Top Pick
Apple Watch Series 6 Renewed
Apple Watch Series 6 Renewed
9.2
Best For Android
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
9.1
Best Battery Life
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
8.6

Smartwatches in the $200-300 price bracket are quite daunting. All of them seem so tempting to buy, filled with the latest and greatest. While we aren’t at flagship territory just yet for some brands (talking about you Apple!), we’re pretty much there for most.


With that said, how do these watches compete with each other? And, at such a competitive price range, which one should you opt to take for a spin alongside your shiny new phone? Well, read on; we got our hands on every smartwatch in this price bracket here in the office and after some time spent, we’re here with a verdict!

What To Expect In A $300 Smartwatch?

Simply said, nothing but the best. Except for a few watches, all of these products are the best of the best. They feature the newest gimmicks (and features), have the latest and greatest, and are meant to look great on your wrist. 

DesignOriginal
Build Materials / QualityStainless Steel / Aluminum
SoftwareProprietary / Wear OS / watchOS
Battery Life2 Days+
Health / Fitness TrackingAdvanced
ResponsivenessGreat
Under $300
1. Apple Watch Series 6 Renewed
9.2/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 26 Hours
  • Additional Features: Navigation, SpO2, ECG
  • Compatibility: iOS

Apple has truly outdone itself with its smartwatches. And, the Series 6 is no exception. Besides the shoddy battery life of about 24 hours, we have no complaints at all with the Series 6. You get access to Apple’s latest watchOS and a promise of at least a few years of updates.

Packed with the powerful S6 processor, you also gain access to a plethora of fitness and health-related features that include the ability to automatically track over 80 different workouts. Besides that, the addendum of Apple’s App Store which has tons of applications and games is just icing on the cake.

Of course, the generic complaints we have with the watch remain. For example, you’ll be stuck with Siri, for better or for worse. And, there’s no way for you to be able to use the watch with an Android device, which is a bummer in its own right.

At this price point, you gain the advantage of picking up a cellular / LTE model of the watch. With it, you can listen to music or go for a run while leaving your phone at home and still receive all your important notifications. Quite useful!

A quick primer to note though, this is the renewed version of the Apple Watch. In essence, you won’t be the first owner. No worries though, you still have a watch that’s in mint condition with a slightly used battery. 

Pros:

  • Fresh, intuitive UI
  • LTE is a welcome option 

Cons:

  • Poor battery life 
  • Does not work with Android devices
under $300
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
9.1/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 40 Hours
  • Additional Features: Navigation, SpO2, ECG, BP
  • Compatibility: Android

Samsung tried its hardest to make Tizen, their proprietary OS work. Thankfully though, sense came (albeit a bit late) and their latest iteration, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 / Classic, comes in with Google’s own Wear OS instead.

Now, the epic hardware of the Watch 4 intertwines with the fluidity and versatility of Wear OS. And boy, are we in for an absolute treat. From navigation to fitness, Samsung has absolutely nailed it with this iteration of the watch. Let’s address the elephant in the room though, yes, the battery life is now only a measly 40 hours. Boo. 

Plus, the reason why we recommend the Watch 4 Classic over the Watch 4 is simply because of aesthetics. The Classic just looks so much better since it fits a more traditional spectrum. Plus, the addendum of a physical rotating bezel helps to navigate through the UI just that much easier.

Just like the Apple Watch though, Wear OS does not allow for any non-native device (in this case, an iPhone) to connect to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. So, while you will have to make some tough decisions, might we remind you that the Watch 4’s BioActive sensor also lets you measure your blood pressure? How nifty.

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Pros:

  • Amazing build quality
  • Plethora of features

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support iOS / iPhone
  • Quite heavy
3. Amazfit GTR 3 Pro
8.9/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 13 Days
  • Additional Features: Navigation, SpO2
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

The Amazfit GT3 Pro features the brand’s proprietary Zepp OS. It is an extremely well-polished, solidly built, gorgeous smartwatch with a big AMOLED screen that’s sure to make a statement. Due to its contemporary look, it fits in with your wardrobe which we feel is a big plus.

With over 160 different watch faces and the ability to automatically track multiple workouts alongside GPS, there’s little to no feature the watch doesn’t have. However, the reason why it doesn’t rank higher on this list is simply because of the OS embedded in this watch.

Now, don’t get us wrong, Zepp OS is great. It gets the job. But, that’s pretty much it. It still doesn’t offer third-party support, you’ll notice some jankiness at times, and – there still are some nitpicks we had when it came to fitness tracking. For example, the watch failed to track our sleep properly on some occasions.

Battery life was a big plus though, the watch lasted about 13 days if you don’t use it heavily and about 5 if you slammed on the pedal. 

Pros:

  • Large, beautiful AMOLED display
  • Stellar battery life

Cons:

  • OS still needs a bit of work
4. Garmin Vivoactive 4
8.8/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life:18 Hours
  • Additional Features: Navigation, SpO2
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

The Vivoactive 4 is one of Garmin’s great strides into the smartwatch ecosystem. Except, it aims to be an all-rounder unlike its brethren, the Fenix and Forerunner. Yes, it is not exactly flagship material and you will be skimping out on some of Garmin’s more advanced metrics. But, it still is a solid pickup for the price.

You’ll be met with a Gorilla Glass 3-backed transflective screen that does not require a backlight. This helps you save up on your battery and allows you to constantly have something displayed on your screen without losing precious battery life.

The Vivoactive 4 does fitness tracking right, you’ll be met with SpO2 measurements, and sleep tracking. However, you will be missing out on the Forerunner’s biggest feature, performance conditions. This judges your improvements in your exercises by figuring out how much you exert on performing the same task over time.

Besides that, the Vivoactive 4 is a solid smartwatch. It doesn’t break the bank, looks fairly decent, and makes sure that you get great battery life and solid GPS tracking all while owning the Garmin brand. 

Pros:

  • Great fitness tracking
  • Detailed stats metrics

Cons:

  • Not a ton of third-party applications 
5. Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle 
8.7/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 13 Hours
  • Additional Features: Navigation
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

The Fossil Gen 5 is the brand’s fifth iteration on their iconic smartwatch and it is quite a good one. The Wear OS-enabled watch offers tons of customization and the repute of a brand that is known for creating stellar smartwatches at an affordable price.

The Fossil Gen 5 doesn’t aim to stand out. In fact, it blends in quite adequately with the rest of our apparel. The AMOLED display (1.28 inches) is bright and got the job done. All of our text was readable and we had no qualms with the hardware.

The Snapdragon Wear 3100 is the processor of choice on this bad boy. And, it’s quite a good one at that. It provides you additional access to more battery modes (which lasts about a day), and more RAM and just makes Wear OS feel snappier than ever. 

You also get NFC, Google Pay, a speaker, and a heart rate sensor alongside GPS and a 3 ATM water resistance rating. Sadly, unlike the Series 6 or the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, you don’t get an ECG feature or any of the more sophisticated detailed fitness metrics.

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Stellar battery life

Cons:

  • No ECG feature
6. SUUNTO 5 Peak
8.7/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 10 Days
  • Additional Features: Navigation
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

As compared to the traditional heavy-hitters on this list, SUUNTO is a relatively lesser-known brand with a specific niche audience. Don’t let that fool you though, the Suunto 5 Peak is glamorized for two particular aspects. Firstly, it’s extremely lightweight, and secondly, its excellent fitness-related features + navigation.

While the sensors in the watch are fairly accurate, we were somewhat disappointed with the overall detail they provided us in the application considering one of the major USPs of the watch is its emphasis on fitness. 

Weighing in at only 40 grams, the watch is almost entirely made up of plastic except for its bezel which is made out of steel. We didn’t really mind the lackluster design considering the watch made up for it in terms of its lightweight. The MiP display is fine. It doesn’t match the colors of an AMOLED but it certainly does lead to a lot less power draw. 

With over 10 days of battery life but with a lack of NFC or the ability to truly be offline with no music streaming, we did love the fitness features, but, the watch didn’t really feel complete as compared to others in the space.

All in all, we’d much rather prefer a Garmin smartwatch if fitness was our thing. But, if you wanted to give the new kid on the block a try, the SUUNTO definitely isn’t a bad pick-up by any means.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Dependable fitness tracking

Cons:

  • Fitness metrics aren’t very detailed
7. Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
8.6/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 7 Days
  • Additional Features: Navigation
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

The Forerunner 245 Music is an excellent product from Garmin. It caters to a particular niche and does so quite eloquently. If you haven’t figured that out already, it’s a watch meant for runners with some neat features that’ll help make your morning jog that much easier.


For starters, we are met with a gorgeous, readable display packed in a durable Garmin-approved chassis that’ll surely hold its own if you ever do decide to trip on concrete. Since it does not feature a touchscreen as Garmin has opted for a transflective LCD display, you can view the screen in sunlight too.

The brand could have certainly done better in terms of the overall user experience. Navigating the UI without the presence of touch can feel like a pain especially with the physical buttons tucked to one side. Did we also mention the fact that you can store and play music offline? How neat. 

Its most iconic feature revolves around its GPS and tracking capabilities which honestly offer a lot of metrics if you seriously consider running and jogging. The battery life too will last about a day with the GPS constantly turned on. 

All in all, if you love running / jogging and don’t really care about the future-proofing that say, a watch with Wear OS would provide, then the Forerunner 245 Music is an absolute no-brainer. 

Do Garmin Watches Work with iPhones?

Pros:

  • Stellar fitness tracking capabilities (with GPS)
  • Detailed metrics for each workout

Cons:

  • No touchscreen can get quite annoying
8. TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra
8.4/10 Our Score
  • Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Features: Heart Rate Monitoring, Sleep Monitoring, Breathing
  • Battery Life: 72 Hours
  • Additional Features: Navigation
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra slams in all the features you’d expect from a smartwatch at this price point with the added advantage of being rugged and durable. In essence, it’s not really targeted towards a general consumer but rather someone who’s more of an adventurer.

Coming to that premise though, we feel like yes, the watch does cater to that niche in terms of build quality – it lacks on some other aspects. For example, the three-day battery is nothing to run home about. In fact, it is worse than most other watches on this list.

The fitness tracking and GPS are great. But, once again, the battery seems to not be conforming well to the watch as you’ll notice quite a marginal delay in tracking once the battery stoops down very low.

The UI, on the other hand, is smooth and responsive. You won’t be stuck with Mobovoi applications but there are some like TicExcercsie and TicSleep which can feel a bit excessive. But, we still enjoyed our time with the watch since it did cater to the rugged outdoorsy folks in our office. 

Pros:

  • Great rugged design
  • Tons of pre-installed applications

Cons:

  • The battery isn’t all that great

Why We Ranked The Apple Watch Series 6 Over The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a great pick, don’t get us wrong. But, there’s something about Apple’s integration with the rest of the ecosystem that has the Series 6 truly stand out. With the ability to unlock your phone even if you are wearing a mask, the Series 6 truly shines.

Besides that, we aren’t very sure of Samsung’s plans when it comes to software support with the Galaxy Watch 4. While they have committed to providing at least 2 years, Apple has been updating their watches with the latest firmware for much longer than that.

If you have an Android, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a great pickup. But, if you have an iPhone or still are deciding on whether to make the shift to Apple, the Apple Watch + iPhone combo is hard to beat in terms of how feature-rich it is. 

Verdict

The $300 category is a tough one, you are met with a lot of options with a few differentiators between them. We hope we’ve done a good job at trying to highlight what unique feature each smartwatch has and why you should get one over the other.

But besides that, there still is a lot to say about the smartwatches mentioned here. Most of them have great displays, battery life, fitness-related features, general nuances, and a great aesthetically pleasing design. While, in the end, it comes to your own choice, we’ve cooked up a quick verdict that’ll help you land your decision: 

Best OverallApple Watch Series 6
Best Battery Life Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Best For AndroidSamsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 
Best DesignFossil Gen 5 Carlyle
Best Fitness TrackingGarmin Vivoactive 4

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Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.