The Xiaomi Mi Watch is the latest connected watch from the Chinese manufacturer. A product marketed at a low price, but which does not cut so much on the components. Let's see if it managed to convince us...
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is a connected watch by Xiaomi launched at a price of $95. For this price, it adopts a square format and integrates a 1.4-inch color LCD screen, a battery with a theoretical autonomy of 9 days (230 Ah), but also a heart rate monitor, a GPS chip, and Bluetooth 5.0.
- Integrated GPS.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear, even at night.
- Big autonomy.
- A capricious iOS compatibility.
- Not suitable for fractional training.
As we said at the time of its presentation, the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is not completely unknown since this connected watch of the Chinese manufacturer has already been shown in China
The Mi Watch Lite features a 1.4-inch color touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 320 px and a display density of 323 dpi. The plastic case measures 41 x 35 x 10.9 mm and weighs just 35 g. The 20 mm wide strap is interchangeable, allowing the user to slightly customize the watch. The frame includes a single button that is used to activate the watch or launch activities.
The first thing we notice is that the watch is extremely pleasant on the wrist and that we quickly forget its presence. While we are sometimes bothered in our sleep by an imposing watch on the wrist, its small size makes it relevant and discreet.
Xiaomi has taken care of some details. For example, the physical button is easily accessible with its placement on the upper right corner, which does not obstruct the screen when you grab the watch to access it. Also, the edges of the screen are slightly curved, which makes sliding your finger more pleasant.
Xiaomi could have kept it simple by updating the existing Mi Fit app, but no. Instead, the company chose to use a second app called Xiaomi Wear Lite, which is obviously already used to connect a few devices: Mi Watch Color, Redmi Band, Mi Smart Band 5, Mi Watch Color Sport and Redmi Watch on iOS. But no trace of the Mi Watch Lite, so for the time being you have to use an Android smartphone exclusively. With our Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, the application is well compatible with the watch.
What else can I say about this application? It is more basic than Mi Fit, but no less pleasant to use. It consists of a Profile tab, a Workout tab, and a Status page that shows your activity history (sleep, workouts, heart rate). You can obviously adjust the data and display a Blood Oxygen or Stress tile if needed.
Note that the Profile page also allows you to manage the notifications received by the watch or to search for new dials on the Internet.
As far as the interface is concerned, Xiaomi makes it simple, and that's good. If the function is activated, you can activate the screen directly by raising your wrist. Otherwise, you just have to click on the physical button located on the right side of the watch. This reveals the dial, and navigation is then done by swiping on each side of the screen.
You can also access all the apps and functions from a second click on the physical button. They then appear as tiles, whose pictograms must be learned to recognize for intuitive use.
With fairly basic functions, the watch does not offer any frills on the interface. We remind you that the heart rate monitor works continuously, which allows you to obtain data in real time. It is also possible to control the music playback from his wrist, practical. Obviously, a do not disturb mode is part of the game, as well as the possibility to lock the screen after a few seconds, or choose to cover the watch with his hand to turn off the screen.
Uses and accuracy
The strong point of this watch is that, for less than $100, it offers an integrated GPS. The advantage is that we don't need to carry a smartphone during our sports sessions, and we can still get precise data on the distances covered or a memory of the route. Coupled with the heart rate monitor, this data is sufficient for most users. But the components must be of good quality.
Precisely, the GPS proves to be rather reliable on our running trips. There is a maximum difference of 100 meters per kilometer. On a 10 km race, the difference will be more or less 1 km. But again, this obviously depends on the quality of the GPS on your smartphone, which is not the standard meter, remember. Just remember that the GPS of the Mi Watch Lite is quite reliable.
As for the heart rate monitor, it is also quite satisfactory, and accurate for averaging. On our run, it shows 166 bpm average, and 182 bpm of FC max. The Polar H10 chest belt that we use in comparison shows an average of 162 bpm and a max. frequency of 187 bpm. The difference is therefore minimal, and the watch is on the whole relevant for endurance running or cycling.
However, the heart rate monitor has a little more trouble when it comes to spotting sudden drops or increases in heart rate. For split training, and if you need very accurate data, you should probably opt for a model more designed for sports.
The data collected during sleep is quite basic, but relevant. The watch records the time of falling asleep, the time of waking up, and the phases of light and deep sleep. It then gives a sleep score, which some will appreciate to identify the night that got the better of their week. The accelerometer seems to be quite well calibrated, since even in case of restless sleep - like the one of your editor - it does not consider it as a waking phase.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite offers a very nice battery life that easily reaches 10 days with moderate use, while intensive use brings down the endurance between 6 and 7 days. Small adjustments to the functions can also save some energy, for example by disabling the "lift to activate".
Note that it takes less than 2 hours to fully charge the Mi Watch Lite with its included proprietary charger (magnetic cradle).
For its price positioning, the Mi Watch Lite is a very interesting product. Frankly more elegant than a connected bracelet, it has nice finishes that make it a discreet and elegant watch to wear every day. In addition, its GPS and heart rate monitor give it sports functions that have the merit of being quite reliable. Finally, its autonomy is pleasant, with more than 9 days of endurance.