As someone who works in tech, I try to prevent too much tech entering my daily life. It’s usually unreliable and requires a burden of maintenance that out-weighs the convenience. Daily charging? Forget it. I already have a phone, headset, tablet, laptop… Aaaaugh!
So when I thought about adding a smart watch to my life, I thought, You’d have to be fucking joking. I even wrote an article about it. But then I discovered my love for Strava. Like most addicts, my affair with this app was fueled by early gains. First day out, I set the KOMs for several local section. Of course, the bike was in the car at the time. I learned to turn off Strava before driving home. And I went searching for a proper Stava devices. Not a phone.
Yeah I did a lot of research, because I’m a researhy kind of guy. Considered were watches (Ticwatch and Fitbit) and GPS bike computers (Lezyne, Garmin). In the end I bought the Amazfit because:
Let’s address those points.
As someone who owned a surf watch that wasn’t surf proof (thanks Rip Curl), I wasn’t convinced the Amazfit Bip would be surf proof. Sure, you could swim with it. But surfing is different. Well I can tell you that after a year of wear, including plenty of surfing, there hasn’t been a single speck of water enter the watch. It’s totally waterproof.
About the only other watch in this market that is surf waterproof is the Apple watch. It’s a great watch that does plenty of stuff the Amazfit can’t do, but it fails my next two criteria. It’s battery life is woeful and it’s not cheap.
Plenty bloody good. On my recent trip to Vietnam and Sinagpore I had no need to take a charger. Two weeks is a doddle for the Bip. Three weeks is easy. Four weeks is possible, depending on how often you’re using the GPS.
Charging is incredibly quick. Plug it in four about an hour and you’re done for 3-4 weeks. Eat that Apple watch.
So cheap. Crazy cheap for what it does. It’s under $100. For that you get a 3-4 weeks of continuous use, texts and phone call alerts, sleep tracking, GPS, heart-rate and more. That is definitely a bargain. Which brings me to my last point. I’m cheap.
Yes, I’m super cheap. I love value for money. And that’s what the Bip delivered. I’m incredibly happy with my Amazfit watch and will tell anyone who will listen. My wife, who infrequently listens to me, got jealous of my Bip and requested one of her own. I was delighted to buy one for her. Not only was there the novelty of having my wife follow my advice, there was also the opportunity to share my love for this little watch.
What I love is how often it is mistaken for an Apple watch. They do look quite similar. It’s smaller and made of plastic, but it’s similar enough to fool a casual observer. Which says something for a watch that costs one-tenth of the Apple watch.
Did I mention that I bought this watch to use with Strava? Yeah well I discovered after I bought it that syncing to Strava wasn’t possible. Somewhere during my research for the perfectest most cheapest Strava companion I lost sight of the fact that the Bip doesn’t Strava. That’s where the Notify & Fitness app comes in. You can sync your Bip with this app and from there you can send your data to Strava. It’s a small inconvenience for which I’m prepared to forgive the Bip. I have found that it’s best to sync the app often. Downloading ten workouts is a pain in the butt. But if you keep up the synching then it’s close to faultless. (Close…as in, the other day it didn’t sync my map data.)
You’re reading this article because you’re considering buying a Bip. Well just do it already. It’s under a $100 and it won’t disappoint. It’s way better than any watch should be for that price. It out-performed my surf watch in the surf, it faithfully records all my Strava data, it gives me sleep tracking and heart-rate data, it shows me texts while I’m riding, it tells me who is calling. And it’s under $100. Shut-up already and get one.