The sequel to the popular Amazfit Bip smartwatch was announced earlier today at CES 2020. The refresh was always on the cards considering the original is more than two years old now. In our review we found Bip to be pretty darn amazing for the price and loved its lightweight feel.
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Some (including us) had thought the Amazfit GTS was the successor in everything but name. Released over the summer, it comes with similar specs but a slightly different design. However, Huami has decided to continue the Bip range. The new watch is called Bip S and it looks very similar to the original.
Here’s what’s new and different.
Amazfit Bip S vs Bip vs Bip Lite: Design and hardware
You’ll recognize Bip S as the successor right away. It retains the squarish, lightweight design that is slightly reminiscent of the Apple Watch. Look more closely, though, and you’ll notice some differences between the Bips.
For starters, the new watch is slightly larger and thicker measuring 42 x 35.3 x 11.4 versus the 39.4 x 34.1 x 9.5 mm of Bip and Bip Lite. Unfortunately, this bulk goes into the bezel on the side as the timepiece has retained the 1.28 inch, 176 x 176 pixel resolution screen.
The display type has been changed to always-on Transflective Color TFT with a 64 RGB color gamut. The other two have a more simple Reflective color display screen. The first works better in bright, sunny outdoor environments. When the ambient light is low you can now switch off the watch backlight and the screen will still be visible. Navigation is done via the single physical button on the right and touch-display.
In terms of weight, there’s hardly anything to distinguish the different iterations. Huami has managed to shave off 1 gram on Bip S making it even more lightweight.
Another improvement of the latest generation is waterproofing. Whereas the earlier devices are only splash-proof (IP68), you can actually take Bip S swimming with you thanks to its 5 ATM rating (down to depths of 50 meteres).
Although they look decent enough, all three iterations have a plasticky feel. There’s a choice of straps and colors which provides you with options to make the watch your own.
Huami has managed to squeeze lots of goodies under the hood, no mean feat considering the small size and weight of the device. Common to Bip S and Bip is the 3-axis acceleration sensor and 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. The new device has an upgraded BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor but it loses the air pressure sensor. Bip Lite only has a PPG heart-rate sensor and accelerometer. It also lacks the GPS/GLONASS of its big brothers.
The incredible battery life is the thing we’ve come to associate with Amazfit Bip. The good news is Huami has made sure Bip S performs just as well on this count. It can keep ticking along for up to 40 days on a single charge (with typical use) and 22 hours with GPS switched on. This is slightly less than the 45 days of its predecessors, not that you’re likely to notice. Leave it in standby and it will keep going for months.
Here’s an overview of design and hardware differences between Amazfit Bip S, Bip and the Lite version.
|Amazfit Bip S||Amazfit Bip||Amazfit Bip Lite|
|Screen type||Transflective Color TFT Always-on display, 64 RGB color gamut||Reflective color display screen||Reflective color display screen|
|Screen resolution||176 x 176ppi||176 x 176ppi||176 x 176ppi|
|Screen material||2.5D Corning Gorilla 3rd generation tempered glass +
|2.5D Corning gorilla 3rd glass + anti-fingerprint coating||2.5D Corning gorilla 3rd glass + anti-fingerprint coating|
|Weight||31g with strap, 19g without||32g with strap, 18g without||32g with strap, 18g without|
|Dimensions||42 x 35.3 x 11.4mm||39.4 x 34.1 x 9.5 mm||39.4 x 34.1 x 9.5 mm|
|Battery life||Up to 40 days (typical use), 3 months (standby time), 22 hours (GPS mode).||Up to 45 days (typical use), 4 months (standby time), 22 hours (GPS mode).||Up to 45 days (typical use), 4 months (standby time).|
|GPS||GPS + GLONASS||GPS + GLONASS|
|Sensors||BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor
3-axis acceleration sensor
3-axis geomagnetic sensor
|PPG heart rate sensor
Triaxial acceleration sensor
Air pressure sensor
|PPG heart-rate sensor, 3-axis acceleration sensor|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0|
Amazfit Bip S vs Bip vs Bip Lite: Activity tracking and smart features
These are activity tracking devices with some smartwatch features. All the basics are there (steps, calories, heart rate, etc), apart from an altimeter for counting floors climbed. For sleep, you’ll get info on deep sleep, light sleep and awake time. There’s also an overall score which lets you know at a glance how well you’ve slept.
There are, however, a few extras on Bip S that are worth a mention. While Bip only has four sports modes (walking, cycling, indoor and outdoor running), Bip S bumps this up to ten and this includes swimming. The modes spit out data such as track display, speed, heart rate, distance reminders and more.
The heart rate sensor has also been bumped up to Huami’s latest BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor which improves the heart rate monitoring accuracy to 98%. The company has also slapped on PAI, a heart rate derived indicator of daily activity, and the watch will now dish out excessive heart rate reminders.
Both iterations have GPS/GLONASS positioning, something Bip Lite lacks. This ensures the data is accurate when running or cycling. Huami says the chip on the new watch performs even better in satellite search speed, positioning accuracy, and power consumption.
The smart functionality is pretty similar. You get notifications, music control, weather and more. The watches run on Huami’s proprietary operating system which is simple to use and works well.
Amazfit Bip S vs Bip vs Bip Lite: Bottom line
Amazfit BIP is a popular watch for a reason. It’s simple to use and works well. The thing very much reminds of Pebble devices which were known for their great battery life and simple design.
If you’re unsure which version to purchase, we can make the job very easy for you. Looking at the specs, we can’t see a single reason not to purchase the latest iteration over the other ones, when it becomes available in February.
It has a better heart rate sensor, more sports modes, improved GPS/GLONASS, 5 ATM water-proofing, a more high-spec display and more. Plus the watch is cheaper than the original, although this will likely change as we expect Bip to come down in price soon.
If you already own a Bip and its functioning well, the upgrades are probably not going to be enough to entice you to sell your watch and buy a new one. But if you’re in the market for a low cost, simply to use, fitness watch, Bip S presents itself as a decent option.
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