Xiaomi launches its first-ever smartwatch at USD 186 to take on Apple and Huawei

Sales of the Xiaomi Watch will start in the middle of December.

Photo: Provided to KrASIA by Xiaomi

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has unveiled its first smartwatch on Tuesday, enriching its product lineup to take on Apple and Huawei in the high-end smart wearable sector, according to a press release of the company.

The latest device, named Xiaomi Watch, is equipped with a 1.78-inch AMOLED curved display protected by sapphire glass, a heartbeat sensor, and a virtual eSIM chip that allows its users to make phone calls and access the Internet. The smartwatch will run on a special version of Android called MIUI For Watch, which is open to app developers, and has been pre-installed with more than 40 apps already.

The smart-device is also equipped with Xiaomi’s AI voice assistant Xiaoai Tongxue, which will allow users to connect and control smart home devices from Xiaomi’s ecosystem.

Presales for this smartwatch, priced from RMB 1,299 (USD 186), have started on Xiaomi’s online channels and in the firm’s brick-and-mortar stores. Formal sales will start in the middle of December, said Xiaomi.

The company will once again challenge Apple, which is selling the basic version of its Apple Watch Series 5 starting from RMB 3,199, and Huawei, which recently released its Huawei Watch GT 2 priced at RMB 1,488.

Xiaomi has been enriching its smart home appliance lineup under the company’s “smartphone+AIoT” dual-engine strategy announced earlier this year.

The Hong Kong-listed company shipped a total of 5.3 million smart wearables in the second quarter of this year in China, ranking first in the sector with a 22.9% market share, according to market research firm IDC. However, only smart bracelets and earphones were among the products.

Huawei followed as a close second, with 5 million shipped, including smartwatches and smart bracelets, said IDC. Apple shipped 3.1 million smartwatches and earphones in the second quarter in China, taking the third-largest market share in the country’s smart wearable sector.

Xiaomi is also China’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor, taking a 9% market share with 8.8 million shipments in the third quarter of this year, according to market research firm Canalys.