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Best cheap smartwatch for Android 2022

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 from over the shoulder
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

If you're stuck on a strict budget but want to add both form and function to your wrist, there are plenty of cheap Android smartwatches to choose from. Which you choose will depend on how you define "cheap" and whether you want a proper Android smartwatch with Wear OS or merely a smartwatch that works with your Android phone. Depending on where you're willing to compromise — whether it's on price, apps, fitness features, or design — you'll be happy with at least one of the best cheap Android smartwatches available.

Fitbit Versa 3 Heart Rate

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)
Best cheap smartwatch for Android

Reasons to buy

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Third-party app support
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Six-day battery life
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Onboard GPS, HRM, and SpO2
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Built-in mic & speaker
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NFC payments

Reasons to avoid

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Small app selection
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Fitbit OS has limited smart features

Our favorite cheap Android smartwatch doesn't actually run Wear OS, relying instead on Fitbit OS. The Fitbit Versa 3 prioritizes health and fitness tracking over smart features, but it does offer the essentials: a built-in mic and speaker to answer phone calls, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa support, NFC for tap-to-pay, and music playback controls — either for your phone's music or stored on-device playlists from Spotify, Pandora, or Deezer.

Beyond these tools, you receive core fitness features for getting and staying healthy, including activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, women's health tracking, blood-oxygen monitoring, and Active Zone Minutes. The latter tracks your overall time spent at a high level of exercise activity, as an easy way to see your weekly progress towards a fitness goal.

As our Fitbit Versa 3 reviewer explained, the Versa 3 is smart relative to fitness-focused watches, and its six-day battery dwarfs that of most Wear OS watches. But otherwise, its limited third-party app selection isn't its strong suit, Fitbit OS can be a bit laggy at times, and the squircle design and touchscreen, while attractive, aren't built for easy UI navigation, whereas other watches will give you buttons and rotating dials. 

The Versa 3 (or the upcoming Fitbit Versa 4) will display your Android notifications and let you keep your phone in your pocket when answering calls or asking your assistant a question. If you can accept the shortcomings, it's an excellent option.

TicWatch E3

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Best cheap Wear OS watch

Reasons to buy

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Onboard GPS
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Heart-rate & SpO2 monitoring
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Activity/sleep tracking
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Google Assistant
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NFC payments

Reasons to avoid

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Still waiting for Wear OS 3
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Bezel feels bulky
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Poorly placed charging connection

It's no secret that Wear OS watches have always been a topic of debate due to so much untapped potential, but hopefully, things are changing in that arena. The TicWatch E3 is a truly affordable Wear OS watch running the powerful Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset on 1GB of RAM, and while it's still stuck on the old Wear OS, it's eligible to receive Wear OS 3 sometime in 2022, giving it plenty of longevity.

You get 1.5 to two days of battery life per charge — respectable for a lifestyle watch — with more days added with Essential Mode. It has the same core features as the pricier TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, though that has a larger dual display with a backlight and smaller bezel, as well as a larger battery. Lose those, and the TicWatch E3 has everything you need, from all the best Wear OS apps to robust health and fitness tracking, along with Google Assistant and Google Pay.

Our TicWatch E3 reviewer had a laundry list of positives when describing it. He noted "little to no delay in opening apps or loading up the Play Store on the watch," something you can't say for many fitness watches. And on that note, it has heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring for workout and sleep tracking, with the results on par with those he measured on Samsung and Amazfit watches. The 20 built-in sports modes also cover all of the essential activities most casual athletes would need.

His review also noted that its $200 price tag is higher than previous TicWatch budget models, but you'll frequently find it on sale for lower. And while he lamented the lack of Wear OS 3 at launch, you should receive it within the next few months to get similar tools as the Galaxy Watch 4 at a lower price.

Amazfit GTS 3

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best value-priced fitness watch

Reasons to buy

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Onboard GPS
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Activity/sleep tracking
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Heart-rate & SpO2 monitoring
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Up to 12 days of battery life
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Voice assistants

Reasons to avoid

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No NFC payments
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No third-party app support
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No built-in speaker

Amazfit might not be quite as well known as some of the other smartwatch players, but it produces stylish and affordable fitness watches that offer plenty of fitness tech at a low price. The first thing you'll notice is the attractive design, which is both lightweight and comfortable. The Amazfit GTS 3 delivers many key features that users look for, as we covered in-depth during our review of the watch.

Some of the best features include onboard GPS, activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, stress tracking, blood-oxygen monitoring, smartphone notifications, and Amazon Alexa built-in. Not to mention that you'll get up to 12 days of battery life with typical usage. The convenient 4-in-1 health measurement feature lets you record your heart rate, blood oxygen, stress, and breathing rate all at once. Let's not forget about Amazon Alexa built-in, which makes it easy to use voice commands. You can set an alarm, start a workout, check the weather, and more.

However, there's no speaker on the watch so you won't receive audible responses when using the voice assistant. This also means you can't make calls on your watch. The Amazfit GTS 3 doesn't offer NFC payments or third-party app support, either. These are drawbacks worth considering, but if you're looking for a cheap Android smartwatch that offers unbeatable value, this is it. If you want an even-cheaper Android smartwatch, you might prefer the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini, but it has slightly fewer features.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 tiles

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)
Track your fitness

Reasons to buy

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Onboard GPS
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Heart rate, SpO2, ECG
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Advanced fitness tracking
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Optional LTE connectivity
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NFC payments

Reasons to avoid

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Battery life could be longer
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Some features limited to Samsung phones
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Not as "cheap" as other options

With the Galaxy Watch 5 looming on the horizon, the Galaxy Watch 4 is regularly seeing some pretty impressive discounts. Our Galaxy Watch 4 review lays out the ridiculous amount of perks you get with this watch, to explain why we "can't recommend anything other than the Galaxy Watch 4" if you need a smartwatch for Android.

For starters, you get a lightweight aluminum frame with IP68 water resistance and military-grade protection, so it'll never die on you. The 40-hour battery is respectable for a lifestyle watch with this many features. Its built-in heart rate monitor, Pulse Ox, ECG, and body composition tools give you a complete look at your health. Many fitness watches cost more while offering a less holistic look at your health and not looking nearly as stylish.

Plus, it's still the only Wear OS 3 smartwatch, for the time being at least. That means you get a responsive operating system with useful first- and third-party watch apps in the form of Google's Tiles. Add in tap-to-pay and a mic/speaker for calls and asking Google Assistant questions, and it really has everything you need.

The biggest catch here is that if you own one of the best Android phones not made by Samsung, you'll miss out on things like ECG and blood pressure monitoring. But all-in-all, this is still one of the best smartwatches on market, and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Garmin Lily heart rate

(Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)
Fit and fashionable

Reasons to buy

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Activity/sleep tracking
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Heart-rate & SpO2 monitoring
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Women's health tracking
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Five days of battery life
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Sleek, feminine design

Reasons to avoid

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Lacks onboard GPS
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No NFC payments
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No AMOLED display

Women deserve to find a cheap Android smartwatch that offers both the features and fashionable aesthetic they're looking for. Fortunately, the Garmin Lily checks all these boxes. It comes in a small but efficient 43mm case, which is ideal for small wrists. The Sport model has an aluminum bezel and comes with a silicone band. The Classic model, which is slightly more expensive, has a stainless-steel bezel and a leather band.

As our Garmin Lily review explains, it has plenty of perks underneath its fashion-accessory surface: activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, women's health tracking, blood-oxygen monitoring, stress tracking, and more. And it lasts five days of juice on a single charge. Put together, it adds up to one of the best smartwatches for women, especially if style matters to you. 

As a downside, its grayscale LCD isn't quite as bright or beautiful as an AMOLED display, and you're missing smart features like NFC payments or a mic/speaker. Garmin lets you tailor your notifications to only receive buzzes for the ones that matter and its touchscreen is more convenient than other Garmins that rely on buttons. But you'll have to pay a lot more for something like the Garmin Venu 2 Plus to get the missing smartwatch features you may need.

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle 2

(Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)
A very smart tracker

Reasons to buy

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Onboard GPS
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Heart rate, SpO2, ECG, EDA
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Activity/sleep tracking
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NFC payments
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Sleek, compact design

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive for a tracker
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Some features require Fitbit Premium
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Old Fitbit Charge bands aren't compatible

While the Fitbit Charge 5 may not look like a typical smartwatch, it certainly functions like one. If you'd prefer a compact design that's ideal for frequent workouts, this wearable might be right up your alley. Keep an open mind, especially considering the Fitbit Charge 5 offers more health and fitness features than some of the other options on this list. It offers an AMOLED touchscreen and a full week of battery life. The sleek, refined design is an improvement from the previous models, too.

In our review of the watch, we noted the many key features you'll have available to you, including onboard GPS, activity/sleep tracking, automatic workout recognition, heart-rate monitoring, Active Zone Minutes, and Fitbit Pay. More importantly, there are new advanced health sensors that give you more data. The electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor takes precise temperature measurements and records stress levels while the electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor monitors your heart rhythm and can detect irregular heartbeats. The Daily Readiness Score is designed to help users understand when to prioritize rest and when to be more active.

In some cases, you'd have to make some sacrifices for all these amazing features. With the Fitbit Charge 5, you'll have to be comfortable with paying for an expensive tracker. But when you consider just how smart this fitness tracker is, that may not be a deal-breaker. This device uses new proprietary bands, so previous Fitbit Charge bands won't work. Some of the features, like the Daily Readiness Score, require a Fitbit Premium subscription. Your purchase comes with a free trial, but once that expires, you'll have to pay for it to keep using these perks.

Garmin Vivomove Sport

(Image credit: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)
The hybrid life

Reasons to buy

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Heart-rate monitoring
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Pulse Ox & Body Battery
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Activity/sleep tracking
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Stress monitoring
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Stylish design

Reasons to avoid

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Lacks onboard GPS
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No NFC payments
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Sunlight visibility isn't great

A hybrid smartwatch is another option to consider when you're shopping for a cheap Android smartwatch. More specifically, the Garmin Vivomove Sport is worthy of your attention. This is one of the latest hybrids from Garmin and it has more to offer than you might think, as we discovered in our hands-on testing. If you love the look of a traditional timepiece, this one might be for you. It comes in a lightweight 40mm polymer case and comes in three colors, including Ivory, Cocoa, Cool Mint, and black. The battery can last for five days on a single charge and an additional day in watch mode.

The unique display is what makes this hybrid smartwatch different from others on the market. Rather than a standard E-Ink display, there's a hidden OLED panel on the bottom half of the screen. You can wake the display by raising your wrist or double-tapping the screen. Other features include activity/sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Pulse Ox, Body Battery, stress tracking, smartphone notifications, and music controls.

Whether you're buying your first wearable or you prefer the look of a traditional watch, the Garmin Vivomove Sport is an excellent choice. It comes with the basic perks that most users need in a smartwatch. With that in mind, there aren't any extra perks such as NFC payments or voice assistants. Additionally, you'll have to rely on connected GPS via your smartphone to track your route during an activity. As interesting as the hidden OLED concept is, the sunlight visibility isn't as good as it could be.

Polar Pacer watch face on wrist

(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

Polar Pacer

All the essentials

Reasons to buy

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Onboard GPS
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Activity/sleep tracking
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Reliable battery life
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Gorilla Glass 3.0 screen
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Brighter and more power-efficient display

Reasons to avoid

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Lacks NFC payments
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No SpO2 tracking
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Poor UI and notifications

Runners who need a cheap Android smartwatch that offers stellar battery life will be in good hands with the Polar Pacer. You might be worried that cheap means compromise, but not in this case. The Pacer is equipped with all the features you need for a successful wearable experience. We haven't published our Polar Pacer review yet, but our future reviewer has already laid out all of the perks and drawbacks of this watch to help you decide. 

On the plus side, it has reliable 7-day battery life even with plenty of GPS tracking, and its 40g weight and Gorilla Glass 3 scratch protection make it both comfortable and durable. Its MIP display is clearly visible in direct sunlight, and Polar's fitness metrics are on par with Garmin's in terms of giving you free access to all the running data you could ever want.

On the other hand, this is another watch with limited smart features — aka no mic, speaker, NFC, third-party apps, etc. — and Polar, unfortunately, doesn't let you tailor which notifications you receive, which can lead to a lot of annoying buzzing. Its UI is very fast and reliable for fitness, but not much else. 

It's not quite as well equipped as the Polar Pacer Pro, which is just a bit too expensive to recommend here. But as a reliable and affordable running watch alternative, the Pacer Pro is the way to go. 

Best cheap Android smartwatch: Making a choice

Shopping on a budget doesn't mean you have to pass up on smartwatch ownership. While you may need to adjust your expectations and narrow the playing field a bit, there are still various cheap Android smartwatches to pick from. Think about what features you need and what type of experience you prefer.

Are you looking for a smartwatch that can do it all with impeccable fitness tracking and impressive smartwatch perks? If so, you'll probably find the Fitbit Versa 3 to be a perfect fit for your needs. You get nearly a full week of battery life and a slim design that's both comfortable and attractive.

If you're looking for something more specific, there are many other cheap Android smartwatches to consider. For example, whether you're seeking a hybrid wearable, a watch that's made for women, or a model that's focused on delivering long-lasting battery life, you can find it at an affordable price with all the features you need.