Smartwatches have seen a great rise in sales recently and have become just as essential gadgets as mobile phones, and for the right reasons. You do not have to pull the mobile from your pocket every time it rings the notification bell. These watches can also make an excellent fashion statement, an added bonus.
While everyone wants to purchase flagship models of tech giants, not all have the resources to access their price tags. But it is not something to worry about because the best budget smartwatches work just as well.
While you may not get all the features of a flagship smartwatch, budget smartwatches have enough bells and whistles to make them worth the while. We have compiled a list of some of the best budget smartwatches available for 2023 and the factors you must consider while purchasing them. So, let’s just get to them.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Budget Smartwatch
When you search for budget smartwatches, tons of options will pop up. The variety can confuse you quickly, but understanding the factors that should influence your decision becomes easier. So, let’s look at some factors you must be mindful of while purchasing a smartwatch.
Compatibility with your Smartphone
Smartwatches can work even without being connected to your phone, but it limits their applications. You can unlock the entire suite of features only if the smartwatch is connected to your phone.
It makes it crucial to look for the compatibility of the smartwatch with your phone. While most smart watches work with almost all operating systems, some will work only with Android or iOS. So, it is the first thing you should look for in the smartwatch to ensure you will benefit.
Display Quality and Size
Smartwatches come in all shapes and sizes, but no size fits all. You should pick the watch based on the size of your wrist. A too-bulky dial on a skinny wrist does not look as good. That said, some people might pull them off, but nonetheless, the size of the smartwatch should be considered.
Furthermore, when you are out to purchase a budget smartwatch, you will have to compromise on some features, which makes sense. However, some features should not never be compromised, and display one of them. Even if the watch does not offer many features, an incredible display will outshine those shortcomings. In contrast, a watch loaded with features but offers a light display will quickly make you lose interest in it.
Thus, the display should be one of the top priorities when looking for any type of smartwatch. You should compare the resolution against the screen’s dimensions and consider the watch’s bezel thickness and overall colors to make the right choice.
You will have to recharge the smartphone occasionally, which is how our other gadgets, like smartphones and earbuds, also work. However, you would want to recharge the smartwatch as often as the smartphone; it is simply too inconvenient. A smartwatch should last at least 16-48 hours on average. Anything below it would not cut it for you.
Fitness and Health Features
Smartwatch helps you keep track of your fitness goals, but to do that, it must have some health and fitness features. Typically, smartwatches have different modes that track the number of calories you burn in different activities.
For example, if you play badminton, some smartwatches have a mode that can track the movements, particularly in badminton. Whereas others will have a sport mode which will be more generalized. Going for a smartwatch with modes dedicated to your activities is better.
Other health features you should look for in a smartwatch include a SpO2 monitor, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracking.
Design and Style
A smartwatch is not just a smart gadget but also a fashion gear. You don’t want to wear a dull-looking watch, even if it is loaded with features. Thus, while looking for features in the smartwatch, keep an eye out for the design. Fortunately, there are plenty of smartwatches that not only offer a suite of features but look good as well.
User Interface and Operating System
The user interface of the smartwatch should be intuitive, but it should not be too complex. You would not want to spend hours just navigating around different features. Plus, the operating system is also a consideration which should be compatible with the one on your smartphone.
Lastly, the price is the major factor you should consider while purchasing a budget smartphone. You do not have to stretch the budget to find a suitable smartwatch; you just have to search a little deeper. Thus, avoid going over your budget because the variety in the market will help you find the right match within your desired price bracket.
Top Budget Smartwatches on the Market
Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3 is one of the most elegant smartwatches on the budget market. The standout features of this smartwatch include 6 days of battery life and built-in GPS. Furthermore, the watch also offers workout features that track your fat burn and cardiac activity during workouts.
- 6 days battery life
- Sleep Tracking
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Swim Proof
- Excellent battery life
- Comprehensive sleep analysis
- Plenty of training programs
- Most training programs need subscriptions
Garmin Lily is compatible with both android and iOS and offers a suite of features. Furthermore, it is one of the most stylish budget smartwatches on the market. It is particularly useful for pregnant women because of the onboard pregnancy tracking application.
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- Five days of battery life
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Water Resistant
- Decent battery backup
- Stylish design
- Incredible display
- Does not offer built-in GPS
Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel
Fossil Sport is an excellent option for those looking for a brilliant display in a smartwatch. With a round dial and 1.28 inches screen, it makes a treat to look at it. Furthermore, it also offers built-in GPS, an added bonus for those who hike as part of their fitness training.
- Compatible with Android and iOS
- Magnetic Charging
- Heart Rate Sensor
- 24 Hours Battery Life
- Brilliant Display
- Elegant Design
- Subpar battery backup time
Honorable Mentions: Other Budget Smartwatches Worth Considering
Amazfit Bip U Pro
Amazfit Bip U Pro is compatible with iOS and Android and offers a long battery backup. The only reason it has not made it to the top 3 is the app sync issues.
- 5 Days of Battery Backup
- Magnetic Connecting Pin for Charging
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Plenty of fitness and health modes
- Comprehensive sleep tracking
- Excellent connectivity
- App sync issues
Amazfit GTR 3 Smartwatch
GTR 3 by Amazfit is an elegant smartwatch, particularly for people looking for a round dial. It offers 150 sports modes and tops it all off with an incredible 1.39-inch AMOLED display.
- SpO2 Sensor
- Built-in Alexa
- 21 days of battery life
- AMOLED display
- Water Resistant
- Excellent display
- Tons of modes
- Elegant design
- Limited app collection
Garmin Forerunner 55
Garmin Forerunner 55 is an excellent watch overall, but it has too thick bezels, which is primarily why it did not make it to our top list.
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- Two weeks of battery backup
- 2.4GhZ Wireless
- USB-A charging
- Exceptional battery life
- Rugged watch
- Excellent controls
- Too thick bezels
How To Choose The Best Budget Smartwatch For Your Needs
By now, you are familiar with the factors you must consider and some of the popular options available on the market for smartwatches. However, if you are still confused, let us tell you about the process you should follow before purchasing.
Narrow Down The Compatible Options
As discussed earlier, the first thing you should consider is the compatibility of the smartwatch with your smartphone. Hence, the first step should be narrowing down the options compatible with your smartphone’s operating system.
List Down The Features In Order of Priorities
After narrowing down the options that are compatible with your smartphone, make a list of features that are important to you. You should enlist them in order of priority. The features you need the most should be at the top, and vice versa.
Narrow Down The Options That Have Desired Features
When you know the features that you need the most, you will be able to screen the options that are not suitable for you. Compare the list of desired features against the specs sheet of the smartwatches. It will help you narrow down the options that suit you best.
Read The Reviews and Recommendations
In the last part, read the online reviews of the customers who have used the smartwatch. It will help you understand the benefits and shortcomings of the smart watch in more detail. Get the watch with the highest ratings recommended by technology experts.
Purchasing a smartwatch is almost the same as buying a smartphone. You must be aware of what you need and look for products accordingly. We have mentioned some of the best budget smartwatches in the list above, but if we have to pick one, it would be fitbit versa 3 because of its elegant looks and suite of very useful features.