Amazfit Bip 3 Pro review: An affordable smartwatch reveals a big weakness
After recently reviewing the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini (around $99 on Amazon), we are now delving one level deeper into the smartphone manufacturer's portfolio. With an RRP of around $69, the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is even cheaper still.
However, it only offers slimmed-down features, including heart rate and blood oxygen measuring as well as GPS. To find out whether or not the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is still worth your money, we took a closer look at the device in our smartwatch review.
Case and und features: Plastic and silicone in three colors
As you would expect in this price category, the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is based on a plastic case and comes in three colors: Black, Creme and Pink. Auf der rechten A small button juts out of the right-hand side of the waterproof (up to 5 ATM) watch. In addition to the touchscreen, this button is responsible for operating the device. The manufacturer has opted against integrating both speakers and a microphone.
Weighing in at 30 g, the lightweight smartwatch wraps itself around the user's wrist with a colour-coordinated, 20 mm wide, replaceable silicone strap. A classic pin buckle is used to adjust the strap to an arm circumference of approximately 15 to 22 cm.
Setup and operation: An easy to use smartwatch
The watch setup is done via Amazfit's Zepp App (available from Android 7.0 as well as iOS 12.0 and higher). After downloading and registering, the user must access "Profile" in the menu and enter "+ Add". After switching on the device, all that remains is to scan the QR code on the smartwatch's display by using a smartphone camera. The German language app then guides the user through a quick and simple setup process. In short: hassle-free.
After connecting to the app, there are various options on offer. In addition to different health tracking settings, it is possible to install additional free or paid watch faces, in order to add to the initial two faces installed on the device.
Out-of-the-box, the watch comes with the following apps: alarm, menstruation cycle, to-do lists, weather, music and camera control, stopwatch and additional functions. The Zepp OS Amazfit Bip 3 Pro doesn't have its own app store, unlike its more premium siblings.
The device's operation takes place primarily via the touchscreen. Swiping up accesses the notifications and swiping down opens the quick settings. The familiar swipes to the left and right lead the user to a number of widgets. The menu is both opened and closed by the button on the right edge of the device.
Telephone and notifications
Unsurprisingly, this cheap smartwatch comes with no telephone functionality. However, it does manage to inform the user of incoming calls. If desired, smartphone notifications can be communicated in real-time. Which apps are permitted to send notifications can be set via the app by using general filters.
The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro doesn't have any voice assistants such as, for example, Alexa which can be found on the Amazfit GPS 4 Mini.
Health and fitness: Solid but slightly disappointing
The inexpensive smartwatch has rudimentary health functions on board. With its biometric sensor, the BioTracker 2 PPG on the underside of the device, it can measure both heart rate and blood oxygen content (SpO2). While the device can be set to continually monitor every few minutes, the SpO2 measurement can only be activated by hand. The measured data can be viewed in basic form on the smartwatch and the Zepp app provides additional information.
It is also possible to transfer data to Google Fit and Apple Health.
Activity goals are an absolute standard, even among cheaper wearables so it's no surprise to see the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro offering them here too.
The watch attempts to help the user lead a more active life, thanks to both the app's partially customisable target values for steps, waking up, and activity minutes - each represented as a third of a filled circle - and also due to the built-in PAI function. This function evaluates the user's health status and provides the motivation to collect points.
Heart rate, Heart rhythm and blood oxygen saturation
Taking heart rate measurements is the basic function of every smartwatch. Of course, the Bip 3 Pro from Amazfit manages this too. However, its ability to do so is less than stellar.
In a "duel" with a Polar H10 chest strap, the smartwatch could just about keep up when it came to resting pulse test measurements. However, in the area of performance pulse analysis, in other words, sports sessions, the watch was far off real results that were much too high. The shape of the measurement curve also didn't match up with the reference device. With a deviation of around 36 percent, we would give it a pulse-measuring score of "inadequate".
While it's possible to regularly measure the user's pulse via the watch, the SpO2 measurement can only be started manually. Generally, the values measured here were somewhat too low compared to the reference device. However, the deviation was acceptable and much smaller than the pulse measurements.
If desired, the wearable can also track sleep, in addition to stress levels. The length of sleep, as well as various sleep phases, can be monitored and both help evaluate the sleep quality. Basic information from the previous night can be accessed directly on the watch itself with a more detailed evaluation available via the app. The watch doesn't have a smart alarm feature that wakes the user during a convenient sleep phase within a specific time frame.
With a good 60 sports modes, the Bip 3 Pro offers roughly half the number of options found in the higher-priced models. Common types of sports such as outdoor jogging and treadmill, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing and the like, are all available. For this reason, most users should be well served by the selection on offer here. Only fans of more exotic sports may be left wanting. Although, we can't really recommend the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro as a sports watch due to its aforementioned inaccurate pulse measurements.
During sports sessions, the watch tracks various metrics such as speed, distance and route via GNSS and the estimated number of calories burned.
GPS and navigation
When it comes to positioning, the smartwatch supports the four GNSS standards GPS, Globass, Galileo and BeiDou. In tests, the measuring accuracy was not satisfactory. The average values were relatively accurate and pretty much in accordance with those measured with the Garmin Venu 2 reference device, apart from big inaccuracies in terms of altitude meters covered. The initial connection usually takes a few seconds and is entirely acceptable.
Display: Square and not particularly bright
Instead of using a high-quality AMOLED, Amazfit has only opted for a square TFT touchscreen in its Bip 3 Pro. It lies under 2.5D tempered glass complete with an anti-fingerprint coating. The 1.69-inch display has a resolution of 240 x 280 pixels which results in a solid pixel density of 218 PPI.
The brightness of the built-in panel sits at 384 cd/m² and is a decent but not particularly good value, In direct sunlight it's difficult to read the time or other information on the watch's display. Display reflections are also annoying in the shade. In addition, we also detected PWM flickering.
Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)
|Screen flickering / PWM detected||324 Hz|
The display backlight flickers at 324 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .
The frequency of 324 Hz is relatively high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. However, there are reports that some users are still sensitive to PWM at 500 Hz and above, so be aware.
In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 18683 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.
Performance and battery life: No complaints here in this smartwatch review
Unfortunately, Amazfit hasn't provided any information regarding the fitted chip. It performs well enough to ensure operating the smartwatch is a smooth experience. Only occasionally, did the touchscreen respond either slowly or not at all to touchscreen inputs.
With normal use, the manufacturer claims a battery life of 14 days and 7 days with intensive use. These values are mostly in keeping with our experience. For anyone whose watch usage could be described as average, the watch will need to be popped onto the magnetic but short-cabled charger (45 cm) roughly every week and a half.
A charger is not included but thanks to the choice of USB-A, most households ought to have one lying around. It takes around two hours to charge the device.
Verdict: The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro review: All in all, solid but with weaknesses
The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro made quite a solid impression in our review, apart from sports-related pulse measurements. Although it has a set of slimmed-down features, it is still sufficiently equipped and well suited to anyone with simpler smartwatch demands such as fitness tracking. The most important functions such as pulse, SpO2 and GPS are all on board, as well as other options such as sport, sleep and stress tracking.
Due to its inaccurate pulse measuring capabilities, we can only recommend the Bip 3 Pro to anyone not wishing to use the device as a sports watch. On the other hand, for anyone who's in the market for a smartwatch that can also reliably track sporting activities, this model should be avoided based on our testing experiences.
Ultimately, this problem was a reoccurring theme throughout various Amazfit model reviews. The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini sometimes also suffered from inaccurate measuring but was not as conflicting as the review candidate here. By contrast, the Amazfit GTS 4's (around $199 on Amazon) measurements were clearly too low.
Therefore, if it has to be a new Amazfit smartwatch, we would recommend the GTS 4 Mini (around $99 on Amazon) rather than the Bip 3 Pro. According to the RRP, it is only $30 more expensive but offers many more upgrades in addition to accurate pulse measurements. In Germany, there are well-known alternatives in the price category up to $100. For example, the Huawei Band 7 (from around $45 on Amazon).
Price and availability
The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro's RRP currently sits at $69. However, it can already be had on various online stores for less with Amazon asking for around $60 for the smartwatch.
The present review sample was made available to the author as a loan by the manufacturer or a shop for the purposes of review. The lender had no influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.