After two weeks of using this smartwatch day and night, we tell you our opinion of the Xiaomi Mi Watch in an analysis in which we put the device to the test and we tell you what you can, and what you cannot, do with this interesting device that it intends to break the market. There are times when it is difficult to draw the line between a smartwatch and an advanced sports watch. In the end, you can install applications or not, the truth is that the use that many of us give to a smartwatch is the same: notification viewer and sports monitor. Xiaomi has a lot of experience in sports bracelets and watches, with a Mi Band -analysis of the Mi Band 5- which is one of the best exponents of the philosophy of the Chinese company: to offer everything possible within a reasonably low price.
Now, however, they are taking a further step and entering the smartwatch segment with a device that wants to sweep the market thanks to its price of 130 euros. We have spent two weeks with this interesting Xiaomi smartwatch and we tell you our opinion of the Mi Watch in this analysis.
Analysis of the Xiaomi Mi Watch by sections:
Design: for lovers of round watches (and with a considerable thickness)
Display: AMOLED panel with high resolution and Always-on Display mode
System: smoothness and good response for a proprietary system without installing apps
App: Xiaomi has an App for each device
As a sports meter: for statistics lovers
Battery: 10 days using GPS once a day and constant heart monitoring
Conclusion: Xiaomi blew up the mobile market and wants to repeat the play with smartwatches.
For lovers of round watches (and with a considerable thickness). The design is important in any type of device, from a console like Xbox Series S -analysis- or PS5 -analysis- to a mobile phone or a laptop -that is said to the Thinkpad X1 Fold-. If we talk about watches, it may be the main feature for a large number of users. A watch is an ideal complement for many people, as well as an obvious device (both ‘dumb’ and ‘smart’) that has a clear function. In this sense, some companies bet very strongly on certain design lines because they know what their users like. Samsung, for example, is ‘married’ to smartwatches with a round interface, more classic, and that are comfortable thanks to the navigation with the mechanical bezel -like the Galaxy Watch 3.
Apple, however, is betting on the most square format in Watch -analysis of Apple Watch 6-. Huawei also has round smartwatches (the high-end ones) and square ones in the sportiest ones, and Xiaomi is also one of those that prefer to offer variety. The Mi Watch Lite has a square format, and we will soon tell you our opinion in the analysis, but the one we have in hand is the ‘classic Smartwatch’ with a round format. It’s elegant, it’s simple and I love that, even though the thickness is somewhat high, it weighs only 32 grams. I think that a watch should be comfortable, especially for those of us who are not used to wearing it daily, but we want to start doing it, and the Mi Watch is.
And it is light because there are no elements such as a speaker or a microphone, and the truth is that in the time that I have been with it, I have not missed it. The box is made of plastic, but of quality plastic and has a pleasant touch. The finish is matte, so no fingerprints will remain. Of course, on the screen, they are drawn with amazing ease and it is difficult for them to go away. Speaking of the screen, we have a touch panel on the front with a circumference of 46 millimeters. For my wrist, it is an ideal size, since the content is easy to see, we read the notifications effortlessly and it is not excessively large, although on a smaller wrist it may be unbalanced.
On the sides, as I said, there are no holes because since we don’t have a speaker or microphone, you don’t need them and on the right side, we have two buttons. One of them is the Home button that shows us the application dashboard. The bottom button is the ‘Sport’ that starts the sports selector. This button has a small red ring and the ‘Sport’ indicator itself is underlined in red instead of the white color surrounding the display.
It is a good design detail and the truth is that, in general terms, it is a simple smartwatch, but very beautiful.
The back is made of a material that does not irritate the skin and on it, we find the Xiaomi logo, the different sensors, and the two pins for the magnetic charge. Something that I liked is the strap. It is made of rubber and has a grooved design with a double strap, one of which is safe. They are interchangeable with the standard 22-millimeter system, so you can buy both official and third-party straps to match the style you wear on different occasions. It is, in short, a simple, but a sober design that we liked. It is elegant and the truth is that I like that the entire front is glass that curves slightly at the ends. In this sense, it is like Samsung’s Active Watch analysis.
AMOLED panel with high resolution and Always-on Display mode. Something very good about high-end smartwatches is the screen and in this, Xiaomi competes for face to face against watches that double or triple their price. We have a 1.39 “AMOLED panel that has a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. It is a very high resolution for this panel size and that offers us a density of 326 pixels per inch. Beyond size, the type of panel is one of the main differences between the Lite model – the IPS panel – and the Mi Watch. And we appreciate it because the display is perfect in any condition.
Something curious about a watch of this price is that it has an ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically. Xiaomi ensures that the panel has 450 nits of peak brightness and the truth is that it works quickly and accurately in almost all situations. Of course, at night in bed, if it is activated by an oversight, prepare for a flash, since in situations of total darkness, the light sensor does not work very well. The colors are saturated, but I like it on a watch, and everything can be read clearly. Besides, it responds well to touches, and navigation (when we are in an app, we can go back by sliding our finger from the left edge to the center of the screen) is more than correct.
Of course, it is perfect not because of its technology or sensitivity, but because of the use of the front. I find the clock to be excessively large for the amount of screen we have. Those 1.39 “in a 46-millimeter body gives us a 70% use of the front, more or less, and it is not too much.
I don’t think the screen should have been stretched as I like the size, but if the black frame had been reduced, it might have been better on a wider range of wrists. Smoothness and good response for a proprietary system without app installation. Something that upsets me is that a device does not have a fluent response. I can understand that in mobile like the Poco M3, for example, which moves a FullHD + screen with modest hardware and a non-optimized system, there are some hitches, but in a smartwatch, I need the immediate and precise response. I have tried several low-priced devices and sometimes either the touch response of the screen was not satisfactory or the animations (and the absence of them on some occasions) made navigation uncomfortable. Therefore, I am grateful that this has not been the experience these days with the Mi Watch.
Navigation through the horizontal menus is good, displaying the notifications or quick actions menu has a good response and when we press the buttons we are quickly directed to the corresponding menu. The applications that we have in the app are, basically, those that we find in the mobile application and are those for measuring sleep, heart rate, stress, energy, time, compass. If we enter one of the apps, we have the statistics, something I like because it does not send us to our mobile to consult them, but beyond that, there is not much else that we can consult on the device. And yes, I mean notifications. By sliding your finger from top to bottom, the notification panel opens. Basically, it is a “mirror” of the mobile because we can read them to a certain extent (we cannot see a complete email, for example, but we can see a message from Twitter or WhatsApp), and we cannot answer either. In other smartwatches, a keyboard or the option to dictate by voice appears, but it is something that is not offered to us in the Mi Watch.
In this sense, it is a basic smartwatch, but it does let us interact with music. For example, I am an iPhone and Spotify user and in the music menu of the clock, I can skip songs, pause them and raise/lower the volume, something that is very useful if you are doing sports and have headphones without those built-in controls, for example. Xiaomi has an App for each device I will start by saying that the Mi Watch is not in the Xiaomi ecosystem. There is certainly an ecosystem in which various devices from the Chinese company can be controlled and monitored. They are what we control with the ‘Home’ app. However, for others, we must download their application. Mi Fit for the Mi Band and the scale, the Amazfit for the Amazfit, and Xiaomi Wear Lite for the Mi Watch. It is compatible with Android from version 5.0 and with iOS from version 10, so it will surely go on your mobile.
It is a simple app to use, although some menu or way of viewing the statistics is somewhat convoluted, in general, it gives us fairly complete statistics about what interests me, which is the monitoring of the sports session.
In this sense, we have a detailed record of the sport that we have been doing, as well as different indicators that we will talk about later. The truth is that it is an app that is useful for ‘little’ since you are going to use it when you want to see those details of the sports session and when you want to install new spheres. The watch has a series of pre-installed spheres, but we can download some of the spheres ‘store’ of the app itself. As a curiosity, I must say that they take a long time to install on the watch, an absurd amount of time because each dial weighs 1 MB at most. Of course, it is not the most stable application. And it is not that I have had crashes browsing their menus, but that, directly, it deactivates notifications. I have not found the pattern or what I do on my mobile to make it happen, but every two days or so, the application chooses to deactivate the option so that notifications reach the clock.
As I said, there are many health monitoring applications on the watch and it is ideal for a user who only wants that, but if you are one of those who want to install some more apps through a store, I am sorry to tell you that it is not possible. The only thing that can be installed is the spheres. Speaking of spheres, almost all of them have a clock and a series of parameters such as pulse, calories burned, steps or temperature. Some can be edited to change the parameters that are displayed, but others are fixed and if they give the time, calories, and steps, that is what we will have, neither more nor less. As a sports meter, it is ideal for statistics lovers. Now, where I think this Mi Watch is most useful is to monitor our health and sleep. I think that these devices are very interesting for athletes who are enthusiastic about the ‘gamification’ of the app, but also for sedentary people who want to start moving more.
A more experienced athlete will surely already have his Garmin or Polar, but for those who want to start moving, I repeat, these types of devices are spectacular. Something I love is what I say about ‘gamification’. Xiaomi is very good at putting a number next to a health measurement. It is something that they do both on the Mi Band and even on the toothbrush, which punctuates our way of well, brushing our teeth. That makes, in my opinion, we want to improve ourselves every time we use the device because we want to achieve a higher score and, in the end, a kind of score table is created, of “game” between many quotes, which affects our health.
The score can be more or less realistic, but the truth is that it encourages us to brush our teeth better or, in the case of the Watch, to exercise more one day, to practice techniques to sleep better, or to try to keep stress under control. It has 117 sport modes, but in the end what I have been using the most is walking, which activates the GPS if we do it outdoors (yes, it has integrated GPS, so it does not feed on the mobile phone), multi-exercise for exercises with weights and some specific ones such as the elliptical bike.
In the end, what interests me is that the clock collects the pulsations of a session, the calories, and the time, and that gives it. With the application we can see a breakdown of the calories and pulsations that we have had in the different moments of the training and activating the constant monitoring of the pulse allows the watch to monitor sleep (when we sleep at night), stress, and fatigue.
The measurement of both heart rate and sleep is accurate and is in line with a smartwatch like the Apple Watch SE, which I have had on the other wrist at all times, as well as the calorie count, but other parameters are interesting to refer to them from time to time, but I don’t know how useful they are. I am referring to stress and energy, two parameters that the terminal calculates with the heart rate and rest, and that … well, it is still a curiosity.
When I realized that the energy meter did not work was when I went out to do sports at 9 p.m. with a clock that told me that I was going to go to bed, but in which I felt more energetic than in the rest of the day.
Another measurement that we have is that of blood oxygen, but this is not automatic, unlike those detailed above. If we want a measurement, it must be done at the moment. This is something that I understand to some degree, but you should make an option for it to do, for example, one measurement every hour. What I like is that in training mode, when we are recording an exercise, the measurement is done automatically. It does not have a medal system that would have been great to motivate even more, but I like the statistics that we can consult both on the watch and in the app, so Xiaomi is very good in this regard.
10 days using GPS once a day and constant heart monitoring. It is difficult to talk about the battery of a device because the use that each one makes is very personal. It depends on the number of notifications, the brightness (automatic or manual), whether we have the always-on screen activated, whether we have the gesture of lifting to activate, and the sport we do (exterior, interior, with GPS). It even depends on the fund we have.
Charging is done by the magnetized charger from 0% to 100% in one hour and forty minutes, but care must be taken to put the watch in the proper position because the two contacts on the base of the charger must coincide with those on the part. bottom of the clock.
Mi Watch opinion: Xiaomi blew up the mobile market and wants to repeat the play with smartwatches After these two weeks, it is clear to me that the Xiaomi Mi Watch is the smartwatch for all types of users, from those who want one but do not want to pay the € 300 for the top models to those who are only curious, but they do not see it as something essential to spend a lot of money. And, as we said at the beginning of the analysis of the Mi Watch, it is another example of how Xiaomi perfectly manages that balance between functions, quality of materials, and price to offer a device that meets many users for just over 100 euros. If you want more advanced functions and something similar to wearing a mobile on your wrist, you have to look for options from other manufacturers, but at a price, obviously, higher.