Top five best Chinese smartwatches on AliExpress

There are many reasons to own a smartwatch. The best ones are not only hip and trendy, they provide a ton of functionalities. From acting as personal fitness assistants to being a 24-hour health and wellness monitor, smartwatches today come with enough to appeal to practically anyone.

Sadly, as they’ve become better, their prices have shot up considerably. This boilerplate Apple smartwatch released years back still retails for more than $150.

But that’s where a Chinese smartwatch from AliExpress comes into the mix. By spending less on branding and marketing, AliExpress smartwatch manufacturers manage to keep prices low. For you, that means an affordable smartwatch with all the functionalities you’d want.

To help you make the best pick of the many AliExpress smartwatches, I’ve compiled this list of the best Chinese smartwatches available right now. Let’s get into it.

Overall best – Amazfit GTR 2e

Image showing the design and build quality of the Amazfit GTR 2e
Premium build, premium features at a noteworthy discount, Amazfit GTR 2e is the 2021 smartwatch you need in 2022

At a glance

Range-topping build quality

Water resistance

Sleep tracking

Heart rate, oxygen saturation, stress monitoring

GPS, altimeter

Intuitive activity tracking

Stunning AMOLED display

With its assortment of health and fitness sensors and what’s perhaps the most stylish, portable and ‘look worthy’ build around, the Amazfit GTR 2e steals the top spot of this review of the best AliExpress smartwatches.

When Amazfit released this smartwatch back in 2021, it was a tremendous hit, and to this day, it still is one of the best smartwatches you can buy on AliExpress. More so because right now, this thing retails for about 40% off its retail price at launch.

That’s mostly down to the release of newer Amazfit smartwatches, and while these newer watches are indeed better, the difference is negligible.

The GTR 2e ships with a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen, a pulse rate, oxygen saturation and stress level monitor, the whole assortment of location tracking sensors, including GPS, an altimeter and a barometric monitor and a pretty reliable sleep monitor.

If you’re looking for a trendy and hip smartwatch that doubles as a fitness companion, the GTR 2e ticks all checkboxes.

What I love the most about the GTR 2e is the sleek and fashionable design. It’s a peach to look at, and that colourful AMOLED screen is just stunning. AMOLED means you can set this watch’s display to be always on without crushing battery life.

The OS for the GTR 2e is Amazfit’s own system, and I must say it’s a bit finicky to use, but it’s something you get used to with time. There’s a dedicated Zepp app that syncs to the smartwatch to aggregate collected data. Again, it takes some time to get used to how all this works, but I did, so you can.

As far as durability and build quality go, this is one of the better-made smartwatches you can find on AliExpress. The matte rim rarely picks up scratches, and the glass over the screen is scratch resistant.

More impressively, this watch is water and dust-proof. Light jog in the rain or swimming on a hot summer afternoon? You can take your GTR 2e with you, no worries.

1st runner up – Haylou RS4 Plus

Image showing Haylou RS4 plus smartwatch
The RS4 Plus shaves off GPS functionality for a more than $50 drop in the price. Great smartwatch for anyone not fixated on location-specific tracking.

At a glance

Bang for buck Chinese smartwatch

Great AMOLED display

Great quality build

IP68 rated for water and dust proofing

Sleep tracking

Heart rate, oxygen saturation, stress monitoring

Dedicated app for data synchronization and watch settings

Haylou’s recently released RS4 Plus is an embodiment of what bang for buck means in a smartwatch. With prices hovering in the sub $50 range, this is one of the more pocket-friendly Chinese smartwatches on the market. It is bang for buck, because for the features it packs and its overall build, this is an absolute steal.

For starters, this comes with all the essential health and fitness sensors you’d find on the Amazfit GTR 2e. So you get a heart rate monitor, as well as oxygen saturation and stress level detectors, essentially the whole works of what you need to track your fitness.

It does omit the GPS module, so this cannot provide location-specific tracking, but you still get the step counter and well over 20 activity modes to help with fitness tracking.

Fitness tracking aside, the build quality on the RS4 almost matches what you’d get on the Amazfit GTR 2e – it’s really close. It’s the same sleek (as opposed to rugged) look with streamlined edges and an almost bezeless screen.

That screen is an AMOLED panel like you’d find on the GTR 2e and the colors and sharpness are absolutely delightful. You’ll also love the strapless, magnetic band that ships with the RS4 Plus. It complements the suave styling of the smartwatch and, I must say, is a lot more intuitive.

Surprisingly given the price, the RS4 Plus is also waterproof, with an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. That’s something you’d typically find on $100 plus smartwatches like the GTR2e.

If you’re in the market for an affordable smartwatch and don’t mind the lack of GPS functionality, it’s hard to find another device that compares to the Haylou RS4 Plus.

2nd runner up – Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 lite

Image showing Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 lite smartwatch
Cheapest Chinese smartwatch on this list but still a very capable smartwatch all in all. The Redmi Watch 2 lite ditches the AMOLED panel for an okayish screen that you’ll love regardless

At a glance

Most affordable option

Good quality build

Excellent battery life

GPS functionality retained

IP68 rated for water and dust proofing

Sleep tracking

Heart rate, oxygen saturation, stress monitoring

Dedicated app for data synchronization and watch settings

You can think of the Redmi Watch 2 lite as an RS4 Plus without the AMOLED screen but with a handy GPS sensing module. If GPS and location data are important to you – say you want to track your hike trail or weekly runs, then ideally, you’d want this over the RS4 Plus.

Build quality is not exactly on par with the RS4 Plus, especially since this lacks that glorious AMOLED screen, but again, it’s not that far behind. You get a 1.5Inch TFT screen that’s still a joy to look at with slim enough bezels.

Sport, fitness and health tracking are all on point on the Redmi Watch 2 lite. This thing ships with practically the same sensor module you’d find on the RS4 Plus, so everything from activity tracking to pulse rate and temperature monitoring is included.

The Redmi Watch 2 lite also has a native app to synchronize all of that data so you can make more sense of it in-app.

I’ve left the best for the last – how much do you have to pay for all of this? $60, maybe $70? Nah, the Watch 2 Lite is the most affordable Chinese smartwatch on this list. For around $30 at the time of writing this, you can get one on AliExpress.

For a watch that ships with all the sensors and trackers you’d ever need, that’s an absolute steal of a deal.

It for sure doesn’t match the build quality and stylishness of both the GTR 2e and RS4 Plus. But, it checks all other relevant checkboxes – certainly the smartwatch to get if you’re on a tight budget. You don’t lose that much.

3rd runner up – Sacosding business watch

Image showing Sacosding business watch
Business smartwatch for anyone who wants anything other than the typical sleek and curvy smartwatch.

At a glance

Extremely durable build

Superb AMOLED screen

Excellent battery life

4GB of onboard storage for native music listening

GPS functionality onboard…

IP68 rated for water and dust proofing

Sleep tracking

Heart rate, oxygen saturation, stress monitoring

Dedicated app for data synchronization and watch settings

So far, we’ve mainly focused on the ‘sleeker’ smartwatches on AliExpress, but what if you wanted a smartwatch with a more traditional and, I’d say ‘manly’ look? The Sacosding smartwatch ditches the sleek curves you’d find on pretty every other smartwatch on this list for a machined and bolder look.

The design scheme here is ‘business style,’ so this looks a lot like the typical business watch, only instead, you get a super captivating 1.39-inch AMOLED screen with raised bezels that complement that whole business look while serving as a screen protector.

You can get this watch with a stainless steel, leather or rubber band.

Like most other smartwatches on this list, the Sacosding smartwatch has fitness and health tracking well covered. A heart rate monitor is onboard, so also is a temperature monitor and the entire physical activity tracking module.

Even better, this smartwatch ships with extra 4GB of onboard storage, so you can load up music, pair to a Bluetooth headphone and enjoy your music without bringing your phone with you. That’s a nice touch.

Build quality is superb. I already talked about the raised bezels and how they act as a screen protector. But, the Sacosding is also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, meaning you could take this for a swim or a run in wet conditions.

4th runner up – Amazfit GTR 3

Image showing Amazfit GTR 3 smartwatch
Best Chinese smartwatch you can buy, all things considered

At a glance

Best AMOLED display

Most stylish design yet

Dedicated scroll wheel for improved usability

Top-draw battery life

IP68 rated for water and dust proofing

Sleep tracking

Heart rate, oxygen saturation, stress monitoring

Dedicated app for data synchronization and watch settings

Matched up fair and square, the Amazfit GTR 3 is the best smartwatch on this list – it probably is the best Chinese-made smartwatch on AliExpress even. It takes the bottom spot because of its hefty price point. At the time of writing this, you need at least $180 to get one on of AliExpress.

$180 gets you the best screen of any smartwatch on this list, the best build quality and design, the best sensor suite – this thing ships with Huami’s (Amazfit’s parent company) most recent Biotracker PPG 3.0 biometric sensor module, and the best battery life.

So it’s basically an all-round improved GTR 2e. Is that improvement worth the extra 80 bucks Amazfit is charging? I’d say no – if all you want is a great smartwatch that does all it’s supposed to do and looks great while doing it, the GTR 2e is more than enough. That said, if you want the best thing on the market right now, the GTR 3 is what the doctor ordered.

It’s a delightful smartwatch to look at and wear. It’ll track practically all important fitness and health data – from activity tracking to sleep monitoring, the whole works.

It’s intuitive – start running or cycling, and this thing will automatically detect the exact physical activity and immediately start recording relevant data. It also comes with a scroll wheel – something you won’t find on the GTR 2e, and that makes navigating through the smartwatch’s menu nothing short of a breeze.

Add all of that to a build quality that rivals more premium smartwatches, and you see why this is practically the most complete smartwatch on this list. Got $180 to spend without remorse, the GTR 3 is perhaps the best smartwatch you can get on AliExpress.

It’s not the most expensive. After all, you can buy Samsung’s lineup of smartwatches on AliExpress, but as a value for money goes, there are few, if any, smartwatches that compare to GTR 3 at this price point.

What matters in a smartwatch – how we made this pick

Build quality

The build quality of any smartwatch will determine how good it looks and how long it lasts. Ideally, you want a smartwatch with a body panel made out of some form of metal. You also want a display that’s covered by some type of scratch-resistant glass.

Most mid-range smartwatches on AliExpress (including those on this list) carry metal build and scratch-resistant glassware. When you go cheap in the sub $30 range, then it’s almost guaranteed that your smartwatch will spot a plastic frame and normal glass that’s certain to pick up scratches over time.

Display quality

The centrepiece of any smartwatch is its display, and the gold standard for displays right now are AMOLED screens. They feature ‘pitch black’ blacks and well-saturated colors to make for an eye-catching look.

Very importantly, they are more energy efficient, and it’s this energy efficiency that allows them to be used in smartwatches with always-on displays – leave a non-AMOLED smartwatch display always on, and it’ll deplete its battery in 2 hours tops.

Again most fairly priced AliExpress smartwatches will carry an AMOLED panel. When you go cheap, expect something like a TFT or IPS screen. That’s not to say anything other than AMOLED is bad. Far from that, some TFT screens are decent. But if you want the best, stick with AMOLED.

Sensor list

The sensor stacked on a smartwatch determines how much health and fitness data it can track. As you’ll notice from this review, the usual sensor list includes trackers for heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature, sleep, and a GPS-accelerometer module for physical activity.

Some smartwatches like the Umidigi Urun (read my Umidigi Urun review here) carry an extra blood pressure measuring system, but the data it collects is not that reliable.

For now, except you’re buying something from Apple or Samsung, I’d skip most budget smartwatches carrying ‘advanced’ sensors. As I said, most of the data they collect will be inaccurate.

Battery life

Battery life is an important consideration with smartwatches; you don’t want to buy a smartwatch that requires you to charge it every 12 hours. Thankfully most AliExpress smartwatches, certainly the ones recommended in this list, have solid batteries that last at least a day, even with full-on activity and use.


Usability, or how easy to use a smartwatch, is majorly a function of the OS it uses. Bar Haylou, which uses Google’s Wear OS, most Chinese smartwatch manufacturers use their own in-house OS for their smartwatches.

Most are easy enough to use, and even those with fairly complicated systems get easier to use with time and as you familiarize yourself with the setup.

That said, if you don’t want to ever go wrong with usability in a Chinese smartwatch, I recommend anything made by Amazfit. Their watch OS is sublime, and the dedicated Zepp App, though a bit clunky, is highly functional and easy to use over time.

To conclude

AliExpress hosts the entire spectrum of Chinese smartwatches, from budget to mid-range and even high-end pieces from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. Getting the best Chinese smartwatch is a matter of picking what works best for you. And that’s what I’ve done in this guide – outline the best Chinese smartwatch in practically every budget category so you can make an informed pick.

If you need more info on shopping on AliExpress, check out my guide to buying phones on AliExpress. Although I made it for phones, most of the information there applies to other tech categories as well.

Frequently asked questions

What are the top Chinese smartwatch brands?

Without being pedantic, since even Apple and Samsung smartwatches are made in China, the top Chinese smartwatch brands include:
1. Amazfit
2. Huawei
3. Taylor

Founded in September 2015, Amazfit has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Amazfit’s parent company Huami supervises the manufacturing of a long list of wearables, and since 2017 the company has committed to developing in-house sensors and CPU components for their smart devices.

These days Amazfit is regarded as one of the world’s top producers of wearables and fitness-related gear. In 2021 it shipped well over 27.8 million smartwatches globally, making it the third largest producer of smartwatches in the world if you consider units made.

Their technology continues to evolve, and with the recently released Amazfit GTS 4 Mini, the company has shown it plans on taking on big dog Samsung and Apple someday not too far in the future.

Huawei needs no introduction. The company is arguably China’s largest exporter of tech-related products. Huawei was one of the first companies to provide bleeding edge consumer tech at ridiculously low prices, in the process usurping tremendous market share from heavyweights like Apple.

In a way, you could say that they led the way for companies like Amazfit to make their entry.
Till today they still lead the way even in wearable tech.

Haylou is probably the youngest Chinese smartwatch manufacturer currently making big waves. I’m a huge fan of their products. From the sleek and pocket-friendly TWS earbuds they make to the sleek and stylish smartwatches we just talked about,

Haylou defines what value for money is with their stellar lineup of tech products.

Granted, overall quality might not directly challenge bigger brands like Huawei, but if you’re looking for the best bargain deals in the smartwatch market, you can’t go wrong with Haylou

Will Chinese smartwatches last?

Absolutely! Smartwatches from brands like Amazfit and Haylou spot impressive build quality and are known to hold their own for very long periods.

Even some off-brand type watches on AliExpress are built to last; you just need to know which, and that’s exactly why I pieced up this review.

How long will it take to get a smartwatch I ordered from AliExpress?

Anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on the shipping method used by the seller.
Sellers typically use one of three shipping methods:

Which is super fast with deliveries in a week or under two weeks max. It’s the most expensive shipping option however.

2. AliExpress Standard Shipping (AESS)
Which is moderately fast with deliveries in under a month. This method is cheap and the most popular option on AliExpress.

3. Cainiao
Which is even cheaper, sometimes even free, but with the longest delivery window – it can take up to three months.

When shopping for a smartwatch, use the AESS method. It’s what I use, and I always get my item fast, sometimes in under two weeks.