Huami unveiled a range of Amazfit-branded wearables at CES 2021 in January, including the Bip U Pro from the budget Bip line. We recently told you about the Bip S Lite, and the new watch is very similar to them in many ways, but there are also major differences. Let’s figure it out.
Amazfit Bip U Pro is slightly more expensive than Bip S Lite. How justified is this and what will the user get for their money? To better understand the positioning of this device, let’s compare its functionality with the competition. To begin with, here are the declared characteristics.
- Screen: rectangular, flat, IPS, 1.43 ″, 320 × 302, 308 ppi
- Protection against water and dust: 5 ATM
- Strap: detachable, silicone
- Compatibility: devices based on Android 5.0+ / iOS 10.0+
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
- Sensors: accelerometer, heart rate sensor
- Cameras / internet / microphone / speaker: no / no / yes / no
- Indication: vibration signal
- Dimensions: 41 x 35 x 11mm
- Battery: 220mAh (lithium polymer)
- Weight with strap: 31 g
The only competitor that is relatively close in price is Realme Watch, the rest is significantly more expensive. Let’s compare with him. Let’s also add the previously tested Bip S Lite model to the table.
Well, Bip S Lite has the lowest screen resolution, and so does the screen size. But it is transreflective and always on. The battery is more capacious than that of Realme, and a little less than that of Amazfit GTS, which, however, does not mean less battery life – just because of the screen. Let’s also pay attention to water resistance. But in terms of sensors, Bip S Lite is difficult to compete with more expensive devices – there is only a minimal set.
But let’s see how this is all implemented and works in practice.
The watch came to us in a rather compact flat white box with a picture of a watch on the front side.
Inside the box is just the watch itself, a USB charging cable (no power supply) and a manual in various languages.
In order to put the watch on charge, you need to put its charger connected to the power supply, so that the contacts are aligned. Perhaps this is more convenient than in the Bip S Lite, where the watch must be forcefully inserted into the cradle.
In general, there are no surprises in the package bundle.
The appearance of the watch itself is very controversial and does not quite correspond to the word Pro in the title. We expect more seriousness and severity from Pro. Here, not only the color, which is beautiful and unusual in itself, but also the material of the case, gives some playfulness.
Yes, the watch is made of plastic, and the edges of the case, and the strap, and even the surface of a single button are painted in aqua. This is not even casual, but something even more free. It is unlikely that such a watch can be worn at some kind of work meeting, even if in a very informal setting, on a date, to a theater or a concert hall.
On the back you can see heart rate and blood oxygen level sensors, charging contacts, model information, and on the straps at the hinges there are fastening levers.
The straps here are removable, of a standard size (20 mm) and type of attachment. So there is no problem finding alternative options on the Internet. The manufacturer himself offers only a silicone version, however, like the case itself, in two color versions: pink and aqua. We had the second one on testing.
The only button with standard functionality, combining “Home” and “Back”, has a slightly convex smooth surface, is pressed with moderate effort, accidental pressing is practically excluded. A slight rounding of the glass edges (2.5D) is present, but minimal. When viewed from the side, it is barely noticeable.
The watch fits perfectly on the wrist; a large number of holes in the strap allow it to be adapted to any wrist thickness.
In general, the impression of the design is mixed. Really original color, fit comfortably on the hand, standard, easily replaceable strap, but at the same time – some frivolity, toy appearance. Option for an amateur.
The watch is equipped with a rectangular flat display with a matrix IPS, diagonal of 1.43″ and a resolution of 320×302, which gives 308 ppi. This is a good indicator, quite suitable for a wearable device.
Since it is impossible to display a white field and any arbitrary image in general, we were unable to conduct full testing and limited ourselves to a small number of tests.
The front surface of the screen is made in the form of a scratch-resistant glass plate with a mirror-smooth surface. The reflection doubling is very weak, which indicates that there is no air gap between the layers of the screen. On the outer surface of the screen there is a special oleophobic (grease-repellent) coating (effective, better than that of Google Nexus 7 (2013)), so fingerprints are removed much easier and appear at a slower speed than in the case of ordinary glass. Judging by the reflection of objects, the anti-glare properties of the screen are no worse than those of the Google Nexus 7 2013 screen. For clarity, here is a photo in which a white surface is reflected in the switched off screens:
The screen of the watch is the same dark (the brightness in the photos is 107 for both). The combination of anti-glare properties and screen brightness allows you to see what is displayed on the screen while outdoors on a bright day. Unless in direct sunlight, difficulties can arise.
The photomicrographs show the typical IPS subpixel structure.
To use the watch, you need to install the Zepp app, which is compatible with iOS and Android. It is also used with a number of other wearable devices under the Amazfit and Zepp brands. And before, we have repeatedly told you about it, so we will not repeat ourselves and pay attention to the features of a particular model.
The main features of the watch are identical to previous models – they are displaying notifications, controlling music playback on a smartphone, tracking sleep and heart rate. All notifications arrive promptly and stably, the Cyrillic alphabet is displayed correctly, but there may be problems with emoticons. In addition, if the message is long and does not fit on one screen, it cannot be fully revealed, which, of course, is a minus.
The application menu is divided into two parts. The first list contains the main one, and by clicking the “more” button you can see what is not included.
Both lists can be edited using the Zepp app.
Alternatively, you can download different watch faces and customize which ones are available directly from the watch.
The watch offers a wide range of workouts, including water workouts, as it has a full 5 ATM waterproofing. However, what is interesting, despite the presence of such exotic things as archery and fishing (!!!), there is no skiing in the watch, although there is, for example, snowboarding and ice skating. But this is a common problem of many smartwatches – apparently, the developers cannot even imagine that in some country people run through the forest or across the field on skis.
Other things worth noting are the Alexa app, apparently designed to control smart devices with Amazon’s voice assistant; Pomodoro Tracker, designed to teach concentration and cope with procrastination; tracing the female cycle; and of course also the SpO2 measurement. The latter is already a very familiar option for us, and we liked that almost all measurements were successful, but we cannot say that the results are completely plausible. Yes, testing it really reliably is problematic, but you can do several runs in a row and see if there is a variation in the results. In this case, with a difference of a few minutes, we got the values of 99%, 100%, 95% and again 99%. The norm is 95% -98%. Note that 100% is, in principle, an unrealistic result, but 95% is also for a healthy person. In the screenshot below on the right, see the top four values.
Ideally, multiple consecutive SpO2 measurements should have approximately the same result in the 95% -98% range. But, frankly, almost none of the models we tested before coped with this task. So, hopefully, the developers will finish the algorithms by the third wave of the pandemic.
Like on Bip S Lite, there are reminders on the need to be active by default, but the problem with them is the same: firstly, such a notification may come even when you are standing or just moving, and secondly, very recent workouts are also not counted.
We have no complaints about the rest. Note that using “Music” you can control the playback of tracks on both iOS and Android, as well as controlling the camera is possible on both operating systems.
The manufacturer promises up to 9 days of battery life with “normal use” and 5 days with active use. In reality, “active use” simply means using the default, that is, with automatic heart rate tracking, receiving notifications and other options. If you use workouts, obviously, the hours will work even less.
Below are two eloquent screenshots: one we took from an article about Amazfit Bip S Lite, and it shows that after 15 days of use, 20% of the charge remains. And in another screenshot, with Bip U Pro – 29% after 4 days of use. At the same time, in order to discharge to zero, it took them less than a day after that. But, as they say, there is nothing surprising: it’s all about the color, bright enough screen, which is much more voracious than the transreflective one.
Much worse is the fact that from 100 to 80 percent the watch is discharged much slower than from 20 to 0. Therefore, it is difficult to correctly calculate the time when the watch needs to be charged. But we noted the same problem with the Bip S Lite.
In general, the Bip U Pro is not for those users who strive for maximum battery life, although we cannot say that they are completely bad in this regard.
Amazfit Bip U Pro is the development of the line of inexpensive Bip models, but unlike the Bip S Lite we tested earlier, the screen here is traditional, IPS, quite bright. However, there is also a minus in this: the clock works on a single battery charge much less. As for the functionality, everything seems to be good here, in particular, the measurement of the oxygen level in the blood has appeared, however, we have complaints about the accuracy of these readings, and the Bip U Pro has no more serious trump cards.
Our main grievance concerns the design – too controversial and devoid of versatility. Of course, this is a matter of taste, but the word Pro in the title adjusts to a more serious style. And in general, the reason for this Pro is not very clear to us – what is the professionalism here. The watch cannot be considered a serious sports device, although there are several dozen workouts, including water ones. Another thing is if you perceive the watch simply as an inexpensive model without pretensions: they may well be liked by a good balance of features and price.