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Best cheap smartwatch 2022: great budget devices for your wrist

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Best cheap smartwatch
(Image credit: TechRadar / Fitbit)

The best cheap smartwatch market is surprisingly extensive, for a once very premium device. With plenty of options out there, it can be confusing to know where to start. Basically, it depends on your budget and taste. 

Pretty much all smartwatches will track your fitness workouts as well as send over notifications when you need them. It's the extras that separate which one you want most, such as how much they cost, additional features, and what they look like. A cheap smartwatch may not have every feature out there, but it'll still be enough to keep your tech-loving nature content, as well as your bank balance.

We've included the best cheap smartwatches that are all £150/$150 or less. You won't see the likes of the Huawei Watch GT 2e here but there's room for the Fitbit Versa Lite and TicWatch E2. Both watches continue to be ideal all-rounders at this price. 

If you are willing to spend a little more, check out our guide to the best smartwatches which includes featured-packed wearables at higher prices.

Have a think about what you need from your cheap smartwatch. Do you need health and fitness tracking for runs and workout sessions or is a stylish watch for the office the priority here? Once you've figured that out, take a look at each entry to learn more. 

Some of the best cheap smartwatches can squeeze in extra features like NFC for mobile payment and even GPS for phone-less run tracking. Whether you need those depends on what you plan on doing with it. Be willing to make compromises to find the right balance for you. Reading the full review of each of the smartwatches below should help you reach the best decision for your needs.

Best cheap smartwatches 2022

Fitbit Versa Lite

(Image credit: Fitbit)
Like a Fitbit Versa, but lighter on features

Specifications

OS: Fitbit OS
Compatibility: Android 5+, iOS 10+
Display: 1.34" 300 x 300
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: N/A
Battery duration: Around four days
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: IP67
Connectivity: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Cheaper than other Fitbits
+
Small and comfortable design

Reasons to avoid

-
No Fitbit Pay
-
No onboard storage for music

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.

Read our full Fitbit Versa Lite review

Garmin Forerunner 45

(Image credit: Garmin)
A pared-back run tracker that packs in some serious features

Specifications

OS: Garmin OS
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Display: 1.04" 208 x 208
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: Just for fitness data
Battery duration: Up to 7 days
Charging method: Proprietary charger
IP rating: N/A (Garmin claims 5 ATM)
Connectivity: Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Good music controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited sport profiles
-
Plastic-heavy build

Looking for a more dedicated fitness watch? The Garmin Forerunner 45 is one of the company's entry-level devices, and it's a top choice if you're looking for something built for running and exercise.

It has GPS onboard, a heart rate monitor - that we found to be accurate in our testing - and a few other features that make is stand out as one of the most affordable running watches. 

You'll be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive running watch that is also cheap, so if you're after something that can make sure you're being put through your paces this could be the best choice on this list.

Read the full Garmin Forerunner 45 review

TicWatch E2

(Image credit: Mobvoi)
Basically the only great cheap Wear OS watch

Specifications

OS: Wear OS
Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 8+
Display: 1.39" 400 x 400 OLED
Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100
Onboard storage: 4GB
Battery duration: Around 48h
Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin
IP rating: IP67
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Easily two day battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No NFC for payments
-
Bland design

The TicWatch E2 isn't a phenomenal upgrade upon the TicWatch E, but it will offer a waterproof design and better battery life for a similar price to the original watch.

The design of this watch hasn't been improved much, so it still doesn't feel particularly premium on your wrist but it's still a good looking piece of tech that we're happy to wear at all times of day.

You'll get around two days of battery life from the watch, there's GPS built-in and swim tracking as well if you like to take your devices into the pool for a dip. 

One of the biggest frustrations is the lack of NFC which means you can't use Google Pay on the watch, but you do get all of the rest of the benefits of Wear OS here. That's something nothing else on this list offers.

Read our full TicWatch E2 review

Amazfit Bip

(Image credit: Amazfit)
Looks like an Apple Watch, but it's not as smart

Specifications

OS: Amazfit OS
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Display: 1.28" 400 x 400 LCD
Processor: MediaTek N/A
Onboard storage: Just for fitness data
Battery duration: Up to 45 days
Charging method: Proprietary charger
IP rating: IP68
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish design
+
Excellent companion app

Reasons to avoid

-
Auto-pause feature doesn't work
-
Finicky UI

OK, this isn't the most inventive smartwatch you're going to find to buy in 2020, but it is one of the cheapest. In fact, it may even be the most affordable watch that is actually worth buying.

It looks quite like an Apple Watch, but this device is a whopping six times cheaper than a top-end Apple Watch Series 5 when bought brand new.

It doesn't do anywhere near as much as the Apple Watch, but it does sport some incredible battery life at 45 days and lots of features for cyclists and runners including a heart rate sensor.

Read our full Amazfit Bip review

Polar M200

(Image credit: Polar)
Another running watch for your consideration

Specifications

OS: Polar OS
Compatibility: Android/iOS
Display: 26mm diameter
Processor: N/A
Onboard storage: Just for fitness data
Battery duration: Up to 6 days
Charging method: Proprietary charger
IP rating: N/A (Polar claims water resistant)
Connectivity: Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+
Accurate GPS
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated screen
-
Not a premium design

The Polar M200 is one of the most affordable running watches money can buy and you'll find it includes almost all of the fitness features you'll want from a smartwatch.

We found the GPS could be a little slow at times, and the design isn't as premium as some of the other devices we've seen from Polar, but apart this is a solid running watch with great battery life.

This won't offer notifications and apps like some of the other devices on this list, but if fitness is the main aim for you the Polar M200 is an affordable choice that offers a variety of top features.

Read the full Polar M200 review

James Peckham
James Peckham

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He's currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone.