Xiaomi Mi Watch is unapologetically inspired by the Apple Watch, but costs only $185
Xiaomi has been well-known for its fitness products, especially the Mi Band lineup. In the past, Xiaomi has depended on another Chinese company Huami – the maker of Amazfit smartwatches – for these Mi Bands. Today, alongside the launch of the Mi CC9 Pro and the Mi TV 5 Series, Xiaomi announced its first true smartwatch called the Mi Watch, which comes with LTE connectivity and looks like an unapologetic copy of early generations of the Apple Watch from the front. It also comes with a custom UI called MIUI for Watch based on Google’s Wear OS.
The Mi Watch features a 44mm square dial with a 1.78-inch AMOLED display. The display has a resolution of 410 x 410 pixels with a pixel density of 326dpi. The display is curved along all four edges and this should facilitate swiping inwards for navigation, though do note that the curved part is not touch-sensitive. The display is being claimed to have anti-glare properties.
The watch features a crown on the right side – the exact same position as the Apple Watch – alongside a button right below it and there’s a mic between the two. On the left, there’s a speaker chamber with another mic below it. The matte frame of the Mi Watch is made of an aluminum alloy and Xiaomi claims the surface makes it scratch resistant.
The Mi Watch comes with eSIM connectivity, allowing you to use LTE for music streaming and voice calls, even when you’re not carrying the smartphone with you. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 platform for smart wearables. Besides LTE, the Mi Watch supports Wi-Fi for connectivity and NFC for tap-to-pay. Meanwhile, there’s Bluetooth for connecting headsets and GPS for using Maps.
The MIUI for Watch interface is based on Google’s Wear OS platform and is perhaps, the only instance of a skin on top of Wear OS. It designed to support the stripped-down version of common apps like Tasks, Notes, recorder, Mi Home, Maps, etc. We couldn’t interpret the details about developer support for the ecosystem due to the language barrier, though our best guess is that MIUI for Watch is an app launcher on top of Wear OS
The Mi Watch will support more than 100 different watch faces along with support for custom always-on-displays. The smartwatch has dedicated applets to control Mi Home appliances and other products like table lamps and air purifiers. Aside from this, the watch currently supports 40 popular apps like QQ Messenger, QQ Music, Keep for fitness tracking, flight information app Umetrip, and many others.
Xiaomi’s Mi Watch can detect up to ten different forms of physical activities like walking, running, swimming, up-hill running, treadmill, general workout with wights, etc. Besides continuous heart rate measuring, the watch can also display VO2 max. The watch comes with a 570mAh battery which has been promised to last 36 hours with continuous LTE connectivity. Xiaomi claims the watch supports FIRSTBEAT, an algorithm certified by more than 1,000 European sports organizations for accurate and in-depth health data. Besides measuring fitness-related stats, the watch is also capable of detecting when you might have an elevated heart rate despite any physical activity and could be stressed out.
Xiaomi Mi Watch: Pricing
The Mi Watch from Xiaomi looks like the Apple Watch but costs way less. The regular version is priced at CNY 1,299 (~$185/₹13,110). It will be available starting November 11, 2019, for the Singles’ Day sale in China.
The Mi Watch also has an “Exclusive” variant that comes with a Saphhire Glass top, stainless steel bezels, and stainless steel chain strap. This will be available as a limited edition and will be priced at CNY 1,999 (~$285/₹20,170). The Exclusive edition will be available in mid-December in China.
We do not know if the Mi Watch will be making its way to India or other markets. Seeing how well Xiaomi’s Mi Band has done in India, we are banking on seeing the Mi Watch in India in 2020.