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Desire the Apple Watch But Don’t Have the Money? Try These Instead

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What is it about an Apple that just catches your eye instantaneously? Obviously, the design! The fact that Apple has stuck to the same design for all these years clearly tells us one thing: it works! And, the Fitbit Versa and the Huami Amazfit Bip are testament to that.Where the Fitbit Versa is the latest addition to Fitbit’s illustrious line-up of fitness trackers, the Amazfit Bip from Huami, a startup funded by Xiaomi, is looking to give customers what the Chinese smartphone maker has been giving customers in India for so long: options within budget.Since there’s no comparison between the two wearables here, consider this to be more of an insight into what you really get for the price you pay for the Versa or the Bip. In the end, you’ll have enough food for your brain to help you make the final buying decision.

Fitbit Versa

Design and Display The Versa packs all utility features into a very compact package which I liked. Build quality and overall ergonomics screams premium. The haptic feedback from the touchscreen is also responsive though the screen after a few swipes transforms into a canvas with strokes of fingerprints and smudges.

The Versa display is prone to a lot of smudges.The 1.3-inch colour LCD display is vibrant and good to look at though fat bezels surrounding the screen, robs the watch of its sex appeal. The box comes with an extra shorter strap for the ladies and it does sit well on the wrist.

The Fitbit Versa comes with multiple strap options.The rear houses a bevy of sensors and the charging pins which snugly fit into the charging dock. Also, you don’t have to separate the body from the straps to charge the device.

You can also make NFC payments using the Versa.User Interface & Features There’s no rocket science behind using the Versa, despite its extensive user interface and features. It comes loaded with various exercise mode that can be customised according to the users’ preferences.One also gets coaching tips via a separate app in the watch and it also comes with inbuilt memory to store music if required. Though, the whole process is quite complicated.

The Fitbit Versa sports a premium aluminium body which is quite sturdy.You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking apps for the Versa. From Uber to News, the app portfolio has been well taken care of by Fitbit for this watch. Yes, you can book an Uber using the Versa! It also supports NFC payments which makes the deal even sweeter.What did upset me a bit is the absence of GPS and no LTE connectivity. For 18K, it’s surprising that Fitbit has missed out crucial features. Would have been the perfect smartwatch otherwise.In terms of fitness tracking, the Versa has the basics covered with multiple exercise modes all of which you can track on the Fitbit app. Don’t go by the step count on this gizmo as it’s not accurate. The watch does register some of the wrist movements as steps. A big flaw and not expected from a fitness-oriented brand like Fitbit.

Yes, you can even book an Uber using the Versa.It comes with an in-built alarm system which makes the watch vibrate. Yes, you can sleep wearing the watch considering it has a good sleep tracking feature inside.I was impressed with the battery life, as it gave me two to three days of charge. That’s way more than the Apple .

Pros

  • Premium build quality
  • Extensive array of apps and watch faces
  • Vibrant display

Cons

  • Inaccurate steps count
  • No GPS

Amazfit Bip

Design & Display Shifting focus to the lesser specced wearable, the Amazfit Bip though might look like an Apple but certainly doesn’t feel like one. Certainly not premium, the body is all plastic and the strap quality isn’t the best as well.

There is only one button on the Bip that can be used to navigate through the watch interface.The watch comes with a single button on the right which a touchscreen that lags incessantly. Certainly not for a user who’s looking from a premium form factor.There are a lot of compromises in design and aesthetics and I feel that Huami could have done a better job choosing the material to make the watch.

The Amazfit Bip comes with battery life worth more than a month.The Bip comes with 1.28-inch, 176 x 176-pixel low resolution touchscreen which is always switched on. it struggles a bit under direct sunlight but overall gets the job done. It’s a sturdy display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

The Bip comes with interchangeable straps.User Interface & Features The interface & icons reminded me of an 8-bit video game with distorted and archaic fonts.It has essential fitness tracking features like counting the steps and calories but the Mi App integration isn’t as fluid and still needs to get better. It’s a good thing this device is compatible with both Android and iOS.Wait a minute. iOS! Yeah! I am sure an APPLE iPhone user would definitely go for a HUAMI (yeah, right).

The Bip comes with GPS and IP68 water resistance.Where you get your money’s worth is with features like heart rate tracking, GPS and basic notifications from your phone. What astounded me is the phone’s IP68 water resistant capabilities.The battery performance of the Bip is stellar with almost a month’s battery juice which is the biggest USP of this smartwatch. I didn’t understand the addition of the Ali Pay App in the watch since Ali Pay is not in India.!

Pros

  • Amazing battery life
  • Water resistant
  • GPS

Cons

  • Plastic Body
  • Buggy UI
  • Limited support for apps

Who is it For?

For the one’s looking for a premium smartwatch like the Apple but don’t want to pay that hefty price can definitely try the Fitbit Versa. The serious fitness enthusiasts in you will like the look and feel of Versa thought I don’t think it will go well with a shirt & tie.It’s biggest flaw is the inaccurate steps count that it registers which doesn’t help its case justifying the Rs 17,000 price tag (which at some retail outlets is as high as Rs 19,000) not to mention it doesn’t even come with GPS! I’d recommend you to wait for a price drop and then go for the Versa.The Bip on the other hand is for the Xiaomi, Oppo, Honor and even some Samsung users who don’t want to invest more than Rs 5,000 in a fitness band. You need to be very patient when using the Bip because being in the affordable segment it does have its compromises.If you’re still complaining, remember there are people who pay almost Rs 50,000 for a watch that has to be charged everyday and is considered more of a fashion accessory by many.

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