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Get a refurbished Apple Watch for $229.99

From the Cheapskate: That's for the smaller version; the larger one is $269.99, still a solid discount.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


If you're a regular around these parts, you know that I consider a smartwatch all but indispensable. I can no longer function without the incredible convenience of wrist-powered notifications. No longer do I miss important calls and text messages, and no longer do I have to pull my phone out of my pocket every single time there's an alert.

You also know that my preferred budget smartwatch is the Martian Notifier. The smartwatch I wanted to love is the Pebble, but ongoing technical issues soured the appeal.

So, yeah, I caved. I bought an Apple Watch. Not for full price, of course, because that would be ridiculous. Instead, I snagged a deal like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Apple Watch Sport for $229.99 (38mm) and $269.99 (42mm). Regular prices: $349 and $399.

As of this morning, Woot has the Watch in just about all size and color configurations -- but one of them sold out while I was writing, so you might want to hurry.

Let me get the negative stuff out of the way first. I don't love the design; it's sleek and shiny, yes, but also thick and a little dorky-looking. Most Android Wear watches put it to shame.

Next, battery life is exactly as terrible as you've heard: You'll almost certainly have to recharge the Watch every night. But this isn't the hassle I thought it would be; I just plop it onto its inductive charger on my nightstand. (If only the iPhone were as easy!)

Finally, where the heck are all the watch faces?! You get the 10 or so Apple supplies, and that's it. Yes, you can customize them a bit, but largely they're an uninspired and boring bunch. Apple really needs to allow developers in on this.

All that being said, the Apple Watch is an ace at notifications. And I love being able to reply to text messages using canned text, emoji or a dictated response. Very handy.

I honestly don't bother with apps or any of the fitness-tracking stuff, though I do like the "find my phone" pinger option and the music controls. Everything is, for me, just fluff.

Most importantly, the watch has proven super-reliable, in that I've had exactly one lost connection in three months of use. (With the Pebble, it seemed like it was every few days.) And that's as it should be, given that it was created by the same company that made my phone.

No question, the Apple Watch is overpriced, at least for us cheapskates. So is the iPhone. But for a select few things, I'm willing to pay a premium. This is one of them. I still wouldn't pay $350-$400, but $230-$270? That's at least in the ballpark of reasonable. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Nothing today, sorry! Wanted to get this posted ASAP before a sellout. Will make it up tomorrow!