Reviews

Redmi Watch Review : There’s a Chink in The Armour

If you are in the market for a fitness wearable, chances are you’ve taken a look at Xiaomi’s products already. The Mi Band series has helped the company build and maintain its position in the fitness wearable space. In order to diversify in this product category, Xiaomi has recently brought in the Redmi Watch, which caters to those looking for a watch-like shape and in-built GPS for fitness tracking. Priced at Rs. 3,999, the Redmi Watch does seem affordable, but does it offer the best value? I put the Redmi Watch to the test to find out.

 

Redmi Watch price in India

The Redmi Watch is available in one size only and is priced at Rs. 3,999 in India. Xiaomi offers the Redmi Watch in three dial colours: Black, Blue, and Ivory. There are four strap options (Black, Blue, Ivory, and Olive). I had an all-black Redmi Watch with me for this review.

Redmi Watch design

The Xiaomi Redmi Watch has a square-shaped dial but it doesn’t really stand out since a lot of wearables at this price point have similar designs. The Redmi Watch has a plastic body with a matte finish and it is curved at the corners while the sides are completely flat. There is only one button on the right while the other side is blank. The Redmi Watch has an LCD display that measures 1.4-inches, with 2.5D glass on top.

The Redmi Watch is water resistant upto 5 ATM of pressure so you can wear it while swimming without any fear of damaging it. Xiaomi has used proprietary connectors for the straps which will limit your strap options. Removing the strap is very easy, you just need to press the release button on the watch body. Putting the straps back on is simple as well and you hear an audible click when the strap is firmly attached.

The Redmi Watch only has one multi-function button

 

Xiaomi has pre-curved the straps which makes it super easy to wear the watch. The Redmi Watch has a standard pin buckle and it never came off during the review. On the underside of the Redmi Watch are its heart rate sensor and pins for charging. This wearable does not support SpO2 tracking, a feature that might have made it more appealing given the current pandemic situation. The included charging cradle has a full-sized USB plug at the other end. The Redmi Watch houses a 230mAh battery and claims to offer about 10 days’ worth of battery life. The Redmi Watch is relatively light at just 35g.

Redmi Watch software

You can use the Redmi Watch along with an Android or iOS device, and you’ll need the Xiaomi Wear or Xiaomi Wear Lite app respectively to manage it. This wearable is very easy to pair, and it maintains a stable connection as long as the phone is within range. The app requires you to sign into a Mi account and is the same one you’d use with a lot of other Xiaomi wearables such as the Mi Watch Revolve (Review), which I have reviewed already, and the newly launched Mi Watch Revolve Active. The app is easy to use and lets you customise some of the settings on the Redmi Watch. You can change watchfaces and select which apps can send notifications to your wrist.

You can store upto five watchfaces on the Redmi Watch and can change them by simply long-pressing on the current one. To download fresh new watches onto the Redmi Watch, you’ll have to use the Xiaomi Wear app. So many are available that you can use a new one every day and still not repeat any for a few months. However, you don’t get the option to customise these watchfaces.

redmi watch apps gadgets360 Xiaomi Redmi Watch Review

The Redmi Watch is capable of heart rate, sleep, and workout tracking

 

The Redmi Watch runs a custom OS and features heart-rate, sleep, and workout tracking. It also has a barometer, a compass, and in-built GPS, which lets you track outdoor workouts without needing a smartphone. The UI on the Redmi Watch is very easy to use. You can swipe down from the top to see notifications and swipe up to access quick toggles. Swiping left to right shows you different screens containing weather info, sleep duration, heart rate, calories burned, and music player controls. Pressing the button on the side takes you to a list of all the functions of the Redmi Watch.

Redmi Watch performance and battery life

I used the Redmi Watch for two weeks and I found it to be very comfortable. Given that the Redmi Watch weighs just 35g, you’ll barely notice it when worn. This low weight and its small size also makes it easy to wear this watch to bed. The display quality is just average and I found the auto brightness to be a bit too aggressive. The raise-to-wake gesture works well, and the Redmi Watch is quick to switch its display off to conserve battery life.

I had set up the watch to buzz for incoming WhatsApp notifications, and I could read incoming ones on the watch itself but there is no way to respond to them. The Redmi Watch can notify you of incoming calls along with the caller name. You can’t take calls using the watch, but you can decline or silence them.

Heart rate tracking was fairly accurate and I did not see a huge deviation compared to readings shown by an Apple Watch SE that I was using at the same time. The default interval for heart rate tracking is 30 minutes (to save power), which you might want to change to 5 minutes or so for more useful statistics. Sleep tracking on the Redmi Watch was accurate and it also gave me a breakdown of my sleep quality in the app. If you’ve been looking for a device that can also track SpO2, well, that’s missing on the Redmi Watch, and it could have been a strong selling point had Xiaomi included this.

redmi watch heartratesensors gadgets360 Xiaomi Redmi Watch Review

The heart rate sensor and charging pins on the underside of the Redmi Watch

 

Step tracking worked with a negligible error rate on the Redmi Watch, I counted 1,000 steps manually, and the watch showed 1,002, which is acceptable for a device at this price. The Redmi Watch is capable of tracking 11 workouts including Cricket, but given the current situation I could only test its fitness tracking capabilities while exercising indoors using the freestyle workout mode. In this mode it only showed me my heart rate and the number of calories burnt. I found the heart rate readings while working out to be inconsistent. I couldn’t test the accuracy of GPS tracking on the watch.

Battery life was acceptable given the size of this wearable and its small 230mAh battery, Xiaomi claims upto 10 days of battery life but I got only about 7 days of use out of it with sleep tracking every night, working out on alternate days, and notifications enabled for WhatsApp. If you enable more app notifications or work out more frequently, the battery life might be even lower. The supplied charger takes about two hours to charge the Redmi Watch fully, and a faster charging solution would have been nice.

Verdict

The Redmi Watch does what you might expect, but does nothing additional to stand out in the sea of fitness wearables currently available. Xiaomi has put in the effort to make it light, but I would have been happy with a slightly heavier Redmi Watch with better battery life. Xiaomi still offers very good tracking for steps, and if your main motivation is to log your step count each day, the Redmi Watch will do that quite well.

Xiaomi does have the scope to improve the Redmi Watch, and adding SpO2 tracking would be a good place to start. Till then, if you are looking for an affordable fitness wearable that lets you track the usual along with SpO2, the Amazfit Bip U Pro is an alternative worth considering.

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