With the high cost of most smartwatches, some might think owning one is beyond their means and not really necessary. Not all smartwatches are $300 and over though, and there are some excellent, full-featured choices for $200 and under. You might be surprised at how much you can get for your money with these watches that also double as fitness trackers. Many fitness bands cost in the range of these watches, so why not have a device that can do double duty? It’s also a fun way to give smartwatches in general a try and see if they benefit you. Here are 5 great smartwatches for the budget minded.
1. Basis Peak ($180)
The Basis Peak started out its life as a full-fledged fitness tracker but then received a substantial firmware upgrade to allow it to function as a smartwatch as well. It has an optical heart rate engine to track your heartbeat accurately using light, 3-axis accelerometer for motion tracking, and sensors for skin temperature and Galvanic response. These sensors are ideal for activity and sleep monitoring and the Basis Peak shines there. It’s also no slouch in the smartwatch department and is compatible with Android and iOS with an OLED touchscreen.
2. MetaWatch Frame ($50)
The MetaWatch Frame is the least expensive smartwatch on the list but is very capable in its own right. It can connect to both iOS and Android devices for notifications, battery monitoring, and even control music being played on your smartphone. The MetaWatch Frame also features an accelerometer and light sensor for some fitness and activity applications.
3. Microsoft Band ($200)
Coming in at the top of the $200 budget, the Microsoft Band is an impressive fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid. Like the Basis Peak, it has a full suite of fitness sensors including optical heart rate monitor, accelerometer, skin sensors, and gyrometer. Even better, it has an integrated GPS unit so you don’t even need your phone to track you activity and location. The Band features a lovely touchscreen with tile interface and the digital assistant Cortana who can help you view notifications, get directions, and more. The Band also works with iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, and Mac OS X.
4. Pebble ($99)
At only $99, the Pebble is hard to beat in terms of sheer value for the price. It has activity sensors for fitness applications, is water resistant, has full smartwatch capabilities and can connect to both iOS and Android devices. The Pebble is notable for its e-ink display which provides a clear image for days on end and allows the Pebble to easily beat the competition when it comes to battery life. The Pebble lets you see text and call notifications right from your watch without having to check your phone and can run some apps customized for it.
5. Pebble Steel ($150)
The Pebble Steel is the newest version of the Pebble smartwatch but has the exact same functionality of its more budget-friendly sibling. It features a steel watch casing which some might prefer to the Pebble’s plastic housing. Besides the style differences, the Pebble Steel sports the same internals with activity sensors, Bluetooth connectivity to iOS and Android devices, and an e-ink display with great battery life.