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Xiaomi Watch S3 leads a trio of wrist-worthy wearables

Whether you’re after a traditional timepiece, or prefer a more modern method of monitoring your fitness levels, Xiaomi’s new smartwatch line-up deserves your attention. The Xiaomi Watch S3, Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro and Xiaomi Watch 2 will be getting a worldwide launch in the next month, after debuting in the firm’s native China.

Revealed alongside the Xiaomi 14 smartphone series at Mobile World Congress 2024, the Xiaomi Watch S3 is my pick of the litter. Interchangeable bezels and straps make it brilliantly customisable, with bespoke watch faces to match. It’s running Xiaomi’s HyperOS operating system, with a battery good for a reported 15 days between charges.

The 1.43in circular AMOLED display looks suitably sharp, and there’s no shortage of health-centric sensors underneath. Dual-band GNSS location tracking and a 12-channel heart rate monitor are the highlights. It can also recognise one-handed gestures to answer or reject calls, check the weather forecast, or take photos, just like the latest Apple Watch.

The Smart Band 8 Pro swaps a circular screen for a 1.74in rectangular one. A 336×480 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate are the biggest gains over the outgoing model; the underlying panel tech is still AMOLED, and is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus glass.

It’s just 9.9mm thick and weighs only 22.5g, so won’t weigh down your wrist. Quick-release straps and 200 different watch faces should also make changing styles a breeze. The watch body itself is either black or silver.

You can record over 150 different sports and fitness activities, and it’s 5ATM certified for underwater action. Other goodies include a 289mAh battery that should deliver 23% more time between top-ups, compared to the last-gen model. That means a full two weeks of use before you’ll need to refuel.

Lastly, the Xiaomi Watch 2 brings Google WearOS for less than the price of a Pixel Watch 2. It uses the tried-and-tested Snapdragon W5+Gen 1 Wearable chipset, paired to a 495mAh battery that should be good for up to 60 hours of use. That’s better than anything I’ve experienced from Google’s latest smartwatch. There’s also 32GB of on-board storage for local listening to music playlists and installing apps from the Play Store.

The circular aluminium chassis holds a 1.43in circular AMOLED screen, and can be had with either a black or silver strap. It weighs just 37g, with skinny styling that should be comfortable to wear to bed. That’s handy, given it promises detailed sleep tracking metrics with breath and blood oxygen info.

All three new models are going on sale imminently, with devices shipping to customers soon. The Xiaomi Watch S3 will set you back £130/E149; the Smart Band 8 Pro retails for £60/E69; and the Xiaomi Watch 2 starts at £170/E199. All three have early bird discounts if you order from the Mi web store before the 18th of March.

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