What $349 buys in wearables if you DON’T get an Apple Watch

The RWATCH M26 LED - a snap at $32.05 including free shipping (image: PR)

Apple’s new Watch starts at US $349 and goes on sale on April 24. Ahead of that, we take a look at what else you can get for the same money … and set out to find some of the best bargains in wearables, with perhaps some surprising results.

To get started, you’ll need a smartwatch. Look no further than the $32.05 RWATCH M26 LED model, with Bluetooth – which can push WeChat messages (something Apple’s Watch can’t) as well as remote smartphone shutter operation  and a 180 hour standby time: that’s more than a week, diehard Apple fans! That’s not a typing error, it really does cost $32. That means you could buy 11 for the same price as an Apple Watch. It comes in different colors, too.

The RWATCH M26 LED - a snap at $32.05 including free shipping (image: PR)

The RWATCH M26 LED – a snap at $32.05 including free shipping (image: PR)

Sub-total: $32.05

What’s more is that it’s the second generation and even features a “burglar alarm”, which provides an alert when the watch is separated from its tethered smartphone by more than 15 meters.

You’ll need an Android smartphone to go with that smartwatch, so how about a Samsung Galaxy Trend from Australian retailer Dick Smith for A$149, which is around US $114. The phone is unlocked and comes with Android 4.2, so guaranteed to work with smartwatches.

Sub-total: $146.05

How about a heart rate monitor to go with that? Best Buy has the SYNC heart rate soft strap for $24 with free shipping. It’s also Bluetooth compatible and has a full year’s guarantee.

Sub-total: $170.05

Sleep tracking is something that the Apple Watch can do, but only when it’s attached to the user’s wrist – and with all the reports of a very limited battery life, we expect most users will dock it on the nightstand for an overnight charge.

Smartphone not included: Misfit Flash is only $50 (image: PR)

Smartphone not included: Misfit Flash is only $50 (image: PR)

So you’ll need a sleep tracker. How about a Misfit Flash, a budget step tracker that also does a good job of tracking sleep patterns. It also has a long battery life, powered by a standard button battery giving a life of up to six months. And it retails at $50.

Sub-total: $220.05

That nice green background makes us feel hungry, so how about a nice juicy apple to top things off?

They’re not radioactive green like the Misfit, but Fruitshare.com has an entire box of Pink Lady organic apples retailing for $44.

Sub-total: $264.06

We could labor the point and find other accessories to bump the price up to the $349 entry-level Apple Watch – but we’ll stop there – with the comment that by buying this combi – or similar, you’ll still have change to have your apple cake, and eat it.


3 Responses to What $349 buys in wearables if you DON’T get an Apple Watch

  1. Emory Craig says:

    Indeed, there’s a lot of Wearable tech you could buy if you pass on the Apple Watch. The question is – is it worth having a desk full of devices that may all do basically the same thing – combined – that the Apple product will do in a single device? Until Apple releases the Watch, we won’t know for sure exactly what it does, but if it works as a sophisticated activity and health tracker (in addition to syncing with an iPhone), it will be hard to beat. Definitely not cheap, but keep in mind that version 2 will be out within a year, so if it does take off, many people that can’t afford one may just wait until the first model drops in price. We’ll know a whole lot more on how the Wearable landscape is evolving beginning April 24th.

  2. Commentor says:

    The RWatch software is atrocious. The hardware is good, but a digital watch without good, working software, or any support, is useless. You get what you pay for.

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