Xiaomi Watch S1 Active – review. Sporty, but not so smart

Smartwatches are very interesting devices. Some people can’t give them up, others don’t see any sense in them. Will the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active like the first or convince the second? Let’s check.

The first encounter with Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is immediately reminiscent of last year’s model. This time, however, everything should be even better, bigger and more precise. In the set itself, however, we will not find any surprises, since the box only hides a smartwatch, a charging cable and documentation. Hardly anyone adds a take to the set, but that would be great. The charger itself, which deserves to be mentioned in a few words, is a classic solution with contacts that we know from Mi Watch. The whole thing is magnetic, so the watch won’t easily slip off the charger, but the smartwatch needs to be positioned correctly for charging to take place. There isn’t such freedom and freedom as there are in a few other models on the market, so it’s worth mentioning.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Active – big, beautiful and … light

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active grabs our attention… for its size. It’s a pretty big device – the screen is 1.43 inches and there’s a pretty solid bezel around it. The case gives the impression of being massive, which will be a plus for some and a disadvantage for others, but I would like to add that the structure is extremely light (36 g), mainly due to the materials used, even if it is 11mm tall. Visually, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active looks like a watch with character. It is essential and the presence of two buttons on the edge reinforces the feeling of communion with a classic watch. If someone is looking for a device that will confuse others, this might be a good choice.

The AMOLED screen is a big plus

These buttons act as the home and sport button, and the rest of the navigation is done on the AMOLED display covered with Gorilla Glass 3. It is large and bright enough to be able to read all the information served even in bright conditions. Is it extremely bright, like on a beach on a cloudless day? About that, I wouldn’t be sure. Above all, the smartwatch offers a mode permanent displayso we can always have basic information at our fingertips without raising the wrist or pressing a button / touching the screen to wake up the device.

How often to recharge the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active? Not too often

The manufacturer offers a lot of additional watch faces in the mobile application, among which you can find something for yourself. They are activity- and tracking-focused, informing the user of weather, calendar, and other events, as well as those designed with visual aspects in mind. I picked my favorite pretty quickly and tweaked how it looked. It is worth mentioning that the dials in ambient mode can offer a little less information in order to save energy. However, battery life does not decrease significantly if the screen is permanently on – reaching a full day without charging is the most achievable, even if we use the smartwatch a lot for communication purposes and monitor our coaching. Moreover, even in such an active period, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active does not need to be recharged even for a week, and with a more minimalist use we speak of 10 days of use without recharging.

Xiaomi S1 Active Sports Watch

And since we mentioned training, it’s worth adding that the watch has plenty of activities in the default sports app. GPS, accelerometer, pulse oximeter (SpO2), heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter and gyroscope are used to collect information. In addition, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active has a compass and a light sensor. There was no ECG sensor compared to the competition, but I don’t think anyone would actually expect that. The measurements are comparable to those we get on other devices of this type, so in some cases they will be very useful, in others not very useful, but the data can be linked, for example, to the statistics of the Strava app. GPS data may be accurate, but this is how the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active’s power saving system behaves, which however does not affect the final result. The list of activities to follow is quite long and includes all the most popular disciplines, so the smartwatch will be a good companion for any active sportsman.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is not like that clever

Xiaomi Pay payments are not working on the watch as one would expect. It is necessary to add the card details, which we only do once, but next time we always have to activate the appropriate application and select the payment method. It’s not always convenient and pleasant, so I won’t be surprised if some people prefer to reach for the map. Also irritating is the lack of access to the full address book from the watch level, despite being able to receive and initiate calls (from the list of recently made calls), as well as the absence means of replying to messages (SMS, Messenger and others). Also, some watch settings are only available on the smartwatch and others in the smartphone app, so be sure to review them all to see all the possibilities for customizing your gear. There are additional applications, such as a timer and a calculator, and there is no shortage of control over the music played from the phone, but despite connecting the headphones with a smartwatch, it cannot be played from the watch memory.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is therefore a smartwatch aimed at a fairly specific audience. These people have to be ready for some concessions to appreciate the benefits of the Xiaomi smartwatch in other ways. The impossibility of reacting to notifications or rather complicated contactless payments meant that I was not completely convinced, but I specify that I would prefer an Apple Watch that looks like this, so that I don’t have to associate myself with a mini -computer (AKA soap dish) on my wrist.

Xiaomi S1 Active Watch

advantages

  • Appearance, weight and finish
  • Large, bright AMOLED display
  • Long battery life
  • Practical and universal strap included
  • Voice calls
  • Water resistance 5 ATH

the lessers

  • Inconvenient contactless payments
  • Unable to react to notifications/messages
  • Just a valid microphone with an annoying LED
  • No built-in music player

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