10. Apple Watch Series 3 – Best Cheap iPhone Smartwatch
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes | Accepts Calls: Yes | Weatherproof: Yes | GPS: Yes | Size(s): 38mm, 42mm | Band Size(s): N/A | Display: 1.34”, 1.57” | Weight: 1.48oz, 1.87oz | Colors: Black, Silver, White | Battery Life: Up to 18 hours | Heart Rate Monitor: Yes | Connectivity / LTE: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 | Mobile Payments / NFC: Yes | Compatibility: iPhone only | Automatic Workout Tracking: Yes | Sleep Tracking: Yes | Charging: Wireless | OS: Watch OS 5 | Processor: Dual-core Apple S3 | Onboard Storage: 8GB, 16GB Sale $169.00 View on Amazon Last update on 2021-02-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As with the Android smartwatch above, I also found a great cheap iPhone smartwatch – as you might expect, it’s made by Apple. I specifically chose the Apple Watch Series 3 since this blends many of the excellent features inherent in the Apple Watch line while also being relatively affordable compared to its more recent and higher-priced counterparts.
It’s a pretty small and comfortable smartwatch by default, with a face size of only 38 mm. The face is also made with aluminum and a lightweight black sport band. The outside isn’t very customizable so you’re stuck with the block Apple aesthetic. This will be hit or miss depending on whether you like this style already.
Fortunately, the actual watch face is much more customizable. Plus, you can add additional apps to the home screen or tweak things like brightness and color saturation.
But this is also a great watch thanks to its excellent features. It has GPS tracking on by default, but you can turn this off to increase its battery life. This swimproof smartwatch includes an optical heart sensor to help you meet your fitness goals and alert you to abnormally high or low heartbeats. An additional elevation sensor might make this a great choice for hikers or those who get their exercise from spending time in the mountains.
As it runs on the watchOS from Apple, it also includes lots of activity data, such as your daily calorie burning, exercise trends, and more. The Apple App Store is built into the watch by default, so you can easily download additional apps and widgets to really cement this as your watch, not just one you got from a store that’s like all the others.
I found the emergency SOS function particularly interesting, as this makes it a great watch for explorers or people who may need to be bailed out of a bad situation in the future. However, be advised that you do need the GPS feature to be on for this to work. Unfortunately, the battery life is usually only around 18 hours or so, which is a pretty big downside compared to other watches.
Beyond that, it allows you to store your music, podcasts, and audiobooks – again, since this is an Apple watch, downloading that content is pretty quick and easy. All in all, it’s an affordable choice that’s pretty versatile in terms of what it offers. While it isn’t the best fitness-focused smartwatch, it may be one of the best cheap smartwatches for media and for general, everyday use. Pros
- Very easy to download lots of media content, like music and books, from iTunes and similar stores
- Easy to download apps from the App Store
- Very lightweight and comfortable on average
- Comes with emergency SOS features in case you get stuck
- The watch is pretty basic in aesthetics and there are only two color choices
Long-time readers already know how I write what I do, but for those not in the know, here’s the breakdown:
- When I do a smartwatch review, I check them all out personally
- I fiddle with them for a bit before writing down notes
- In the event that I don’t buy the smartwatches, I’ll read more user reviews since those represent real, firsthand experiences with the products in question
- Combined, all this gives me enough information to write an effective smartwatch review
It was the same process as I tried to figure out which was the best overall cheap smartwatch from the bunch, plus figure out my own personal favorite. Fortunately, I work with a lot of tech heads who usually get new smartwatches or other devices when they can afford them.
Since none of us are millionaires, many of them also had relatively affordable or budget-friendly smartwatches that were also conveniently the same ones I was trying to review.
In the end, I got plenty of hands-on experience and read through dozens of other reviews to come to my conclusions. I think that, if you do end up buying any of the smartwatches above, you’ll find that your experience is pretty close or identical to what I talk about.