Just a few months ago Xiaomi unveiled its latest flagship phone the Xiaomi 12 series alongside with two new models of smartwatches. We were grateful that Xiaomi allowed us to review one of these smartwatches the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is priced at PHP8,999 now available at any Xiaomi concept stores nationwide as well as on e-commerce stores on Lazada and Shopee.
So let’s check out if the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active could make a great smartwatch worthy to be on our wrists.
The packaging of the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active comes in an all-white box made of thick cardboard material with an image of the watch on the front and other information about the product on the back.
Upon opening the box you’ll come across two separate compartments that holds all the contents you will be receiving. Inside the box you will have the Xiaomi S1 Active Watch, user manual, warranty notice and a magnetic charging cable.
Design and Build Quality
First thing we’ve noticed in the general design of the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active it looks very appealing, well-built and it’s evidently aimed at sports or fitness buffs. We got the Space Black color for our review but it also has two more available colors in Moon White or Ocean Blue.
The full body casing including the lugs of the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is moderately large made of durable plastic material. At first, I assumed that the body was made of metal due to the fine matte finish but upon checking on the internet they used fiberglass-reinforced polyamide or FRP. The tempered glass is a slightly raised except for the bezel around the display is made of metal.
The watch weighs around 36.3 grams and measures 46.5 x 47.3 x 11mm not including the strap and local protrusions. It supports 5ATM acquiring a water-resistant at a depth of up to 165 feet or 50 meters.
On the right side you have two physical flat buttons with the top button for the power/menu and a shortcut button underneath it. At the back you have the charging contact points, heart rate sensor while the microphone, barometric pressure sensor and mini speakers found on the sides.
The strap is made of silicone material making it crack-resistant and highly elastic which you can easily stretch, twist and take on and off your wrists. It also has a porous design having plenty of holes for ventilation to go away sweat with the existing length can be adjusted in a wide range. It has a switch-lug design that you can easily detach or fasten the strap should you wish to change it to other available vibrant colors like yellow, green or orange. The buckle is made of stainless steel.
Display and Controls
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is equipped with a 1.43-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 466×466 pixels and 336ppi pixel density. It has an array of display options you can toggle like always-on function, auto lock, cover to sleep, auto adjust or set your desired brightness. Setting the display to be in “always on” will drain more the battery of the watch.
The display offers a bright and vibrant colors with nice viewing angles especially when used during indoors or at night but may struggle slight visibility during outdoors in direct sunlight even if you set the maximum brightness level.
It has touch control features to navigate, scroll or tap thru the menus. The two physical buttons starting with the home button on the top can wake the watch, access to widgets menu, powers the watch on/off or restart it. The sport button when clicked opens the workout widget that can easily configure your type of exercise or sports to monitor your progress with the watch.
Swiping down will open the smartphone notifications while the quick-access menu and battery status when you swipe up. Swiping from either left or right can switch between the time display, informative widgets for your health tracking, battery status and controls for the music player on your paired device. You can switch to another different watch face instantly by touching the display for 2 seconds then selecting the design you want.
We like the touch controls on the watch they are sensitive and responds immediately when you tap it.
Software and Widgets Menu
Software on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active runs with MIUI Watch 1.0 version 1.2.
Pressing the top button will give you access to an array of 24 widgets such as Workout, Activity, Stats, Heart Rate, Pulse Oximetry (SpO2), Breathing, Menstrual & Ovulation, Voice Assistant – Amazon Alexa, Weather, Music, Cards, Calls, Notifications Messages, Alarm, Stopwatch, Timer, Pressure, Compass, Camera, Find Phone, Flashlight and Settings.
The watch S1 Active can receive alerts for incoming calls with caller ID, messages, emails and apps notifications. To activate the notification feature you must open the Mi Fitness app and select only the apps you want to receive on your watch. You cannot respond on the notifications app because there’s no support for a keyboard or convert voice-to-text on the watch.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active support both iOS and Android devices using its very own Mi Fitness app that can track your workouts, monitor your fitness, user profiles and manage the settings of the device.
Receive and Answers Calls
It has the ability to answer calls and speak to the caller thanks to the built-in microphone and speaker on the watch provided you are connected on a smartphone. It can also reject calls or silence it in case you’re busy or can’t take the call at the moment.
You can increase the in-call volume of the speakers on the watch in case you need to hear better during calls. You may need to raise your wrist to speak closely to the microphone of the watch then just talk in a normal voice and the microphone will pick up your conversation
However, I find that the speakers are not loud enough to hear the conversation if you’re during outdoors or boisterous environment. In a close or quiet room with less background noise you have no problems hearing the caller.
You have a built-in voice assistant using Amazon Alexa which can help you look information you needed or control your smart home devices. Unfortunately, we were not able to use the feature even if we already downloaded the Amazon Alexa app on our smartphone. We always get a notification saying that “Amazon Alexa isn’t available in your account’s region” so probably we need to research more on how we can activate it. We will keep you updated on this feature.
Health Monitoring, Fitness Activity and more!
You have some health monitoring apps and a large number of fitness tracking modes on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active.
You have an array of workout modes which Xiaomi claims to have around 117 in total, you get to start with 19 modes found in the default menu. You can also add more if it’s not in the list or remove them if not needed. With the sport button you can also configure your favorite workout mode to add as a shortcut.
Here are the following health and fitness monitoring widget apps you can carry out with the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active.
- Oxygen Saturation or SpO2 app: Measure the oxygen level in your blood
- Heart rate monitoring app: Allows to measure/display heart rate in real time while performing various types of physical exercise or record the heart rate for later study.
- Sleep app: Monitor your heart rate and track rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycle.
- Stress app: Measure stress level when you’re inactive.
- Breathing exercises: It helps control your breathing patterns to lower your heart rate and to relax. You can set how long (1 to 5 minutes) and the pace of your breathing (slow, moderate and fast).
- Standing/Idle alert: Reminds you to stand/stretch up every once in a while. It can be set up to vibrate and notify you periodically if it detects no physical activity
- Track Menstrual Cycle: It monitors, keeps a log of symptoms, predicts future period throughout your cycles, fertile windows and ovulation days.
- Steps and Calorie widget: Measures and display the number of steps and calories burned on a daily basis.
- Workout app: A range of sports and exercise activities to track on the distance, calories burn and keep an eye on your heart rate while you perform the type of training you picked.
- Clock app: For timing activities you have an alarm, stopwatch and timer that’s available when you need it.
- Emergency SOS: If you rapidly press the sport button three times it activates an emergency call as long as the Xiaomi Watch S1 Activeis paired to your smartphone.
- Camera: Capture photos using the S1 Active as a camera shutter to your camera app of your phone. You can also set a countdown timer between 3 or 5 seconds so you can strike a pose before taking that picture.
- Flashlight: Provides a decent illumination for emergency situations.
- Find phone: It sends an alert tone to your smartphone in case you lost your phone or misplaced it somewhere in your area.
- Weather app: See the current temperature, forecast and conditions for the day on your location.
- Card payment: Pay for a purchase through a MasterCard app using Xiaomi Pay.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is also equipped with several other sensors such as a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, air pressure, elevation, compass and dual-band GPS sensor (GLONASS, BDS, Galileo and QZSS).
Connectivity and Battery Life
For its connectivity, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active comes with a Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Wi-Fi and a dual-band GPS which locates the device much faster and more consistent.
The S1 Active is equipped with a 470mAh battery which Xiaomi claims it can last up to 12 days in standard mode and 24 days in the battery saver mode. Practically every watch face has a provision for a battery indicator which is quite nice and very helpful.
Out of the box we already have a 72 percent charge on the battery of the watch before we did our initial product shots. After 10 days of using the watch with 3 days trying the workout app on the gym and checking each function of the widgets in our test the battery left us around 15 percent.
It can possibly attain the 12-day battery performance if you use it as a regular watch to keep track, disable some continuous monitoring features or not activating the display into always-on mode which causes the battery to quickly drain fast.
To juice up the S1 Active it uses a disc type magnetic dock with a 2-pin connector via a USB Type-A cable. The length of the cable from the dock is less than 1 feet only and you may have to use you own USB power adapter.
It takes the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active 5 hours to go from 0 to 90% charge, which is quite long.
And lastly, the S1 Active doesn’t support wireless charging.
What We Like
- AMOLED Display
- Responsive Touch Controls
- Battery Life
- Large number of health and fitness modes
- Notifications and Alerts
- Build Quality and Design
- Receive Calls
- Interchangeable Straps
- Useful Apps: Timer, Camera Control, Flashlight, Weather
- Easily Sync with Mi Fitness App
- Water Resistance (5ATM)
What We Want
- Wireless Charging
- Fast Charging
- Regional Support for Voice Assistant
Taking it at face value, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is fairly priced at PHP 8,999 built with upright features such as an AMOLED display, a lot of practical apps, decent battery life, water resistant, nice design, lightweight and comfortable to wear.
I really like that it can answer or make phone calls through the watch while notifications that I allowed to come in from the phone to the watch went in quickly. The OS is easy to use, and doesn’t lag plus the touch control are responsive too. We also encountered no problem at syncing with the Mi Fitness app.
Some few drawbacks we experienced is the lack of fast charging feature and the Amazon Alexa voice assistant is not available in this region.
Overall, we’re impressed and had a pleasant experience with the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active. So, if you’re not too keen about the specs and have that budget then we recommend you buy the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active.
Xiaomi Watch S1 Active Full Specifications
- Colors: Moon White, Ocean Blue and Space Black
- Sensors: Heart rate sensor (with blood oxygen sensor), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, atmospheric sensor, ambient light sensor
- Dimensions: 46.5×47.3x11mm (not including the strap and local protrusions)
- Weight: 36.3g
- Satellite positioning systems: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS
- Frame: Glass fibre-reinforced polyamide
- Battery capacity: 470mAh
- Display: 1.43-inch AMOLED display
- Water resistance rating: 5 ATM
- Resolution: 466×466 pixels
- Operating temperature: -10?-45?
- Strap: White silicone, black and blue TPU
- System language: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Czech, Greek, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Brazilian Portuguese, Indonesian, Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish
- Adjustable length: 160-220mm
- Compatible with: Android 6.0 or iOS 10.0 and above
- Wireless connection: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.2
- Standards implemented: GB/T 30106-2013
- Package contents: Watch, Magnetic charging cable, User manual, Warranty Notice