The Bip S’s long battery life makes it easy to track sleep
Even with its spotty connectivity and mediocre smart features, this watch continues long after its rivals have given up. The fact that I didn’t have to put it aside to a charger at the end of the day meant it never left my wrist.
Huami says it can last up to 40 days on a charge if you perform the bare bone functions, although in reality I would expect around 15 days of battery life. Or 10 days if you shoot all cylinders like me (max screen brightness and GPS workouts on a regular basis, for example).
Beyond the convenience of not having to charge it at the end of each day, having it 24/7 meant I was tracking my sleep much more regularly than with other smartwatches.
The Bip S gave me a morning sleep score based on a number of different factors like sleep duration, bedtime, and sleep quality compared to other users. As a mother of two young children, I know my sleep patterns can improve, so I was shocked to find that I averaged about 90 (out of 100) each night. So either Amazfit users have terrible sleep patterns or it is not very good at determining if I am in bed breastfeeding the baby or if I am actually sleeping. I suspect it could be a combination of the two.
But even with my skepticism, having this data over a longer period of time helped me identify when I was sleeping the most restful and it changed my bedtime habits (at an hour earlier) so I could maximize that. deep sleep cycle. Whether this actually helps me feel more rested during the day is yet to be determined.
The Bip S is a cheap option, but it won’t replace your phone
If you are looking for a smart watch to free yourself from your phone every now and then, this is not it. In that case, you’d better buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or a Galaxy Watch Active 2. The Amazfit Bip S is more Fitbit Charge compliant, a dumb companion that tracks your sleep and activity levels and lets you sometimes know when someone is trying to reach you. But for some, that’s all they really need. And for $ 69, it’s a steal on an entry-level smartwatch, especially if you’re about to get one in the first place.
After this review, I’ll probably be pulling out the Bip S for a smarter alternative. But I will definitely miss this long battery life. And i agree with Rick Broida de Crumpe, who said he might even consider coming back to it on his travels to avoid losing another cable to the hotel room’s power outlet. But we will see that once “traveling” becomes a thing again.
The Xiaomi brand continues to produce connected objects for athletes. A few years ago, the excellent Mi Band 2 enjoyed a certain enthusiasm among fans of connected sports. More expensive but better equipped, will the Amazfit Bip once again succeed in uniting fans?
We had the opportunity to take charge of this new activity tracker for several weeks. With its very low price and the inclusion of equipment usually reserved for more high-end devices, it has certain advantages. However, is the Amazfit Bip efficient enough? We are now delivering our verdict to you.
Xiaomi Amazfit Bip
A GPS + cardio digest at a low price
Normally, it takes at least 150 € to benefit from an activity tracker with a native GPS and heart rate monitoring. Xiaomi nevertheless succeeds in the feat of offering these services while maintaining a very low price: barely 60 €!
However, it will be necessary to go through importation to benefit from such a tariff. Allow between two and three weeks for delivery, China not being next door.
GPS and heart rate sensor aren’t the only strengths of this activity tracker. It also has a 1.28 ″ 176 x 176 px screen slightly curved at the edges. Reflective, it is permanently on and is very readable in direct sunlight. Add to that an announced autonomy of 45 days, IP68 certification and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Not bad for the price! It remains to be seen how the Amazfit Bip behaves in real conditions.
Getting started with the Amazfit Bip
With only 31 grams on the scale, the little tracker knows how to be forgotten once on the wrist. On the other hand, its look may attract you a few remarks like “Nice your Apple Watch!” “. And yes, once again Xiaomi did not go far to find its inspiration… The connected bracelet looks furiously like the famous American watch. Of course, there are worse models, but a little more imagination would not have been luxury.
But it’s time to navigate the Bip interface. First of all, know that the set is in English. French is probably not on the agenda and likely won’t be for a long time, if ever. Fortunately, the functionalities remain very easy to understand. The Amazfit Bip offers many menus including the weather forecast, a compass and of course activity monitoring. Currently, only four sports are available:
- Outdoor race
The interface takes advantage of the touch to use. The physical button on the right side of the tracker is only used to unlock the screen or return to the previous menu. You can also assign a shortcut to your favorite sport activity which will be triggered by a long press on this button. Simple and efficient !
From the main screen, you will have access to the notifications received by your smartphone with a swipe from the bottom. A slide from the top gives access to the battery level as well as to the DND mode. Note also that it is possible to configure it so that it is triggered only during sleep phases. Convenient so as not to be disturbed by notifications in the middle of the night!
While the reflective screen offers excellent visibility in direct sunlight, this is not the case when it is dark. A backlight is integrated to compensate for this weakness. Its bluish appearance is quite cheap, but it does the job nonetheless. Note also that the technology used causes the screen to have a yellowed appearance similar to what is found on E-Ink panels. This is not a nice effect, but the whole has the advantage of consuming very little electricity despite constant ignition.
Readings that sometimes lack precision
With its contained price, one should not expect miracles from Xiaomi’s activity tracker. The presence of GPS, however, allows you to keep track of your route without having to worry about the smartphone. The heart rate recorded during exercise seems consistent, as does the number of steps and the pace.
It is on the sleep monitoring side that the disappointment comes. The tracker turns out to be pretty bad at this level. If the times of falling asleep and waking up are consistent, the indication of the phases of sleep in the application leaves something to be desired. A defect already present on the venerable Mi Band 2 and visibly not resolved despite the years. If you are looking for a tracker to monitor the quality of your sleep, forget the Amazfit Bip …
L’application Mi Fit
Like any connected tracker, the Amazfit Bip uses a smartphone application to display the data in an accessible form. Contrary to what its name suggests, Xiaomi’s tracker does not use the Amazfit app, but Mi Fit. You will therefore not be disoriented if you were already using a Mi Band 2.
Over the years, the application has improved, notably receiving a welcome French translation. The interface has also been revised. However, the whole remains quite minimalist, far behind current standards like Fitbit or Samsung Health. The most assiduous athletes will turn to other more complete solutions such as Garmin or Polar.
On the other hand, beginner athletes or people who wish to progress little by little will appreciate the simplicity of the Mi Fit application. The main data is accessible from the main page: number of steps, heart rate, sleep monitoring. The app also gives an average of the progress made against users in the same region. It’s hard to say if this data is really relevant, but it nevertheless allows you to motivate yourself.
Once a sport is recorded on the bracelet, you can observe its route and other data calculated using GPS. Note also that the route is not visible in real time on the bracelet. It is also impossible to place waypoints. Basically, the data is only fully usable once the Amazfit Bip is linked to the smartphone. When we tell you it’s minimalist!
Autonomy: Xiaomi sets the bar very high
The Mi Band 2 had set the bar very high with its 20-day battery life. The Amazfit Bip completely explodes this record with up to 45 days of use! Of course, this score is only achieved by using the minimum subsistence level. But in a single charge, our test copy will have lasted more than 35 days with several sessions tracked by GPS. An achievement knowing that the screen is permanently on and the heart rate monitored every 10 minutes.
Charging takes about two hours. For that, Xiaomi provides a handy little dock that will look great on a desk. Top !
The new Xiaomi activity tracker has many assets to please: integrated GPS, enormous autonomy, screen always on… The set for barely 60 €! If the offer is attractive, it should also be borne in mind that there are some small drawbacks that can slow down the use of this Chinese tracker.
Thus, its interface is in English only. The app is in r **** d compared to many competitors. We also deplore too limited sleep monitoring. Add to that the tracking of only four sports. So many small flaws that will put off the most demanding. Moreover, let’s not forget that you have to go through the import to get the Amazfit Bip.
Therefore, should we crack? If your budget is tight and you’re looking for a simple connected tracker, then go for it. Otherwise, we recommend that you look to other solutions that are a little more expensive, but probably better designed.