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Xiaomi’s newest smartwatch has a super-unusual feature

A close up of the Xiaomi Watch S3's face and bezel.

Remember when you could change the faceplate on old Nokia phones? Well, Xiaomi has updated that feature for 2024 and applied it to a smartwatch instead. On the new Xiaomi Watch S3 (announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024), you can twist and remove the bezel around the screen and replace it with another for a new look, then see the watch face automatically switch to an exclusive one that complements it. You can also match it with a new strap.

The options include Chrome Yellow, Rainbow, Dual-tone Ceramic, and an Ocean Blue color schemes, along with at least black and off-white color straps, meaning you really will be able to change the entire look of the watch quite easily. The aluminum case comes in black or silver, which you’ll choose when you buy the smartwatch. There are more than 180 free watch faces already available, plus more can be purchased through Xiaomi’s app store. Based on the photos, the style changes look great.

The Xiaomi Watch S3 and its interchangeable bezels.

It’s an unusual feature, but it’s not the only thing that makes the Xiaomi Watch S3 different. Unlike the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro, which used Google’s Wear OS software, the Watch S3 uses Xiaomi’s new HyperOS software. Announced in 2023, HyperOS replaces Xiaomi’s old MIUI software, and although it has been developed using Xiaomi’s Vela system and Linux, it is still hiding Android underneath. Much like Huawei’s HarmonyOS, HyperOS will also live on the brand’s smartphones and smart ecosystem products, including cars, going forward .

HyperOS brings with it a new control method, where gestures including a wrist flick or twist activates features such as accepting or rejecting calls, taking photos, or checking the weather. The combination of HyperOS and a 486mAh battery means Xiaomi promises about 15 days worth of battery life from a single charge, but charging time has not been revealed at the time of writing.

The Xiaomi Watch S3 and its interchangeable bezels.

The smartwatch has a 1.43-inch AMOLED screen with a 466 x 466 pixel resolution, a case size of 47mm, and 5ATM water resistance. It tracks activity using a heart rate sensor, blood oxygen monitor, sleep tracker, 150 sports modes, and GPS. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices, plus it supports Bluetooth calling.

The Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro with Wear OS was a success, and easily rivaled other similar smartwatches with its combination of software and performance. The Xiaomi Watch S3 with HyperOS has a high bar to reach if it wants to compete. Xiaomi has not announced a price at the time of writing, so it’s hard to establish where Xiaomi is placing the Watch S3 in its line, but it will take on a host of very impressive smartwatches that are already available.

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Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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