Great smartwatches don’t need to cost the earth (that’s aimed at you Apple). These are the smartwatches you can’t afford to be without that cost less than $100.
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The ultimate electronic aid that gives you everything strapped on your wrist, the smartwatch is the modern device that everyone needs. From activity trackers to messaging, calls and notifications, it’s never been simpler to have everything at your fingertips.
Of course, it’s possible to spend hundreds of dollars on top of the range smartwatches but you don’t necessarily need to splash out. We’ve got the best smartwatches under 100 bucks with a guide to the top features to look out for.
The Best Smartwatch Under $100
In our opinion, these are the five smartwatches you should have on your radar. We’ll start with our top recommendation.
Our Top Pick – Amazfit Bip
Beautiful to look at, the Amazfit Bip offers a simple interface which is deceptive. Behind the minimalist design, this bargain watch packs plenty of features which are a real surprise for the price.
The always-on display is popular with customers, saving you the hassle of having to tap your watch and wait for it to wake up. Despite the constant state of wakefulness, this watch has phenomenal battery power. A single charge will last up to 45 days, so you won’t need to worry about taking your charger on vacation.
Part of the reason the battery is so durable is due to its smart use of outdoor light. The brighter the natural light source is, the less power the watch uses. It achieves this through a reflective color display which is semi-transparent, allowing the screen to become clearer in natural light.
It hooks up to your cell phone to alert you to anything you might be missing, such as SMS messages or phone calls. You’ll also receive social media notifications, and alerts for any other apps you set up, such as WhatsApp or the weather.
The only downside is the notifications are one-way, which means you’ll need to get your phone out to answer. However, for such a low price, it’s not a huge surprise that it doesn’t have full smartphone independence.
There’s a myriad of other features available too, with multi-sport trackers and reminders if you have been sitting down for too long. The watch supports four sports modes and provides detailed data in areas such as speed, distance, heart rate and duration.
The integrated GPS is useful for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, but you won’t pay the price with your battery. The Sony GPS chip uses a third of the power compared to other GPS chips so you can have the best of both worlds.
- Stylish and available in a range of colors
- Fitness and multi-sport tracker
- 45 days of battery life
- Built-in GPS
- Optical heart rate monitoring
- Lightweight for comfortable wear
- One way alerts for phone calls, emails and SMS messages
- Notifications for social media, WhatsApp, Slack and other compatible mobile apps
What we think: If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to the Apple Watch, the Amazfit Bip is it. Incredibly stylish and comfortable to wear, it packs in functionality at a bargain price. It would be better if the calls and messaging were two-way but at such a low cost, we’re not going to complain. In our opinion, the best smartwatch under 100 dollars.
Amazing Value – TicWatch GTX
The TicWatch GTX is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches under $100 – and you’ll have change to spare, too. One of the cheapest smartwatches around, it’s loaded with features that make it a competitor to watches which are double its price.
With such a reasonable price tag, you would be forgiven for expecting nothing more than the basics with the TicWatch GTX – but it’s got an impressive spec.
This starts with the battery life, giving you enough power to last 10 days. This is only if you activate the power-saving mode, but even in regular mode, you’ll still be able to go for 7 full days before needing to recharge. That’s a decent amount of time, and far longer than some others.
If you’re investing in a smartwatch to improve your fitness, there are lots of features included in the TicWatch to help you out. There are 14 different exercise modes, which include all the usuals such as running, walking and cycling, along with less common activities including gymnastics, yoga and rope skipping.
After all that exercise you might feel ready for a snooze and the TicWatch has you covered here too. Its intuitive sleep tracking function can identify the difference between light and deep sleep, as well as measuring your overall sleep time.
You won’t need to constantly check your phone, as this smartwatch can receive all the notifications you need, including calendar alerts, SMS messages and phone calls. It’s only a one-way system, so you won’t be able to pick up a call or reply. It’s also compatible with social media sites and other mobile applications that you might find useful.
Manufacturer Mobvoi is renowned for making quality, cut-price items which look as smart as their more expensive peers. This watch has a unique style which appears more like a hybrid design with the choice of changing the face to a different look if you prefer.
- 10 days of battery life
- IP68 waterproof
- TicHealth app with 14 exercise modes
- Realtime OS
- Heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking
- One-way notifications for calls, SMS and social media applications
What we think: The TicWatch GTX is full of features that you might expect to see on a more expensive smartwatch, such as the IP68 water resistance. At a very low price, there are no other smartwatches that can offer the same combination of budget and intelligent function.
Best for Fitness – Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit is one of the most recognizable names in the smartwatch market, and the Inspire is their budget product. For consumers who are focussed on health, wellbeing and exercise, Fitbit is one of the first names on the list.
The Inspire 2 isn’t vastly different to its predecessor, and visually they’re not easy to tell apart. The Inspire 2 is a little slimmer but it’s barely noticeable. The styling and face are the same, with a modicum of better clarity to set them apart.
However, that’s not to say that the Inspire 2 isn’t an upgrade on the original. It has a plethora of new features including extras which weren’t available on the first Inspire.
The heart rate monitor is an excellent addition, measuring the heart rate 24/7. It provides detailed feedback including resting heart trends, your heart rate during sleep and your heart rate when you are active.
In this last area, the Fitbit impresses as it includes an innovative feature known as Active Zone Minutes. This personalized heart rate tracking is more detailed than on the original Inspire and provides more accurate feedback on your level of activity and exercise.
You can get creative with your exercise as there are 20 different modes supported by the Inspire 2. You can even include swimming in your schedule as the watch is water-resistant to 50 meters and is approved for use in the pool.
Although fitness may be the focus here, the Fitbit also offers typical connectivity with a smartphone. This means you can receive notifications of calls, SMS messages and emails, plus social media alerts and more. Like many other smartwatches under $100, these are one-way only.
- Slimline design
- Interchangeable bands
- 10 days of battery life
- 24/7 heart monitor
- Detailed sleep tracking
- Water-resistant to 50 meters
- One-way notifications for calls, messaging and social media alerts
- One-year subscription to Fitbit Premium included for free
What we think: The Fitbit Inspire 2 keeps the best bits of its predecessor and makes subtle tweaks to add new features. The end result is a smartwatch which is perfect for those who want to make fitness their focus, with detailed data and feedback available at your fingertips.
Wildcard Picks – Huawei GT 2E
The Huawei GT 2E isn’t a watch that can easily be missed with its bold design and large face. If you’re looking for a smartwatch which has one foot firmly planted in the future, the Huawei GT 2E could be it.
The watch face has a stunning design, with crystal clear graphics which will make the watch appear much more expensive than it is. You can also exchange your watch faces for a different look if you prefer.
The watch runs on Huawei’s LiteOS so can pair with either iOS or Android via Bluetooth, offering versatile compatibility. You can receive notifications about phone calls, SMS messages and other types of alert from your phone, but without a microphone or speaker, it’s a one-way feature.
The Huawei is particularly well-suited to anyone who wants to focus on their health and fitness. This watch is compatible with a wide range of sports and has features which surpass what you’ll find on other models at the same price.
As well as an accurate heart rate monitor, the GT 2E includes blood oxygen saturation levels. Unless you’re an elite athlete, you probably won’t NEED to know this, but it’s useful information and on a par with Garmin design and innovation.
There are plenty of regular activity monitors too, including steps taken, stress levels and calories burned. Choose from one of the 15 pro workout modes or pick a custom workout if you prefer.
Whatever type of activity you choose, you’ll be accompanied by the soundtrack of your choice. The Huawei won’t link up with third-party apps such as Spotify to create an off-line playlist but you can store approximately 500 songs on your watch.
Huawei claims that the battery can last up to seven days with regular use, and with heavy use around 5-6 days. Even using fitness trackers for 2-3 hours per day plus the GPS will only reduce the battery life slightly to 5-6 days.
- Futuristic design
- 14 days of battery life
- 15 pro workout modes
- 85 custom workout modes
- Heart rate tracker
- Advanced monitoring including oxygen saturation
- Integrated GPS
What we think: The Huawei GT 2E belongs to a new wave of outstanding technology arriving from the Chinese giant. This smartwatch is particularly suited to monitoring sport and exercise, with plenty of features included. The only negative is that the Huawei isn’t as compatible with third-party apps as other brands so you may need to find a workaround.
Wildcard Picks – Huawei GT GPS
This smartwatch may not be the latest Apple technology, but what you get for a much more reasonable price is excellent. With the choice of watch faces, you can set your Huawei GT GPS up to look like a traditional quartz watch or an ultra-modern digital design.
The AMOLED screen is fast and responsive, as well as offering clear visibility in all lighting conditions. Sensitive controls support the slide and touch function for superior control at every step.
The Huawei is ideal for discreet meetings at work where you don’t want to have your phone out on display. You’ll be able to see notifications for calls and SMS messages, plus social media alerts. Like many budget smartwatches, you won’t be able to respond or reply as it’s a one-way system only.
Similar to several other Huawei smartwatches, the GT GPS doesn’t run on Wear OS but the LiteOS from Huawei. This limits the options available, with less support for third-party apps. You may have to find a workaround for this, or keep an eye on app developers as they release apps to meet the growing need.
Despite this drawback, there’s still a lot to like about the Huawei, especially if you’re keen on fitness. The biometrics on this smartwatch are comprehensive, with everything you want to know about your activity.
These trackers include continuous heart rate, activity history, elevation, distance and many more. The integrated GPS is useful if you like to exercise outdoors and don’t want to end up lost!
All of this sounds as if it would take a heavy toll on the battery, but the efficiency is outstanding. On the Huawei GT GPS, you’ll receive up to 30 days on a single charge, making it one of the best batteries in the smartwatch market.
- AMOLED color screen
- 128MB storage
- Water-resistant to 50 meters
- 30 days of battery life
- One-way notifications for phone calls, SMS messages and alerts
- Full fitness tracking
- Integrated GPS
What we think: The Huawei GPS GT would benefit from having software that is compatible with more apps, but despite this minor flaw, it’s an excellent watch. The price is low and competitive but doesn’t compromise on smart and useful features which have been thoughtfully designed.
When you’re buying a smartwatch, you’ll want a quality item with as many useful features as you can pack in. However, a price tag of $100 or less is a budget range, so it’s important to be realistic about what you can expect.
Bearing this in mind, we’re going to run through some of the most important features on a smartwatch and what to look out for.
Before diving into what’s available, don’t forget to check compatibility with your phone. If you want to get the most out of your smartwatch, you’re going to need to pair it with your phone for certain functions, such as receiving calls.
In the past, different brands did not play well together. This meant if you had a phone and a smartwatch from different brands, you’d be hard pushed to use them together effectively.
That’s not the case now, as cross-compatibility has taken giant steps forward. It is possible to pair different brands together, but it’s not always easy. There are also some combinations which still don’t fully function, so be sure to check reviews and customer experience.
As a general rule, Android and Apple aren’t a happy partnership. It is possible to find some workarounds, but the functionality will still be limited. Of course, the watch will still work on its own but you’ll be missing out on some of the features that are available from a paired device.
Apple isn’t the only brand which isn’t particularly compatible. Samsung watches operate using the Tizen system and this is best when it’s hooked up to a Samsung phone.
By contrast, the Google operating system, Wear OS, is very friendly. It works beautifully with the majority of Android phones and can even pair fairly well with the notorious Apple. If you have an iPhone but don’t want to shell out for an Apple smartwatch, Wear OS can be a useful alternative.
Recommended: Check out our guide to the best smartwatches under $50.
Unlike a traditional quartz watch, you can’t just wind up a smartwatch when it runs out of juice. Reliant on battery power, battery life is a practical feature that you’ll want to check before you buy.
Most smartwatches have a rechargeable battery which you can simply plug in to charge. While this is handy, having to constantly recharge your smartwatch is a nuisance.
The length of time your smartwatch can last between charges is something to take into consideration. The best smartwatches can last for more than two weeks before they need to be topped up.
Smartwatches under $100 may not be able to compete with the best in the market but with fewer features, they don’t drain the battery so quickly. If you’ve got extras on your watch such as GPS and 4G/LTE connectivity, or a large screen you could see your battery run down more quickly.
Wearing your watch everyday means it’s going to be exposed to the elements as well as being vulnerable to bangs and scrapes. Of course, you’ll be trying to take care of it, but it’s impossible to avoid accidental bumps completely.
Durability is therefore something to factor in when making your choice. Look for features such as reinforced glass or a scratch-proof surface for a watch that will stay looking good for as long as possible.
Electronics and water aren’t normally the best combination but unless you plan on removing it every time it rains, your smartwatch will probably be used in damp conditions. A degree of water resistance will therefore be useful.
Waterproofing on watches isn’t a binary affair; there is a graduated scale of water resistance which starts by being splash-proof and goes right the way up to being suitable for swimming in deep water.
At the very least, you should look for a smartwatch that is splash-proof but ideally, it should also be certified as IP67 or IP68. This means it can be immersed in water and survive, a big advantage for those ‘oops’ moments when you drop your watch in the bath!
Recommended: Don’t miss our list of the most durable smartwatches on the market.
Even if you’re not that interested in your fitness right now, a smartwatch can awaken your enthusiasm. Being able to monitor how active you are can be enough to spur you on to do more, or at least keep track of your fitness.
The Fitbit Inspire is a great example of a watch that can help to encourage activity and exercise. With features such as a pedometer, heart rate monitor, sleep tracking and other key fitness data, you’ll be able to see just how well you’re doing each day.
Having instant access to these details on a smartwatch can be surprisingly inspiring, making it much easier to stay active and healthy.
Calls and Messaging
A smartwatch is so much more than just a timepiece; it can allow you to make calls and messages too. However, that’s not the case universally so you’ll need to check the spec carefully if you’re looking for a smartwatch under 100.
Some types of smartwatch allow you to just receive notifications, without being able to respond. Others allow you to take and make calls just like your cell phone. The best watches can manage these functions independently but many require Bluetooth tethering to your regular cell phone first.
It’s possible to find smartwatches under $100 which offer calls and messaging, but you’ll need to be paired up to your phone to work. Some of the more basic models will only alert you when a message arrives, and don’t have the facility to respond so make sure you check the features very carefully.