Xiaomi S1 Active : Is it Really Worth Buying

The Xiaomi S1 Active is one of the most affordable smart watch’s on the market, but the real question is, is the Xiaomi S1 Active Worth buying?, Well if you are after a basic fitness tracker then the S1 Active is the device for you. However there some things you need to beforehand.

When ever I test a device, I put it through six different categories. If any of the categories that I tested gets a strong rating and it aligns with what you want in a smart watch. Then the S1 Active is the best choice for you. If the rating is weaker, the device may still meet your requirements, so it’s important for you to know this before you decide to buy. Anyway here is the final results of my testing.

Smart Features10/15Strong
Health FeaturesAverage
Third Party Ability3/15Weak
Tracking Workouts6/15Average
GPS Tracking10/15Strong
Battery life7/10Strong

In this article I will show you my test results for each category and provide a summary of the best and worst part for each category. I have done a full article for each category except for Health. If you want to get a full break down of my test results, I will provide a link to each category.

Smart Feature Ability is Very Strong

If you are not familiar with the term smart feature ability, it’s where the device can provide some form of automation that can help improve your day to day activities. As for the S1 Active, I have given the device a strong rating. I will only discuss the best and worst parts so if you want to see my full test results, I will provide a link. Here is the final results for each level.

Final Score10/15

Best Part : The S1 Active has a built in digital assistant, Alexa. Since the device is very heavy in smart features, using Alexa to activate features can avoid doing this manually. You can stream to devices (Alexa compatible) connect to smart devices, which is a very good advanced smart feature. The auto reply to messages is very easy to do, especially with the very big screen, it makes it very easy and clear to view your messages. Answering phone calls works very well, just too bad you cant make phone calls from the device.

Worst Part : The S1 Active should have scored higher and could actually rival Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch devices, which are the strongest devices in this category. The S1 Active got a lower score because some of the smart features were unreliable. Alexa worked well when it wanted to, but I think it had to do with my location in New Zealand. I didn’t get to use the Xiaomi pay because my bank in New Zealand did not support Xiaomi pay. I dont own a master card so I could have tried it that way but didn’t. Just be aware of those things before you decide to buy.

Full Article : The above is only a quick summary about the device in this category. Like I mentioned the device should have scored a lot higher but it didn’t because some features did not performed reliably and consistent enough to earn a point in my own rating system. Please check out my full article, it’s got all the information in there on how I go about testing and how I conclude my test results.

Article : Xiaomi S1 Active – Smart feature ability is very strong

Health Features is Reasonably Good

Xiaomi s1 active heart rate zones multiple stages
Heart rate tracking once your activity is completed

If tracking your health is not a priority when it comes to choosing a smart watch, then the S1 Active could be the device for you. The S1 Active provides a very general insight to your health and has the ability to track your sleep, heart rate variability, stress levels, blood oxygen levels and menstrual health.

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The S1 Active is not at the same level as Fitbit, Whoop or Apple Watch which as the top devices when it comes to tracking your sleep, Afib detection and stress management tools. So I would lean toward those devices for reliable tracking, but also note that a smart watch is not a medical device and it’s not intended to cure illness’s.

If you are happy with just a basic health tracker that can give you a general idea of your health, then this device could work for you. I thought I would just lay it out there, so you know what you are paying for, if you decide to buy the S1 active.

Third Party App Ability Could Be Better

App gallery

If you are not familiar with the term third party app ability, it’s the ability for a device to interact with a third party applications. There are two ways that a device can do this which is, In direct ability, which is where a third party app is given permission to use your tracking data. Direct ability is where you can control the app directly from the device.

During my testing my expectations of this device was very high, because the device was highly praised by many people on the internet. In my experience and also during my testing it wasn’t the case. The S1 Active is probably the weakest device in the entire market for this category. I will only mention the best and worst things about the device in this category. I will provide a link to my full article, but here is my final testing results for this category.

Connection TypeBluetooth
App Stores2/5
In Direct Ability0/5
Direct Ability1/5
Final Score3/15

Best Part : I sat and pondered for a very long time, scouring through my testing notes to find something positive during my testing, unfortunately there was none. With a final score of 3 out of 15 in my opinion is a fair score, and it pretty much sums up all that you need to know about the S1 Active’s ability to interact with third party apps.

Worst Part : I will keep it short, but I will start with In direct ability. If you are someone that has a premium subscription to a third party app, dont get a S1 Active. The only app I could test was Strava, when I completed a run, the tracking data did not transfer immediately, it would take 2-6 days for the info to synchronise. As for direct ability, there is only three apps you can download and use, like a puzzle map, and note taker. Not very useful apps, but did test note taker, but the device would disconnect every time, which was pretty sad

Full Article : If interacting with third party apps is something that you prioritise in a smart watch or fitness tracker, then please take note of all of my test results before you decide to buy. Based on my testing, the S1 Active deserves it’s rating of 3 out of 15, especially for those that have a premium level subscription. Xiaomi partnership catchment with third party apps isn’t really wide enough, so check the settings within the app if tracking data can be shared with Xiaomi.

Article : Xiaomi S1 Active : Third party app ability could be better

Tracking Your Workouts at a Basic Level

Over a 100 workout modes, but a basic fitness tracker at best.

The S1 Active has over 100 different types of workout modes, however when it comes to tracking workouts, it’s not about having the most workout modes to be a fantastic fitness tracker. It’s having features that can support you, no matter the fitness level.

Based on my testing, the S1 Active is really a device that offers very reliable workout tracking at a basic level. Another category where my expectations of the device was higher, because of the positive reviews on the internet when it comes to tracking your workouts.

See also  Xiaomi S1 Active : Smart Feature Ability is Very Strong

This category is a very big one so I will only explain the best and worst parts of the device. Here is a summary of my final results.

SpecialitySmart apps
Basic Level5/5
Intermediate Level1/5
Advanced Level0/5
Final Score6/15

Best Part : I do a lot of GPS tracking workouts and the S1 Active was very good. Getting a connection to a satellite is very quick, and it would take 10 seconds top’s before it can pin point your location. The tracking is very accurate as well.

Worst Part : There weren’t many negatives during my testing, however if I was to choose a moment, it would be selecting the most frequent workouts you do as favourites. If you dont do this, you could be standing for a while, scrolling on the device looking for the right activity to track.

Full Article : The S1 Active deserves it’s rating of 6 out of 15 when it comes to tracking your workouts. The device provides very reliable tracking at a basic level so if you want a basic fitness tracker, then the S1 Active is a very good choice. If you are someone that’s looking to support performance, S1 Active isn’t for you. Check out my full article on the S1 Active’s workout mode ability. It will show what I test for at each level and more importantly how I conclude my results.

Article : Xiaomi S1 Active : Workout mode ability is very good

GPS Tracking is Very Reliable

I do a lot of GPS tracking, I like to walk and hike for long periods of time, and I found the S1 Active to be a very reliable device. Out of all the devices that I have tested, the S1 Active is right up there with the best devices in this category.

The S1 Active can connect to five different satellite navigational systems, and during my testing I can only connect to three because of my location in New Zealand. I will re model the GPS testing for hard level category. Every device that I have tested, including the best ones have got the same score.

The hard level test was to replicate a situation where a person would travel through a busy township. My tests was my interpretation of what the Google engineers go through when designing a driverless car. The tracking needs to be accurate enough to avoid impact.

I will only describe the worst and best parts of this category. I have already done a full article of testing so I will provide a link below. Here is my final testing results for this category.

GPS DifficultyRatingComments
Easy Level5/5Excellent precision
Hard Level1/5Not good
Very Hard Level4/5Very good precision

Best part : Just a fantastic device in this category. The S1 Active has band frequency for that added accuracy. I also noticed that the S1 Active can quickly pin point your location once your location is lost. That’s probably one of the best things that has come out of the hard level test. Battery consumption is very low when you are using GPS, would be nice if it had a Route back feature because it’s got a strong enough battery, and reliable tracking.

Worst Part : I honestly dont recall anything negative about the device when it comes to GPS tracking. Every time I used the device, it’s always a positive experience.

Full Article : Please check out my full article when it comes to GPS tracking accuracy. The final results will show the route tracked vs the planned route so you can see the discrepancies in accuracy. But overall a great device when it comes to GPS tracking.

Article : Xiaomi S1 Active : GPS Accuracy is very reliable

Battery Life is Very Good

When it comes to battery life testing I like to do two different tests. First test is based off my typical usage without GPS tracking. The second test is to test the GPS battery consumption rate per hour. I always conclude the test once 90% of the battery life has been consumed.

See also  Xiaomi S1 Active : Third Party Ability Could be Better

In my experience the S1 Active’s battery life is very good, and I will provide a quick summary of each category. Here is my final results for this category.

SpecialitySmart Features
Battery Economy Without GPS Tracking2/5
GPS Battery Consumption Rate Per Hour5/5
Final Score7/10

Battery Economy Without GPS Tracking

During this test, I just use the device like I normally do, so the final results is really based on my typical usage. You may think that a device that has a 2 out of 5 rating would be a very weak, but it’s quite the opposite because in this field it’s very competitive.

Based on my typical usage I can get at least 6 days on a single charge, which is small in comparison to a five star device that can last up to 14 days on a single charge. Typically the multi sport devices have the strongest battery life in the market. Lastly I always end the test once 90% of battery life has been consumed. Were is a summary of the results.

Battery Economy per day14%
No of days6
Star Rating2/5

GPS Battery Consumption Rate

If you are anyone like me who does a lot of GPS tracking, you know that this can have a massive toll on the battery life of the device. I always like to keep this as a individual test, because there a many people out there find this very important to them.

In my experience the S1 Active deserves it’s rating as a five star device when it comes to GPS battery consumption. Based on my testing, the S1 Active consumes 5% battery life per hour when using GPS tracking. Any device that consumes less or equal to 7% per hour is a five star device. This is not a written rule, but it’s a standard that I have created to separate the best from the greatest devices in the market. Here are my results.

Battery life Economy14% per day
GPS battery consumption5% per hour
No of days5 days

Battery Life Summary

I dont have anything negative against the S1 Active when it comes to battery life. The GPS battery consumption is very good. If you want to know more about how I test the S1 Active on battery life, check out my full article. It’s got all the methods that I use to rate a device in this category.

Article : Xiaomi S1 Active : Battery life is very good

Final Conclusion

Ability to measure elevation and air pressure.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about the S1 Active. There is so much information to absorb, but to answer a question like is it really worth buying, it’s a very tricky question to answer because you dont know what the user intent is.

There are some things that the S1 Active does very well, and there are some things where I found the device to be very disappointing. A lot of it had to do with the level of expectation I had for the device. So many positive reviews about the device on the internet, but in my experience it wasn’t quite cracked up to be.

Which is why I like to base my reviews on a testing regime and not by user experience, because if I did it by user experience only, the end result can be mis leading, then you will end up buying a device that never meets your expectations. The only time I would refer to user experience is to reflect on my test results.

Is the Xiaomi S1 Active really worth buying?, Well take a look at the categories that the S1 Active is very strong in and compare that with your list of requirements in a watch. It’s a very broad answer but, it’s the closest way to finding the perfect device for you.

If I was to create a profile of someone who would get the best value in buying the S1 Active it would be some one who.

  • Wants a device that’s smart feature heavy
  • Wants a basic fitness tracker, nothing more, nothing less
  • Wants a watch with good battery life
  • Wants a reliable GPS tracker
  • Wants a reliable GPS tracker that doesn’t impact battery life too much.
  • Isn’t too concerned about Health tracking accuracy, just a general idea will do.

There’s six bullet points above, I think you would get great value in the device. However it’s not the complete picture, so please click on the links that I provided for each category. There were times where the device was unreliable especially in the smart feature category and third party ability. Thank you for reading and I hope this helps you in deciding the best watch that suits your needs.