When the little-known Amazfit Bip arrived on the scene a few years ago, it felt like a wonderful secret: an Apple Watch lookalike for a fraction of the price. Now, at long last, there’s a new Bip in town. It’s almost indistinguishable from the original, but there are improvements under the hood — and the price is still ridiculous: $69.99. Right now, however, it’s on sale for just $55.99 from various stores, including Amazon — though the black model won’t be in stock until Sept. 19. (For the moment, you can still order it at the sale price.)
Want it sooner? The Bip S is $55.99 at these stores as well:
Still packing a 1.3-inch always-on transflective screen (which is absolutely splendid outdoors, even under direct sun), the Bip S bumps the resolution a bit and adds more color. These improvements are subtle but welcome, as are the additions of Bluetooth 5.0 and a compass.
More notable: The Bip S has 10 sport modes (up from four, and including swimming), a BioTracker PPG heart-rate sensor and Bluetooth music controls; you can now play and pause, skip tracks and adjust volume right from the watch.
Battery life was always a big Bip claim to fame, and the S is no different. Amazfit promises up to 40 days (that’s days, not hours) of basic use and 15 days of “typical” use, which means enabling features like GPS and automated heart-rate monitoring. I’ll cop to it: I wear an Apple Watch daily, but when I travel, I switch to the Bip. Who wants to deal with yet another device to charge? No need here.
Amazfit’s companion app is still kind of a mess, and I was hoping for a less plasticky watch design this time. But those are small-potatoes complaints. The Bip S retains everything that was good about the original and makes it a little better, while keeping the price amazingly low.
For another perspective (and much deeper dive into features and performance), check out CNET’s.
This article was originally published earlier. Updated to reflect new pricing info and remove expired deal.
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