Update: It looks like the Xiaomi Mi Watch will get a global release - while the Watch Color will remain in China.
We’re all hungrily waiting for Xiaomi’s first smartwatch to hit Western shores but the company has already taken the wrappers off its second effort – the Watch Color.
It may just sound like a funky colour way for the Mi Watch, but the Watch Color couldn’t be more different from the original. Xiaomi teased the new watch on its site and over at Weibo.
It has a round case, bold vibrant displays and a range of straps, and Xiaomi boasts that you can mix up over 1,500 combinations. However, Gizmochina reports that you can only buy two case colours and color straps are coming after launch.
The official unveiling is set for 3 January, but specs for the Watch Color have already leaked on the usual Xiaomi-watching sites out in China.
According to Gizchina we’re set for 47mm case size, with reports of a second, unconfirmed, 42mm version.
The larger version will reportedly have a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a 454 x 454 resolution – which stacks up pretty well against the biggest, baddest screens on the market.
Gizchina also leaks that the Watch Color will last 14 days in smartwatch mode thanks to a 420mAh battery. That’s seriously impressive stuff from a device with a display as smart of the Watch Color.
See also: Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite
But the key detail we’re going to have to wait to find out is what OS is on-board. The leaks don’t specify, so we’re going to hope that it’s packing the same forked version of Wear OS that’s debuted on the square Mi Watch. However, if the leaks are right, it seems unlikely that a 14 day battery life could be compatible with any usage or Wear OS.
As with the standard Watch there’s GPS on-board, with a heart rate monitor – and those are linked by Firstbeat’s VO2 Max algos, which offer deep biometric insights to runners. On the subject of sports tracking there’s 10 tracked activities, according to Gizchina.
So where does this all fit in? Well, it seems to be identical to the Amazfit GTR, and shares most (if not all) of the specs. And as you can see from the side-by-side, they look pretty much identical too. That's not a hugely exciting prospect, as we gave the GTR a three-star review, thanks to the poor accuracy of the heart rate tech and basic smartwatch experience.
So it really comes down to the OS. Amazfit used its own OS which means a severe lack of apps. It looks like the Xiaomi Watch Color will go the same way. Which makes the differentiation even harder to fathom.
Amazfit is part of Huami, of which Xiaomi is also a subsidiary – but the latter certainly has a bigger brand recognition in the US and Europe, which may be part of the motivation.
We’ll update with confirmed specs as we get them.
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