3 great budget Apple Watch alternatives

The Apple Watch Series 6, Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense are sophisticated smartwatches that can do everything from keep an eye on your overall health and wellbeing to take calls on your wrist. But if you’re just looking for a basic cheap smartwatch that won’t break the bank, you’re often left scouring the listings on Amazon or Wish to find the best smartwatch deals. I’ve spent a week testing out three budget alternatives to help you find the best cheap smartwatch option under $100. 

The best thing about these three cheap smartwatch models is that they work across all different phones and are compatible with both iOS and Android. They also have step and calorie tracking, are water resistant and have a 24/7 heart-rate monitor. They can also act as a remote control for music playback from your phone.

You can find my full impressions and reviews of each of these watches in the video on this page, or read on for the cheat sheet.

Here are three of the best cheap smartwatch options under $100, in order of least to most expensive.

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Our favorite budget Apple Watch alternatives


Lexy Savvides/CNET

In addition to the basics that I listed before, this cheap smartwatch displays notifications from your phone like the others can as well, and tracks your sleep. In fact I found this budget smartwatch had the most accurate sleep tracking of the three watches in this comparison.

Its 1.3-inch color display is decent, but doesn’t get as bright as one of the other watches on this list. Plus you only get four watch faces to choose from.

The Letsfit tracks eight different workout types: walk, run, bike, climbing, yoga, treadmill, hike and spin bike, and can automatically sync your fitness tracking data with Apple Health. To track distance during an outdoor workout, you’ll need to take your phone with you as this watch has connected GPS, rather than onboard GPS. 

The battery lasts for up to 10 days with regular use and can be extended to 30 days if you keep it in standby mode. 

Lexy Savvides/CNET

This budget smartwatch proves that looks can be deceiving because the $65 price tag doesn’t match its premium exterior and smartwatch features. The Ndur watch has a sleek metal frame and comfortable watch strap and the 1.4-inch color touchscreen was the brightest out of the watches I tested for this comparison. It’s even easy enough to see in direct sunlight.

It can track seven different workout types: walking, running, cycling, skipping, badminton, basketball, football and has connected GPS like the Letsfit watch, meaning you’ll need to take your phone with you to track distance and to see your workout route on a map.

Sleep tracking doesn’t seem to be as accurate however, as it thought I was sleeping while I was sitting on the couch watching TV and then doing the dishes before bed. But it is the only one out of these smartwatches that monitors blood oxygen levels, or SpO2 on the spot, a feature that’s new even for competitors like the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 3. It can even monitor blood pressure with a reading on demand. But be aware that these sensors are not medically cleared and should never be used to replace a medical device or used to determine whether or not to seek treatment.

The battery lasts for around seven days of continued use.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

This is the priciest watch on the list, but for good reason. Its transflective 1.3-inch TFT touchscreen stays on at all times, similar to the Apple Watch Series 6, Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense, so you won’t have to raise your wrist every time you want to check the time. The touchscreen doesn’t look as premium as those more expensive watches, but the budget smartwatch does have a backlight.

The Bip S also has a built-in GPS, so you can leave your phone behind when you’re out for a run, or any other outdoor workout. It also has the most robust exercise tracking with support for 10 workout types: run, cycle, elliptical, treadmill, walk, spin, weights/freestyle, yoga, pool and outdoor swim and automatically pauses your workout when it detects you haven’t moved for a while. This watch also has the biggest selection of watch faces to choose from, plus the option to customize some of the metrics displayed on the watchfaces, like weather or daily calorie burn.

As for battery life, the company claims the Bip S can get up to 40 days worth of use on standby, but with regular use, including a few GPS workouts, you’re more likely to get around 15 days worth between charges.

Read our Amazfit Bip S review.

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