The Amazfit Bip U is a great smartwatch for those who need a good fitness tracker on a budget. The Bip U looks like a smartwatch and offers plenty of fitness features and a few smart features. It gets the basics right and is our recommendation for a good fitness tracker in the smartwatch body.
Accurate sleep tracking
Lightweight and comfortable
Notification management is not good
Short battery life
Data sync takes too long
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The demand for budget smartwatches and fitness trackers grew tremendously once the lockdown was lifted in India in May. Huami, a brand which is popularly known for its Amazfit smartwatch series, launched a bunch of smartwatches in the Bip series, rugged and retro-style. And, later the company unveiled the cheapest smartwatch in the Bip series, the Bip U.
The Amazfit Bip U is the company’s third smartwatch in the sub Rs 5,000 segment after the Bip S and Bip S Lite. The Amazfit Bip U, although cheaper than the other two Bip S wearables, comes with some great features that were even absent on the Bip S duo. For starters, you get an LCD screen as compared to the Transflective screen which is sharper and brighter. The screen size has also got a slight bump to 1.43-inch TFT panel.
On the inside, the Bip U comes with a BioTracker 2 PPG biological optical sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope sensor, and a brand new improved UI as compared to the Bip S. As for the fitness features, the Amazfit Bip U can track more than 60 sports which is huge for a budget smartwatch. The smart features include notification mirroring, music control, and camera shutter.
The Bip U shines when it comes to fitness tracking and the smart features are acceptable for the price point at which the wearable is sold. As for the battery life, the Bip U lasts up to 5 days with heavy usage and a week with light to medium usage. It also comes with a neat design and interchangeable 20mm straps.
With only limited smartwatches or even good fitness trackers available in the market under Rs 4,000 segment, the Amazfit Bip U gets a recommendation from our side.
Amazfit Bip U price and availability
In India, the Amazfit Bip U was launched during the Amazon Prime Day 2020 for Rs 3,499. However, later the price was hiked by Rs 500. The Amazfit Bip U is currently priced at Rs 3,999 and is available on Amazon and Flipkart. It comes in three colourways - Black, Green, and Pink.
|Specs||Bip U||Bip S||Bip S Lite|
|Display||1.43" TFT LCD||1.28” Transflective||1.28” Transflective|
|Resolution||320x302||176 x 176||176 x 176|
|Battery||230mAh, Up to 9 days||200mAh, Up to 15 days||200mAh, Up to 30 days|
|Price||Rs 3,999||Rs 4,999||Rs 3,799|
Design and display
In terms of design, the Amazon Bip U is similar to Amazfit Bip S but with less bezel and slightly more screen estate. The Bip U weighs just 31 grams. In terms of colour options, the smartwatch is available in three colour options - Black, Pink, and Green. We are using the Black variant for our review. The Amazfit Bip U has a dimension of 40.9 x 35.5 x 11.4mm.
The straps are, as always, interchangeable and come with an easy to replace strap mechanism. You can swap it to any other 20mm strap. The strap that comes with the watch is made up of silicon rubber and was fine to use even for extended usage. They did not get uncomfortable at any given point of time with the strap. The strap also comes with 14 holes which are plenty and the loop also comes with an interlocking system which makes the watch sit in hand firmly.
To the side of the watch, there is a solo button which can be pushed. It is used to perform multiple operations like powering on, turn on the screen, opening menu, go back, and more. You can also customize the long-press function for heart rate measuring, PAI, sleep, workout, or others within the watch settings.
To the back of the watch, you get a BioTracker 2 PPG biological optical sensor to measure your heart rate. Unlike the Amazfit Bip S series, the Bip U brings SpO2 monitor which is a great addition. It is also waterproof up to 50 metres depth making it suitable for swimming and showering with. The whole body is made up of polycarbonate which is built well and I had no issues with the build quality or fit during my usage of over a month.
The Amazfit Bip U packs in 1.43-inch which has a resolution of 320 x 302 pixels. The display is bigger and sports better resolution than the one found on Bip S (1.28-inch, 176 x 176). The Bip U sports TFT LCD screen which looks vibrant and sharp. Indoor visibility is great and the display is readable in the outdoors as well. If I were to nitpick, I’d say the brightness level could have been better but, it’s not bad or a deal-breaker. The screen is one of the best we’ve seen on a budget smartwatch.
The screen is curved which offers a better look to the watch. It is also protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. I had no scratches or marks during my usage even with the watch falling on the ground and pushing against the wall on a few occasions. Fingerprints on the screen won’t be an issue as the wearable comes with anti-fingerprint coating. The touch screen is also excellent with good touch response and gesture operations.
Another improvement comes in terms of watch face collections. The Bip U comes with four watch faces which are present on the watch while the Zepp application will offer more than 50 selections. The collection is really good this time and the vibrant display makes it even better. Additionally, you can also customize and also upload an image and create your own watch face. With the goodness built-in, Amazfit Bip U misses out on the Always-on Display feature which is present on the Bip S.
The core feature of the Amazfit Bip series has always been fitness-centric features. While the Bip S duo offered a limited selection of sports tracking modes, the Amazfit Bip U can track a whopping 60 sports modes and more. Another addition is the SpO2 sensor which is again not available on Bip S series.
You have the regular accelerometer and gyroscope motion sensors to track indoor activity and deliver step counts and enable automatic sleep tracking. You get stats for steps taken, a number of times you’ve stood up, calories burnt, distance travelled and your goal steps. There’s no built-in GPS for tracking and mapping your activities - you’ll have to depend on your phone for that here.
You also get the new BioTracker 2 PPG optical sensor, which delivers continuous heart rate monitoring, heart rate during exercise and opens up more detailed insights. You also have the option to set heart rate interval from 1 minute to every 30 minutes or you can completely turn off and measure it manually - this also saves battery. Just like many other wearable devices from the brand, the Bip U also comes with stress tracking, breathing exercise, and the PAI Health Assessment system which gives points based on how active and how regularly you’ve been giving your heart a good workout.
The SpO2 sensor brings the ability to take blood-oxygen measurements which is a nifty addition considering the situation. However, to make it work, you will need to place your hand on a table and even a slight moment in hand will result in a failure in securing the score. It works only if your hand is stable. Apart from that, the basic tracking data is pretty accurate and they are represented really well on the app as well as watch.
One of my favourites was the sleep tracking. The wearable tracks the sleep perfectly and gives you deep insights as well. It measures your sleep stages - deep sleep, light sleep, REM(Rapid Eye Movement), and awake time. It is also capable of tracking afternoon naps, which sadly, I couldn’t verify. It even offers you a sleep score which is useful if you are into tracking.
The heart rate sensors work well and better than the last-gen models but are not 100% accurate. The heart rate spiked up after workout a couple of times. It is advised not to use the data from Bip U for any treatment. There is also a new feature called sleep breathing and quality monitoring which is still in the Beta phase and doesn’t work all the time.
The workout mode comes with primary options such as outdoor running, Treadmill, Cycling, Walking, Pool swimming, Rope skipping, Yoga, Free exercise, Rowing, Elliptical training, Badminton, Cricket, Dance, Strength training, and More sports. Under More sports options the mode is categorized into several sports modes which will have more than 60 sports mode for tracking.
Since there is no GPS built-in, you’ll have to keep your phone’s GPS turned on while you are running or doing any outdoor activities in case you need the mappings. The stress level monitoring, just like the SpO2 monitoring needs your hands to be held firmly for about 30 to 40 seconds. The data will be shown along with the score which ranges from 1 to 100 and categorized into relaxes, normal, medium, and high. You can opt for all-day stress management or measure in manually when needed. It also comes with a Menstrual cycle tracker for women. Apart from that, you get to stand up reminders, goal reached notifications.
Overall, the Amazfit Bip U is one of the most feature-packed smartphones at this precise point with more than 60 sports mode tracking and a bunch of sensors that keep your health on track. In fact, the Bip U has more fitness features than the higher-priced Amazfit wearables. With all the sports mode built-in and tracking, the watch should suffice every need for anyone who needs to track their workout and other outdoor activities.
The area where a lot of budget smartwatches suck is in the software and performance. But since Huami has been in the industry for a while with a proprietary OS on Amazfit smartwatches, things are far better than the competition on the Bip U as well. In fact, I could see improvements in terms of speed, performance, and software optimization.
The Amazfit Bip U harnesses Bluetooth 5.0 LE and supports both Android and iOS devices - it pairs via Zepp application which gives you more control over the smartwatch.
You will receive notifications for all the apps you opt-in for. The maximum notifications that can sit on the watch are capped to 10. You can add or remove apps that show up notifications on the Zepp app. The watch also notifies you for the incoming calls with the option to reject and silent only. You won’t be able to respond to notifications neither you can receive the call. Apart from that, the watch also now shows some of the popular emojis which is a good addition.
Furthermore, the Bip U can control media - play/pause, skip, previous tracks, and volume control. These work really well. Another addition is the ability to control camera shutter on your phone by pairing which works as expected.
Other features include detailed weather updates with location, UV, wind, humidity and weather updates for the next five days. There are other usual features like World Clock, Alarm Clock, Stopwatch, Find My Phone and Countdown. A couple of new additions include a to-do list, which can be synced with the Zepp app and Pomodoro Clock, which should be handy for people who work from home and need to concentrate on work.
There is no onboard storage so all your music should be on your phone itself. It also misses out on GPS as said earlier.
The app experience is a bit disappointing here. While the pairing process is smooth the major problem comes after pairing. The Bip U gets disconnected from the phone and happens on a few occasions. And, it takes a long time to reconnect and sync again which is really a pain to wait for. The data syncing between watch and phone is slow and kinda unacceptable. But, this happened on a few occasions and I hope the company fixes this with an OTA update.
As for the UI, the watch comes with 4 built-in watch faces which are good but, the app has better watch faces with some customization options. Swiping right/left will bring up shortcuts which bring up activity goals, heart rate, SpO2, PAI, weather, music, sleep, workout, cycle tracking, alarm, and world clock. These can be customized in any order and also can be removed if not needed. The shortcut apps customization can be done on the watch itself.
Swiping down on the home screen brings the quick shortcuts which include DND, alarm, brightness, and settings. On top, you can see the connectivity status, battery level, and time. Clicking on the button on the side will bring up a list of menus - Activity goal, PAI, Heart rate, Sleep, Workout, Workout history, SpO2, Stress, Breathing, Cycle tracks, Alarm, Settings, and more.
You also get the auto screen off, screen saver, lit up the screen when a notification arrives, options which can be turned on/off if and when needed. The vibration strength can be set to strong, medium, and weak.
Overall the UI performance was snappy and I had no issues navigating. Also, the company has made it easy for users by adding a lot of features and functionality to the watch itself rather than depending on the application.
Backed by a 230mAh lithium-ion polymer battery unit, the Amazfit Bip U is claimed to last about 9 days. But, the result varied in my time with usage. I got around 4 to 5 days of battery on a single charge and once I got 7 days of battery life.
I had turned on notifications turned on from WhatsApp, SMS, phone, and other social media apps with approximately 200 notifications per day and heart rate monitor turned on all day. It also included using SpO2 monitor, and workout sessions. By customizing the notifications that show up on your watch, you will be able to get slightly better battery life. I’d say you will surely get 4 days of battery even if you are a heavy user and you can get about a week or so if you are a light user.
For filling up the battery, the Bip U comes with magnetic pogo pins at the rear which the company claims takes about 2 hours to charge and the wearable does it within 1 hour and 30 minutes. Much like the Bip S, while charging the watch, you won’t be able to open anything on watch but, you do get the notifications.
Should I buy the Amazfit Bip U?
Buy it if...
You want a great fitness tracker
The Amazfit Bip U is a great option as a fitness tracker. It offers over 60 sports modes and also comes with a SpO2 monitor which is better than the Bip U duo.
You want something light and comfortable
While most wearables compromise on looks, the Bip U offers you comfort and is light. The company has used the right materials and built the wearable. It is extremely light and comfortable to carry around.
You track sleep
While it tracks over 60 sports mode, heart rate and blood oxygen level, the Amazfit Bip U also monitors your sleep extremely well. It monitors sleep stages, including those of deep sleep, light sleep, REM, awake time, and even afternoon naps.
Don't buy it if...
You get a lot of notifications
As pointed out in the review, the Bip U does show notifications but, it’s buggy - you will get multiple notifications or sometimes, it won’t even show up or the app might not be in sync with your mobile. Additionally, you can’t reply to notifications which are possible only on Wear OS and other premium wearables for now.
You want longer battery life
With tons of features, sports mode, settings, and additional sensors built into the watch it takes a hit at the watch’s battery life. While the company claims 9 days of battery life on a single charge, the real-life translation was around 4 to 5 days with notifications and alerts.
You need built-in GPS
With all the great fitness and other useful features built-in, the Amazfit Bip U misses out on the GPS front which is quite acceptable at this price point. However, if you still need a wearable with built-in GPS, you can go with the Amazfit Bip S.
Srivatsa is a prolific writer who spearheads the core writing team on tech news, buying guides, reviews, and all gadget articles. He is passionate about technology.
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