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Xiaomi Watch 2 review: Cheaper but good

Xiaomi Watch 2 review: Cheaper but good

Xiaomi Watch 2

The Xiaomi Watch 2 is the more affordable of the Chinese firm's two Google Wear OS smartwatches. It lacks some features found on the Pro model, but the performance, software, and battery life, are mostly similar. And at S$239, it's a great option for those on a budget. In fact, the Xiaomi Watch 2 is probably one of the cheapest Google Wear OS smartwatches you can buy now if you exclude older models, like 2022's Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Quick specs

  • 1.43-inch AMOLED screen (466 x 466 pixels)
  • Size: 47.5mm x 45.9mm x 11.8mm, 36.8g (without strap)
  • 495mAh battery (up to 65 hours for Bluetooth version)
  • Requires Android 8.0 or later

The Xiaomi Watch 2 is the same 47mm size as the Pro version. Those with slimmer wrists may find it a tad large. While I feel a petite version would be more attractive to women, its functional design may actually dampen its appeal. The biggest difference: The Xiaomi Watch 2 lacks the Pro model's rotating crown, which allows for more precise adjustment. But I didn't miss the crown that much. There is also a clear weight difference between the two variants. Without the strap, the Xiaomi Watch 2 weighs around 36.8g compared with 54.5 for the Pro. That's a plus for me since the lighter Xiaomi Watch 2 is more comfortable to wear to sleep. It comes with a default TPU band, but Xiaomi also sells other straps here. I tested the smartwatch with the black braided version.

Xiaomi Watch 2
No rotating crown on the Xiaomi Watch 2. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Both versions appear to have an identical 1.43-inch AMOLED screen rated at 600 nits. That's good enough for outdoor use in the sun, but far from the brightest. Likely because it lacks the crown (and hence has one fewer input), the top button cannot be customised, unlike the Pro version. The interface is also similarly “inverted” compared with the Google Pixel Watch 2 — for example, you swipe down for notifications instead of up. More importantly, the Xiaomi Watch 2 feels just as snappy as the Pro version. Which is unsurprising as both smartwatches uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ chip. However, the Pro does have an extra sensor to measure body fat. But I'm unfazed as smartwatches aren't the most accurate at gauging body composition anyway.

Xiaomi Watch 2
I tested the black braided strap shown here along with the TPU strap included with the watch. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Xiaomi Watch 2 doesn't offer more advanced health tracking for blood pressure, snore detection or even an ECG. But it's got the basics (sleep, blood oxygen, heart rate, etc) covered, as well as the standard Google apps (Maps, Assistant, Wallet, etc). Fitness and health tracking seem to align with the results I got from the Pro model. Xiaomi says there are over 160 workout modes, though I only tried a couple. Automatic workout detection is supported for certain, more common activities, like walking, running, and cycling. The Xiaomi Watch 2 was also fairly quick at getting a GPS lock outdoors. The remote camera features require a Xiaomi smartphone, and only the newer ones like the Xiaomi 14 support certain features like video-shooting.

Battery life — Xiaomi says up to 65 hours — is about as good as the Pro model. On average during my testing, the Xiaomi Watch 2 had around 60 to 70% battery by evening. I had the screen brightness on automatic, used the Smart option whenever possible (Always-on display and heart rate monitoring), and didn't have workout detection enabled. Your mileage will vary depending on the settings. But I think most folks should get over a day, almost two days uptime from it. While the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro itself is already quite affordable, you can save a bit more with the Xiaomi Watch 2. As long as you don't need the rotating crown, and body composition feature, that is. Get it now from Shopee, and Lazada.

See Also
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000

Review unit provided by Xiaomi.

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Almost as good as the Pro version but cheaper

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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