Even though I’m not a fan of smart bracelets and watches, I could not refrain and I have ordered the Xiaomi smartwatch, in the end. Since I watched the official release I really enjoyed it and I knew this watch would be the first smartwatch I will have at my fingertips. I have to admit that initially I bought it for design, and after I bought I looked at the list of specifications.
As usual, I ordered it directly from China (check GearBest current offer) (at that time we paid about $ 120 shipping was free) and opted for the international version, that has menu in English. The package arrived in about 20 days and was delivered by PostNL. I know the watch came through the Chinese stores somewhere in late 2016, but then only the menu version was available in chinese, so I had to wait. You need to know that this is my first smartwatch, so I can not compare it to other models in this price segment.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
In the box, you will fiind a MicroUSB cable and a special plug for charging. You will not find a charger, so you can charge it from any USB device. As I mentioned from the beginning, the design was the one that made me buy it.
It is one of the few smartwatchs that look great. It has a sporty look, is suitable for modern people and can be worn at any smart-casual outfit. The black frame around the screen is made of ceramic and is scratch-resistant. After almost a month of use, I did not see any scratches on the frame or on the screen. It’s right, I recently chose to apply a screen protector, but until now I used it without everything and it was okay, it resisted unexpectedly well.
On the right side, the clock has a physical button, which once presses the “unlock” screen to access settings and notifications. On the back there is a sensor for measuring heartbeats and contacts for charging. The strap is made of good quality silicone, but it smells of plastic. I do not know if that’s all, but in my case it took a while for the plastic smell to begin to disappear.
The straps are removable and can be replaced quickly, I found in China, with 2-3 $ pair, that if you do not like the color that comes from the factory. The clock is IP67 certified, being waterproof and dustproof. It can not be used for swimming or diving, but it resists when you wash your hands and you do not want to take it down.
USING Xiaomi Huami Amazfit
The screen radius is 1.34 inches with a resolution of 320 x 300 pixels. It has an LCD display like the ebook reader, making it hard to see when there is not enough natural light. In the clock settings, you can find options for screen illumination. Can be set to auto, can be turned on continuously or can be turned off. Generally, in the sunlight you can truly enjoy the clock screen. After the first update, it received a very interesting feature that “lights up” the screen when you bring your hand in parallel with the body position, an option like the one we find in Apple watches.
As mentioned earlier, in order to access notifications and settings, you must first press that button. This “feature” is, from my point of view, the only weak point of the clock, since when you receive a notification and you try to try to visualize it, you will have to press the button before to unlock the screen. Basically, the screen displays information and notifications, but it is always blocked and does not respond until you tap the button. You can also activate the “Double Tap” feature, which allows you to unlock the screen by double-tapping quickly.
Not only this way of accessing functions and notifications make the clock non-intuitive, but sometimes you do not realize whether the screen is locked or unlocked, especially when using it in open spaces where natural light is strong. In my case, the first week was more difficult because I could not figure out why I could not access the notifications. Only after a while did I realize that the screen is always blocked. They most likely used this method to reduce involuntary touches, which automatically accessed its menu and functions.
The clock is paired quickly with the phone, and after a few days of using I even received an update, which came with some changes in the interface. As soon as you turn on the phone’s bluetooth, it connects to the clock and begins synchronizing the data. From the phone application you can set different themes or customize a theme with your favorite image. Xiaomi Amazfit can record the steps, the distance traveled, calories burned, heart beats during running, and monitor sleep. It only records the activity for the following sports: running, walking, running indoors, indoor / outdoor cycling, climbing and elliptical cycling.
For the most part, I only used it for walking and running. When you start an activity, the clock connects to the satellites, and then the screen is split into more areas to give you real-time information about leak time, distance, speed, heartbeats, burned calories, average speed, and route (a small map). During the activity, you no longer have access to the main dial with the clock or other settings, but only those related to the activity started and music, if you want to listen while you are running.
Because I did not use it indoors, I can not tell how accurate the data provided, but for the outside I was pleased. It connects quickly to the satellites, and the distance traveled is accurately measured. All the routes made are saved in the clock and can be synchronized with the Strava app. Unfortunately, the clock is not compatible with other applications at the moment. The heartbeat sensor is present, it records data, but I do not know if it is useful and what is the accuracy of it. I did not pay too much attention to one.
The clock also has a function for moments when you forget to get up from the office, warning you it’s time to make a little move. You can allow notifications from almost any application in your phone, but you can not answer them. In the case of text message notifications, they are only partially displayed if they are longer. You can also answer the phone, but you’ll need to use all your phone to talk. From this point of view, it’s a little useless, the only time I saw it useful was when I was driving and I could not keep an eye on my phone, I had all the notifications on the watch screen.
If you love listening to music while you’re running, Xiaomi Amazfit has 2GB (4GB total) of storage space for MP3 files. Simply connect the clock to your PC or laptop to transfer the files. However, in order to use this feature, you need a pair of bluethooth headphones. With a 280mAh battery, the clock managed to gain up to 12 days (only for notifications, no GPS or heartbeat monitoring sensor), and 4-5 days with GPS. In terms of autonomy, the clock is a good example for other smartwatch. I also like to charge fast, in 20 minutes it gets to charge about 30-40% of the battery capacity.
Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Final Conclusion
For 120$ (check GearBest current offer) you get a premium look watch, pulse monitoring sensor, GPS and notifications from most phone applications. Perhaps it is not the most useful smartwatch you can buy, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful. You do not have to wait to load it all the time, and its screen is great in the daylight. After a month of use I am happy with the choice and I can recommend it. You can find it in China, it costs somewhere at 120$, and transport is free.premium design
18 clock interfaces
fast operating system
GPS must always be unlocked so you can access your notifications