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Black Friday has come early: Amazon's full-featured smartwatch is a killer deal at $55

If you've ever shopped for a smartwatch, you know those hefty price tags can leave you questioning just how "smart" a purchase they might be. So when faced with the Amazfit Bip U Pro, which is on sale for $55 (down from $70), you could understandably jump to the conclusion it must be cheap, feature-deprived junk. It's not. In fact, the Bip U Pro is a remarkably good smartwatch — not perfect, by any means, but capable enough for users who want the key amenities afforded by these devices: fitness tracking, phone notifications and so on. Check out all the Amazfit models on sale for early Black Friday here.

Unlike a lot of budget wearables, this one has built-in GPS, meaning it can record your walks, runs, bikes and other outdoor activities even if you're not carrying your phone.
$60 at Amazon

I've tried a number of Amazfit wearables over the past couple years, and I've been impressed with most of them. The Bip U Pro is one of the best yet, able to pair with any Android phone or iPhone and display incoming calls, text messages, calendar reminders, news alerts and other notifications.

You can also use it to play or pause your music and even remotely trigger your phone's camera shutter.

As a fitness band, the Bip U Pro offers more features than you'd expect, including heart-rate monitoring, a blood-oxygen sensor and tracking capabilities for steps, stress and sleep. However, it's hard to gauge just how accurate some of these sensors are; I noticed at times that unless you wear the watch in just the right spot on your wrist, and wear it fairly snugly to boot, heart-rate numbers can vary quite a bit.

Black Amazfit Bip
This good-looking watch is cheap, but don't let the price fool you into thinking it's not good. (Photo: Amazfit)

It also has built-in Amazon Alexa, which does require your phone to be nearby. (Alexa doesn't work without connectivity.) Unfortunately, in my experience the feature doesn't perform very well. It's a pain to set up and just doesn't work reliably.

Listen, it's a $55 watch — something's gotta give. I'm not a huge fan of the Bip's companion app, either, which is confusingly called Zepp. It's not very intuitive and it doesn't always do a good job keeping the watch up to date, like with weather data.

green smart watch
Hello, plastic pal! Available in black, green and pink, the Bip U Pro can keep tabs on your steps, sleep, heart rate and other important health info. (Photo: Amazon)

But the Bip U Pro has a big, bright screen and a battery that's good for up to nine days; you're lucky to get two days from an Apple Watch, which costs at least four times the money.

Indeed, at this price I'm willing to forgive a few minor shortcomings. If you want to try a smartwatch but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars for the privilege, this is a great place to start. Also in green and pink.

Unlike a lot of budget wearables, this one has built-in GPS, meaning it can record your walks, runs, bikes and other outdoor activities even if you're not carrying your phone.
$60 at Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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