The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro packages up its operating system in a sleeker package, but ultimately still doesn’t do enough to convince you that this is a smartwatch you should be going for when you can buy something more complete from Apple, Samsung and Huawei for around the same price or less.
- Well-built design
- High quality AMOLED screen
- Nicely designed operating system
- Some clunky smartwatch features
- Not a hugely memorable design
- Doesn’t outperform similarly priced wearables
- 1.47-inch AMOLED touchscreen:With an always-on mode
- Reverse wireless charging:With compatible Xiaomi smartphones
- Up to 14-days battery life:Almost two weeks on a single charge
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro promises to put a feature-packed smartwatch with classic watch styling on your wrist for around the same price as an Apple Watch SE or a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.
Joining the Xiaomi Watch S1 and the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active that landed in 2022, the Pro aims to build on those other S1 devices, taking the same features and adding a bigger, more impressive display along with a debut for Xiaomi’s new MIUI Watch OS to bring all of those features together.
The Pro comes in at a higher price than Xiaomi’s other smartwatches, so does it do enough differently and deal with the issues on its previous watches to make it a great Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch alternative? Here’s our take.
Design and screen
- Comes in two case options
- 1.47-inch AMOLED display
- Waterproof up to 50 metres
Xiaomi wanted to make a nicer looking smartwatch though it’s using a lot of the same materials. It’s still packing a 46mm stainless steel case (like the S1) that comes in silver or black and measures in at 11mm thick, making it a pretty slender timepiece to wear.
That’s partnered up with either a fluororubber or leather strap that you can pretty easily remove and as a package you’re getting something that’s waterproof up to 50-metres. That case hosts a button and watch crown, the latter of which can now be twisted to let you scroll through screens, putting it to much better use than the one included on the S1. That lower case button once again offers a shortcut to the workout tracking screen.
Front and centre is a 1.47-inch, 480 x 480 resolution AMOLED touchscreen display with maximum brightness setting of 500 nits. That’s a boost in size and resolution on the S1’s screen and it’s a richly coloured, vibrant, high quality display that’s responsive to touch and offers good visibility even in more challenging sunnier conditions, and you do have scope to keep the screen on 24/7.
Around the back is an optical sensor that’s covered by the same sapphire glass as the touchscreen display up front. That’s where you’ll also drop the Pro onto its circular charging dock or onto the back of a Xiaomi smartphone if you want to take advantage of its reverse wireless charging powers.
There’s no doubt that the S1 Pro is a well made smartwatch, but it lacks a defining feature that makes it feel like a memorable and unique wearable to show off.
Features and performance
- Works with Android and iOS
- New MIUI Watch OS
- Bluetooth calls
- NFC payments
With the Watch S1, Xiaomi showed good signs of progress with delivering a strong smartwatch experience. With the S1 Pro, we’re getting a lot of the same features and sadly (again) some inconsistencies in the software experience.
Xiaomi is now using its MIUI Watch OS along with a 12 nm chip process to deliver a smoother feeling operating system. It’s an OS that doesn’t break new ground and uses some pretty familiar gestures and layouts that you’d find on a Wear OS or Samsung smartwatch.
Features-wise, you’re getting the ability to view notifications, make calls over Bluetooth, make NFC payments when using Mastercard terminals, use music controls (for Android only) and Amazon Alexa integration, just to name a few. Some of these features work fine and others are a little more inconsistent.
You’ve got a lovely screen to read notifications but the supported apps to receive notifications aren’t as huge as I’d expected. I struggled to set up the NFC payment support too and while music controls and the Amazon Alexa support are well integrated, the latter doesn’t use the speaker to voice responses back to your queries.
On the surface, the Watch S1 Pro looks slick but it’s not quite the same story when you start putting its smartwatch powers to good use.
Fitness and health tracking
- 100+ sports modes
- Dual-band GPS
- Built-in running courses
While Xiaomi has tried to class things up in the looks department, it does still offer a fair bit on the fitness and health tracking front and does a good but not brilliant job from a performance point of view.
There’s an optical heart rate sensor with support for blood oxygen tracking, as well as the typical motion sensors to track indoor workouts and pool swimming, and you now also have a new temperature sensor. Xiaomi supports all of the five major satellite systems and also includes dual-band GPS mode, which means it can communicate to satellite systems via dual frequency bands to improve GPS performance in areas with tall buildings and trees that can block single-band systems.
You’ve got your pick of over 100 tracking modes with the likes of running, swimming, cycling and indoor workouts like rowing and elliptical offering the richer tracking metrics. For runners, Xiaomi has also added new running courses to follow if you want to add more structure to your running time.
As a sports watch, the S1 Pro performs well, but doesn’t quite outperform other smartwatches in the same price bracket. The dual-band GPS mode wasn’t quite as reliable as the excellent multiband GPS mode on Garmin’s latest watches or similar dual-band modes like the one found on the Amazfit T-Rex 2. Metrics for activities like running and swimming had their iffy accuracy moments and the heart rate monitor worked well for steady paced workouts but struggled for more high intensity activities.
It was a similar story when it came to continuously monitoring my heart rate, though it generated more reliable data when matching up the blood oxygen data to a pulse oximeter. Xiaomi does also want to track your stress 24/7 as well as steps and sleep, and if those are stats that matter to you then I’d say it does a good job on that front. Step counts were nicely in line with an Apple Watch and the Oura Ring Gen 3’s tracking. It was a similar story with capturing sleep stages and sleep duration too.
- Up to 14 days in typical use
- Fast charging support
- Reverse wireless charging
The battery life on the S1 Pro is good on the whole. Xiaomi says you should get up to 14-days in what it deems as typical usage, which is up from 12-days on the Xiaomi Watch S1. More intense usage gets you 10-days and if you use it with the always-on display mode, then that drops to five-days.
To get that maximum of 14-days, you’re going to have to forgo features like using the always-on display mode, ease off the more accurate continuous monitoring of heart rate, stress and blood oxygen and use features like GPS more sparingly. If you do that, you’ll comfortably get a week and then some from the S1 Pro.
When it’s time to charge, there’s a disc-shaped cradle to drop the watch onto. There’s also fast charging technology support here, giving you two-days of battery life from a 10-minute charge. It also supports a reverse wireless feature, letting you charge it with compatible Xiaomi smartphones.
Should you buy it?
If you want a well-built smartwatch with a good mix of features: The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro does pack in good quality materials and offers a mostly slick software experience that makes it easy to get on with.
You want the best smartwatch at this price: When you factor in the price, it’s tough to recommend the S1 Pro against similarly priced smartwatches both for iPhone and Android users.
Xiaomi is clearly trying to make a great smartwatch but right now it’s still not quite there and I’m not sure the price is quite right here either. While it’s nice to see the company aspiring to make its smartwatches look better, I think it needs to also focus on getting the software up to scratch as there’s definitely potential here with its OS. It just needs to become less buggy and more intuitive in places to really offer a compelling argument as to why people should be wearing one of Xiaomi’s smartwatches, as opposed to picking up an Apple Watch SE or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.
How we test
We thoroughly test every smartwatch we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Worn as our main tracker during the testing period
Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices
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Yes, you can answer calls on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro via Bluetooth which means you’ll need your phone nearby to handle calls on the move.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro is suitable to shower with and has a 5ATM water resistant design, making it safe to be submerged in water up to 50-metres in depth.
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