China’s Xiaomi has just joined the smartwatch space with a device of its own. Called the Mi Watch, it is touted as a “small phone on your wrist,” allowing users to take and make phone calls without carrying their phones — just like the Apple Watch.
The wearable packs a 1.78-inch AMOLED screen with always-on capability housed in a 44mm casing. Its back is made from ceramic and there are a single button and crown on the right-hand side which are used to operate the interface; a single speaker and microphone are on the left.
The Mi Watch runs on Xiaomi’s “MIUI for watch” on top of Google’s Wear OS, offering over 40 built-in apps along with a separate app store that is now open for third-party developers. It also brings all the usual activity and sleep tracking features — including swim tracking (it’s water-proof).
Inside, there are radios supporting Bluetooth, NFC and eSIM — the last of which allows the smartwatch to function completely autonomously. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 4G chipset provides the necessary power to run things smoothly alongside 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. There is also a 570 mAh battery which should provide enough juice to work for up to 36 hours with 4G turned on.
At the moment, the Mi Watch is exclusive to China where it will start selling on November 11 for CNY 1,299 ($185). A more premium model with a sapphire crystal screen, stainless steel frame and band will be available before the end of the year for CNY 1,999 ($285).
Xiaomi is already known as Apple of China, we’ll see whether it manages to make the Mi Watch – the Apple Watch of China. Now that would be something.