Xiaomi's Apple Watch clone is official with tweaked Wear OS and a killer price

Xiaomi's Apple Watch clone is official with tweaked Wear OS and a killer price
The "Apple of China" has come a long way in the global smartphone market, sitting right behind the Cupertino-based tech giant that inspired so many of its early handset designs in the latest vendor ranks after focusing a lot more on innovation and originality in the past couple of years. But Xiaomi hasn't entirely given up on its old ways, unveiling today one of the most blatant Apple Watch clones we can remember.

As suspected, the aptly named Xiaomi Mi Watch comes powered by Google's Wear OS platform, although given the device is made primarily for the company's China homeland, you shouldn't be surprised to see a MIUI skin applied on top of the operating system formerly known as Android Wear. By the way, it remains unclear if Western availability is in the cards, and if it is, whether or not Xiaomi plans to release a Mi Watch variant with a closer-to-stock Wear OS experience.

While we'd normally advise you to not get your hopes up regarding an official US launch of a Xiaomi product, it's important to point out the company is a key financial backer of Huami, the little-known maker of those increasingly popular and incredibly affordable Amazfit smartwatches you can find at Best Buy and Amazon. Thus, you could say Xiaomi is not a complete smartwatch market rookie, even though the Mi Watch is the first such device released under the Chinese tech giant's main brand.


As you can imagine, the key selling point of the Xiaomi Mi Watch is a $185 or so price tag in China that's enough to cover many of the same specs and features offered by a $500 Apple Watch Series 5 in the US. We're talking everything from built-in GPS support and continuous heart rate monitoring to standalone LTE connectivity, while the 1.78-inch AMOLED display is itself no pushover, with a resolution of 410 x 410 pixels and always-on functionality.

Under the hood, the Mi Watch shares a mediocre Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor with most Wear OS devices released of late, although it's not like Xiaomi had any decent alternatives. After all, the company may have "borrowed" the rectangular shape, digital crown, and button layout from the industry-dominating Apple Watch lineup, but Cupertino's excellent chips were obviously out of reach.

On the bright side, at least Xiaomi put the apparent heft of the Mi Watch to good use, squeezing a massive 570mAh battery into a robust aluminum chassis. In contrast, the large Galaxy Watch Active 2 version, for instance, merely packs a 340mAh cell. Of course, that's paired with a smaller 1.4-inch screen, but what Xiaomi is offering for less than $200 (in China) remains pretty impressive... as long as you're not too bothered by the glaring Apple Watch similarities.

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23 Comments

1. DBozz

Posts: 102; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

this is how one can prove themselves perfectly that they are some stupid copy cats!

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all OEMs that use Android Wear are not allowed to change the skin for any Android Wear watch. You can add your own watch faces, and a few other things, but you cannot change the skin. Therefore it's NOT Wear OS. It's most likely just Android, and with what ever skin they want to use. But to say that it's Wear OS is wrong.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It’ll probably sell well in its markets, nice watch, at a very nice price. Who cares about copying these days, they all copy each other. Steve Jobs said it best about Apple’s copying tactics: good artists copy, great artists steal.

5. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Sorry, but your comment is a very superficial attitude towards copying. There is a fine but distinct line between 1) adopting features in order to stay competitive and 2) unnecessarily copying. E.g. adopting a digital crown is not blatant copying, but modelling this smartwatch as a spitting image of the Apple Watch including the positions of the crown and the button is. Other example, adopting a curved display cannot be any longer considered copying Samsung, but designing your icons to look like iOS icons (something that Huawei still does) is. The general rule of thumb is whether a feature has become an industry standard, without which you cannot survive, or whether you copy elements to disorient your clientele by evoking favourable comparisons to the industry leader.

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Don't care one bit, what you think about my comment. They all copy each other.

11. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

This is not true; Chinese copy a lot, Koreans copy somewhat, Japanese, Americans and Europeans very little to not at all.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You're wrong. Nobody did more copying from 2010 to 2015 than a certain American company in smartphones

14. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1157; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Thanks Dark. Some people just don't get it and blindly love/hate brands. As I have stated previously, I wish Google and Apple both would copy Vivo/Oppo/Xiaomi. iPhone and Pixel are the ugliest flagships right now.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Especially that Pixel. What was Google thinking, when they let Stevie Wonder design a phone for them.

16. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1157; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Man Google totally dropped the ball with Pixel. Almost feels like they wanted it to fail. On a separate note : Check out Mi CC9 Pro launched today by Xiaomi. It's a hell of a phone.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Right on bro, will do.

4. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1157; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

"but Cupertino's excellent chips were obviously out of reach." Why do you sound so butt hurt? Lol Who cares if they borrowed some design elements? Also how many ways (apart from rectangular and round) do you think you can design a watch? I think these chinese OEMs have played a very crucial role to push the boundaries and they have successfully forced bigger players like Apple and Samsung to keep innovating. IMO, this is a win-win for us consumers no matter which brand you love.

6. nightfury

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Rightly said , this article right from the title u can makeout the writer is butthurt..does he mean to say there s no watch without apple socs ?

12. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

There are really just either round or square watches, but how do you explain the complete copy of the crown and button position? Is it really needed for the watch to work? Is it like that in any other watch apart from the Apple Watch? Come on... The fact is that the technology industry is so deep into this copycat game that even you and most customers don't realize it anymore. But this doesn't mean that it's not there. Chinese copy shamelessly, Koreans copy discretely and everyone else copies less. That's the truth.

22. Marcwand3l

Posts: 452; Member since: May 08, 2017

"but how do you explain the complete copy of the crown and button position?" A simple coincidence. I mean we are basically talking about two buttons. What funny to me is that I constantly see users like you that are desperate whenever somebody implements something that looks like on an Apple product. Like here. They made a square smartwatch and placed two buttons on the same side, such a huge deal. LoL

7. nightfury

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

In this whole article the word apple is used 5 times The word xiaomi is used 8 times

13. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1157; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Feanor : and Apple has never copied? Every single OEM has copied including Apple. As far as Chinese OEMs are concerned, they're the most innovative companies on the planet right now. Your blind hatred doesn't change the facts. Look at all screen designs, fastest charging, unique and breathtaking designs. I wish Apple and Google both would copy few things from Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi. Right now iPhone and Pixel are the ugliest flagships.

9. Joosty

Posts: 486; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Missing apple's excellent chips to complete the full duplication process.

19. Mexx81

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 09, 2019

and why should i care is someone copy or not ? Is any of them my company ? What a bunch of kids.... dont giva a f**k,just give me for less money more,and thats it. Copying LOOOOL

20. www.pakmegaplace.com

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 28, 2019

Looks like a great product. Much better than the Apple Watch!

21. ahmadkun

Posts: 649; Member since: May 02, 2016

I don’t know why they keep doing this, isn’t disrespectful to their name?

23. Arthurhkt

Posts: 727; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

The only good thing about all of this is that finally Google allow OEM to modified the Wear OS, I always a big fans of stock Android where it offer smooth and unbloated experience, but in the same time appreciate the exisiting of heavy customized UI like One UI, EMUI and MIUI that allow me to do heavy customization on my phone.... But all these year Wear OS are really.... boring at best, the UI wasn't polish compare to its smartphone counterpart. Hell even watch OS and Tizen is better than it.

24. shawman

Posts: 78; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Just putting it square does not make it a copy. If they copy Apple Watch interface then that is different. After all we have had analog watches in Square and round shapes for so long. Also Pebble Time Watch released long before Apple Watch and there were others as well. So would you say Apple copied them.

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