Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Which to buy?

Thus, Xiaomi has unveiled the Xiaomi Watch s1 and the Xiaomi Watch s1 Active, two brand-new premium smartwatches. My comprehensive evaluation of the Xiaomi Watch s1 and s1 Active is available here.

Xiaomi Watch S1 S1 Active
✔️Nice screen for the price
✔️Week-long battery life
✔️Solid fitness tracking performance
✔️Supports iOS and Android devices
✔️Up to 24 days battery life
✔️117 fitness modes including extreme sports
❌Sports tracking features are hit and miss
❌Payment support didn’t work
❌Companion app still a bit busy
❌Comes with 0% charge
❌Automatic five second lock
❌Water-resistant not waterproof

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Specs

CategoriesXiaomi Watch S1S1 Active
BuildSapphire glass + stainless steel caseGlass fibre-reinforced polyamide
Strap materialCalfskin leather/FluororubberWhite silicone, black and blue TPU
Physical size46.5 x 46.5 x 11 mm46.5 x 47.3 x 11 mm
Display size & type1.43″ AMOLED display1.43″ AMOLED display
Display resolution466 x 466 pixels466 x 466 pixels
Weight52 grams36.3 grams
Battery life470 mAh
12 days battery life, 24 days in battery saver mode
470 mAh
12 days battery life, 24 days in battery saver mode
Wireless chargingYesNo
Water-resistance5 ATM5 ATM
SensorsHeart rate sensor (with blood oxygen sensor), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, atmospheric sensor, ambient light sensorHeart rate sensor (with blood oxygen sensor), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, atmospheric sensor, ambient light sensor
Music storage or smartphone controlSmartphone controlSmartphone control
Microphone & speakersYesYes
Wireless connectionWi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.2
Color optionsBlack (black leather strap + black fluororubber strap); Silver (brown leather strap + grey fluororubber strap)Moon White /Ocean Blue /Space Black

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Design

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active

The design of these two little timepieces is, quite simply, one of their main contrasts. While the standard Xiaomi s1 watch has a premium stainless steel case, the s1 Active replaces this with a lightweight metal frame. Despite this, it still seems incredibly durable, as you would expect from a proper sporty smartwatch. The s1 Active weighs just 36 grammes, which is noticeably lighter than the regular s1, which weighs a rather substantial 52 grammes.

Despite my rough handling of the case, it has no scratches, chips, or markings. You can also choose from three different colours, including this lovely white model, which is quite uncommon for small watches. You can also get it in blue or a more conventional black. Even though the standard Xiaomi Watch s1 has a very sleek and sophisticated design and has a certain vibe of a night out on the town, it doesn’t look out of place when worn all day long, in my opinion.

Its design is reminiscent of the most expensive Huawei and Samsung wearables, so I’m a big fan. Again, as you might hope and expect, the stainless steel case shows no signs of wear and tear despite being subjected to quite a bit of rough handling. Here on the regular Xiaomi Watch s1, the screen is flush with the surface; there is no sticky-out bezel action or anything, but thankfully it is made of sapphire glass, which is super tough and helps prevent scratching.

So, even though this object has been banged against walls, kitchen counters, and various other objects, there are no marks, scuffs, or anything else on it. On the s1 Active, you don’t get the same sapphire glass finish, but it seems pretty tough. Again, no scratches or scuffs even though I have treated it fairly badly, and that’s all because you have bezels that are just slightly above the surface of the display, adding a bit more extra protection there as well.

S1 Active

Unlike the standard Xiaomi Watch S1, which has just the time markings on its bezels, the S1 Active’s bezels feature some text you can read. However, in case you were wondering, even though those dials rotate on the s1, they don’t do anything to any of the menus, so you’re still using that touch screen to scroll up and down. And even though the dual button on the right edge of the small watches has your more traditional sort of dial type finish, the s1 or the s1 active sports a flatter button.

Additionally, these Xiaomi Small models support the common 22 mil removable straps, allowing you to swap them out and use different ones. On the s1 active, the finish is your typical silicon, which feels great against your skin even when you always wear it. The standard leather band on the regular S1 furthers the premium appearance. And once more, you have a choice of colours for both straps. For the leather option on the standard S1, you can choose from blue, black, or brown. There are many different colours available on the S1 Active, or you can stick your own.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Display

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active

Consequently, let’s focus on these stunning displays. The Xiaomi watch s1 and the s1 active have identical 1.43-inch AMOLED screens with 326 pixel-per-inch resolution, resulting in nice, clear visuals. You can covertly check the time with a casual glance at your wrist without making it too obvious. The small text also comes through with nice, legible wide viewing angles, and the colours are pleasingly punchy and vibrant, as you can see right there.

Now, if you go into the display settings, you will see that both of these watches have auto-brightness, which I highly recommend toggling on so that it can increase brightness when you’re outside and decrease it all the way again when you’re inside to help preserve battery life.

I tested out these watches in Barcelona, where the sun occasionally shines in contrast to the grey, rainy UK. They have five brightness levels with a maximum brightness of 450 nits of power, so you can see what is going on even on a sunny day.

Additionally, an AMOLED screen has the advantage of an always-on display feature, which is very useful if you want to check the time on your smartwatch constantly. This feature can also be scheduled to turn off at night.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Watch Faces

Xiaomi Watch S1

On both the watch S1 and the S1 Active, you can choose from several pre-installed watch faces that are essentially identical. These watch faces include a good mix of analogue and digital designs and some sporty ones that display your health statistics on the home screen.

I like how the S1 Active has a live wallpaper similar to the ones found on Xiaomi small watches, which come to life when you wake them up. However, since the S1 Active’s battery life is a bit shorter, I tend to avoid using it. And if you are growing tired of those pre-installed watch faces, have no fear—return to the Xiaomi wear app, where you’ll find watch faces in the profile section, which displays all the watches faces you have installed.You can also skip to the online section to download more. There are more than 200 options available to you.

Once more, there is a wide range of analogue and digital options and some very RT40-inspired options. And the watch faces are categorised into different styles to make it easier to find the right vibe. If none of those appeals to you, you can make your watch face using any analogue or digital photo on your phone.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: UI & Features

Now, if you’re used to wearing OS and Huawei watches, the actual watch user interface feels fairly streamlined, nice and slick, with easy access to all key features.

The primary distinction is that you’ll be swiping up the screen to access your settings menu and swiping down the screen to access your notifications, which is backwards compared to weather west and every other smartwatch. I’m not sure why Xiaomi made this decision, but it took me a few days to get used to this arrangement. However, you have access to all of these main settings and your main toggles on the smartwatch.

S1 Active

If you swipe left and right, you can access your widget pages and fully customize them within the mobile app to set them up exactly how you want them. For example, do not disturb, night mode, turns your watch into a torch, which is very useful when you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Enter the Xiaomi Wear app to change the fully customizable orders. You can remove all the widgets by dragging them to the bottom of this page. And at any time, you can add a new page of widgets if you like. You have a nice assortment of widgets here, mostly related to health, but there are also some other items like stopwatches and timers, and of course, small and large widgets. I like how you can fit multiple widgets on a single piece, so you don’t have to flick back and forth repeatedly to find the items you want.

Xiaomi Watch S1

As for those two physical buttons, the top one is used to wake up the watch and access your app’s menu, which is packed with content by default, including all your stuff and health-related shenanigans. You have media controls, stopwatches, timers, and the ability to check pressure levels. If you’re doing some mountain climbing, you also have a find my phone feature and a camera shutter button.

As for the bottom button, which you can customize to load up any app that you like, though, by default, it is set to the exercise tracking app; that’s another keep. You can use your watch to take photos remotely with your phone, so that’s another perk.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Speaker, Mic & Alexa

Xiaomi Watch S1

Now, both of these Xiaomi small watches have a built-in speaker and microphone, so you can answer calls through the watch if you’ve forgotten your phone somewhere and you hear a ring. However, avoiding using this feature in a busy high street or other crowded areas is best.

However, you’ll feel awkward answering a call on your smartwatch because you’ll look like a jerk, the microphone won’t pick up well, so it’ll pick up everything else going on around you. The speaker on a smartwatch is tiny, so you’ll have to press your arm against your ear to hear what’s being said.

Sadly, when I tested and reviewed the Xiaomi watch s1 and s1 active before their official UK launch, the amazon Alexa voice assistant feature didn’t appear to have been set up, and there was no way to activate it via the mobile app. However, both watches will support the Alexa voice assistant.

I also missed the opportunity to test out the mobile payments for both small businesses, which should accept Mastercard. You can tap to pay and leave the establishment quickly and easily, but regrettably, so far in the UK, this doesn’t appear to be set up via the mobile app. I’ll attempt to test that after the launch and after these features have been implemented.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Fitness Tracking

Xiaomi Watch S1

If you are a huge fitness enthusiast, you probably run a lot, go to the gym frequently, and do other things of that nature. Since the standard Xiaomi watch s1 has the same fitness features, you are not required to purchase the S1 Active. You also have your 24-hour heart rate monitoring using a ppg sensor or two. You can add and remove fitness modes via the watch or the mobile app. You also have tracking for 117 different types of exercise.

And this includes everything I could imagine doing to stay in shape, including stretching, which I always thought of as a warm-up. If you can get away with doing a warm-up every day, job well done. I have no idea what wall bowl is, but it sounds entertaining, and they even have a bobsleigh, so the job is done.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 and S1 Active can also automatically detect when you are just taking a short stroll outside. It simply notifies you with a small message asking if you want to track your walking, which I found to be a generally reliable feature.

When you’re walking, running, or doing anything else, you can check your routes via the mobile app. You have dual-band multi-system GPS built-in, GLONASS galileo bds, QSS, and all that good stuff, and I found the location tracking to be incredibly accurate. as well as reviewing all of your statistics, including your cadence, breakdowns when you’re hiking or running, elevation changes, and other information.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active: Battery Life

S1 Active

Let’s wrap up this review of the Xiaomi Watch S1 and S1 Active by discussing their battery life, as both smart watches can accommodate a 470-milliamp battery.

According to Xiaomi, you’ll get about 12 days of use with typical use, but I discovered that if you use all the features—including the always-on display, 24-7 heart rate monitoring, and sp02 tracking—you’ll get less time—more like four to five days—from a full charge. And to be completely honest, that’s a very good result considering that, on average, Samsung Galaxy watches only last two days, if you’re lucky, as opposed to OS watches, which typically last only a day or two.

The Xiaomi watch is akin to the Huawei Watch because it typically lasts for half a week on a single charge. It is great if you’re going away for a long weekend because it eliminates the need to pack a charger.

Speaking of which, the Xiaomi watch s1 supports wireless charging. You do receive a wireless charging dock bundle there in the box as well, just in case you don’t have a smartphone with reverse wireless charging, for example. It also has a type c port, so nice and easy you don’t need to take any other cables. Just take your smartphone charger with you.

Xiaomi Watch S1 Vs S1 Active

Unfortunately, the Xiaomi watch S1 Active does not support wireless charging. Instead, it uses this more conventional smartwatch dock, which has connecting pins, as you can see, a cable attached, and other accessories. If you are planning any lengthy trips, remember to bring this along.


The decision is obvious if we consider the sale price. It is a more affordable and cost-effective Xiaomi Watch S1 Active version. This watch is offered at the suggested retail price of $249.99, but its cost might be reduced with a discount coupon.

The Xiaomi Watch S1 is more expensive but also more opulent and elegant. And it is this particular model that is entering the market for high-end smartwatches. The vast majority of the technical components are the same as those in the less expensive Active version, except for the sapphire protective glass. Since the selling price of this watch has increased to $175.41, you must consider the surcharge for yourself.


The Xiaomi watch s1 and s1 active, and I must admit that I like them. At least you have a choice. Whether you prefer a more sporty design or want a nice, premium-looking smartwatch to compete with models from Samsung and Huawei, this design may be right for you. Very sleek and feature-rich UI.The Xiaomi watch s1 and s1 active are recommended if you want a fully featured smartwatch with strong battery life. I hope that Alexa and the Mastercard tap and pay support come in soon.