After releasing plenty of wearable devices through its subsidized companies, Xiaomi is finally introducing a smartwatch after its own brand. The Mi Watch is now distributed internationally and rumor has it, this might be a success story in the making. Let’s inspect!
Xiaomi Mi Watch: Short Overview
Coming at around $100 the Xiaomi Mi Watch stands in a class of its own. Taking after solid fitness tracking traditions this wearable is a joy to the eye, albeit not the most feature-rich smartwatch out there.
- Enduring battery.
- Well-built shell & satisfying strap material.
- Well-grouped monitoring statistics.
- Built-in GPS.
- Promising mobile app.
- No support for phone calls.
- No external Bluetooth devices support.
- Lacks use of the mic (for now).
- Missing Strava integration.
- Basic smartphone app.
- Slow firmware installation.
- No NFC.
Xiaomi Mi Watch Background
If you’re not familiar with the Xiaomi ecosystem, you might be feeling a bit hesitant to hop on the Mi Watch hype train.
Initially, it was restricted to China only under the name Mi Watch Color. Naturally, after its great success in the Chinese region, Xiaomi decided to release an international version and called it Mi Watch.
For the global Mi Watch, they cherry-picked 70mai—a company known for its quality dash cameras, and Huami—the Xiaomi-funded trailblazer behind the success of the popular Mi Bands and Amazfit products.
Price Point and Competition
As with any other well-rounded product by Xiaomi, the Mi Watch seems to have it all. Including the affordable price.
Sharing a launch date with the Mi10T Pro, the Xiaomi Mi Watch will cost you around $100, or 10,000 rupees in India—a region of huge interest for the company.
Due to its close resemblance to fitness trackers, rather limited hardware resources, and basic operating system, the Mi Watch competes with other wearables like the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro and Amazfit GTR.
We’ll tell you this, though—the Mi Watch hides a remarkably enduring battery. More on that later in the review.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Our Mi Watch arrived in a Mystery Box which made it that much fun to unpack! Xiaomi extended a challenge to test 10 of the workout modes—head over to the official Xiaomi channel to see how it went.
Aside from the slight difference in the color shown on the packaging and the actual color of the Mi Watch, our first impressions were good.
We’ve got the navy blue edition—one of three variations (the other two are black and beige), and 6 strap color options. The watch feels well-built, leaving no plastic afterthoughts. Special attention must be paid to the strap material which reminded us of the Garmin’s Vivoactive texture. A fine choice, indeed.
Hardware and Technical Specifications
We’ve come prepared with a handy spec sheet that will help set some expectations. Let’s see if these numbers are just a flex.
Display: 1.39-inch color AMOLED
Brightness: 450 nits in peak moments (significantly lower than the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro’s 800 nits)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
Sensors: PPG HR sensor (including SpO2), built-in GPS, Geomagnetic sensor, Air pressure sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass, and more
IP rating: 5ATM
Microphone: present, but actually used in the Chinese addition only, globally we’ll be expecting to receive Alexa support.
Even if you’re a die-hard smartwatch fan and follow all industry trends, the Xiaomi Mi Watch’s interface might be the first of its kind. It isn’t fundamentally different, nor revolutionizing. But it definitely features some new ideas which are worth your attention.
Navigation and Action Controls
The top pusher acts as a home button and also opens the apps section. The bottom one is configurable, its default command acts as quick access to the workouts.
Swipe down to see the notifications and swipe up to access the quick toggles. Swipe left or right to go through the main tiles. What really stood out in the featured UI is the implementation of big, daylight-friendly fonts.
Upon opening each of the corresponding apps from the app drawer, you’ll find a significantly greater amount of data.
HR Monitoring and Stress Tracking
Both sensors of the Mi Watch revealed results we find to be rather accurate. We do believe the heart rate monitoring might get messed up from higher-intensity periods of activity, though.
The stats include the last 30 days of activity and although they seem well-grouped, unpacking them might feel like a bit of a struggle.
Same well-grouped statistics including data about your light and deep sleep, as well as the overall sleep score.
What immediately sticks out are the icons—suspiciously similar to the MIUI app icons, which points to a great match in disguise. Pick your favorite Xiaomi smartphone and go all in.
Fitness Tracking and Additional Features
There are 17 professional exercises and up to 100 different kinds of exercises to be tracked. Thanks to the built-in GPS you can collect a satisfying amount of data.
What’s even handier is in cases of hiking trips or marathons, there’s no need to take your smartphone with you. And with the Hulk-like battery of the Mi Watch which lasts close to 50 hours with GPS on, we’d say you’re covered.
Speaking of accuracy, compared to the Amazfit GTR2, the Mi Watch is giving us way better results and we all agree the GPS tracking is on point.
Additional settings at your disposal include: enable/disable AOD, fine-tune the vibration, wrist raise gestures, and set a display password.
The Bluetooth connection to the phone was stable at any point of time with rather good coverage and notifications worked flawlessly. Additional niceties are the native support of emojis and the camera trigger.
You might expect the Mi Fit or the Zepp app, but as Mi Watch is not a Huami-manufactured device, you’ll be getting the new Xiaomi Wear app.
A new beginning, and a promising one at that. It’s user-friendly at its current state, enabling you to adjust most of the phone’s features and main widgets.
We expect there’ll be plenty of features to be added in the coming months, but for now, you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely watch face customizer (with more than 100 watch faces already there, and even one where you can use a custom photo).
In the Wear app you’ll find a lot of good statistical info available – for steps, HR, stress, and, generally any kind of data you decide to include. We experienced a flawless performance without any crashes.
The interface is clean and the visualization of GPS data is surprisingly accurate, not to mention it all syncs once it gets connected to your smartphone.
Xiaomi Mi Watch: Final Verdict
If what you’re after is trustworthy battery life and detailed health tracking, with the Mi Watch you’ll be getting exactly that. With a few smart features, the mighty Alexa AI assistant, lovely display, amazing build quality, and a quickly developing smartphone app, for around $100 this wearable is a steal.
Although it’s not feature-rich as the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro or the Amazfit GTR 2, the Mi Watch excels in a class of its own and has proven it’s a great all-rounder.
Xiaomi Mi Watch: https://geni.us/MiWatch
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