Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite unboxing & first impressions: The RM250 Apple Watch?

Sometimes you don’t need a sophisticated smartwatch with a million features that costs thousands of ringgit. Sometimes all you need is a smartwatch that kinda looks like a popular smartwatch from a distance that can push notifications and track basic fitness metrics. And that is exactly the kind of smartwatch the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite looks to be.

For those who can’t watch the video, here’s the gist of it

It bears an uncanny resemblance to the Apple Watch, and you can tell that that’s clearly by design. I mean, it doesn’t look bad if you’re into the square form factor, and for RM249, the device is built reasonably well too.

Sure it’s not quite as premium as the thousand ringgit smartwatches, but it’s what I would call good enough for the price. Probably the most jarring reminder that this is a cheap wearable is its screen. The 1.4″ TFT LCD is definitely not the best screen out there. While it’s pretty sharp with a 320×320 pixel resolution, the colours are very washed and the blacks are not black at all.

The most surprising thing to me, however, was the fact that there are no animations when you swipe around the smartwatch. Screens simply pop into existence, which takes some getting used to. Still, this is a very affordable device so I guess compromises have to be made somewhere. Besides, this is a pretty small matter in the grand scheme of things because overall navigation is reasonable. There’s a nice tactile button on the side and full swipe controls for everything else.

On top of that, hardware on this watch is very good for the price. It has built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, barometer, accelerometer and support for up to 11 sports modes. What’s more, it is also water resistant with a rating of 5ATM so you can take this swimming.

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With up to 9 days of battery life, the watch will track your sleep as well and you won’t have to charge it every night. The straps are removable, and they give you a charging cradle to juice the device up.