The wearable market is literally flooded with cheap devices that all promise a certain quality both in terms of construction and related to sports measurements and health data. Among the most popular we find those of the Huami brand under the Amazfit brand but for some months now Xiaomi has also wanted to have its say, proposing for example the Mi Watch Lite, derived from the Redmi Watch, sold at an interesting price (at least street price) .
In reality there are some differences with the Redmi smartwatch, as the Mi Watch Lite is designed specifically for the Global and therefore also the European market, although it is not a merit because compared to the Redmi Watch variant, the Mi Watch Lite loses the microphone and even the NFC, but this does not mean that it does not deserve a complete review that we offer today on our digital tech pages.
As always, we start from the contents of the package, which does not differ much from what the market offers on the square, without therefore inserting the "superfluous", such as spare straps or protectors for the display. Therefore in the sales box we find the following equipment:
- Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite;
- USB charging base;
- Instruction manual.
As mentioned in the introduction of this review, Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is identical to the Redmi Watch, characterized by a body made entirely of polycarbonate with sharp cuts on the edges, but unfortunately poco resistant to bumps and scratches. We have a square type dial shape, with dimensions of 41 x 35 mm and a thickness of 10,9 mm (11,9 considering the protrusion of the heart rate sensor) while the weight was rather low, or 35 grams per net of the strap.
Here about the strap I have to make a negative note, not so much for the materials that correspond to the classic TPU, but rather for the fact that this is slightly hard in the junction with the dial, making it annoying in some situations but above all I did not like the the fact that the company has thought of a proprietary quick release system, therefore it will be difficult to find cheap spare parts on the various online stores.
On the right profile we find the only function button, which will serve to awaken the display or to access the system menu, and in this regard I anticipate that I personally did not appreciate the icons that characterize the functions of the smartwatch, giving it a look rather toyy.
Moving on to the Mi Watch Lite display, we find ourselves in the presence of a 1,4-inch TFT LCD unit, with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and 323 PPI, which I feel I appreciate for what concerns the readability of the contents even below direct sunlight, thanks to a peak brightness of 350 nits, which can be set manually or you can rely on the automatic lighting sensor, which does its job very quickly. What Xiaomi could perhaps make an extra effort on concerns the dimensions of the bezels surrounding the screen, too accentuated.
Given the nature of the Mi Watch Lite screen, the always-on feature of the AMOLED panels is not present, but the activation of the display with the rotation of the wrist was excellent, always fast and responsive in addition to the fact that it can be enabled on a certain time slot, thus saving battery in the hours when this feature is not needed.
On the back of the Xiaomi smartwatch body there is the heartbeat sensor, which allows you to monitor the trend of our heart rate H24, allowing you to also choose the cadence of the monitoring itself, with a minimum of 1 minute, with obvious increase battery. And precisely with regard to the measurements made by Mi Watch Lite, I want to emphasize the goodness of the same, which have always proved to be reliable and truthful, in comparison with professional tools and premium devices, but unfortunately there is no sensor dedicated to the SpO2 value, so much in vogue in this dark period of pandemic. Of course we have the possibility to receive an alert, if our heart rhythm exceeds a certain threshold.
The strength of Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is the presence of integrated GPS localization which also exploits the ìA-GPS and GLONASS, with rather stunning results for the price range in which the device is placed. Like other similar products, even higher-end ones, the accuracy of the track suffers a little when we are in places with notable presence of trees and buildings, but overall it was much more accurate than the Apple Watch series 5.
In terms of connectivity, for the connection to the smartphone, we can count on the presence of a Bluetooth 5.0 module, always stable and quick in coupling if we go out of range with the smartphone. Moreover, the latest update also introduced an alert relating to any disconnection. In addition to this we have the presence of a 3-axis accelerometers and gyroscope, compass, barometer and altimeter as well as a certification for resistance to diving up to 5 atmospheres.
Other data that can be monitored are those relating to sleep, offering high accuracy about the beginning and end of the action of sleeping, as well as detecting when we wake up, but unfortunately Mi Watch Lite cannot monitor the REM phase and naps.
Could we define Xiaomi's device as a Mi Band with a larger display? Maybe yes, maybe not and the denial is above all related to the autonomy of the wearable that uses a 230 mAh battery. The company declares up to 9 days of autonomy with standard use, but personally I have never arrived beyond 4 days, not to mention that for work reasons, I have never been able to take advantage of sports monitoring with GPS, if not once. In short, rather disappointing from this point of view and if on the one hand it is true that we can optimize the autonomy with some tricks it is equally true that we would lose the taste for using the smartwatch. In any case, the recharge takes place in about 2 hours by means of a base / cradle in which to insert the body of the wearable, which will turn into a "small table clock" during the recharging phase.
The management of the smartwatch takes place through the Xiaomi Wear application, available for both Android and iOS but I will not go into too specific, as we already know it, making it very simple and basic compared to what competitor companies offer. I only emphasize that it is possible to receive notifications from every app on our smartphone, although it is not possible to respond to them, nor to view photos or listen to voices, while it is possible to view emojis, but not all, only the simplest and most basic ones. Furthermore, the notifications are not synchronized with the smartphone, so once viewed and deleted from the Mi Watch Lite, we will find them on our phone.
For calls, you can view the caller ID and mute or reject the incoming call. In the interface of the smartwatch we move through gestures: with a swipe downwards we access the notification panel while with a swipe upwards we access the quick toggles, among which there is also the Do Not Disturb mode, which with the last update is improved in an intelligent way, that is, the system will recognize when we go to sleep, automatically silencing the vibration of the notifications, vibration that can be set on two different levels of intensity.
With swipe to the right / left we access the quick widgets while at the level of customization we can count on over 100 dials online, although many of which are repetitions with chromatic differences and above all sinful of a rather "oriental" character. At the fitness level, on the other hand, we can monitor up to 11 activities, including Outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, cycling, free activity, walking, hiking, trail running, swimming in the pool, free swimming and cricket. Many offer dedicated metrics but there are not many sports-related information, although you can count on a good accuracy of the data collected, net of an underestimation of the steps of about 10%.
Finally, it should be emphasized that the company seems to care a lot about this device, as in about ten days, it released two updates that in addition to solving some system bugs, also introduced new features, improving the experience of use.
The official price of the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is 69,99 euros, a price in my opinion out of the market net of what we have told each other. If instead we consider the various offers that often bring down the price to poco more than 50 euros, then everything becomes interesting, but overall there is not something that makes me say that Xiaomi's economic solution is the best around and that you should prefer it to others.
It is simply a smartwatch that works well on what is offered by the software and that could be the right choice for all those who need a smart device, but not too much, with good accuracy of the data collected in sports and that thanks to the integrated GPS can do without taking your smartphone with you to track their activity.
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The cheap wearable according to Xiaomi, arrives in a market that is now too populated with valid alternatives and the absence of particular functions does not make it stand out, indeed in some cases one feels the absence of features now offered even by minor brands, such as the SpO2 value. Overall, he does his job well and this is not to be underestimated.
- GPS AND TRACKING ACCURACY
- AUTOMATIC LIGHTING SENSOR
- INDEPENDENCE FROM SMARTPHONE FOR SPORTS ACTIVITIES
- ICON SYSTEM INTERFACE
- STRAPS WITH OWNER ATTACHMENT
- ABSENCE OF SPO2 FEATURE