According to a research by Counterpoint, the Amazfit Bip is the third bestselling smart watch in Q2 of 2018, trailing behind the Apple Watch Series 1 and the Fitbit Versa. What was not mentioned in the research is that the price of the Amazfit Bip is less than half of both the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s smart watch – an astounding $79.99.
About a month ago, I got my hands on an Amazfit Bip and understood firsthand how this tiny watch has managed to carve out some decent market share from the leaders. So, here’s what I have to say about the Amazfit Bip smart watch.
The watch used for this review was generously provided by Amazfit USA. It was connected to an iPhone 6S for the review in sunny Singapore.
AMAZFIT BIP LOOK AND FEEL
At first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking Amazfit ripped off Apple Watch’s design. At least that’s the response I got from two friends of mine who asked if I was wearing the Apple Watch Series 4.
The Amazfit Bip has a thin profile and is feather-light at a mere 32g. It is both dust and water resistant with an IP68 rating but swimming is unfortunately out of the question though.
The always on touch display views fine under bright sunlight and the back-light’s brightness levels can be adjusted on the watch itself. Point to note, the touch display is a tad too sensitive and I’ve had a few occasions when it recorded workout on its own when I placed the watch in my pocket after my outdoor workouts.
The watch features quick release changeable bands so you can accessorise according to your mood. For this review, I’ve changed the default black band to a blue one that I like.
A single button controls all the watch functions along with a very responsive touch display. The user interface is simple and well thought out and credit must be given to Amazfit for achieving ease of controls of the watch in such a simple yet clean manner.
There are also limited watch faces you can choose from. Including one that reminded me of the feel of a Casio watch I had eons ago.
And unlike the Amazfit Pace and Stratos, the Amazfit Bip doesn’t have on board storage for music playback nor connectivity via Bluetooth to 3rd party accessories.
As for battery life, it’s phenomenal. Most wearables I’ve used generally require charging after a week or so but the Amazfit Bip lasted close to 2 weeks with almost 4 hours of GPS/GLONASS enabled workout recordings thrown in, along with all day activities and sleep tracking.
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES
You’d be hard-pressed to find a similar product like the Amazfit Bip on the market. The watch contains the essential features an activity tracker should possess and further ups the ante by squeezing in features usually reserved for premium wearables such as altimeter, contactless payment, and compass.
Here’s a full summary of what the Amazfit Bip is capable of:
- 4 sports profiles -outdoor running, walking, cycling, treadmill (the only non-GPS mode)
- Wrist heart rate sensors
- Smart notifications
- Alarm clock and timer
- Alipay capability
- Tracks all day activity and sleep
Depending on the workout profile chosen, the default display shows 4 stats. Users can further swipe to access more stats such as cadence, pace, climb, descent and so on. The way the stats are displayed isn’t intuitive as yet and I would really love to be given access to customise the display during workouts.
The screen grab below shows a 5km run tracked by the Amazfit Bip as 5.14km. Distance recorded is decent, route tracked not so much. I’ve also had a few outdoor runs when the distance are spot on at times and short occasionally.
In terms of training needs, it’s minimal. It’s basically start, stop, or pause. No intervals or lap features except auto-lap.
Besides outdoor running, cycling, walking, and treadmill, there isn’t another workout profile you can use. So when I’m doing resistance training, I’m forced to rely on the treadmill workout profile. This should be improved.
The watch also has an on-board compass and altimeter though it seems a stretch why anyone would rely on a watch that’s only IP68 certified for outdoor and navigation usage.
The stop watch, timer, and smart notifications will come in useful for most people. As for Alipay, it’ll depend on where you reside and your preferred mode of contactless payment.
There’s weather feature which allows the watch to pull weather data from the connected mobile device, something which I rarely use but it’s there.
The Amazfit Bip watch also tracks all day activity with the stats readily accessible on the watch and the Xiaomi Mi Fit app, save for sleep tracking data.
And if that still doesn’t convince you that this watch is worthy of the 3rd best selling smart watch for Q2 2018, the company has also added idle alert and smart notifications.
The watch syncs to Xiaomi’s Mi Fit app and not to the Amazfit watch mobile app which is what both the Pace and Stratos connects to.
I thought this is worth mentioning since wearables synced to the Amazfit Watch mobile app does sync with Strava. In the case of the Bip watch, it can’t since it syncs with Mi Health app only. My guess is the price point has a large part to play in this.
There’s also limited transferring of data to Apple Health with workouts not being synced at all. These are the stats synced to Apple Health from Mi Fit app:
- Active energy
- Body Mass Index
- Heart rate
- Sleep analysis
The Mi Fit mobile app is adequate in displaying all the day activity tracking stats along with the recorded workouts.
It also allows some form of social sharing via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or simply saving the screen grab to photos.
Beyond that, the Mi Fit mobile app will not offer the analysis of workout stats or charting of workout performance over time unlike the competition.
Lastly there’s “Smart analysis” feature in the Mi Fit app which when enabled, allows the user to receive personalized improvement advice for sleep and how to “keep a good shape.” The screen grabs above is likely the outcome of the smart analysis feature.
AMAZFIT BIP IN A NUTSHELL
If you’re upgrading from a fitness band to a GPS enabled smart watch, the Amazfit Bip is an outstanding offering bridging the gap between full-fledged GPS performance watches and entry fitness bands nicely. The battery life is simply outstanding and Amazfit has gone on to add their own dash of extras in the form of smart analysis, Alipay, and compass.
The watch offers features that those looking to work out occasionally will fancy. Beyond that, it’s a hard sell as the Amazfit Bip struggles to pit itself against more formidable wearables.
Price point is merely one consideration and most people keen to improve their performance are perfectly fine shelling out a bit more as long as the wearable is accurate and has adequate training features. And that is where the Amazfit Bip fell short, by no fault of the watch nor Amazfit’s. The company does offer the Stratos as the next tier upgrade for those looking to improve performance with licensed Firstbeat features.
If syncing of workouts to Apple Health or perhaps Strava compatibility is enabled, then the Amazfit Bip smart watch still has immense untapped potential to be explored.
I’ve had my fair share of “economically” priced wearables that also offered “economical” activity tracking experience but the Amazfit Bip proved otherwise. As long as your expectations are measured.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed the review. If you’re interested in the watch, you can purchase the Amazfit Bip smart watch from Amazon where there’s usually a small discount, great return policy, and free delivery depending on where you reside. In return your purchase helps to offset the costs associated with the running of this site. Thanks!