The new Mi watch supports GPS

Mi Watch in the test - This is what the round smartwatch from Xiaomi does

In the last few weeks I have tested the Xiaomi Mi Watch in the global version. You can now find out how she fared with me in everyday life, doing sports and sleeping.

Mi Watch in the test - This is what the Xiaomi smartwatch does

In December 2020, Xiaomi launched the Mi Watch in the global version. It is available in black, blue and beige. Separate wristbands from Xiaomi, e.g. in yellow or olive green, should also be available soon.

In this report I would like to share my experiences with the Smartwatch with you.

The technical data of the Xiaomi Mi Watch

  • Case dimensions: 45.9mm x 11.8mm
  • Strap width: 22 mm
  • Weight: 32g
  • Display dimensions: 1.39 inches
  • Display: AMOLED
  • Resolution: 454 x 454
  • Gorilla glass 3
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Sensor: heart rate sensor, accelerometer gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, barometric pressure sensor, ambient light sensor
  • Battery capacity: 420 mAh
  • Battery life: 16 days
  • Water / dust protection: up to 5 ATM
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0, iOS 10 or newer
  • Over 110 sports, including automatic recognition of the start or stop of the workout
  • Tracking: GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BDS
  • Sleep record
  • Step count measurement including calorie consumption
  • SpO2 measurement
  • Stress measurement

The watch comes with a user manual (also in German), a guarantee and a charging cable.

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Workmanship and wearing comfort of the Xiaomi Mi Watch

The casing of the smartwatch is made of plastic. The 22 mm wide silicone bracelet can be easily removed from the case and replaced thanks to the sliding technology. The round clock is relatively thick and has a flat display.

Because of its size, the smartwatch was very large for my small wrist. This was not noticeable in everyday life, but the size was particularly annoying when sleeping. The Xiaomi Mi Watch is only available in this size. There are many holes in the bracelet so that the watch can be tightened firmly even with narrow wrists.

The display of the Xiaomi Mi Watch

The AMOLED display of the Xiaomi Mi Watch is 1.39 inches, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and is used completely for the display. The colors and the screen resolution are very easy to see even in direct sunlight. The brightness of the display can be adjusted manually from level one to five. However, there is also the option of selecting an automatic adaptation to the environment. The display can be switched on either via the upper function key or by hand movement. The response time of the display to the lifting worked very well for me. The display responded even with a small radius of movement.

The response time of the touchscreen was also good for me and the swiping movements were carried out without delay.

Regarding the Gorilla Glass 3 protection, I am a little disappointed because after a short time I had three narrow but deep scratches in the glass. You can prevent this with a foil, but I would not have expected that everyday use would leave its mark so quickly.

 

Operation of the clock

The Xiaomi Mi Watch has two function buttons on the right side of the bezel (border of the dial), one of which is labeled "Home" and the other is labeled "Sport". This is a white engraving on the bezel so that the name cannot be changed. In addition to switching on the display, the "Home" button is used to get to the main menu and back to the watch's start screen. The clock can be restarted, switched on / off and reset by holding down the “Home” button for a long time. This function key cannot be customized.


The button marked “Sport” is used as a quick selection button in the sport modes. Here at least adjustments can be made via the app to the extent that you can choose whether you go directly to a certain sport - such as "running outdoors" - or to the sports menu with many sports.


 

Functions

GPS

The Mi Watch comes with four modes that are supposed to record the movements without using the smartphone. In addition to GPS, Glonass (compass), Galileo and BDS are also on board to track activities. On several days I did my proven laps with my dog ​​of 3.72 km and 5 km running distance. Tracking was very good for me. There were also deviations from my tracking app on my mobile phone, but these were within limits at 3-5 meters. The route recording and display in the app also matched the route. The GPS really convinced me, so I used it to track some of my virtual competitions.


Sport modes

You can see that the Xiaomi smartwatch is aimed at sports enthusiasts when you press the “Sport” button. The menu shows 17 training modes such as running outdoors, walking, treadmill, climbing, poolSwimming, yoga, HIIT or traithlon. But you can also add other modes. Another 100 training modes are available here (e.g. ball sports (volleyball, handball, basketball, soccer, softball, table tennis, etc.), winter sports (e.g. ice skating, curling), leisure sports (e.g. archery, darts, horse riding, hula hoop, etc.)) . In addition to running and walking outdoors, I also tested jumping rope. In the running / walking modes, the total time, the distance, the step frequency, the heart rate and the training intensity (e.g. intense or aerobic) are displayed during the activity.

When jumping rope, it counts the total time, the total number of jumps, the calories consumed and the heart rate.

While running and walking always worked well for me, the total number of jumps when jumping rope differed greatly from the actual jumps and showed almost twice as many jumps as I actually jumped. Still, I'm excited about the large number of different sport modes. Especially because not only the standard sports are listed.

With the update to software version 1.2.52, the automatic start / pause function already announced on the packaging came. This worked quite well for so far. I only find the response time of 10-12 seconds far too long.


Other functions

Notifications

In the app you can set that notifications about calls and messages are shown on the display. These include the most common services such as WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS and many others. For example, I have switched on notifications for my dog ​​camera and my robot hoover. Another small “highlight” is that emojis are also displayed. Xiaomi also advertises this. Not all of them are recognized yet, but some are. The display is not in color, but in black and white.

The notification worked fine for me so far. In a few cases, however, there was no notification.

Monitoring of health data

In addition to the possibility of measuring your heart rate, the Xiaomi Mi Watch also offers the monitoring of sleep times, energy and stress levels, oxygen content in the blood and the VO2max value (maximum oxygen volume in the blood during maximum exertion during an activity). Color schemes are used for all of them. The meaning of the colors is given in the respective function. The measurement of the heart rate was really good for me over the duration of the test - in comparison with a blood pressure monitor for the wrist - and there were hardly any deviations. Sometimes the sleeping times weren't quite right. Sometimes, according to the Mi Watch, I fell asleep earlier or I had a lot less overall sleep time, but these mistakes were more likely to be "slip-ups".


Music control

You can control the music directly via the Mi Watch. Unfortunately there is no memory on the watch on which you can save your songs, but the connection to e.g. Amazon Prime works great. In addition to “Play / Pause” and “Forward / Back”, the volume can also be controlled via the Smartwatch display. In addition to the song title, the artist is also displayed. What I really like is that the music can still be controlled during an activity, because the music control appears as a second menu next to the activity display and you can switch freely between the menus.

Alexa control

Since the update to 1.2.52, it is also possible to control the Alexa voice assistant with the Mi Watch Global Version. The watch receives the commands through the built-in microphone. The answers are not given verbally by Alexa, but come as text on the smartwatch display. Alexa can be selected either via the app in the main menu, the quick access menu or by pressing and holding the home button. Voice control worked well for me. Out of ten commands tested, only one was not executed the first time.

Battery life and charging option

Due to the battery capacity of 420 mAh, a battery life of 16 days is specified. With the settings I have chosen - automatically adjust brightness, notifications for 6 apps and calls, three activities per week of 30-45 minutes and occasional use - the battery has been reduced by 60% within four days, so that a battery life of approx 5-8 days can be accepted. The specified 16 days are realistic if you can

The Xiaomi Mi Watch is charged using the supplied USB magnetic cable. To do this, the charging cable is connected to the two magnetic contacts on the underside of the housing. Of the USB magnetic cables that I had during the test, none of the other ones fit on the Xiaomi Mi Watch. The charging time with 20% remaining battery to 80% is approx. 1.5 hours.


Xiaomi Mi Watch - Xiaomi Wear app

For the Xiaomi Mi Watch you no longer need the Mi Fit app, but the new Xiaomi Wear app for Android or Xiaomi Wear Lite app for iOS. Unfortunately, only this app is supported and coupling e.g. with the Zepp app (formerly Amazfit) is not possible. I find it a shame, because if you are using the Amazfit Smart Scale in addition to the Mi Watch, then the health data must be entered manually because an automatic transfer is not possible. I would like an integration here, especially because Huami / Amazfit is a partner company of Xiaomi.

The installation of the app was easy and worked quickly. The connection with the smartwatch as well. For me, after connecting, the Mi Watch first had to do an update. That took a total of 24 minutes. Personally, I don't like the design of the app that much because I find it too playful. I found the Mi Fit app much nicer. Nevertheless, the Xiaomi Wear app is clearly designed.


In the menu item “Status” you can see your current health and fitness data at a glance. Which data should be displayed can be set as well as the order. Details on the individual points can be obtained by simply clicking on the data field. With the menu item "Training" you can start an activity and under the item "Menu" you can manage the clock and the settings. You can also use it to change the dial. You can choose from over 100 watch faces online free of charge and these are constantly being expanded.

 

Use with iPhone and iOS

I also tested the Xiaomi Mi Watch with an iPhone 6 for several days. There were some functional limitations here. On the one hand, the display of emojis on the watch is currently not supported on iOS and the names of notifications are sometimes not completely displayed. This is not because the name was too long, because it was displayed in full on Android. Alexa also doesn't seem to work properly on iOS, because I had to repeat one or the other command several times until I got a reaction.

 

My conclusion

For me, the Xiaomi Mi Watch is a solid smartwatch with room for improvement. A lot can be improved, especially when used with iOS. In particular, the functions that Xiaomi advertises should not only run on Android. What I would also have liked to have been able to store music and a more robust Gorilla Glass. Nevertheless, the Xiaomi Mi Watch is really good in terms of GPS, Alexa voice control and over 100 sport modes. I also find it positive that you can operate the music control during sporting activity - without pausing the exercise. For anyone looking for a round smartwatch with GPS, lots of sporting activities and Alexa voice control for around € 100, I can recommend the Xiaomi Mi Watch.

If you want to exchange ideas on the topic, have a look at our group "Sports & fitness at home - smart devices make it possible!”On Facebook. There you will find a huge community that deals with smart topics across the board!

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