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Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro hands-on review: Stylish and long-lasting

The latest smartwatch from Xiaomi nails the classic watch aesthetic, but does it offer the features to back it up?

As part of its opening salvo for MWC 2023, Xiaomi has unveiled the latest entry into its lineup of wearables, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro. This stylish watch hits all the right notes for a basic smartwatch, with a bright, vibrant display and enough fitness features to enhance your exercise plans.

While the overall finish isn’t quite as premium as it could have been, there’s a lot to like here. Battery life is decent, the display holds up well in direct sunlight, and though the fitness offerings aren’t the most extensive, they’re in line with other smartwatches at this price. If you’re looking for an affordable smartwatch that can boost your workout game, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro could be the one for you.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro hands-on review: Design and display

The Watch S1 Pro uses a 1.47in AMOLED display with a sapphire crystal glass cover, and it makes for a fine first impression. On top of the stylish classic watch look, the display is nice and sharp, with a 480 x 480 resolution and the thinnest bezels ever used on a Xiaomi watch.

The listed peak brightness of 600 nits is plenty for outdoor use, the always-on function works well, and there are over 100 watch faces to choose from. You’ve also got conveniently placed widget cards that feel more accessible than other brands. Swipe to the right, for instance, and you can see your activity rings, heart rate and workout cards all on one screen, instead of having to swipe through them one at a time.

The 46 x 46mm frame is stainless steel, and is available in either silver or black. The black comes with a matching fluororubber strap, similar to the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, while the silver comes with a brown leather number. We received the latter for review, and though it looks stylish enough, the leather strap feels a little on the cheap side. Both models are rated 5ATM for water resistance and are nice and light at 48.6g.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro hands-on review: Health and fitness

Of course, this watch is about more than just aesthetics: it also comes loaded with a variety of sensors, including air-pressure and ambient light, as well as over 100 fitness modes. We’ll have a better idea of how effective and well-implemented these functions are when the full review rolls around, but early testing showed promise.

The built-in GPS accuracy seems fairly decent – on a sample run, it showed 5.26km, compared to the 5.35km returned by the Garmin Marq Athlete. On that same run, the heart rate monitor also proved suitably accurate, returning identical average and max BPMs as the Myzone MZ-Switch chest belt.

You’ve also got built-in Alexa, which seems to work well enough for the most part. Hold down the crown to activate it, and you can perform usual smart assistant tasks such as checking the weather and setting alarms or timers. However, you can’t use the voice assistant to start a stopwatch or begin a workout, which is a shame, given that this is a fitness-focussed smartwatch.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro hands-on review: Battery life

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro is fitted with a 500mAh battery, which the brand claims will deliver up to 14 days of standby time. Wireless charging is supported here, and apparently just 10 minutes on charge will yield up to two further days of use. This will also become clearer once we’ve fully put the watch through its paces, but early impressions give no reason to doubt Xiaomi’s figures.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro hands-on review: Early verdict

With a retail cost of £299, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro still has some convincing to do to earn its place in the mid-range smartwatch market. The display is delightful, and the battery life is shaping up well so far, but the Alexa integration is a little spotty and the leather band lacks a premium feel.

The efficacy of the fitness features will no doubt tip the scales one way or the other, so be sure to check back in for our full review soon, where we’ll have a final verdict on the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro.

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