Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi recently unveiled its first smartwatch in India. The aptly named Redmi Watch in true Redmi fashion aims at bringing a lot of value for money. Packed with features like heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and much more, can the Redmi Watch compete against the others? Let's find out in this review.
Redmi Watch Review: Design and Display
The design of the Redmi Watch seems to be inspired by the Apple Watch. It basically looks like the Apple watch without a crown. That’s where the similarities end. The plastic body smartwatch comes with a 1.4-inch TFT LCD display on the front with quite chunky bezels. The silicone band feels quite cheap but gets the job done. If you are thinking to swap it out, you are out of luck as these are proprietary bands, and from a quick search, they are not available online.
The back panel of the watch includes the heart rate sensor, Redmi branding and charging pins. The only physical control is a side button which feels very tactile.
The watch is relatively small and lightweight, so people with small hands will also find it really comfortable. The light-weight of it helps sleep with the watch which is required for sleep tracking. The overall build quality is at par or even better than the competitors in this price range.
The 1.4inch LCD display is the only way to scroll through the menus. The standard property of LCD to not display deep blacks along with chunk bezels make the display immediately look cheap compared to something from a more premium range. The sunlight visibility is decent at best. The auto-brightness feature rarely works and I often had to manually raise the brightness to max. Overall, the display is fine for the price point, but it won’t be impressing anyone around.
Redmi Watch Review: Software
The Redmi Watch runs on the company's proprietary operating system. While many of the functions of the operating system are similar to a Wear OS watch, there is no tutorial on setup. So if you are a first time smartwatch user, you would have to struggle a bit to understand the UI.
Coming to the struggle one would have to ensure, the software is inconsistent. In many places, there is a back button that will help you go back, but in others, there is no back button. Swipe right to go back from the Wear OS works, but if it's your first time using the smartwatch, you will go to the home screen using the only physical button on the watch.
In some apps, there are clear scroll bars present to indicate that there is information below also, but in another, there are no scroll bars but if you scroll you will find information below. There is no way to know for sure but to try to scroll and see if it scrolls down.
Many people wear smartwatches to check notifications and more to stay away from their phone. In Redmi Smartwatch, you cannot reply to notifications and also cannot receive or even decline incoming calls.
Coming to notifications, apart from giving it notification access, the Xiaomi Wear app wants the user to lock the app on recents, give it auto-start permissions, and the major issue is adding the application to Security Exceptions. Now I don't know how much you trust a tech giant, but granting it a Security Exception is a big no for many people.
Also, a weird thing, the companion mobile application requires you to enter your height and weight even before you start registering your Redmi Watch. With the inconsistent software and various other security concerts, the OS of the Redmi Watch is something of a mixed bag. I know with time and software updates, it will all get better.
Redmi Watch Review: Battery
With all the gizmos turned on including the heart rate monitoring, notifications, auto-brightness and GPS tracking the smartwatch went from 100-0 in around 5 days. Keeping on the Heart Rate sensor, turning off notifications, auto-brightness and GPS, the smartwatch lasts more than 10 days which is in line with the company numbers. A full charge takes around one and a half hours, which is fine.
Redmi Watch Review: Verdict
Redmi Watch costs Rs 3,999. For that price range, the UI is okayish, the tracking features are good, and the build is good enough. A handy Sp02 sensor would have been really great, especially in the situation we are in right now.
Overall, if you are ready to adjust to the UI nuances, the Redmi Watch is a great option for the price.