The Rogbid Mille is a somewhat budget-friendly rugged smartwatch (depending on where you purchase it) and, while it does have everything it needs to compete in this niche market, I do have mixed feeling about this smartwatch.
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On one hand, the rugged aspect seems to be well done; the device is IP69K rated and it has passed some MIL-STD-810 tests (the official website says MIL-LTD – I don’t know what’s that about, a typo?). On the other hand, I found the design of the Rogbid Mille a bit strange. Remember those retro electronic watches made of plastic and which had huge bezels and a small screen? The Rogbid Mille kind of reminds of those and I suppose, in a sense, it kind of looks like the Pebble smartwatches.
I guess it’s an acquired taste, so if you like retro watches, you’re going to love the Mille smartwatch (hell, some people proudly wear the Casio smartwatch, while I find it hideous, so to each its own). The Rogbid Mille does include a microphone and a speaker, allowing the user to have a conversation from the wrist, without having to run to the smartphone.
And I have seen that the Bluetooth range reaches farther than the standard 30 feet. Also, it’s nice to see this feature added even on the least expensive smartwatch models (I’ve seen it on devices that went well below $100 – the Haylou Solar Plus). The OS seems to be a version of the lightweight software available on most inexpensive smartwatches, so, without further ado, let’s put the Rogbid Mille to the test and see how it performs.
Design and Build Quality
The manufacturers of rugged smartwatches rarely focus on developing elegant-looking devices which would be suitable to a formal attire. No, the rugged smartwatches are usually large, heavy and with the display slightly sunken into the case to protect it from shocks. The Rogbid Mille does fit this description for the most part since it measures 1.96 x 1.73 x 0.51 inches (5.0 x 4.4 x 1.3cm) and it does weigh 2.11oz (60g), so it’s about as thick as the Amazfit T-Rex 2.
The design of the smartwatch is very simple and this is not an understatement. There is no logo, there are no icons, just a plain metallic plate surrounding the display, while the rest of the device is entirely made of plastic. Rogbid decided to go with the rectangular shape and to create that continuity impression with the silicone band. I am never against a minimalist look, but the smartwatch does look a bit plain and those star-shaped faux screws that are carved into the metallic plate don’t really help at giving the smartwatch a premium look.
Like I said, it does have that retro, almost toy-like appearance that I suppose some will love, other won’t. I did see that the case has a slight curvature and the band is positioned to enhance the curved shape, embracing the wrist a lot better than other smartwatches. There is more because if you check the rear side of the Rogbid Mille, you can see that the HR sensor does not protrude as on all other smartwatches (at least all that I tested), so it’s very rare to see a completely flat panel there.
All of these design elements do make the Rogbid Mille one of the most comfortable rugged smartwatches that I wore so far. I have mentioned the HR sensor, but there’s more to just detecting the heart rate because the sensors are also able to check the SP02 and there are also algorithms which apparently should be able to tell your blood pressure. Next to the centrally-placed sensor, there are two metallic pins for recharging the inner battery. I have said it before and I will say it with every smartwatch that I test.
We need an universal charging system for smartwatches because the cables are easy to lose and it leads to an unnecessary amount of e-waste. I don’t see why the manufacturers just add a Qi coil inside and let the users recharge the smartwatch using a regular wireless charger. As for controls, the Rogbid Mille does have a touch-screen display, but there are also two buttons on the right side and a crown in the middle. The button at the top is the Power/Home button (long press it to power the smartwatch on or off), while the button underneath the crown takes you to the Sport section.
I did like the crown functions because it will move between the available watchfaces and it will also scroll between menu items – its movements are very smooth and satisfying. On the other side of the crown, there’s the two speaker grills for the two-way calls. The straps are similar to those of the Amazfit T-Rex series, so they don’t use the more common spring-operated mechanism. Instead, you do need to rely on the provided small screwdriver to replace them. And I am also quite certain that these straps are very much proprietary because of their particular shape.
How rugged is the Rogbid Mille?
The Rogbid Mille is IP69K-rated which means that the smartwatch should withstand high pressure water jets and be completely sealed against dust ingress – and I mean it’s currently the highest IP rating available on smartwatches, so it should be fine wearing the device in a industrial environment. And, apparently, you could wear the smartwatch under water since it’s pressure proof up to 5ATM. Bluetooth is not going to work underwater, but you don’t have to take the smartwatch off while swimming or showering.
Sweat or rain will also not enter the enclosure of the device. There is more because the rugged smartwatch is also MIL-STD-810 certified and from what I saw on their official website, they have run the Rogbid Mille on the 240h humidity test, the 96-hour salt spray test, the ice-freezing and shock resistance tests. Furthermore, the smartwatch has survived the 70 degrees C (158 F) heat and -40 degrees C (F) cold tests. So, overall, it seems that the it is a beast and will survive in most harsh conditions, but I still wonder about one thing.
I did check for a protective lip around the display and there was none. The screen is not curved to meet the case, so it very slightly raises at the top of the metallic plate, while in some places, it’s a bit recessed. So, in case of mechanical shocks towards the display, it’s most likely going to shatter. I also checked whether the Rogbid Mille used Gorilla Glass, for some extra scratch resistance and I found no info to confirm it, so no, it doesn’t use Gorilla Glass.
The Internal Hardware and Connectivity
The manufacturer has been very open about the internal components of the Rogbid Mille and it doesn’t happen that often.
That’s how we know that the smartwatch is equipped with a RealtTek RTL8763EW CPU which has an ARM core and an ultra-low power DSP core. No, it’s not the most powerful CPU on the market, but it doesn’t need to considering just how lightweight the OS is. Besides the CPU, Rogbid had also disclosed the 356KB of RAM and 128MB of storage memory, so it’s a bit more powerful than the Tank T1 from Kospet, not that it needed that extra RAM (Rogbid also has a variation of the Tank available).
In terms of connectivity, the Rogbid Mille uses Bluetooth version 5.3 and for the first time in years, I did get a connection farther than 30 feet – indeed, I was surprised to see that the smartwatch would still give me notifications from the phone from about 45 feet away (and several walls in between them). I suppose they used a better antenna considering that the Rogbid Mille does support Bluetooth calls directly from the wrist.
The Rogbid Mille has a 1.91-inch display which should appear fairly large on a small wearable, but due to the very large bezels, it does seem smaller than it actually is.
In any case, we’re dealing with an IPS panel with a 320×385 pixels resolution, so the density is more than enough for such a small screen. As with all IPS panels, it’s not going to look as good as with an AMOLED panel. I have seen it on the T-Rex 2 and even on the far less expensive Haylou Solar Plus, and the black levels are so much deeper, while the colors seem to pop up more. Not to say that the IPS panel on the Rogbid Mille is bad or anything, it’s actually a well done panel – the black levels go fairly deep, but the white is blueish and you will have to look through lots of watchfaces to find something more modern, considering that most of them follow the retro style.
As for the brightness, I actually found that pushing it to the maximum seems to enhance the color and make the darker area deeper. Yes, it will impact the battery life, but I prefer looking at a better display than keeping the brightness low. I suppose the brightness could have gone even higher, but I don’t think you’re going to have trouble seeing what’s happening on the screen if it’s sunny outside. Now let’s talk a bit about the tilt to wake function. It works, but it’s not very reactive. You have to be sure that you want to look at the time and keeping the wrist up a second more.
I got accustomed to the quick glances on the T-Rex Pro 2, so I thought that I got another Kospet experience. And I kind of did because the smartwatch needs somewhat ampler movements (although less than on Kospet smartwatches) and just a second more with the wrist up. I am sure it’s a battery-saving idea, but I think many users will not appreciate it that much.
The OS is very simple and doesn’t require much power to run smoothly on the Rogbid Mille. The watchfaces can easily be swapped using the crown and swiping down, will show the usual quick access icons (brightness, Bluetooth and the such). Swiping down will summon the notifications and to the right, it will show the Favorite apps (you need to set them up). Swiping right will summon the menu and it’s a set of icons which you scroll through, but no name tags.
So, in a lot of cases, you will have to explore each app to see what it does – I am not going to say that the pictures aren’t helpful, but it’s a smartwatch, so they’re small. Just add text. In any case, you can check the Sleep data, you can make calls from the smartwatch, start any Sport program (it’s possible to set Goals as well), capture a photo (it will trigger the shutter from your phone) and I also saw an AI app available.
It seems to communicate directly with the virtual assistant from your phone, be it Siri or Google Assistant. You also get a Calculator and it seems that the smartwatch also has some games already installed. There’s Floopy (Flappy Bird), Hamster, Battleship and 2048 to help pass the time. Obviously this type of OS does not have an App Store available, so it’s nice to see some entertainment apps added to the Rogbid Mille. You will have to pair the smartwatch to your phone to take advantage of all its features, including the Bluetooth calling and notifications.
And the app that needs to be installed is Da Fit. I have explored it before when I tested the Kospet Tank M1 and the Umidigi UWatch 3S, and yes, the app really wants your data. And it collects a hefty amount of it, so keep its permissions to the minimum and don’t let it ‘speak’ with other apps. The main page will show some status data including the Steps, the HR, the Sleep quality and more. The next page is dedicated to the smartwatch and here you can choose a different watchface, add Alarms, Upgrade the firmware, add Contacts for quick access from the Rogbid Mille and there are a few extra options (Others).
Here, you get to adjust the notifications and reminders, set for how long the HR sensor will work, enable real-time Stress recording and more.
Are the sensors accurate?
I don’t really expect accuracy from the budget-friendly smartwatches, but the manufacturer of Rogbid Mille has priced the device above the entry-level models, so I decided to compare it to the Amazfit T-Rex 2 for the accuracy of the sensors. I first checked the heart rate measurement tool and the T-Rex 2 was faster to detect it, but the Rogbid Mille wasn’t that far behind in terms of speed. As for accuracy, when I standing, both smartwatches showed very similar values.
But what about when I was working out, when the HR spikes and decreases suddenly. The T-Rex 2 is not a champion in this regard, but it has been fairly accurate on average. The Rogbid Mille is not accurate when it comes to the spikes. It will read that the heart rate is high and it will hang at the high (or low) value for a few minutes. So no, for working out, it’s not going to offer an accurate read at all. I don’t have a tool to confirm the accuracy of the SP02 measurements, but again, the T-Rex 2 and the Rogbid Mille showed different values (99% vs 9%).
There is also the blood pressure measurement algorithm which was surprisingly accurate as long as I stood perfectly still for a few seconds. Obviously, the smartwatch cannot replace a medical tool and these measurements should be seen as a notification that something may be wrong (and consult a medical specialist).
As long as you’re connected to your smartphone, the Rogbid Mille will insists that it acts as the speaker for your videos and the main manner of taking and making calls. The speaker is actually fairly loud and surprisingly clear considering its size, and the microphone is not bad either. The caller could hear my voice clear enough as long as I talked with my hand near my mouth. It’s not really a pretty sight, but if you don’t have immediate access to your smartphone, it will do just fine.
The Battery Life
The Rogbid Mille is equipped with a 520mAh battery which is about the same as the T-Rex 2, but, considering the display panel and the lightweight OS, I do expect it to last a very long time on a single charge. The manufacturer says that the user could get up to 15 days of constant use, but that’s with the brightness set to 50%.
After I pushed the brightness to 100% and ran the Fitness program 3-4 times a week, the Rogbid Mille surpassed two weeks and reached 17 days on a single charge. So I suppose the advertised amount also took constant HR measurement in account. In any case, it’s a very good number.
If you really liked those retro-style electronic watches, then the Rogbid Mille should be right up your alley. The design of the device is a bit blocky which makes sense on a rugged watch and I suppose it does remind me a bit of the early Pebble smartwatches, with some of those retro watchfaces and all. If you up the brightness to 100%, then the display will come to life and I did like the support for Bluetooth Calling. There are a few shortcomings that can be ironed out, such as the lazy Tilt-to-Wake and the vague app menu, but other than that, the Rogbid Mille is a decent rugged smartwatch and if you like the design, then it’s definitely a keeper.
- Good looking display (with the brightness set to maximum)
- The crown is smooth and useful
- The case is rugged
- The Tilt-to-wake function is a bit slow
- The icons on the OS are vague
- Not a fan of the proprietary bands
Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.