OPPO Find N2 OPPO Find N2


OPPO Find N2 review: Most approachable foldable

Just needs to be more available



OPPO’s approach to their primary foldable offering — the OPPO Find N2 — is visibly different from its contemporaries. Its phone-to-tablet folding mechanism is similar but it’s also a lot more compact. 

The compact body drew rave reactions. Seeing videos and photos online gives the impression that OPPO struck the balance between smartphone and tablet. After using it for a few weeks, I can say it delivers on that experience. 


If you’re curious what’s in the box. Watch this. 


The perfect size? 

L-R: OPPO Find N2, OnePlus 11, iQOO 11, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Folded and side-by-side it is dwarfed by “regular-sized” smartphones today. 

OPPO Find N2

Excited for TWICE subunit MiSaMo to debut.

Unfold it and you get the 7.1-inch main screen in all its glory. It’s the perfect tweener size. Not exactly a phone, not quite a tablet. 

OPPO Find N2

Folded and viewed from its side, it’s certainly thicc. 

OPPO Find N2

But its thickness is mitigated by its overall compact footprint, making it easy to hold. 

OPPO Find N2

The buttons are all on the right side. A key design choice for a device with a morphing form-factor. 

OPPO Find N2

It also feels pretty sturdy. OPPO says the newly designed Flexion Hinge can take about 400,000 folds. Make of that what you will, but holding the phone, you won’t feel like it’s some fragile piece of equipment. It feels tough and something that’ll last you for a while… with appropriate gadget care, that is. 

Perhaps calling it perfect isn’t quite right. But it’s pretty damn close. It’s a lot clearer in my brain when to use it folded and when to use it unfolded. 

OPPO Find N2

Momo Hirai is a goddess.

When folded, you get this more conventional, albeit tinier smartphone experience. This is the mode the phone is in when I do any sort of typing and in-between-tasks doom scrolling. 

Trigun Stampede is a good watch.

Unfolded is my preferred mode when watching any sort of video. Whether that’s on YouTube, Netflix, Premier, Disney+, or any other video streaming site or service, that’s when I take advantage of the larger screen real estate. 

MiSaMo already has a song out called Bouquet. Watch the making video on YouTube.

Yes, there will be black bars whether you’re watching a vertical or a horizontal video. Is it bothersome? At first, yes. But after a while, you’ll just get used to it. It’s a lot like watching a 21:9 film on a television screen. It can be bothersome when watching in a well-lit environment but you barely notice it in the dark and you tend to not mind it after a while. 

All the foldable software tricks

OPPO Find N2

Most of the foldable software tricks or advantages can be found on the OPPO Find N2. You can run most apps in a split screen with no trouble whatsoever. Up to you which ones to pair. We’ve done several combinations including browser + Twitter, Spotify + Browser, YouTube + Twitter, TikTok + Twitter, YouTube + Disney+, and many more. 

Notably, Instagram doesn’t support split screen. Odd considering it’s one of the first apps I personally thought of using a split screen with. 

To trigger a split screen, you simply need to swipe down two fingers in the middle of the screen – right around where the ever-so-slightly visible crease is. 

OPPO Find N2

The cool thing is you can also take a screenshot of each app. Just swipe three fingers down from the tap on the side of the app that you want to take a screenshot of.

Naturally, the three-finger swipe down screenshot also works even when not using split screen. And it works on both the main and the cover display. 

OPPO Find N2

Sana Minatozaki is the ultimate bias wrecker.

It does have a FlexForm Mode. It’s the mode where you prop up the phone as if it’s a laptop. Unfortunately, it only currently works on what I can only describe as a bloatware app. Not surprising since the Find N2 is only available in China. In fact, I had to download the Google Play Store’s APK just to download the apps I regularly use. 

More optimization required

It still has a few quirks to work out. Although, this may just have to do with some Meta apps that don’t seem to be foldable-friendly. 

I already mentioned that Instagram doesn’t support the split-screen feature. Other than that, there are also a few annoyances. 

For instance, I tried the thing that Mr. Mobile mentioned on his video about Messenger going all black when you try to react to a chat with emojis. What I learned, though, is that this only happens when you have Messenger in full screen mode on the main screen. I tried the same action at 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio and the app behaved normally. 

And going full-screen mode just means you get a cropped in screen instead of something that’s optimized. Let’s go to Facebook for this. 

OPPO Find N2

In the gif above, you’ll see how Facebook looks like in 16:9 and in full-screen mode. With a media-heavy feed, you’re not seeing the entirety of the content in full-screen mode. It’s cropped and it just isn’t the best way to enjoy most social media feeds today that heavily feature photos and videos. 

In this regard, it’s best to go to 16:9 and ignore the bars on the side or just scroll on the cover screen. 

You can adjust each app’s screen size in the settings.

This isn’t as much of an issue with taller foldables like the the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and the HONOR Magic Vs. However, the reality is that these apps haven’t fully been optimized for the foldable form-factor. I’m sure full optimization means more than cropping into the screen so you don’t have wasted space on the sides.

I also get Chinese notifications from apps that I can’t remove. Another understandable thing considering this isn’t really available internationally. 

However, this is not a Huawei situation where you still have to go through so much hoopla just to get to some of your favorite apps. Just download Google Play and everything starts working like they would on any other Android smartphone.

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 at work

OPPO Find N2

Performance-wise, the OPPO Find N2 won’t leave you wanting. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which debuted in smartphones around mid-to-late 2022 is still a more-than-capable processor. 

Save for the Messenger quirk, I’ve never had an app conk out or lag for no discernible reason. Switching apps is a breeze and the phone does a great job in managing background tasks, making sure you pick-up where you left off in certain apps. 

The only game I played on this thing is Asphalt 9. It’s not too demanding of a game and is fully optimized for mobile play. But I guess that’s praising the game more than the phone. I digress. Had no issues whatsoever while playing. I really wanted to try Genshin Impact too but I forgot my log-in details and haven’t had the chance to take care of it due to other work things.

I can’t say too much about gaming performance-wise. With my limited time playing Asphalt 9, I had a blast playing. The game scaled perfectly to the screen, and no problems with lagging or input delay.

The Find N2 is also a battery champ. Even with heavy use, you’ll certainly last until the end of the day. And if, like me, you tend to get anxious when the battery dips below 50%, you can quickly juice it up.

OPPO Find N2
It supports OPPO’s SuperVOOC charging tech. In the box, you’ll get the 67W fast charger. OPPO promises to go from 0 to 100% in just 42 minutes. 

I personally use a 100W charger at home and a 65W GaN charger when I’m out and about. Despite not using the included charger, my charging speeds have been speedy. I typically start plugging in at around 50% and get to 80% to 90% in a single anime episode which is around 20-22 minutes.

Capable cameras

OPPO Find N2

Curiously, the OPPO Find N2 shares the exact same set of rear cameras with the OnePlus 11. Well, perhaps it isn’t that curious considering the merger of OPPO and OnePlus. That means, all the photography features that the OnePlus 11 has been touting is present on the Find N2. 

Here are some food shots.

The colors are consistent with what you see in real life. And while the indoor shots under artificial light is pretty darn good. There’s just nothing that beats a good photo under natural light.

And it does hold up well at night time too.

One thing it isn’t extremely good for is zoom-in shots. I took the phone with me at a small event recently. The main and ultra-wide angle lens did well.

But there’s plenty of detail loss and sharpening going on when you zoom in. This was somewhere between 5X to 7X Zoom if I recall correctly.

With the Hasselblad partnership, the phone has the XPAN mode that has a 65:24 ratio for that cinematic crop-effect. In that mode, you can easily toggle between colored and b&w shots. There’s also a quick ISO control on the left-hand side of the interface.  Take a look at the samples below.

Here’s a couple of portrait shots in case you’re curious.

And here’s a selfie because I’m cute.

Another cool foldable quirk, which makes even more sense on the Find N2, is how you can preview your shot with the cover screen.

This makes using that Gen Z selfie method easier than ever. Although the HDR and AI put some unnecessary glow on this particular Gen Z selfie. 

Is the OPPO Find N2 your GadgetMatch? 

OPPO Find N2

The worst thing about the OPPO Find N2 is that it’s not available globally. In China, where the phone is officially sold, it retails for CNY 7,999 for the 12GB+256GB variant and CNY 8,999 for the 16GB+512GB one. 

If you told me that I had to use this phone for the rest of the year, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. There’s a lot that’s going for it, chief of which is its compact form-factor. And while the software isn’t yet fully optimized for apps widely used internationally, most of them work like they would on regular smartphones. And you can pretty much say the same for other book-style folding devices.

As a foldable, it doesn’t look quite as intimidating as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold, Huawei’s Mate Xs, and whatever other foldable with a hulking size. It makes the idea of owning a foldable more approachable. 

OPPO has a winner on their hands with the Find N2. Here’s to hoping it finds its way beyond the borders of China some time in 2023.


OPPO Find X6 Pro Review: You’ll want this phone with 3 insane cameras

Great but there’s a catch



OPPO Find X6 Pro

It’s here — the OPPO Find X6 Pro. We haven’t been this excited to do a video on a phone in a long time. This phone not only packs all the high end specs. It looks beautiful, charges insanely fast, and has the best camera on a smartphone today.

Watch our Review.

Triple 50 cameras

Like its contemporaries (the Xiaomi 13 Pro and vivo X90 Pro), it sports a 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor. It’s accompanied by a 65mm periscope lens and a 15mm ultrawide angle lens. All three have 50MP.

OPPO and Hasselblad continue their partnership on this flagship as the Find X6 Pro also has the Hasselblad Color Calibration.

For selfie enthusiasts, this one sports a 32MP f/2.4 front-facing camera.

Flagship through and through

Like most Android flagships, this one sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with RAM that goes up to 16GB and UFS 4.0 storage that goes up to 512GB.

Supporting these major features is a 5,000mAh battery with support for 100W fast wired charging and 50W wireless charging. Yes, it’s OPPO’s SuperVOOC tech we’ve come to know and love.

Price and availability

As mentioned earlier, the OPPO Find X6 Pro is only available in China with no immediate plans of being available elsewhere.

It retails at CNY 5,999 for the 12/256GB variant, CNY 6,499 for the 16/256GB unit, and CNY 6,999 for the larger 16/512GB model.

Meanwhile, the OPPO Find X6 (12/256GB) retails for CNY 4,499.

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 review: Return of the classic

For intermediates and experts



Sony Walkman NW-ZX707

44 years ago, cars were still boxy, the Apple II was just two years into introducing personal computers inside homes, and the word ‘phone’ meant the landline phone inside your house. It was 1979, personal technology wasn’t a thing yet. Until Sony introduced the very first model of the Walkman, the TPS-L2.

More widely recognized in the mainstream now as “Star-Lord’s ancient iPod”, it revolutionized the music industry back then by putting a cassette player in everyone’s pocket, allowing anyone (well, anyone who had the equivalent of US$ 600 at the time) to listen to music anywhere, anytime they wanted.

Fast forward to 2023, we see Sony has updated the Walkman line to fit in with modern standards. The Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 no longer uses an analog Cassette. It’s now a high-fidelity digital music player.

Gone are its plastic and metal body held together by screws, it’s now a glass and metal sandwich like modern smartphones. It has physically changed to the point of being unrecognizable, but the important thing has stayed the same– It’s probably still the most fun music player you can get with your money.

It’s not a phone, it just looks like one

Sony Walkman NW-ZX707

Like its great granddaddy the Walkman TPS-L2, the Walkman NW-ZX707 is built to last. It continues the time-honored traditions of the Walkman line– namely its metal build, external music control buttons on one side, and the audio jack at the top.

But everything else about the build feels like a mix of old smartphone design cues, just updated to 2023. Upon first look, the NW-ZX707 looks like a weirdly small, thick, and heavy smartphone with sharp edges and two headphone jacks in an age where even midrange phones are ditching it.

It’s got a 5-inch 9:16 LCD display with huge bezels straight out of 2017. It’s even got a soft-touch vegan leather back that we haven’t seen in smartphones for years. With that said, ergonomic considerations kind of start and stop with the external music control buttons.

The overall design is boxy, the edges are sharp, the corners are angular, and the screen is flat as they come. Coming in at 157g, it lets you know that it’s in your pocket.

Could’ve used 5G?

In more ways than one, it only looks like a smartphone, but under its metal exterior, the differences are much more obvious. So while it is running near-stock Android 12, you can’t actually use it as a phone, because it doesn’t have a SIM tray (Which I find kind of weird? Like, I think that with high-fidelity music streaming apps available, that would work well with a 5G SIM for on-the-go hi-fi).

While it boasts some of the best audio chips available on any music player today, it doesn’t have a speaker. And while you can expand its 64GB storage with a microSD card, it’s almost exclusively for your music files, because the screen is too small for media viewing and too slow for even light gaming. And there are no cameras on the device.

But it sometimes tries to function like one

The software on the Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 is where things start to get dicey for me. While I appreciate that it’s built on top of Android 12, a very secure, stable, and customizable platform, I feel like Sony could’ve customized the software a bit more to streamline the experience.

Take for example the experience immediately after setup. Since the ZX707 is linked as an android device to your Gmail account, and there is no special designation in the Android system that it’s a dedicated music player, it’s inevitably going to receive email and other non-music related notifications.

It can be fine for power users, but I don’t think receiving the same notifications as your phone in the middle of music listening is conducive to the hi-fi Walkman experience. Take it from me, spend that extra 15 minutes of deep-diving into your settings to either log out of your Gmail account or turn off notifications for any non-music-related apps and services.

The tide hasn’t come in yet

Speaking of apps and services, a big miss for the ZX707 here in the Philippines is the lack of support for hi-fi streaming apps like Tidal and Qobuz. They’re just straight-up not available in the country. So, if you’re planning on getting the new Walkman, your best bet in filling it up is either manually ripping your CDs or Purchasing hi-fi master tracks in either FLAC, PCM, or DSD.

The digital does its best to be analog

Pre-installed software is limited mostly to the Sony Walkman music player app and its customization software, which is generally fine since it leaves so much space for all your high-resolution music on the internal 64GB storage. And for the entirety of the Walkman NW-ZX707 experience, this is where you’re going to get the most value out.

The music player is pretty standard fare, save for the fact that it has support for extremely high-resolution audio formats like FLAC, PCM, and DSD– it even has a separate section dedicated to all your high-res files. There is no visualization option, but you do get a little Cassette animation when the device is idling– a nice touch. And if you’re looking to have better synergy between your Sony headphones / IEMs, there’s the Sony Headphones Connect app where you can choose your headphone model from a list, and the app will automatically change its sound signature via profiles to give you the best listening experience.

But in the great chance that you’re not using Sony headphones to plug into the ZX707, you’ve got a great range of sound customization via the Sound Adjustment app. And let me tell you, this customization app is the bee’s knees. It’s got properly staged equalizer settings, giving you control from sub-bass 31Hz frequencies, all the way up to cymbal-rattling 16KHz highs in 0.5db increments. It’s a great EQ fine-tuning utility, and super responsive.

Music streaming

There is also a whole slew of sound improvement utilities built-in with the sound adjustment app. There’s the DSEE Ultimate toggle– It’s a new feature from Sony that apparently increases the dynamic range of sub-hi-fi tracks like MP3 and CD formats using AI technology.

I found it somewhat effective, but not to the MP3 files on the device– it worked better when it was post-up-sampling non-hi-fi streaming apps like Youtube Music and Deezer.

There is also a DSD Remastering feature, which converts all PCM signals to DSD. In theory this should increase the signal resolution of sub-hi-fi recordings like MP3, low-quality FLAC rips, and of course, low-bitrate PCM files, but it should be of little value for audiophiles looking to load up the ZX707 with higher-quality 24-bit 117.6KHz PCM files. Do note that PCM and DSD are both quantized signals, so while they’re some of the most high-resolution signal formats a music player can put out, they are still (losslessly) compressed to some degree.

Sound emulation

Lastly, the ZX707 also features sound emulation/simulation features if you ever want to introduce some analog qualities to your hyper-clean modern digital recordings. There is a DC Phase Linearizer which somewhat emulates the natural warmth of an analog amplifier, and a vinyl processor, which simulates the sound signature of hearing your songs through a vinyl record player.

I feel that this is something you might want to turn on based on the kind of files that you’re listening to. There are certain genres that benefit greatly from the warmth and texture of Vinyl simulation like classic rock and electronica. Also, remember to turn this off if your music conversions are from Vinyl like my library. It doubles the Vinyl noise and kind of overdoes the warmth of the track.

Good thing that with all of these settings, there is a toggle for direct output so you can A-B your sound settings really fast anytime.

With a little help from my (Hi-Fi) friends

But enough about all of the intricacies that happen outside of the play button. I called the Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 earlier in this article “probably still the most fun music player you can get with your money.”, so that begs the question– how does it sound?

Well, let me get this out of the way for all you audiophiles first: it’s not a ‘flat’ music player. It’s not a reference device, nor does it advertise itself to be one. It’s high-resolution, sure– but it’s not neutral. And that, to me, just sounds like a good time on paper.

In my two weeks with the NW-ZX707 I was able to try it out with three of my most used audio gear:

  • For the budget on-the-go side, the KZ x CRN ZEX Pros
  • For hi-fi home listening, a modded pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros
  • On the weird-but-fun side, the Sony MDR-XB700 Extra Bass.

And with that lineup, one might assume that the ZX707 would be picky with showing its audio brilliance– not really. It sounded great on everything.


Sony Walkman NW-ZX707

Pairing the ZX707 with the somewhat-neutral KZ x CRN ZEX Pros brought out a good tandem. The ZX707’s sound signature at stock is somewhat warm with a moderate emphasis on midbass and lower mids. The ZEX Pros are somewhat known to have a fair bit of sibilance, but I’m glad to report that because of the Sony Walkman ZX707’s laid-back presentation, there wasn’t much harshness in the highs. Detail suffered a bit, especially on busier tracks, but that was more of the limitation of the ZEX Pro’s limited drivers than through any other factor. The stand-out track for this setup was Silversun Pickups’ “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)”.

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros

The duo of the ZX707 and Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros was probably my most used setup during my review period. They just complement each other very nicely. And since I’ve modded the DT770 Pros to have a 4.4mm Balanced input, I was able to leverage the higher power output capabilities of the Walkman– I paid for the whole 250 Ohms, I’m going to use the whole 250 Ohms.

The DT770 Pros are known for their surgically neutral and flat response with a slight prominence in the low-bass. It’s that kind of sound signature that I found pairs the best with the ZX707, as it will ‘convert’ the headphones from ‘mixing ready’ to ‘party ready’. It’s like having a smoothening filter applied to all frequencies, but it doesn’t reduce any of the texture and detail. For that pairing, I turned on the DSEE, the DC Phase Linearizer, and the Vinyl Processor.

It was able to inject a lot of warmth and texture to my songs– coupled with the very forward vocal presentation of both the ZX707 and the DT770 Pros, vocal-centric music like ballads, soft rock, and even ‘00s rap sounded amazing. There are a few times when the bass would sometimes start getting bloated, but it wasn’t something a few adjustments to the EQ couldn’t handle. The stand-out track for this setup was Barenaked Ladies’ “New Disaster”.

Sony MDR-XB700 Extra Bass

Lastly, we’ve got the crazy pair of Sony MDR-XB700s. The midrange of Sony’s classic Extra Bass line, it’s a deceptive pair of headphones– regular music players can make it sound okay, but only the best music players and amplifiers that have exceptional bass and sub-bass processing can make it sound the way it should. And for the ZX707, it was no problem at all.

Having a big hump of sub-bass all the way up to midbass in the EQ was the only way I can listen to the XB700s. Even at almost maximum volume, there was almost no distortion and no significant dynamics compression. It just powers through the songs cleanly and never lets any of the frequencies stray too far from their comfortable thresholds.

Presentation is always smooth and warm, with a big emphasis on vocal presence, and highs are much more relaxed but with a lot of texture. The highs don’t go too far up so listeners of borderline-sibilant textured tracks might have to EQ their highs in, or you might want to look at other ways to improve the high-frequency response on the ZX707. The stand-out track for this setup was Dutch Uncles’ “Flexxin”.

Battery life

To round off my playback performance findings on the Sony Walkman NW-ZX707, it was able to sustain two (2) days of almost constant playback before needing a charge. I attribute this to fine volume and power control. The granularity in the volume adjustment is incredibly accurate and is always a requirement for any hi-fi music player.

Is the Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 your GadgetMatch?

There’s an air of being carefree with the ZX707– it knows it’s not a reference device, nor does it try to be. It plays on its strengths of being a solid, high-power, high-resolution music player that you can take anywhere and plug anything into, and it’ll just slowly fade into the background. Present enough that you’re going to enjoy your music, but never stepping in to interrupt you from dancing to ‘Come Get Your Love’ on a distant alien planet.

Coming in at around PhP 45,000 or US$ 600, the Sony Walkman NW-ZX707 not only invokes memories of the original but also the (frankly) prohibitive price as well. Let me make this clear– this is not an entry-level audiophile PMP, it’s somewhat reserved for intermediates and experts who can leverage its non-neutral presentation to improve their on-the-go listening setups.

But as far as audiophile PMPs go, this is certainly one of the most fun ones I’ve tried so far. Check your gear first– it synergizes well with forward-sounding headphones/earphones with great highs presentation. If you’ve got one, I suggest going for the ZX707. If not, you might have to look somewhere else for your on-the-go hi-fi fix.

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Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro: One week with a ‘classic’

Daily, Smart Casual, and Sports



Watch S1 Pro

Xiaomi followed up its Watch S1 series from 2022, not with an S2 series, but with the Watch S1 Pro. On paper, the Watch S1 Pro looks like Xiaomi took the best of both the S1 and the S1 active and melded it into a package that’s fit for all types of occasions. 

In case you missed it, we did an Unboxing and First Impressions of the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro. But to summarize quickly… 

You get the watch itself. 

Watch S1 Pro
The wireless charging dock.

And some documentation (user manual and warranty). 

The variant we got is the Black Stainless Steel with the Black Fluororubber strap made for workouts. 

Watch S1 Pro
There are some new key information we asked Xiaomi between the unboxing and this review: 

As you know, the watch is also available in a silver stainless steel case with brown leather strap. If you want that strap, you can purchase it separately.

But you have an even wider range of choices as the straps of the S1 and S1 Active will also work with the S1 Pro. 

If that’s still not enough, any 22mm strap size will work with the watch S1 Pro. So, you’re free to style it however you see fit. 

It has a 1.47” display which is larger than the 1.43” on the other S1 series watches. 

Watch S1 Pro

It also prominently features a crown for easier navigation. 

That’s it. So, what’s it like using the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro for a week? Let’s talk about it in the different scenarios that Xiaomi imagines you’ll use it for. 


Watch S1 Pro

While working on this review, I’ve had to think about what it meant for me to own a smartwatch.

Due to the nature of my work, I’ve had the privilege of using a handful of them for a few weeks to a month. Over the last two years, I’ve mainly used one which also has a “pro” label on it. 

To me, it’s now become a necessity. I get a ton of notifications daily. Work emails and messages dominate my day. Seeing the notifications come in through the watch helps me mentally prepare for the next task as I work on finishing the one that’s currently on my plate. 

It helps that the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro also displays exactly which app the notification came from. I’ve used some smartwatches in the past that could not make this distinction. Instead, they only show a brief part of the message with a default message icon. Glancing quickly when notifications come in helps me organize my thoughts better, and knowing which app the notification came from also helps me plan my next move better. 

The UI’s design

Watch S1 Pro

The app selection interface looks a lot like the Apple Watch. The difference being the general look and feel of the app’s themselves. I’m lukewarm on how they look. They’re not bad, but something about them feels a little off to me. 

When you swipe left or right from the watch face, you can see the widgets available. There’s one for health monitoring, one for fitness, and another for Alexa. You can arrange them however you like. I personally put fitness as the first swipe from the left and the health monitoring as the first swipe from the right.

Watch S1 Pro
Here’s another area where I thought the widgets just didn’t look quite right. While all the elements fit inside the circular display, something tells me this layout fits a more rectangular shape better. Yes, the exact shape of the Apple Watch. Not a deal breaker, but it’s worth pointing out.

Xiaomi uses their own MIUI Watch OS so I asked Xiaomi if there will be an update to apply themes to change this. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Again, this isn’t objectively bad, I just personally wish there was a way to customize it. 

Smart Casual

Watch S1 Pro

When the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro was launched in Barcelona, Spain during MWC 2023. We had a chance to sit down with TJ Walton who takes the lead in talking up Xiaomi’s accessories and overall ecosystem. Referencing the silver stainless steel case with brown leather strap, he was asked if there was a conscious effort to make the watch look more luxurious. To which, he answered affirmatively. 

While you can certainly say that for the silver case, leather strap variant, the black case, fluororubber one, in my opinion, does have its “luxury limits.” You wouldn’t wear this as is with formal attire. Thankfully, it does work in more smart casual or business casual fits. 

Watch S1 Pro

It also helps that, as mentioned earlier, you can purchase separate straps to fit the occasion better. I already looked up 22mm watch straps on popular shopping platforms and you should have a field day from the selection. Everything from stainless steel, to leather straps are available for purchase.

While you can get away with the black fluororubber strap in most scenarios, you should do yourself a favor and buy an alternative strap or two so you can mix things up and accessorize appropriately. 


Watch S1 Pro

I have said this a few times already in previous smartwatch reviews, but in case this is your first time reading mine, I hate workouts. Or at least the idea of working out. I’m just lazy like that. I do like walking and playing basketball.

I always just walk whenever I can. Especially when I’m traveling, there’s nothing like soaking in a place better than taking the time to stroll down its streets. The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro’s step counter works just about as well as any step counter. There will be variance with other smartwatches which is natural, but it is fairly accurate. So, if you’re targeting a certain number of steps, you can rest easy knowing you walked enough to reach your goals. 

Watch S1 Pro

Speaking of goals, that’s what I love about the workouts available on the Watch S1 Pro. With it, you can select whether you want to track the duration or by calories burned. The smartwatch I’ve been sporting simply tracks both at the same time but without the granular control of targeting each one.

This is especially helpful for someone like myself whose “workouts” are limited to solo basketball drills and occasional pick-up games with neighbors. I’m currently trying to lose the massive weight I gained during the pandemic, and I’m doing so by watching my daily calorie intake. If I can track my hoop sessions based on calories burned, it’s easier for me to maintain a calorie deficit in tandem with my current meal plan. 

Watch S1 Pro


It also helps that the watch, overall, isn’t too bulky and doesn’t feel heavy on the wrist at all. It’s a stark contrast to what I currently use. Granted it’s one that’s close to being three years old.

100+ workouts

As advertised, there are 100 types of workouts that the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro can track. Personally, I feel like this can be intimidating to a lot of people as it creates this idea that you need to try all of them to maximize the smartwatch. This isn’t true at all.

Just pick the workouts that work for you, the ones that you’re happy to do and can incorporate to your lifestyle. If you can do that, you’re already making the best of the smartwatch’s fitness features. 

Battery life and other things of note 

Xiaomi advertises up to 14-days of battery life in standard mode. If I extrapolate the results from my one-week use, you could see yourself charging the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro every 4-5 days with moderate to heavy workout usage. 

Under very bright sunlight, it can be challenging to see the watch face. But that’s a really isolated case. Most of the time, you won’t have trouble seeing the watch face right away. 

As of writing, I thought the available watch faces are pretty limited. There’s also no option to add a custom image (at least now when you use it with an iPhone). I couldn’t try it with the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which has an instant pairing mode that’s convenient, because it’s currently with another team member for a camera shootout. Xiaomi said more watch faces should come soon. 

Xiaomi Pay isn’t available in the Philippines. It’s currently available in WEU, CEE & Nordic, and Russia. Availability in more regions and countries are in the pipeline. However, Xiaomi says this is dependent mainly on the business development of the issuer VISA and Mastercard’s plan. Contactless payment has gained more traction (yes, I see the irony in those words) of late and I wish the support for the feature expands soonest.

Is the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro your GadgetMatch?

Watch S1 Pro

The Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro has all the bells and whistles of a 2023 smartwatch. You have the usual health monitoring features (heart rate, sleep, blood oxygen, etc), as well as tracking for a huge number of activities.

And while the watch faces are limited at this point, the available ones offer enough versatility that you can switch it up depending on the occasion like you can with the straps.

The UI, I personally think, can be better, but it is objectively good. The battery life is also decent. It’s a happy middle ground between the charge-daily Apple Watch and the long-lasting offerings of Huawei. 

Against its contemporaries, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro is most appealing for its price (PhP 16,999/ EUR 299). You get pro features you expect from a smartwatch, as well as the versatility of matching it with your style. It also helps that it works with both Android and iOS. 

If you’re looking to take your personal health and fitness monitoring to a “pro” level, the Xiaomi Watch S1 Pro likely offers the best overall value right now.

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