While Samsung's Galaxy Watch remains formidable and Fitbit's Versa has its fans, neither quite tries to captures the essential and specific appeal of Apple's own premium wearable quite like the new Oppo Watch and Xiaomi Mi Watch look towards.
Both premium wearables combine a softly-rectangular OLED display, clean software and comprehensive fitness tracking in the same way that the Apple Watch does.
Of course, replicating the strengths of the world's most popular smartwatch isn't the only thing the new Oppo Watch and Xiaomi Mi Watch have going for them.
The decidedly un-Apple parts of the picture also form part of the appeal. Hate the limited battery life on the Apple Watch? You're gonna love what Oppo's VOOC fast-charging adds to the smartwatch experience.
But how do the tech world's two sharpest-looking Apple Watch clones compare to one another and their idol, the current Series 5 Apple Watch?
Xiaomi Mi Watch
The Xiaomi Mi Watch has a 1.78-inch AMOLED screen with 368 x 448 pixels. For added protection, this display is covered in Gorilla Glass 3.
When it comes to looks, the Oppo Watch follows in the footsteps of the Xiaomi Watch and the Amazfit GTS. Screen ratios aside, it's basically a dead-lookalike for Apple's own premium wearable.
The curved OLED display on the Oppo Watch is 1.9-inches in size and has a resolution of 402 x 476 pixels. This larger resolution is due to Oppo Watch having a larger, more rectangular, display than either the Xiaomi Mi Watch or Apple Watch. All three wearables feature a PPI of 236.
At this stage, the Oppo Watch's display does not appear to offer the extra protection of Gorilla Glass 3.
The Apple Watch features a 1.78-inch LTPO OLED display with 368 x 448 pixels. This screen utilizes an unspecific version of Gorilla
This unique screen is the principal difference between the most recent Series 5 Apple Watch and its predecessors. As noted in our review, the screen on the new Apple Watch is able to dynamically change its refresh rate from 90Hz when you’re using it to 1Hz when you aren’t.
The standard Xiaomi Mi Watch weighs 44g. The premium version of the wearable weighs 56g.
The 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 weighs approximately 30g. The 44mm Apple Watch weighs approximately 36g.
The steel version of the Oppo Watch weighs approximately 45g. The 41mm Oppo Watch weighs approximately 29g. The 46mm version of thew Oppo Watch weighs 40g.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
The Xiaomi Mi Watch has a built-in set of gyroscopic sensors plus a heart-rate monitor, barometer, GPS tracker and an accelerator. It supports 10 different tracking modes, including sleep and swimming. The one thing it lacks in is ECG functionality.
At the time of writing a full official spec-sheet for the Oppo Watch is not available. However, based on what Oppo have said about the device, PC World understands it features a heart-rate sensor, barometer, gryo and accelerometer plus the same ECG functionality found in the most recent Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch features a built-in compass, heart-rate sensor, barometer, gryo and accelerometer. The only thing it lacks relative to the other two wearables in this feature is sleep tracking: which Apple currently does not support.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
The new Xiaomi Mi Watch runs on a version of Google's WearOS operating system that's been extensively customised through the MIUI skin.
Though we haven't had the chance to go hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi Watch yet, the experience looks very much akin to what you get out of modern Xiaomi handsets like the Mi Mix 3. In comparison to fare like the Galaxy Watch and Fitbit Versa, it's much more Apple-like both in form and function.
Out of the box, the Xiaomi Mi Watch features stripped-down versions of Xiaomi's own home, tasks and maps applications. It's not yet clear whether you'll be able to easily install additional WearOS applications on the device.
Despite earlier rumors, the Oppo Watch doesn't run on Google's WearOS operating system. Instead, it looks like the wearable runs on a special version of Android and ColorOS optimized for the smaller form-factor.
Oppo haven't detailed what the implications of this design choice are in terms of app selection as of yet. It's very much a wait-and-see situation.
The fifth-generation Apple Watch runs on Apple's WatchOS operating system.
In our review of the Series 5, we said that "With the arrival of WatchOS 6, you can also now browse the app store directly using your watch rather than via your phone. Even if it’s a pale imitation of the iOS ecosystem proper, WatchOS still boasts the most-mature and diverse smartwatch app ecosystem. Relative to the other options, you’re more likely to be able to find both the app that does the thing you want and the app that does the thing you didn’t know you needed."
The Xiaomi Mi Watch, Oppo Watch and Apple Watch Series 5 all support Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and - depending on the model - eSIM connectivity.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
Xiaomi claim that the Mi Watch can deliver 36 hours of continuous 4G usage on a single charge. The company also say that the 570mAh battery inside the wearable is one of the largest ever used in a smartwatch.
In line with their brand, Oppo are playing up battery life and fast charging for the Oppo Watch. They say that everyday regular usage will get you about 40 or so hours on a single charge. There's also a power-saving mode that can be toggled on to extend that to up to 21 days.
As mentioned above, VOOC fast-charging is also supported. Oppo say you'll be able to go from zero to 46% charge in just fifteen minutes. A full charge takes seventy-five.
In our review of the Apple Watch, we found that "on average, [we'd] get about two days of normal usage from the Series 5 Apple Watch per charge. Turning off the always-on display would extend that - but not by much. Going out and making heavy usage of things like 4G connectivity and GPS tracking had much more of an impact on battery life.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
At this stage, the Xiaomi Mi Watch is only available in China. In that market, it's priced at CNY 1299. Importers are looking at approximately AU$287.
However, Xiaomi have said they plan to launch the Xiaomi Mi Watch in other regions later this year. Since the software for the wearable isn't available in English - it might be worth waiting.
Meanwhile, the Oppo Watch has not been announced for any other regions aside from the brand's home-ground of China. In China, pricing for the wearable starts at 1499 CNY (approx. AU$331).
Hopefully we'll see it come to Australia sooner that later. Back in 2018, we said that "Priced correctly, an Oppo smartwatch could be just as resonant when it comes to value in the same way as the brand's smartphones are. It’s not so much about having the cheapest hardware as it is about having cheaper hardware that’s almost-just-as-good as the market leader."
In Australia, pricing for the Apple Watch Series 5 starts at AU$649 for the GPS model and AU$799 for the 4G-enabled version. You can buy it through Apple here.