Xiaomi launched its new smartwatch with little fanfare: the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite is now official, proving correct several rumors that suggested the company was going to create an affordable version of its Mi Watch.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch launched in September, but we're still waiting for it to become available in many regions; that might make the existence of a Lite version curious, but this is actually just a global version of the Redmi Watch which also launched earlier in the year.
When the Xiaomi Mi Watch goes on sale, it might prove a popular alternative to the Mi Watch and other low-cost smartwatches, as it sounds like it'll be a budget take on an already-affordable wearable. That might depend on its features and design though, so read on to find out all you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Xiaomi's new affordable smartwatch
- When is it out? No idea so far
- How much will it cost? Again, Xiaomi hasn't said
Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite release date and price
Regarding the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite's release date, we've not really got a clue - it's been listed on Xiaomi's global website, but we don't have any information on an actual release date so far.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch was launched in September yet that's still not available to buy in many regions, so we could be waiting a while. However the Xiaomi Mi 11 is expected to launch sometime in December so we could get more information then.
In terms of price, we've got a bit more of a clue - the name Mi Watch 'Lite' implies this will cost less than the 'standard' Mi Watch. That device cost €99 (around £90 / $115 / AU$160), so we could be looking at a very low price.
Design and display
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite has a square display, like an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, which is a big difference from the circular Mi Watch. This is a 1.4-inch LCD screen with 320 x 320 resolution.
This display can be customized with 120 different watch faces, each of which sits somewhere on a spectrum between 'utilitarian' and 'goofy'.
There's a crown to the side of the display, unlike the two the Mi Watch has, and the body in general has flat edges and doesn't look to be too thick.
The strap, which comes in a few different colors, is made of TPU or thermoplastic polyurethane, a versatile material we frequently see used in smartphone cases.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite has 11 different workout modes - that's not quite the 117 of the 'standard' Mi Watch, but likely covers all the general sports like cycling, running or walking.
The watch is water resistant of 5 ATM, so you can keep it underwater to depths of 50m for up to 10 minutes. As such, some of the exercises the watch tracks are swimming ones.
There's also sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, step counting, activity reminders (for if you've been static too long), weight bearing exercises and, something we haven't seen in many other watches, a counter that tells you how many times you stand up each day.
Software and battery life
The Mi Watch Lite uses Xiaomi's own software interface, similar to the Mi Watch. In terms of non-health features, there's music controls, notifications, call handling, weather reports and other 'standard' features you get in most smartwatches.
Surprisingly, the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite has built-in GPS - that's something you typically only see in top-end smartwatches. That lets you track workout distance without having to take your phone along for the ride, and should provide more accurate distances for all workouts.
Using the Xiaomi Wear app, you can connect the Mi Watch Lite to your smartphone, to see historic workout data, manage settings and view aggregate stats.
Xiaomi states the Mi Watch Lite can survive 9 days of 'typical usage' (whatever that entails) between charges. We'll make sure to test out that claim for our full review of the watch. The battery will also last for 10 hours of GPS exercise tracking, apparently, another figure we'll scrutinize.