Xiaomi launched a few Mi Watch health watches; Mi Watch that runs on WearOS which has a similar design to the Apple Watch but it’s only made available exclusively for China market. Next is the Mi Watch Color Sports Edition for China market with a circular display and also the Mi Watch Revolve that made exclusively for India market.
Late last year and early this year, Xiaomi Malaysia released two Mi Watches, the Mi Watch Lite and Mi Watch which I’ll be reviewing.
Design & Display
The Mi Watch is considered a latecomer in this health band watch which competing with HUAWEI, HONOR, Amazfit, and more. It features circular 1.39-inch AMOLED 2.5D curved touch display covered with a solid plastic case that’s lightweight. The 454 x 454 pixels resolution screen is bright and sharp.
There are two buttons on the right side with a huge text “HOME” and “SPORT” which kinda turned me off. It does look like a toy watch that carrying a big “SPORT WATCH” logo on it. I would rather have a more simple design without any text on it, after all, you wouldn’t forget which buttons are which.
The top button brings me the app menu, returning to the preview menu and power option. It has a dedicated Sport button that brings up 117 fitness modes including running, cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking, HIIT and much more. I kinda like the tactile buttons and the red accent colour on the sport button.
The strap that comes with the watch is pretty soft to touch and easily swap them out with the quick release pin to your preference 22mm strap. There are two loops and one with a hook that latches onto the hole on the strap for more secure wear. Personally, I would remove one of it as it’s quite hard to remove when I want to take it off for shower or sleep without it.
The rear of the watch is the sensors and charging pins. The USB propriety charging cradle uses magnets to align with the watch and take less than 2 hours to completely charge the Mi Watch.
Hardware & Software
There are a lot of sensors packed in this watch including Accelerometer, Gyroscope, SpO2, PPG Cardiotachometer, Geomagnetic, Barometer and Ambient Light and GPS (GLONASS, Galileo and Baidu). All are handled with Xiaomi custom OS that very similar to HUAWEI or HONOR LiteOS.
Due to non Wear OS, the Mi Watch is fixed with some Mi Watch app menu in a 3×3 grid of app icons. All the data that collected from the Mi Watch will require Xiaomi Wear app to generate more details workouts and health tracking activities. The UI is pretty clean, well-polished and looks very personal.
I still can view some basic monitoring from the watch like Blood Pressure, Energy, Sleep Tracking, Stress, Weather, Music control and of course workout result logs.
There are over 100+ watch faces that can be changed through the Xiaomi Wear app. Always-on-Display features are available and it will disable raise to wake if its enabled.
Here comes the disadvantage of the non-smartwatch OS, notification. The Mi Watch will able to show notifications like messages, email, notifications from apps and etc but we can’t interact with it. For example, a quick reply or launch an app from the connected device and even some emojis are missing or replaced with just an * in the text.
I’m getting around 6 days of usage with 24/7 continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking and notification from my main phone, Samsung Galaxy Fold. The brightness was set at 4 (default) and brought out for a 2 km short run with GPS connected. I would say the battery life is just decent and much better compared to power hunger smartwatch OS.
The company did claimed that the Mi Watch offers up to 16 days of battery life in a single charge which quite far off from what I have tested on regular use.
Mi Watch (Global Version) Review
Personally, in term of features over price, the Mi Watch doesn’t look appealing compared to its competitors like the HONOR MagicWatch 2 or HUAWEI Watch GT2. For the price of RM 469, I would top up to get the HONOR MagicWatch 2 that offers a more premium design, built-in speaker (Can answer calls) and 4GB storage for standalone music playback (from speaker/Earbuds).
On the other hand, the Mi Watch Lite would look more compelling which offers half of the price with pretty solid hardware and features. If you don’t mind the square display and uses IPS panel.
- Sharp & Bright AMOLED Display
- Packed with assorted sensors for fitness and health tracking
- Clean Xiaomi Wear app
- Could have a better bezel design