People today are constantly looking to include the internet in more areas of their life. There is a continual trend of computers becoming smaller, faster, and including more functions than their predecessors, making them useful in more fields than ever before with each passing year.
This movement is what led to the now-ubiquitous smartphone that can be found in the hands of nearly every individual in any modern country. People want to carry their computers with them no matter where they go. There is little that can be done on a computer that cannot be done on your choice of mobile device, no matter what operating system you have chosen.
Unfortunately, carrying around a smartphone has proven to be somewhat less convenient than some people thought. The need to use both hands often outweighs the convenience provided by having so much computer power in your pocket. Various approaches have been tried to correct this.
Even before smartphones became a mainstream device as opposed to a fancy tool for the wealthy or business-oriented individual, people had tried to eliminate the need to hold the cell phone with the invention of headsets or Bluetooth earpieces.
Following the trend of computers getting smaller and more powerful, the most recent attempt to eliminate the need to hold your phone puts all the power of a computer not in your hands, but on your wrist. These miniature computers, known as smartwatches, are becoming ever more popular and their capabilities grow apace.
Like desktop computers, smartwatches are produced by a wide variety of companies, each one vying to put itself at the top buyer’s list with different features like increased battery life or better connectivity.
It is possible to identify distinct trends in computers, and by extension smartwatches, by region of the manufacturer. For example, North American made smartwatches tend to emphasize computing power and added features, while those manufactured in countries such as China or Taiwan emphasized cost-effectiveness and long battery life.
Thanks to a growing number of unscrupulous individuals claiming to manufacture discount quality products from China, a stigma of the “cheap Chinese knock-off “has developed around products manufactured in Asia.
While scammers still exist and prey upon those looking for a deal too good to be true, there are many excellent legitimate models and brands manufactured in Asian countries that offer users a low-cost, highly effective experience that can easily rival their North American counterparts.
Sifting out the honest models from the con artists can be difficult especially in the era of online shopping where every product starts on the same respectable-looking platform. To keep you safe as a consumer and happy as a customer, we’ve assembled a lineup of the top 10 Chinese Smartwatches that you can rely on to help you through your day-to-day life without worrying about throwing money after an unusable product.
Keep in mind that although these are manufactured in China, many of them are sold domestically in other regions. You may not need to order overseas or across borders to get your smartwatch. Make sure to check prices and compare shipping options before deciding on your purchase.
Our Best Chinese Smartwatch Reviews and Comparisons
1. Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Bip
Xiaomi is a brand known for its high battery life and low costs without sacrificing performance.
- 30-day battery life
- 2.5 hour charge time
- 1.28” always-on display
- Compatible with both Android and iOS devices
What We Like About Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Bip
One of the most tiresome things about a smartwatch is that one continually needs to recharge it. This watch lets you skip the frustration with over a month of life on one charge.
What We Don’t Like About Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Bip
Those looking to use this as a fitness tracker will be disappointed; there are only four preprogrammed sport modes and a rudimentary step counter.
- High battery life
- Relatively short charge time
- Always-on display
- Android and iOS supported
- Trusted manufacturer with North American service centers
- Poor fitness tracking capabilities
- Relatively small touchscreen
2. Lenovo Fitness Tracker
Lenovo’s smartwatch focuses on being as unobtrusive as possible, a slender band and screen that make it easy to blend into your outfit.
- IP67 waterproofing
- Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity
- Supports Android 4.4 and iOS 9 and above
- .96” touch screen
What We Like About Lenovo Fitness Tracker
The narrow band on this smartwatch makes it an unobtrusive and stylish addition to your outfit without sacrificing functionality.
What We Don’t Like About Lenovo Fitness Tracker
Because the screen is aligned with the band, it is relatively small and has few display options.
- Full-color screen
- Built-in pedometer
- Conveniently narrow band
- Thicker band material preserves strength
- Lasts a full week on one charge
- Narrow screen
- No browsing capability
3. KingWear KW18
Your friends will never guess you’ve got a smartwatch – this model includes a round screen with a slender steel casing to give you the traditional look.
- 1.3” diameter screen
- Bluetooth 4.0 capability
- Independant SIM card slot
- Supports iOS and Android phones
What We Like About KingWear KW18
This model includes an integrated SIM slot that allows it to maintain phone and contact capabilities even without being paired to a mobile device.
What We Don’t Like About KingWear KW18
Many people find the round screen harder to navigate, and the Bluetooth adapter is relatively dated.
- Stylish appearance
- Metallic casing for extra durability
- Extra SIM card slot eliminates the need for a paired device
- Multiple fitness alerts and lifestyle customizations
- Splash Proof for everyday use
- Outdated Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
- Round screen is harder to navigate than the square or rectangle equivalents in other watches
Most smartwatches make do with a textile or rubberized band, but this model mounts your device on a fashionable stainless steel wristband to make sure it stays put.
- Android and iOS compatible
- Two straps included to merge with any outfit
- Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility
- Zinc alloy band and case
What We Like About K88H
This watch gives an elegant appearance and top-notch durability with its brushed alloy band and case.
What We Don’t Like About K88H
Only Apple’s Siri is supported on this device – those using other digital assistants will need to look elsewhere
- Exceptional durability
- Leather strap to blend in with outfits where a metal band would not
- Full messaging support
- Proprietary app to control a mobile device
- Smaller screen than most
- Does not support all digital assistants
Some people don’t like to be unobtrusive, and that’s okay – this watch features an outsize screen for easy viewing wherever you are.
- 2700mAh battery
- 2.86” screen
- IP67 waterproofing
- Five days operation on a single charge
What We Like About Lemfo
For many purposes, this is almost as good as having your whole phone attached to your arm – it supports the App store, GPS navigation, and 4G cell networks.
What We Don’t Like About Lemfo
This watch may be inconveniently large for some users, and will weigh more on the wrist than other models.
- One of the largest screens on the market
- 4G connectivity
- GPS navigation supported
- Downloads and syncs apps
- Integrated speaker allows for audio calling and playing videos
- Relatively short battery life
- Bulkier than other smartwatches
Wear and tear don’t mean much for this watch, thanks to a highly serviceable synthetic wristband and a tempered glass screen that resists scratches, smudges, and heat.
- 1.3” screen
- IP68 waterproofing
- Compatible with iOS9 and Android 4.4 and above
- 30-day battery life on a single charge
What We Like About Colmi
The screen on this watch is made of unusually thick tempered glass, making it resistant to forces that would damage or destroy other devices.
What We Don’t Like About Colmi
Although the manufacturer claims to support all mainstream messaging apps, email and SMS are often delayed or not received.
- Compatible with recent operating systems
- Strap is sturdy and machine washable
- IP68 waterproofing
- Good touch response
- Supports most messaging and media apps
- Buckle can be fragile or unreliable
- Messaging apps sometimes lag
7. Huawei GT2
This is a rugged smartwatch built for the vigorous outdoor activity of a full and active lifestyle.
- Full week of battery life on one charge
- 1.2” LED display
- Full suite of fitness tracking and encouragement preloaded
- Watch body is 10.7mm thick front to back
What We Like About Huawei GT2
Backed by the full credibility of noted electronics manufacturer Huawei, this watch comes ready for any activity you enjoy.
What We Don’t Like About Huawei GT2
Quality comes at a price – this watch is nearly double the cost of many competitors.
- Durable rubberized strap
- 3D LED display is bright enough for daytime viewing
- Pre-programmed fitness library
- Trusted manufacturer
- Super-slim watch body
- Significantly more expensive than similar watches
- Relatively short battery life
8. Porxintor GT08
This watch pushes the ‘phone on your wrist’ feeling to the limit by including voice calling capability and a full digital camera alongside the usual messaging and music features.
- Up to 32G internal/removable storage
- SIM card supported
- 180 hours on a single charge
- 350 mAh battery pack
What We Like About Porxintor GT08
With an onboard SIM, you can sync contacts and messaging, as well as make and receive voice calls, without needing to pair with a mobile device.
What We Don’t Like About Porxintor GT08
Many of the more attractive functions on this watch are not supported for iOS, forcing Apple users to look elsewhere for a compatible smartwatch.
- Integrated digital camera
- Expandable storage slot
- Micro-SIM supported
- Good music streaming and fitness support
- Intuitive touchscreen interface
- Very little support for Apple devices
- Charges by mini-USB as opposed to the more ubiquitous micro-USB
This watch takes ‘wherever you are’ to a new level, with support for nearly every country in the world and an automated network scanner that puts you on local frequencies no matter where the plane lands.
- Android 4.3 and above
- Onboard SIM supported
- 450 mAh battery pack
- Integrated digital camera
What We Like About DZ09
This watch has everything for the traveler or tourist, with plentiful extra languages, an integrated 1.3 MP digital camera, and a SIM port with automated frequency finding.
What We Don’t Like About DZ09
This watch has few sporting or recreational features, and does not support iOS.
- Large camera
- Onboard SIM
- Easy to adapt to any country
- Large screen is easy to navigate
- Does not support connection to Apple devices
- No preinstalled sport or music functions
This watch is distinguished by its emphasis on universal connectivity for older phones and all operating systems.
- Supports up to 32GB of removable storage
- 1.54” touchscreen
- Bluetooth 4.0 and above
- Compatible with Android 4.3 and iOS 5s and beyond
What We Like About FHDCAM
This watch is a robust collection of the features users really want, made compatible with older versions of both Android and iOS.
What We Don’t Like About FHDCAM
The strap on this watch is smaller than most users need and of poor-quality flexible plastic as opposed to more durable rubber or textile.
- Highly compatible
- Many popular apps supported
- Digital camera included
- Expandable storage
- Relatively affordable
- Shoddy and brittle wristband
- Sluggish performance for more complicated apps
The inclusion of a smartwatch in your daily routine can streamline many tasks that would otherwise occupy significant portions of your time and attention. By selecting a quality smartwatch, you will be freeing up your hands and attention to deal with what is really important without needing to manipulate a mobile device or desktop computer.
For many users, smartwatches also present a new level of awareness of their personal fitness. As many smartwatches were modeled on the Fitbit line, which was originally intended solely as a fitness tracker, the book of smartwatches available today offer a number of fitness programs and sports modes to help you improve your lifestyle.
Chinese smartwatches in particular take advantage of the disparity in labor and material costs between China and other countries, allowing them to produce comfortable items at fractions of the cost of locally-produced smartwatches. This makes a Chinese smartwatch an affordable and effective replacement for higher-end models manufactured in Europe or North America.
There is one thing to keep in mind while using a smartwatch for such things as video, messaging, or voice calls. These activities still divert your attention to the point where they can be dangerous. When driving a car or operating heavy machinery, turn off or remove your smartwatch to prevent unnecessary distractions that could end tragically for you or those around you.
The first thing to take into account when buying a Chinese smartwatch is your needs. For instance, smartwatch may have exceptional media playback, but if you were looking simply for a sports tracker that function will not factor into any further cost-benefit analysis.
Consider what functions you want from a mobile device that you find yourself wishing you could do hands-free, and look for a watch that will support these functions even if it means sacrificing some others.
As a buyer seriously considers prioritizing battery life over other considerations in a smartwatch, it is hardly uncommon for people to forget that their smartwatch is not an actual watch, and requires frequent charging to continue its many added functions. By selecting a watch with exceptional battery life you will minimize the number of times that it will need to be recharged and the amount of time that it needs to spend off your wrist.
Among the more useful features that you can look for in a smartwatch is contact syncing and voice calling. Broadly speaking, this eliminates the need to carry a mobile device at all, and has significant advantages when driving or working out.
You may also want to select a model that supports your choice of music apps, such as Spotify or YouTube. This is another significant function that many people wish they could do hands-free, and having a smartwatch that can support it will significantly reduce the number of times you need to take a break to manipulate your music stream.
Before considering the technical aspects of your smartwatch, make sure to account for the physical aspects of the band and screen. A watch that is too big or small will be effectively useless to you as a piece of apparel, so be careful to take your measurements and those of the watchband in advance of buying a smartwatch.
If you were using this watch as a fitness tracker, it is worth looking for a watch with a sports mode specifically optimized for whatever physical activity you have in mind. Although many come with some physical activities pre-programmed, trying to estimate which one best approximates your chosen sport can lead to serious inaccuracies in your readings and statistics. This thoroughly defeats the purpose of having a fitness tracker by providing an incomplete or incorrect model of your lifestyle, which makes any conclusions drawn from it suspect at best.
If buying a smartwatch for musical accompaniment to your day, take care to check whether or not the watch has its own speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, or a headphone jack. These and other options for audio output vary greatly between one watch and another, so be sure you are getting one that will be compatible with whatever speakers or headphones you intend to use.
Although there are many trusted retailers in China that produce quality products for markets all over the world, there is a known phenomenon of cheap imitation merchandise being sold to International markets with the manufacturer’s hiding behind a supposed language barrier with their customers. Protect yourself as a consumer by selecting a watch made by a credible manufacturer, ideally one with service centers in your country and an established history of quality products.
For those intending to use a smartwatch to track their running statistics, especially distance, make sure to check what GPS module the smartwatch includes, and research the accuracy of that module as compared to those in other smartwatches. Because runners are often training up for an event or attempting to maintain a certain distance, it is more important for them than most athletes to have clear and accurate records of their distance and time spent running.
Because merchandise from China has traveled a significant distance and will often have gone through more than one customs process, carefully inspect your watch immediately upon receipt to ensure that it has arrived safely and is still fully functional. If you suspect that it does not work as described due to mishandling in transit, immediately seek a replacement or recompensation from the manufacturer. Anything less will often be taken as a full and final consent to the goods received, and void any warranty or third-party assurance of your watch’s quality.
Many smartwatches are starting to include digital cameras as part of their feature set. Well, this is a pleasant and convenient addition keep in mind that these cameras, as a rule, have minuscule apertures unlikely to yield high-quality images. Although helpful and occasionally fun to have around, it is not recommended to make the camera the reason for buying any given smartwatch.