The Best Cheap (Wear OS) Smartwatches of 2019

A smartwatch is like a fitness tracker and smartphone rolled up into a wristwatch.

Smartwatches are designed to pair with your phone's operating system (e.g. Android or Apple's iOS). This allows the watch to display notifications, load apps, make and take calls, send and receive texts, and to sync with other Bluetooth accessories (like a pair of wireless earbuds).

Many smartwatches include scientific instruments like a pedometer (i.e. a step counter), GPS, a blood pressure sensor and a heart rate monitor. Some watches are waterproof and designed for athletes.

The battery in a smartwatch only lasts for a few days at best. Wireless chargers can make life easier, but a smartwatch is higher maintenance than a traditional watch.

Smartwatches run large because the touchscreen display needs to be usable. That's one reason why there are more smartwatches designed for men than women.

Changing watch bands can make unisex watches more feminine. Alternatively, there are analog watches that have smart features (these are called hybrid watches).

If you decide that a smartwatch is worth it for you, make sure it's compatible with your phone. Here are the best-reviewed smartwatches that have sold for $200 or less in the last 12 months:

Good Price: $75 | Great Deal: $60

The Amazfit Bip has excellent battery life (lasting for a week or more on a charge), according to several Amazon customers who also praised the smartwatch’s fit and capabilities. The Bip doesn't come with a manual and several Amazon reviewers has a frustrating time looking for setup instructions online. Some customers found the Bip's fitness tracking features to be inaccurate.

Good Price: $200 | Great Deal: $173

This is a comfortable, good-looking watch that doubles as a fitness tracker, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers have two complaints: The battery-life is less than 24 hours; and the watch doesn't support some popular Android apps.

Good Price: $200 | Great Deal: $150

Fossil's Q smartwatch looks great and is easy to use, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers were disappointed that the watch's blue accents were darker in real life than in product photos and many customers wished that this watch came with NFC and a heart rate monitor. The Fossil Q needs to be charged nightly.

Sorry for the slim pickings, but most cheap smartwatches have horrible reviews. The now-discontinued Moto 360 smartwatch is well regarded and sometimes sells for as little as $80!

John DeFeo