Tech for your connected self

What I'm Wearing: The accessories and wearables on our wrists right now

This week it's all about Xiaomi and the PowerWatch

Welcome to another edition of What I'm Wearing, your chance to find out what wearable tech we've been wearing recently. We do of course get a lot of wearables and accessories sent to us that we are busy putting through their paces.

It could be a new strap, a smartwatch, a fitness tracker or even some smart clothing. Sometimes it's a device we're testing, other times it's just something we happen to be wearing. Plus, we really like talking about wearables, okay?

If you've got some recommendations for us, don't hesitate to send them our way at [email protected]. You never know, it could be featured here one Tuesday.

Mike is wearing the Xiaomi Mi Band 3

What I'm Wearing: The accessories and wearables on our wrists right now

What I'm Wearing: The accessories and wearables on our wrists right now

It feels like I haven't worn just a fitness tracker on my wrist for a very long time, so I've actually been quite looking forward to donning the Mi Band 3. Especially when Xiaomi says its shipped an impressive 1 million of these new Mi Bands in less than 20 days.

When I've had all manner of expensive smartwatches and sports watches to wear over the last few months, the idea that I would now be wearing something that costs around $30 as opposed to $300, immediately made me think I'd have to live with something that's all plastic and not very fantastic. In fairness, though, the Mi Band 3 doesn't feel as "budget" as previous iterations. The black band and black sensor is the most low-key option you can pick from, but it has the kind of inoffensive muted look that I actually don't mind. It's not pretty, but it definitely could've been worse.

It's waterproof, which is definitely something I can appreciate, especially when I'm wearing it for sleep tracking and don't have to take it off to have a shower in the morning. It still amazes me how much Xiaomi manages to squeeze into that budget body, but one thing it doesn't always find room for is a screen with great visibility in bright sunlight, as you can probably tell from the photos up top. I've still got a week or so of testing before I cast my full verdict, but it's so far, so good, and it looks like Xiaomi is onto another value for money winner.

Hugh is wearing the PowerWatch

What I'm Wearing: The accessories and wearables on our wrists right now

What I'm Wearing: The accessories and wearables on our wrists right now

No, that's not a Garmin you see before your eyes, but the PowerWatch X – a smartwatch with infinite battery power.

And no, I'm not making that up. This smartwatch is powered by your body heat using thermoelectric technology. If it sounds familiar, that's because we tried the standard PowerWatch back in November, where we remarked that while the tech was impressive, it just… didn't do a lot.

That changes with the PowerWatch X, which adds notification support to make this more of a "smartwatch". However notifications are pretty basic here, alerting you that you've received a message and telling you who it's from, but not letting you read it on the watch.

Beyond that you've got step and calorie counting – table stakes for any wearable at this point – and 200m of water resistance. It's definitely a rugged beast, taking design cues from Garmin's Fenix line, but doesn't touch those watches in terms of activity tracking.

I've only just started wearing it, so bear with me as I get to grips with it and see how it fares over a longer period of testing.


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