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Xiaomi Watch costs a third of the price of an Apple Watch and offers 2X battery life

After announcing its penta-camera smartphone, Xiaomi has also introduced its first smartwatch that’s simply called the Xiaomi Watch. It looks identical to the Apple Watch and it runs on Google’s Wear OS with MIUI for Watch skin on top.

The Xiaomi Watch comes in a single 44mm size with a 1.78″ AMOLED display that pushes a 368×448 pixels resolution. This is similar to the Apple Watch Series 5. It even gets a digital crown and a physical button on the right, but it looks more boxy and chunkier than the Cupertino version. Powering the watch is Qualcomm’s 3100 wearable platform with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.

The new wearable is offered with eSIM connectivity as standard and it supports a variety of FDD-LTE bands such as band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 26 and TDD-LTE bands such as band 39, 40 and 41. You can even make calls with it via its built-in speakerphone and mic. The watch also supports 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi as well as Bluetooth 4.2.

As you would expect, the Xiaomi Watch has an array of sensors for fitness tracking which include a heart rate sensor, 6-axis gyroscope, GPS, compass and barometer. It is also water-resistant and you can use it for swim tracking as well. The watch lets you pay for public transport via NFC and it also supports both Alipay and WeChat pay.

One of the biggest highlights is its 36-hour battery life, which is double of a typical Apple Watch that is rated to last 18 hours on a single charge. The watch has a 570mAh battery that charges via a magnetic charging base. Instead of Siri, it also supports Xiaomi’s “Xiao Ai” AI assistant and you can also use the watch to control Xiaomi’s smart home appliances.

In China, the standard version that uses Gorilla Glass 3, aluminium alloy case and a rubber strap is priced at CNY 1,299 (about RM770). Meanwhile, the premium edition that features sapphire glass, stainless steel case and stainless steel strap is going for CNY 1,999 (about RM1185). Both editions share the same hardware and the premium edition is heavier due to different materials used.

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Considering it has eSIM support built-in, the Xiaomi Watch is quite a bargain with a third of the price of an equivalent Apple Watch with LTE. In Malaysia, the Apple Watch Series 5 44mm aluminium variant with cellular support is priced at RM2,349, while the stainless steel version with a link bracelet is going for RM4,449.

It isn’t clear if the watch will be sold outside of China and at the moment, it supports a decent number of apps that are catered for the Chinese market. It is still possible for Xiaomi to offer an international variant since it runs on Wear OS.


Alexander Wong