Mi Watch Lite(Redmi Watch GPS) vs Mi Watch: Which Xiaomi GPS Watch is right for you?

If you are looking to buy a Smartwatch in 2021, then Xiaomi’s Mi Watch is one of the great budget options you have. Xiaomi’s smartwatch was announced at the end of 2020 with two versions; the Mi Watch priced at about $100 and its striped-down version, the Mi Watch Lite priced at about $50. The Mi Watch is one of the cheapest GPS watches on the market right now. Xiaomi launched both versions of the smartwatch in both the Chinese and the global(Indian and European) markets. The Mi Watch Lite is actually called Redmi Watch GPS in India.

The Mi Watch offers a familiar square and circular watch form-factors. A bigger screen is definitely appealing for most users because it’s easier navigate and use. The Mi watch’s battery lasts days rather than hours that we see in more premium brands such as the Apple watch. Having one less device to constantly charge everyday is a relief for me.

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These two smartwatch models borrow a lot of cues from the Mi band series which are Xiaomi’s popular fitness bands. The Mi Watch has most of the features found in the Mi bands such as Watch faces, Music controls, Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Weather, Find phone, Flashlight, Notifications, Messaging, Incoming calls alerts, activity reminder, heart rate alert, goal alerts. You also get fitness tracking features like Heart rate monitoring, various fitness modes, Sleep monitoring, breathing exercises, SpO2 Blood oxygen monitor etc. The differences between the Mi Watch Lite and its Pro version are few but significant as we shall later see.

Mi Watch Lite/Redmi Watch GPS

Mi Watch Lite top features;

  • Heart rate monitor
  • 11 workout modes
  • Built-in GPS
  • Compass
  • Air pressure monitor
  • Music controls
  • Flashlight
  • App notifications
  • 5 ATM water resistance

The Mi Watch Lite weighs 35g, sports a 1.4″ TFT 323 ppi colored touch display, 9-day battery, a built-in GPS/GLONASS and features continuous heart rate monitor and over 100 watch faces.You get upto 11 workout modes such as Outdoor running, Treadmill, Outdoor cycling, Indoor, cycling, Freestyle, Walking, Trekking, Trail run, Pool swimming, Open water swimming, Cricket.

I have been using the Mi Watch Lite for a couple of weeks now. I use it to track my workout sessions, steps and calorie count, track sleep quality and of course time. While the watch works most of the time, I feel that it’s still a very unpolished product. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since this is the first iteration of this watch. The setup process took me a while to complete. The GPS wasn’t as accurate as other smartwatches I have used like the Amazfit GTS. The user interface isn’t responsive. Tapping on icons takes a while for an action to register. The raise to wake feature where you raise your wrist to wake the watch sometimes doesn’t work. Overall the experience isn’t that smooth.

Read more: Mi Watch Lite(Redmi GPS Watch) review: Budget smartwatch with built-in GPS

The Mi Watch Lite lacks an SpO2 blood oxygen monitor which is present in the more costly Mi Watch. SpO2 is kind of becoming a standard across most smartwatches and fitness bands in 2021. Even the cheaper fitness bands like the Mi band 6, Honor band 6 have SpO2 sensor. This Watch Lite is generally good for daily use. For a sub $50 price tag, this Mi watch Lite is the best bargain for a Smartwatch with GPS you can buy today.

Mi Watch

Mi Watch top features;

  • SpO2 Blood Oxygen monitor
  • 117 workout modes
  • Built-in GPS
  • Always-on display
  • 5 ATM water resistance

The Mi Watch weighs 32g, sports a 1.39″ 326 ppi AMOLED display, 16-day battery, built-in GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BDS and features SpO2 blood oxygen monitoring, continuous heart rate monitor, and over 100 watch faces. You also get 117 workout modes such as Triathlon, Outdoor running, Treadmill, Walking, Outdoor cycling, Trekking, Open water, Indoor cycling, Elliptical, Trail run, Hiking, Pool swimming, Rower, Jump rope, HIIT, Yoga, Freestyle. The Mi Watch’s AMOLED display is much sharper and brighter than the Lite’s TFT color touch display.

Instead of square-shape of the Lite, the Mi Watch follows a circular design language. For an extra $50, you get a more precise built-in GPS that also supports other GPS versions such as Galileo and BDS. So if you are an athlete or serious about the accuracy of your workout sessions, then the Mi Watch is a much better buy than the Lite version. You also get an SpO2 blood oxygen monitor with the Mi Watch. SpO2 measures the level of oxygen in the bloodstream which has its applications such as high altitude hiking or even checking up on your overall health.

Read more: Mi Watch is Xiaomi’s Smartwatch with GPS and Blood Oxygen monitoring

With a 420 mAh battery, the Mi Watch offers much longer battery life than the Lite version(230 mAh). You’ll get 16-day battery performance with the Mi Watch compared to 9 days battery with the Lite. Also the charging cables of these smartwatches are different owing to their different shapes. You get a circular magnet charging dock with the Mi Watch while the Lite version comes with non-magnet square charging dock.

Mi Watch Lite vs Mi Watch feature and Spec comparison

Mi Watch Lite/Redmi Watch GPS

Mi Watch

Screen size

1.4” TFT color touch display

1.39” AMOLED touch display

Form-factor

Square smartwatch

Circular smartwatch

Weight

1.35g

1.32g

Built-in GPS

GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS

SpO2 Blood Oxygen sensor

No

Yes

Workout modes

11

117

Always-on Display

No

Yes

Battery

230 mAh (9-day battery)

420 mAh (16-day battery)

Water resistance

5 ATM

5 ATM

Health monitoring

Breathing, Sleep, Heart rate

Breathing, Sleep, Heart rate, SpO2 blood oxygen

Sensors

Heart rate sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, ambient light sensor

Heart rate sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, ambient light sensor

Apps

Watch face, Music controls, Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Weather, Find phone, Flashlight, Compass, Notifications, Air pressure, Messaging, Help

Watch face, Music controls, Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Weather, Find phone, Flashlight, Compass, Notifications, Air pressure,SpO2, Messaging, Help

Price

$50 (Aliexpress)

$104(Aliexpress)