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The 5 Best Smart Watches Under $50

By Jeff Jamison May 07, 2021 0 comments

Smartwatches have quickly become a lot more common, primarily because they are no longer prohibitively expensive. Originally, these watches were luxury items compatible with a small number of phone models. But with the small screen and limited functions, they didn't appeal to many consumers.

Smartwatches have changed drastically over the past few years, as there are tons of low-cost smartwatches available with higher-quality specs and a better range of features. If you've ever considered one for hiking, working out, or everyday wear, these are just a few smartwatches that are compatible with most phones and should have everything you need.

Smart Watch Buyer's Guide

young woman workout in gym using his smartwatch

Before going into any specific products, it’s important to know a couple of traits of smartwatches that can help you choose the right device for your needs. There are all sorts of watches with a range of features as well as myths and confusions that are important to clear up before you buy one.

For the most part, the core of a smartwatch is the same overall. It will have an LCD screen, connect to compatible smartphones via Bluetooth, and have applications and health monitors regardless of your model, but there are a few unique traits to certain watches and specific to others that you should watch out for.

Fitness Smart Watches Versus Everyday Smart Watches

There are certainly some minor differences between each smartwatch, but the general smartwatch type you go with determines the major differences. There are two categories, with the first being an everyday smartwatch that you wear to work or as a replacement for a normal timekeeper. This type of smartwatch gives much more functionality by featuring social apps, call and messaging options, and syncing with a wider range of applications on your phone.

Fitness tracking smartwatches are much lighter in terms of apps and functionality but are far more common and generally not as limited as you might think. These usually advertise their activity tracking and. record things like your heart rate, step count, walking speed, sleep tracker, and more, but many everyday smartwatches do this, too. Both can function in similar roles, but if you don’t intend on using your smartwatch as a fitness tool, you don’t necessarily need to go with a more specialized product.

Phones That Work With Smart Watches

When looking to purchase any smartwatch, it’s equally important to know which kinds of smartphones work with your watch model. Several smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, are designed to work solely with a specific brand of phones and software, but these are in the minority. Most smartwatches are more universal than that and have smart features that can work with an Android phone or iOS device. As a result, you should always make sure the budget smartwatch you’re considering will work with your device before purchasing it.

Unless the company making a given watch makes phones themselves, most smartwatches are compatible with any type of smartphone. They generally connect to the phone using Bluetooth and work with applications on that phone to transfer data and even connect calls, meaning you won’t often have to worry about getting a smartwatch from a certain brand. It’s still important to check your device’s compatibility just in case, but it’s not often a problem and won’t be a concern for most of the smartwatches listed later on in our review.

Charging Smart Watch Batteries

When it comes to smartwatch batteries, those who have never used one might be confused about what is involved with maintaining the charge of these small devices. Smartwatches have LCD watch face touch screens like most smartphones, so they can use a large amount of power. That said, it’s important to know that the battery life is at least a full day or longer with a full charge.

As for how they charge, this can depend on the product and how many different functions it has, as app-heavy everyday smartwatches are usually going to drain more power than a stripped-down fitness smartwatch. Nonetheless, they usually have a USB charger included, and some models can even be reloaded using wireless charging pads over a few short hours at most.

Smart Watch Cameras

One of the more recent innovations in smartwatches is the inclusion of cameras, but a camera should never be the dealbreaker if you’re looking into a particular model that doesn’t include one. These are usually quite powerful compared to what you’d expect from such a small device, but due to the limited size and resolution of the device, your cell phone’s camera is of much higher quality.

Smartwatch cameras are a great feature, but not often a vital one. They’re a bonus more than anything else, and while it’s great for taking quick shots while out in the world without taking out and unlocking your phone, it’s not a large enough convenience for you to worry about it unless you’re looking for a quick camera.

Smart Watch Accessories

The last thing that a prospective smartwatch buyer should consider is the accessories you might need, which is a fairly small list that doesn’t generally involve extra purchases. Extra charge cables can certainly help, but depending on the type of port it uses (such as Micro USB or USB-C), you may already have these cables lying around.

Otherwise, the only real additional thing you might look into are wrist straps, but most smartwatches use a clean rubber strap that sits comfortably and can adjust for different wrist sizes. That said, the technology inside a smartwatch only really involves the small circle or box the strap holds onto, so nearly any watch strap can act as a suitable replacement or alternative if you need one.

The Best Smart Watches Under $50

With these considerations out of the way, it’s time to find the best affordable smartwatch under $50. Since smartwatches have historically been quite expensive, especially well-known models like the Apple Watch or FitBit Versa, many people will assume that they’re still high-end products that only a few tech fanatics will go for, but several different types of smartwatches are more affordable than ever, without sacrificing the quality or functions of a powerful smartwatch.

Sport Smart Pedometer Watch

amazing full function bluetooth sport smart watch pedometer

Features

  • Compatible with all Samsung Galaxy and iPhones via Bluetooth
  • Contains a pedometer, sedentary reminder, and sleep monitor
  • Compact high-quality camera for photos and videos
  • TF card slot for photo and music storage
  • Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp functionality

While this watch is advertised as a fitness tracker, it’s hard not to recommend it to nearly anyone looking for an everyday smartwatch. This budget smartwatch contains all sorts of functionalities that let you use most of your phone’s average functions, with the added features of a camera and compatibility with several social apps.

That said, this watch is even stronger for those looking for a diverse smartwatch that benefits them even more in their workouts. With its step counter, heart rate monitor, and activity tracker, it’s an effective smartwatch for those wishing to keep track of their fitness activities while still having the full functions of their phone right on their wrist.

Full Function Bluetooth Smart Watch

amazing full function bluetooth smart watch camera fitness

Features

  • Compatible with all Samsung Galaxy and iPhones via Bluetooth
  • 124 MB storage and additional card slot for 64 MB cards
  • Doesn’t require a smartphone-connected for most applications
  • High definition touch screen

Once again, this watch features a massive variety of features for those looking for a fitness smartwatch, but that’s not to say that this model is only for athletes. Those who appreciate these features will especially be happy that their phone doesn’t need to be connected for most of its functions, making it something you can use separate from your cellular device.

Those who want a more standard smartwatch, however, will find this product even more fulfilling. Connecting it provides full call connectivity and remote camera control to send photos taken through the watch’s camera directly to your phone, as well as clear sound recording to let you send voice memos and make recordings quickly and easily.

Next Generation Fitness Tracker Smartwatch

the next generation of smartwatch fitness tracker
Features
  • Compatible with all Samsung Galaxy and iPhones via Bluetooth
  • 124 MB Storage with 64 MB SD card compatibility
  • Long-lasting battery life with built-in USB charger
  • Clear and customizable sound quality for playback and recording

Even though this watch is marketed as a fitness tracker, it’s very likely the best option for those wanting a more general smartwatch rather than a fitness tool largely due to the sound quality. It lets you play music and record sound with significantly greater ease than most other smartwatches on the market.

This watch also features a clean operating system and a menu that lets you use it with all the apps you want, or as minimally you’d like if you prefer something a little simpler. It’s a great tool for occasional hikers, as well as those who want a more convenient smartwatch to wear at work and on their commute.

Sport & Fitness Smartwatch

next generation of sports/gitness smartwatch equipped with calorie burn tracking

Features

  • Modifiable sport tracking modes that include running, cycling, basketball, and more
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and sweat-proof exterior
  • Exceptionally long-lasting battery charge
  • Compatible with all smartphone models

This smartwatch is the first on this list that doesn’t just include sport features but is actively about providing a boost to your fitness routine. This smartwatch is much more similar to a Fitbit, keeping track of everything from your heart rate to your steps with the intent to provide diverse tracking in various activities to help you better understand how your body is functioning.

This watch doesn’t have as much in the way of applications that you’d normally use on your phone but instead can connect to your phone via Bluetooth to help you upload this information to other applications that let you fully track your progress. It’s certainly not as helpful for those wishing to have an everyday smartwatch, but those wanting a fitness-oriented one will be satisfied with everything this one brings to the table.

Distance Tracking Fitness Smartwatch

our most popular fitness smartwatch tracks your heart rate

Features

  • Multiple sport tracking modes including walking, running, hiking, and more
  • Can use most applications with and without syncing with your smartphone
  • Activity trackers for recording heart rates, blood pressure walking distance, and more
  • Sweatproof and protective exterior

This particular watch is essentially a middle ground between the more everyday wear smartwatches and the fitness-oriented watches. It can do all the tracking and alternative modes to keep check of your burned calories and blood pressure while working out, while also having access to your phone’s calls, texts, and music.

This watch is also much heavier than the Sport & Fitness watch mentioned above, but that weight comes with a better range of features that let you call and check emails and do much more with your phone connected than just exchange information. These features make it especially good for hikers and those that want a more sturdy and functional device.

Conclusion

What you need from a smartwatch is going to vary massively, but it’s probably clear by now that these are most effective for those looking for products to help them track and improve their fitness routine. Many have apps that let you do calls and interact with your phone much easier, but many are especially strong in terms of tracking everything from your steps to your heart rate.

If you aren’t looking primarily for these features, you should always be extremely careful going through the features of each phone. The best smartwatch is always going to be the one that suits your needs, and while you can’t go wrong with any of these if you want one for your workouts, each model is going to have different strengths depending on what you need from a good smartwatch.


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