Amazfit Bip S Review: Good Hardware Plagued By Bad Software

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Huami’s Amazfit is quite popular in the world of fitness wearables, mainly because of its vast set of features in the budget segment. The company recently launched the Amazfit Bip S in India, which is a successor to the Amazfit Bip from 2018.

One of the killer features of Amazfit wearables is undoubtedly the battery endurance, which is also carried on the Amazfit Bip S. However, we have a few things to say about the software experience, one of the disappointing aspects of the Amazfit wearables.

Similar to the 2018 Amazfit Bip, the Amazfit Bip S carries a square-shaped watch face. The overall build has also stayed the same. But, significant changes have been made in the hardware department, which includes a new display panel, improved GPS, a more accurate heart-rate sensor, and improved water resistance.

Despite the fact that the Amazfit Bip S brings so many upgrades compared to its predecessors, is it enough to justify the launch price of ₹4,999? Let’s find out in this review of the Amazfit Bip S.

Amazfit Bip S: What does it offer?

Wearables below the ₹5000 price tag are definitely not designated to be in the premium segment. Although Huami advertises the Amazfit Bip S to be a smartwatch, it’s more of a regular fitness wearable. The software is barebones, and it’s not possible to install third-party apps on it. Even though it can alert you about incoming calls and notifications, you won’t be able to make or receive calls from the Amazfit Bip S.

With that said, the Amazfit Bip S does offer a few fitness and activity-tracking modes, including walking, running, cycling, treadmills, yoga, etc. Unlike the 2018 Amazfit Bip, the Amazfit Bip S also has swim tracking, thanks to the 5 ATM water resistance. It can handle submersion up to 50m in water for a longer period. The 2018 model was IP68-certified, and it could only withstand immersion up to 1.5m.

Similar to Amazfit’s more expensive lineup of wearable, the battery life on the Amazfit Bip S is excellent, thanks to the 200mAh battery. The Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is a step-up from the Bluetooth 4.0 on the original Amazfit Bip, making the Amazfit Bip S more power-efficient. The PPG optical heart-rate sensor has also been upgraded, and so has the integrated GPS chip. Again, Huami is claiming to deliver 40 days of standby battery life.

Amazfit Bip S: Specifications

Below is a list of all the specifications of the Amazfit Bip S disclosed by Huami during the press release. Here’s what you get:

Body

  • Dimensions: 42 x 35.3 x 11.4mm
  • Weight: 31g with strap (19g without the strap)
  • Construction: Polycarbonate (strap made of silicone)
  • Colors: Carbon Black, Red Orange, White Rock, Warm Pink

Display

  • 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass with anti-fingerprint coating
  • 1.28-inch TFT display panel with 64 RGB color palette
  • 176 x 176 resolution

Sensors

  • 3-axis acceleration sensor
  • 3-axis geomagnetic sensor
  • BioTracker™ PPG heart-rate optical sensor

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE)
  • Sony GPS + GLONASS dual-mode positioning (28nm)

Battery

  • 200mAh lithium-ion polymer battery
  • Full charge in 2.5 hours with the 2-pin charging clip

Features

  • Walking, outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, swimming, freestyle, yoga, and sleep tracking
  • App and call notifications, music playback control, heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and compass

Amazfit Bip S: The good things

As we previously mentioned, the Amazfit Bip S is more of a fitness tracker rather than being a smartwatch. It does almost everything you would expect from a fitness tracker, including detailed data collection of various fitness activities. Based on our first impressions, the tracking is significantly more accurate compared to Amazfit’s more premium wearables, such as the Amazfit Verge Lite we reviewed last year. There are zero false positives in terms of step tracking on the Amazfit Bip S, which was a hit or miss on the Amazfit Verge Lite.

When paired with the Amazfit app on Android, the GPS tracking data after a walk seemed to be exceptionally accurate. From the Amazfit app, you also can get a satellite view of the map, which is a welcoming addition. The 28nm Sony GPS chip works as it is intended it be, but it takes more than a few seconds to calibrate in the exact location.

Heart-rate tracking is also amazing on the Amazfit Bip S. You can set it to monitor your heart rate for 24 hours continuously. It provides accurate results, and you can check your maximum, minimum, and average heart rate in a detailed graph-view from the Amazfit app.

Just like other Amazfit wearables, the battery life on the Amazfit Bip S is staggering. After a week of continuous usage, the battery dropped down to 48% from a full charge. In our testing, notifications and additions were enabled, average screen brightness was at 70%, and heart-rate tracking was enabled. GPS tracking was momentarily toggled during walking sessions. We can guarantee that the watch will last up to 15 days with ease. However, the battery life may significantly vary depending on your usage, especially if you have GPS enabled all the time.

The watch doesn’t have wireless charging, but the included 2-pin charging clip can charge the watch in less than three hours.

Amazfit Bip S: The bad things

The Amazfit Bip S suffers from the same problem as other wearables in the Amazfit lineup – Bad software experience. It is also plagued by random connectivity issues, which is much more excruciating.

At least with the shipped firmware, the pairing process failed multiple times, and once the Amazfit app refused to pair the Amazfit Bip S when it finally showed up in the list of Bluetooth devices. After fifteen minutes of troubleshooting, it finally paired with the Amazfit Android app. Again, it wasn’t a good first impression.

As of the Amazfit app, it takes more than a minute to synchronize the most recent data from the watch, despite the fact that it is connected over Bluetooth all the time. The random disconnections were quite irritating, especially when the re-pairing process is so buggy. The next software update to the watch or the Amazfit app will hopefully fix these issues.

Speaking of updates, there is no way to skip the updates at a later time. The Amazfit Bip S starts updating on its own, and it takes a long time to finalize the update. The watch won’t track any of your activities during the update process.

Also, the current firmware doesn’t allow users to track freestyle activities, even though Huami still advertises it on its product page. When we asked them about this, they said that the next firmware update would bring the freestyle activity-tracking features.

Another issue that we faced is with the music playback control, which doesn’t show up during activity-tracking. Even we don’t understand the purpose of adding this feature on the watch when it is inaccessible during tracking sessions.

Our verdict

The Amazfit Bip S is obviously not a premium smartwatch, but a decent fitness-tracking wearable at an affordable price. It offers accurate tracking results, killer battery life, 5 ATM water resistance, and durable polycarbonate design.

However, the bad software, unreliable Bluetooth pairing, and constant connectivity issues make it difficult for us to recommend the Amazfit Bip S to the masses. Unless Huami starts working to improve the software experience on its current lineup of wearables, we strongly advise you to spend your hard-earned cash somewhere else. The ₹4,999 price tag of the Amazfit Bip S doesn’t feel justified as of now.

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76%
Not so good

The Amazfit Bip S is obviously not a premium smartwatch, but a decent fitness-tracking wearable at an affordable price. It offers accurate tracking results, killer battery life, 5 ATM water resistance, and durable polycarbonate design.

However, the bad software, unreliable Bluetooth pairing, and constant connectivity issues make it difficult for us to recommend the Amazfit Bip S to the masses. The ₹4,999 price tag of the Amazfit Bip S doesn’t feel justified as of now.

  • Design
  • Dispay
  • Performance
  • Battery

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