7 Best Cheap Running Smartwatches under 200

There are many affordable running watches available in the market today. However, it is not easy to find a running watch that suits your running needs best, especially if you are looking for a cheap watch.

Best Cheap Running Smartwatches under 200

Some running watches come with GPS, some have a heart rate monitor, and others don’t have any of these features. If you want a running watch that can track your distance, calories burned, and pace, then you should buy one with a GPS feature or at least one with heart rate monitoring.

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Initially, features like tracking your location via GPS were available only in advanced watches, however, they are now standard, and many cheap running watches house these features too! So let’s uncover the best cheap running smartwatches under $200.

7 Best Cheap Running Smartwatches under 200

Garmin Forerunner 55

Garmin Forerunner 55

Every best smartwatch for running list features at least one of Garmin’s watch. The Garmin Forerunner 55 comes in attractive aqua, black, and white colors and has a sleek look designed particularly for runners that just started. 

With a 1.04″ screen size, this watch is large enough to read easily but not too large to overwhelm someone with small hands. Running with this watch shouldn’t be a problem, thanks to the silicone strap, which has several holes for air circulation.

As an entry-level running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 55 has all the necessary running features like GPS tracking, running dynamics, and VO2 Max (which measures your running efficiency). The buttons are responsive to touch gestures which make navigation through menus easier.

This GPS running watch is ideal for running and other similar activities, thanks to its 38g lightweight body. Moreover, it has a pretty long battery that can last up to 14 days in the smartwatch mode and about 20 hours in GPS mode. 

What else, you ask? It also provides daily workout suggestions, rest time, predicts race time, etc. Terrific for an entry-level smartwatch, right? 

Like all Garmin watches, its GPS is highly accurate in measure distance, pace, and intervals precisely. This makes the Garmin Forerunner 55 one of the best cheap running watches under $200.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters
  • Smart notifications
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Sleep tracking

Cons

  • Expensive compared to others on the list

Garmin Forerunner 235

Garmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch

As mentioned, Garmin has an impressive range of running watches, and the Garmin Forerunner 235 is no exception! Although this Garmin fitness tracker smartwatch was launched in 2015, it can still compete with most of the latest watches in the market today. 

This smartwatch looks attractive and has a bright LCD screen visible even under direct sunlight, making it one of the best smartwatches for outdoor running. 

It has a user-friendly interface with five buttons that let you control the functions of this watch. The screen size of the Forerunner 235 is 1.23 inch has ample space for display.

This cheap running watch comes with an onboard GPS that accurately tracks your speed, location, lap, and other running metrics.

This affordable running watch also has a 24 hours wrist-based heart rate monitoring sensor that closely monitors your heart rate throughout the day. In addition, you can receive custom audio alerts from your smartphone for calls, emails, messages, lap times, etc.

The silicon strap of the watch is comfortable and enables you to enjoy a less sweaty run. What else? You can enjoy 11 hours of battery life on training mode and up to 9 days otherwise.

Pros

  • Bright Display
  • Accurate GPS
  • 50 meters water resistance
  • Smart notifications
  • Wrist heart rate monitoring

Cons

  • Issues with Heart Rate Monitoring

Amazfit Bip U Health Fitness Smartwatch

Amazfit Bip U

The Amazfit Bip U smartwatch is highly affordable and offers some excellent tech-savvy features that you will fall in love with! This square-shaped GPS running watch has a 1.43 inch large HD display that provides a wider display than a round-shaped watch.

It has a super lightweight body that weighs only 31g enables you to run longer comfortably. With more than sixty sports apps, this cheap GPS watch can monitor various indoor and outdoor activities, including heart level, blood level, breathing, quality of sleep, etc.

The female health tracking feature makes this GPS watch one of the best running smartwatches for women under $100. You can enjoy the long nine-day battery life of this Bip U smartwatch. 

So you can travel or work without carrying a charger for this watch! Amazfit Bip U is among the best cheap running watch available in 2021!

Pros

  • Affordable
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Waterproof up to 50 meters

Cons

  • No always-on display
  • No AMOLED Screen

Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smartwatch

Amazfit T-Rex Pro

As it sounds, the T-Rex Pro is a rugged GPS watch under $200! With six color options, this smartwatch has a rich texture and a skin-friendly silicone strap. 

With a powerful onboard GPS, the watch supports four global navigation systems and has an accurate weather tracker, among many other features that make it your ideal partner in exploration.

You can use this cheap GPS watch to monitor heart rate, distance, speed, calories burnt, etc., while running so that you can set a new record to beat! There are over 100 sports modes in this fitness tracker that help you improve your performance.

It also sends smart notifications when you receive emails, calls, messages, alarms, etc. You can also control the music playback on your phone using this smartwatch!

The battery of the T-Rex Pro lasts for up to 18 days during regular use and about 40 hours on GPS. That is definitely a long battery life for a GPS smartwatch under $200!

Pros

  • Onboard GPS
  • Long battery life
  • Wrist-based heart rate
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters(10 ATM)
  • Smartphone notifications

Cons

  • It doesn’t perform two functions simultaneously
  • Limited features

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct is one of the best-rugged GPS watches for outdoor enthusiasts. It is built to accompany you in any challenging environment.

It has a rugged body made of durable material so that it can withstand challenging environments. In addition, it complies with U.S Military standards for thermal, water, and shock resistance. In addition, this rugged outdoor running watch is available in five different colors.

Garmin Instinct houses several key features like GPS that supports multiple global navigation systems, compass, thermometer, etc. In addition, the TracBack feature enables you to navigate the same route back with no troubles, thus making this fitness tracking smartwatch one of the best smartwatches for trail running.

When it comes to health tracking features, this GPS running watch monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen, calories burned, etc., throughout the day. 

The Garmin Instinct GPS watch has a battery life of 14 days in the smartwatch mode and 16 hours in the GPS! If you are ready to upgrade to a solar version of Instinct, the battery can last even more.

Pros

  • GPS
  • Multiple training features
  • Wrist heart rate monitoring
  • Smart notifications
  • Sleep monitoring

Cons

  • Not user-friendly interface
  • Do not have a color screen

Garmin vívoactive 3, GPS Smartwatch

Garmin Vivoactive 3

Vivoactive 3 is another best-running watch from the family of Garmin. This affordable smartwatch is available in elegant colors and sleek design that make it look attractive on your wrist.

What makes this smartwatch stand apart from the rest? In addition to its fitness tracking features, this running watch also tracks your various health metrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen, stress level, etc. 

The Garmin Vivoactive comes with an onboard GPS enabling you to track your location even when you are away from your phone. 

However, this affordable standard running watch only allows music control. If you need music storage, then you should go for Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music. So if you love music as much as you love running, this is the watch for you!

You can enjoy about seven days of battery life in smartwatch mode and close to 13 hours on GPS mode in the standard model, and 5 hours on the model that allows you to play tracks. Overall, its battery life is pretty impressive compared to the Apple Watch, which offers 18 hours of battery life.

Pros

  • Conventional look and classic design
  • Sleep tracking
  • Contactless payment
  • Wrist heart rate monitoring

Cons

  • Limited activity tracking features
  • No music storage

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 is another GPS fitness tracker that should be included in this list of the best affordable running watches in 2021. It is the most advanced fitness tracker ever built by Fitbit. 

It has a backlit OLED grayscale touchscreen, which makes it appear bright even under sunlight. We do not like its grayscale display, but it helps this smartwatch save some battery compared to a fitness tracker with a color screen. 

The built-in GPS allows you to track your running metrics without carrying your smartphone with you. Fitbit Active Zone minutes is another excellent feature of this smartwatch that helps you improve your fitness level. It gives you a buzz on your wrist once you achieve the target heart rate.

Once paired with a phone, it alerts you will all smartphone notifications about your call, SMS, and other social media notifications.

This Fitbit GPS watch is super lightweight (only 30g!) and affordable! You’ll forget that you even have the watch on your wrist because of the weight!

This Fitness Tracker comes with a battery life of up to 7 days. But it depends on your usage. With GPS, the battery may drain faster.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • wrist-based heart rate monitoring
  • Blood oxygen level monitoring(SpO2)
  • Sleep tracking

Cons

  • No color screen
  • It does not store songs

Smartwatch for Running Buying Guide

Now you have a list of the best cheap running watches under $200. Here are some of the essential features that you should consider while picking a running watch in 2021.

Lightweight

Nobody wants a heavy watch on their wrist while running. A lightweight watch is comfortable to wear compared to a bulky smartwatch. 

Battery

Who likes charging their smartwatches every couple of hours? Go for a watch that charges quickly and has long battery life. Garmin running watches are known for their long battery life compared to an Apple watch.

Built-in GPS

If your smartwatch has a built-in GPS, it can accurately track your route, pace, distance, and elevation. By investing money in a GPS smartwatch, you are not wasting your money because of its capability to track running metrics independently without requiring a smartphone.

Screen Size

Your watch should have a large screen size with ample display area so that you can quickly look at your running metrics while running. 

Music Streaming

Music playback is an essential feature for many runners. However, if you love listing to music while running, go for a running smartwatch with music, but it costs you money.

  1. Do all cheap running watches measure heart rate?

    All cheap GPS running watches does not come with an advanced heart rate monitor. As heart rate monitoring is an essential feature for runners, all the smartwatches listed in this article comes with a wrist-based heart rate monitor. So, you can choose any smartwatch from this list without worrying about its ability to monitor your heart rate.

  2. Is Garmin or Apple better for running?

    Both running watches are popular among running enthusiasts. But Garmin running watches has a longer battery life and advanced features to track running, making them better than Apple watches.

  3. What is the most advanced running watch?

    Many running enthusiasts love Garmin running watches, especially Forerunner Series, because of their ability to track running metrics more accurately than any other smartwatches in the market. Garmin Forerunner 945 is the most advanced smartwatch for running in 2021. 

  4. What do running watches do?

    A running watch is a running companion that helps running enthusiasts measure running metrics like distance, speed, pace, elevation, health metrics such as heart rate, VO2 max, heart rate variability, and many more. So, there is no more guesswork. 

  5. Why running watches rather than running apps?

    Running watches have their sensors that track running while running apps use your phone's sensors to track running, and it may not be as accurate as a running watch.

    Moreover, Running apps don't have the same features as running watches, and many prefer not to carry a heavy smartwatch while running or working out.

  6. Which is the best fitness tracker for running?

    Fitbit Charge 4 is the best running watch to track running and workouts. It has an excellent battery life, heart rate monitor, GPS, and much more running metrics features that make running easier!

Conclusion

Many of the watches we mentioned on our list constitute the best smartwatches for running! Our top three smartwatches are Garmin vívoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch and Garmin Forerunner 55. If you are looking for a fitness tracker for running, go for Fitbit Charge 4 without thinking twice.

We hope our list of cheap running smartwatches under $200 helped you!

I’m Saneesh VS. I’m a Registered Nurse by Profession, but my passion lies in Gadgets like smartwatches, fitness trackers and fitness. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my knowledge to help people make informed decisions on what they need to buy or use in their everyday lives.

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