The Poco Watch is a new, affordable smartwatch that offers a variety of features at a very reasonable price.
If you’ve never heard of Poco, don’t worry. It was a company owned by Xiaomi until it spun off into an independent company in 2020.
This square smartwatch is head-on at the end of the market budget, so it’s not trying to be a perfect match for the Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch in the world.
However, the Poco Watch costs only € 79 ($ 84 / £ 66). There is no official US price or launch yet, so it will be difficult to find the state side. However, it is included in the same bracket as the Amazfit Bip U Pro, Huawei Watch Fit and Redmi Watch2 Lite.
But with an AMOLED screen, built-in GPS, heart rate and blood oxygen tracking, notification support, and up to 14 days of battery life promise, you can get great value.
We’ve been testing the PocoWatch to see if it’s worth picking up this affordable smartwatch and strapping it on.
- The best cheap and affordable smartwatches compared
Poco Watch: Design and Screen
Poco isn’t owned by Xiaomi, but it’s clear that it draws strong design inspiration from smartwatches. Poco Watch looks like a clone of Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite and Redmi Watch 2 Lite (Xiaomi subbrand).
It has a similar square look and TPU straps and is secured with a tightly secured buckle. It has a dim 39mm matte-looking plastic case, 9.98mm thick and surprisingly slim. If you like smartwatches being small and light, a 31g Pocowatch will check those boxes.
There are blue, black and ivory case colors, and Poco has two additional strap color options, but removing these straps is not the easiest process.
The main character of the show here is the touch screen. While Xiaomi and Redmi’s square smartwatches are cramming TFT screens, Poco is working entirely on AMOLED screens.
It’s 1.6 inches, 320 x 260ppi resolution, with a few black bezels around it. It stands out when you jump to the menu screen, but it’s rarely annoying like other smartwatches.
Finding AMOLEDs on such an affordable smartwatch is really good quality and unusual.
It has a bright dark black color that you would expect from AMOLED, and you can see the screen indoors or outdoors without any problems.
You can set it to always-on mode, but if you do, you will be notified that it will affect battery life. Poco allows you to set the amount of time the screen is displayed to save battery power.
Interactions with the touch screen respond well as well. The lag of swiping widgets and menus is minimal, but overall good. Hidden physical buttons on the sides of the case allow you to quickly jump from the watch screen to the menu screen, so you’re not completely restricted to using the touch screen.
This is a watch with a water resistance rating of 5 ATM. This means you can swim and continue to take a shower.
The Poco Watch is immediately likable with its AMOLED display. It reminds us of the many look and feel of wearing one of Amazfit’s Bip smartwatches, and that’s definitely a good thing. Poco isn’t trying to break new ground with its look here, but overall it’s the perfect watch to wear and live with.
Poco Watch: Smartwatch features
Before you can use your Poco Watch as a smartwatch, you need to jump to the Mi Fitness app (iOS and Android) to enable notifications and receive notifications from specific apps.
You can also turn on incoming alerts and access music controls. It has a surprisingly rich collection of watch faces and makes good use of its AMOLED screen.
Notification support is fine as long as it works. Initially, we found an issue where the companion randomly selected the app to receive the notification compared to the app it actually selected. It seems to have been fixed, but it’s clear that there may be a strange sync bug here.
Features such as weather forecasts and music control are optimized for the display and are very easy to grasp clock software. Poco doesn’t specify the processor on board here, and it’s clear that it’s not the best available on a smartwatch, but thankfully, it’s not too late.
There are some useful features such as using your watch as a camera shutter for your smartphone and setting custom timers and alarm defaults.
I didn’t expect big smartwatch features like payments and apps, but effective features work fine. If Poco can fix the notification bug, it will provide you with a smartwatch experience enough to give you a good foundation.
Poco Watch: Sports Tracking
Poco touts watches as made for fitness, so there’s a fair amount of functionality on the front. It is promising to monitor heart rate 24/7 and track blood oxygen data.
Over 100 fitness modes and GPS, Glonass, Galileo and Beidou satellite systems are all supported to provide accurate outdoor tracking.
On the clock, you can press the running man’s icon to enter workout mode and scroll through activities such as running, hiking, HIIT, and indoor rowing. There are both indoor and open water swimming profiles.
If you don’t see your favorite exercise from the 100 supported modes, you can add and remove modes at the bottom of the screen.
Each mode has a small number of settings, so you can set goals and set alerts such as time and distance.
For running, you can see data such as pace, distance, previous lap pace, running gait insights such as cadence and heart rate. You can also access music controls while in workout mode.
You can also switch to something like indoor rowing to see the number of strokes and add rests to your session. The amount of customization available is not very large, but you can get a fair amount of data here.
GPS tracking comparison: Poco Watch (left) and Garmin Epix (right)
In terms of accuracy, the tracking distance tended to be slightly shorter compared to the very accurate (but very expensive) Garmin Epix, which uses multi-band GNSS for maximum accuracy. However, we are talking 250 meters over 15km, so it is within the margin of error and we recommend you do not hesitate to run.
The mapped routes were pretty much the same, but they are usually moving at a slower pace.
Heart rate data definitely hit and missed with an unusually low average measurement compared to the chest strap monitor, but the maximum measurement was about 5 bpm from the chest strap.
Comparison of treadmills running HR: Poco Watch (left) and Wahoo Tickr (center and right)
Inside the treadmill, replacing GPS with accelerometer-based tracking naturally caused tracking accuracy issues. In 5k driving, the driving was recorded at 3.82km.
Thankfully, you can adjust the post-drive distance tracking to increase reliability for future indoor driving. A similar problem was seen with heart rate data, where the average and maximum readings from the chest strap monitor were significantly different.
Comparison of indoor rowing: Poco Watch (left) and Garmin Epix (right)
The indoor rowing session did not exactly match the overall stroke count, but it did match the average stroke count compared to row tracking in Garmin. Heart rate data didn’t feel so reliable again.
Given the price, sports tracking isn’t really bad at Poco Watch. If you’re using it for casual running or indoor exercise, you have a good level of data and accuracy is fine. If you want sports watch level performance, that’s not what you get here.
Poco Watch: Health and Fitness Tracking
If you’re using PocoWatch to count your steps or track your sleep, that’s also possible. It has a nice watch face to show your progress and a dedicated sleep menu to see your recent sleep nights. There is also a menu dedicated to real-time heart rate data, stress using heart rate variability, and blood oxygen data.
Step counts were usually in the stadium of daily counts captured by Polar watches.
Within the Mi Fitness app, you can see when these steps happened and see your estimated calorie expenditure across that data. If you sit still for a long time and are also logged in to the companion app, you will see an inactive alert.
Comparison of step counts: Poco Watch (left) and Polar Pacer Pro (right)
For sleep, you’ll see a breakdown of your sleep time, sleep stages including REM sleep, but you won’t get an overall sleep score. When enabled, heart rate and blood oxygen data are also displayed. There were good days and bad days for the accuracy of the data, but it was definitely a better day.
It was generally consistent with Oura Ring 3’s reliable sleep tracking and provided a similar breakdown of sleep stages.
Although it was some days, it also captured more than an hour of sleep. Heart rate during sleep was typically within 5 bpm from Oura’s heart rate tracking.
Sleep Tracking Comparison: Poco Watch (left and center) and Oura Ring 3 (right)
If you stick to everything about your heart rate, PocoWatch won’t make a big impression on your continuous monitoring.
Minimum heart rate readings were generally consistent with Oura, but mean and resting HR readings were significantly higher in comparison. Blood oxygen measurements are a bit more reliable, but Poco does nothing to the data other than capture it.
Comparison of continuous heart rate tracking: Oura Ring (left) and Poco Watch (center and right)
Poco also provides stress tracking, plotting the stressful moments of the day and displaying the maximum, minimum and average stress scores out of 100.
There is also a female health function to track menstruation, cycle length and take advantage of the menstrual prediction mode.
Poco Watch works well as an activity tracker, but it’s clear that it’s slowing down in some areas. However, in this price range, these inaccuracies and discrepancies may be worth compromising.
If you need the most reliable heart rate and deeper heath insights and recommendations, you need to enhance Fitbit’s additional capabilities.
Poco Watch: Battery life
What you get about Poco Watch battery life depends on whether you include or reduce all the features.
Poco claims that a 225mAh capacity battery can last up to 14 days in “normal use mode”. Its typical usage means monitoring your heart rate every 30 minutes, measuring your blood oxygen twice a day, and using GPS for only 35 minutes a week. Doing this will comfortably reach that 14-day figure.
If you switch from normal use mode to heart rate monitoring per minute, turn on advanced sleep monitoring, and use GPS more regularly, that’s not exactly the same story. I think it’s about 7 days. This is half of Poco’s estimate. But it’s still a decent return at this price.
Running for 1.5 hours using GPS reduced battery life by 15%. This is not a bad thing for a low-priced watch. This will be about 10 hours of GPS tracking. Again, this is enough for most people.
The Poco Watch is a smart watch that I like very much. I you inevitably have to make some compromises with the accuracy of the sensor, but you get a lot for your money. It feels good to wear, you have a great AMOLED screen, and it’s an easy watch to grab. There are some familiar issues with other watches in this price range, but if you’re looking for a cheap smartwatch that combines smartwatches, fitness and sports features, it’s worth checking out.
- Nice AMOLED screen
- Reliable fitness tracking function
- Excellent sports tracking accuracy
- Price less than $ 100
- Heart rate accuracy is not great
- Some notifications support bugs
- Actual battery life is shorter than estimated