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Wearable Tech

Just $36, this waterproof smartwatch has built-in GPS and a 7-day battery (Update: Sold out)

The latest in my series of cheap-watch evaluations, this model ups the ante. Plus: Two sweet bonus deals.

holyhigh-p1c

The HolyHigh P1C has a nice display and lots of features, including GPS and a heart-rate monitor.

Rick Broida/CNET

I've been on something of a cheap-watch jag. Last month I looked at the BingoFit Epic, a surprisingly stylish wearable priced at just $28 (via a promo code that has since expired). Then I tried on the Apple-Watch-lookalike Letsfit ID205, another rather impressive model -- especially given its $31.49 price tag (also expired).

The key takeaway from these two tests: You can get a decent amount of smartwatch for surprisingly little money. They're not always good at everything, but they're often good at some things -- and good enough given the price.

The latest example: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the HolyHigh P1C Smartwatch is $35.98 with promo code SBC7ZRI2. It normally sells for $90. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

HolyHigh? Yeah. Luckily, that silly branding is nowhere to be found on the watch itself. And the watch is sold under at least two other brand names: MorePro and G-Pro (priced at $61 and $80, respectively). If you use the above link and see this same watch from a different seller, the code won't work.

So from here I'll just call it the P1C, which is the name that appears in the instruction manual. The watch offers a wide range of features, some more advanced than you'd expect, including GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity-tracking for 17 different sports (finally, I can log my badminton!) and a seven-day battery. It's IP68-rated, meaning you can swim and shower with it.

I can't say I love the design, which is a bit bulky and bezel-heavy, but at least it's not cheap-looking in the same way as the Pebble and Amazfit Bip.

The P1C watch offers an assortment of colorful, informative faces. 

HolyHigh

I wore the watch for about a week; here's what I liked about it:

  • Built-in GPS: You can go for a run, bike or whatever and leave your phone behind. The P1C will collect your route data and sync it back when you return. The aforementioned Epic and ID205 lack GPS.
  • Notifications: For me this is the essential feature in any smartwatch, and the P1C does a decent job with them. You can toggle notifications for over a dozen individual apps, Facebook Messenger and Slack the notable exceptions.
  • Customizable notifications: You can set different vibration patterns for alarms, calls, messages and so on.
  • Display: It's on the small side, but easy to read and visible under direct sun (provided you have the brightness turned up fairly high).
  • Battery life: Plan on about a week, depending on how you use it. An hour of GPS use will kill about a day's worth of battery.
  • Simplicity: Save for the extra buttons (see below), the watch itself easy to use, as is the Zeroner Health companion app. The latter can share data with Apple Health and Strava.
  • Illumi Run: This is cool. While you're running, the watch face changes colors relative to your heart rate: Blue for warm-up, orange for aerobic and so on.
  • Watch faces: It comes with a dozen of them, all selectable via the watch (no futzing with the app, which is nice). They're colorful and varied, if a little overly cartoonish.

Here's what I didn't like:

  • Button overkill: The P1C has three of them, and it takes time to learn what does what. Fortunately, you can access virtually every feature just by swiping the touchscreen.
  • No music controls: Virtually every other watch I've tested will at least let you play/pause your music.
  • Unreliable raise-to-wake: Sometimes it just didn't work well, and there's no tap-to-wake option: You have to press one of the buttons.
  • No scheduled do-not-disturb mode: You can manually enable and disable DND, but you can't schedule it.
  • Incomplete instructions: There are modes in both the app and the watch's settings menu that aren't explained anywhere. "Smart track?" "Palming gestures?"

Limitations and issues like these might be dealbreakers for a watch costing $200 to $300. But $36? I can forgive virtually everything. The P1C tells time, slings notifications, tracks activity and more, for a price that's pretty tough to beat. I can't speak to its long-term reliability, but for anyone seeking an affordable smartwatch, this is worth a look.

Your thoughts?

Read more: The best smartwatches for 2019

Bonus deal: Get an Anki Overdrive Starter Kit for $65

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Slot cars without the slots? That's the Anki Overdrive in a nutshell. It was crazy-expensive when it debuted a few years back, but now you can pick one up on the cheap: For a limited time, and while supplies last, TechRabbit via eBay has the Anki Overdrive Starter Kit for $64.99.

The kit includes an expandable figure-eight track and two cars. The latter are controlled via phone or tablet. Anki's app enhances the racing experience with things like virtual weapons and AI competitors.

Of course, you'll want to start adding things like more cars, extra track and maybe the freaking awesome Supertruck. This kit is fine to get you started (and potentially a great gift for a youngster), but budget accordingly.

Bonus deal No. 2: Preorder the new Roku Ultra for $79 (Update: Expired)

Roku recently took the wraps off a bunch of new streamers, including the top-end Ultra model, which will sell for $100 when it goes on sale later this month.

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The new Roku Ultra adds two programmable buttons to the remote.

Sarah Tew/CNET

However, you can score a decent discount if you preorder it right now: For a limited time, Walmart has the all-new Roku Ultra for $79. That's a $21 savings, and certainly the best (and only) deal to date on this premium model. You'll also get a $10 Vudu credit you can redeem toward a movie rental or purchase.

That price puts the Roku Ultra alongside the Walmart-exclusive Ultra LT, which lacks the former's remote-specific amenities: a mute button, a remote finder and two programmable buttons.

Beyond that, you get all the usual Roku goodness, including 4K HDR streaming (from available sources). I was already a fan of the Ultra's remote, which has a wired-headphone jack for private listening.

CNET hasn't yet reviewed the new model, but it was already a winner way back in 2017. (Read that Roku Ultra review to learn more.) If you're looking to splurge on an upgrade, make it this one.


CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

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Anki Overdrive
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