If you are looking for the best sports watch to buy in 2018 but don’t have a wallet full of money to spend on one, don’t fret anymore, nowadays there are a ton of great cheap sports watches out there to now buy that can get the job done and won’t need you to break the bank! The time when sports watches and their shiny new GPS enabled brains were only had been reserved for the rich and powerful is finally over. Newer and better advances in tech mean that cheap sports watches are getting smaller, more advanced and – fortunately, more affordable than ever before.
Yes, you might have to make do with some shortfalls here and there like putting up with a second-grade build quality or having to deal with a very few and the limited number of features. with that being said, and even with all the “cost cuttings” been made, you can still find cheap sports watches that can do things like tracking your fitness, receive notifications and keeping you on top of your training regimes, being rather aplenty. Of course, going with the current and newest fad, all those watches will also be compatible with your Android or iOS running smartphones (because everything and I means everything, is better when it can be paired with a smartphone).
- Best Cheap Sports Watches In 2018
- Budget or no Budget, You Gotta Read This Review – Here’s Why
- Cheap Sports Watches – Buying Guide, Do’s and Don’t’s, The Works
- How to Replace Cheap Sports Watches Battery: Watch Video
- The Best Cheap Sport Watches To Buy In 2018: Pebble, Ticwatch Moov Now and More
- 1. Polar M200 GPS Running Watch with Wrist
- 2. Garmin Forerunner 35, Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch
- 3. Ticwatch E Super Lightweight Smart Watch
- 4. Pebble Time Smartwatch – Black
- 5. ASUS ZenWatch 2
- 6. 3D Fitness Tracker & Real Time Audio Coach
- 7. MIO Drive + Petite Heart Rate Monitor
- 8. Timex Ironman GPS Silicone Strap Watch
- 9. Nokia Steel – Activity & Sleep Watch
- Imazine Ion Cheap Sports Watches Battery Replacement
- The Final Verdict About Best Cheap Sports Watches In 2018!
Best Cheap Sports Watches In 2018
|Best Cheap Sports Watches||Special features||Batteries||Weight||Editor's Rating||Buy Now|
|Polar M200 GPS||Changeable Wristbands||1 Lithium ion||5.92 ounces||3.6 out of 5|
|Garmin Forerunner 35||24/7 heart rate monitoring||1 Lithium Polymer||1.6 ounces||4.0 out of 5|
|Ticwatch E Super||Lightweight & Stylish||1 Lithium Polymer||1.44 ounces||3.8 out of 5|
|pebble Time||Built-In microphone for voice||1 Lithium Polymer||7.41 ounces||4.1 out of 5|
|ASUS ZenWatch 2||Built-in Pedometer||1 Lithium Polymer||1.6 ounces||3.9 out of 5|
|3D Fitness Tracker||Tracks Active Minutes and Sleep||1 CR2 batteries||5 ounces||3.4 out of 5|
|Mio Drive||ECG accurate heart rate||N/A||454 Grams||3.5 out of 5|
|Timex Ironman||Universal micro USB charging||1 Lithium ion||1.76 ounces||2.7 out of 5|
|Nokia Steel||24/7 seamless tracking||Lithium||36.3 g||3.3 out of 5|
Budget or no Budget, You Gotta Read This Review – Here’s Why
If you take a jolly good trip to Amazon, even as you read this, you can easily pick up a handful of (or a wrist full of?) so-called cheap sports watches even for as little as a 20$ bill. Take it from us though, those ultra-cheap, cents loving wearable models are utterly horrible and we know that for a fact because, we, ourselves, have had our own fair share encounter with them while we were preparing this review.
It’s true that modern sports watches have extremely complex functionalities and they, therefore, do have a tendency for going pretty darn expensive at pretty darn speeds. However, that’s not to say there isn’t any good value to be had even at the lower prices too.
From cheap sport watches that simply tells you the elapsed time and track your lap splits to GPS-enabled smart models that are uber dead simple to use, join us in our review where we go over some of the best cheap sports watches to buy in 2018 that offer the maximum value for whatever you are willing to shell out.
But, before all that, here’s a handy buying guide to help you out with the picking aspect (that said, if you are rich enough to buy all of them on the go, feel free to skip this part and go to the main course)
So without any further ado, let’s get started!
Cheap Sports Watches – Buying Guide, Do’s and Don’t’s, The Works
There are a ton of great things you might want to bear in mind while choosing your next pair of best cheap sports watches. and having them boiling merrily on the back of your mind can not only help ensure that your device is gonna be a treat to the eyes, but also has all the functions and features you were looking for.
Here are a few things to consider while trying to find the best, cheap sports watches to sport in 2018!
Know what your needs are
Even if you are looking for a rather basic model and not an advanced one, there is still gonna be a lot of things you are gonna wanna consider. Among the many such things, the top spot will always relate to the features you are gonna need and how you are gonna go about using them.
Is GPS gonna be a must want feature? Can’t do without a wrist-based HR monitor? Planning to use your cheap sports watches only for training,or wanna wear them to the office too? Nailing down what your needs are and what features you are gonna want can definitely help steer your research into the right direction and not the wrong one.
Additionally, this can help you find out under which pricing spectrum where you gonna have the most luck with your wearables and it can also help you narrow down your search to be better, accurate and more fruit-bearing version than before.
Cheap vs expensive: what’s the difference?
As far as I can tell, there is no Golden line that marks the differences between watches being either cheap or expensive. Then again as a rule of thumb, you can generally expect cheap apple watch sport or cheap sports watches to have fewer added features whilst the expensive ones will have all the features in the world and then some. The cheaper ones will also be much easier to use since there aren’t gonna be a ton of features standing at every turn screaming for your attention.
Many advanced watches offer ultra tech-savvy features like contactless payments, barometers, altimeters, voice-activated controls, gyroscopes, LTE services, heart rate monitors, pressure markers and more. some of the more recent ones can also make Starbucks orders, sync and play your music libraries, wirelessly upload run routes to Strava, or even help you create a more a personalized, customizable training program
A cheap sports watches model, on the other hand, will have none of it (barring a very few, of course).
Sticking closely to the bare minimum, these watches are mainly geared towards newbies who don’t, at the moment, need any advanced features or anything but want something that they can relate to and find a regular use for. That being said, some of the more newer ones in this niche nevertheless tend to with having advanced features nowadays that makes them even more of a better value for money offering than before.
With awesome features like HR monitors, tachymeters, GPS systems, and more trickling into this custom niche, it’s only a small matter of time before they become a full-blown multi-functional system on your wrist.
Things to consider: the four-finger rule
1) Display and backlighting – be it digital or analogue, it’s pretty important that the cheap apple watch sport of your preferences should have a good, if not great, backlight system on them. Having the ability to see the info’s under any lighting condition can come in quite handy if you are in to exercising in the dark or prefers to hit the tracks at night.
While some models, mainly the fully digital ones, will tend to come with having a proper backlight system on them, the analog ones will generally feature luminescent numerals and hands so that their time and info’s could even be read under poor and dim lights.
How to Replace Cheap Sports Watches Battery: Watch Video
2) Water resistance – basic or not, most of the best cheap sports watch models of today usually tends to come with having some sort of water resistance built into them, albeit with some variances. Some are only resistant to water for up to 30 meters, whereas others can easily withstand up to 200 meters or more.
The cheaper ones usually fall into the former criteria and yes, there are some inexpensive models that may perform better than the others, but they are far and few when compared with the general consensus and therefore, isn’t really worth pursuing diligently (they are still cheap, after all)
Look for something that has a rating of IP67 or more, and if you are only planning to take a few laps around the pool and not much else, a pair of cheap sports watches can definitely suit you just fine.
3) Wearable comfort – you could have all the features under the sun and a watch still gonna be a device you are gonna have to wear on your wrist – and that’s why wearable comfort and general ease of use are considered the dealmakers when it comes to this niche, especially among the cheaper bunches.
Make it a point to opt for a watch that generally feels good on the wrist, look for something small, something wide and something that doesn’t carry much weight. Then again, most of the cheap sports watches will have either a resin or a polycarbonate casing. So, shooting for lightness and convenience is not gonna be a major problem here with this niche.
4) Battery life – this one area that most of us tend to overlook on our pursuit to have the most amount of features at the least amount of pricing. However, and trust me on this, when you choose a sports watch, especially a cheaper kind, it’s absolutely imperative that you look for a model that has a decent, if not great battery life.
If power guzzlers like GPS and HRM’s are not something that you would wanna miss out on, buying a watch that has a great battery life and is up to the task is as essential as any other buying aspects.
The Best Cheap Sport Watches To Buy In 2018: Pebble, Ticwatch Moov Now and More
When it comes to cheap apple watch sport models,The polar M200 have had been one of our absolute favorites for the past few years, and even though it is now positively ancient according to the modern standards, it still remains to be a pretty worthy option to consider courtesy of the many, many things it brings to the table.
The round face design is alluring enough to be a daily driver, and the IP67 water resistance means that you don’t need to take it off very much, be it when showering or a long lap in the pool. The companion Polar app is pretty impressive and the UI still stands to be one of the most intuitive ones in the market. Molding rather seamlessly into a curvy, unibody design, the strap (or should I say casing?) is crafted out from silicon and is, therefore, super comfortable to sport, even for long sessions
By opting to buy this wearable, you’ll get – taking a deep breath – wrist based optical heart rate tracking, Built-in GPS tracking, smart notifications, customized training routines through the app, multiple strap color options and an awesome battery life that can last for a week on a single charge – breathing out.
- Easy to use UI and app
- Integrated GPS unit with activity tracker
- On-board heart rate optical monitor
- Water and dust resistance (IP67 rated)
- Comfortable form-fitting silicon band
- Sunlight legibility isn’t that great
- A bit on the older side
Affordably handsome, the Garmin Forerunner 35 comes with packing in a ton of high-end features that otherwise you would only find in Garmin’s pricier, elite models – but now with a cheaper, wallet-friendly price tag and a great form factor to better match it
In addition to its capability to offer a pretty large array of run-centric metrics, the GPS enabled wearable comes with having an inbuilt heart rate monitor, smart notification functions (for both calls and messages) and a top of the line activity tracker set up. What does all that mean for you? It means that you can get fitness and activity data over a plethora of different sports and not just be limited to running or sprinting – quite handy if you are into triathlons or multi-sports.
The display is brilliant and even though it’s monochromatic in nature (to save on battery, I reckon), it still has enough vibrancy and punch to be of service even under heavy lighting conditions. Furthermore, the device boasts a water resistance that goes up to 200 meters, and as a final nail in the coffin, the casing also has mineral glass protection on top and bottom to better shield it against the many perils of the world.
- Lightweight, easy to sport design and form factor
- Punchy display with mineral glass protection
- Inbuilt optical heart-rate monitor
- Ultra-precise GPS tracking unit
- IP68 rated water and dust resistance
- No dedicated swimming or pool mode
- Slight latency with smart notifications
The current king of the cheap sports watches segment, Mobvoi’s excellent Ticwatch E is brilliantly unique in the sense that it is one of the cheapest and affordable ways to get in on the Smartwatch trend. Conveniently priced at around 160$, the watch offers an excellent design. A fantastic software system and a top of the line set of features that certainly sets it apart from the rest of the wearable cohort.
Utilizing a very simple design made splashy by a clear plastic coating that gives it a very nice sheen, the watch may come off as being a big unit with its 44-MM casing. However, being extremely lightweight and having a super soft silicone band has made this wearable one of the most comfortable ones to sport right now.
The Ticwatch E runs on wear OS 2.0 which means that everything you know, love and hate about Google’s Smartwatch platform is present here with the only exception being Google Pay (only because there is no NFC here). The inbuilt GPS unit is pretty good and even though it has a few misfiring moments here and there, its accuracy and performances are enough to get the job done.
- Handsome, utilitarian design
- Android Wear 2.0 with support for Google Assistant
- Inbuilt heart rate monitor and GPS tracker
- Bright, vivid screen with ample backlight
- Fully featured fitness tracker
- No support for Google Pay
- The GPS is not that precise nor fast
Boasting major improvements over its predecessors (like a color display, better battery life, and a brand new curvy design), the company’s latest Kick starter backed cheap apple watch sport model, the Pebble time, can easily observe to be their most accomplished effort till yet. From a design perspective, the new modern design looks rather refreshing and as I mentioned before, the vibrant, punchy display is what that really makes it come alive – despite its rather small size.
Just like its previous iterations, the Time boasts multi-platform compatibility, so it works fine with both Android and iOS devices, but not with Windows devices (not that we are complaining, really). The smart notification feature on board is impressive with alerts arriving at blazing fast speeds. Additionally, there is also a discreet mode which uses vibration to alert you and not by loudly chiming – something our busy lives would really appreciate on.
The pebble, apart from all the fitness-oriented features it has on board, has another great feature called voice notes that allows you to record and play voice notes right from the watch itself. Needless to say, it impressed us, even while walking past loud environments; the mic was still able to pick up my voice and voice alone.
- Easy on the eyes design and form factor
- Stunning display with always-on function
- Voice to text functionality
- Multi platform compatibility
- Awesome battery life
- The display is a bit too small
- Limited support now that the company has shut down
It was with ZenWatch 3 (which is brilliant, by the way) did Asus had decided to go for the more mainstream round way. But if you aren’t really bothered the whole rectangular or circular hullabaloos, the Zenwatch 3 is definitely an option well worth considering. Running on a mildly customized wear OS 2.0, and featuring a somewhat sleek, polished design, the Zen watch 3 brings a lot to the table like IP67 water resistance, built-in pedometer, smart notification support, activity tracker and more, which makes it a very real bargain for the more affordable price it comes in.
The brilliant AMOLED screen is one of the major highlights of this watch and because of its small size; there is no real pixilation in sight. This unique AMOLED enabled aspect not only helps to provide a sharper, clearer picture but also helps massively with its sunlight visibility making it one of the best in its class.
Coming to the features, there is an inbuilt microphone (to help you answer calls), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity options. Additionally, the device also carries a fully featured notification system and a Corning Gorilla Glass protection. None of which are any major news – mind you, but they are still pretty great options to have especially, under such a low and affordable price ranges.
The only single gripe that we had with the ZenWatch 2 was its non-compliance with iOS devices, which I reckon can be a major deal breaker for some people, especially for those who own iPhones (hang in there guys!).
- Bright AMOLED display
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
- Activity tracker with inbuilt pedometer
- Brilliantly customizable
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- Does not support iOS devices
- The strap is a bit too stiff and scrunchy
Granted, the Moov Now Fitness tracker is not really a great looker and yes, it dearly lacks a screen. but the little nitty-gritties like them aren’t really gonna stop it from being one of the best fitness trackers on the planet right now thanks to the advanced inbuilt 9 axis accelerometer – the same which can be found in missile targeting and navigation systems.
Designed to not only track your daily steps and calorie intake rates, the watch/tracker also features a dedicated voice coach that can help you better yourself by following its dedicated programmers. Additionally, the brilliant IP67 water resistance allows it to be used under any conditions and the unique design enables you to sport it even on your ankles – a rather nice touch that goes a long way in ensuring its ease of use.
As far as this wearable is concerned, the App is where the magic really happens. Fantastically made, the app uses the tracker as a data collection point and uses the said data to devise customized training programmers that specifically target the user and his needs. For example; by enabling the speed coaching mode on the app, the app can show you a specific target pace and while you are on the run, the apps inbuilt voice coach can tell you exactly when you need to speed up or down to reap maximum results, depending on your physical metrics and how good you are doing.
- Unique, utilitarian modular design
- Pool compatible with dedicated swim modes
- Highly personalized audio coaching setup
- Engaging color options
- Exceptional battery life (up to 6 months)
- Relies too much on the app
- No heart rate sensor
A somewhat feminine activity tracker that may remind you of earlier Fitbit iterations, Mio drive is perfect for those who are looking to buy an unobtrusive, easy to sport wearable that won’t break the bank but isn’t short on features either. The sleek, slim tracker is extremely lightweight and is designed to be worn all day and night without ever standing out or be a major bother.
Yes, the watch may look a bit on the industrial side and yes, the screen isn’t that good either, but what really makes this device such a great option to consider is actually hidden within its casing.An LED array designed to rest against your wrist reads your heart rate 24/7 and can make meaningful, worthwhile recommendations on how much activity you should be doing, and how much you are doing now.
It does this so by counting the arbitrary number of steps you have taken and combining it with both your physical characteristics as well as your heart rate readings to exactly analyze and determine the needed movements you need to make to enhance your health and physical attributes.
Enabled by a powerful activity intelligence, the Mio drive also gaminess your activities and turns your daily movements into a single score, urging you every day to beat that number and better yourself – perfect for those who need a tiny push to get things done.
- Lightweight, easy on the eyes design
- Inbuilt optical array HRM
- On-board pedometer with sedentary alerts
- Splash and dust resistance (IP57)
- Dedicated calorie tracker mode
- The display isn’t that great
- Resting heart rate detection is not that precise
Made to an iconic design and boasting impressive performances, the Timex Ironman GPS watch comes with a dedicated running mode, a bright E-Ink screen, a countdown timer, an alarm system, and a rather powerful Indiglo light up dial that makes it really easy to see the time, even under lowlight conditions. Furthermore, the device is also water resistant up to 100 meters and uniquely comes with sporting a very neo-rugged design that makes it possible to go swimming and diving with it sans any major problems.
An ultimate choice for any athlete, the Ironman may not boast much in terms of features or functions. However, if you are after a dependable cheap sports watches model that gets the basics right, this is the one to get. Going by their tagline “the simplest GPS watch ever” the watch certainly delivers on that front by featuring a GPS chip that is one of the best in its class. Blazingly fast, precise and, judging by how long the battery is rated to last (12-hours on GPS mode), it’s also very power efficient unlike some of the other more pricier models out there (looking at you Apple Watch).
- Rugged yet extremely modern design
- Well readable screen with Indiglo backlight
- Powerful, precise and power efficient GPS unit
- Excellent battery life
- Soft, comfortable silicone band
- The design may not appeal to everyone
- The ribbed band is a sweat and dirt magnet
Yes, you are seeing it right, and yes, its hybrid model, but if you can live with the prospect of not having a touchscreen and don’t mind strapping on an older model, the Nokia Steel (formerly Withings) is the right one for you. one of the best-looking hybrid watches on the planet, the steel HR is not only just a pretty face but also carries a ton of features that you might only find in watches that cost a few hundred dollars more and not look half as this stunning.
Imazine Ion Cheap Sports Watches Battery Replacement
Aside from looking like a million bucks on your wrist, this watch, with help from its on board HRM and sensor arrays, can help you track up everything from your heart rates, your workout details, calorie burn rates and more by measuring your vitals and conditions through the on board smart program on an hourly basis.
Water resistant up to 100 meters, the Steel HR can also be taken to the pool. And when there, it can auto-detect your swimming activities and can churn out relevant data’s on it like the number of laps, strides, strokes you have taken and the number of calories you have burned by it.
Like any hybrid out there, the battery life is fairly awesome with the Steel HR and going a step further, there is also a power saving mode that, when activated, can double the run time you are expecting to have from it. Again being a hybrid, the watch relies mostly on its companion app to do the heavy lifting, which at the end of the day, is not really a bother considering that the app has a multi platform support and is a well-designed one at that.
- Extremely stunning looks
- Top of the line heart rate monitor
- Fully featured fitness tracker with sedentary alert
- Brilliantly designed and easy to use app
- Long lasting battery with dedicated power saving mode
- A tad bit on the larger side
- The strap is too stiff and narrow
The Final Verdict About Best Cheap Sports Watches In 2018!
The time when the wonder of sports watches was only reserved for the rich and powerful is now officially over, new and improved advances in technology and crafting materials mean that cheap sports watches are now smaller, faster, more advanced and – crucially – more affordable and easy on the wallet than ever before.
Now, let us be upfront with you; if you are wishing to compromise with the pricing, expect to compromise a little bit with their features or looks too. Some of the cheap sports watches we have reviewed above aren’t really on the cutting edge, nor are they gonna win any prizes for their styles.
That being said, all of the devices that we had listed here offers smart notifications, activity tracking and other such key features that have been making general sports watches be such an enticing device to own until now – so, it’s still money well spent. If anything, you’ll be quite surprised by what a few bills can get you, and that my friend, is what this review is all about.