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Best Cheap Smartwatch 2024: Bargain wearables, tried and tested


Fitbit Charge 6 on a tree stump showing heart rate.

If you’re looking for a new smartwatch but don’t want to spend too much money, we’ve got you covered with our affordable picks.

Just like in the world of the best cheap smartphones, it doesn’t make sense to stress yourself out by going outside of your budget when tons of wallet-friendly smartwatches are currently available.

Even though the most prolific wearables, like the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro, carry a hefty price tag, there are tons of budget competitors out there that can even match or outdo more premium devices.

One issue, however, is that while it’s easier to point out the best smartwatch options from higher up the price chain (largely due to brand recognition), it can be tricky to know at first glance which budget buys are actually worth picking up.

Luckily for you, we’ve put them to the test to bring you this definitive rundown of the best cheap smartwatches you can buy right now. If you want something more fitness-oriented then you can also check out our run-down of the best running watches and the best fitness trackers.

At a glance

  • Best cheap smartwatch: Fitbit Charge 6 – check price
  • Best smartwatch under £100: Oppo Band 2 – check price
  • Best cheap smartwatch for iPhone users: Apple Watch SE 2 – check price
  • Best looking cheap smartwatch: Huawei Watch GT 4 – check price
  • Best cheap smartwatch for GPS: Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro – check price
  • Best cheap Wear OS watch: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 – check price

How we test

Find out more about how we test smartwatches

Every smartwatch we test is used by the reviewer for at least a week, or longer if the battery life lasts beyond that point or we need more time to trial its features.

During testing, we will check it for key metrics, including app support, usability and battery life. If the device offers fitness, location or health tracking features we will also test these for accuracy and reliability. 

For distance tracking, we record how accurately the device recorded runs on tracks we know the length of. We also record how much battery is lost per hour using features like built-in or connected GPS. To check heart rate accuracy, we compare the results recorded on the wearable to a dedicated HRM strap.

After recording the data we then pair it with our general experience using the wearable day-to-day, letting you know if it’s comfortable to wear or if we encountered unexpected bugs during use over the review period.

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Fitbit Charge 6

Best cheap smartwatch

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Pros

  • Improved design with side button return
  • Google services are welcome additions
  • Sleep and health tracking both shine

Cons

  • GPS performance is very poor
  • Sports tracking is basic
  • Some features locked behind Fitbit Premium

I know that some of you may decry the Fitbit Charge 6 as being more of a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, and while there’s some weight to that argument, there’s no denying that the Charge 6 does so much right that it’s simply an easy wearable to recommend to most people.

While Fitbit has some stiff competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung at the upper end of the smartwatch market, the same can’t be said about the budget market, where it sometimes feels like Fitbit stands in a class of its own.

As such, the Charge 6 is the go-to option in the budget market for those who want accurate daily tracking, rock-solid sleep monitoring and advanced health features without paying hundreds. It sports an updated design with the return of the handy side button compared to the Charge 5, with a plethora of new Google services like Wallet, Maps and YouTube Music now also available on the wearable.

Fitbit has also worked hard to improve the reliability of its tracker with a new AI-based heart rate algorithm that should improve the accuracy of HR readings. However, our reviewer found that the GPS performance is still pretty poor. Hey, the budget nature had to shine through somehow.

It also retains key bits of smartwatch functionality such as incoming notifications, alarms, timers and ‘find my phone’, but the real meat here is in Fitbit’s operating system and accompanying app. There’s no shortage here of workouts to track, and Fitbit’s week-on-week style metrics are a lot easier for beginners to get into than the standard ‘reach this goal today’ method. The catch is that some features and metrics lay behind a Fitbit Premium paywall.

Reviewer: Conor Allison
Full review: Fitbit Charge 6 Review

Oppo Band 2

Best smartwatch under £100

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Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Large, bright screen
  • Impressive automatic workout tracking
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Bluetooth connection issues
  • Sleep tracking is all over the place
  • No built-in GPS

In 2024, there’s no shortage of smartwatches that fall below the £100 mark but for our money, the Oppo Band 2 is a great go-to in this category. The device might appear unassuming but for its £59.99 price tag, it still manages to pack in tons of helpful features.

One of the best things the Oppo Band 2 has going for it is its battery life, which Oppo claims is up to 14-days on a single charge (although we found this to be closer to 12-days after testing). Still, that’s more than enough battery to get you through the week and it easily puts some pricier smartwatches to shame.

To our surprise, the Band 2 also features one of the best watch face libraries out there, being close in quality to what you’ll find from the likes of Apple and Samsung. You can even use AI to make a new watch face that’ll blend with the colours of your outfit on any given day. It’s all quite impressive and just not what one would expect for the price.

The workout tracking also does a good job, and you can view your metrics clearly on the device’s bright 1.57-inch display. There’s unfortunately no GPS to speak of here and the sleep tracking is a bit of a mess, so if those are key concerns for you then you might want to check out the Fitbit Charge 5 instead.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Oppo Band 2 Review

Apple Watch SE 2

Best cheap smartwatch for iPhone users

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Pros

  • Plenty of the best Apple Watch features in a cheaper package
  • Excellent software
  • Wide customisation options
  • Accurate tracking

Cons

  • Slow charging
  • No always-on display

Compared to some of the options on this list, the Apple Watch SE 2 isn’t exactly among the most affordable out there, but it is the most affordable option if you have your sights set on picking up an Apple Watch.

The SE 2 is still something of an anomaly from Apple, as it’s a great device in its own right and doesn’t come with a ton of caveats in the same way that the iPhone SE 2022 does. In fact, it boasts the same chipset found in the Apple Watch 8 (which launched at the same time as the SE 2).

This means that you can expect high-end performance as you zip from one app to another before heading out on a run. It’s all seamless and ideally the option you’ll want to go for if you do use an iPhone.

Because of the SE 2’s integration into Apple’s ecosystem, you can dive straight into applications like Siri and Apple Calendar, while also using Find My to locate your watch if you ever misplace it. Simply put, if your budget can stretch this far then the Apple Watch SE 2 is well worth picking up.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple Watch SE 2 Review

Huawei Watch GT 4 46mm

Best looking cheap smartwatch

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Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Slick Harmony OS watch software
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • New health and fitness features are a mixed bag
  • App store still doesn’t match rivals
  • Not a radical upgrade from GT 3

Again, much like the Apple Watch SE 2, the Huawei Watch GT 4 definitely pushes the boundaries of what constitutes a ‘budget’ smartwatch but at £229.99, it’s still cheaper than most of the mainline wearables. The reason why it’s included here is that if you want a cheaper watch that looks anything but, then the GT 4 is an easy one to recommend.

With the GT 4, Huawei has leaned heavily into a new fashion-first approach to ensure that the device can be worn as an eye-catching timepiece when out and about, and not just when you’re at the gym

There are two size options available (41mm and 46mm) and seven colourways thereafter, each of which not only looks unique but is varied enough from the others that there’s sure to be a particular style that suits you best.

All of that style doesn’t get in the way of substance either as the GT 4 packs some impressive fitness tracking tech, including the new Stay Fit app which allows you to keep better tabs on your caloric intake. Unfortunately, because this is a Huawei watch, the GT 4 doesn’t have the same app functionality as the Apple Watch or even a Wear OS watch, but if you’re simply interested in something affordable that looks great and works well at the gym then this is your best bet.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh
Full review: Huawei Watch GT 4 Review

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro

Best cheap smartwatch for GPS

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Pros

  • Friendly, unisex design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Accurate GPS tracking

Cons

  • Mixed HR accuracy
  • Mi Fitness lags behind rivals
  • No side button hampers navigation

It’s incredibly rare to see a wearable under £100 that allows for GPS tracking independently of a connected smartphone, and yet that’s exactly what’s being offered on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro.

In spite of its budget-friendly nature, the GPS tracking on the Band 8 Pro is surprisingly solid, and our reviewer found that it was able to keep up with the far pricier Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2), so if you want to keep better tabs on your running routes then this is a great option that’s easy on the wallet.

Xiaomi has also updated the UI here with several handy widgets that give you quick access to music playback, settings and more. Beyond the GPS tracking, it’s a fairly bare bones experience where smart features are concerned, so if you want a more fully-featured smartwatch on the cheap then you’ll be better suited with either the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or the Apple Watch SE 2.

Reviewer: Conor Allison
Full review: Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro Review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Best cheap Wear OS watch

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Pros

  • Wear OS at its finest
  • The digital bezel works like a charm
  • Flat, minimalist design is stunning
  • Gorgeous collection of original watch faces

Cons

  • Still a lot of features yet to come
  • Doesn’t work with iPhone
  • Bixby is a mess

Even though the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has now had several successors come to market, Samsung has smartly decided to keep the watch around by reducing its price over time, making it a budget-alternative to folks interested in a Wear OS device.

With a new starting price of £199/$199, it’s now quite common to see the Galaxy Watch 4 fall to a rate much lower than that. This is quite impressive when you consider that the watch is still receiving the latest Wear OS updates from Google, so you won’t be missing out on the software front.

With access to tons of third-party apps like WhatsApp, Calm and Spotify, the Galaxy Watch 4 gives you plenty of functionality directly on your wrist so if you want to spend less time scrolling on your phone and only interact with apps when it’s important, this wearable can provide just that. It’s also a great fitness tracker in its own right with lots of workouts to be tracked, not to mention Samsung’s detailed BioActive sensor for determining key health metrics.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

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FAQs

Do Wear OS watches work with iPhone?

Smartwatches utilising Wear OS 3 or higher no longer work with iPhone handsets.

Do Apple Watches work with Android?

Apple Watches are locked down to work exclusively within Apple’s ecosystem, so they will not pair with any Android phones.

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Comparison specs

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