Best Smart Watch Under 500

Best Smart Watch Under 500

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When it comes to smartwatches, there are many considerations that need to be made depending on your requirements. You will need to consider whether you want a connected only device that needs a phone to work or if you will require it to be able to function independently. Another consideration is the intended use – do you need a huge range of features or are you looking for a simple activity tracker? Do you require any special features such as GPS for trekking? Will you be away from a charging point for long periods of time? Which operating system does your phone use? We will examine various options that offer a diverse range of features and compatibility.

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch - Mystic Black (UK Version)
Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Blue Aluminium Case with Deep Navy Sport Band - Regular
HUAWEI Watch GT - GPS Smartwatch with 1.39" AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life
Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch - Mystic Black (UK Version)
Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Blue Aluminium Case with Deep Navy Sport Band - Regular
HUAWEI Watch GT - GPS Smartwatch with 1.39" AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life
£175.90
£199.99
£333.99
£95.00
£246.49
Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold
Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold
£175.90
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch - Mystic Black (UK Version)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch - Mystic Black (UK Version)
£199.99
Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Blue Aluminium Case with Deep Navy Sport Band - Regular
Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Blue Aluminium Case with Deep Navy Sport Band - Regular
£333.99
HUAWEI Watch GT - GPS Smartwatch with 1.39" AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black
HUAWEI Watch GT - GPS Smartwatch with 1.39" AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black
£95.00
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life
£246.49

Fitbit Versa 3 – Best for Sports Use

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold

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Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch with GPS, 24/7 Heart Rate, Voice Assistant & up to 6+ Days Battery, Midnight/Soft Gold
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 days with fast charge
  • Compatibility: Compatible with iOS 12.2 or higher & Android OS 7.0 or higher
  • Built-In GPS: With built-in GPS, leave your phone behind and explore the outdoors with pace and distance on your tracker and see a workout intensity map showing your route and effort in the app when you’re done.
  • 24/7 Heart Rate: Use 24/7 heart rate to better track calorie burn, optimise workouts and uncover personalised health trends that inspire you to make moves on your health and fitness goals.
  • Store & Play Music: Store and play your music and podcasts plus Spotify - Connect & Control and add Deezer playlists. Subscriptions required for use of music services; not available in all countries.
  • Operating System –  Fitbit OS
  • Compatibility – Android / IOS
  • Display – 1.6” AMOLED
  • Battery Life – Up to 6 Days
  • Water Resistant – Yes
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / NFC
  • Charging – Magnetic pin

Predominantly a fitness device, the Fitbit Versa 3 is lightweight, comfortable, and available in a range of colours. It is compatible with most smartphones and has built in GPS for outdoor tracking with the ability to plan routes and monitor progress in the phone app. The heart rate monitor is 24/7 which is able to track calorie usage more reliably and is linked to a feature which offer personalised health advice and fitness goals based on your results. The “Active Zone Minutes” feature alerts you to which heart rate zone you are in so you can adjust your activity accordingly. Sleep and stress tracking are built-in, and it can rate the quality of sleep using a scoring system.

This unit has built in Alexa compatibility with voice commands which can be used to set reminders, view weather forecasts, and control smart home appliances. Spotify music can be stored, and playback controlled.

Users report that the unit is stable when receiving notifications, has an accurate step counter, and works well with Alexa. Some users have mentioned that the vibration feature is weak, and the music storage and control feature temperamental. The capacitive button used to control certain features is divisive with some users saying that it is difficult to operate.  Also note that replacements watch bands can be fairly expensive as they use a proprietary system so universal options are not compatible.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 – Best for Android Users

Amazon.co.uk:Customer reviews: Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch – Mystic Black (UK Version)

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 4G Stainless Steel 45 mm Smart Watch - Mystic Black (UK Version)
  • Galaxy Watch3 4G encases game-changing tech in a classic watch body. Crafted from stainless-steel and fine leather, this timeless style goes with everything.
  • Stay connected, even when you don’t have your phone. With Galaxy Watch3 4G, you’re mobile, reachable, and ready to take on the day.
  • You’re always in tune with the world when you’re wearing Galaxy Watch3 4G. Receive texts, WhatsApps, calls, and even DJ your day, all from your wrist.
  • Keep an eye on your daily wellness with Galaxy Watch3 4G. Not only can you count your steps and track your heart rate, but it’ll track your sleep and offer insights for a holistic approach to wellbeing
  • What's in the box: Samsung Galaxy Watch3 4G with leather strap, wireless charger, user manual.
  • Operating System –  Tizen OS
  • Compatibility – Android / IOS
  • Display – 1.2” and 1.4” Super AMOLED
  • Battery Life – 2 to 3 days, depending on model.
  • Water Resistant – Yes, IP68
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi / Bluetooth and optional LTE
  • Charging – Wireless

A stylish watch with a premium design and available in a range of colours and versions, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is an excellent choice for Android users. It has a responsive touch screen with a good resolution that is clearly visible even in direct sunlight. For control, there is an innovative rotating bezel that makes navigating through the various screens and options far easier than by using a touchscreen alone. The casing is made of stainless steel and the band is real leather and of a standard fitment so alternative replacements should be plentiful if required. The screen is very strong and made of Gorilla Glass with good scratch resistance. Charging is wireless and a charger is included. Unfortunately, because of all the features, battery life is limited to 2 or 3 days which is still slightly better than sone Apple iWatch models.

This unit is fully featured with 24/7 heart rate monitoring, SpO2 oxygen level sensing, fall detection with SOS alert system which will automatically call emergency services if it detects that you are in trouble, and a full range of sports tracking features including step counter, GPS tracking and goal monitoring. Sleep and stress management features are included.

Full integration with the phone means that it can be used as an extension to the phone for receiving and making calls and sending and receiving messages. Notifications via various apps are possible, as it the ability to make payments directly from your wrist using Samsung Pay. This is a versatile device that would not look out of place either in the gym or the boardroom.

Users are generally satisfied; however, some have commented on poor sports tracking accuracy and problems with the Samsung Pay system.

Apple Watch 6 – Best for iPhone Users

Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Gold Aluminium Case with Pink Sand Sport Band – Regular

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Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 40mm Blue Aluminium Case with Deep Navy Sport Band - Regular
  • GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
  • Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app
  • Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app
  • The Always-On Retina display is 2.5x brighter outdoors when your wrist is down
  • S6 SiP is up to 20% faster than Series 5
  • Operating System – Watch OS7
  • Compatibility – IOS
  • Display – 1.78” OLED
  • Battery Life – 18 hours
  • Onboard Storage – 32GB
  • Water Resistant – Yes, 50m
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / NFC / LTE
  • Charging – Wireless

This is by far the best device for iPhone owners due to its virtually seamless integration with the phone and the huge range of features it offers. Available in 44mm and 40mm sizes and in a range of colours, customisation options are huge, with hundreds of choices of bands available, both from Apple and many third-party suppliers. The chassis is made of aluminium with a ceramic and sapphire crystal back and the ION-X glass is strengthened.

The display is always on and it is far brighter than previous models and viewable clearly even in direct sunlight. Built in features include GPS, blood oxygen level monitoring, heart rate (ECG), multiple sports tracking and a sleep monitor. There are dozens of external devices that can be connected to the Apple Watch such as blood pressure monitors from various manufacturers. 

This device has hundreds of native applications available in Apples App Store which are stored directly on the device thanks to its generous 32GB of internal storage. It can also store both music and podcasts for use without a phone on the go and apps are available for Spotify and others. Customisable notifications are delivered promptly, and the notification system is consistently accurate. Calls can be made directly from the watch and texts can be read and replied to using an innovative handwriting recognition text input system or via voice recognition. Siri is present and can control a range of phone features. 

Screen personalisation options are limitless, with hundreds of faces available including the ability to further customise each face with only those features you want for a contemporary look. All activity data can be synchronised to the iPhone Fitness app, which is among the best in the industry with hundreds of features and options.

Customers report that they are satisfied with most aspects of the device, with the exception of the low battery life. The watch is designed to monitor sleep quality, however the battery does not even last 24 hours so will need charging at least once a day which most users will want to do at night.

One thing to mention is that there are various older or cut-down versions of the Apple iWatch available including an SE version. This has reduced functionality; however, it retains the core features and may be worth buying as it is available for over £100 less than the Apple iWatch 6 base model.

Huawei Watch GT – Best Budget Android Choice

HUAWEI Watch GT – GPS Smartwatch with 1.39″ AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black

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HUAWEI Watch GT - GPS Smartwatch with 1.39" AMOLED Touchscreen, 2-Week Battery Life, 24/7 Continuous Heart Rate Tracking, Multiple Outdoor and Indoor Activities, 5ATM Waterproof, Black
  • 1.39" AMOLED touchscreen and ultra slim smartwatch at 10.6mm thickness and durable for its ceramic bezel design, stainless steel shell and DLC coating. Connectivity: Wi-Fi: Not supported, Bluetooth: BT4.2, BLE
  • Brings you around 2-week battery life with heart rate monitoring and GPS on thanks to the double chipset architecture and low energy consumption algorithm.
  • HUAWEI Watch GT smart watch comes with 24/7 continuous heart rate tracking providing you a realtime heartrate measurement and monitoring your health all the day (pressure monitoring). Wrist coverage range 14 ~ 21 cm
  • This HUAWEI smart watch is equipped with 3-satellite (GPS+GLONASS+GALILEO) positioning system worldwide to offer you a more accurate locating and tracking for all places.
  • Compatibility – Android / IOS
  • Display – 1.39” AMOLED
  • Battery Life – up to 2 weeks
  • Water Resistant – Yes, 50m
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth

This offering from Huawei has a traditional watch look with analogue effect watch faces that would not look too much out of place as a dress watch as well as an activity tracker.

The watch has a 1.39” AMOLED touch screen that is bright and has a good resolution and clarity even in direct sunlight. The bezel is ceramic, and it has a stainless-steel shell with DLC coating. The strap is rubber but of a standard size so it can be replaced with a metal strap if required.

One of the highlights of this device is the exceptional battery life – it can go for up to 2 weeks on a single charge with both the heart rate monitor and GPS turned on. In addition to these features this model offers 24/7 continuous heart rate monitoring with full VO2 MAX estimation, worldwide location tracking, sleep monitoring and multiple activity tracking options with data logging via the Android or IOS app. The watch is water resistant to 50m and rugged which makes it ideal for use for trekking especially when you consider the advanced GPS / GLONASS / GALILEO satellite tracking support and altimeter. The app offers personal coaching to help you achieve your goals and for swimmers it automatically provides a SWOLF score on completion of your swim.

Users report that the device works well with excellent battery life and a good app, although some mention that it is slightly on the large side and some have experienced problems with firmware updates. The range of faces available in the app is limited, however, this device is exceptionally well priced which somewhat makes up for any deficiencies.

TicWatch Pro 3 – Best for Longevity and Innovation

TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life

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TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch for Men and Women, Wear OS by Google, Dual-Layer Display 2.0, Long Battery Life
  • Innovative Technology Ensures Longer Battery Life - Dual-layer Display 2.0 supports Smart Mode and Enhanced Essential Mode, enables up to 3 days of battery life in Smart Mode, and up to 45 days in enhanced Essential Mode.
  • Updated Chipset, Better Experience - The 1st wear OS by Google smartwatch with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform. 1G RAM and 8G ROM enable smoother performance and more precise interactions.
  • Advanced Health and Fitness Monitoring - Multiple sports modes, with built-in GPS, barometer and 24-hour heart rate monitoring (empowered by a more accurate sensor ). New functions added including Sleep Tracking, Stress Monitoring, Noise Detection, etc.
  • Premium Design, Flagship Model - Stainless steel bezel (45mm), 1.4-inch AMOLED Screen (454*454 high-resolution) with auto-adjustable brightness, durable and anti-fingerprint glass cover. Built-in speaker and microphone, NFC payment supports Google Pay.
  • Lighter and More Comfortable - 28% lighter in weight while battery capacity increased by 40% compared with TicWatch product released in 2018. Changeable silicone strap with in-style design.
  • Compatibility – Android / IOS
  • Operating System – Wear OS
  • Display – 1.4” OLED
  • Battery Life – up to 45 days
  • Water Resistant – Yes, IP68
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Charging – Magnetic pin
  • Onboard Storage – 8GB

Billed as the watch with two screens, the TicWatch Pro has a dual layer display with both a smart and essential mode. When in smart mode it uses a full colour OLED display with an excellent resolution of 454 x 454 pixels with customisable faces and a battery life of around 3 days. When in essential mode, the display reverts to a simple LCD monochrome display with limited functionality and an extended battery life of up to 45 days. This is a powerful device with a fast processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

The design is premium with a stainless-steel bezel and changeable silicone strap while managing to remain both comfortable and light weight. Advanced health and fitness monitoring features include 24-hour heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, stress monitoring, altimeter and barometer and GPS tracking.  The TicExcercise feature includes tracking for 10 sports including running, swimming and even yoga. NFC payment via Google Pay is included. The watch has a built-in speaker and microphone for taking phone calls and notifications can be customised. There are over 1000 watch face options available in the store. The phone is compatible with hundreds of applications including Spotify and sports apps from Nike and Adidas. Smart features are via Google Assistant.

Due to the extended battery life in essentials mode, this device is best suited for users that plan to spend prolonged periods away from a charging point, such as hikers, and the inclusion of GPS features enhances this ability further.

User reports are generally very positive, although some have commented that there are issues with the quality of the build and the consistency of the software.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Budget Smartwatches – What is the Best Smartwatch under £100?

Amy Green

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