When I first received the Amazfit Bip U Pro for review, peers around me noted that it looks somewhat like an Apple Watch – at least from a distance. While many would have exclaimed that this automatically makes it a “cheap rip-off” of a more expensive device, I’d beg to differ. For one, the Amazfit Bip U Pro does attempt to pull off the rounded square aesthetic that the Apple Watch has come to be known for, but truth be told, it does a fairly good job of it. More importantly, it does so at a fraction of what the Apple Watch costs in India. These factors taken together mean that if it does look like the latter to you, the Bip U Pro’s kinda doing its job right, that of striking the correct first impressions.
Among its key features are a 1.43-inch LCD display, built-in GPS tracking for outdoor usage, integrated Amazon Alexa voice assistant, an SpO2 monitor and a whole bunch of fitness and workout modes. All of this is bundled into a package that is light, and at the same time, feels substantial enough when you wear it. You also get automatic sleep tracking with it, and given that it costs just Rs 4,999, the Amazfit Bip U Pro is an interesting proposition to say the least. With that established, does the Bip U Pro make for a good smartwatch to use?
Design and build quality: Feels a tad flimsy, but durable enough
The Amazfit Bip U Pro has a fairly straightforward design, without any added pretensions. It has a single button to the right that only responses to presses and not rotations. The display itself is cascaded with rather sizeable bezels, particularly on the lower end, which also has the subtly lettered Amazfit logo. Bundled with the smartwatch comes a silicone strap that isn’t exactly a looker, but gets the job done. It has a buckled latch design that helps keep the strap tied to your wrist exactly how you’d like it no matter how much workout you do, which is neat.
The overall build quality feels undeniably plasticky, but then again, the Bip U Pro was designed only as a budget smartwatch. Simply holding the watch makes it feel a tad flimsy, but in reality, it seems to be durable enough. I personally like that Amazfit didn’t try to go for a shiny, bright aesthetic with the Bip U Pro, which makes the smartwatch look business. Over the past six weeks that I’ve had the smartwatch, it has picked up quite a few careless bumps against the door frame, and the one thing that impressed me the most is despite that, there are no notable scratches that the Bip U Pro has picked up.
Comfort of wearing: Pleasantly surprising for all-day usage
Thanks to being rather lightweight, the Amazfit Bip U Pro is a pretty comfortable wearable device for round-the-clock usage. The silicone strap that’s bundled with the watch is comfortable enough for general usage, although it does come with the universally interchangeable latch. This means that should you prefer, you can replace it with a third party strap to customise your watch – a neat addition to have on a budget smartwatch.
What this will really help you in, though, is in sleep tracking. One of my biggest issues with the otherwise excellent Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 was its overall bulk, which made it a bit uncomfortable to wear to sleep. With the Bip U Pro, though, the very lightness that makes the watch feel otherwise “flimsy” (as I myself noted before) also makes it feel easy and comfortable to sleep through the night with it. This is also a notable factor when you’re outdoors and are wearing the watch all day – you don’t feel compelled to take the watch off at the earliest possible chance. The lack of heft, therefore, is actually a good thing for it.
Fitness tracking: Shines through with essentials, mostly
It is this where the Amazfit Bip U Pro really impressed. In terms of its fitness tracking modes, the device features dedicated yoga, popular sports options such as cricket and badminton, cycling, varieties of runs and jogs, dedicated exercise modes such as pilates, treadmill, strength training, core training, mixed aerobics, stair climbing and so on. This isn’t all – you also get non-specific workout tracking modes under ‘free exercise’ and ‘flexibility’, and also very specific activity tracking modes under hunting, fishing, roller-skating, rope skipping and more. In total, you can track a total of 11 ball sports, seven dance variants, 10 different types of boxing and martial arts, and more.
In each of these, the Amazfit Bip U Pro offers a live view of total time spent in activity, calories burnt and live heart rate counter. You also get a graph view of heart rate movement through your activity, which is helpful to track any irregularities, should you be feeling anything unusual and wish to consult professional cardiac advice. On the watch, you also get a duration-wise breakdown of how much time you spent in which activity zone, which can give you an overall guidance into how you can step up your activity intensity, or reduce. This is broken down into warm-up, fat burning, aerobic training, endurance training and anaerobic training.
In the companion Zepp app, you get a clear, analytical breakdown of the fitness and sleep data that you log. The exercise record logs can help you keep track of the progress you have made, or otherwise. You can choose to augment this by manually adding your body data such as chest, arm, thigh, waist, hip and calf circumferences, which will then be tallied against your height and body weight info that you add manually. All of this will be collated together by the app based on your inputs, and combined with your exercise data to give you readings such as body exercise capacity, a custom ‘body score’ and so on.
However, do keep in mind that such active parameters would only amount to something if you’re taking your daily fitness regime very seriously. If you are, keeping a regular track of muscle mass, BMI readings and so on can actually help you understand which direction is your weight loss regime heading towards. If, however, you’re in it for general overall fitness without an intensive focus on things, the Zepp app offers a PAI score that collates the time you spend walking, working out, your overall step count and gives an automatically generated score. This score gradually sets goals for you to reach, and continuously keeping up with daily workout and activity levels will help you push on towards the eventual goal of a 100 PAI score.
In all of this, the historical fitness logs are highly useful, but what is really useful is the automatic sleep tracking data. Over time, it is the constant alert of inadequate sleep duration and delayed sleeping hours that pushed me to try and get better sleep, consciously. The REM sleep indicator was in particular a major kicker towards me avoiding time on screen ahead of sleep – a score of deep sleep that helps you understand if you’re sleeping well enough. You also get a sleep score on basis of all this, and in comparison with the data that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 provided, the Amazfit Bip U Pro turned out to be quite impressively accurate.
The only bit in terms of health and fitness tracking that annoyed me was the largely inconsistent SpO2 monitor. To get consistent and accurate ratings, you have to latch it to your wrist a bit too tightly, and can still come away with readings of under 90 percent blood oxygen – something that can alarm you enough. Tallying the data with a pulse oximeter revealed clearly differing data, which is the one point of concern in what is otherwise a very good fitness and health tracker. To be fair, though, most smartwatches today (even some premium ones) are inconsistent with SpO2 readings.
Smartwatch features: Not the strongest part of it
The Amazfit Bip U Pro can store four quick-changing watch faces, of which two can be non-default options that you download from the watch face store. There aren’t really too many options, but don’t forget the price difference between this and a flagship smartwatch. The choices you get can range from highly disappointing to more than decent, but in all the watch faces that I’ve explored, I couldn’t quite come across the one perfect watch face option. Many were nice, decent, passable and so on – so this is something that you will have to make do with.
Notification scrolling from your paired smartphone works in a fairly rudimentary manner, where you can’t respond to any. However, it does give you the basic idea of being notified when you receive calls and messages. In terms of smoothness of usage, the Bip U Pro isn’t exactly at the top of the charts, and in the sub-Rs 10,000 range, the Realme Watch S and S Pro offer better smoothness of scrolling and on-screen actions. You can see visible stutters when you switch between activity screens on the watch, but visual lags aside, the Bip U Pro is responsive enough to inputs and smooth enough to use. The stutters do not reach a point of extreme frustration, in other words, and that’s a good thing.
The Amazfit Bip U Pro also advertises the use of the Amazon Alexa assistant, which works only when paired to your phone – as it needs the active internet connection of the Zepp app that runs in the background. This, though, isn’t exactly very useful – you can switch music tracks more intuitively with the music player tab on the watch, and weather data can be scrolled directly to your watch face. It is, therefore, more of a party trick, but it is undeniably good to have on a sub-Rs 5,000 smartwatch. At the end of the day, this feature can make the Bip U Pro feel better than what the competition already offers – you wouldn’t quite use it frequently, but you’d like having it on the watch, anyway.
Battery life: Excellent stamina for multi-day usage
The one area that the Amazfit Bip U Pro simply can’t be faulted for is battery life. Charge it to full, and with average everyday usage, I could get usage time of two weeks on average. This is after I had sleep tracking, active heart rate and stress tracking switched on, which is quite good. The Bip U Pro lacks an always-on display, which I personally missed. However, this helps battery life – needing to charge it just once in two full weeks is what we need more of, from the world of smartwatches.
Even when you don’t use it in stretches, the Bip U Pro’s battery does not drop drastically. Using it just for workout tracking for two hours each day (and leaving it unpaired for the rest) saw the battery life drop from full to 60 percent in two weeks. At this scale, you’ll need to charge the Bip U Pro once in a month and half, which is excellent in my books.
Verdict: A good, fun wearable to own
On overall terms, the Amazfit Bip U Pro is a smartwatch that I’d highly recommend. It may not look the best and may also feel somewhat lightweight initially, but is durable and has a no-fuss design. It has enough customisability and scrolls notifications well enough to be passable as a first-time smartwatch. Its fitness tracking and support has a lot of features, and if you’re really serious about it, you’ll find it quite good.
At Rs 4,999, the Amazfit Bip U Pro is certainly one of the best smartwatches that you can buy.