Xiaomi's Apple Watch clone with Wear OS shows off its unoriginal design ahead of launch

Xiaomi's Apple Watch clone with Wear OS shows off its unoriginal design ahead of launch
This unreleased Xiaomi Mi Watch sure looks familiar

You know that old saying attributed to Pablo Picasso and later embraced by Steve Jobs about intellectual theft as a way to separate great artists from good artists? Well, if true, that would make Xiaomi's designers and engineers some of the greatest artists of the modern tech era, seeing how often (and shamelessly) the Chinese company has stolen ideas and concepts from none other than Steve Jobs's baby over the years.

While Xiaomi has sure come a long way in a relatively short period of time, occupying the fourth place in global smartphone shipments after launching its first-ever handset only eight years ago, old habits seem to die hard even as the company looks to expand its already imaginative Mi Mix lineup with a device like no other.

Unfortunately, the impending Xiaomi Mi Watch is nowhere near as innovative or original, borrowing heavily from the world's most popular smartwatch family. Although the Wear OS-based product is technically scheduled to go official next week, on November 5, a number of renders are already out to build buzz... and stir controversy.


Unlike the vast majority of smartwatches released with Wear OS lately or even Android Wear back in the day, the Mi Watch adopts a rectangular look. Obviously, Apple doesn't own any trademarks to basic geometric shapes, but while the Cupertino-based tech giant may lack grounds to sue here, we simply cannot unsee the uncanny resemblance between this unreleased device and the best-selling smartwatch out there.

In addition to the shape of the smartwatch body, Xiaomi is also copying Apple's signature digital crown, as well as the position of the microphone and secondary button found on the side of the wearable device. Surely, the company could have at least relocated one of these elements or changed the look of the crown to make the resemblance less obvious.

 

Then again, we are talking here about the creators of the Mi Pad lineup, as well as the Memoji-inspired Mimoji feature that was even accidentally advertised by using Apple's own publicity material. Besides, the Xiaomi Mi Watch does look a tad chunkier and boxier than its obvious inspiration, not to mention we can probably expect it to carry a significantly lower price point, which is far more important for many people than design originality.

It remains to be seen if the company plans to release its Apple Watch clone in the Western Hemisphere, which may not be as unlikely as you think. After all, those Amazfit smartwatches you can get from Best Buy or Amazon at very reasonable prices are manufactured by a Xiaomi-backed company.

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19 Comments

1. dnomadic

Posts: 437; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

This is a copy because it Is Xiaomi and that is what they do... but The squarcle watch is not an Apple design only and I hope others use this shape more often without blatant cloning. I like square smart watches as I find them mildly more useful for content.

2. Cyberchum

Posts: 1099; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Xiaomi copies (Apple does, too!), but what they do? Sure the first MiX and latest MiX were copies!

8. dnomadic

Posts: 437; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Yes Apple copies too. Never said they didn’t, nor did I imply it. This design and some previous designs have blatant rips. I use all devices, so let’s not do the android/Apple war thing... just stating my observation and my preference.

3. surethom

Posts: 1729; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

What a bad design choice, that's ugly. Round would have sold thousands more. Bad just copying apple.

5. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You're so wrong. This well sell like hot cakes simply because it looks like the Apple Watch. There are hundreds of rounded Android Wear watches, but none that looks like the Apple Watch, which whether you hate it or not, is the benchmark for smartwatches.

18. cheetah2k

Posts: 2294; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

In China, the people will buy this in the hundreds of thousands. 1 - because it'll be less than half the price of apple, and 2. because it looks similar (not totally identical) but close to an apple watch.

4. MrAnonymous

Posts: 95; Member since: May 25, 2014

When the so called clone has more features than the original :D Other than the squared of design like the Apple watch(even fitbit has similar designs), both are totally different in specs, features, performance, price etc

6. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

No it doesn't. Android Wear is light years away from WatchOS, and it is such a power hungry OS that you need those beefy specs which will still not ensure a smooth experience.

9. MsPooks

Posts: 214; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

Frankly, it looks more like an LG Watch. The button and crown are the only iWatch similarities.

19. cheetah2k

Posts: 2294; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Agreed. And the LG Watch was out well before anything Apple. but hey, the OP loves apple so its a copy

11. Poptart2828

Posts: 459; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Great job xiaomi. At the very least this watch will presumably work with any device without limitations. No forced ecosystems to adopt to use this watch.

12. mrochester

Posts: 1035; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

It’ll probably only work well with the android ecosystem, so lock in is required.

20. cheetah2k

Posts: 2294; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Other xiaomi smart watches work on iOS. There's no reason this wont either

13. Zylam

Posts: 1822; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Nice, I can finally get a decent smart watch. Hopefully it's priced under 150.

14. Whitedot

Posts: 863; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

This is going to be smartwatch to beat. Well priced ,feature packed powerhouse at the fraction of hideous Apple watch price.

15. bucknassty

Posts: 1371; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

un original even though the damn apple watch barely changed in what 4 years???? they are just keeping the trend going

16. Pureviewuser1

Posts: 160; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

Was going to get a samsung active2 watch but I will wait out to see what this watch has to offer

21. cheetah2k

Posts: 2294; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The Active 2 will have way better battery life (with AOD off)

17. shonasof

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 18, 2019

I'm not a fan of the Apple Watch design, but this makes it worse. it looks like an iBrick.

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