From the Mi Watch’s digital crown to its curved rectangle face, Xiaomi wasn’t shy about Apple’s influence over its first smartwatch. But the Chinese company seems to be drawing inspiration from elsewhere for the first smartwatch its designed to be sold overseas. It will first be released in parts of Europe for 99 euros, which converts to approximately $115 (£90, $AU160) before a wider international rollout.
The Mi Watch, launched globally in an online-only event on Wednesday alongside a premium line of Mi phones, has a round 1.39-inch face and a decidedly athletic aesthetic. Its display is made of tempered glass while its interchangeable straps are crafted from thermoplastic polyurethane, which is a type of flexible plastic. There are more than 100 watch faces to choose from, the company says.
Apart from an overhauled look, the Mi Watch offers a 117 different exercise modes including swimming, and it relies on a PPG sensor for heart-rate tracking and blood oxygen level (SpO2) monitoring. Similar to the Apple Watch 6, the Mi Watch is not a medical device, but wearers are expected to use it to monitor their wellness.
Xiaomi says the watch also offers “additional indicators” on sleep cycles, stress levels and energy levels as well as environmental data including air pressure and elevation. Other notable features include extended battery life that’s quoted to last 16 days and shutter mode that lets you take pictures straight from your wrist by using the watch as remote for your phone. It’s unclear whether the smartwatch will last 16 days if you use all of its features or whether you’ll only get that much battery life if you switch to a less power intensive mode that restricts usable features. It’s likely that the latter is the case, which is partly how Oppo‘s latest smartwatch delivers on its extended battery life.
The Mi Watch is powered by an Apollo 3 chipset and runs on RTOS (not WearOS), which is Xiaomi’s proprietary OS for its smartwatch