Xiaomi Watch S1 Active review, sport on your wrist

The news Xiaomi 12 Pro, Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12X arrive on the Italian market accompanied by two new smartwatches that renew the wearable proposal of the Chinese company. Portable products are entering a sector increasingly populated by valid specimens, will they be able to stand out?

Today I’m talking to you about Xiaomi S1 Active Watch that will satisfy the taste of those who want a watch with classic shapes, with the intelligence of a sports watch that gives a massive nod to fitness. Will it also be able to convince from the point of view of its usefulness for monitoring our daily lives?

Enterprising training partner

Once you have entered the training section, you will understand why it is above all enterprising. There are tons of sports you can follow. From classic walking to trekking, from cycling to swimming, from jumping rope to elliptical.

And I just scratched the surface because, in addition to having a very long list, at the bottom you can choose to enter another sublist and decide to add other sports and/or activities present here by making it active with the “main”. Real categories, which contain others inside. For example, if we select outdoor activities, we will find parkour, if we select workouts, we will find most of the exercises that usually take place in the gym, and again, if we select dance, there there will be zumba, street dancing, etc. And I could go on like this for hours, mentioning them all!

The list of activities does not remain powerless there, can only be activated if you activate it. It happened very often to me to carry out an activity and the watch, realizing it, asked me if I wanted to monitor it. Then, completely automatically, the appropriate information for the sport being played at that time appeared on the screen, together with useful suggestions.

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Comfortable, I wear almost does not feel

Xiaomi Watch S1 Active comes with a 1.43-inch circular AMOLED display, almost as if it were set in its dial. An interesting choice because, in doing so, the panel remains protected from direct impacts. The circular display has very thin bezels, which also makes it an infallible object to look at. On the right side there are two buttons, the first calls up the menu and the second calls up one of the same name but for training.

The microphone and speaker are barely noticeable. Also, when worn, both are very close to the skin (but not covered in any way).

The version I’m testing is blue ocean, a pleasant and contrasting color of the dial which is tinged rather with a dark gray. And then there is the back – the one in contact with the skin – with the pin to charge and the usual network of sensors that we will analyze later.

Xiaomi S1 Active Watch Xiaomi S1 Active Watch

I don’t mind keeping it for a long time, I always had it on my wrist even at night to monitor sleep. 5ATM water resistance ensures you never take it off, even take a shower, do the dishes, wash your hands, etc.

The 36.3 gram weight and 11mm thickness means it can also be worn under the sleeves of chunky sweaters and jackets from this period. The strap is thin, soft and the same color as the case.

Speaking of strap. In the package there is a very comfortable rubber one and even when you tighten it firmly on the wrist it will still have that elasticity that will allow it not to bother you. Present well 18 close holes to allow you to choose the exact point where to place the closure.

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Surveillance is its strong point

In the back, the one in contact with the wrist, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active has sensors to measure the heart rate, the level of oxygen in the blood and can also constantly monitor the physical state, the distance traveled with the calculation relative calories burned, quality of deep sleep and also stress level.

There is also the possibility of being guided in the breathing exercises and, for women, it is possible to follow their menstrual cycle. Inevitable the weather seasoned with information on altitude and atmospheric pressure in real time.

Alarm clock, stopwatch, timer and compass complete the functions that the product provided me. There is also the possibility of setting the display with a white color at maximum brightness, translated, activating a flashlight.

Xiaomi S1 Active Watch Xiaomi S1 Active Watch

The GPS is accurate and efficient, I had to work hard to get it to lose signal. Inside there is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2 it consumes very little, even keeping it connected 24 hours a day with the smartphone.

And then there are also the “smart” functions that interface with the smartphone and allow you to make and receive calls and access the notification screen. Conversation is average, don’t expect a full bodied speaker. Let’s say that the interlocutor made himself understood and that I understood him.

Xiaomi S1 Active Watch Xiaomi S1 Active Watch

Excellent battery life with all sensors activated

The company claims that the 470mAh battery can keep your watch active for up to 12 days on a single charge. The autonomy clearly depends on your use, both from a training monitoring point of view and from the point of view of the hours of display on.

In the packaging, to charge it, there is a circular base equipped with two pins which, by magnetism, fix the watch for a correct charging position. Even by placing it without particular attention, the recharge has always started, a sign that the magnets are attracting it to the exact point. I plugged it into the mains with a standard wall charger or directly into the PC while I was working. With the fast charge then I had my watch charged in no time. Otherwise, in about two hours it will cover from 0 to 100%.

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The MIUI watch is simple, there is what you need

The software isn’t that different from the company’s other sports watches, it’s simple and there’s what you need. Obviously, the proprietary operating system stands in stark contrast to products equipped with Wear the operating system but there is a spear to break in favor of Xiaomi because making smartwatches is not its goal. The dials are not numerous but those that are preloaded are very functional according to different tastes, digital and analog. It is always possible to download new ones thanks to the application which allows you to synchronize it with your smartphone: Mi-Fitness.

However, there is no real app store to expand its functions. Also via the app, I found a voice that indicated the possibility of checking from time to time which apps could be transferred to the watch. However, these must always be filtered by the company, third-party developers cannot devote themselves to it.

The notifications are the aspect that convinced me the least. You can pair all the apps on your phone to receive them on the watch but, as far as I’m concerned, there are two problems:

  • the first is that the list of notifications is too short, you can only receive 20. This could be a problem for those, like me, who receive a lot of them, because in a few minutes I had already saturated the section;
  • the second is that these 20 notifications are not automatically deleted or replaced by the newer ones as they arrive. If you do not delete them with the appropriate button on the screen, you will not be able to receive new ones.
Xiaomi S1 Active Watch Xiaomi S1 Active Watch

It’s not possible to respond to notifications or listen to audio messages in any way (but this happens on many if not all other watches on the market). In general, the rule of the notifications section is only to display them, they are not intelligently cut off and it is possible to read all the text.

The gestures are simple and consistent with the portable world. With the swipe down you access the notifications, at the top of the control center, with those on the side of the various panels where there is health information and others arranged as a kind of Windows Mobile / Windows 8 style tile.

In the control panel, it is possible to change the face, pair the clock with a Bluetooth headset, change the Wi-Fi settings, mute it and adjust the screen brightness.

In the menu, it is also possible to choose the Do not disturb mode, the list of workouts, to set a PIN code to unlock the watch, to set the Bluetooth, to configure the display, to choose the intensity of the vibration , to access the shutdown and restart menu and the inevitable system information.

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Wanting to be extremely concise, Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is an advanced sports watch with minimal notification support. Aesthetically it is very valid, a mixture of sport and elegance and with a truly large and colorful screen without compromise. Comfortable, comfortable and thanks to its weight it is almost not felt on the wrist.

The sports watch part is excellent, with the ability to track a lot of activities in a very precise way with a lot of information that changes contextually to the sport that we practice. And, as if that weren’t enough, the watch tried to anticipate me by understanding what sport I was doing and asking me if I wanted to continue monitoring without losing the minutes before the notification.

The use of the software is comfortable and immediate, there are no slowdowns and in everyday life and it is extremely pleasant to have it always ready for use in a jiffy. Recommended for sports fanatics who always want to have the settings at their fingertips. However, if you are going to use it extensively for notifications and personalization, this product is not for you.

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