After years of releasing watches on its own proprietary system, Xiaomi appears to be preparing to launch a smartwatch that runs on Google’s Wear OS 3.
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Beyond its vast portfolio of phones, Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi also has a full line of wearables, ranging from affordable fitness trackers, like the Mi Band 7, to pricey smartwatches, such as the Xiaomi Watch S1. Just this week, it globally released the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro, which offers a premium, yet traditional smartwatch design, an unspecified 12 nm chip, an arrangement of health sensors, and enough battery life to last up to two weeks on a charge.
For the higher-end models, Xiaomi touts that its watches run on “MIUI Watch OS,” but under the hood, these smartwatches are still based on Android. But by doing things its own way and ditching any potential “Wear OS” branding, the Xiaomi Watch lineup is often missing some of the exclusive features normally made possible by Google’s apps and services.
According to a source familiar with the development, the company may be embracing Google Play Services and the full “Wear OS” brand on an upcoming model to create a new Xiaomi Watch that should make Wear OS fans feel right at home.
Details are slim at the moment, but it’s been confirmed to us that the watch, if it releases, will run on Wear OS 3 and should be managed by the same “Mi Fitness (Xiaomi Wear)” app that the company’s wearables use today.
It should also release under the same “Xiaomi Watch” branding as the existing lineup of non-Wear OS watches. This may be a bit of a sticking point for fans of the series, as Xiaomi Watches are typically capable of going multiple days without charging, depending on your usage. Over the years, Wear OS has not exactly built a reputation for long-lasting battery life, which may have an impact on Xiaomi’s offering.
From what we’ve seen, development for this new Xiaomi Watch looks to be lining up for a release sometime in 2023, though the timing is not yet firm.
Wear OS landscape today
With Wear OS 3, Samsung adopted the Google operating system and quickly became a big player through options like the Galaxy Watch 5. There’s also the Fossil Group with its various brands — Diesel, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and more — many of which have begun rolling out Wear OS 3 updates.
Meanwhile, there’s also Mobvoi and its rumored TicWatch Pro 5, which is set to debut that company’s take on Wear OS 3. Other players include Montblanc, Suunto, Tag Heuer, Citizen, and of course, Google with its Pixel Watch.
Would you use a Xiaomi Watch that runs on Wear OS 3 in place of MIUI Watch OS? Let us know in the comments.
More on Wear OS:
- Abode home security systems get new Google TV, Wear OS apps
- Mobvoi’s possible TicWatch Pro 5 shows up in FCC listings with Snapdragon W5+
- Google Play requiring watch apps to be updated for Wear OS 3 by August
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