After playing enough with Amazfit Arc (almost a clone of the popular Xiaomi Mi Band 2), I wanted to try something more functional than a simple fitness bracelet. The choice fell on the smart watch Huami Amazfit Bip A1608, which promised full-fledged work with notifications - the ability to read messages directly from the display - and at the same time promised a minimal drawdown on the background of the bracelet on autonomy.
On the one hand, the gain seemed obvious. But watches (also known as Amazfit Watch Lite ) are more expensive, and they have a clear competitor - Pebble gadgets, which, although they died as a brand, are still widely available in online stores.
The text may contain and most likely contains grammar, spelling, punctuation and other types of errors, including semantic ones. I strongly ask readers to point out these errors and correct me through personal messages.
What is in the box
Amazfit Bip comes in a compact box. Inside, everything is furnished very modestly and budget.
In addition, in fact, hours I discovered:
- instructions in Chinese with a QR code for downloading the Mi Fit application;
- charging cradle with a short USB-cable.
Why use the whole mold to set the clock for charging is not very clear to me. It was quite possible to get by with a more compact unit, like the Arc bracelet.
Films on the screen or additional straps are not included, but they can be purchased.
Preparation for work
As soon as the clock falls into your hands, it becomes clear that you cannot fully use them - the entire interface and the menu in Chinese. The international version of Amazfit Bip has not yet been delivered.
The good news is that for the watch there is an English firmware made by craftsmen. The bad news:
- The firmware takes about half an hour, requires a smartphone on Android and promises a sickly hemorrhage;
- after each update over the air, the firmware will again become Chinese and the English modification will have to be re-rolled;
- In the “Weather” block, there are still Chinese characters (solved by a modified version of Mi Fit).
In any case, we have no particular choice, so we need:
In the process, I had one mistake or another, but in the end I managed to find the right sequence. And in order to connect Amazfit Bip to the Mi Fit application, I had to create a new Xiaomi account. From my old (5-year-old) watch refused to work flatly.
A few hundred burnt nerve cells later, the clock is ready to go.
What Amazfit Bip Can and Cannot Do
The watch is protected by IP68 from moisture. I go with them in any weather, take a shower and a bathroom, wash dishes. Is that even in the sea did not swim.
- read the distance traveled;
- motivate to walk more;
- measure the pulse;
- record offline workout data;
- track sleep phases;
- show incoming notification icons;
- vibrate when an incoming call, show the number of the caller, there is a button to hang up or turn off the sound;
- kick the owner if he is sitting in place for a long time;
- be an alarm clock.
A great plus of Amazfit Bip on the background of bracelets is the ability to autonomously record training data. You can leave your smartphone at home.
I go out early in the morning with the clock on my wrist, with three clicks on the display I select the Run mode and start winding up kilometers. Every kilometer the clock vibrates, indicating success, the heart rate monitor constantly records the heart rate and displays on the display. Upon completion of the workout, you can even view the route traveled in a schematic view.
Watch notifications display from most applications, but with a couple of reservations:
- only the information that fits on the display, without the possibility of scrolling;
- the Ukrainian letter “i” and the smilies do not understand the clock at all and disguise them with a question mark in the box;
- Notifications can be viewed, but nothing can be done with them.
The particular disappointment was caused by the fact that with Amazfit Bip you cannot control the player on your smartphone. Constantly have to reach into your pocket to switch the track or change the volume.
The watch has a proprietary OS without the ability to install applications. This is what Amazfit Bip significantly loses to Pebble solutions. A few of the gadget flaws are well described by one of the members of the forum:
- The timer (and stopwatch) can not be run "in the background." Either they work and you don’t see the time or you see the time, but you don’t use the timer - a fat minus, I often need to do something / remind in, say, 20 minutes and usually I just set the timer (on Pebble literally 3-4 button presses).
- The alarm clock cannot be set from the clock. A new alarm clock is placed from the phone, from the clock you can only enable / disable any alarm clock.
- In Pebble, it was possible to respond to the sms / IM with the prepared templates (such as “yes”, “no”, “late”) and smiles, in amazfit no action is provided. Well at least to reset the call there is an opportunity.
- You can not set the "do not disturb" on a schedule (for example, at night). And when you put it manually on the watch, the icon does not appear on the watch face - you can forget that you have set it.
Design and wearing comfort
The watch looks pretty neutral. This is a plastic rectangle with rounded corners. From the meter distance you can find a slight resemblance to the Apple Watch. Against the backdrop of plastic Pebble or Pebble Time, Amazfit Bip seems to be a “serious” device.
I will not tell you that “the watch is ideal for a business suit or sportswear”. It is better to look in advance live photos of the gadget and estimate how much you like them.
Amazfit Bip can be black, orange, white or olive.
Unlike bracelets, the watch supports interchangeable straps, which increases their reliability and gives a bit of room to change the appearance. However, the native rubber strap with a plastic clip is quite pleasant and does not cause discomfort. The truth gets dirty quickly. I wear a watch all the time, only once every two weeks I take off for 90 minutes to recharge.
The holes in the strap are enough to comfortably fit the gadget to the arm of any size. The watch itself is light (32 grams) and practically not felt on the arm.
How the display behaves
The Amazfit Bip reflective display has a diagonal of 1.28 inches. By the principle of work, he recalls E-Ink, which is found in e-books. That is, information from it can always be read in the light, and in the dark it is worth using the backlight. Five levels of brightness are available, even the first one was enough for me.
The viewing angles of the screen are not very big - like those of old TFT matrices, but the information is well readable in any light and weather.
The manufacturer boasts that the display of the bracelet is protected from scratches with Gorilla Glass 3 glass, but in practice, during the first week of operation, I managed to leave a few micro-scratches on it visible in the light.
The screen can show time, distance, heart rate, notification text from applications. For the role of the watch, 9 different dials are preset. True, for my taste, about half can be considered adequate. You can not install custom dials or download others. But they can appear along with software updates, which are already mentioned on the net .
Mi Fit application
Watches are programmatically controlled through the companion application on the smartphone. However, far from a smart gadget, Amazfit Bip is also capable of living as a standalone and pre-configured alarm clock, pedometer, heart rate monitor, stopwatch, timer or compass. As I mentioned above, the alarms need to be set in advance, the clock itself will only allow you to turn them on or off, but not change the time.
But in an amicable way, better still with a smartphone. As a software for synchronization and work, Mi Fit from Xiaomi is used. Variations of the application - car and truck. Among the main ones:
- original application from Google Play;
- the version from Mi Market with Chinese;
- Russian version of miui.su;
- Several mods from the community with w3bsit3-dns.com, expanding the functionality.
For example, the original application forwards the notification of an incoming call to the clock only 3 seconds after the start of the call.
You sit in a meeting and the phone in your pocket starts yelling furiously - you don't have three seconds to pick up the call from the clock. You can remove the delay by setting Mi Fit from uv. lolex But then the application will have to be updated only with pens, after the release of each new iteration.
The latest firmware files for Amazfit Bip are soldered to each version of Mi Fit. They can even be optionally extracted from the .apk file by opening the latter with the archiver.
From the point of view of useful functionality, Mi Fit software not only draws beautiful graphics on the distance traveled and on hours, but also gives useful tips on how to improve the situation. Of course, information about all the training sessions was immediately collected and data export to other sports applications was available.
A lot of screenshots of this stuff
A few words about the accuracy of the measurements. The heart rate sensor gives approximately the level of those sensors that are built into the simulators in the gym. Indicators differed by 1-2 beats per minute. To get accurate results, the bracelet should fit snugly against your arm.
I can't adequately assess how the tracker tracks the sleep phase, but it looks believable. In advanced sleep tracking mode, the watch will take heart rate readings every minute, for which you will have to pay for battery life.
A 190 mAh battery fits into a compact watch case. The manufacturer declared vitality indicators are as follows:
- 45 days (1 half-hour run per week, 10% brightness, 100 alerts per day);
- 4 months in standby mode (time display, step counting, sleep monitoring).
In practice, it turned out less, but still not bad. The brightness of my backlight is set to 3 divisions out of 5. Notifications come about two hundred per day. Pulse is measured every 30 minutes. In a week - 3 trainings (run usual, run on a racetrack and walk). In this mode, the clock lives for two weeks.
This allows you to not think again about charging. But when this day comes - you have to look for a brand cradle with a proprietary magnetic port.
Amazfit Bip turned out to be quite a decent watch from the partner brand Xiaomi. They can not install applications, they have some problems with the firmware and localization that require user participation. But otherwise, this is a long-playing gadget that helps during training, shows notifications from applications and pleasantly wakes up in the morning with a slight vibration.
It costs $ 60 at Gearbest (with the AMTCH coupon - $ 57.99), which can be considered a reasonable investment for those buns that give the watch. If you buy, I advise you to join the closed group Amazfit bip on facebook . There are many utilities and fresh versions of firmware with English localization.
Thanks for attention.