Technology

Amazfit Bip S smartwatch review: Price and battery life will smoke the competition

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Vanessa Hand Orellana/PJDM

nov 2020 ec

The Amazfit Bip S beats out each different smartwatch we have examined on the subject of value and battery life, incomes it PJDM’s Editor’s Alternative Award for 2020. 

It is not the perfect smartwatch I’ve ever examined — not even shut. But it surely’s positively the longest-running one. I wore it for nearly 10 days straight with out having to cost it as soon as, and that is much more than I can say for its pricier opponents. But when battery life alone is not sufficient to get your consideration, the $69 price ticket ought to seal the deal. (UK costs weren’t accessible, but it surely’s AU$119 in Australia, which is about £65.)

Do not Like

  • Unreliable reference to cellphone app
  • No fast replies for notifications
  • No computerized exercise detection

The Bip S is the third variant of the Amazfit Bip (together with the Amazfit Bip Lite). Created by Chinese language firm Huami in 2018, the unique Bip was a fan favourite from the get-go. It did the essential smartwatch duties for a lot lower than opponents, and it lasted as much as 45 days on a single cost. PJDM’s Scott Stein gave it high praise, calling it among the finest low-key smartwatches round. 

The Bip S has higher fitness options and a barely higher display than its predecessor, but it surely hasn’t modified a lot within the final two years. And whereas it is nonetheless among the finest offers on the market, it lags a bit behind others, just like the Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch, on the subject of options and connectivity. 

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The Amazfit Bip S is available in 4 colours, with a brand new two-toned pink choice.


Vanessa Hand Orellana/PJDM

A design that matches the worth

Save for a couple of new colour choices (pink and inexperienced) and a brighter show, the Bip S seems to be like a carbon copy of the unique Bip. And by that, I imply it seems to be like a plastic Apple Watch, with a a lot thicker bezel and lighter body. 

It is positively not probably the most engaging smartwatch I’ve laid my eyes on, but it surely’s sensible and extra snug to put on than a few of the extra premium, heavier watches which are bulkier. It is so gentle that I even forgot I had it on after I slept.

However the largest value compromise comes on the expense of the display. It is all the time on, which is a pleasant perk, but it surely’s not fairly as sharp, vivid or responsive as a cellphone display. The backlight additionally did not all the time activate after I wanted it to. Typically it really works on demand, however I needed to exaggerate elevating my wrist extra usually than I would wish to get it to activate. And as talked about earlier than, it isn’t as delicate to the touch. I needed to swipe or faucet the display a couple of occasions to get it to reply. When it does gentle up or brighten although, it is clear to see in broad daylight. 

The Bip S features a few extra watch faces than its predecessors, in addition to the flexibility to customise a few of the current ones.

The Bip S’ improved health monitoring

The unique Amazfit Bip coated the fundamentals when it got here to health monitoring, however the Bip S takes it a step additional by including extra exercises and higher metrics. 

It will possibly now log as much as 10 completely different actions together with yoga, weights and swimming. Its 5ATM water resistance makes it protected for each pool and open-water swims, and its built-in GPS means you’ll be able to depart your cellphone on dry land when you’re within the water or out on a run.

Since testing the Amazfit Bip S, I have been capable of observe my stats precisely after I keep in mind to do it correctly. For instance, the dial button may be programmed as a shortcut to start out exercises, which is handy. However for operating (or different outside exercises) I nonetheless should press the display to verify GPS connection earlier than really registering the run. This defeats the aim of getting the shortcut within the first place. The primary few occasions I took it out, I forgot to verify and it did not log my run. As a result of it does not have computerized exercise detection, it’s a must to begin it manually to truly log your exercises — but it should pause mechanically when it senses that you’ve got stopped shifting for some time.

Like its predecessor, the Bip S has steady heart-rate monitoring. Throughout workouts, it broke down my info into zones on the cell app to indicate whether or not I used to be in a light-weight, intensive, cardio, anaerobic or Vo2 max (most oxygen consumption) heart-rate zone. That is much like what different sports activities watches like Fitbit and Garmin do, however as a result of the Bip S’ outcomes did not all the time mirror the depth at which I perceived my exercise, I am skeptical of its accuracy. 

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The most important upgrades on the Amazfit Bip S are well being and health associated. 


Vanessa Hand Orellana/PJDM

The Bip S interprets coronary heart fee into well being metrics 

Along with the standard steps and distance, the Bip S provides a brand new metric referred to as PAI (Private Exercise Intelligence)., which grades you on how a lot exercise you’ve got performed throughout the day Which means that fairly than counting on step rely or energy burned, the Bip S makes use of coronary heart fee knowledge (together with primary demographic info) to find out whether or not or not the person was capable of increase their coronary heart fee lengthy sufficient all through the day to keep up a wholesome way of life. When that is achieved, the chance of growing power sicknesses like coronary heart illness, hypertension and diabetes lowers, in line with Huami.

The thought itself will not be novel and it is much like the transfer ring on the Apple Watch and zone minutes on Fitbit gadgets — all of that are exercise metrics that transcend step counting. But it surely’s new to the Bip household, and it was a great way to maintain myself trustworthy about how a lot exercise I used to be doing (or not doing) throughout the day. Having it really motivated me to maintain going all through the week. 

Bip S lacks sure sensible options 

The most important deal-breaker for me concerning the Amazfit is that it did not actually work nicely as a “sensible” watch. Technically it is appropriate with iOS and Android, however after I tried to make use of it with my iPhone, the connection was unreliable. I would cease receiving cellphone notifications on the watch, and I would should re-pair the app with the cellphone a couple of occasions. A firmware replace did assist with the connectivity points (and will proceed to get higher), particularly when paired to an Android cellphone, but it surely did not fully remedy the issue and it takes some time to sync the info to the cell app. 

Even when the Amazfit displayed my notifications correctly, I could not do a lot with them. As a result of it does not have a microphone, dictation can be out of the query and you may’t program fast replies like different smartwatches. 

All in all, in addition to a couple of primary apps for the climate and music management (which is a step up from the unique Bip), the watch principally mirrors your cellphone and does not have many standalone capabilities. Even the alarm app needs to be programmed on the cellphone, and there aren’t any cell funds of any kind. 

Bip S’ lengthy battery life makes sleep monitoring a breeze

Even with its spotty connectivity and mediocre sensible options, this watch retains going lengthy after its opponents hand over. The truth that I did not should sideline it to a charger on the finish of the day meant it by no means left my wrist. 

Huami says it may well go as much as 40 days on a cost when you’re doing the bare-bone capabilities, though realistically I would count on about 15 days value of battery life. Or 10 days when you’re firing on all cylinders, like myself (max display brightness and GPS exercises frequently, for instance). 

Past the comfort of not having to cost it on the finish of every day, having it on 24-7 meant I tracked my sleep much more usually than I did with different smartwatches. 

The Bip S gave me a sleep rating within the morning primarily based on a lot of various factors, like sleep period, bedtime and high quality of sleep in comparison with different customers. As a mom of two babies, I do know my sleep habits have room for enchancment, so I used to be shocked to seek out that I have been averaging a couple of 90 (out of 100) each evening. So both Amazfit customers have deplorable sleep habits, or it isn’t excellent at figuring out whether or not I am in mattress nursing the newborn or really asleep. I think it is perhaps a mixture of each. 

However even with my skepticism, having this knowledge over an extended time frame helped me establish the occasions after I was getting probably the most restful sleep and it modified my bedtime habits (to an earlier hour) so I might maximize that deep sleep cycle. Whether or not it really helps me really feel extra rested throughout the day is TBD. 

The Bip S is an inexpensive choice, but it surely will not substitute your cellphone

In case you’re searching for a smartwatch to free you out of your cellphone infrequently, this isn’t it. In that case you are higher off getting an Apple Watch Series 3 or Galaxy Watch Active 2. The Amazfit Bip S is extra according to the Fitbit Cost, a dumb sidekick that tracks your sleep and exercise ranges and infrequently lets you already know when somebody is making an attempt to achieve you. However for some, that is all they really want. And for $69 it is pretty much as good of a deal on an entry-level smartwatch as you may get, particularly when you’re on the fence about getting one within the first place. 

After this assessment, I am most likely going to retire the Bip S for a wiser various. However I am positively going to overlook that enduring battery life. And I agree with PJDM’s Rick Broida, who mentioned he would possibly even contemplate going again to it when he travels to save lots of dropping yet one more cable to the resort room energy outlet. However we’ll see about that after “touring” turns into a factor once more. 

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Author

Vanessa Hand Orellana