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- The Amazfit Bip ($79.99) proves you don’t have to spend more than $100 for a good smartwatch.
- I’ve worn it daily for more than a month and primarily use it to keep track of my physical activity and sleep and to receive phone notifications.
- While it lacks the sleek sophistication of its $200 to $350 counterparts, it still impressed us with its month-long battery life and variety of features you’ll use every day.
Though Apple and Fitbit are probably the first names to come to mind when you think of wearables, Chinese wearables company Huami is quietly giving them a run for their money with its under-$100 Amazfit Bip smartwatch.
I’ve been wearing it for the last five weeks and had multiple friends mistake it for an Apple Watch. It never gets any less satisfying for me to explain that it’s actually a smartwatch they’ve never heard of, and it costs a fraction of its more famous doppelgänger.
The Amazfit Bip is only $80, but has so many useful features that you’ll be surprised it doesn’t cost more: fitness, heart rate, and sleep tracking, physical activity guidance, and the ability to receive app, call, and text notifications. It can also act as a timer, stopwatch, compass, or personal weatherman. It does all of this on an incredible battery that lasts for weeks (yes, plural).
As a longtime Fitbit user, I can say without a doubt that wearing a fitness tracker has improved my health by motivating me to move more, whether that involves going for an evening run in order to maintain my run streak, or simply taking a lap around the office when I’ve been sitting down for too long. With the Amazfit Bip, you can set step goals, then see how much you’re walking and how many calories you’ve burned, down to each hour of the day. When you haven’t moved in a while, you’ll get a nudge in the form of a watch vibration, and the watch celebrates when you’ve reached your daily step goal.
The watch can also accompany you on activities like outdoor running or cycling and track stats like your pace, heart rate, and stride, but in my experience the activity guidance features weren’t always completely accurate, and I preferred using the Nike Run app. It works perfectly, however, as a casual day-to-day activity tracker.
The sleep tracking function, made more accurate with the watch’s heart rate monitor, is also the source of endless fascination and utility. The watch breaks down your deep and light sleep and offers insights that help you get more consistent, restful sleep. Combined with the physical activity reports, the sleep data lets me draw connections to my overall mood and energy level and I can tweak my routine so I feel 100%, or as close to it as possible, every day.
Other than for activity and sleep tracking, I use the watch to receive phone notifications since it’s distracting to pick up my phone every time it lights up next to me. I’ll occasionally use its timer and stopwatch when I work out or cook dinner, its alarm to wake me up every morning, and its weather report.
Compared to those of the Apple Watch and Fitbit smartwatches, the Amazfit Bip’s interface isn’t as refined or polished, but one big reason why I sing the Amazfit Bip’s praises anyways is that it juggles multiple features on a suspiciously strong battery. After five weeks of daily use, it has 33% battery left. Other smartwatches need to be charged every one to three days, but my Amazfit Bip is still going strong. I do have my screen brightness set fairly low, and only choose to receive text notifications, so the exact battery life can vary depending on the combination of your preferences. However, it should still last about 30 days on a single 2.5-hour charge, which is really impressive.
- Connie Chen/Business Insider
The watch is available in four colors and offers a variety of watch faces. It has a barely-there feel on your wrist, and the screen is easy to read, even in the bright sunlight. Insider Picks associate editor Brandt Ranj, who also tested the watch and liked its features, found that the silicone band irritated his skin, so if you have more sensitive skin, we would recommend switching out the standard band for a different material.
If you’re looking for a reliable smartwatch with a fair amount of customization, and you don’t care for the glossy or extraneous features of the bigger brands, you’ll be very happy with the Amazfit Bip. It’s easy to use, it helps you practice healthier habits, and its long battery life means you have one less device to think about charging all the time. For less than $100, no other smartwatch comes close.