It’s a fact that most consumer electronics out of China are cheaper than consumer electronics manufactured elsewhere in the world, which is good news if you’re in the market for a new smartwatch. Chinese smartwatches are 50 to 80 per cent cheaper than smartwatches made by Western brands.
It’s important to point out too that Chinese smartwatches are branded - it’s just you’ve probably never heard of them. So-called micro-brands tend to pop up, put their name on a smartwatch, and then disappear to rename themselves. It’s just how the market works over there, and it works well.
The Best Chinese Smartwatches You Can Buy
In this article, we’ll reveal the best Chinese smartwatches on the market right now. We’ve done our best to source devices that are well-established and widely recommended, to ensure our top picks remain relevant for as long as possible. Whatever the case, the best Chinese smartwatch has lots to offer in 2018.
Thanks to its coverage in Western media, the Ticwatch 2 is probably the best-known Chinese smartwatch on the market. And for good reason - it offers everything and adds something new. The ‘Tickle strip’ on the side of the device lets you control it by stroking your finger up and down the case. It works very well and means you don’t have to get the lovely display smothered in fingerprints.
Speaking of the display, it’s a 400x400 resolution OLED panel with an impressive 287ppi. It’s one of the best displays on any smartwatch. The software is TicWear OS. It’s a colourful operating system that’s very similar to Wear OS. It even has a voice assistant that’s activated by saying “OK, Tico”. Elsewhere, the Ticwatch 2 has GPS and heart-rate tracking all wrapped up in a premium aluminium case. You don’t get much better than that.
ZeBlaze THOR 4 Flagship
The ZeBlaze THOR 4 Flagship is a top-tier Chinese smartwatch with 4G and 3G connectivity. It boasts a truly stunning 400x400 resolution 1.39” Super AMOLED display and an eye-catching 85% screen to body ratio. It runs Android 7.0, which has been highly customised to provide a seamless smartwatch experience.
Crucially, this smartwatch is very fast. It runs a MediaTek MTK6736 Quad-Core processor with 1GB RAM (most smartwatches have just 768MB of RAM), and it has 16GB of onboard storage which is four times the amount you’ll find on a Samsung Gear S3. Cementing its position as one of the best Chinese smartwatches is its premium metal build. It feels awesome on the wrist and looks three times as expensive as it is.
For $99, you don’t get much better than the Amazfit Bip. This smartwatch has a touchscreen, GPS and heart-rate monitor. It’s also got GLONASS, IP68 water resistance and a compass, 3-axis accelerometer and barometer. It offers highly accurate fitness tracking for a great price. What more could you possibly want?
The Amazfit Bip is manufactured by Xiaomi, but it’s a standalone device. It runs its own proprietary OS and has a 176x176 resolution 1.2” display. The display is covered in Gorilla Glass 3 for durability. You can set it up to receive push notifications from your smartphone and it’s compatible with Android and iPhone devices. There isn’t really a caveat to buying the Bip - it’s just a solid smartwatch for the price and comes highly recommended.
Xiaomi HUAMI Amazfit Pace
The Xiaomi HUAMI AMAZFIT Pace has the build quality of a top-tier smartwatch and boasts a huge feature set. It features GPS and GLONASS connectivity, heart-rate monitoring, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and can be setup for push notifications. It’s compatible with Android 4.4 smartphones or above and IOS 7.0 devices or above with BT4.0.
The screen is great too. It’s a 1.34” capacitive touchscreen with reflective display technology, which means it’s easy to see outdoors even under sunlight. The resolution is 320 x 300 pixel so it’s sharp. The AMAZFIT Pace is fast too thanks to a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM. Top tip if buying - Make sure you buy the English version with CE certification. The Chinese version can’t be updated to English.
The LEMFO LES2 is another solid Chinese smartwatch. It runs Android 5.1 with a highly customised interface. It’s got a speedy Quad-Core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 1.3” IPS display with a 360x360 resolution. It has a heart-rate tracker, GPS, an in-built camera and supports push notifications with Android and iOS compatibility.
With 1GB of RAM, this smartwatch is fast. It looks and feels the part too with a 316L stainless steel watch case. Built-in GPS keeps accurate track of your routes, while a heart-rate tracker keeps track of your health. This is one of the few Chinese smartwatches to have proper Google Assistant support. Just say “OK, Google” to get started. The LEMFO LES2 also has a Nano-SIM slot with support for 3G and 2G networks.
Have a smaller budget? The Alfawise 2 is one of the best budget Chinese smartwatches on the market. It has IP67 certification, a heart-rate monitor and a blood oxygen monitor. It also has a pedometer for accurate step tracking. With so many premium features, is there a catch for the price? Of course, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
The catch is the display. It’s a rectangular display on a circular watch face. The watch face is a deep black, so you don’t notice the display is a cut-out. But it does mean you never get an ‘immersive’ smartwatch experience. The information the screen displays is also pretty basic. You cycle through the features by tapping a capacitive button located at 6’ o clock. The interface works well, and for the price you can’t ask for more than that.
So, there we have it - the best Chinese smartwatches you can buy. If you’re looking for more cheap smartwatches, check out our best smartwatches for under $100 article.