The best budget smartwatch for you depends on your budget and taste. Fortunately, there are plenty of them out there that will track your fitness workouts as well as send you all your notifications without breaking the bank. While a cheap smartwatch may not have every feature under the sun, they all offer more than enough to keep you (and your bank balance) happy.
Best budget smartwatch 2021: great budget devices for your wrist
Smartwatches are still a very new thing to a lot of people. You don’t absolutely need one to get through the day, and some of the best smartwatches are much too expensive for many folks out there. With that said, they are good for a lot of things. They can provide you with an easy way to get information, allow you to dismiss or reply to new messages without having to pull out your phone, and much more. These are the best smartwatches you can buy in 2021.
How to choose the right smartwatch for your needs
Many different factors go into making a great smartwatch. It needs to look good, feel comfortable, have a variety of apps to choose from, and it needs to receive regular software updates. Fitness tracking is also welcome, but many devices that prioritize smart features don’t excel in the fitness realm and vice versa. For this list of the best smartwatches, we are focusing mainly on devices that deliver a good software experience.
1. Xiaomi Mi Band 5
Possibly the best budget brand out there is Xiaomi, and they have outdone themselves with the latest Mi Band 5, a follow-on from the successful Mi Band 4. With a clear and bright display and a simple charging system, you will be able to access all your stats and record all your activity with ease.
It offers an excellent heart rate monitor and step counter and will also track a range of different exercises. There is no in-built GPS available, but you can use the GPS on your phone to track your exercise through the watch. You can also link the watch to either your iPhone or Android device in order to keep in the loop with your notifications or play your favorite tunes.
Many critics point out that you are unable to use NFC or the smart assistant feature outside of China, but we don’t think this should put you off when you stop to consider just how much you are getting for your money without it!
2. Fitbit Versa Lite
You’ve probably already heard of the Fitbit Versa in your search for a new smartwatch, but did you know the company now has a less feature-rich and therefore more affordable version of it? It’s called the Fitbit Versa Lite, and it’s now our best cheap smartwatch.
It isn’t the most comprehensive smartwatch experience as notifications are limited, you can’t listen to music and there’s no contactless payment tech, but all of that said, if you’re looking for an attractive timepiece that tracks your workouts as well as offering a few basic smartwatch features this may suit you.
Before you buy the Fitbit Versa Lite, we’d recommend checking prices for the Fitbit Versa. In some markets, it has cost a similar amount to the Lite, and if you can get the original watch you’ll get additional features such as music and swim tracking too. If not, the Fitbit Versa Lite is a great companion if you’re looking for a fitness-focused smartwatch.
3. Amazfit Verge Lite: Best budget smartwatch under £100
For under £100, the Amazfit Verge Lite has a lot under its belt, including built-in GPS, heart-rate monitor, IP68 waterproofing, sleep tracking, and a very impressive battery life of up to 20 days.
It doesn’t win many awards in the aesthetics department, but this chunky budget smartwatch is a bargain when you take into account the features it offers. Its pricier sibling, the Amazfit Verge, is also competitively priced at £150 and offers a few extra features, including an in-built microphone and speaker which can be used to interact with Alexa. However, at £80, it’s the Verge Lite that’s the real star of the show here.
4. Garmin vívoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch
Some smartwatches are defined by their hardware or aesthetics. Others are defined by the apps they bring to the table. The latter is definitely the case with the Garmin Vivoactive 3, which comes with some of the best smartwatch apps on the market at an affordable price.
Let’s start with Garmin Pay, the watch’s contactless payment solution. This feature is so convenient that many people consider it a must-have. You can use your watch to securely pay for purchases thanks to the digital security included with the watch’s software, which prevents your personal details from being scooped as you use it.
Beyond that, the watch also comes with 15 preloaded indoor and outdoor sports apps. You’ll be able to monitor your fitness routines, results, and health metrics for things like yoga, swimming, running, and much more. It even comes with excellent GPS tracking so you’ll be able to monitor your steps and how far you run, or plot out new routes using the map you can bring up right on the watch screen.
It’s really good for measuring your fitness level overall thanks to the exercise and stat apps, such as VO2 Max. Stress tracking is included as well, which can be a good choice if you have a stress-filled lifestyle due to your exercise or your work.
Another great feature is the way it connects with your smartphone to provide you with notifications and automatically upload data to Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect is a proprietary app that allows you to connect with a thriving online community, similar to Strava or MapMyRun, which could be good if you want some extra support in starting a new exercise routine or keeping progress up when the going gets tough.
5. Best Value: Michael Kors Access Gen 4 MKGO
The MKGO is a wonderful value that offers key features such as GPS, fitness tracking, and heart-rate monitoring.
Typically, when you think of a Michael Kors watch, you think about a stylish timepiece that’s all about elegance. The MKGO, on the other hand, is a fitness-focused smartwatch that’s packed with perks. Most importantly, it comes with a reasonable price tag, which makes it one of the best cheap Android watches out there.
It’s lightweight and comes with a silicone strap, which is ideal for fitness enthusiasts who want to be as comfortable as possible during their exercise routines. You’ll enjoy onboard GPS, fitness tracking with Google Fit, water-resistance up to 30 meters, and heart-rate monitoring. Some other smartwatch features make the MKGO convenient and fun to use, such as Google Assistant and Google Pay.
While you’ll settle in some areas with a price tag this low, the Michael Kors Gen 4 MKGO is an all-around great place for athletes to start tracking their health and fitness. You’ll only have about a day of battery life, which won’t be a surprise to those who are accustomed to Wear OS. You also won’t have music storage but you will have the option to control your smartphone’s music from the watch.
6. The best budget fitness watch: Garmin Venu Sq
If you’re looking for a fitness-focused Android watch without too many distractions, which works with both Android and iOS, the Garmin Venu Sq is the watch to get. It has a built-in GPS, plenty of workout options to choose from, and lots of data about your workout like heart rate zones and running dynamics in the mobile app.
It also doubles as a health tracker with high and low heart rate alerts, comprehensive sleep analysis, and SpO2 tracking. It measures blood oxygen levels on demand, or automatically throughout the day and night just like the latest Apple Watch Series 6, but for half the price. But you do compromise on design. The watch has a plastic frame, and the screen isn’t as big or as vibrant as those on some of the other watches on the list.
7. Best Budget Smartwatch: Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE is probably the best Apple Watch for most people because it combines most of the Series’s 6 features and overall look, but is considered the most affordable. The big tradeoffs are that the Apple Watch SE doesn’t have an always-on display, the blood oxygen sensor, or the electrical heart sensor (so it’s not capable of taking an ECG). It only comes in an aluminum finish, so it’s not going to be as scratch resistant as the Series 6’s more premium finishes. However, the Apple Watch SE does have an optical heart sensor, similar to the one found in Series 3, so it’s still about to record your heart rate. It also has most of the same sensors, including the gyroscope, compass, fall detection, and the brand-new always-on altimeter. It’s available in GPS-only and LTE models.
8. Best Budget Smartwatch: New Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 (from £379) doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it builds upon what was already our favorite smartwatch (yes, Apple’s Watch Series 5). The transition reflects much of the progression of Apple’s smartwatch range. After a few teething early years, Apple found what works and has stuck to a familiar formula ever since, and it’s a familiar formula that many a company has sought to mimic.
While the Apple Watch Series 6 still may not satisfy those looking for a hardcore fitness tracker, watchOS 7 offers supreme levels of usability that make it a great option for the entry-level or intermediate fitness fan who wants a premium and feature-rich experience. As with its predecessor, you’ll find heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and workout detection, all included in a seamless fashion.
The Series 6 stands above its predecessor by adding a few neat additions, including a blood oxygen sensor, the highly-accurate U1 tracking chip, and a faster S6 processor. Those first two new features may only attract those with specific use cases but what everyone can appreciate is the enhanced speed on offer via the new processor. If you had any performance doubts with the Series 5 then Apple’s new watch is for you.
The biggest competition for the Watch Series 6 does, in fact, come from inside the Apple house. The Apple Watch SE ditches these premium features and a couple more to save you £110 if they aren’t a must-have for you.
Not a whole lot has changed in the design and display department but the small changes are intriguing. The display stands out for its huge bump up in brightness from just 200 nits on the Series 5 too, now, 500 nits on the Series 6. For design, there’s the addition of Solo Loops to try and make it even easier to whip your smartwatch on and off while a new gold finish and graphite stainless steel model aims to improve the premium chops of the Series 6.
As we said, the Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But, its combination of ease-of-use, inviting fitness and health-monitoring features, impressive display, range of customization, and faster-than-ever performance means that Apple keeps its best smartwatch crown for another year.
9. Realme Classic Best Smartwatch For Men
This Realme smartwatch supports only operating systems Android.
This is the best smartwatch from Realme that supports up to 14 sports modes – Cycling, Hiking, Bike riding, treadmill, yoga, fitness, running, walking, and mountaineering. Connect your GPS to track your all activity. You can set an alarm to wake up in the morning.
Records your all-day activities like steps, calories burned, distance, miles walked, very accurately. The watch is waterproof to 50 meters so that you can wear it while swimming in pools, running in the rain, or wearing in the cold shower.
This Realme smartwatch comes with 12 different stylish watch faces. You can now control your camera and music player from your watch. Magnetic charging gives you a build-in 160 mAh battery capacity and it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge. And its long-lasting battery capacity keeps the watch’s working time up to 9 days, and standby time up to 20 days.
Notifications: All the notifications from the mobile will receive on a smartwatch – Incoming calls, emails, messages, and other apps. Sedentary reminders if you’ve been sitting too long.
10. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: The best smartwatch for Android
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is one of the best smartwatches you can buy if you don’t use an iPhone. The hardware is top-notch, the rotating bezel is useful and intuitive, battery life is good, and it has plenty of fitness- and health-tracking features.
Samsung’s GPS and heart rate sensors can be quite off at times, though, and those coming from a Wear OS or Apple Watch will likely find the lack of third-party apps to be a letdown.
Cupomable hopes this top 10 list will help you to find the best smartwatch in the UK under budget.
Comment below which smartwatch features you like most and which you are planning to purchase from these lists.
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