Amazfit Bip S Lite first impressions

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Huami has launched a new affordable smartwatch in India, the Amazfit Bip S Lite. The company is most well-known for making the very popular Mi Bands for Xiaomi, but launched its own smart wearable brand – Amazfit – a while ago.

Amazfit Bip S Lite is the latest addition to the company’s affordable Bip series, and is the stripped-down variant of the Bip S launched in India last month. I spent a few days with the entry-level wearable and here are my first impressions.

Specifications

  • Display: 1.28-inch TFT | 176 x 176 pixels | Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM certified (up to 50 meters water depth)
  • Sensors: BioTracker PPG bio-tracking optical heart rate sensor | 3-axis acceleration sensor
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0/BLE
  • Weight: 30g (with strap) | 18g (without strap)
  • Supported devices: Android 5.0 or iOS 10.0 and above

Design

The Amazfit Bip S Lite sports the familiar Amazfit smartwatch design we’ve seen so many times and that’s not a bad thing. The minimalist design makes it suitable for a variety of audiences with different wrist sizes. The build quality looks pretty good and the soft silicone strap too, is decent. The watch weighs just 30 grams, and apart from the feel of silicone on my wrist, often I didn’t even realize I was wearing it.

It comes with a 1.28-inch square TFT display with curved edges and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. There are thick bezels all around, which makes the display look cramped even though it’s one of the larger ones in this segment.

While the screen resolution is good enough for entry-level wearables, the display quality is just average. The blacks are not very deep, which is an easy giveaway of a cheaper display. While the outdoors visibility is mostly okay – not great -, it struggles under direct sunlight. I had a hard time taking photos of the watch for this article in my balcony.

Performance

The Amazfit Bip S Lite is technically not a smartwatch, since it doesn’t run a full-blown operating system like Google’s Wear OS, and hence cannot hook into a third-party app ecosystem. However, while this might be a consideration as you go higher in the value chain, you shouldn’t expect those smarts in a $50 smartwatch.

You get what you see, which means the eight sport modes to track activities such as outdoor cycling, treadmill, walking, outdoor running, indoor cycling, yoga, freestyle, and elliptical training, as well as heart rate and sleep monitoring. Of course, you can also control the music playing on your smartphone and mirror notifications from the paired smartphone. The notifications are not actionable though – you can’t answer the incoming calls or reply to a text message from the watch.

The user experience is quite straightforward, and I didn’t experience any lags in the navigation or while playing around with what’s on offer. The Bip S Lite works with both Android and iOS devices via the companion Amazfit app. In the past, Amazfit watches have had a small collection of watch faces, but this time around, there are 40 watch faces at the launch, and an upcoming OTA update should take the number to 150.

One of the highlights of the Bip S Lite is its stellar battery life. While Amazfit claims a 30-day battery life, in my few days of usage, I guess it would be around 20 days with real-world everyday usage.

Conclusion

The Amazfit Bip S Lite has been launched in India at a price of ₹3,799 ($50), and will be available on Flipkart and at Amazfit’s online store in three color variants – Oxford Blue, Sakura Pink, and Charcoal Black.

The Bip S Lite is essentially a fitness tracker masquerading as a smartwatch. It’s for anyone who wants a smartphone companion that aids in one’s fitness routines, without straining the wallet. If one goes in with low expectations, the Bip S Lite is likely to deliver enough value to not disappoint.

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