The Chinese electronics giant announced it is launching its first smartwatch. Dubbed the Mi Watch, the Chinese smartwatch looks pretty much the same as the Apple Watch.
With its square body that has a crown and a button, it works with a 1.78-inch AMOLED display (326 ppi) that provides the always-on capacity and runs the company’s homegrown wearable operating system dubbed MIUI for Watch which is based on Google’s Wear OS.
Inside its metal armor, aluminum alloy with a matte finish, there are microphones on both sides for recording audio and taking calls. There is also a loudspeaker on the left to listen to music or incoming calls. The Mi Watch comes in one size of 44mm and has ceramic back, which is where the charging pins and a heart-rate sensor are also placed.
The Mi Watch partnered with Qualcomm who provided Snapdragon Wear 3100 4G chipset with four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. It can also offer 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. According to the company, this smartwatch supports cellular connectivity (via an eSIM), Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, Bluetooth and NFC for payments. The Mi Watch is expected to last approximately 36 hours on a single charge on cellular mode.
The Mi Watch is designed so it could help users track their sleep as well, combined with their workout performance including swimming, cycling and running It also measures their heart rate.
More than 40 popular Chinese apps, such as TikTok and QQ Messenger, are available for the Mi Watch from the first day and the watch has its own default virtual assistant XiaoAI assistant.
The price for this watch us far below that of an Apple’s – CNY 1,299 ($185) and it is planned for it to go on sale in China already next week. However, for now, there is no information about the watch being offered worldwide. Still, if it’s to look at the company’s past behavior, Xiaomi will probably start with bringing the device to India, Singapore, Indonesia and other markets in the coming quarters.
The company announced that there will be also a more “luxurious” alternative for the Mi Watch that will have a sapphire glass and stainless steel and should go on sale next month in China. It is priced at CNY 1,999 ($285).
This is not a firstborn on the wearable market for Xiaomi whose fitness trackers (that are cheaper than $25 and sport colorful displays and last for weeks on a single charge) are amazingly popular in Asian markets.
Also, this is not the first time the company has been indicted for being a little too much inspired by Apple. Its early smartphones looked pretty much similar to the iPhones. However, during the last few years, its products started having more independent and original designs.
The wearables market (especially the smartwatch sector) is becoming bigger and bigger every day. Except for Apple and now Xiaomi, last week Google said it will buy the Fitbit company in a new deal worth $2.1 billion. Earlier this year Google also announced a deal with another smartwatch maker, Fossil, to acquire its technology for $40 million. Still, it seems that with its brilliant cooperation with Qualcomm and great quality, Xiaomi could easily beat Apple in sales projections for the next year. Just last month, Apple’s biggest assembler Quanta Computer said it wants out because of certain “profit concerns” with Watch manufacturing.
At the time of writing Google stock went up 0.030% to $1,291.83. Fitbit jumped 0.14% to $7.06 while Xiaomi fell 1% to $8.94. Apple stock fell as well, it lost 0.14% to $256.85.