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Wearable Tech

Get the amazing Amazfit Bip smartwatch for $80

It's an Apple Watch lookalike with GPS, heart-rate monitoring and more. Plus: A pluggable power bank and a huge discount on premium neckband headphones.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!


amazfit-bip-outdoors

This is the Amazfit Bip under sunlight. The reflective color screen is lovely and easy to read.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

I've had the Amazfit Bip strapped to my wrist for the past six days. Battery remaining: 75 percent.

That means I should get nearly 25 days of operation before the Bip needs another trip to the charger -- shy of the 30-plus promised by Amazfit, but still extraordinary. Even the beloved Pebble, of blessed memory, never got anywhere close to that.

Say hello to something new. And kind of special.

amazfit-bip-backlit

The Bip's backlight makes the screen easily readable indoors, and the watch has a raise-to-backlight option.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

The Bip first caught my attention a few weeks back when some rather dubious headlines touted an "Apple Watch knockoff for $100." Sure enough, the two look very similar, though the Bip is made of plastic, not metal.

I had pretty low expectations but I came away pleasantly surprised. The Bip has an excellent (albeit low-res) display, more features than you'd expect and the aforementioned remarkable battery.

Oh, and I wrangled you a deal: Get a Bip for $79.99 when you apply discount code cheapskate at checkout. (That code is also good for 20 percent off any Amazfit product. Check out the Pace runner's watch while you're at it!) It's currently backordered, but should start shipping again within 1-2 weeks.

Just putting this out there: Tomtop has the Bip for $69.99 shipped, but it'll be coming from China, so delivery will probably take more like 2-3 weeks.

The smartwatch for cheapskates

The Bip may look like an Apple Watch, but I feel like it has more Pebble DNA. The always-on color touchscreen looks gorgeous under outdoor light and plenty bright when you activate the backlight (either by raising your wrist or pressing the side button). It's definitely on the low-res side, like the Pebble, but it gets the job done.

As regular readers know, I want my watch to do two things: Tell time and give me notifications. The Bip does both, though notifications are one-way: You can't respond to them. I do miss that functionality from my Apple Watch, though for $80 I can live without it.

The Bip also checks other key boxes, including: GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart-rate sensor, sleep-tracking, IP68 water-resistance, replaceable wristband, barometer and compass. It comes with a smattering of watchfaces preloaded, and you can add about 10 more via the Mi Fit app.

From here I'm going to turn you over to Matthew Miller's Amazfit Bip review over at ZDNet. He spent more time with the watch, and came away equally impressed.

I do have a few quibbles with it, though. First, the digital watchfaces don't seem to support 12-hour time. That's no big deal for the rest of the world, but here in the US, it's aggravating. There are some perfectly good analogue faces, but Amazfit needs to correct this.

Next, there's currently no support for emoji. If you receive text messages that have them, you'll see only little question-mark boxes in their place. The Bip also sometimes failed to display the correct weather info, even after syncing with the app.

All that said, it's hard to complain when you're getting something this capable for just $80. Indeed, with its pretty design, comprehensive fitness features and just plain unparalleled battery life, the Amazfit Bip is already one of my favorite products of 2018. It's not perfect, but, wow, it's pretty damn good.

ravpower-10000mah-charger-with-prongs

Ravpower

Bonus deal: The beauty of the Bip is that you don't need to remember to pack a charger for it. All your other devices, though? They still need charging.

I strongly prefer power banks that can plug directly into an outlet to recharge themselves. Like this one: For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the Ravpower RP-PB066 10,000mAh mobile charger for $22.39 after applying promo code CNETPB66.

This newcomer to Ravpower's lineup is pretty straightforward: Two smart USB ports (1-amp and 2.1-amp) and folding wall prongs for plugging directly into an AC outlet. (You can also charge your devices while the power bank itself is charging.)

Super-exciting? Nah. Useful and affordable? Yep.

klipsch-r6-neckband-headphone

Leather neckband. Fancy!

Klipsch

Bonus deal No. 2: The luxe, leather-clad Klipsch R6 Neckband Headphone is widely regarded as a top-notch product, albeit with a gasp-inducing price: $179.

It's also a now-discontinued product, meaning there's a deal to be had: For a limited time, and while supplies last, BuyDig has the Klipsch R6 Neckband Headphone for $59.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code CHEAPSKATE at checkout. (Man, that code really works wonders!)

Notable features: Leather neckband, 18-hour battery, IPX4 splash-resistance and vibrating call-alerts. New Klipsch products are covered by a one-year warranty, according to the Klipsch web site.  

CNET hasn't reviewed the R6, but elsewhere around the interwebs, reviews average in the 4-star range. (The dozen or so at BuyDig average lower, though some of those are based on a refurbished version of the product. The deal today is for a new R6.)