Smartwatches have become a daily companion for many users, thanks to their smart abilities and fitness tracking capabilities. Smartwatches can do so much more than traditional watches as they are tiny computers fitted on your hands.
If you are on the lookout for a new smartwatch, I am sure you are confused about which one to pick. Picking a smartwatch can be harder than picking a smartphone, as reviews are not easily available, and the technology hasn’t matured as well as smartphones.
|Xiaomi Mi Watch||Garmin Forerunner 55|
|Display||1.39-inch color AMOLED 454 x 454 resolution||1.04-inch transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display208 x 208 resolution|
|Dimensions and weight||45.9 x 53.35 x 11.8mm32g (without strap)||42 x 42 x 11.6mm37g|
|Materials||Case: PlasticStrap: TPU||Plastic caseSilicone band|
|Colors||Case: Black, Navy blue, BeigeStrap: Black, Navy blue, Beige, Orange, Olive, Yellow||Black, White, Aqua|
|Battery Life||420mAh16 days with standard use||Up to 2 weeks in smartwatch modeUp to 20 hours in GPS mode|
|Sensors||Heart rate sensorSpO2 calculatorGPS / GLONASS / BDS / GalileoAccelerometerGyroscopeGeomagnetic sensorAir pressure sensorAmbient light sensorCompass||Garmin Elevate heart rate sensorGPSGLONASSGalileoAccelerometer|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE||Bluetooth|
|Compatibility||Android 4.4 and aboveiOS 10.0 and above||Android, iOS|
|Smartwatch Features||Smartphone notificationsMusic controlTons of watch facesAmazon Alexa supportCamera ShutterSet Alarms||Connect IQ-compatibleSmartphone notificationsControls smartphone musicGarmin Assistance safety features|
This article is a comparison between one of the most popular smartwatches, the Xiaomi Mi Watch against the Garmin Forerunner 55, the successor to the hugely popular Forerunner 45 series. The Mi Watch has got glowing reviews already but will the Forerunner 55, with upgrades from its predecessor be a better smartwatch, read on and find out.
Xiaomi Mi Watch vs Garmin Forerunner 55
Xiaomi and Garmin have gone with a round design for the Xiaomi Mi Watch and the Garmin Forerunner 55. So regardless of which one you choose, you will get a similar design. And both designs are very good too. They both go for a simple, clean, elegant design that I love.
Both the Mi Watch and the Forerunner 55 feature plastic build which makes them both lightweight and comfortable to wear. The Garmin Forerunner 55 weighs 37 grams without the straps while the Mi Watch weighs just 32 grams without straps.
Both also feature swappable straps that are easy to change. Forerunner 55’s predecessor the Forerunner 45, didn’t have easily swappable straps so it’s a welcome addition to the new model. You might want to change the straps that come with the Forerunner 55 as they don’t seem to be of high quality which is a bummer. The Mi Watch costs less and comes with better-quality straps.
When it comes to dimensions, the Forerunner 55 is smaller than the Mi Watch in every aspect. The Forerunner’s dimensions are 42 x 42 x 11.6 mm while the Mi Watch is larger at 45.9 x 53.35 x 11.8 mm. The larger dimensions also make the Mi Watch feel a bit bulky despite being lighter than the Forerunner 55.
When it comes to looks, I prefer the Xiaomi Mi Watch’s less sporty design, because of the fewer buttons. Since the Garmin Forerunner 55 does not feature a touchscreen, it has 5 five that are used for navigating its interface, more on this later. And design-wise I prefer two buttons sticking out of the watch rather than five, it is aesthetically more pleasing.
On the backside of the watches, lie the heart rate sensors and the charging pins, and this is the same for both.
When it comes to design, I would prefer the Mi Watch over the Forerunner 55, but I can’t say the same for build quality. Both watches are sturdy and feel high quality despite being plastic builds. Both also are rated at 5 ATMs for water resistance making them useful for swimming and diving for up to 50 meters underwater.
Since Xiaomi holds the edge when it comes to design and better out-of-the-box straps, I would choose the Mi Watch in this category.
When it comes to display quality, I feel it is going to be an unfair comparison between the two smartwatches as one features a touchscreen while the other doesn’t. The Xiaomi Mi Watch features a 1.39 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels, making it sharp and crisp to look at. On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 55 features a 1.04-inch transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display of 208 x 208 pixels.
This is not even a competition when it comes to display quality, the Mi Watch is bigger, brighter, sharper, colorful, and awesome to look at while the Forerunner 55 feels like a bland mess.
Xiaomi vs Garmin Display
And it gets worse because the Forerunner 55 is not a touchscreen-equipped display, while the Mi Watch is. While you get 5 physical buttons for navigation on the Garmin Forerunner 5, the touchscreen on the Mi Watch is just more convenient for regular use.
The only advantage the physical buttons have is that they are better when you have to use them during workouts. And Xiaomi combats this by offering two buttons. And at this price, it is shocking that the Forerunner doesn’t have a touchscreen just like its predecessors.
I would choose the Xiaomi Mi Watch over the Garmin Forerunner 55 any day when it comes to display and user experience. But since these are fitness smartwatches, the display is not the end of the world. Let’s see how both smartwatches handle fitness tracking.
Fitness and Health Tracking
The Xiaomi Mi Watch feels more like a smartwatch with fitness capabilities while the Garmin Forerunner 55 is a fitness tracker with smartwatch capabilities. Nevertheless, both watches have lots of sensors for tracking motion, heart rate, oxygen levels, and more.
The Mi watch features a heart rate sensor, a blood oxygen calculator, GPS, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a geomagnetic sensor, an air pressure sensor, a compass, and an ambient light sensor. This allows the Mi Watch to calculate motion, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more.
The Mi Watch takes advantage of Firstbeat to offer VO2 Max insights, training sessions, and heartbeat analysis. The Mi Watch features an additional Energy feature similar to that of the Garmin’s Body Battery monitor. This will monitor your sleep, activity, and heart rate to give you info on how well you can tackle the day.
Along with this, Xiaomi offers 117 workout modes with the Mi Watch. There are 17 core workout modes that offer more activity-specific metrics for the core workout modes. These include activities like walking, running, swimming, and more.
Similarly, the Garmin Forerunner 55 is loaded with sensors for tracking many activities like running, outdoor running, treadmill, indoor track, indoor/outdoor cycling, indoor/outdoor walking, cardio, yoga, elliptical, stair stepper, breathwork, and an “other” category, in addition to the new activities previously listed.
Garmin uses these sensors to track the above activities, a heart rate sensor, a GPS with GLONASS, Galileo, and an accelerometer. While the sensor list and activities list is far less than that of the Mi Watch, the accuracy of data collected is better.
The Garmin Forerunner 55 is better at collecting data like heart rate, movement, and more accurately, presumably due to the better sensors on offer. The Mi Watch falters a lot when it comes to a high-intensity workout, as it makes erratic readings. On the other hand, the Garmin Forerunner 55 does a great job of accurately collecting data during such workouts.
Both smartwatches can track sleep too and both do a good job of accurately tracking sleep data. The Mi Watch does offer more insights thanks to its use of Fistbeat Analytics.
Overall, I feel like the fitness and health tracking of the Garmin Forerunner 55 is much better than that of the Xiaomi Mi Watch. This is probably due to Garmin’s longer foray into the fitness tracking game and better sensors. If you want the best fitness tracking experience, you should choose the Forerunner 55 over the Mi Watch.
Both Xiaomi and Garmin have packed these watches with smart features too. And when it comes to smartwatch features I have to give the edge to the Mi Watch as it does more than the Forerunner 55.
The Mi Watch displays notifications, offers tons of watch faces to customize your smartwatch, works as a camera shutter for your smartphone, can set alarms, control music playback of your phone, and more. The Mi Watch also supports Amazon Alexa and this feature works when you connect the Mi Watch to your smartphone over Bluetooth. And finally, you can connect the smartwatches to the Mi Home app.
The Garmin Forerunner 55 on the other hand, has only a handful of features like smartphone notifications, smartphone music control, and Garmin safety features assistance. You can also connect the watch to the Connect-IQ app on your smartphone for more detailed insight about workouts and more.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch trounces the Garmin Forerunner 55 when it comes to battery life. The Mi Watch can offer up to 16 days of battery life in standard mode and you can extend this up to 22 days when in long battery mode thanks to its 420 mAh battery cell. In comparison, the Forerunner 55 can last a maximum of two weeks in the best-case scenario and only 20 hours when using GPS.
While it is a strong showing from both the Mi Watch and the Forerunner 55, if you want the best battery life, then you should get the Xiaomi Mi Watch over the Forerunner 55.
This is a tricky comparison as both smartwatch manufacturers have gone for different approaches. The Mi Watch has been designed to be a better smartwatch, while the Forerunner 55 is designed to be a better fitness tracker.
If you are looking for a smartwatch that can do everything then, the Mi Watch is the better option, it is a jack of all trades. The Garmin Forerunner is an excellent fitness tracker and beats every other smartwatch in the price category when it comes to fitness tracking.
The Mi Watch is the better smartwatch while the Forerunner 55 is the better fitness tracker so, choose what you need.
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