Smart and fitness are two buzzwords which have brought a lot of brands into the business of time-keeping. One such brand, Huami – which is backed by Xiaomi – promises to do something that will turn heads and the Amazfit Bip is an example of Huami’s commitment of bringing great products to the masses at jaw-dropping prices (Rs. 5,499 via Flipkart).
The Amazfit Bip is one of the two smartwatches that Huami launched in India at highly compelling prices. The Bip is essentially a fitness band aiming to reserve a position in the smartwatch club. But it dispels its critics by bringing close-to smartwatch features at the price of good fitness tracker. With that said, I’d love to and will choose to continue calling the Bip a smartwatch and not a fitness tracker.
The price of the Amazfit Bip is not the only thing that will make you want to buy it. At this price, it comes with features that other fitness band companies dare not try fill their hands with. Meaningful features like an inbuilt GPS, heart rate monitor, a sleep tracker, and a square screen that is better serviceable than most rectangular fitness trackers are accompanied by, a barometer, a waterproof design, and most importantly, customizable watch faces.
After spending significant time with it, I have a lot to talk about the Bip. I’ll demand your attention to start with specifications of the smartwatch and what comes in the packaging after which I’ll talk about more of its hidden talents.
|Display||1.28-inch Reflective color display|
|Water-resistance||1.5 meters for 30 minutes|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0 BLE|
|Sensors||GPS + GLONASS, PPG heart rate sensor, triaxial acceleration sensor, geomagnetic sensor, barometric pressure sensor|
|Weight||~32g (with strap)|
|Price||Rs. 5,499 (Flipkart exclusive)|
The Amazfit Bip has some great specs on paper and we’ll see if it lives up to what it promises.
The Amazfit Bip comes in a simple box with not much to flaunt. The contents include:
- Huami Amazfit Bip smartwatch
- USB Charging dock
For the first time, I’ve felt disappointed by the lack of adequate written instructions. This is because there is no document talking about how to operate the smartwatch, essentially making it challenging for a first-timer. Let’s first take a look at the smartwatch first and I’ll talk about the charging dock when the battery is summoned.
Design and Build
The design of the Amazfit Bip, as I’ve mentioned before, is something that a lot of people will dig. I agree that it resembles Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch and that, IMO, is likely to attract many who desire to own these smartwatches.
The square dial is flanked by a metal knob-shaped button which works to activate the screen and also takes you a step back in the interface. The face is surrounded by a kind of grainy plastic (I later discovered it was polycarbonate) which feels solid and is what the entire solid body made of. A Silicone band, which keeps the smartwatch hooked to your wrist, feels very durable and is claimed to be skin-friendly.
The Amazfit Bip is available in four different colors and the color of the band depends on the shade of the smartwatch. While the website also says that newer designs will be launched in future, you can also choose to use standard watch straps because the band-holders come in standard size. I find the Onyx black variant most color neutral that can be paired with any kind of wrist band.
To interact with the smartwatch, you get a 1.28-inch reflective (like basic calculators) color display which stays always-on. You won’t need to turn on the display just to see the time as its reflective surface makes readability a bliss. By reflective, I mean – the stronger the light, the brighter the display. But, if you can’t resist the smartwatch being restfully seated on your wrist, the button on the side can be used to unlock it. You can also flick your wrist to turn on the display shortly. However, that does not unlock the screen nor does simply touching it.
Pressing the button also triggers the backlight which instantly makes the display feel dreary. Suddenly, it turns pale and flooded with a lot of white light that washes the colors out. But, however unnerving the colors may be, the touch display is fairly responsive and is even interactive under water – so you won’t require extra efforts while you’re in the shower or keeping up your fitness streak even in rain.
It is easy to mistake the display for an AMOLED under natural or bright light and honestly, the backlight is a bit disappointing, but you get used to it in a day or two. I wouldn’t say that the viewing angles are great but at most angles, the display more than meets the eye – literally.
The display is protected by 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3 with an anti-reflective coating. The coating does not necessarily make the glass non-reflective but it does minimize the effect of a strong light source from blinding your view. This also complements the display underneath which is as bright as the light it is under.
To sump up, although I wish the display was better and perhaps one with more contrast such as an LCD or OLED, I understand that not only does the reflective display reduce the overall cost of the Amazfit Bip but also makes it look idyllic when not in use. You can also adjust the brightness across five steps from 0 to 100% as per your liking.
Decreasing the brightness decreases the whitening effect but it also deceases the amount of color. The converse is also true. Lastly, I wish there was a manual way to turn the display off.
The features of the Amazfit Bip counterbalance its lack of a stunning display. The smartwatch will not only be a good companion on the road to fitness and wellness, but will also help you cut down on your dependence smartphone by showing you notifications at your choice and even wake you up.
To start with, a heart-rate monitor and a pedometer (step counter) fill spaces for the standard requirements for fitness tracking. Together, these two sensors take care of your general health. You can set to either track your heart rate at regular intervals – with the smallest option being 1 minute – or to manual tracking. While the former will show a more comprehensive picture of your heart’s general health, the latter option will help you conserve the battery. Despite higher battery consumption, continuous tracking is recommended if you suffer from a chronic ailment such as diabetes or tachycardia.
But if you want to actively capture the stats related to your outdoor physical activity, the in-built GPS+GLONASS comes in handy. Along with the smartphone’s GPS signal, the Bip can track your trail to a high level of accuracy. Bip has dedicated options to track walking, cycling, running outdoors or on a treadmill. Each mode shows you stats including the number of steps, distance traversed, average heart rate, the time taken, and other detailed information.
You can view the shape of your fitness route and even revisit details about activity in Activity History. This information can be seen in detail using the app and our attention to it remains pending until the next section.
The Amazfit Bip also helps you with directions, thanks to the inbuilt compass, and informs you about the altitude and the atmospheric pressure. It also serves as a stopwatch while the you can also set a countdown of up to a maximum of 99 minutes and 59 seconds. Additionally, the watch will also tell you about the weather using the connected smartphone.
Lastly in the Bip’s menu, you get Settings where you can the watchface, adjust the brightness, turn off or factory rest your smartwatch. You also get nifty elements such as the ability to find your connected smartphone and an option to customize the action of the button.
The watch also shows you notifications from different apps and while you cannot interact with the notifications, you can dismiss each by swiping your finger towards the left and tap on Delete. Alternatively, you can swipe to the bottom on the notifications and tap on Clear. I am not particularly impressed by the way Amazfit Bip deals with notifications – the actions are not synced with the smartphone and you to clear notifications individually in both the interfaces.
Mi Fit App
Due to Huami’s association with Xioami, the Amazfit Bip is compatible with the Mi Fit app. You start by filling out details about your age, height, and weight which is presumably used to calculate your BMI.
I adore the amount of detail you get in the Mi Fit app with the Status page giving you a fair idea about your activity for the day including number of steps, particulars about your sleep last night, your last recorded activity, heart rate, and your weight which it can get form a Mi weighing scale or through a manual entry.
I’m personally impressed by the amount of data this app share about the quality of your sleep. The sleep tracker keeps a tab on regions of light and deep sleep and the time that you were awake in the middle of the night. It also shares suggestions on how to make your sleep more comforting and rejuvinating.
The Activity tab allows you to initiate new activity while tapping in the total distance take you to a new page which displays comprehensive history of about all the activity. You can tap on any one and see your trail on the map and with more detail than the smartwatch.
The Profile tab helps you with the battery percentage and the settings of your Amazfit Bip. Here, you can choose which alerts you receive on the watch – including calls, app notifications, and sedentary alerts – and set alarms for the smartwatch separately from the clock app on the smartphone. You can also set a reminder so as to be reminded directly at your wrist.
The Mi Fit app also lets you sync data with other apps including Strava and Google Fit to be able to compete with and challenge the fitness goals of friends. Overall, you can learn a lot about your health using the Mi Fit app and even use it with multiple smart gadgets to maximize the quality of these results.
Using the app, you can also manually log your activities like brushing teeth, driving, bathing, climbing the stairs etc. to improve its precision.
The next most intriguing aspect of the Amazfit Bip is its battery. The smartwatch is powered by a 190mAh battery which, as per Huami’s claims, lasts for up to 45 days. However, that is the case when you use the most minimal watchface, turn off automatic heart rate tracking, and barely use the GPS.
I’ve, on the other hand, been nearly stressing the Bip and the battery has solidly endured more than five days. This is after setting the automatic heart rate tracking frequency to 1 minute, using GPS for at least 2-3km a day, and flipping my wrist just to see the display light up for fun.
The battery on the Amazfit Bip consumes somewhat around 2.5 hours to get refueled and I believe it’s justified to seek respite constant tracking after an eventful week. It does not leave any scope for complain and every time you look up for the remaining percentage, you’ll be surprised to see a value higher than.
Now that everything about features of the Amazfit Bip has been accounted for, let me take you through how reliable its data is. Firstly, the step-counter is accurate of the times but since there’s no automatic activity tracking or smart algorithms, it also mistakes driving or riding a motorcycle as physical activity. Secondly, to be able to fetch accurate readings from the heart rate monitor, you must ensure that the brand is tied tightly to your wrist with no slacking at any cost. This improves the correctness of the Amazfit Bip but it can also be uncomfortable at times.
Next, when it comes to the GPS, it is fairly accurate but takes some time while connecting initially. The compass, too, is set off by a few degrees and aligns very slowly when you move the watch around. The other sensors including two mysterious “EL” and “NL” always show “loading” and while the altimeter records information when you’re running, it also takes a lot of time to load up. The barometer is relatively quicker.
So all in all, the Amazfit Bip is in good order of accuracy but if you’re in the business of sports or fitness, it might sometimes show misleading results or make you wait where every second matters. That said, the Bip is amazing enough for an average users starting to take charge of their fitness.
Huami Amazfit Bip: Perfect for Your Daily Dose of Fitness
While the last section mostly contained my peeves with the Amazfit Bip, I mostly love it and want to continue using it. It can be equated to poor man’s gold which might sound like an insult in way, but is actually a compliment coming from a poor man himself. The Amazfit has a good amount of virtues which outweigh its vices. But, let’s take a look at the trade-offs you have to make to be able to own this super affordable and feature rich smartwatch.
- Durable and dependable build
- Skin-friendly wrist band
- IP68 certification for water resistance
- 3rd-party app support via Mi Fit
- Long-lasting battery
- Effective tips for improving sleep quality
- Easily readable display with always-on display anti-reflective coating
- Can be used with any watch strap
- Display washes out when lit
- Inconsistent support for notifications
- No smart algorithm to identify activities like driving
- Altimeter and other mysterious sensors eat time
- No way to turn the display off
Huami Amazfit Bip: Your Ideal Workout Partner
The Huami Amazfit Bip is reliable and won’t give you lazy excuses like your usual gym buddy. In my opinion, the Bip is a compelling choice for anyone who’s looking to seriously attend their physical health. It is also helpful for anyone suffering from poor or declining mental health issues because ultimately, a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.
If you’re limited by a budget and looking for a fitness tracker band in this range, I’d recommend you to take a good look at the Amazfit Bip and try not be attracted by it. It clearly cuts competition by bringing a large screen, which is not very impressive but any day better than a monochrome panel, detailed outdoor tracking, GPS, and the quirk of changeable watchfaces.
You get the Amazfit Bip for a price of Rs. 5,499 on Flipkart but because of limited stocks, you might have to spend some efforts to catch it during the next sale. You can use the link below to register for a notification about the next Amazfit sale on Flipkart.
Buy Xiaomi-backed Amazfit Bip Smartwatch on Flipkart (Rs. 5,499)