Gadgets and Software

Best Cheap Smartwatch From $40 And Up

Portability has been coming in in a big way over the past few decades, with computers getting smaller and lighter and easier to carry around. The world has transitioned from 8-tracks to VHS to CDs and now to flash storage capabilities with tiny thumb drives and flash-enabled solid-state drives with no moving parts. Technology’s come a long way, and today’s products are smaller, faster, and better than ever. For example, your music player, video player, camera, phone, and mobile computer are all wrapped into your smartphone.

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Those who like to be on the cutting edge, or those who want to adopt modern technology to help make their lives just that much more comfortable, would want to invest in the latest and greatest devices. From super thin and lightweight laptops to compact machines that are packed with the best components, small technology that is portable yet effective is a market trend that’s only going to get more popular as time goes by.

While smartphones and devices are in a nice comfortable position regarding size and design language, enthusiasts may want to take convenience and ease-of-use just a little further. For such consumers, the idea of a smartwatch is ingenious. Smartphones are already compact powerhouses that fit into our pockets, but with the advent of the smartwatch, users can access some of the power perpetually with the convenience of wearable technology that they can attach to their wrists – just like a watch. However, unlike a typical wristwatch, smartwatches do more than tell time. The simplest smartwatches will be able to send notifications to the wearer about messages, notifications, updates, and more coming in through their smartphone. More robust smartwatches will also offer activity tracking and fitness monitors to help users figure out how many steps they take, how many calories they burn, how many times their heart beats per minute, and more. Top-of-the-line smartwatches will run on their own operating systems and feature their applications and tools to provide even more functionality to users who are willing to pay a premium

With all that said, it’s apparent that smartwatches have taken the global market by storm, with several industries trying their best to get in on the current trend. Tech manufacturers and watch manufacturers alike have put forward their flagships and iterations of the smartwatch, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different models available on the market to cater to any need.

Now, with the latest technology trends such as this, most people will probably be thinking that it’s well beyond their price range to get a smartwatch. And for the most part, that may be true – the top-of-the-line smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and more, are available for upwards of $500, with the flagship Series 4 Apple Watch listed at $850 – enough to buy one of the latest smartphones of 2018, or even two of the last generation smartphones with the upcoming discounts. But that doesn’t mean users have to shell out hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch. There are plenty of budget smartwatch options available on the market that’ll cater to a wide variety of needs.

This list is a curated collection of the products in the running to become the best cheap smartwatch from $40 and up. We’ve tested the best budget options and the best value options available on the market to help users find out which smartwatch is the best for them, even at a budget as strict as $40.

What To Look For

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Before getting any deeper into our list of the best cheap smartwatch from $40 and up, it’s important to consider our criteria for what we considered “the best.” In any case, consumers who want to get the best value out of their choice of smartwatch should consider the following factors:

Device Compatibility

Smartwatches get most of their “smarts” from smartphone connectivity. That means that smartwatches are designed to be compatible with smartphones, usually either iOS devices or Android devices. While plenty of phones are compatible with both operating systems, some of them are not. Case in point: The Apple Watch only connects to iOS devices. And even in the case of compatibility to both iOS and Android, some smartwatches favor one operating system over the other, with features that are only available on a certain OS. It’s important to determine device compatibility so that you know that your smartwatch plays well with your smartphone.

Display

Some smartwatches don’t even have the usual LED displays – some of them have dials or vibration features that make them more watch than smartwatch – but for the smartwatches that do, it’s important to consider the quality of the display. Is it bright enough to be comfortable? It big enough to display the information you need or want? Is it nice to look at, with vibrant and accurate colors?

Features

Smartwatches come in different shapes and sizes, but that also means that different smartwatches give varying use-cases and functionality. Some smartwatches may give the whole shebang, with applications and GPS and all the bells and whistles you might want from a smartwatch, whereas others may be so simple as to vibrate for notifications or connect to your alarm clock apps. Granted, at this price range, you’re probably not going to get the most feature-rich smartwatch that’s almost as smart as your phone, but there’s still plenty of functionality to the items in this quest for the best cheap smartwatch.

OS And Apps

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The biggest smartwatch brands come with robust operating systems that offer great features, extensive app selections, and more. Apple has the watchOS powering the Apple Watch, whereas the latest Android smartwatches run on Google’s Wear OS – an iPhone/Android-compatible smartwatch operating system that is the successor of Android Wear. Most other brands, as well as budget smartwatch options, run on proprietary operating systems that allow them to connect to smart devices, but offer very little compared to watchOS and Wear OS.

Durability

The design language is a major factor in choosing a good smartwatch, and while we concede a point of preference regarding aesthetics, the best smartwatches have to be built with durability in mind. More expensive options that come with premium builds guarantee durability (with the price tag to back it up), but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out big bucks to to get a smartwatch that’ll last. In any case, because they’re exposed and on your wrist almost all the time, it’s important to choose a smartwatch that is durable and resistant to various elements.

Battery Life

Some smartwatches can go days, weeks, or even months on a single charge, and others may need to be charged once or twice throughout the day. Depending on your specific needs, there are smartwatches out there, even in the budget varieties, that provide excellent battery life or a great balance between battery and features.

Our Top Picks For The Best Cheap Smartwatch From $40 And Up

AmazfitBip

The AmazfitBip is our top pick for the best cheap smartwatch from $40 and up. At only $80, this Android and iOS compatible smartwatch not only outperforms the competition concerning price but features excellent specs and performance that puts even other, more expensive smartwatches to shame.

The Good

The AmazfitBip is one of the most lightweight and comfortable smartwatches available on the market today. It’s got a great feel that makes it ideal for sports, but with a sleek and professional design language that makes it stunner for everything else.

Even though it’s one of the cheapest smartwatches on this list, it’s also one of the best-value options with features and tools that you would only see in more expensive models. It comes with a GPS monitor, a heart rate monitor, and a pedometer for all-around fitness tracking. It also features robust notifications that are shown on a very comfortable display.

Our favorite thing about the AmazfitBip, apart from the unbeatable value, is its battery life. No other smartwatch in this price range and for this set of features can even hope to match the battery life on this device. With up to 45 Days on a single charge, the AmazfitBip keeps going and going, long after other smartwatches would have needed their 20th charging session. It’s also got a great companion application that helps users monitor their activity and get the most out of their smartwatch.

The Bad

There are some things that we missed on the AmazfitBip. For one thing, it doesn’t have any music controls, so you can’t pause, play, skip, or rewind music using the smartwatch interface. It also has a low-resolution display, and while we love the quaintness of the AmazfitBip’s pixel graphics, it’s not for everyone.

While the AmazfitBip does have great fitness tracking capabilities, we’ve found that fitness tracking is not always precise. The lack of a propriety app store also is a rather significant con, largely limiting what can be done on its otherwise great display and performance.

The Verdict

The Amazfit Bit isn’t perfect – but with the excellent everything else on this device and the great-value price tag, it’s small details that do little to tarnish the reputation of the AmazfitBip as the best and most budget-friendly smartwatch from $40 and up.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS Compatible, Android Compatible
Display:
Digital LCD
OS:
Proprietary OS controlled via Mi-Fit Companion App for iOS and Android
Battery Life:
Up to 45 Days
Price: $80

Martian Watch Notifier

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The Martian Watch Notifier is one of the best cheap smartwatches available, and our pick for the best hybrid smartwatch on the market. It features an innovative hybrid display, and even though it falls into the category of being more watch than a smartwatch, this device is plenty smart, too.

The Good

The Martian Watch Notifier is an excellent hybrid smartwatch, that features an analog clock with an intuitive LED display at the bottom which, in line with its name, shows notifications from your smartphone. With support for thousands of app notifications, the Martian Watch Notifier can let you know everything from alarms and reminders to emails, text messages, and even phone calls across different applications like FaceTime and Facebook Messenger.

Comfort and effectiveness are the name of the game with the Martian Watch Notifier, featuring customizable vibrations, alert filtering, and the option to tap the glass to recall latest notifications. It also comes with phone camera controls to help take pictures remotely, a find phone feature, out-of-range notifications when your phone is beyond connectivity range, and more.

The Martian Watch Notifier sports a battery life of up to 6 days – a very comfortable battery life that means you’ll only have to recharge once a week. The best thing about this smartwatch is that the LED display and all the smart features are powered by a separate battery, so even when you lose smartwatch functionality due to low battery, the analog clock will keep running.

The Bad

While the Martian Watch Notifier is our pick for the best hybrid smartwatch, it’s debatable whether most people would consider this a smartwatch at all. We think so – it has device connectivity and an intuitive approach to notifications. However, it does lack a lot of the features, and most would expect out of smartwatch. It doesn’t have activity tracking, it doesn’t have fitness tracking, and for us, the biggest downside of the Martian Watch Notifier is that it isn’t water resistant, so you can’t wear into the pool or in the shower, and it’s probably not a good idea to wear it when you run through the rain, either.

The Verdict

For $38, the Martian Watch Notifier is as cheap as it gets for a high-quality smartwatch. It’s got plenty of smart features, and while it’s a great smartwatch overall, the lack of activity tracking and the fact that it’s not water-resistant will be a daily reminder that this watch is, in fact, worth just $38.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS Compatible, Android Compatible
Display:
Hybrid Analog + Digital OLED
OS:
Proprietary OS
Battery Life:
Up to 6 Days
Price: $38

Skagen Hagen Connected

The Skagen Hagen Connected smartwatch is what we imagine would happen if luxurious time-keeper meets functional Smartwatch and fitness tracker. This smartwatch is classic all around and looks more like a Rolex than it does a FitBit, but in a lot of ways, it’s nearly as good as both.

The Good

The Skagen Hagen Connected is one of the best-looking watches available on the market – smart or no. The design and feel on this smartwatch are a total premium, and for people who are willing to splurge a little bit, performs even better than the Martian Watch Notifier we were raving about earlier. It features a classic and timeless design but with modern functions, so it’s a watch for everywhere – work or play. Even though it denotes luxury in its design language, the under $100 price tag on this smartwatch makes it a great value option for anyone who wants just the bare minimum addition to make a regular watch a smartwatch.

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The Skagen Hagen Connected activity tracking is comprehensive. It can track steps, calories burnt, sleep behavior, water intake, and more. It requires zero battery charging, with each battery capable of lasting up to 6 months with heavy use. It syncs automatically with the date and time on your smartphone, with multiple time zone support that lets users switch time zones with a single click.

It features smart notifications via haptic vibrations, camera controls, music controls, and even lights control, so this classy-looking smartwatch functions even as a remote control for a lot of your smartphone’s tools and accessories. Progress tracking is also possible with an analog 0-100 indicator within the analog clock face. And for users who want adaptable style, the watch strap on the Skagen Hagen Connected is, for us, one of the easiest to change and swap out.

The Bad

From the objective point of view, we can’t find anything we don’t like about the Skagen Hagen Connected. It’s a classic design that fits in anywhere and has plenty of smart features to keep it modern and connective. However, this hybrid smartwatch is more watch than it is smart. It doesn’t have a lot of features apart from activity tracking and vibration notifications and alerts. And apart from that, it features a completely analog display, no LEDs, no Digital display, so information is hardly something it can provide. However, with the great design language and the under $100 price tag, the Skagen Hagen Connected is one of the best smartwatches buys you can make.

The Verdict

At $99, the Skagen Hagen Connected features an excellent marriage between the classic watch and modern smartwatch. This hybrid features plenty of smart capabilities but does far less than most smartwatches. If you’re looking for a traditional watch but with some modern capabilities, then look no further than the Skagen Hagen Connected. But, if you’re in the market for something modern, and functional for the digital age, then look elsewhere.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS Compatible, Android Compatible
Display:
Full Analog Display
OS:
Proprietary OS controllable via Skagen Companion App for iOS and Android
Battery Life:
Up to6 months
Price: $99

Ticwatch E

The priciest smartwatch on this list, the Ticwatch E is still considered a budget smartwatch that provides plenty of high-end features for a lot less. With love the Ticwatch E for a lot of reasons, including it being the “smartest” device on this list.

The Good

The Ticwatch E is a great value and one of the best full-featured entry-level smartwatches available on the market today. It runs on Google’s Wear OS, so that means users have near-limitless possibilities with this device. The Wear OS app store features thousands of apps that let users do great things with their smartwatch.

Regarding hardware, the Ticwatch E does a great job with fitness and activity tracking. It has a built-in GPS tracking system, a heart-rate monitor, and additional sensors for more reliable fitness and activity tracking implementations using the device. With 4GB of storage for downloadable applications and 512MB RAM, this smartwatch has more than enough juice to power all the smartwatch essentials.

The above average battery life on the Ticwatch E outperforms the competition greatly, featuring a battery life of up to 2 days. For this much functionality, users typically experience up to one day of heavy use, but the Ticwatch E doubles the average battery performance across the competition.

Apart from the practical applications of the Ticwatch E, it also boasts undeniably the best display among the cheap smartwatches listed here. With 400×400 sharp OLED display, users can expect great colors and vibrancy out of this smartwatch. It’s also IP67 certified for above-average water resistance compared to other top-performing smartwatches available on the market.

The Bad

We know you’re here to see a full list of the best cheap smartwatches, and while $130 for the Ticwatch E may sound a little pricey, we think it’s worth it and is still a great value. That said, we do with the Ticwatch E was just a little bit cheaper, so the price of this device is going to cost it a point or two in our book.

The companion application, as most people have claimed, seems more like an afterthought than anything else, featuring only the most basic functionality, and we admit, something we would never use because the companion app offers nothing of value.

The charging method takes some getting used to, but even after you get comfortable with it, it’s still rather inconvenient in comparison to most smartwatches, and without firm charge clipping, a little risky and precarious as well, making devices susceptible to getting tossed around.

We like the design, but we’re going with the voice of the people on this one by saying that it’s not a very sleek nor professional design language, and for most people, that in itself a deal breaker.

The Verdict

The Ticwatch E is in no-way a high-end smartwatch. But with Wear OS and plenty of features, tools, and specifications, it’s as close as anyone can get to the high-end smartwatch performance in this price range. At $130, know that the Ticwatch E is still one of the best-value options around.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS Compatible, Android Compatible
Display:
Digital OLED
OS:
Wear OS
Battery Life:
Up to 2 days
Price: $130

Nokia Steel

Nokia makes an entry into the smartwatch market with the Nokia Steel. Having acquired Withings watchmakers, it is apparent that Nokia made full use of the Withings signature look and felt and put them into a smartwatch that proudly bears the Nokia name.

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The Good

The Nokia Steel is a great hybrid smartwatch, and a perfect cross between the budget intuitiveness of the Martian Watch Notifier and luxurious classic-feel of the Skagen Hagen Connected. At $60, the Nokia Steel is an excellent middle ground in the running for the best cheap hybrid smartwatch.

Hybrid smartwatches are great, and the Nokia Steel, especially, is made for users who want a watch that’s smart, but not too smart; just barely modern enough to help users stay on top of their steps and their sleep while retaining the timeless design language of classic timepieces.

Instead of wowing users with extensive features, the Nokia Steel decides to impress on another front entirely. It features the longest-lasting battery life among any other smartwatch in this list with an impressive eight months of use on a single charge. It does have automatic, albeit limited, fitness tracking and activity tracking, with a sub-dial built-into the analog clock to help users keep track of goal progress.

It’s water resistant to up to 50m, and even though the name Steel isn’t very inviting, this smartwatch is one of the most comfortable wearables we’ve ever had the pleasure to test.

The Bad

The Nokia Steel treads that super-fine line between watch and smartwatch, with many arguing that it is far more appropriate to call it the former than the latter. We can see the reason behind the disparity. It doesn’t have a digital display; it doesn’t have applications or your typical smart features. However, our stand on the Nokia Steel is that it’s an excellent smartwatch, with enough features to earn the right to that title without it being disputed by anyone else.

That said, there are lots of things the Nokia Steel didn’t have that we wish it did. It didn’t have alarm snoozing, a heart-rate monitor, no app store, and with some other company acquiring Nokia, it’s a possibility that the Nokia Steel may never be updated again, meaning it might eventually be obsolete and incompatible with modern devices.

The Verdict

Overall, the Nokia Steel is a great hybrid smartwatch that performs great, especially in comparison to the other hybrids on this list. If you’re budget for a smartwatch is bigger than the Martian Watch Notifier, but not enough to get the Skagen Hagen Connected, then the Nokia Steel is the way to go, with a $60 price tag that midpoints the two almost perfectly.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS Compatible, Android Compatible
Display:
Full Analog Display
OS:
Proprietary OS controllable via Health Mate companion app on iOS and Android
Battery Life:
Up to 8 months
Price:
$80

Pebble Time

Pebble Time, for all extents and purposes, no longer exists. The company and its patents were acquired by FitBit, who has yet to do anything with Pebble Time. However, plenty of retailers still stock Pebble Time watches, and if you can get your hands on one, we still think Pebble is one of the best-value smartwatches you can buy.

The Good

Pebble is the original smartwatch – the grandad of the Apple Watch, and the one that started it all. It features some of the cleverest innovations such as direct notifications, a wonderfully minimal and unique design, excellent use of e-paper display, unparalleled battery life, calendar synchronization, activity tracking and more.

One of our favorite things about Pebble Time before the FitBit takeover was the sheer amount of option available to people. Pebble came in round or square-shaped watch faces., It came with plenty of options regarding colors, design, size, and even materials, so it could cater to the needs and wants of almost anyone.

Achieving the 10-day battery life on most Pebble Time watches is still an incredible feat. While most smartwatches need a re-charge in the middle of the day, Pebble Time needs a re-charge in the middle of the month, allowing for a lot more flexibility and comfort with a smartwatch that users can rely on to tell the time and tell it accurately, and much, much more.

The Bad

Support for the Pebble Time was discontinued when the company was bought by Fitbit, so users no longer have official channels for support and services. However, the loyal Pebble Time community voluntarily provides updates and support to the many Pebble Time users. There is still a great risk to buying a Pebble Time smartwatch now, as, without proper maintenance and firmware updates, these devices are one-by-one going to stop being compatible with different operating systems, and more.

The Verdict

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The love and loyalty of the online community formed in dedication to the Pebble Time brand is a testament to its quality and its reliability to cater to its users’ needs. It’s a risk not knowing the future of the Pebble Time line of smartwatches, but we like to think that the Pebble Time community that was created to provide support to as much of the user-base as possible is going to deliver and keep this great idea alive. Users can get Pebble Time devices for as low as $60 now, and if you can get your hands on one, we would recommend you do so, post-haste.

Technical Specifications

OS Compatibility: iOS and Android
Display: Digital e-Paper
OS:Proprietary OS controllable via Pebble Time companion app for iOS and Android
Battery Life: 10 days
Price: $60

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