Thanks Mr T.

Now I am about to say something, that I will wager you won’t catch me saying very often.

Thank you Mr Trump!

We have all watched on these past few weeks as Mr Trump has single handed taken on the economic might of China. All of us no doubt wondering betwixt the possible outcomes that appeared to be looming. Trade war? Cold war? Nuclear war? 

Maybe all of the above were a little over dramatic, but Mr Trump does seem from a distance ever so willing to dunk his size nines in where angels fear to tread. But a couple of weeks in and we all sighed in relief as we were assured that both leaders had been fed and were playing nice and swapping toys. like proper grown-ups. 


Misspelled, I know……….But still not a word one would easily associate with Mr Trump. That is until the week after Donald had been lifted out of the playpen. Then out of the blue he issues a warrant for the daughter of possibly China’s second most influential business man, 
Meng Wanzhou. Who was a day or so later arrested in Canada, and held on extradition charges.

Now we all have an inkling that this is all a back handed swipe and that the allegations are trumped up (ha, ha, see what i did there). 

And a back-door way of promoting the ongoing trade hostilities between the two super economies. But we all winced as in out minds the cost of goods from China, became the sole ambition of the mega rich.

Budget Bonanza Part (II)

Chill, this is China, we’re talking about, right. Apple, Fitbit and Garmin, don’t manufacture 80% of their goods there for no reason. Remember in a previous post i mentioned that the attraction of China, is the lack of patent law, and the ability to adjust quickly? Well as of this morning the corporate response churned into action.

Both Xiaomi, and Honor/Huawei, started to whip-out to scheduled chip-sets in their equipment and started inserting the latest models. 

Both companies have jointly adopted a new 10 year plan to suppress their prices to the consumer down to pre trade war levels, or lower. Even if that means taking on=board losses in the western marketplace.

Where Xiaomi, and Honor, go be assured that the rest of the China, technology industry is sure to follow. Or find themselves taken over by one of the two giants.

Bingo! Right here, right now, it’s consumer party time!

So to celebrate this the second bonanza can be dedicated sooner than planned to the best bang for your buck smart watches.

 Below you will find a selection of the best deals that I can find right now. Links as usual will be placed, and I would suggest that right now is a great time to take the plunge you are pretty much guaranteed to get far more than you are actually paying for.

Xiaomi/Huami Amazfit Stratos Pace 2

Despite it’s tongue twister of a name.

All in all, this connected sports watch is rather attractive and  trendy and has the added benefit of being ‘watch shaped’ (some of you are aware of my fetish for round watches). Its robustness (case, buttons, ultra-resistant glass), its large readable and precise colour touch screen, the intuitive navigation, the possibility of displaying graphs for most of the recorded data, are all major plus points.

You can’t help but admire its many functions, in many cases more than sufficient for most athletes, such as functions for outdoor (altimeter, compass, access to the weather, track and GPS navigation), training functions, advice and monitoring for the athlete. We appreciate the fact that it is multi-sports and adapted to the practice of triathlon (without being too demanding in terms of measurements, especially for cycling), activity monitoring, the mp3 player,  and above all, its attractive price for the functions offered.

However,  my opinion remains mixed due to the  reliability of the measurements, they can only be relied on as estimates. The difficulty to predict battery life, which is claimed to be 5 days, can be a pain. 

This watch does not compete with the current best high end watches for a serious triathlete, nor with those for running offering similar functions, like the Forruner 935. But for the eager keep fitter, or someone starting out it has to be a serious contender.

However, we must recognize that for the price paid, we have here a complete watch that will satisfy most athletes whose budget is limited. As long as you are not looking for high measurement reliability.

Polar M200

OS: Polar OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: 26mm diameter | Processor: N/A | Onboard storage: Just for fitness data | Battery duration: Up to 6 days | Charging method: Proprietary charger | IP rating: N/A (Polar claims water resistant) | Connectivity: Bluetooth

The Polar M200 is one of the most affordable running watches money can buy and you’ll find it includes almost all of the fitness features you’ll want from a smartwatch.

It can suffer noticeable GPS lag at times, and the design isn’t as premium as some of the other devices we’ve seen from Polar, but apart from that, this is a solid running watch with great battery life.

This won’t offer notifications and apps like some of the other devices on this list, but if fitness is the main aim for you the Polar M200 is an affordable choice that offers a variety of top features.

TicWatch 3

OS: Wear OS | Compatibility: Android/iOS | Display: 1.4″ 400 x 400 OLED | Processor: MediaTek MT2601 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Magnetic connecting pin | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1

This isn’t the cheapest device on the list, but it’s one of our absolute favourites. Sporting Wear OS software that’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices, this full blown smartwatch offers access to all of the Wear OS apps the Google Play Store has to offer.

There’s GPS as well as a heart rate sensor so it’s suitable as a basic fitness device, but it’s also suitable to wear day-to-day with a solid design that suits most occasions.

Don’t expect this to be the fastest, most powerful or have the longest battery life on a smartwatch. That said, it does everything quite well for an affordable price, making it a very regular pick for best cheap smartwatch.

14 Replies to “Thanks Mr T.”

  1. I like the polar. Except i cant run anymore. Drat!  I dont like the other watches. I like the LCD screens that light up. I had a Garmin but I could not see the watch face in the sun. I didn’t see you review any of the Garmin smart watches. Why not?

    1. Hi Priscilla,

      Thanks for the comment. 

      As for garmin. I have a couple of models to review, but I am sure you can appreciate I can only type so many articles at once, and unfortunately Garmin didn’t fit the profile of this article.

      If you keep coming back i think you will see a couple of garmin, reviews fairly shortly.



  2. Hi Adrian,

    I liked the Mr “T” intro! I was shocked to learn that the CEO of Huawei  was the daughter of a very influential China businessman! But, regardless, it results in great prices for us! And the best time to buy smart watches, cheap.

    now I didn’t see it mentioned, but I would like to know for sure, is the Xiaomi/Huami Amazfit Stratos Pace 2 waterproof? i have a problem of diving into water and ruining watches! I do like the fact that it has an mp3 player as well! 

    I see the polar M200 claims water resistant.

    These are some great bargains, thank you for bringing them to my attention!


  3. Thanks for such an informative post! I had no idea that half of these watches existed… I really like the digital looking ones, like Polar. They seem easy to read and to navigate through. I definitely need to look into getting one of these once my activity level goes up!

  4. I love how you gave a little backstory on the China saga before introducing the pieces, and I laughed right out loud when you stated that you like the round clock face.  My husband is a nut when it comes to round faces on watches, and I thought it was just him.  Then I read it wasn’t, that you too have this issue (sorry to call it an issue lol) with square watches.  I didn’t even know he felt this way until my daughter got him a square faced watch for Christmas last year.  Anyway, I am, once again, in the market for a fitness watch for him, and so here I am.  Love the pieces.  Love the write-up!

    1. Babsie,

      LOL. Thanks for the great comments.

      It sounds like your hubby and I would get along swimmingly. Yes i have a very specific OCD regarding square-faced tickers, they are absolutely only acceptable on dress watches, and then only from a craft jeweller. Absolutely not from a mass producer and must not be worn without at-least a shooting jacket, but preferably a DJ.



  5. Hehehe, thanks for the chuckle and an amazing list of smart watches. I think I may have had blinders on or the search engines are really focusing my viewing to the big western world brand names. It’s nice to see a variation in brands and features. I particularly like the look of the TicWatch 3. Being a sport watch do you know if it is waterproof?

    1. Paul,

      Thanks for the great comments.

      Good choice. The ticwatch is by Mobvoi, a company formed by ex-Google employees as a kick-start business. Don’t worry about water resistance the ‘S’ is definitely IP67 rated. In fact the only sacrifice that you would make if you chose this watch is that the chip set has yet to be upgraded to the latest Qualcom, processor and as far as I am aware there is currently no plans to upgrade. 

      However as you would expect given it’s Google links the watch is about the best match that I have found for Google-Fit and works incredibly well. 

      If that is the way that you choose to jump then the best deal I can find right now is;



  6. I am learning a lot about why so many companies have choose to manufacture their goods in China from your posts.   For some reason, I had always assumed it had to do with cheap labor.   You have made a very convincing argument that there are other reasons – to include lack of patent law and the ability to adjust quickly.  

    I have only recently been looking it smart watches.   I too like the Polar watches.  They are colorful, sleek and would add a fun element to whatever clothes that you are wearing.  I am a runner, so I like your description of them as a running watch.      

    Thank you for your review of these watches.  

    1. Hi Sondra,

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. With regard to Polar, they are indeed specifically designed with the runner in mind and the soft & hardware is specifically aimed at running-like exercises. So you would have to go a long way to get better.



  7. I don’t own any wearable fitness tracker devices but I definitely see their value in promoting a healthier lifestyle. Just wearing the device is a visceral reminder to take better care of one’s body. To me, I would rather use the money some spend on Fitbits or whatever on other things, but if you have space in your budget, these devices, especially in the early stages of your workout regiment, are invaluable visual aids (reminders) to keep on keeping on.

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