Mi Watch Lite – First impressions

Mi Watch Lite is very pleasant to use, the software is clear and polished, and the size is optimal. So it all depends on individual needs.

Xiaomi has a very rich portfolio of wearables. In our country, however, the company has so far limited itself to extremely popular bands. Now she has decided to go a step further and introduced Mi Watch Lite. As she describes herself – it is an extensive functionality known from the series Mi Smart Band enriched with a large display. The screen plays the main role here – instead of an oblong tablet we deal with a rectangular, readable 1.4-inch panel. However, unlike in Mi Bandach it is a panel made in IPS LCD technology, not AMOLED. The device is waterproof to 5 ATMit has a built-in GPS, it can monitor heart rate, sleep and all our daily activities. For a larger screen, which is actually convenience in everyday use, you have to pay more than for a band – the cost is PLN 199 in promotion and PLN 249 at a regular price. Let’s see if it’s worth it.

How do we rate design?

Mi Watch Lite it is a very light and neat device. This is due to the material from which it was made, i.e. plastic, although fans of more noble finishes may turn their noses a bit. The dimensions are 41 mm high, 35 mm wide and 10.9 mm thick. The weight is 21 grams without the strap and 35 grams with the strap. With such parameters, we basically forget that we are wearing it. The size is optimal – it looks good on both men’s and women’s hands. The strap is fastened in the classic way – I am glad that the manufacturer did not combine but trusted traditional and proven solutions. It is a pity, however, that the mount to the watch is not an ordinary hook, but a special proprietary mechanism, which will make it difficult for us to replace the strap with another.

The function button on the right side has a noticeable “click” and I’ve never had a situation where I accidentally activated it. However, there are no vibrations in the device that would be a nice addition.

Mi Watch Lite it is waterproof, so not only do we not have to take it off when taking a shower or bath, but we also have special training related to swimming, allowing you to monitor the distance traveled or the length of the pools.

What do we think about the display? 

The screen has a diagonal of 1.4 inches, aspect ratio 1×1, 320 x 320 pixels, 323 ppi and it was made in technology IPS LCD. The maximum brightness is 350 nits, which is not impressive on paper, but it is more than enough with such a small display and I have never had problems with readability outside. But because it isn’t AMOLED when we look at Mi Watch Lite at an angle, we notice that the screen falls into gray tones and quite thick frames are visible on each side.

In the settings, we can choose that the device automatically adjusts the brightness of the display and this option works without any reservations. In a dark room, the screen is slightly illuminated, while outside it is bright and easy to read. You can also choose manual settings from 1 to 6.

We cannot display the time permanently, but the “pick up to wake” option works well. In addition, we can set the time period in which it is to be active, so there is no problem that the watch will disturb at night.

Operating system, performance assessment

Mi Watch Lite works under the control of a proprietary, closed system Xiaomi. This means that we cannot add programs and we have to rely on what the manufacturer has provided us with. For many people, the main disadvantage will be the inability to pay with a device that does not even have a module NFC. The second deficiency is the inability to test blood oxygenation – useful in times of pandemic and coronavirus.

The watch features: 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyro, breathing assistant, barometer, heart rate sensor, flashlight function, 11 types of exercise monitoring, sleep monitoring, phone notifications, music control, water resistance, weather information, altimeter, GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS.

We need to install the application on the phone Xiaomi Wear with which we pair it with the watch. It is transparent and intuitive, but it is a pity that it has not yet received a widget with basic information. It has been divided into three parts – status, from which we can view the history of activity, training and profile. From here, we can choose the applications from which we are to receive notifications and we will give all the necessary permissions. We can also choose the appearance of the display – we have access to five installed in the band and over a hundred themes to download online.

Navigating the watch interface is simple and intuitive. After pressing the button on the side, we enter the vertically scrolling interface. We have two screens, 9 tiles on each. They are active, but their order cannot be changed. From there you can choose the type of training (running, treadmill, cycling, stationary bike, freestyle, walking, trekking, trail running, swimming pool, open water, cricket). We also have access to the activity history with all the details and graphs, training history, heart rate, sleep, compass, pressure, altitude, music control, alarm clock, stopwatch, timer, weather, notifications, finding the phone, flashlight (the entire screen of the device is illuminated) and entering settings.

Scrolling the screen left or right we have heart rate, sleep, weather, activity and music control dials. From the application level on the phone, we can change their order or hide them. From the top edge we download notifications, and from the bottom we have a shortcut to 6 functions, incl. Do not disturb mode, flashlight, screen lock or once again entering the settings.

The watch can remind us of inactivity if we sit at the computer for too long.

The whole thing is transparent, intuitive and thanks to that Mi Watch Lite it is very pleasant to use. However, you may have reservations about sleep monitoring as it is only possible at night and the watch does not record a nap during the day. We also do not have the opportunity to read, for example, the entire SMS, but only a fragment, and the answer from the level of the watch. There is also no possibility of making calls directly from the device.

Mi Watch Lite

How long does the battery last? – rating 4

The battery has a capacity of 230 mAh. According to the manufacturer’s assurances, it is supposed to last for 9 days. Such a result can be achieved, provided that we do not do too much sport. In my case, after 5 days of use and four walks during which I had training, I still had 27% of the battery left. Certainly, more intense exercise would shorten this time even more. Charging is expected to take about 2 hours.

Our final assessment

Mi Watch Lite it is an art of compromise. Headbands Mi Band have the advantage of screen quality (AMOLED it is simply more pleasant to read and easier to read than IPS) and battery life. Mi Watch Lite in turn, it has an advantage in terms of size – to put it straight – the screen of the bands is simply too small for many people, and navigating the interface is not as intuitive and easy as here. The device is very pleasant to use, the software is clear and polished, and the size is optimal. So it all depends on individual needs. If someone puts convenience over display quality, they will be with Mi Watch Lite very pleased.

Who is it for Mi Watch Lite:

  • People who need a clear display
  • Need a waterproof device
  • Demanding simple software
  • People who need close monitoring of their activity

For whom it is not Mi Watch Lite:

  • People needing payments on the watch
  • People who need SpO2 monitoring
  • People who need accurate 24/7 sleep monitoring
  • Demanding maximum working time without recharging

The main advantages and disadvantages Mi Watch Lite

Advantages Mi Watch Lite:

  • Readable screen
  • Low weight
  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Built-in GPS / GLONASS
  • User-friendly and clear graphs of activity in the application
  • Conveniently navigate through the watch interface
  • A large number of discs to choose from

Disadvantages Mi Watch Lite:

  • A bit “plastic” design
  • Unusual belt latches
  • No blood oxygen measurement
  • Unable to read the entire notification and reply
  • No loudspeaker, no microphone and no ability to answer calls
  • The device needs to be charged more often than the competition