Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro review
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro debuted in China last year, but it took six months for the company to launch its top smartwatch globally. The wearable made its global debut at MWC 2023 in Barcelona, but we’ve actually had it for a while before that, and now we’re ready to share our test results.
Xiaomi put a relatively high price tag on the Watch S1 Pro – it’s €299, compared to last year’s €229, but it’s not just inflation we’re seeing here – the new wearable is actually significantly more powerful and better built.
The Watch S1 Pro comes in a single 46mm size and is quite light despite its stainless steel case. We received the black version with the black fluoroelastomer strap and the whole unit weighs 70 grams, 48g of which is the case itself.
Our strap has an Apple-type buckle, while the other version, a brown leather option, has a more standard solution. The black one is great because there are no extra loops and everything tucks neatly underneath, making the whole unit look more streamlined.
The Watch S1 Pro comes with sapphire glass on top that’s virtually scratch-proof, and even with the glass sticking out, we had no issues in our weeks of active use — no nicks or scratches, no micro-scratches, nothing.
The underside of the stainless steel case has a bunch of sensors that let it track heart rate, blood oxygen, and skin temperature. The device can be charged wirelessly on all Qi standard pads and with the included magnetic puck.
In theory, it should also work on any smartphone that offers reverse wireless charging, but Xiaomi officially claims that only selected phones in its own portfolio would do the job. And we can confirm this – we were unable to charge the Watch S1 Pro on the back of non-Xiaomi phones.
There are two controls on the right-hand side – the top one is a rotating crown for scrolling through the basic menu, and the bottom one is a flat shortcut button that we’ve set up to trigger running training tracking, although it can beat any other feature on the watch . Despite the button being metallic, the Watch S1 Pro does not support ECG, unlike the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 series.
Now let’s examine the user interface, but unfortunately the news is not great there.
Xiaomi is a huge conglomerate that buys all kinds of companies and adopts their systems. It has an app for home devices and a separate app for other home devices, and this wearable needs Mi Fitness to work on Android and iOS.
The Watch S1 Pro has Bluetooth 5.2 with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with your smartphone, but we found the experience quite poor. Watch S1 Pro does not pull up all notifications even if the app has the necessary permissions.
The alarm app is completely missing from Mi Fitness, while all the other features have terrible images. It’s frustratingly bad to read the heart rate or SpO2 readings because for some reason Xiaomi wants the graph to start from 0, despite a healthy HR being between 60 and 100 during the day and can be down to 40 during the night. , but never close to 0.
What we loved about the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro is the battery life. This device has a 500mAh battery and takes about 95 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%. Officially, it’s good for 14 days of typical use or 10 days of heavy use. We can confirm that it takes a week and a half for the battery to drain with everything on – Notifications, Bluetooth calls, Raise to Wake, blood oxygen detection, stress monitoring, sleep tracking, alarms active sports use of about 180 minutes per week, and even control music during those runs .
There is also Always-On Display, which effectively cuts the battery life in half, i.e. around 5-6 days on a single charge. Unfortunately, the AoD brightness is not enough to be readable when you are outside on a sunny day.
Using all sensors is one thing, but accuracy is another matter entirely. While the Watch S1 Pro did a good job of tracking sleep, heart rate offered a 10% discrepancy across the board compared to a certified medical device.
We know this is not a medical device, but it can be misleading for athletes who rely on their heart rate to push harder or slow down.
There’s also Alexa support and Mastercard’s contactless payment app, which works fine as long as you’re in the few markets where they’re supported.
Xiaomi did a great job with the Watch S1 Pro hardware, setting the bar even higher for itself and its future smart wearables. It failed to live up to the promise of software improvements, but the battery life, looks and durability more than make up for the underwhelming app experience. After all, the data is only so poorly displayed in Mi Fitness; it shows up okay on the watch itself.
But is the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro worth €300? We’d say it’s a solid deal as long as you value looks above all else and don’t really plan on using it to prepare for your next marathon. The long battery life and excellent design make it a great accessory that requires little maintenance. If you’re looking for a serious tracking tool, there are definitely better options out there.