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Three smartwatches way more affordable than the Apple Watch

Before you lose your head and drop at least $350 on Apple's first-gen wrist buddy, check out these low-cost alternatives.

The Moto 360 delivers the sexytime at a deal price. Sarah Tew

In case you've been living in a bunker the last few weeks, the Apple Watch goes on sale today. I wonder if you can guess the Cheapskate's feelings about a wrist companion that starts at $399 (for the men's Sport model) and goes up sharply from there?

Yeah, no. Don't get me wrong, I love a watch that can give me notifications, but everything else is overkill. And that barely-a-day battery life? Don't get me started.

With that in mind, I bring you three smartwatch options that will cost you considerably less, while still delivering buzzy notification goodness. Oh, and they all work with Android devices, too.

First up: Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the refurbished MetaWatch Strata for $15, plus $5 for shipping. (Alas, the way cooler-looking MetaWatch Frame is already sold out.) It has kind of a throwback, digital-watch-from-the-80s look to it, but it also shoehorns a lot of information onto its screen. And the battery is good for up to a week between charges.

(I apologize in advance if the Strata sells out by the time you get to it. In the past I've seen it for $40, so at $15 I suspect folks will snap these up pronto.)

Second up: Also while supplies last (and definitely for a limited time), Amazon has the Motorola Moto 360 for $179 shipped -- by far the lowest price I've seen.

This is perhaps the sexiest smartwatch you can buy today, or at least in the top five. As noted in CNET's review , it does have battery issues (meaning you should plan on recharging it almost daily), and the Android Wear software running the show has room for improvement.

But if you're an Android user who wants it all -- cool watch-faces, full Google integration, heart- and fitness-monitoring, etc. -- this is a pretty sweet deal.

Finally, a rerun from yesterday: The original Pebble smartwatch is still arguably the best product in its class, offering cross-platform compatibility, solid battery life and loads of cool apps and watch faces.

For a limited time, you can get a Pebble for $89 -- not the lowest price I've seen, but lower than the $99 regular price. It's available in black, white or red, and I have to admit the white one is the snazziest (or at least, the least geeky) of the three.

With the newer Pebble Time models on the way, you can expect to see even better original-Pebble deals in the coming months. For now, though, this is a solid deal on a really solid smartwatch.


Bonus deal: There's a lot of life left in the Xbox 360, and if you don't mind a used one, here's an amazing deal: While supplies last, Cowboom has the used Xbox 360 for $54.99 shipped (plus tax) when you apply coupon code X36041615 at checkout. Just click Choose Best Available and sift through the options. Most of these are rated "fair" condition, and will probably require you to buy an AV cable and controller separately. And it might be worth an extra $9.99 for a one-year protection plan. Even so, it's still a dirt-cheap Xbox.