Xiaomi is set to launch a Wear OS smartwatch in 2023, as it eyes a return to Google’s ecosystem.
The last Xiaomi smartwatch to run Wear OS was the Mi Watch back in 2019 when it used a skinned version of Google’s OS. And this was notable, as it was the first to really adapt and customize Wear OS - arguably blazing a trail for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 in 2021.
But the Mi Watch was short-lived, and the Wear OS version didn’t even get a global release.
Subsequent Xiaomi smartwatches have used the MIUI Watch OS – a custom operating system built on Android.
There are no further details on the specifics of the new Xiaomi Wear OS device, and the report on 9to5Google is attributed to unnamed sources.
Since 2019, Wear OS has improved dramatically.
Google has launched an improved Wear OS 3, with the platform re-engineered in collaboration with Samsung, which ditched its own Tizen OS to move back to Google.
With the increased market share courtesy of Samsung, Google has strengthened its app selection and has lured developers to support the platform.
So, it’s of little surprise that Xiaomi is considering a move to Wear OS; especially given that the company hasn’t captured the smartwatch market as it did with the Mi Band fitness tracker.
It’s also a double-edged sword, though. The greatest strength of Xiaomi’s mid-range smartwatches is that they offer two weeks of battery life. And with Wear OS, we would expect a few days at the most.
It could potentially work best on its flagship devices, where the restrengthened Wear OS operating system could power apps and features such as mobile payments – all of which are currently missing.
After all, the market for $200 smartwatches offering good battery life but a weak set of smart features is now pretty crowded, with Huawei, Xiaomi, Amazfit, Honor, and Oppo all doing much the same thing.
And the likes of Redmi, Realme, and Poco are all punching up from below, as well.
The smart choice, we think, would be for Xiaomi to offer a reasonably-priced Wear OS 3 watch and carve a new niche for itself.
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