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A Singaporean's Guide to the Best Smartwatches in Singapore Under $299 [2020]

profileJoel Koh

Every now and then, I get amazed at the speed at how technology progresses.

Take wearable technology for example.

It was only about 30 to 40 years ago that humans were dreaming about wearable technology and featuring it in fiction.

Source: Dick Tracy | Giphy

But now, smartwatches are a reality.

Generally, Apple Smartwatches are the gold standard in the smartwatch world. But, they can get quite expensive, as even the new budget Apple Smartwatch Series SE starts from $419!

But fear not, there are plenty of cheaper smartwatch alternatives under $300 you can get to suit your needs and budget.

Most of them will help you stay connected and up to date with notifications, track your fitness, and not make you cry when you look at your bank balance at the end of the month.

Although these smartwatches may not pack every feature available, they are more than enough wearable technology for most.

Without further ado, here is our list!

*Information and prices accurate as of 30 October 2020.


TL;DR: Best Smartwatch Alternatives Cheaper Than the Apple Watch SE (2020)

SpecsApple Watch Series 3TicWatch E2Fossil Sport SmartwatchXiaomi Haylou Solar LS05Huawei Watch GT2eSamsung Galaxy Watch Active
Price$299 (38mm)
$349 (42mm)
$189$215$39$159From $233
OSWatchOS 7WearOS by GoogleWear OS by GoogleProprietaryProprietaryTizen
Software CompatibilityiOSAndroid 4.3+ | iOS 8+Android OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.3+Android OS 4.40+ | iOS 8.0+Android OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.0+Android OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.0+
Battery Life18 hours of use
according to Apple
Up to 2 days
according to Mobvoi
1 day
according to Fossil
30 days
according to Xiaomi
14 days
according to Huawei
~2 days
accoridng to Samsung
NFCYes (Supports Apple Pay)NoYesNoNoYes
GPS + BluetoothYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS

Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Yes, with A-GPS, Beidou

Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Untethered GPS

Bluetoth 4.2 LE
No GPS

Bluetooth 5.0
GPS supported

Bluetooth 5.1
Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS

Bluetooth 5.0
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, microphoneAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, microphoneAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, light, compass, microphoneAccelerometer, heart rateAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, light, compass, microphoneAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, VO2max
Dimensions38mm or 42mm case
42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
52.8 g
46mm case
46.9 x 52.2 x 12.9 mm
53 g
41mm or 43mm case
43x43x12mm
53 g
45x45x11.4mm
54 g
47mm case
53 x 46.8 x 10.8 mm
43 g
40mm or 44mm case
44 x 44 x 10.9 mm
42 g
Screen Size1.5 inches
1.6 inches
1.4 inches1.19 inches1.28 inches1.39 inches1.4 inches
DisplayRetina OLED (~303 ppi density)AMOLED (~404 ppi density)OLED (~390 ppi density)LCD (~265 ppi density)AMOLED (~462 ppi density)OLED (~364 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant50m water resistant50m water resistantIP6850m water resistant50m water resistant
Processor & RamDual-core S3 SiP
768MB
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
512MB
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
512MB
ProprietaryProprietaryExynos 9110 (10 nm)
1.5GB
Internal Storage8GB4GB4GB-4GB4GB
Cellular OptionAvailableNoNoNoNoYes


How to Choose the Best Smartwatch in Singapore for You?

Before we begin, it would be important for you to keep your needs in mind before going through the list.

Are you looking for fitness and health features like GPS to level up your workout?

Do you want something that will keep you notified and connected with messages and calendar appointments?

Or do you need something with a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip for digital payments?

Keep this in mind!

Best Apple Watch Singapore

We will first start with the Apple Watch from Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL).

1. Apple Watch Series 3 Singapore (From $299)

Although, it is not the most affordable, the cheapest Apple Watch you can get is the Apple Watch Series 3 which retails for $299 for the 38mm version and $349 for the bigger 42mm version.

Apple Watch Series 3 Specs

SpecsDetails
Price$299 (38mm)
$349 (42mm)
OSWatchOS 7
Software CompatibilityiOS
Battery Life18 hours of use
according to Apple
NFCYes (Supports Apple Pay)
GPS + BluetoothYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS

Bluetooth 4.2 LE
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, microphone
Dimensions38mm or 42mm case
42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
52.8 g
Screen Size1.5 inches
1.6 inches
DisplayRetina OLED (~303 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant
Processor & RamDual-core S3 SiP
768MB
Internal Storage8GB
Cellular VersionAvailable

The Apple Watch Series 3 is now available with an aluminium case, either silver or space grey. It comes in 38mm and 42mm size options, but it is only available in a GPS-only model with an optical heart sensor.

Source: Apple

There is also a GPS and Cellular option available in Singapore.

Unlike the Series 6, the Apple Watch Series 3 does not have an always-on display.

Also, the Series 3 does not have international emergency calling, fall detection, always-on altimeter, or the noise monitoring found in Series 6 and SE.

The Series 3 also uses an older S3 processor that is two times slower than the 64-bit S5 dual-core chip found in the SE.

Despite its lack of features compared to the newer Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch Series, you still can do quite a bit on with the Apple Watch Series 3.

But, battery life is average, with Apple rating it for 18 hours of general use, which can probably last you a day and a half.

This watch lets you:

  • Make contactless payments with Apple Pay support.
  • Receive notifications like messages, reminders, alarms or calendar alerts.
  • Listen to music and podcasts.
  • Read and respond to SMSes or iMessages.
  • Pickup emergency phone calls.
  • Participating in Apple & the Health Promotion Board’s LumiHealth programme to earn vouchers.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the Apple Watch Series 3.

Best Android Smartwatch Singapore

Next up we have the best cheap Google smartwatches that support Google’s Wear OS.

2. Mobvoi TicWatch E2 Singapore ($189)

No list of affordable smartwatches is complete without the Mobvoi TicWatch E2.
Source: Mobvoi

TicWatch E2 Specs

SpecsDetails
Price$189
OSWearOS by Google
Software CompatibilityAndroid 4.3+ | iOS 8+
Battery LifeUp to 2 days
according to Mobvoi
NFCNo
GPS + BluetoothYes, with A-GPS, Beidou

Bluetooth 4.2 LE
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, microphone
Dimensions46mm case
46.9 x 52.2 x 12.9 mm
53 g
Screen Size1.4 inches
DisplayAMOLED (~404 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant
Processor & RamQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
512MB
Internal Storage4GB
Cellular OptionNo

If you want something that is built for your Android phone with Google’s WearOS, the TicWatch E2 is one of the best cheap WearOS watches.

The watch is a solid affordable gateway into the world of WearOS smartwatches.

Almost everything you want in a smartwatch is here. You’ll get a nice understated design, good GPS connectivity, 50m waterproofing, Google’s WearOs apps, notifications, ability to take calls, access to Google Assistant and more.

Battery life is also decent as according to Mobvoi, it can last for about 2 days of general use.

However, there are some drawbacks as the 46mm case that is 13mm thick is only available in black.

There is also no NFC for payments which is quite the bummer. But, that is not much of a con now as support for Google Pay NFC payments for smartwatches is currently not available in Singapore.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the TicWatch E2.

3. Fossil Smartwatch: Fossil Sport ($215.00)

If you can afford it, opt for the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.

Source: Fossil

Fossil Sport Smartwatch Specs

SpecsDetails
Price$215
OSWear OS by Google
Software CompatibilityAndroid OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.3+
Battery Life1 day
according to Fossil
NFCYes
GPS + BluetoothUntethered GPS
Bluetoth 4.2 LE
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, light, compass, microphone
Dimensions41mm or 43mm case
43x43x12mm
53 g
Screen Size1.19 inches
DisplayOLED (~390 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant
Processor & RamQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
512MB
Internal Storage4GB
Cellular OptionNo

For just $26 more you get NFC, a faster Snapdragon 3100 processor and arguably better design.

But, do note that support for Google Pay NFC payments for smartwatches is currently not available in Singapore.

You’ll also get good GPS connectivity, 50m waterproofing, Google’s WearOS apps, notifications, ability to take calls, access to Google Assistant and more.

Battery life, however, is not as good, as according to Fossil, it can only last for about 1 day of general use.

But, you can use its low energy mode and extend it for one more day of use.

However, there are some drawbacks as the watch is only available in Rose Gold. But, you are free to change the bands.

Next up, we have the smartwatches that are compatible with both Android and Apple phones but do not run WearOS or WatchOS respectively.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.

4. Xiaomi Smartwatch: Xiaomi Haylou Solar LS05 ($38.80)

Here’s a relatively hidden gem for you.

Xiaomi Haylou Solar LS05 Specs

SpecsDetails
Price$39
OSProprietary
Software CompatibilityAndroid OS 4.40+ | iOS 8.0+
Battery Life30 days
according to Xiaomi
NFCNo
GPS + BluetoothNo GPS

Bluetooth 5.0
SensorsAccelerometer, heart rate
Dimensions45x45x11.4mm
54 g
Screen Size1.28 inches
DisplayLCD (~265 ppi density)
Water ResistanceIP68
Processor & RamProprietary
Internal Storage-
Cellular OptionNo

Despite its slightly misleading name as the watch does not have a solar panel; the Xiaomi Haylou Solar is a decent smartwatch that has a great design, sturdy metal frame and reliable build.

Source: Xiaomi Today

The watch also comes with a  rugged IP68 rating which means you can wear it all the time – just don’t take it into the pool.

What I like about this watch is that it has pretty stellar 30-day battery life and a bright LCD display.

However, functionality is not as extensive as the other smartwatches on this list. Think of it as an upgraded fitness tracker.

Software is simple and reliable and for $39, it is one of the best deals around.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the Xiaomi Haylou Solar LS05.

5. Huawei Smartwatch: Huawei Watch GT2e ($159)

If you want something a bit more advanced, you can consider the Huawei Watch GT2e.

Source: Inceptive Mind

The watch’s fitness and health features and great price makes this an attractive proposition.

Huawei Watch GT2e Specs

SpecsDetails
Price$159
OSHuawei Wearable OS
Software CompatibilityAndroid OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.0+
Battery Life14 days
according to Huawei
NFCNo
GPS + BluetoothGPS supported
Bluetooth 5.1
SensorsAccelerometer sensor
Air pressure sensor
Ambient light sensor
Capacitive sensor
Geomagnetic sensor
Gyroscope sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Microphone
Dimensions47mm case
53 x 46.8 x 10.8 mm
43 g
Screen Size1.39 inches
DisplayAMOLED (~462 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant
Processor & RamProprietary
Internal Storage4GB
Cellular OptionNo

You’ll get quite a bit for the price.

The watch has a 3.5cm AMOLED display that is bright and sharp. You also can take it underwater as the watch is water-resistant up to 50m.

In addition, you get many sport profiles including swimming, cycling and an excellent running experience and sleep tracking.

Battery life is also great with 14 days of general use as the watch runs LiteOS which is a lot less taxing on the battery compared to Google’s WearOS.

However, there is a couple of drawbacks.

The watch is better for Android smartphone users due to its stress tracking and the ability to store songs on the watch. But for iPhone users, the app is more bare-bones.

Also, the watch is unable to take advantage of WearOS apps.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the Huawei Watch GT2e in Lava Red or Mint Green.

6. Samsung Smartwatch: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (From $233)

Last but not least we have the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Source: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Specs

SpecsDetails
PriceFrom $233
OSTizen
Software CompatibilityAndroid OS 4.4+ | iOS 9.0+
Battery Life~2 days
accoridng to Samsung
NFCYes
GPS + BluetoothYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS

Bluetooth 5.0
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, VO2max
Dimensions40mm or 44mm case
44 x 44 x 10.9 mm
42 g
Screen Size1.4 inches
DisplayOLED (~364 ppi density)
Water Resistance50m water resistant
Processor & RamExynos 9110 (10 nm)
1.5GB
Internal Storage4GB
Cellular OptionYes

Although the watch does not run Google’s WearOS, this might actually be a good thing as Samsung has been consistently improving Tizen and provided updates Galaxy watches for years.

The watch itself is not too heavy, has a solid build and a big, bright always-on AMOLED display.

The watch is also very customisable with plenty of watch faces to choose from and robust app support

Fitness buffs take note. This watch is great for those who are active as it supports the Samsung Health platform which is great for tracking activity and sports.

Not to mention its 50m water resistance, decent 2 day battery life and standard 20mm straps which can be swapped out.

Support for NFC payment is also available in Singapore for the watch which is great.

Some caveats.

The watch can be used with an iPhone, but the Apple Watch is miles better on iOS.

Also, the watch is unable to take advantage of WearOS apps.

How to Buy

Here’s a link to where you can buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.

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Good luck and all the best!

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
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