The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is a milestone for the Chinese manufacturer—and for Xiaomi fans. This is because Google Wear OS is used in a Xiaomi smartwatch for the first time and thus ends a long, long dry spell. Xiaomi also puts the Android competition from Google and Samsung under pressure with the hardware.
In a nutshell
The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is a powerful smartwatch with the Snapdragon W5 + Gen 1, the 1.43-inch AMOLED panel including a rotating crown, dual-band GPS, and of course Wear OS. In direct comparison, all previous Xiaomi smartwatches rather belong to the "fitness tracker" category.
Of course, it is not completely cheap: The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro costs 269.99 Euros (approx $285) in the Blueooth version. For the eSIM version with LTE, you have to pay at least 329.99 Euros (~$350). Just for comparison: The Google Pixel Watch (review) costs at least $350—without LTE.
Design and display
The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro looks self-confident. The black or silver stainless steel casing looks more coherent than the Watch S1 Pro, for example. However, it has not become more solid: It still lacks an IP certification. Instead, Xiaomi leaves it at the maximum diving depth of 5 ATM.
There is still a rotatable and pressable crown on the right side of the case, and Xiaomi has added a button above and below it on the Watch 2 Pro: a shortcut button with user-definable functions at the top, a back button at the bottom, and you can open the app drawer on the display by pressing the digital crown - typical Wear OS.
You can choose between two colors for the stainless steel case: black and silver. Xiaomi delivers the black version with a fluorocarbon rubber strap, while the silver watch comes with a genuine leather strap. I would be interested to know if you think this is still contemporary in 2023 or not—write it down in the comments!
The front of the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is dominated by the 1.43-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 466 x 466 pixels. By the way, Xiaomi does not offer different sizes: The watch is only available with a 46-mm case.
The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is the smartest Xiaomi watch ever. However, that is no great feat either, because the previous Xiaomi Watch models ran MIUI Watch and were thus about as smart as a mean fitness tracker. Apps? Not a thing! That is now changing with Wear OS as the operating system.
That's right: The Watch 2 Pro runs WearOS version 3.5, the smartwatch operating system that Xiaomi's rivals Google and Samsung have just brought to the fore.
This means that the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro not only runs Google's own apps like Google Wallet, Google Maps or Google Assistant. You also have full access to the Play Store of countless apps from Spotify to WhatsApp to Peloton. And yes: Thanks to NFC and Google's operating system, mobile payments via Google Wallet also work.
The new Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 takes care of the drive in the Xiaomi smartwatch—and you can feel it. All content on the watch runs wonderfully smoothly, even on the pre-production devices we were able to try out. As mentioned at the beginning, the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro is available in two versions: a Bluetooth version and an LTE version with eSIM support.
Sensors and tracking
The Watch 2 Pro not only wants to be smart, but also sporty. Xiaomi provides the watch with a whole slew of sensors that measure the wearer and his environment. At least on paper, the possibilities are convincing.
The optical PPG sensor on the underside of the smartwatch takes over most of the tracking tasks. In addition to the pulse, it also measures the blood oxygen saturation and even the blood pressure. Unfortunately, we could not find out whether the heart rate variability was also recorded in the short test time, but we will make up for it later. Of course, the same applies to the sensors and how accurately they work: We will cover those on the full review.
In addition, the Watch 2 Pro also offers an electrical sensor. Via this, the smartwatch can measure the composition of the body tissue in the upper body and extrapolates your body fat percentage from it. Even though the sensor would actually allow it, there is unfortunately no ECG function. However, this could theoretically be added via a software update.
Finally, the Watch 2 Pro also offers a dual-band GNSS sensor (L1 and L5), which should enable very precise tracking via GPS & Co. Of course, we will also test this in detail for you. Experience shows that especially in areas with a poor view of the sky—for example in cities or in the forest—the measurement is much more precise. Finally, compass and air pressure sensors are also on board.
Battery life and charging
Finally, the elephant in the room remains: the battery life of the Watch 2 Pro. Xiaomi promises that the smartwatch can last for 65 hours. However, it is still unclear under which conditions. Considering Wear OS as the operating system and the new Qualcomm SoC, we expect a battery life of one to two days-hopefully closer to two.
It is also still unclear how the battery can be charged—and how fast. It will definitely work via cable, but the speed is still unknown. Furthermore, a product trainer at the Xiaomi event told us that wireless charging is not possible.
With the Watch 2 Pro, Xiaomi launches its first real smartwatch—and could open doors for thousands of Xiaomi fans. The Chinese manufacturer's previous watches—such as the Watch S1 Pro—were functionally more fitness trackers than smartwatches.
The Pixel Watch (review) is at least a matter of taste with its unconventional form factor. And while Samsung's Galaxy Watches basically work with all Android smartphones, there is a whole slew of Samsung-exclusive features in every model, including the recently introduced Galaxy Watch 6 (review).