If you want to get a smartwatch for this festive season, there are numerous options at various price brackets. If money is no bar, you can straight away go for the Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy Watch. You also have the new Oppo Watch with Wear OS in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment. As soon as you start going to the sub-Rs 10,000 segment, the watches keep dripping the “smart” to attain the lower prices. Xiaomi has come up with the Mi Watch Revolve in this segment. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 review: Wellness tracking now more accessible
The Mi Watch Revolve is essentially an entry-level smartwatch like the Amazfit Verge and Huawei GT2e. It runs on a proprietary operating system and goes overboard with lots of fitness as well as wellness tracking features. It costs Rs 9,999 until Diwali and then after, Xiaomi will ask an extra Rs 1,000. Regardless of what it costs, it looks stunning as an accessory. For tech and fitness enthusiasts, it indeed lures as something you want to gift yourself. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi 10T series launch in India on October 15 confirmed: All you need to know
Design & comfort
The Mi Watch Revolve looks like a luxury wristwatch first and that’s a major thing it has got checked. A smartwatch has to look like an accessory first, something that you would wear to compliment your attire. It may have all the smartest stuff underneath it but it needs to draw eyeballs at a party. The Mi Watch Revolve is more than happy to bring attention to you anywhere.
The body of the watch is composed of metal and glass. If you are a connoisseur of watches, you will adore the flat sides with the glossy accents on the two crowns. The rim around the display looks classy with the same glossy accent. Rest of the front face consists of a large glass display that measures 1.39-inches. Xiaomi has cleverly masked the bezels with dial markings. It looks neat with the analog watch faces but is extremely weird once you switch to digital watch faces.
Nonetheless, the build quality of the watch is top-notch. Xiaomi has used Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches and dents. The watch is rated to be 5ATM water resistance too, which means it will keep working even after you go for a swim. The underside of the watch doesn’t have a lot of protrusion, which helps with the comfort factor. And, at 40 grams, it does not bother the wrist while you are wearing for the whole day.
Xiaomi offers a standard silicone strap with the Mi Watch Revolve and while it is comfortable to wear, it falls behind in the looks department. However, you can opt for a leather strap too, which in my opinion adds to the overall appeal of the watch. The silicon strap on my unit was comfortable all day long and I found it easy to clean after a sweaty walking session on hot days.
On the whole, I think the Mi Watch Revolve satisfies the primary criterion of looking good first and foremost. It feels built to last and is extremely comfortable to wear.
The Smart stuff
The Mi Watch Revolve is a smartwatch first and that too the first one from Xiaomi. Hence, lots of expectations, especially from a brand that doesn’t disappoint There’s good news – no disappointments here for the smart stuff on the Mi Watch Revolve.
Unlike the Mi Watch, the Mi Watch Revolve is based on a proprietary operating system. The software feels quite similar to the ones you find on Amazfit watches. However, Xiaomi has tuned it to match the superb exterior. The OS isn’t the fastest and fluid but it is certainly better than what I have seen in this price range. The animations are decent and you find pleasing and large fonts all around the watch interface. What I liked more was a decent mix of colorful icons that go with the overall persona of the watch.
The two crowns on the right side provide an easy way to access several features. The top crown opens up the app drawer whereas the second crown is a shortcut button. By default, it opens up the workout selection menu but you can assign it open something else. Both these buttons have the same tactility as a wristwatch crown – a nice touch that does not unnoticed to watch lovers.
The 1.39-inch AMOLED display is among the best in its class. The touchscreen input is responsive and it helps with the gesture navigation across the UI. Sunlight legibility is good for an OLED panel. I loved the presence of the auto-brightness function – this makes life so easy on the go as I don’t have to manually adjust brightness after venturing out or while dimming the lights before bed. There’s Always-On Display available too and it does not drain the battery.
A few other features I particularly liked on the Mi Watch Revolve include the wear detection. Once I put it down, the watch automatically went into a “do not disturb” mode, thereby saving power. There’s a torch feature that makes the display glow white at highest brightness levels – a feature I found helpful while making my bathroom trips at night. I could also control music playback from the watch. To prevent accidental touches, you can even lock the display.
It’s not all good for the Mi Watch Revolve though. The Mi Watch Revolve can show notifications from apps and calls. For calls, you can only reject them or silence them – there’s no option to receive them. Message notifications from WhatsApp and SMS apps don’t let you reply to them. What’s frustrating is that the Mi Watch Revolve cannot show texts in Hindi or any other Indian languages – it can only show English and Mandaric alphabets. Additionally, the Wake to Raise feature isn’t as sensitive as other watches.
Xiaomi says that it will keep on adding more features in the future via OTA software updates and I hope these are addressed soon.
The Fitness stuff
Xiaomi stressed on health and fitness during the launch event. The Mi Watch Revolve is pitched as an all-round wellness device with more monitoring than its Mi Band trackers have ever done. Out of the box, you have 10 sports modes to track, namely outdoor running, outdoor cycling, trail running, trekking, treadmill, indoor cycling, walking, freestyle workout, pool swimming, and open water swimming. All the data from these modes is available on the watch after the workout ends. You can also study the same on the Xiaomi Wear app (Wear Lite for iPhone users).
I am no athlete and hence, I was unable to explore the full fitness tracking potential of the Mi Watch Revolve. At most, I used it for tracking my daily walking sessions and it performed as expected. I switched on the Walking mode and it started keeping an eye on my vitals. Throughout the walks, it kept showing the pace, distance covered, live heart rate, calories burnt, and then some more. There’s GPS baked-in the watch, hence it was tracking the route precisely. Activity detection isn’t available here and i sorely missed it, especially after getting used to it on the Mi Smart Band 5.
Apart from activity tracking, the Mi Watch Revolve can keep a tab on your wellness too. Similar to the Mi Smart Band 5, it can track your sleep and stress levels. Xiaomi is using the Firstbeat Motion Algorithm that basically keeps an eye on all your parameters to show your energy levels.
It works as advertised – by the end of an average working day, the watch kept showing low energy levels while I was getting all drowsy. I cannot find a way to find the accuracy of the stress tracking but during the busy hours, the Mi Watch Revolve kept showing higher stress figures. Sleep tracking data was relatable and I did not notice any instances of false tracking.
Of course, there’s the usual step tracking along with the heart rate tracking. I set the Mi Watch Revolve to automatically detect heart rate and alert me in case of elevated figures. Throughout the day, I could see a graph of my heart rate at various hours on the watch itself.
Xiaomi promises a total of 14 days of battery life on a single on the Mi Watch Revolve. In my use period, I attained almost similar levels of stamina. You should note that I did not go easy on the Mi Watch Revolve. I had enabled the Always On Display, automatic heart rate detection, sleep tracking, and consistent connection to my smartphone. Using the GPS does drain the battery faster but on the whole, you don’t need to hunt for a charger every 3 days. The charging process itself is slow – almost 2.5 hours from the dead. I would have liked to see Xiaomi putting a fast charging solution on the Mi Watch. You do get a magnetic dock to fill up the battery.
Should you get the Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve?
The Mi Watch Revolve has got a lot of equally good alternatives at the price it sells. Both Huawei and Amazfit offer a variety of options with different designs in the same segment. However, the Mi Watch Revolve beats the others in terms of value, especially when you consider the fitness and wellness tracking options. The Firstbeat Motion Algorithm can be extremely useful to athletes and non-athletes alike. It was effective enough to get my lazy self walking around the colony.
And, I got to do that in style. The Mi Watch Revolve looks stunning and it does draw attention. Whether I was wearing casual or formals, it was gelling well with my attire. It does the smart stuff decently, although I wish Xiaomi had aped a few good features from Samsung wearables. Replying to messages, more controls over calls, and smoother animations are things I would love to see make it to the Mi Watch Revolve via updates in the future.
For now, the Mi Watch Revolve at Rs 9,999 makes for a great lifestyle wearable. Even at Rs 10,999, it remains the top choice with its splendid design and a robust set of health features.
- 18Sep 2020
- Redmi Smart Band Review: No compromises...