Xiaomi is constantly increasing the pace, releasing more and more of its own and partner gadgets in the same category, leaving no chance for competitors.
Apparently, the company’s marketers work on the principle: “The more devices and hype around, the better.”
Otherwise, the appearance of the Xiaomi Mi Watch Round smart watch based on the WearOS operating system cannot be explained in any way: the most long-awaited and strangest wearable gadget in the last six months.
Tested — I tell.
What are Xiaomi wearable gadgets
Xiaomi marketing experiments: under the brand logo, a lot of rather similar devices appear. Startups associated with the company are trying to produce slightly different devices from each other, occupying all possible niches. For example:
one. Xiaomi releases under its own logo the most advanced Mi Watch and its simplified model Mi Watch Round, both based on WearOS.
2. Redmi makes a tracker of the same name and is preparing to release smart watches for the domestic market under the same brand.
3. Huami/Amazfit is responsible for every existing Mi Band (our review), the stylish GTS and GTR with AMOLED displays, the rugged T‑Rex, the budget tracker watch Bip and Bip S, and the very advanced sports Stratos.
four. Haylou is trying to master the budget segment by releasing simplified analogs of Amazfit Bip in several modifications, and rather original solar-powered Solar watches.
5. TicWatch started under the YouPin logo, and today they sell a line of advanced watches on Android WearOS. Judging by the lineup, it was they who gave life to the smart watches of Xiaomi itself.
Due to the large number of options, some models remained regional novelties. This list also includes Xiaomi’s own watch: Mi Watch is designed to use local services, pay using AliPay / MiPay and eSIM of Chinese operators.
Simplified model Mi Watch Round planned for the international marketbut after six months it did not go further than the local niche.
Let’s try to figure it out: why did it happen and does the European buyer need this watch?
The main thing in watches is beauty
Looks nice on the hand
In terms of design, the Mi Watch Round, also known as the Mi Watch Color, doesn’t offer anything unique: it’s just “another round smartwatch.”
Not an Apple Watch clone, and already good, right?
They are slightly thinner than the Apple Watch and the direct analogs of Amazfit: with a diagonal of large models, the thickness of the case approaches the female versions. Comfortable.
Women and teenagers should look at another option: a large dial and strap fasteners make it uncomfortable to wear on narrow wrists.
The reverse side is practically devoid of protruding parts.
Die-cast body — outer part painted aluminium, inner part — durable hypoallergenic plastic.
The Mi Watch Round uses a 22mm silicone strap with a quick-release fastening that is grooved on the inside. The quality is worse than in Mi Band, during the night the hand may turn red under the bracelet.
Amazfit GTR 47 mm (left), Xiaomi Mi Watch Round (right)
It is recommended to immediately change to an analogue from Amazfit GTR 47 mm or any watch of the appropriate size you like.
Wear around the clock such hours are inconvenient — as opposed to more ergonomic square models, including the Apple Watch.
Bright and pretentious AMOLED display
GTR looks brutal, Mi Watch looks logical and stylish
One of the most important advantages of Mi Watch Round is a beautiful AMOLED screen with an impressive resolution of 454 × 454 pixels, a diagonal of 1.78 inches and excellent pixel density.
The image is clear and legible. The brightness in Always-On mode is low, but the same cannot be said about the active mode.
There is no difference with the most modern models — like our favorite Watch, Mi Watch Round is perfectly visible under the bright sun.
The main drawback of the screen is the form factor itself. The frames are very large even when it comes to the watchface.
The interface only displays 3x3 icons — it doesn’t fit anymore. But on a regular Mi Watch with a smaller diagonal, there are 3 more of them, and the frames are much smaller.
The imitation bezel, which rises 3 millimeters above the screen, protects it well in addition to Gorilla glass. And it forms a “dead” zone 3–5 millimeters away from itself, depending on the thickness of the fingers.
How to make Google’s WearOS completely useless
Here is the interface
But the bezel is not a problem. Trouble — official chinese firmware. There is no local multilingual either. English is available in the interface, only Chinese traditional is available during pairing.
On well-known smartwatch models, WearOS allows you to install widgets, programs from the Google app store and modify the interface.
And both independently through the watch, and through the smartphone. But this is in international devices: you can create firmware modifications there.
Xiaomi watches use their own monolithic version of WearOS without the support of Google services, which are replaced by local Chinese ones.
Branded app store offers a minimum: it has a WeChat client and a lot of non-local browsers, but no Telegram, no WhatsApp, no banal Facebook.
So, in fact, the Europeans will have to be content with a store with 150 watchfaces, among which analogue options from Amazfit GTR prevail.
As a synchronization application, the Chinese Wear OS application is used, which has nothing to do with the well-known one.
What can Mi Watch Round actually do?
In the simplest scenarios, knowledge of Chinese is not required
The watch is controlled using a touch screen and a pair of mechanical buttons.
The upper one is needed to turn on the screen and go to the main menu, the lower one is to activate the training modes. There are 10 in totalincluding running and swimming.
Moisture resistance of Mi Round is declared to the level 50ATM, but I would not risk diving with them to a depth of 50 meters. In the shower or bath you can not shoot.
In addition, the watch measures the number of steps taken and calories burned, heart rate, tracks sleep, shows the weather.
There are also more prosaic functions like an alarm clock, a flashlight (the maximum screen brightness is used)
All this is located with the help of swipes from right to left. There is also a menu with settings, including choosing a dial and adding widgets (set in the firmware).
Swipe up opens the quick settings menu, where there is a music management department and your own watch settings (brightness, activation of energy-saving mode, and more).
What about eSIM, GPS and NFC?
Messages only display English and Chinese
Like its predecessor, Mi Watch Round is based on a vintage processor Snapdragon Wear 3100. It is still relevant due to the lack of serious competitors. But even inveterate Android fans find it funny.
In addition, there is 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory on board. True, for some reason the latter is not available to the user — neither for any personal files, nor for music (and this works even in Amazfit Pace).
There is no Wi-Fi, but there is Bluetooth 5.0 (direct connection to headphones is not supported) for synchronization with a smartphone, as well as a GPS / BEIDOU / GLONASS navigation module.
For navigation, a proprietary Chinese application with Chinese is used. They work, navigation is accurate, maps are very detailed. But the language is only Chinese, as in the messages.
Further more fun: the watch does not have a microphone, speaker and eSIM, which have become the main “chip” of the “square watch from xiaomi itself”. That means you can’t call them.
The watch has an NFC module to which you can add AliPay and access cards with the appropriate interface to open doors or activate smart home sensors.
You can connect a European payment card, but it will not work. “Troika” not defined.
Who needs Mi Watch Round?
Always-On is dim
Like any other WearOS watch, Xiaomi Mi Watch Round runs on a full battery charge for about 2 weeks, but no more than 2 days with active GPS or in training mode.
When charging for 2 hours, the problem is small. But against the background of numerous long-lived Amazfit, Huawei and Mi Band, the pleasure is doubtful.
Wearing them on my small wrist is unusual and uncomfortable: classic men’s watches are more comfortable and often smaller. It is completely impossible to wear around the clock — they are too large and the bracelet fails.
The indicators of the reference PPG Tracker from Amazfit are almost the same
The accuracy of various modes is good, but stands out from the competition: the old-style heart rate monitor and the inability to connect external sensors speak for themselves.
After all, the absence of even third party app store or custom firmware could give life to this watch. But for now, Xiaomi Mi Watch Round was created by the Chinese for the Chinese. And no more.
“Square xiaomi” were surprisingly more ergonomic, comfortable and advanced — although their general shortcomings are the same as Round.
I want a smart watch. Which ones to buy?
Where are the hours? I’m confused
There is no practical benefit from Xiaomi smart watches for their 6,5 dollars. Need a stylish look and accurate activity tracking? For this, there are Amazfit Pace and Stratos.
Need a cheap and stylish tracker? Amazfit GTR, Huawei and Oppo/realme look just as good and can do just as well. Yes, they work longer.
In the end, Mi Band 4 with NFC decides. Or Bip, but without contactless payment. Or the already mentioned Haylou.
Even Mi fans do not need this
Need a cheap watch Android Wear? And the modern model? Then TicWatch, of which a lot has been created, can be found even for 3–50$.
But Xiaomi smart watches cannot be recommended to readers. Although they tried to implement the best of the Apple Watch and could be a serious competitor, the current implementation does not suit the European user categorically.