Apple Watch 6 could have serious competition from cheap Xiaomi rival

Xiaomi Mi Watch
The Xiaomi Mi Watch. (Image credit: Xiaomi)

The Apple Watch 6 will be one of the biggest smartwatch launches of the year. But  Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi may have a serious new contender in the wearables space as well.

A new smartwatch named the Mi Watch Revolve looks to be not far away from launch, according to XDA Developers (via TechRadar). This is based on a Mi Watch Revolve glyph found in a recent update to the Mi Watch companion app and a video by Spanish YouTuber eSavants. This clip shows an unboxing of the new watch, which he claims he bought from Chinese online retailer AliExpress.

Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve in Mi Watch app

The Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve (top) in the Mi Watch app UI. (Image credit: XDA Developers)

The original Mi Watch, Xiaomi's first smartwatch for non-Chinese users, was released in November 2019. It used a customized version of Google's Wear OS software and a similar rounded square face to the Apple Watch 5. But it also offered a lot of tech and features for a lot less money, including a two-day battery life, blood oxygen (SpO2) and sleep tracking and LTE all as standard.

From the looks of the evidence we have so far, the Mi Watch Revolve isn't technically a new model, but is actually a Mi Watch Color, renamed for the international market outside of Xiaomi's native China. While this misses out on a cellular connection, it looks like the Color retains all the same excellent features as the original, including an astonishingly low price of 800 yuan (roughly $100 or £90).

Xiaomi Mi Watch Color

The Xiaomi Mi Watch Color. (Image credit: Xiaomi)

Compared to this, the $400 start price for the Apple Watch 5 looks like a bad deal. Fortunately, the Apple Watch 6 is believed to add some of the missing features like sleep and SpO2 tracking.

There's no news about when the Mi Watch Revolve will be available to purchase, but since the Mi Watch Color already exists, it probably won't take long for Xiaomi to get it ready for a UK and US launch. The Apple Watch 6 on the other hand will likely appear in September at Apple's annual iPhone launch event, alongside the debut of the iPhone 12.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.