When it comes to tracking your fitness progress, The Best Cheap Running Watches go above and beyond the capabilities of standard fitness trackers. While fitness trackers excel at monitoring steps, calories burned, and GPS location, these exceptional running watches take movement metrics to the next level.
The enhanced functionality of a meticulously designed array of sensors and cutting-edge software is responsible for the remarkable advancements in providing users with invaluable insights into their running routines. These sophisticated tools offer precise measurements of pace, time, and distance, empowering individuals to optimize their training sessions and track their progress with utmost accuracy. This valuable information can be utilized to effectively trim precious seconds off your personal bests.
Types of Cheap Running Watches for 2023
In 2023, there is a variety of budget-friendly running watches available to cater to runners and fitness enthusiasts. Here are some types of cheap running watches that provide essential features without breaking the bank:
Basic Running Watches:
These entry-level running watches offer essential tracking features such as distance, pace, and time. They may have limited connectivity and customization options but serve well for beginners or those seeking straightforward tracking.
GPS Running Watches:
Budget-friendly GPS running watches provide accurate distance tracking using built-in GPS technology. They often include features like pace tracking, basic heart rate monitoring, and interval timers.
Activity Tracker Watches:
Activity tracker watches are designed for all-day wear, tracking steps, distance, and calories burned. While they may lack advanced running metrics, they offer a holistic view of your daily activity.
Heart Rate Monitor Watches:
These watches focus on heart rate tracking during workouts. While they may lack built-in GPS, they can pair with a smartphone to track routes. They are suitable for runners who prioritize heart rate zone training.
Smartwatch-Style Running Watches:
Some budget-friendly smartwatches offer basic running features alongside smartphone notifications, music control, and customizable watch faces. They provide a balanced mix of fitness and smart functionalities.
Entry-Level Multisport Watches:
These watches cater to runners who occasionally engage in other sports like cycling or swimming. They offer basic metrics for multiple activities and are a cost-effective choice for multisport enthusiasts.
App-Connected Running Watches:
Certain running watches rely on smartphone apps for GPS tracking and data synchronization. These watches are often more affordable and suitable for runners who prefer carrying their smartphones during workouts.
Children’s Running Watches:
Designed for young runners, these watches offer basic tracking features while encouraging active habits in a fun and engaging way.
Refurbished or Older Models:
Consider refurbished or previous-generation models from reputable brands for cost-effective options that still provide reliable tracking and features.
What To Look For While Buying Cheap Running Watches
When purchasing a cheap running watch in 2023, consider these factors to ensure you get a reliable device that suits your fitness needs:
Essential Running Metrics:
Look for a watch that provides essential running metrics such as distance, pace, and time. These basics are crucial for tracking your runs effectively.
If outdoor tracking matters to you, opt for a watch with built-in GPS. This feature accurately measures distance and helps map your routes.
Heart Rate Monitoring:
Choose a watch with heart rate monitoring if you’re interested in tracking your heart rate zones and improving your training based on this data.
Compatibility and Connectivity:
Ensure the watch is compatible with your smartphone’s operating system. Some watches offer app connectivity for data synchronization and more advanced features.
Consider the battery life of the watch, especially for longer runs or multi-day activities. A longer battery life ensures your watch won’t run out of power mid-run.
If you plan to run in various weather conditions or want the option to swim with your watch, opt for one with sufficient water resistance.
Choose a watch with a clear and readable display, especially in outdoor lighting. Some watches offer customizable watch faces for better visibility.
Ease of Use:
A user-friendly interface is crucial during your runs. Look for intuitive navigation and easy button access, allowing you to operate the watch without distraction.
Since running watches are exposed to outdoor elements, opt for a model with durable construction that can withstand sweat and occasional bumps.
Comfort and Fit:
Consider the watch’s size, weight, and strap material. A comfortable fit ensures your watch won’t cause discomfort during longer runs.
Choose a reputable brand known for producing reliable fitness devices. Reading user reviews and checking for warranties can provide insight into the watch’s durability and performance.
While budget watches may not have extensive features, some may offer extras like smartphone notifications, activity tracking, or basic smartwatch functions.
Price and Value:
Set a budget and seek watches that offer the best value within that range. Compare features and choose the watch that provides the most relevant functions for your needs.
Top 5 Best Cheap Running Watches
1. Garmin Forerunner 55
Best Cheap Beginner Running Watch
The Garmin Forerunner 55 has emerged as a top contender in the realm of best cheap running watches, owing to its intelligent and user-friendly design, as well as its well-crafted training capabilities.
The Forerunner 55 bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor, the Forerunner 45, and this is certainly not a negative aspect. By providing distinct buttons for various functions such as menu access, navigation, and activity initiation, the user is relieved from the burden of memorizing complex multi-function controls. This thoughtful design ensures that even novice users can effortlessly operate the watch, even when wearing gloves.
The Forerunner 55 is enhanced by Garmin’s renowned GPS accuracy, ensuring precise and reliable tracking of your activities. Heart rate monitoring is an exceptional feature that offers a multitude of benefits. Similar to other top-notch Garmin watches, the Forerunner 55 boasts an exceptional ‘body battery’ functionality, which empowers you to effectively monitor and regulate your daily periods of rest and physical exertion.
|Model Name||Forerunner 55, Aqua|
|Screen Size||1.04 Inches|
|Reasons To Buy||Reasons To Avoid|
|+ Suggested workouts give structure||– No on-watch sleep widget|
|+ Recovery time suggestions||—|
|+ Well-designed controls||—|
2. Amazfit Bip 3 Pro
The Bip S, a remarkable successor to the Bip 3 that brings forth a plethora of enhancements in both performance and features. What’s truly astonishing is that all these remarkable upgrades come at an incredibly affordable price point of just $70. The biometric sensor capabilities of this watch, while not reaching the same level as other leading brands, demonstrate a significant improvement compared to previous Bip models.
Moreover, this remarkable timepiece goes above and beyond by providing an impressive array of over 61 trackable sports activities, surpassing its predecessors by more than threefold.
The battery life of this running watch is slightly affected by the GPS tracking feature, reducing its impressive 40-day duration to approximately 14 days. However, even with this adjustment, the battery life remains commendable and should not be overlooked.
Additionally, it is worth noting that there may be instances where the device intermittently fails to accurately track your location amidst towering structures. This is particularly relevant for individuals residing or engaging in physical activities within urban environments.
|Model Name||Bip 3 Pro|
|Style||Bip 3 Pro|
|Screen Size||1.69 Inches|
|Reasons To Buy||Reasons To Avoid|
|+ Super long battery life||– Tall buildings interrupt GPS signal|
|+ Charges twice as quickly as some previous versions||—|
|+ Unbeatable price for the functionality||—|
3. Polar M200
A Cheap Running Watch That Tracks Most Things
The Polar M200 stands out as an exceptionally cost-effective choice, particularly when one takes into account the multitude of features packed into this budget-friendly running watch. The remarkable features of this cutting-edge device, brace yourself for an array of functionalities that will leave you in awe. Prepare to embark on a journey of advanced fitness tracking with the inclusion of wrist-based heart rate monitoring, ensuring accurate and real-time data at your fingertips.
Seamlessly navigate your surroundings with built-in GPS capabilities, allowing you to explore new routes and conquer uncharted territories. Stay effortlessly connected to your digital world with the convenience of smartphone notifications delivered straight to your wrist. From important calls to timely messages, never miss a beat while staying focused on your fitness goals. Embrace a holistic approach to wellness with all-day activity tracking, providing comprehensive insights into your daily movements and progress.
Unlock the full potential of your workouts with personalized training programs, meticulously crafted to suit your individual needs. Tailored to your preferences and goals, these programs are easily accessible through the accompanying app, ensuring a seamless and intuitive user experience. Express your unique style with a range of captivating color options, allowing you to personalize your device and make a bold fashion statement.
The round face of this product has been meticulously designed to exude an irresistible charm that makes it perfect for everyday use. Its water-resistant build ensures that you can confidently wear it without the need for frequent removal. The seamless integration of the Polar Flow app with popular fitness services such as Training Peaks and Strava ensures a smooth transition for users. This effortless transition, however, should not be mistaken for the physical discomfort that may accompany a challenging training session.
|Screen Size||0.96 Inches|
|Reasons To Buy||Reasons To Avoid|
|+ Excellent value for money wearable||– Plain/dated designed app support|
|+ Good app||– GPS can be slow to lock on|
4. Amazfit GTS 2
A Slim, Stylish, and Affordable Running Watch
Introducing yet another exceptional and budget-friendly running watch that boasts an array of impressive specifications, making it a remarkable choice for fitness enthusiasts seeking optimal value for their investment. The Amazfit GTS 2 boasts an impressive array of features that cater to the needs of fitness enthusiasts. One noteworthy attribute is its built-in GPS functionality, which allows users to effortlessly track their training sessions. Gone are the days of relying on external devices or smartphone apps to monitor your progress – the Amazfit GTS 2 has got you covered. But that’s not all.
This cutting-edge smartwatch takes convenience to the next level with its onboard music player. By seamlessly connecting your headphones via Bluetooth, you can immerse yourself in your favorite running playlist without the hassle of carrying your phone along. This means you can fully focus on your workout, unencumbered by any unnecessary distractions. With the Amazfit GTS 2, you can experience the ultimate freedom and convenience during your fitness journey. Say goodbye to cumbersome devices and hello to a streamlined and enjoyable workout experience.
With its captivating always-on AMOLED display, this remarkable device ensures that your workout statistics are readily accessible with just a quick glance. Notably, this display boasts exceptional visibility, even under the glaring rays of the sun, making it effortless to stay informed about your progress throughout the day. While the battery life of the new GTS model may not match the remarkable longevity of its predecessor, it still offers a commendable performance.
In basic mode, users can expect the device to remain operational for a respectable duration of up to 20 days. Even with the GPS feature enabled, the GTS manages to sustain itself for a commendable 25 hours, ensuring that users can rely on its functionality throughout their activities. This product is quite impressive, especially considering its affordable price.
The Amazfit application also boasts an impressive array of features. Notably, it offers users the convenience of clear and easily navigable maps that showcase their routes in a visually appealing manner. Additionally, the app provides users with comprehensive graphs that display both current and historical data, allowing for a seamless browsing experience. While it may not boast the same level of prestige as the Apple Watch, this remarkable timepiece offers an exceptional value proposition.
|Reasons To Buy||Reasons To Avoid|
|+ Vivid AMOLED display||– Shorter battery life than GTS|
|+ On-board music player||– PAI score not helpful|
5. Fitbit Versa 3
Best Simple Running Watch
With the inclusion of built-in GPS, the Fitbit Versa 3 sets itself apart from its predecessor, elevating its status from a mere fitness tracker to a highly sought-after and affordable running watch.
The enhanced AMOLED screen offers exceptional readability, ensuring that the display remains sharp and clear from any viewing angle. One convenient feature available is the ‘always on’ option, allowing users to effortlessly access and monitor data in real-time while on the go. This functionality enables users to simply glance at the data as they continue with their tasks, ensuring seamless and uninterrupted workflow.
In addition to its impressive features, this device also boasts the convenience of fast charging. With just a mere 12 minutes of charging time, you can enjoy an entire extra day of battery life. As an added bonus, each purchase of this remarkable product comes with a complimentary 6-month Premium membership to the highly acclaimed Fitbit app. This app offers a wealth of resources and tools to enhance your fitness journey, making it an invaluable asset to accompany your new device.
|Model Name||Fitbit Versa 3 Thistle/Gold|
|Screen Size||1.58 Inches|
|Reasons To Buy||Reasons To Avoid|
|+ Support for multiple sports||– The rubber strap is a little uncomfortable|
|+ Active Zone Minutes alerts at high intensities||– Support for some apps is geo-specific|
|+ Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in||—|
FAQs – Best Cheap Running Watches
Q: Can cheap running watches accurately track my runs?
A: Yes, many budget-friendly running watches offer accurate tracking of essential metrics such as distance, pace, and time.
Q: Do cheap running watches have GPS?
A: Some affordable running watches come with built-in GPS, allowing accurate outdoor tracking of your running routes.
Q: Are heart rate monitors reliable on inexpensive running watches?
A: While not as advanced as high-end models, the heart rate monitors on budget running watches can provide reliable data for heart rate zone training.
Q: Can I use a cheap running watch for indoor workouts?
A: Yes, most running watches can track indoor workouts, including treadmill running and indoor cycling, using built-in sensors.
Q: Are cheap running watches water-resistant?
A: Many budget running watches offer water resistance, making them suitable for sweaty runs and light rain. Check the specifications for the specific level of water resistance.
Q: Can I connect cheap running watches to my smartphone?
A: Some inexpensive running watches offer smartphone connectivity for data synchronization and basic smart notifications.
Q: Are there any running watches suitable for beginners?
A: Absolutely, many budget-friendly options cater to beginners by providing essential tracking features without overwhelming complexity.
Q: Can I track my sleep with a cheap running watch?
A: While not a universal feature, some affordable running watches offer basic sleep tracking to provide insights into your sleep patterns.
Q: How important is battery life in cheap running watches?
A: Battery life is essential, especially for longer runs and multi-day activities. Look for watches with a battery that meets your usage requirements.
Q: Do cheap running watches have customizable watch faces?
A: Some budget running watches offer limited customization options, allowing you to choose from a selection of watch faces.
Q: Can I use cheap running watches for other sports or activities?
A: Many budget running watches offer basic activity tracking and may support other types of workouts like cycling or strength training.
Q: How accurate are the step counts on cheap running watches?
A: While step counts may not be as precise as high-end models, cheap running watches can still provide a general indication of your daily activity.
In the realm of fitness technology, budget-conscious runners can find valuable companions in the form of affordable running watches. These frequently asked questions shed light on the capabilities of these watches, assuring runners that even with modest budgets, they can access reliable tracking, essential metrics, and features that contribute to their fitness journey. With the right choice, staying motivated and achieving running goals remain well within reach.
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