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. Last year a new model hit the scene, and although it's almost indistinguishable from the original, there are improvements under the hood -- and the price is still ridiculous: just $70.
Today only, however, and while supplies last, you can once again get thewith an automatically applied in-cart coupon. The last time I saw this deal was back in March.
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. We also have an episode of the Cheapskate Show podcast that talks about cheap smartwatches (and the Bip S in particular). You can listen to it right here!
This article was originally published earlier. Updated to reflect new pricing info and remove expired deal.
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