Poco Watch Review: Initial impressions of the global variant of the Redmi Watch 2 – Cheap GPS running watch for Strava

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Poco Watch Review Rating

Summary

The Poco Watch is an excellent affordable fitness focused smartwatch and will possibly be the cheapest watch that has built-in GPS and exports natively to Strava

Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Today, Poco has launched its first smartwatch, the Poco Watch, alongside the Poco F4 GT.

Poco were kind enough to send me the watch to review early but didn't grant my Mi Fitness the ability to add it to add it until yesterday! So this is very much an initial impression of the watch.

To the best of my knowledge, the Poco Watch is a rebranded Redmi Watch 2, and the underlying OS and UI are basically the same as other Xiaomi wearables.

Poco Watch / Redmi Watch 2 Specification

  • Display: 1.6 inches AMOLED 360 x 320 pixels
  • Features:
    • Heart rate
    • SpO2
    • Accelerometer
    • Compass
    • 24 hour stress tracking
    • 100+ fitness modes
  • Build: Plastic back, plastic frame
  • Waterproofing: 5ATM 50m water resistant
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
  • Battery: 14 days typical

Build and Design

The watch has an all-plastic build, which feels a little cheap but its all-black design with Apple Watch style square shape makes it an inoffensive design that doesn't look particularly cheap. It fits in reasonably well no matter what you wear. If you are in your gym kit or suit, it doesn't stand out.

It has quite a small wrist-based optical heart rate monitor, which I expect won't be the most accurate for sports, but this is to be expected for a budget watch.

Charging is done via a two-pronged magnetic charger.

Fitness & Connecting to Strava

The stand out feature of this watch is the built-in GPS which is rare on what I assume is a sub-£100 watch.

One issue I had with this was when I originally tried to pair the watch with my phone, I tried downloading the app from the link that was shown using the QR code on the watch. This seems to be the Chinese specific app and under-connected apps, I only had the options for WeChat and AliPay.

Uninstalling the app and installing it from the Play Store changed the available apps to Strava only. So, Xiaomi and its various sub-brands continue to be the most affordable way to track outdoor activities and sync that data to Strava.

I have only had a chance to go on one run with this so far, which was a 5K at max effort. This is probably a bit of an extreme test, but I am reviewing the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly running trainers and wanted to get a sub-20m time.

During the run, I used the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and a chest strap for my heart rate.

For the Poco, heart rate accuracy was not good. The watch was placed quite high on my wrist and tight, but there were significant inaccuracies. This is very common for me across many devices when using wrist-based heart rate. I am just too hairy and bony. It looks like it struggled to get a proper lock at the start of the run, then from 11m 30s, it lost accuracy completely. The end result was an average HR of 155bpm vs 160bpm on the Garmin.

Looking at the GPS, the Poco actually seems a little more accurate than the Garmin. Both watches plot well against each other for the majority of my run, but on one street, the Garmin veers off the right side of the street, which I definitely did not run on. Importantly, it tracked the 5K exactly the same time as my Garmin did, and Strava accepted it as a PB.

Overall, for a cheap watch, I am more than happy with it.

Health Tracking

The general health tracking is basically the same as other Xiaomi devices, including the Xiaomi Watch S1 Active I reviewed recently.

I haven't had the watch long enough to see how accurate things are, but I'd expect it is roughly the same as the other Xiaomi devices.

You have:

  • All-day heart rate – You can change the continuous monitoring settings from 30 mins down to every minute and set up a warning for high heart rate, either during rest or during exercise
  • Blood Oxygen – this can also be set to be automatically measured while you sleep (not all day)
  • Calories Burned
  • Standing Time
  • Moving Time
  • Stress
  • PAI
  • VO2 Max

Price and Availablity

Update: The POCO Watch will be available for purchase at a price of €79

Currently, the Redmi SmartWatch 2 Lite is on Amazon for around £60

The Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro is about £45

AliExpress has the Xiaomi Redmi Watch 2 for around £70

The Xiaomi Mi Watch is currently £110 on Amazon.

If the Poco Watch is £85 or less, then it should be a decent buy.

Overall

During my Xiaomi Watch S1 Active, I made it quite clear that I was biased toward devices that support Strava. I don't know many runners that don't use Strava, so I think it is quite an important feature.

I am, therefore, a fan of the Poco Watch. While I don't know the final price, this is likely to be one of the cheapest, if not cheapest GPS equipped smartwatches that can sync to Strava, which makes it perfect for anyone getting into running, cycling or other outdoor activities.

If the GPS and Strava are not important for you, then there are, of course, plenty of other good choices. The Huawei Watch Fit or Honor Band 6 are both more affordable and good for general fitness trackers.

1 thought on “Poco Watch Review: Initial impressions of the global variant of the Redmi Watch 2 – Cheap GPS running watch for Strava”

  1. Hi
    Thank you for a nice and very quick review.
    Do you know whether the watch can unlock your Xiaomi phone via bluetooth?, that was not possible with the earlyer watches using Xiaomi wear app (Now Mi Fitness).
    Regards Jacob

    Reply

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