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: Just $69.99. However, for a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the with promo code CNET10.
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 leveraging 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-potato complaints. The Bip S retains everything that was good about the original and makes it a little better, while keeping the price amazingly low.
This article was originally published earlier this week.
Read more: The best smartwatches for 2020
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