Since their introduction in 2015, Apple Watches are everywhere. They’re the standard bearer for wearable tech — fully functional and well integrated with the iOS platform and hundreds of apps. Plus, with introducing their Hermès-branded lineup, they’re approaching something resembling “stylish.”
And because it’s an Apple product, they’re also pretty expensive.
When they were first released, Apple Watches started at $349 and prices have moved little since then. Sure, there’s no longer the gold-plated $10,000 edition, which went by the wayside almost immediately. You can still expect to pay around $399 to $1,499 for the privilege of having a black box on your wrist that does everything from starting your car to tell you how well you’re washing your hands.
Thankfully, the popularity of the Apple Watch means a lot of lower-priced contenders have cropped up in its wake. Major players like Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin have multiple options, while smaller brands like Letsfit and Ticwatch also fill the gap of moderately functional and quite affordable. While nothing can truly replace the Apple Watch, other products on the market do a good job of replicating many of its features.
What To Look For in an Apple Watch Alternative
There are a few baseline must-have features we look for in any good yet cheap Apple Watch alternatives. Call/text/notification functionality and some level of waterproofing are a must, as is basic health interactivity like pulse/ECG readings and sleep monitoring. Having an oxygen meter is always a plus as well, since the COVID-era habit of checking our oxygen levels is on the regular.
Beyond that, we found a lot of variables in what a cheap Apple Watch alternative might offer.
- Does it offer Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant interactivity?
- Can you stream music or download it to the watch?
- What other apps does it support?
- Does it support any third-party apps at all?
- How much extra will it cost to leave your phone behind while using it, if that’s even an option?
- Will the battery last longer than one day?
- And what about those of us outside Apple’s walled garden? Are there any preferable Apple Watch alternatives for Android and Pixel fans?
We’ve got a full list of options that are roughly half the price of the Apple Watch.
9 Best Apple Watch Alternatives
1. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
Just like iPhone users adore their Apple Watches, Samsung phone users love the Galaxy Watch line for its seamless integration to their phones with plenty of bells and whistles — we even called it the “perfect companion piece” to the Galaxy phone. Slimmer, sportier and only a little less stylish than the regular Galaxy Watch, this timepiece is focused on fitness with extra features like a stress tracker, ECG and blood pressure monitoring — all quite nice to have at a lower price point.
Price: $249.99 at Best Buy
2. Garmin vivomove 3
For a hardware producer best known for in-car GPS machines, Garmin has some very high-price watches in its roster, which is why the vivomove 3 looks like such a bargain compared to other Garmin options (especially with our coupon codes). This uber-stylish hybrid smartwatch with an analog face and easy-to-hide digital touchscreen just looks great, for starters, even though adding a color display to the face does up the cost.
You’ll get health monitoring including hydration tracking and advanced sleep monitoring plus the usual run of notifications and calendar updates, though you do need to rely on your phone for GPS function. For the style at this price, it’s a fair trade-off.
Price: $199.99 at Kohl’s
3. Fitbit Versa 2
This affordable option does so much for so little, relatively speaking. The battery can hold a single charge for up to six or more days, plus you can receive calls, texts, calendar and smartphone app notifications when your phone is nearby. However, you can only send voice replies on Android devices only. Track your heart rate 24/ 7, the steps you get in, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, active minutes and floors climbed. Plus, it currently sits just over 127,800 and 4.6 stars.
4. Fitbit Versa 3
The nice thing about Fitbit products is that their top-tier line of options are all offered at a pretty reasonable price, and the Versa 3 just reinforces that. For under $250, you get their newest smartwatch from the OG fitness tracker, which gives you Apple Watch styling on your wrist (OK, it’s a little rounder) for about half the cost of their version. The Versa 3 isn’t just for fitness, though — you also get Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, all the usual call/text/update notifications, NFC payments and plenty of third-party app integration, plus a pretty decent battery life.
Price: $229.95 at Best Buy
5. Amazfit Bip S
A super-cheap smartwatch with long battery life and plenty of functions offered by far more expensive models? At just under $60, you could get this as a backup to your main watch just in case and barely make a dent in your budget. Even though it’s not terribly stylish with its plastic case, limited face options and lower-brightness screen, you still get GPS (hard to find on a sub-$100 option), a heart monitor, Bluetooth music streaming, multiple sport modes (including swimming) and sleep tracking, even if you only use it for a couple runs a week, it’s still worth it.
Price: $68.99 at Amazon
6. Letsfit Smartwatch
Another drop-dead cheap, fitness-focused smartwatch, you still get faux-Apple Watch styling (albeit with a much smaller screen) from a company that also produces and sells yoga pants and weight benches. All the must-haves are here: Bluetooth connectivity, calls and notifications, a heart monitor, multiple sport modes, sleep monitoring and reasonably accurate step counters and calorie-burn monitors, though you’re reliant on your phone’s GPS with this one. The trade-off? Plenty of battery life: up to 10 days with regular use.
Price: $35.99 ($59.99) at Target
7. TicWatch GTH Pro Smartwatch
Mobvoi’s budget-friendly Ticwatch series is a good starting point for entry-level smartwatch wearers, giving you some no-frills options with necessary functionality at a price that’s definitely more introductory level. Its newest features include personalized AI-based Insights and Guidance powered by Arty Heart Health and Dual Sensor Technology, along with Skin Temperature Monitoring, Blood Oxygen Measurement, 24 HR Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Tracking, Wellness Management.
Price: $99.99 at Amazon
8. Withings Steel HR
While we’ve focused on function for many of the smartwatches on this list, most lack a certain amount of style. Not so with the Withings Steel HR: This sleek, analog-style watch face would look far more natural with a suit or sport coat than the average Apple Watch, and it handles plenty of similar basic functions (heart rate, sleep score, calls, texts and GPS).
If you need a big screen, this may not be the watch for you, given the small portion of the watch’s face dedicated to messaging, but if you’re okay with leaning on your phone for most of the higher functions, it’s a good choice for your tux-and-tails events.
Price: $179.95 at Withings
9. Apple Watch Series 3
Remember when we said that there’s nothing like a real Apple Watch? Well, if there’s truly no other choice for you besides an Apple product, the Series 3 can at least keep your raw costs under $200, though you are sacrificing some functionality. The slower processor, smaller memory and lack of a cellular option at this price point may be a bit frustrating (though refurbed models with cell functionality are available), and with an older model you risk a lack of support sooner rather than later.
The Series 3 lacks some of the health monitoring capabilities you’d get with a newer model as well, but it gets you the Apple name on your wrist at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Plus, PCMag gave it 4 out of 5 stars, making it a solid choice.
Price: $199 (reg. $229) at Amazon
Looking for more cheap alternatives to Apple products? Check out our favorite AirPods alternatives.
The post These Are the Best Cheap Apple Watch Alternatives to Shop appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.