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Lifewire / Emily Ramirez
30-day battery life
Onboard GPS and heart rate monitor
IP68 water and dust-resistance
Can’t respond to notifications
If you’re looking to get a no-frills, reliable smartwatch, the Amazfit Bip is a wonderful choice with passive notifications, always-on display, month-long battery life, and sleek profile.
The Amazfit Bip is a formidable entry-level smartwatch from Huami that aims to counter smartwatches’ greatest weakness: battery life. For an MSRP of $100, the Bip offers a 30-day battery life, smartphone notifications, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, and a GPS tracker. It’s a slim, attractive watch that takes cues from the Apple Watch, but it cuts down on the bells and whistles to offer a stripped-down experience for those who want something a little simpler.
You may not be able to add your own custom apps to the Bip, but the watch does deliver on what it’s supposed to. If you want a smartwatch but you don’t need an OLED screen, music storage, or lots of connected apps, the Bip may be an excellent choice for you.
The Bip watch is thin and light, disappearing onto your wrist the moment you strap it on. At a glance, it looks like an Apple Watch, with a bezel crown and a rectangular frame. It comes in a few different colors: black, white, green, and red, and you can swap the bands out for any standard 20mm band to meet your stylistic preferences. It would be a stretch to call it elegant, but it’s certainly a watch that can go well with many outfits thanks to its 1.28-inch sleek color LCD display and very thin profile. Because it weighs a mere 1.1 ounces, it’s easy to wear all day and night, and its IP68 water and dust resistance rating ensures you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain.
All this complements the Bip’s most compelling feature—its battery life. Huami claims that the 140mAh battery can last up to a month on a single charge. This is assuming you are constantly syncing to your phone or tracking your running routes and heart rate, so users who don’t need these features can stretch the battery life even longer. We can’t remember the last time a phone’s charge could last more than two days, let alone a smartwatch.
The app tracks all the fitness functions that Fitbit’s app tracks, such as sleep cycles, heart rate, weight, BMI, and exercise performed.
However, not everything is paradise. It is an $80 smartwatch, and a lot of compromises were made to reach this price point. You cannot take calls from the device, give it voice commands, listen to or store music, or see any video content on it.
What you do get is GPS, detailed sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, step counting, weather, alarms, notifications, and the time on an always-on display. While it is water-resistant, it is not waterproof, so you would still need a separate tracker for swimming. The Bip runs on the Mi Fit app, so you won’t get the full app coverage of iOS or Wear OS, but it does provide an excellent suite of fitness data to track workouts and sleep.
Software-wise, it feels more like owning a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, with similar functionality to that of a mid-tier Fitbit. As a package, the Amazfit Bip may be too basic if you need a watch that can manage and control incoming calls and notifications, but it’s a great smartwatch with the features most people want for a great price and a better battery life.
When you turn the Amazfit Bip on for the first time, it shows a graphic prompting you to connect the watch to your phone. Pairing it is easy: you download the Mi Fit app, add the Amazfit Bip as a device, and activate Bluetooth to finish pairing. Once your watch is paired, keep in mind you must turn on notifications for all the apps you care about.
The key competition of a smartwatch as basic as the Amazfit Bip are fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge 2. Overall, the Bip fares well, though there are some key omissions to make note of. It doesn’t have auto-detection for exercise, nor does it track flights of stairs climbed. We found its pedometer isn’t quite as accurate as those on the Fitbit, but it’s still a reasonable estimate.
Its heart rate monitor is also rather inaccurate, usually running slower than the true heartbeat count. This is a reasonable estimate for fitness enthusiasts, but the inaccuracy could prove problematic for those monitoring heart health. Its heartbeat inaccuracies carry over to its sleep tracking capabilities—it pretty accurately details when you go to sleep and when you wake, but its measures of deep sleep and REM sleep are not as precise as those of a Charge 2.
To break down the different sleep cycles, many fitness trackers and smartwatches take heart rate data to determine what stage you are sleeping in. If you are worried about your sleep health, then the Bip is probably enough to detect if you’re staying asleep, but may not meet your needs if you need a more detailed breakdown. Everything considered, it is a fitness tracker made for the average fit person, good enough to give basic metrics, but certainly not meant for medical use. By contrast, the Apple Watch 4 has just been cleared by the FDA for medical use thanks to its arrhythmia-sensing capabilities and general heart health accuracy.
If you never want to worry about charging your smartwatch, then the Bip is unbeatable.
On the smartwatch side of things, the Amazfit Bip is simple but functional. Its always-on display shows the time and any other data you’d like to know, such as steps taken. Swiping through the menus, you can select tracking for different kinds of exercise activities (run, treadmill, bike, walk), check the status of your metrics, and activate any of the pre-installed apps. These apps include a compass, weather, alarm, timer, and settings. You can check your recent notifications by swiping down and clear them from the watch’s memory.
In general, the watch feels snappy to use, and the notifications are delivered quickly. Some users have complained that the GPS on the Bip is somewhat laggy, but we didn’t find that to be the case. While you can’t listen to music on our watch or respond to an email, the stripped back toolset is enough for staying alert to messages and fitness.
With everything we’ve outlined, the last piece of the puzzle comes down to app support. The Bip runs on the Mi Fit app system, so you can’t download any extra applications. The Mi Fit app is incredibly fitness-biased, so it can be difficult to navigate if you primarily plan to use it as a non-fitness smartwatch. That said, the app tracks all the fitness functions that Fitbit’s app tracks, such as sleep cycles, heart rate, weight, BMI, and exercise performed.
After two weeks of constant usage, our Amazfit Bip was still at 67 percent. We didn’t have GPS or heart rate monitoring enabled most of the time, but we found no major battery dips when those features were active, either. We feel confident in Huami’s claim the battery can last 30 days or more. This is infinitely better than you’ll get with a classic smartwatch, which usually lasts one or two days, and much better than the average fitness tracker, which usually lasts 7-10 days on a charge. If you never want to worry about charging your smartwatch, then the Bip is unbeatable.
We feel confident in Huami’s claim the battery can last 30 days or more.
The Amazfit Bip is an incredibly good value for $80. It may not be able to respond to messages, but it does come with a decent heart rate monitor and GPS chip. It performs almost as well as Fitbit’s mid-tier fitness trackers, such as the Charge 3, while being almost half as expensive. If you’re looking for an understated, simple smartwatch, the Bip is a great choice.
Fitbit Charge 3: The Fitbit Charge 3 is the best Charge yet, with swim-tracking and better battery life than the Charge 2. It’s also thinner, sleeker, and has a bigger screen display. Notifications are on par with the Bip: passive, but you get notifications from all apps and can hang up calls. The main advantage you get with a Fitbit is its phenomenal fitness and sleep tracking, which happen automatically and detect exactly what kind of exercise you’re performing. Unfortunately, the Charge 3 lacks a built-in GPS or music controls, but it’s still a great choice for fitness enthusiasts who need phone notifications. It retails for $150.
Withings Move: If you’re open to hybrid smartwatches, the Move is a beautiful watch that’s waterproof, automatically tracks exercise, and handles phone notifications. At about $70, it’s a pretty cheap hybrid, and you never have to charge it— it has an 18-month battery life. Naturally, the Move lacks a touchscreen like the Bip’s, but it’s a nice choice regardless if you prefer the look of traditional watches and don’t need to see your notifications.
Fitbit Versa Lite: Fitbit has been dominating the sub-$200 wearables market, and the Versa Lite is another welcome addition to this market. The Versa Lite is a little more expensive than the Bip, costing $140 at the time of writing, but it comes with much more functionality. It does everything the Charge 3 can do, plus it has a beautiful touchscreen to scroll through your apps and notifications. Unfortunately, if you want music storage and NFC, you will need to upgrade to the pricier Versa, but the Versa Lite still has a robust feature set for its price. You can’t go wrong with the Versa Lite or the Bip.
A basic smartwatch that gets the job done at an affordable price.
The Amazfit Bip is an awesome smartwatch for those dipping their toes into the market, for fitness enthusiasts, or people who just really hate charging their devices. We didn’t want to take them off our wrist after testing was over. If the Bip’s functionality proves too simple for you, then it’s no big loss at $80, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better, more reliable smartwatch at this price range.
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