Xiaomi debuts Mi Watch, calls it a ‘small phone on your wrist’
Xiaomi has launched its first smartwatch alongside the penta-camera Mi CC9 Pro smartphone. Called the Xiaomi Mi Watch, the smartwatch is more than inspired by the Apple Watch. It gets the same square dial design and rotating crown, representing two of the stand-out features on the Apple Watch. However, in true Xiaomi fashion, the Mi Watch is less than half the price of its Apple counterpart.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch starts at CNY 1,299 (~$185) and goes up to CNY 1,999 (~$285). It comes with all the frills worthy of a mid-tier smartwatch. You get a 1.78-inch AMOLED always-on screen, 4G eSIM connectivity for standalone music streaming and calls, 100+ watch faces, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, you name it.
Xiaomi apparently calls it a “small phone on your wrist,” according to GSMArena.
Mi Watch: Hardware and software
The watch has a ceramic back and an aluminum alloy frame. It houses a button and a crown on its right edge. There’s a microphone placed between these two mechanisms. The left edge of the watch features a single speaker.
The processing needs on the Mi Watch are taken care of by last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 chipset. The quad-core processor is based on Qualcomm’s 2013 Snapdragon 400 mobile processor so it’s no great shakes, but we’ve seen it power multiple Wear OS smartwatches in 2019 like those from Fossil, Misfit and more.
Speaking of Wear OS, the Xiaomi Mi Watch layers MIUI For Watch on top of Wear OS. It is the first smartwatch to run a custom skin on top of Google’s smartwatch operating system. There are over 40 apps baked into the watch, including lighter versions of popular MIUI apps like Tasks, Recorder, Notes, Mi Home and more. MIUI For Watch also has its own app store which is now accessible to third-party developers.
Battery life on the Mi Watch is a promised 36 hours of continuous usage on a 570 mAh battery. It also gets 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
Mi Watch: Fitness tracking
In terms of fitness tracking, the Mi Watch can track 10 physical activities. You get the usual spate of walking, running, swimming, climbing, and other workout tracking tools. It also enables heart-rate monitoring and displays VO2 max ratings.
Further, the Mi Watch gets an algorithm called Firstbeat. It analyzes heart rate and exercise speed at multiple points during a training session, making it easier to track changes in fitness levels.
The Mi Watch will be available in China on November 11. There is no word yet on a global launch of the smartwatch.