The Xiaomi Mi Watch is official - and it's got a world first feature

An unashamed Apple Watch clone for half the price
Xiaomi Mi Watch is now official
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After months of speculation and leaks, Xiaomi has officially revealed the Mi Watch at an event in China.

The device becomes the first smartwatch to receive the Mi branding, following the company's popular line of Mi Band fitness trackers, and will launch with LTE, GPS and a $185 price tag.

Read next: Top Apple Watch alternatives

As rumored, the Mi Watch will also run on Wear OS - though not quite as we've come to know.

Instead of the typical, closed version of the software present on an army of watches from Google's partners, Xiaomi has built a custom platform, called MIUI for Watch, based on the smartwatch software.

It's the first time we've ever seen a skinned version of Google's platform.

The Xiaomi Mi Watch is official - and it runs on a customized version of Wear OS

In terms of design, the watch features a 44mm square face, with a 1.78-inch AMOLED display pumping out a resolution of 410 x 410 pixels and a pixel density of 326 pixels-per-inch.

At first glance, this screams of an Apple Watch imitation - which, again, is something we've expected from the pre-launch leaks.

Not only does it have the same square face as Apple's smartwatch, but it also shares the same crown, button, speaker and mic placement, as well as the curved edges.

Internally, the smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 3100 platform - the latest version of its processor, though an upgraded Snapdragon 3300 version has recently been rumored.

And it has a lot to power, too, with LTE available for music streaming and voice calls when you're not connected over Bluetooth to a phone, joining Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS for location tracking and NFC for contactless payments.

The Mi Watch's software, as we mentioned, will essentially be a personalized skin of Wear OS - a bit of a first, in itself - and has been designed to enable stripped-down versions of Xiaomi apps, like Mi Home, Tasks and Maps.

Despite its similarities to the Apple Watch, it actually manages to outlast the device in the battery life department –at least on paper.

Xiaomi claims the Mi Watch will manage 36 hours of continous use, even with LTE enabled, thanks to its 570 mAh battery packed inside.

We'll be testing that claim during our full review, but, at least for now, the Mi Watch will remain exclusive to China and release on 11 November for CNY 1,299. That translates to roughly £145.

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