Should you buy the Amazfit Bip?
Best answer: Yes! The Amazfit Bip has an array of features that allow it to stand out, including built-in GPS, water resistance, heart rate tracking, and battery life that stretches into weeks. The always-on display lets you quickly view incoming notifications or glance at the time, and the comfortable fit means you can wear it all day. Best of all, it's available for just $80, making it an absolute steal.
Best Pebble alternative: Amazfit Bip ($80 at Amazon)
Amazfit Bip is the closest you'll get to a Pebble in 2019
There are few smartwatches that offer quite as much value as the Amazfit Bip. For under $100, you get heart rate tracking, built-in GPS, IP68 dust and water resistance, and weeks-long battery life. The design of the Bip is basic to say the least, but the always-on display and chunky bezels give off a very Pebble vibe.
You may not have heard of Amazfit before, but the brand behind it — Huami — has plenty of experience building wearables. Huami has worked with Xiaomi from the beginning to manufacture the popular Mi Band series of fitness bands, and the Chinese company is now building its own line of wearables under the Amazfit brand. Best of all, its products are available directly on Amazon in the U.S., making them easily accessible.
The Amazfit Bip has a polycarbonate chassis and an always-on transflective screen that's easily readable even under harsh sunlight. The screen itself is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 3, and the 20mm lugs are interchangeable, allowing you to customize the Bip with various bands. It pairs with your phone to mirror notifications — calls, texts, and other alerts — to your wrist, and it works on all Android devices running KitKat and above as well as iPhones.
It automatically tracks the amount of steps taken and calories, and you also get continuous heart rate monitoring as well as sleep tracking. It also offers decent sport tracking, with the built-in GPS giving you the ability to view the route taken and distance.
Sure, the Mi Fit app isn't quite as robust as Fitbit's solution when it comes to breaking down stats gathered from the smartwatch, but when you look at the overall value, it's a no-brainer.
An affordable smartwatch that excels at the basics
It's incredible what's on offer with the Amazfit Bip when you consider it costs just $80. The IP68 water resistance lets you take it into the pool, its heart rate tracking is on par with smartwatches that cost thrice as much, and the best part is that you only have to charge it a few times every month. Simply put, there isn't anything in this category that comes close to the Amazfit Bip.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.