Back in April, word went round that Chinese device maker Xiaomi was planning to enter the smartwatch market with a new wearable targeted at adults. The company’s existing smartwatches have all been targeted at kids complete with features that would excite the young ones. For the adult population that its rivals have been targeting immensely over the last one year, it has only offered its fitness-focused budget wearable, the Mi Band.
That is now changing with the company’s subsidiary, Huami, unveiling Xiaomi’s first ever smartwatch targeted at the adult population.
According to Xiaomi, the smartwatch, which is called Amazfit, is the first in the world to sport a 28 nanometer GPS sensor. Those big words shouldn’t bother you that much, though. They just imply that if you’re to use the Amazfit for your fitness needs e.g. calculating workouts and location tracking, it will be much better and accurate. It’s Xiaomi’s way of playing up its latest device since it is entering a crowded field already dominated by Apple’s iPhone and a host of dirt-cheap alternatives from other small brands from its motherland.
Smartwatches from Android rivals like Samsung and Huawei haven’t faired so well and the two companies, have, as a resulted to extensive price cuts to attract buyers. Samsung has even gone a step further to open up its closely-guarded platform to iPhone users and is unveiling new smartwatches this week.
The Amazfit packs a 300 x 300 pixels 1.34-inch display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB onboard storage, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, Wi-Fi, a dedicated heart rate monitor, support for mobile payments (Alibaba’s AliPay), IP67 certification (for water and dust resistance) and a 280mAh battery which Xiaomi claims lasts for over 11 days when the watch is used as just that, a watch with only the pedometer functions turned on. When GPS is on and the heart rate sensor is put through its paces, battery life drops to just 35 hours.
The watch works when paired with a smartphone using the MiFit app which syncs any data to the phone. In addition to supporting mobile payments, the watch’s internal storage, according to Xiaomi, can be used to store up to 500 songs thus eliminating the need for users to constantly have a smartphone paired for entertainment purposes. There’s also a partnership with a local company in China to provide music streaming on the watch.
The 22mm straps are interchangeable.
The device is on sale in China for an equivalent of $120, still cheaper than most smartwatches we’ve seen in the market from Xiaomi’s global rivals. There is no word on it ever leaving China for foreign shores, yet.