Is the Amazfit Bip Lite the best fitness tracker for those on a budget?
Amazfit recently launched its Bip Lite wearable in India, priced at Rs. 3,999. This model is more affordable than the Amazfit Bip which was priced at Rs. 5,499 at launch. The new wearable claims 45 days of battery life on a single charge and is capable of heart-rate and sleep tracking. This device also supports activity tracking, which should help you log your runs. The main difference between the two models is that unlike its more expensive sibling, the Bip Lite lacks integrated GPS + GLONASS.
With so many affordable fitness wearables already on the market, does the Amazfit Bip Lite have enough in terms of features, and does it deliver the performance and accuracy we’re looking for? We put it to the test to find out.
Amazfit Bip Lite design and specifications
The name says it all, doesn’t it? This is a toned-down version of the Amazfit Bip, and has a similar design. The device has a squarish face with chunky bezels on all sides. Amazfit has plastered its name on the space below the screen. The Bip Lite has a 1.28-inch reflective always-on display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It also seems to have an oleophobic coating which helps keep fingerprints off. There is a single button on the Bip Lite, on the right side, which is the wake/back button. You have to swipe on the display to navigate through the UI of the watch.
At the back, it has a heart-rate sensor and two pins for charging. The Amazfit Bip Lite comes with a strap made out of silicone. These 20mm straps are replaceable and you can swap them with other compatible bands of the same width. The supplied straps have a watch-like clasp which makes it easy to wear and reduces the chances of the device accidentally coming off.
Amazfit uses a proprietary charger for the Bip Lite. It’s quite large and looks a lot like a dock for the watch to rest in while it charges. While we don’t like proprietary chargers, the Bip Lite claims incredible battery life which should prevent low battery anxiety.
We found the Amazfit Bip Lite to be comfortabl,e weighing just 32g. You will barely notice it on your wrist while wearing it, and we could sleep with it on for sleep tracking without discomfort. The Bip Lite is compatible with both Android as well as iOS, and we used it with a Samsung Galaxy S9+ for the duration of this test.
Amazfit Bip Lite software
The Bip Lite requires the Amazfit app on your smartphone for setup as well as to relay information. We found the app to be easy to use, and syncing the watch with our smartphone was quick. Once connected, the app shows information about the number of steps taken, sleep duration and sleep quality, heart rate, and activity. We could also set the frequency of heart rate detection, set alarms, and change the watch’s display settings. The app kept running in the background on our smartphone but did not have a noticeable impact on its battery life. We found a lot of similarities between the Amazfit app and the Xiaomi Mi Fit app.
You can change watch faces on the watch itself. The Amazfit app has a watch face customisation feature but it failed to load for us. The UI on the watch uses a big font and icons which make it easy to comprehend. We weren’t really happy with the screen itself though, as it had below-average viewing angles indoors. Outdoors, the reflective display is visible even under direct sunlight.
We found the touchscreen to be responsive, and we did not have any issues using it. The touchscreen disables itself after a couple of seconds to prevent accidental touches, and you need to wake it by pressing the button. The watch is capable of pulling notifications from your smartphone and you can see them at a glance. The Amazfit app also lets you narrow down the apps which will alert you on the watch. However, you cannot reply to these directly, making the Bip Lite work more as a notifier than a smartwatch.
Amazfit Bip Lite performance and battery life
We put the Amazfit Bip Lite through our standard tests to see how it fared compared to some of the other fitness devices we’ve used. We manually counted 1,000 steps to check step counting accuracy on the Amazfit Bip Lite and were happy to see that it registered 1,002 steps. This is quite good and indicates that you can rely on this device to keep track of your daily step goal. The Bip Lite did not register steps while we were driving or riding a motorcycle, which kept the overall margin of error very small.
Distance tracking was next on the list. The Amazfit Bip Lite does not have its own GPS receiver so it relies on the paired smartphone for location and distance measurements. We walked a distance we knew was exactly, 1km, which the Bip Lite registered as 0.85km. This could be because of tree cover on our test route throwing the phone’s GPS off. Since the watch is completely dependent on the GPS accuracy of the smartphone, your results might vary.
The Bip Lite lets you change the interval for heart rate tracking
The Bip Lite can track activities including running outdoors or on a treadmill, cycling, and walking. If you do any of these things very often, you can set up a shortcut to trigger it by long-pressing the button. You can also set alerts based on your heart rate alert, pace, and distance covered for all activities.
Continuous heart rate tracking is possible on the Amazfit Bip Lite. You can set different intervals between 1 minute and 30 minutes for continuous tracking, We had set it to 1 minute for the entire duration of this review. We found it to be fairly accurate. In Activity tracking mode, the Bip Lite tracks the wearer’s heart rate constantly.
The Bip Lite also got our sleep and wake up times right. We were able to track our deep and light sleep phases. The app does offer sleep quality analysis, but we did not find it to be as detailed as what the Honor Band 5 reported.
Amazfit claims 45-day battery life for the Bip Lite which seemed too good to be true, and it proved to be over-optimistic. We had an alarm enabled, heart rate tracking set to 1-minute intervals, only call and WhatsApp notifications on, the brightness set to 80 percent, and sleep tracking in use. With this pattern of usage, we managed to get only 13 days out of a full charge. We found it to be acceptable but not great. If you lower the screen brightness or set a longer interval for heart rate sampling, it will help improve battery life on the Bip Lite.
Charging using the supplied cradle takes over two hours when connected to a laptop’s USB port. We would have preferred quicker charging and a more compact charger, since the supplied one is quite bulky.
The Amazfit Bip Lite is a watch-like fitness wearable that does tracking very well and offers acceptable battery life. We like that the Bip Lite is feather-light and doesn’t make its presence felt on the hand. Step and sleep tracking are accurate, and the Bip Lite can pull notifications from the smartphone. However, the display isn’t great in terms of visibility indoors.
For the asking price of Rs. 3,999 this device will appeal to those looking for a good fitness tracker with a bigger display than what you get on the Mi Band 4 and the Honor Band 5. We would recommend that you wait for a sale to pick this device up, as we have seen it selling for less than Rs. 3,000 recently.