Plenty of companies have tried to replicate the success of the Apple Watch, but so far most have fallen well short. But a new option from Amazfit looks to compete with Apple’s popular timepiece in two areas where it is most vulnerable: Price and battery life.
The Amazfit Bit includes all of the standard features you have come to expect from a modern smartwatch, including GPS tracking, an optical heart rate sensor, and notifications beamed over from your smartphone. It also has an always-on 1.28-inch color touchscreen, a built-in compass and barometer to measure changes in direction and elevation, and a three-axis accelerometer to precisely keep track of movement.
All of that technology is wrapped up in a surprisingly thin and lightweight package that tips the scales at 1.1 ounces. Despite its diminutive stature, however, the Bit carries an IP68 rating, which means it is dust and waterproof. A layer of 2.5D Corning gorilla glass protects the screen from damage as well.
Powered by its own proprietary operating system, the Amazfit Bit won’t compete with the likes of watchOS or Android Wear in terms of app compatibility or features. That said, however, it does include options for tracking your running and cycling workouts, including offering mapped routes and fairly detailed stats of your performance. The watch can receive notifications from apps like Twitter and Facebook and even has an array of customizable faces. It can even do basic sleep tracking, something the Apple Watch doesn’t offer.
Where the Bit truly has the potential to shine is with its battery life. Amazfit claims that its 190mAh battery can keep the watch running for up to 30 days with “regular use” and for as much as 45 days if users limit the number of notifications they receive. That is a far cry from Apple’s latest model, which needs to be recharged every day or two under the best of conditions.
The Bit is one of the more cost-friendly smartwatches available, carrying a price tag of just $99. That makes it an accessible product for someone who is looking for an entry-level wearable that offers nice features without investing a lot of cash.