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The Best Budget Smartwatches 2018: Best Smartwatches From $30

by in Feature Articles .



Looking for the best budget smartwatch? We’ve got you covered. Budget smartwatches come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, so there’s lots of choice. The thing to remember is there’s two main types of budget smartwatch:
 

Budget hybrid smartwatches


These are analogue smartwatches (mechanical hands) with fitness tracking sensors built in (sometimes a heart-rate sensor too). You access fitness metrics on your smartphone via an app, which is how you set alarms and stuff. Hybrid budget smartwatches have the benefit of excellent battery life (typically in excess of 6-months).
 

Budget touchscreen smartwatches


These are fully-fledged smartwatches with a touchscreen. You control features via the watch itself and can access fitness metrics without using your smartphone. Finding a good budget smartwatch with a touchscreen is tricky business, but we’ve done the hard work for you by finding highly-rated, affordable options.

Here’s our best budget smartwatch recommendations:
 

Ticwatch E

 

At a glance: Great display, Wear OS, GPS, heart-rate sensor.


Want in on Wear OS and premium features like GPS and heart-rate tracking? You can have it all with the excellent The Mobvoi Ticwatch E.

With a heart-rate sensor and GPS, it’s got features usually reserved for high-end smartwatches. The 1.4” OLED 400 x 400 touchscreen display is best-in-class and rivals that found in smartwatches that cost hundreds more.

It’s priced from around $160.00. The main reason it’s so affordable is it has a polycarbonate case instead of a metal one. Check out the ‘Ice’ model which has a clear polycarbonate case.
 


Ticwatch S

 

At a glance: The sporty version of the Ticwatch E.


If your budget stretches to around $200 and you want a more rugged, sportier smartwatch than the Ticwatch E, the Ticwatch S is for you.

It’s got all the same features as the Ticwatch E but has an ace up its sleeve – it comes with the Mobvoi-developed health suite and has a relocated GPS antenna for higher accuracy at speed (when sprinting, running etc.).

Quite honestly, sporty smartwatches don’t come better than the Ticwatch S at any price point, let alone for $200. The Aurora model is our favourite.
 


Nokia Steel

 

At a glance: Premium build quality, reliable fitness tracking.


The Nokia Steel is our favourite hybrid smartwatch. It’s a snip at under $80 and boasts a premium build that defies its price.

Being a hybrid smartwatch, you pair your smartphone with the Nokia Steel to access fitness metrics. Usefully, the watch face has its own dedicated progress dial though, which lets you see your step count progress anytime.

The Nokia Steel is available in a variety of colours. The most affordable version tends to be the black one, which at the time of writing is $76.49 on Amazon.
 


LG Watch Style

 

At a glance: Decent display, premium and stylish looks, Wear OS.


If you want the latest technology, Wear OS, devilishly good looks and a premium aluminium case, the LG Watch Style is an excellent option new or used.

It’s got a 1.2” P-OLED 360 x 360 touchscreen display, full fitness tracking capability and native app support for Android and iPhone. It doesn’t have a heart-rate sensor, but it’s got an IP67 water resistance rating, so you can shower with it.

It comes in silver, rose gold and titanium (titanium is our favourite). It’s priced from around $190.00 today, but you can get one cheaper used on eBay.
 


Amazfit Bip

 

At a glance: 30-day battery life, GPS, heart-rate sensor. The best budget smartwatch for $80.


The Amazfit Bip (made by Xiaomi) is all about great battery life and value. It’s the shape of an Apple Watch but has a pixelated display. It’s also surprisingly good.

Honestly, this budget smartwatch is much better than you think. It’s got a tiny 190mAh battery but lasts 30-days on a single charge. It’s got a heart-rate sensor and built-in GPS too, so you can run with it and track your routes without your phone.

The display is the polarising feature. Personally, we love it. It’s covered in Gorilla Glass and doesn’t look budget at all. The Amazfit Bip is priced from around $80.
 


Lenovo Watch 9

 

At a glance: Sapphire crystal and fitness tracking for an incredible price.


If you’re on a shoe string budget, the Lenovo is the cheapest smartwatch on our list at $30 (give or take $5). No other smartwatch comes close for the price.

It’s got Bluetooth, a stainless-steel case, a sapphire crystal covering the watch face and push notification support on Android. Gesture photo taking, intelligent time adjustment and a 5ATM water resistance rating also come as standard.

The Lenovo Watch 9 isn’t on sale on at a huge selection of retailers, but we’ve found a few with a Google search. GearBest have it in a few specifications.
 


Skagen Hagen Connected

 

At a glance: Chunky design, unique watch faces, accurate sleep tracking.


If you like the Nokia Steel but not the Nokia name, the Skagen Hagen Connected is its equal in terms of features but has a manlier design.

This is a discreet hybrid smartwatch with a long battery life, accurate fitness tracking, sleep tracking and a chunky design. The Skagen Connected app is easy to use and it automatically syncs when you connect the smartwatch via Bluetooth.

Priced from around $80 (although some places have it at around $100), the Skagen Hagen Connected is a very nice budget hybrid smartwatch.
 


Skagen Jorn

 

At a glance: Skagen’s finest feminine budget smartwatch.


If you like the functionality of the Skagen Hagen Connected but want something more feminine, the Skagen Jorn is for you.

With it, you can control your smartphone’s music using buttons on the side of the watch and receive push notifications to your wrist. The Skagen Jorn automatically tracks your steps and crunches the numbers to give you accurate activity metrics on your phone.

Priced from around $125 on Amazon in silver with a tan strap, the Skagen Jorn is a classy hybrid smartwatch that won’t break the bank.
 


Fitbit Versa

 

At a glance: Excellent fitness tracker, nice display.


If you’ve got around $200 to spend on a smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa is a polished option with some of the best fitness tracking capability on the market.

There’s 15+ exercise modes built in and you can swim with the Versa. The square design is squatter than the Apple Watch so there’s no mistaking it. There’s no GPS here but the detailed Fitbit platform makes up for that with Android and iPhone compatibility.

Connect your headphones, download your tunes from Pandora or Deezer and smash your workout. For around $200.00 (or less), the Fitbit Versa is a fine choice.
 


Samsung Gear Sport (SM-R600)

 

At a glance: Excellent rotating bezel, GPS, heart-rate tracking.


With the Samsung Gear Sport, you get a lot of smartwatch. It runs Tizen, Samsung’s own OS, and has a unique rotating bezel for navigating through apps.

You’ll no doubt be most attracted to the Gear Sport’s sleek styling and offline Spotify playback, but with GPS, heart-rate tracking and a rotating bezel, it has lots more going for it than the basics. The 1.2” S-AMOLED display is a joy to use too.

It ranks lower than the other smartwatches on our list because the battery life isn’t as good, nor is Tizen as good as Wear OS. It’s also the most expensive, at around $250.00.

 

Latest update: 29/10/2018

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