As expected, Xiaomi announced the Mi Watch today in China. It marks Xiaomi’s entry into the smartwatch category, a segment that is yet to see something great.
Android-compatible smartwatches haven’t really taken off ever since Android Wear was announced years ago. It later got a facelift to Wear OS, Samsung moved back to Tizen and upcoming brands tried differentiating on the hardware front, but none really made a mark in the way Apple did with the Apple Watch.
Xiaomi’s approach is a little different, where it is not only creating the hardware platform but also designing a skin over Wear OS. Called MIUI For Watch, it’s a very different visual approach. Some 40+ major Chinese apps have been designed specifically for the Mi Watch, such as TikTok, Nio, QQ Messenger, etc. Xiaomi’s XiaoAI assistant is also integrated.
On the hardware front, it follows a design very reminiscent of the Apple Watch with a squircle dial along with a crown and a button on the right side. It is a 1.78-inch AMOLED display with a toughened curved glass on top. There’s a mic on both sides, and a loudspeaker on the left and charging pins and heart rate monitor are at the bottom. The casing is made of an aluminum alloy with a matte finish and comes with a host of replaceable watch bands.
The Mi Watch is also the first smartwatch to be powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 4G chipset. It uses four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. Paired with a 570 mAh battery, Xiaomi says it should last for 36 hours on a single charge. It is probably the biggest battery on any current smartwatch.
As mentioned, the Mi Watch is also 4G capable by making use of an eSIM to continue all telephony functions without needing to be actively connected to your smartphone. Other features such as WiFi, GPS, NFC (for payments in China), Bluetooth, and heart rate monitoring are all included. Other fitness-centric features include blood oxygen sensors, sleep tracking, body energy monitoring, etc. and is also safe for swimming.
Xiaomi Mi Watch price
In true Xiaomi fashion, the Mi Watch is priced very competitively at just CNY 1,299 in China (~Rs 13,000), and will go on sale on November 11.
There’s a more premium variant of the smartwatch as well which features a sapphire glass, stainless steel casing and a metal strap. The exclusive edition is priced at CNY 1,999 and will go on sale in December.