As someone who is continuously researching and posting information about “standalone smartwatches,” I thought it necessary to publish this article to clarify what a standalone smartwatch is. I find too many “top 10 of 2019” posts on the web that have smartwatches miscategorized.
A standalone smartwatch is a smartwatch that doesn’t need a smartphone to complete any of its functions. These functions include calling, texting, web browsing, and receiving or replying to notifications.
If you own an Apple Watch, Galaxy Gear, TicWatch, or any mainstream smartwatch, it’s not a standalone smartwatch. It’s a companion watch for your phone. It may have some independent functions, but at some point, you’ll need to connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth or WIFI.
Cheap Standalone Smartwatches
Here are 5 full Android Standalone Smartwatches under $200. If anything, this should bring clarification to what standalone smartwatches are, even if you decide they aren’t for you. Choosing between a standalone smartwatch and a companion smartwatch comes down to needs versus wants.
ZeBlaze Thor 5 Dual – Android Standalone Smartwatch
The Zeblaze Thor 5 Dual is a full android standalone smartwatch. The Zeblaze gets its name from the dual MediaTek 6739 + NRF52840 processing unit which gives the device two operating modes. In 4G mode, the Thor 5 runs all of its normal functions as expected. However, in LiteOS mode, all telephony functions are disabled to extend the battery life up to 4 days.
Another feature the Thor 5 Dual has is the front-facing camera which you can use for video calling with popular applications such as Whatsapp, Skype, and Hangouts. It’s not uncommon for full Android smartwatches to have a camera, but not many have a front-facing one.
LEMFO LEM X
The LEMFO LEM X runs Android 7.11 and is a standalone device. It comes with 1GB of ram and 16GB of internal storage. It doesn’t have the dual processing unit like the Zeblaze Thor 5 but does have a 900mAh battery.
The LEM X is one of the few full Android smartwatches with an edge to edge 2.03′ LTPS Display with a resolution of 640*590. It’s undoubtedly one of the more beautiful looking smartwatches in the standalone lineup.
Kospet Hope 4G
The Kospet Hope 4G runs Android 7.11 with 3GB of ram and 32GB of internal storage. There aren’t that many devices on the market with those kinds of resources. The Hope 4G should not be confused with the Hope Lite, which only has 1GB of ram and 16GB of storage.
The Hope 4G comes with a 1.39′ AMOLED display with a resolution of 400* 400. Kospet is also one of the few brands that make full Android smartwatches with water resistance. The Kospet Hope has an IP67 rating.
LEMFO LEF 3
The LEMFO LEF3 is a very basic full Android standalone smartwatch. It comes with 1GB of ram and 16GB of internal storage. The LEF3 has a 1.39″ AMOLED display with a 400*400 resolution with an IP67 rating and removable straps.
The LEF 3 is undoubtedly meant to be a fitness device first, but with 4G LTE, the LEF 3 is a cheap android smartwatch that will be suitable for most situations.
Kospet Optimus Pro
The Kospet Optimus Pro comes with the dual MediaTek 6739 + NRF52840 processing unit and packs an 800mAh battery. Kospet is claiming seven days of battery life when in LiteOS mode. However, LiteOS mode turns of cellular capabilities.
The Kospet Optimus Pro also comes with 3GB of ram and 32GB of internal storage. It has an IP67 rating and removable straps.
Cheap Android Standalone Smartwatch
None of the watches listed above requires a smartphone to perform any of their actions. Each of them has unlocked 4G LTE capability, which allows you to make and receive calls, text, and notifications. Furthermore, because they run Android 7.1.1, you have access to the full Google Play Store.
Lastly, you’ll notice that the prices for these smartwatches are low compared to other mainstream smartwatches.
There is something to be said about the quality of these smartwatches. While they offer more functions than mainstream smartwatches, many don’t provide waterproof ratings we expect or removable bands. On the other hand, mainstream smartwatches offer excellent quality, but lack in features that most smartwatch enthusiast desire.
You’ll have to decide what you need and weigh that against the costs, but there is something for everyone if you know the difference between a standalone and companion smartwatch.