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Wearable Tech

This Apple Watch clone is surprisingly good for just $31.49 (Update: Sold out)

It might be, er, time to readjust our expectations for super cheap wearables. Plus: This two-port USB wall charger is only six bucks.

letsfit-id205-watch

The Letsfit ID205 looks like the Apple Watch, but costs significantly less.

Rick Broida/CNET

A couple weeks ago I asked this question: How good could a super cheap smartwatch possibly be? My focus there was the BingoFit Epic, which, thanks to a Cheapskate-exclusive promo code, could be yours for just $28. Verdict: Surprisingly good, if you keep your expectations in check.

See, these watches claim to be jacks of all trades -- fitness-tracking, heart-rate monitoring and so on -- but often prove to be masters of none. And that's OK, provided they're effective at some things, which many are. For example, maybe you just want a watch that looks smart, tells time (duh), controls music playback on your phone and notifies you of things like calls, appointments and text messages.

With that in mind, I've been testing another cheapie wearable -- one I've also found to be surprisingly good in many respects. Here's the deal, followed by what you need to know: For a limited time, and while supplies last, QKUS Direct via Amazon has the Letsfit ID205 smartwatch for $31.49. That's after clipping the on-page 20%-off coupon and then applying promo code 10CNETID205 at checkout. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Update: QKUS Direct is apparently sold out. The currently listed seller -- ZHWY -- is offering the same 20%-off coupon, but not the additional savings afforded by the code. Thus your price will be $35.99.

Interestingly, I've seen this exact watch with different branding, so don't be surprised if you happen upon it with a different name from different sellers.

The ID205 looks a lot like the Amazfit Bip, which in turn resembles the Apple Watch. So it's rectangular, with a square embedded 1.3-inch display and a fair amount of plastic bezel surrounding it. It's not an always-on display like the Bip's, but it's also much brighter and sharper. Thankfully, it's also readable outdoors, unlike the BingoFit Epic.

letsfit-id205-amazfit-bip-apple-watch-series-3

From left to right: The Letsfit ID205, Amazfit Bip and Apple Watch Series 3.

Rick Broida/CNET

I still believe the latter, with its round, metal casing, is far prettier than any of these. But at least the ID205 has an actual touchscreen, along with a function button on either side. The left one immediately engages your preferred fitness activity; the right one is a Back button. Other options are all just a swipe away from the watch face, of which there are four to choose from.

Here's what I liked about the ID205:

  • Display: Big and bright, and pretty visible outdoors.
  • Battery life: Plan on about a week, depending on how you use it.
  • Notifications: For me this is the essential feature in any smartwatch, and the ID205 does a decent job with them. You can toggle notifications for about a dozen individual apps (though Slack isn't among them).
  • Simplicity: The watch itself is easy to use, as is the VeryFitPro companion app. (The latter, incidentally, can share data with Apple Health and Strava.)
  • Miscellaneous: It has handy features including basic music controls, a breathing exercise, a stopwatch, low-power and do-not-disturb modes and even a flashlight function.

Here's what I didn't like:

  • Look and feel: Like the Bip, the ID205 looks like a cheap, plastic watch. (Which, let's be honest, it is.)
  • No built-in GPS: Instead, it pulls data from your phone. 
  • Only four watch faces: These are functional but a little meh; the one pictured up top is the snazziest.
  • Not fully waterproof: Although the watch promises to withstand sweat and rain, it's not fully waterproof, meaning it doesn't belong in the shower or pool. That's in direct contradiction to the main product description, which says "waterproof," and one of the accompanying photos, which shows it being used by a swimmer.

Another important consideration: How good could a $32 smartwatch possibly be at heart-rate monitoring? I did a quick, highly unscientific test: One after the other, I measured my resting heart rate using the ID205, Amazfit Bip and Apple Watch. To my surprise, all three were within a beat or two of each other (63 bpm on average, if you're curious). But I wasn't able to conduct any exercise tests, and here results can definitely vary, especially as a watch moves on your wrist and encounters sweat.

Bottom line: If you buy this expecting an Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch or the like, you're going to be disappointed. But if you want basic smartwatch features, solid battery life and an incredibly low price, there's a good chance you'll like this very much.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: The thing everybody needs is only $6

That watch up there? Its charging cradle needs a USB port. The Qi charging stand you're buying for your new phone? Needs a USB port. That GeoZilla GPS tracker I wrote about a couple weeks ago? Needs a USB port.

easyacc-2-port-usb-wall-charger
EasyAcc

Indeed, tons of devices rely on USB for charging, but surprisingly few devices actually come with AC adapters. So you'll want to keep a few on hand. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the EasyAcc 2-port USB 24-watt Wall Charger is $5.99 with promo code OV8YKBDH. Regular price: $9.99. And the discount applies to multiple units, not just one.

The wall-wart measures only 2.1 by 2.1 by 1.1 inches and has folding prongs, so it's definitely travel-friendly. Its two USB ports can deliver up to 2.4 amps per device (though take note that neither port supports Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, something to look for if you own mobile gear that does).

EasyAcc backs the plug with an 18-month warranty, and nearly 250 buyers collectively rated it 4.6 stars out of 5. For $6, this is a no-brainer.


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Apple Watch Series 5 GPS (44mm silver aluminum case, white sport band)
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