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DudeAsInCool

Xiaomi’s Apple Watch clone removes everything good about the Apple Watch

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Xiaomi has gone back to its roots as a purveyor of shameless Apple ripoffs, and hot off the photocopier is the Xiaomi Mi Watch, a new wearable that is decidedly Cupertino-inspired. The Mi Watch is an Apple Watch clone, but the design is pretty much the only thing that's cloned here. You won't get a good SoC, a good operating system, good battery life, good haptics, or a good app ecosystem. From a distance, though, some people might mistake the Mi Watch for an Apple Watch, and maybe that's enough.

The Mi Watch is a Wear OS device powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100, a combination that makes any wearable device pretty much dead on arrival. Qualcomm has been neglecting the smartwatch market since basically its inception and has never produced a serious competitor to the chips Samsung and Apple regularly put out. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 features a quad-core, 1.2GHz Cortex A7 CPU, a CPU design that is just barely from this decade, having been originally introduced in 2011. This 28nm chip doesn't stand a chance against its faster, smaller, more battery-efficient rivals, but Qualcomm's monopoly ensures it is basically the only game in town for smartwatch chips.

Surrounding the museum piece of a CPU is a 1.78-inch, 448×368 OLED display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 570mAh battery. All the usual acronyms are here: NFC, GPS, and LTE, along with a built-in eSIM chip. There is Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, and a rear-mounted heart rate sensor. The base model sku has an aluminum watch body for CNY 1,300 ($185), while a more premium model comes in stainless steel and packs a slightly bigger 590 mAh battery for CNY 2,000 ($285). If you haven't guessed from the currency yet, the Mi Watch is only available in China, at least for now.

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