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The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024

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Amazfit GTS 4 Smartwatch on a gradient background

Buying a budget smartwatch can feel daunting given the sheer number of options from both popular and relatively unknown brands. But you don’t need to sacrifice all the features you want to save money.


UPDATE: 01/08/2024

We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated our picks for the best budget smartwatch overall, and the best for battery life.

What to Look For With a Budget Smartwatch in 2024

As the smartwatch market has matured, budget smartwatches have gone from glorified pedometers to smart gadgets with reasonably decent features. However, you must keep a few things in mind while 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 with iPhones. Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is only compatible with Android. So, make sure the smartwatch you are buying is compatible with your smartphone.

Battery life is another crucial detail. This can range from one day to several weeks, but it’s typically dependent on the feature-set of a smartwatch and how much you use it. Unless you have no issues charging your smartwatch daily, ensure you are comfortable with how frequently you may need to charge your purchase before pulling out the credit card.

Although premium smartwatches usually have a fairly robust set of health and fitness tracking options, budget smartwatches can sacrifice some tracking features to keep the cost down. Therefore, it’s prudent to check whether your smartwatch can track the activities and exercises you participate in.

Additionally, depending on your usage and budget, you may also want to check for water resistance, GPS, and cellular connectivity in a smartwatch. Lastly, the design and build quality are also important. You want something that you are comfortable and happy to wear.

With the basics out of the way, let’s dive into our recommendations.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

20

9

25

How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Amazfit<\/em>“”>

Amazfit

Pros

Cons

✓ Premium finish with 1.75-inch AMOLED screen

✗ Expensive budget smartwatch

✓ Precise GPS positioning with Bluetooth calls support

✓ Health and fitness tracking with 150+ Sports Modes

✓ Built-in Alexa and Offline Voice Assistant

The Amazfit GTS 4 Smartwatch powerfully combines affordability with performance. Compatible with Android and iOS, the GTS 4 can give other name brands a run for their money. It comes in a one-piece aluminum alloy design with a 1.75-inch AMOLED screen that gives it a simple yet premium feel. You’ll also get support for over 150 watch faces, and the watch even lets you upload your own custom watch faces.

The Amazfit GTS 4 features dual-band GPS for precise positioning and even allows you to import a route file via the Zepp app (formally the Amazfit app) on Android and iOS as a real-time navigation aid. There is also Direct Return Navigation that shows you the shortest route back to your starting point if you’re ever in a hurry or miss your way. The superb battery life—up to seven days—ensures that you can travel any distance and return to your starting point without running out of juice.

Amazfit’s smartwatch has a highly accurate biosensor that lets you enjoy an array of real-time tracking options including heart rate, blood-oxygen saturation and stress levels. Don’t worry about wearing is during a swim, either, as it has a water resistance of up to 50 meters. You’ll also receive insightful sleep tracking features such as sleep quality, daytime naps, light, deep, and REM sleep stages, and breathing quality, plus the new Morning Update function that helps you kickstart your day.

With over 150 sports modes, there’s never a dull moment with the Amazfit GTS 4. And you don’t have to raise your wrists to view your live sports data. Your heart rate readings, for instance, can be broadcast via the GTS 4’s speaker or your Bluetooth headphones. Speaking of Bluetooth, this smartwatch can take and make Bluetooth phone calls.

Workouts are more fun with the Amazfit GTS 4. It can count your reps and track rest time between sets. It even lets you share your workout data with a variety of the most popular fitness apps so you can have all your data in one place. What’s more, you can also easily get accessories such as bands, charging docks and screen protectors. All in all, a great buy by every standard.

Amazfit GTS 4 Smartwatch pfp on transparent background

The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024
Amazfit GTS 4

Best Budget Smartwatch Overall

The Amazfit GTS 4 blends budget with performance, delivering a one-of-a-kind smartwatch featuring a 1.75-inch AMOLED screen, 150+ sports modes, fitness and health tracking, amazing battery life, and voice control.

Fitbit Inspire 3 on blue and purple background
Fitbit

Pros

Cons

✓ Up to 10-day battery life

✗ Need to pay for the premium subscription after the first year

✓ Tracks Active Zone minutes, heart rate, SpO2, and sleep score

✗ No built-in GPS

✓ Always-On display

✓ Under $100

If you’re looking for an affordable fitness tracker, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a perfect workout companion to track your exercise and monitor your health stats. Unlike the Fitbit Inspire 2’s monochrome OLED display, the Inspire 3 features a color touchscreen with Always-on capabilities for text, call, and app notifications.

While the AMOLED screen may be small, it contains a wealth of information about your sleep, mindfulness, heart rate, and activity. Whether you’re going for a walk, hike, or swim, you can keep tabs on your calories burned, average heart rate, and blood oxygen levels at a glance.

Another highlight of the Inspire 3 is its long battery life. It can last up to 10 days on a single charge, so you don’t need to worry about charging it constantly. Wear it through the night for a sleep report in the morning without it dying on you halfway through your snooze.

Fitbit also bundles one year of its premium subscription with the tracker, but it will cost you $10 a month after the free period. The subscription fee is less than ideal for a budget fitness tracker, but at least you have a year to decide if the features are worth the price.

Unfortunately, the Inspire 3 lacks a built-in GPS, so you’ll have to keep your smartphone with you to track your runs, bike rides, or hikes. If you need built-in GPS, you might want to go with our best overall pick.

fitbit inspire 3

The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024
Fitbit Inspire 3

Best Budget Fitness Tracker

$87 $100 Save $13

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is an excellent activity tracker with a slim design, long battery life, and a solid selection of fitness features.

Justin Duino \/ How-To Geek<\/em>“”>

Grid app drawer on the Apple Watch SE 2022
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Pros

Cons

✓ Bright enough for outdoor viewing

✗ No always-on screen

✓ Comfortable all day

✗ Thicker bezel than other models

✓ Features Car Crash detection

✓ Updated processor means it feels fast

While it may be tempting to splurge on the highest-end Apple Watch, it isn’t the best choice for most people. The key aspects that make the Apple Watch so popular are just as present in the Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) as in any other model.

Instead of comparing all the ways the SE is just as good as other models, we’ll mention the downsides. The main issue for most people will be that the SE doesn’t feature the always-on screen and some of the other new features in the Apple Watch Series 9. The other point of comparison is that the back of the SE is a nylon composite, not metal.

The bezel is larger than the Series 9, but only slightly, and the OLED display looks great. It’s capable of 1,000 nits of brightness, meaning you’ll have no problem seeing the display outside, even in bright sunlight.

While you don’t get the oxygen sensor you’d get in the Series 8, there are still sensors aplenty. Motion sensors track movement and fall detection, a pulse sensor tracks your heart rate, and noise detection warn of potential damage to your hearing. Apple’s new car crash detection is here too, thanks to an improved accelerometer.

Apple claims up to 18 hours of battery life, similar to the company’s other watches. A new Low Power mode helps you get some extra life out of the battery if you start running out.

The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes, in a variety of colorways.

apple watch SE 1

The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024
Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)

Best Budget Apple Watch

It may not be the latest and greatest, but the second-generation Apple Watch SE offers everything that makes the Apple Watch great at a price that means it’s the best choice for most people.

Amazfit<\/em>“”>

Amazfit GTS 4 Mini on gradient background
Amazfit

Pros

Cons

✓ Amazing battery life of up to 45 days in battery saver mode

✗ Does not support Bluetooth calls

✓ Premium finish with 1.65-inch AMOLED screen

✗ Limited support for third-party apps

✓ 120+ sports modes with lots of health and fitness trackers

✓ Built-in Alexa support with customizable watch faces

If you’re looking for a solid budget smartwatch with outstanding battery life, get theAmazfit GTS 4 Mini Smartwatch—its battery life is out of this world. While users of the Amazfit GTS 4 report battery life of up to seven days, the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini promises up to 15 days of battery life on moderate use and up to 45 days in battery saver mode.

Of course, the GTS 4 Mini has a lot more than battery life going for it. For instance, it is compatible with Android and iOS. It also sports the same premium finish and AMOLED screen as the GTS 4, only this time smaller by a few inches at 1.65 inches. It looks great under sunlight, thanks to its auto-light detection capability. It supports more than 50 watch faces and even allows you to upload your photos as watch faces for extra customization.

The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini supports more than 120 sports modes, such as running, walking, and cycling, allowing you to track relevant fitness data for just about anything you do. If that sport is swimming, the GTS 4 Mini has you covered with water resistance down to 50 meters and Pool Swimming and Open Water modes to enhance your swimming experience.

With a single tap, you can easily track your heart rate, blood-oxygen saturation, and stress level, thanks to the GTS 4 Mini’s accurate biosensor. You can also monitor your sleep patterns and sleep quality in sleep mode. Like the GTS 4, the GTS 4 Mini also comes with Alexa built-in for that much-needed hands-free convenience when you need to set reminders, ask questions, or get translations.

The one downside with the GTS 4 Mini is that it does not support Bluetooth phone calls, unlike the Amazfit GTS 4. However, it can send phone call notifications, and you can reply to phone calls using built-in message templates. If Bluetooth phone calls are not a dealbreaker for you, we’re confident that you’ll love the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini for its superb battery life and helpful features.

amazfit gts 4 mini

The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024
Amazfit GTS 4 Mini Smartwatch

Best Budget Smartwatch for Battery Life

The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini features a 1.65-inch AMOLED screen, 120+ sports modes, health and fitness tracking, and a massive 45-day battery life to power it all.

Garmin vivofit jr 3 on blue background
Garmin

Pros

Cons

✓ Durable and water-resistant

✗ No cellular connectivity or built-in GPS

✓ Steps and activity tracking

✗ Activating backlight can be tricky for children

✓ Replaceable battery with year-long backup

The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 ticks many of the right boxes if you are looking for a smartwatch for your little one. For example, it is durable, features a color display, and is water-resistant. The smartwatch also comes with a replaceable coin battery that can last up to one year.

The Garmin smartwatch can track steps, sleep, and activity time in terms of features. It also encourages kids to remain active by unlocking games, adventures, quizzes, and more when they reach a certain activity level. Plus, parents can schedule reminders for chores and other tasks for kids using the smartphone they paired with the watch.

Although the color screen of the tracker is easy to read in good lighting, kids may find it difficult to activate its backlight when needed as it requires multiple steps. This is something to keep in mind if your child needs to look at the watch often in low light.

Unfortunately, as the Garmin smartwatch lacks cellular connectivity and GPS, it does not help track your child’s location. Some parents may want such a feature to ensure their child’s safety—thankfully, there are other options with main mobile carriers that offer alternative smartwatches.

For cellular connectivity and GPS, we recommend going for Verizon’s GizmoWatch 2. It’s a fantastic smartwatch that supports activity tracking, GPS tracking, geofencing, and voice calling.

However, if you prefer a smartwatch that can work on T-Mobile’s network, the Xplora X5 Play is a good option. In addition to most features found on the Verizon watch, it has an interactive game platform that encourages kids to be 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 calling and can track your child’s body temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and heart rate.

garmin vivofit jr 3

The Best Budget Smartwatches of 2024
Garmin VivoFit Jr. 3

Best Budget Smartwatch for Kids

The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 is an excellent kids smartwatch with basic activity tracking, a durable build, and a color display.

FAQ

Can you wear a smartwatch with a pacemaker?

The FDA recommends keeping smartwatches “six inches away from implanted medical devices.” You should also “not carry consumer electronics in a pocket over the medical device.” As a safe bet, you should not wear a smartwatch if you rely on a pacemaker. Otherwise, it may enter “magnet mode.”

Can you text on a smartwatch?

Some smartwatches, like the Apple Watch SE, allow you to compose, send, and receive text messages. Others, like the Amazfit GTS 2e, notify you of incoming texts and allow you to view them without the option of replying.

How do you charge a smartwatch?

Most smartwatches will come with their own proprietary charging cable. The Fitbit Inspire 3, for instance, comes with a charger that you can hook up to the watch and connect to any USB-A port. Many smartwatches offer wireless charging compatibility, meaning you can use multi-surface chargers to power your phone, Bluetooth earbuds, and wearable all at once.

Does a smartwatch track blood pressure?

No. The only truly accurate way to track blood pressure is to use a cuff that temporarily constricts blood flow through the brachial artery in your arm. You can, however, find several home blood pressure monitors from trusted brands like Garmin, Greater Goods, and Omron.

Are all smartwatches waterproof?

Most smartwatches that offer fitness tracking modes have some level of water resistance or swim proofing. Every smartwatch featured in this roundup has a water resistance rating of 5 ATM, meaning they’re water resistant at up to 50 meters (165ft) of water, allowing for a dip in the pool or safe shower usage.

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