Amazfit Bip S first look: Huami’s budget Apple Watch imitator gets pool-ready

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Huami has found great success with its line of budget Amazfit wearables – 100 million units sold and counting – and at CES 2020 it announced a few new health-oriented devices.

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Ther rugged Amazfit T-Rex was the big wearable of the event, but Huami also announced an update to its Bip line: the Amazfit Bip S.

Read this: The best budget smartwatches

The Bip is Huami doing its best impression of an Apple Watch on a sub-$100 budget. This thing is going to sell for $69.90 when it goes on sale next month, which is well below the best smartwatches around right now.

Keeping things on a budget has its pros and cons. Pros: cheaper components mean a battery life that can stretch up to 40 days, 22 hours in GPS mode. Cons: it looks like a cheap smartwatch.

The Bip S has a rectangular, plastic case housing a 1.28-inch transflective color TFT screen. It looks fine enough, and Huami says it’s increased the range of colors for the new Bip S display, its 176 x 176 resolution display still pales next to the Apple Watch or the Fitbit Versa 2.

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As you can probably tell from the pictures, the Bip is really thin and light, weighing just 31g. There are four color options: black, white, light pink, and an orange and blue two-tone model.

It’s all plastic, and the watch feels quite cheap, but for $70 what do you expect?

It’s better news on the features front, as Huami has loaded this thing with loads to do. There’s also an optical heart rate sensor that will check your heartbeat throughout the day and during workouts, and Huami says this will improve accuracy and reduce power consumption.

There’s also GPS built in, which is respectable for any smartwatch in this price range. We found the GPS accuracy to be quite decent in the first Amazfit Bip, so we have reason to expect good things here. But again, using GPS will hammer that battery life.

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Another place the Bip S improves on is in water resistance. It now carries a rating of 5 ATM, and the new swimming mode will track your stroke rate, stroke times, SWOLF index, and even open-water swimming.

We only got a short demo with the Bip S, but it was enough to get a feel for the interface which remains similar to the Bip and Bip Lite. It runs Huami’s own Amazfit OS, which works with both Android and iOS but is very much locked into the Amazfit/Mi app.

It also still feels quite sluggish, which is unsurprising for a budget smartwatch that won’t be running the latest silicone.

Initial verdict

The Amazfit Bip doesn’t wow, but it offers 40 days of battery life and a big handful of fitness features for a budget price. Things like HR tracking and GPS may have become table stakes for smartwatches, but for just $70 it’s an impressive offering. Whether we’ll still be impressed come the full review is another question.

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