Although Xiao­mi has been cre­at­ing fit­ness bracelets for sev­er­al years, it is only now that they are about to release smart watch­es. The new Mi Watch attracts with its inter­est­ing design, pow­er­ful bat­tery, wide sports capa­bil­i­ties and rea­son­able price tag. What actu­al­ly turned out to be the brand’s first smart­watch?

Ergonomic design

The Mi Watch case is made of mat­te black polyamide, that is, plas­tic. The man­u­fac­tur­er also pre­sent­ed dark blue and beige col­ors. Thanks to the cho­sen mate­r­i­al, the gad­get turned out to be very light: it weighs only 32 grams. Through­out the day, the watch is not felt at all on your hand. The prac­ti­cal polyurethane strap has a large num­ber of holes, so the device is suit­able for both male and female audi­ences. The only neg­a­tive is that your hand gets sweaty under the includ­ed strap, but the stan­dard 22mm mount makes it easy to replace it with any oth­er one.

Flagship level screen

The acces­so­ry is equipped with a 1.39-inch AMOLED matrix with a res­o­lu­tion of 454×454. The pix­el den­si­ty is good — 326 ppi. The dis­play pleas­es with excel­lent col­or ren­der­ing and wide view­ing angles. Let us note an unusu­al design move: glass with a high-qual­i­ty oleo­pho­bic coat­ing lies in a sep­a­rate lay­er on top of the body. It looks beau­ti­ful, but there is a high risk of scratch­ing or break­ing it. In the set­tings, you can enable the Always On Dis­play func­tion by select­ing one of six design options. This way the cur­rent time and date will always be dis­played on the screen. But if you raise your hand, the watch will con­tin­ue to remain in this mode. To wake up, you need to press the phys­i­cal but­ton or dou­ble-click on the dis­play. Mi Watch is equipped with a light sen­sor, the speed of which there are no com­plaints. A wide range of bright­ness adjust­ments allows you to com­fort­ably use the gad­get both in direct sun­light and at night.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review

New application

The Mi Fit util­i­ty is a thing of the past. Now syn­chro­niza­tion of the watch with the smart­phone is ensured by the Xiao­mi Wear pro­gram, avail­able on Android and iOS. Cre­at­ing a pair takes no more than two min­utes. The appli­ca­tion inter­face is mod­ern, con­ve­nient and not over­loaded with any­thing. The main screen dis­plays health indi­ca­tors and a train­ing log, the sec­ond tab acti­vates work­outs, and the last tab con­fig­ures wid­gets, selects watch faces (4 are pre­in­stalled, 85 are avail­able for down­load), adjusts noti­fi­ca­tion sources, and updates soft­ware.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review

Ease of use

Mi Watch runs its own OS. You can­not install third-par­ty appli­ca­tions on the acces­so­ry. Built-in pro­grams open instant­ly, inter­face ani­ma­tions are drawn with­out stut­ter­ing. The clock man­age­ment is orga­nized as fol­lows. Swip­ing from above brings up the noti­fi­ca­tion cen­ter, from below — the quick set­tings cur­tain, left or right — switch­es between appli­ca­tion wid­gets, the order and list of which can be eas­i­ly set on the phone. There are two phys­i­cal but­tons on the right side of the device. Press­ing the top key opens a list of all pro­grams, and click­ing again returns you to the home screen with a watch face. The bot­tom but­ton brings up a list of sports modes. By the way, it can also be con­fig­ured to quick­ly acti­vate a spe­cif­ic work­out.

Anoth­er use­ful fea­ture is find­ing a smart­phone. It is enough to select the appro­pri­ate func­tion on the watch — and a phone lost in the depths of the apart­ment will imme­di­ate­ly beep (of course, the wear­able device must be with­in Blue­tooth range). Using the watch, you can con­trol music, which is espe­cial­ly help­ful on the go, when it is dif­fi­cult to take your mobile phone out of your pock­et. With Mi Watch you will always be dressed for the weath­er, because the gad­get will report mete­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions for the next five days. In addi­tion, you can set a pass­word for the new prod­uct, enable noti­fi­ca­tions when the con­nec­tion is bro­ken, and con­fig­ure the type of vibra­tion.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review

But work with noti­fi­ca­tions is not orga­nized in the best way: the sys­tem saves only the last 20 mes­sages. You can­not answer them; instead of emoti­cons, the “*” sym­bol is dis­played. The source of noti­fi­ca­tions is also not always clear. For exam­ple, the watch draws icons for Telegram, What­sApp and Insta­gram, but the VKon­tak­te and Viber appli­ca­tions remain unde­fined.

In a healthy body healthy mind

To track health indi­ca­tors, Mi Watch is packed with var­i­ous sen­sors. Using a heart rate mon­i­tor, the gad­get mon­i­tors your heart rate 24 hours a day, and a pulse oxime­ter mon­i­tors the lev­el of oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion in the blood. The gyro­scope helps to clear­ly detect every move­ment of the body. By sum­ming up the indi­ca­tors of all sen­sors, the acces­so­ry ana­lyzes sleep qual­i­ty and stress lev­els in detail. And the appli­ca­tion with breath­ing exer­cis­es will help reduce anx­i­ety and achieve a relaxed state.

Mi Watch offers 17 sports modes, from run­ning and cycling to yoga and row­ing. How­ev­er, among them there was no place for train­ing with push-ups and pull-ups. If before start­ing class­es you for­got to acti­vate the required mode, the watch will imme­di­ate­ly noti­fy you about this. Thanks to its water resis­tance of 5 ATM, the acces­so­ry can be tak­en into the pool and con­trol your swims. The gad­get sup­ports most pop­u­lar satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems, accu­rate­ly track­ing the dis­tance trav­eled. Dur­ing a work­out, you can’t see noti­fi­ca­tions or bat­tery lev­el on the screen, but you can con­trol music.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review

Autonomy

Dur­ing test­ing, the watch was in con­stant syn­chro­niza­tion with the smart­phone, received all noti­fi­ca­tions, mea­sured health indi­ca­tors, and the dis­play bright­ness was adjust­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly. In this mode, the gad­get was dis­charged by an aver­age of 8–10% in 24 hours. If you select the Always On Dis­play fea­ture, the bat­tery will drain an addi­tion­al 2 per­cent per day. With loca­tion detec­tion acti­vat­ed, the Mi Watch last­ed 34 hours. The ener­gy sav­ing mode will help extend bat­tery life. The acces­so­ry is charged using a cra­dle that clings tight­ly to the body using mag­nets. Replen­ish­ing ener­gy from 0 to 100% takes 1 hour 40 min­utes.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
45.9 x 45.9 x 11.8 mm
WEIGHT
32 grams (exclud­ing strap)
MATERIALS
body — polyamide (plas­tic)
strap — polyurethane
DISPLAY
1.39″, AMOLED, 454×454, 326 ppi
BATTERY
420 mAh
COMPOUND
Blue­tooth 5.0 LE, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Bei­dou
SENSORS
heart rate mon­i­tor, pulse oxime­ter, gyro­scope, barom­e­ter, geo­mag­net­ic sen­sor
PECULIARITIES
17 train­ing modes, 5 ATM water­proof, stress mea­sure­ment, sleep analy­sis, Xiao­mi Wear app

Results

Thanks to the large screen on the watch, it is much more con­ve­nient to view noti­fi­ca­tions and ana­lyze health indi­ca­tors than from a smart bracelet. How­ev­er, Mi Watch can hard­ly be called a full-fledged smart device: for exam­ple, it lacks an NFC mod­ule, func­tions for answer­ing mes­sages and calls, as well as installing third-par­ty appli­ca­tions. But the new Xiao­mi prod­uct has a tra­di­tion­al trump card — a humane price tag.

Xiaomi Mi Watch review