The wearable wars could be about to take an interesting turn, with news that Xiaomi may be about to launch a smartwatch running on Google’s Wear OS 3.
The Chinese manufacturer has been a major playing in the wearable market, but has so far opted to use its own operating systems for its smartwatches, with its Xiaomi Watch S1 and the recently unveiled Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro running on its MIUI Watch OS – a heavily modified version of Android.
That means that unlike current Xiaomi wearables, the new watch will feature full support for Google Play apps and services, in turn making it a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Google Pixel Watch.
The report goes on to claim that the new device will still be synced and managed by the same Mi Fitness app that Xiaomi’s wearables currently use today.
Analysis: a potential battery boost for Wear OS
As well offering some much needed choice and competition to those pondering a smartwatch purchase, a potential Xiaomi Wear OS 3 watch could bring some much needed juice to Google’s wearable platform.
The key criticism of smartwatches using Wear OS has been their staying power, with flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 struggling to last a day on moderate usage after a full charge.
While they may not boast the same sort of compelling feature sets as Samsung or Google Pixel smartwatches, Xiaomi wearables lead the way for battery life by some margin, with devices like the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro able to last up to an astonishing two weeks on a single charge depending on your usage.
The next generation of Samsung watches are reported to feature higher capacity 425mAh batteries which may help future Galaxy wearables. But if the Xiaomi can integrate Wear OS 3 while also maintaining its super long-life performance, we may have a new table-topper for our best smartwatch guide.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.