: VTech Kidizoom DX2

Smartwatches for children are very different than those for adults. Bright colors and rugged construction replace stylish design, with a focus on learning and having fun rather than communication or fancy features. The VTech Kidizoom is the perfect example. Water-resistant with durable silicone straps, the smartwatch comes in bright colors like blue and purple. Cameras on the front and side let kids take photos and video of themselves and their surroundings.

Dozens of different watch faces are available and there are several different games and activities included. It's also possible to track the number of steps taken each day. The watch comes with 256MB of storage, used for both apps and photos. The included micro-USB charging cable can be connected to a computer, so you can download extra apps and upload photos and videos to use elsewhere, and free up space. Aimed at kids aged four to eight, the VTech Kidizoom DX2 is a simple and affordable introduction to wearables.

Our Process

Our writers spent 9 hours researching the most popular cheap smartwatches on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 22 different smartwatches overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 80 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.