POCO Watch Review: A Decent Budget Smartwatch

POCO Watch Review Budget Smartwatch
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POCO unveiled its first-ever smartwatch a couple of weeks ago, called the “POCO Watch”. And like most of the company’s products out in the market, it is tapping into the smartwatch segment with affordability in mind. It costs 79 Euros in Europe, while it is yet to launch in Nepali and Indian markets. I have been using the POCO Watch for over 2 weeks and in this review, I will be discussing if it is the best budget smartwatch to buy right now!

POCO Watch Specifications:

  • Body: 39.1 x 34.4 x 9.98mm, 31 grams (with strap)
  • Strap: TPU, 125-205mm adjustable length
  • Display: 1.6″ AMOLED screen, Always on Display
  • Resolution: 320 x 360 pixels, 301 PPI
  • Frame: Plastic unibody design
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM waterproof (up to 50m)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Electronic compass, Gyro, Optical heart rate
  • Health Tracking: 24-hour heart rate, SpO2 monitoring, Sleep, Stress tracking, Women’s health
  • Sports Mode: 100+ sports modes in total
  • Navigation: GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
  • Battery: 225mAh cell (Up to 14 days of endurance)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE)
  • Color Options: Black, Blue, Ivory
  • Companion App: Mi Fitness (Android | iOS)
  • Price in Nepal: N/A (EUR 79 in Europe)

POCO Watch Review:

Design & Build

  • All plastic build quality
  • 39.1 x 34.4 x 9.98mm, 31 grams
  • TPU strap, 5 ATM water resistance

In terms of looks, this watch is nothing extra. I have it in the standard Black color variant which looks very basic, but it is available in two other color options as well: Blue and Ivory. And if I had to choose, I would certainly go with Ivory.

Going past the looks, this is one comfortable watch to wear. It is compact, lightweight, and the silicone straps are soft enough to not cause any discomfort. I do have to tell you that being a budget smartwatch whose build material is entirely plastic, this one does not exactly feel very premium, although it does not feel that cheap either.

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So yeah, almost all is well on the design front, except I wish this button on the side was a bit more clicky. As things stand, it’s a little too rigid for my liking. Good thing is that the POCO Watch is 5 ATM certified. This means it can withstand everything from minor splashes to drizzles to even showers and swimming.

Display

  • 1.6-inches AMOLED panel
  • 301 PPI, Always on Display

Now moving on to the front, you are greeted with a 1.6-inch AMOLED display that has really good contrast and colors. And unlike many budget smartwatches out there, I found its screen to be very responsive.

POCO Watch - Display 2

And it’s bright too, so I haven’t faced any visibility issues on this thing under direct sunlight either. You also get an auto-brightness feature here for which the watch takes a second or two to recognize the ambient lighting condition and adjust the brightness accordingly. So it’s not that swift exactly, but it gets the job done!

My only complaint about its display is that the “raise to wake” feature does not work instantaneously as the screen takes about a second to light up. And another thing is that its bezels are not the slimmest, which makes it looks somewhat outdated in 2022!

Companion App

  • Mi Fitness (formerly Xiaomi Wear)
  • Available for both Android and iOS devices

Now onto the usability side of things, the watch pairs with Xiaomi’s “Mi Fitness” app, which is available for both Android and iOS users. Pairing and setting up the watch is really simple. And I like the fact that the app is very comprehensive and the settings are presented in an easy-to-understand manner. So, going about the app will not be an issue for anyone.

All your health-related data is there on the home page itself. In my case, I have customized all the health metrics based on my priority, where the first 6 things include what I like to keep track of on a day-to-day basis.

I guess the only thing that has bugged me a little about the app is the fact that it takes quite some time to sync data with the watch. So you will have to wait a while if you wish to view your real-time health data on the phone. And not just that, downloading and installing watch faces also takes about a minute or two here.

Health, Fitness Tracking

  • 24-hour heart rate, SpO2 monitoring, Sleep tracking
  • 100+ sports modes, Auto workout detection, Built-in GPS

Other than that, I am quite happy with the performance of this watch. It can measure your heart rate and SpO2 levels quite accurately. And more impressively, it gives very precise readings of your sleep data. It was able to record the exact time I went to bed and the exact time I woke up; and other metrics like REM sleep, deep sleep, light sleep, and even short naps.

Apart from that, the POCO Watch can record other regular stuff like calories burnt and steps taken, along with stress monitoring, breathing training, and period tracking.

For fitness tracking, there are more than 100 options to choose from on the POCO Watch including common exercises like walking, running, and yoga to some training-based exercises and dance, whereas you even have combat and water sports choices. To put it in simple words, fitness enthusiasts have a lot of options here.

Decent health tracking features

But you have to keep in mind that unlike other expensive smartwatches out there, it only tracks the duration of any particular exercise along with your heart rate and calories burnt in almost all of them. Well, except for things like walking, running, and treadmill, where the watch also measures cadence, pace, and strides.

I am not someone who is into intense workouts or training, and all I do is a bit of running, some yoga. And I also like to go for walks to get my body moving. So it’s fine for me as far as fitness tracking goes. But if you are an athlete or just about someone who needs to track their exercises on a more professional basis, you’ll want to look somewhere else.

GPS lock isn’t as instantaneous

Moving on, just like the cheaper Redmi Watch 2 Lite we reviewed a while back, the POCO Watch also has built-in GPS and I found their performance pretty similar. The GPS lock here is not instantaneous, as it takes about 10-15 seconds to catch the signal. Although, I found the location tracking to be pretty accurate.

But do keep in mind that you cannot view your workout trail on the watch itself; that information is only available in the app.

The POCO Watch also has automatic workout detection, but it only works with exercises like running and walking. While it is able to detect both of them just fine, it does not pause when you stop and you will have to do it manually, which has been a slight issue for me.

You see, many times, I have forgotten to pause or end my walking sessions and the watch would just go on recording it which would drain the battery extensively. So yeah, I wish POCO would push an update to fix this soon.

POCO Watch - Call Notification

Now, being a budget smartwatch, you don’t get a microphone for making calls, although you can reject them from the watch itself. And the notifications here are non-actionable too.

Battery

  • 225mAh battery
  • Up to 14 days of battery life

Okay, so I have been saving the best feature of the POCO Watch for the last, which has to be its battery life—hands down. I got around 7 days of endurance when using it with 80% brightness, continuous heart-rate monitoring turned on, GPS usage twice a day for about 2 hours, along with tracking my SpO2 levels every 10 minutes—which the watch does not let you track continuously, by the way.

POCO Watch - Charging

So even though it’s half of what POCO promises, with all this heavy lifting the watch has to do, I would rate its battery life a solid A. For charging, as I said in the beginning, you get a 2-pin magnetic charger inside the box. It takes just a little more than an hour and a half to get its 225 mAh battery from 0 to 100%.

POCO Watch Review: Conclusion

Alright, so after using the POCO Watch for a good number of days, what I can say is that it is definitely a good option in the budget smartwatch category. It’s feature-rich, everything works almost seamlessly, and I don’t have many complaints on the usability side as well.

However, I can’t help but notice how it has the exact same specs as the Redmi Watch 2 that launched last year, which makes the POCO Watch yet another Xiaomi-POCO re-branding affair.

POCO Watch - UI

And if you’ve been following us long enough, you know that I am not a fan of rebrandings! I think it restricts creativity and innovation. So while I wish POCO had at least made some changes; maybe on the design front or added some features to differentiate, sadly, that’s not the case! Other than that, as I said before, this is a pretty reliable budget smartwatch.

  • Watch our video review of POCO Watch.

POCO Watch Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Decent value for money
  • 5 ATM water resistance
  • Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
  • Bunch of health tracking features
  • Terrific battery life

Cons:

  • “Raise to wake” is a bit slow
  • Syncing data with the app is not as fast
  • GPS lock could’ve been faster
  • No auto pause/end workouts
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
Display
Control
Battery
Software
Health, Fitness Tracking
Companion App
Value for Money
POCO Watch is a pretty good budget smartwatch that brings a bunch of health and fitness tracking features alongside a comfortable design, an AMOLED display, and an excellent battery life.poco-watch-review