Best Chinese Smartwatches 2017 – An Impactful Wave of New Devices
Wearables are all the rage right now and Smartwatches are at the very top of most people’s wish lists. Contenders for top positions in this fast growing industry include Fitbit, Pebble, Samsung and Apple. In the second quarter of 2016 an estimated 3.5million smartwatch units were shipped by vendors, with Apple taking the top spot with 1.6 million units of its beloved Apple Watch. Obviously, the United States takes the lion’s share of the smartwatch industry in terms of production and distribution. But it is far from the only country dealing in these wearables. China, often called the world’s factory, has seen its own wave of Chinese Smartwatches produced by lesser known companies. So, what’s so special about a Chinese smartwatch?
In most cases, Chinese Smartwatches tend to be based on proprietary operating systems rather than the more commonly used Android Wear, which Google licenses to many wearable makers. One other uncomfortable fact you will notice is that a considerable number of them are copycats of popular brands such as Samsung Gear or Apple Watch. But now and then, a truly excellent piece appears in the Chinese market showing that, even in a country rife with mimics, innovation still runs high.
One other common thread you will notice is the low price. In fact, most Chinese Smartwatches sell for less than $100, making them perfect for people who want a good (or relatively good) smartwatch on a budget. Some will cost you as little as $20. Below we look at some of the best Chinese Smartwatches. The selection includes the innovative, surprising and ridiculously cheap.
1. No.1 G2 Chinese Smartwatch
For less than $100, the G2 smartwatch provides quite a number of smart features perfect for people looking for an entry-level smartwatch. The watch, equipped with Mediatek MT2502A chipset and LinkIt OS, comes with 32MB of RAM and 128MB of internal memory.
The design is an obvious copy of Samsung Gear 2 down to the placement of the buttons. At the bottom, a large home button is used to power up/down the watch. The speaker and microphone occupy the side edges while the top edge, a camera allows you to take quick photos. But do not expect anything mind blowing, or even relatively good, from the camera. After all, it is jus 0.3MP.
Basic watch features include calendar, alarm, flashlight, sleep monitor, heart rate sensor, pedometer and an infrared sensor. When you connect to your Smartphone via Bluetooth, you can take calls and get alerts for messages, emails and notifications. You can also stream music, find your lost phone and control the watch’s camera remotely.
Overall, the No.1 G2 is not a great smartwatch but it is good enough for those seeking a budget wearable with basic smart features. With most stores selling it at less than $100, and others as low as $40, this is a safe buy.Buy on Amazon
2. ZGPAX S79
For just $25, you can get yourself the ZGPAX S79 Bluetooth smartwatch. They even give you six different colours to choose from:
- titanium grey,
Under the hood, the watch offers a variety of features.
Unlike most Chinese Smartwatches at this price, the ZGPAX S79 has a built in SIM card slot. This means that you can operate it as a standalone device instead of having to connect to your Smartphone via Bluetooth. This includes taking/making calls and sending text messages.
The watch comes with a 0.3MP camera, which might seem very innovative until you try it out. The pictures will be fuzzy, low resolution and generally bad. You will find yourself needing the camera very few times.
You can expand the external memory up to 8GB with a TF card. This means that you get more space to store your pictures, videos and music. Other features include a pedometer to monitor your daily activity and calories, a sleep monitor, a voice recorder, calendar, calculator and alarm. When connected to your phone via Bluetooth you can operate your phone’s camera remotely, make calls and stream music.
A rectangular 1.54-inch screen, the rounded edges and a stainless steel casing give the ZGPAX S79 a luxury feel and Apple-like look. Like the G2, it is a great watch for anyone looking for a beginner’s smartwatch.
3. Ourtime X01 3G Smartwatch Phone
With colour options of black, orange and silver, Ourtime X01 3G Smartwatch Phone is in a league of its own in terms of features and capabilities. Starting with the design and style, the smartwatch has a fun, almost kid-like rounded style that will appeal to most people. 3 large buttons stand out along the left edge of the watch.
Under the hood, the watch is equipped with a MTK6572 Dual Core 1.3GHz CPU, RAM of 512MB and a wide GSM network compatibility. In a break from the trend set by Chinese Smartwatches, this watch runs on Android 4.2, which translates into a much better user experience compared to most other Smartphones on this list. A micro SIM slot provides standalone features such as making calls and sending texts without the need to connect to your Smartphone.
The smartwatch comes with a much better 2MP side-facing camera. Unlike other 0.3MP cameras strapped to most Chinese Smartwatches, this one can take decent pictures though it is still not a replacement for your phone’s more powerful camera.
Other basic watch features include calendar, alarm, Wi-Fi connectivity, phonebook, music player, picture viewer and a video player. Via its Bluetooth 4.0 capability, connecting to your Smartphone is easy and quick. This connectivity allows you to stream music, make/receive calls and get push notifications.
All these extra features come with an added cost, though surprisingly, it remains below $100. Most stores sell it for between $80 and $100.See on Amazon
4. SMA – R Dual Bluetooth Smart Watch
Resembling a luxury office watch, the SMA – R is for anyone looking for a bit of luxury on the budget. Going for under $100, the smartwatch provides a range of features from the basic time and date to the much more advanced heart rate monitor.
To start with, you can choose from two colours; black and silver. You can also choose from two strap options; leather and steel. The price remains the same for all colour and band options.
The watch is rated as IP54. This gives it a waterproof rating of 4. This means that it can withstand light rain or a splash of water when you are washing your hands but it should not be worn when swimming or in any other underwater situation. The manufacturer also cautions that you should not shower with it on. If you’re serious about swimming, better opt for a triathlon watch or a truly waterproof smartwatch instead.
The memory is not all that impressive; just 64MB ROM and 128MB RAM. This is just enough to ensure a smooth operation but not enough storage for music or pictures. This is where the Bluetooth connectivity feature comes in. When connected toy our Smartphone you can make calls, receive notifications, stream music and control your phone’s camera. Other features include a sleep tracker, activity tracker and heart rate monitor.
One of the most fun features of the SMA – R Dual Bluetooth Smart Watch is the gesture control. As soon as you lift your hand to look at the watch, it automatically lights up; shake your wrist and it moves to the next page; when a call comes in, a simple shake will receive it.
The smartwatch sells for between $50 and $100 depending on where you buy it. It is compatible with both iOS and Android Smartphones.
5. Aplus GV18
This is one of the most popular Chinese Smartwatches both in China and abroad. This popularity is largely due to the ridiculously low price (around $20) coupled with its many features.
Out of the box, the most noticeable feature is the camera set at the top of the luxury-looking rectangular display. But do not expect the 0.3MP camera to take great, or even half good pictures. You are better of using your phone’s camera. The overall design looks quite good with the steel casing giving it a nice official style. You can choose from three band colours; white, black or brown.
Features include a pedometer, Bluetooth connectivity, NFC connectivity, alarm, calendar, voice recorder and calculator. It also includes a sleep monitor, sedentary reminder, TF card slot (up to 32GB), 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM.
With the Bluetooth connection, you can get push notifications from your phone, make and receive calls and control your phone’s camera. The watch is compatible only with Android phones.
From what customers are saying, do not expect too much from the smartwatch. Sure, it comes with plenty of impressive features but not all of them will work smoothly. Expect some lagging and bugs. Overall, however, it is a great low-budget watch, perfect for people who do not want to spend much on a smartwatch.
6. Fifine W9
At almost $200, this is one of the more expensive Chinese Smartwatches on our list. But looking through its features and capabilities, the watch is clearly worth that price. For those looking for a good smartwatch, but cannot afford what Samsung and Apple are offering, this is our top recommendation. It works well with few frustrations and bugs.
The first thing we have to mention is the camera, located on the side of the watch. While most Chinese Smartwatches come with really terrible 0.3MP cameras, Fifine W9 sets itself apart with a powerful 5MP camera. You can take some good pictures with the watch and can even replace your phone’s camera for your Instagram selfies.
As if that is not enough, the watch has a built in GPS capability, allowing you to tell your exact location in real time. This feature is really beneficial for hikers and other outdoor adventurers. Even without connecting your phone, you can make calls, read and reply to emails and read/reply to messages. You can also use various apps including Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp. All this is enabled by the Android 4.4 installed onto the phone and SIM card support capability.
To support all these functions, the watch has a RAM of 1GB and ROM of 8GB. This means you can store a decent amount of photos, videos and music. You can also insert a TF card of maximum 8GB.
The watch supports multiple languages including Japanese, English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Filipino. As for the design, you can choose from black, red or champagne colour options. Unfortunately, only one band type is available.
Thanks to its quality, style and many great features, this is one of our top recommendations for people looking for a good wearable and are not afraid to spend a little more than usual. It is worth your money.See on Amazon
7. U8 Smartwatch
This is another extremely popular smartwatch both in China and beyond. This could be due to the fact that you can get it for just $12 or even less, making it the cheapest smartwatch available. But is it really worth your money and time? Well, let’s see.
The first thing you need to do when you get the watch is install a compatible program on your phone. This allows it to receive push notifications and calls when connected via Bluetooth. Basic features include a burglar alarm, wake up alarm, phone book and music player.
Obviously, the U8 smartwatch is a bit sparse on features. So do not expect much from it beyond the basics. After all, it is just $12. It works perfectly for anyone looking for the simplest smartwatch at the lowest price possible. But if you are looking for something a bit decent, this will be one big disappointment. You are better of considering other options costing $20 and above.Buy on Amazon
8. Xiaomi Smartwatch
Xiaomi is one of the most respected and acclaimed technology companies in China. Its Xiaomi range of Smartphones was a huge hit, propelling the company to Apple-like fame. Its smartwatch is highly anticipated, with its release expected toward the end of 2016.
The smartwatch is expected to come with a wide range of features and capabilities including Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, health and fitness features and a luxury design. As for the price, Xiaomi is widely expected to stick to its low pricing model. The smartwatch could cost anywhere between $100 and $200.
Conclusion – Chinese Smartwatches
The options are many and varied. Most are cheap half-decent Smartwatches, a few are actually good and one or two are excellent gadgets. What is common among all options is the low pricing. Even the really good ones are in the low-cost range. Which one would you choose? Feel free to leave your comment below.