Mi Watch Revolve review: A good budget smartwatch with its set of limitations
Mi Watch Revolve review: Priced at Rs 10,999, equipped with several useful features while ditching the ones that only lengthen the spec sheet. I have had the Mi Watch Revolve for few days now and it’s time to find out how good it is.
Mi Watch Revolve review: It was only when Xiaomi announced the Mi Watch Revolve as its first smartwatch in India, I realized they hadn’t launched one in the country. The next thought to cross my mind was – Why? Xiaomi has been dominating the smartphone market for a while now and has made deep inroads in other segments too. Probably, launching the smartwatch so late was always part of its plans. But, the timing couldn’t have been better.
We are in the middle of a pandemic. Most people are sitting at home, fitness is of utmost importance and with salary cuts, not everyone can break the bank on a fitness tracker. Arrives the Mi Watch Revolve, priced at Rs 10,999, equipped with several useful features while ditching the ones that only lengthen the spec sheet.
I have had the Mi Watch Revolve for few days now and it’s time to find out how good it is.
Mi Watch Revolve review: Design
The way the smartwatch segment stands right now, all new entrants have a choice to make – opt for the traditional circular display or follow Apple’s rectangular design. I am glad that Xiaomi went with the former. The Mi Watch Revolve comes with a 46mm dial and a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 454x454 pixels resolution. It has 450 nits of peak brightness and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The dial size Xiaomi has opted for might leave the audience divided. While I really appreciate the fact that the watch face is big which adds to the readability of the text, it may just be too big for some wrists. Even if the watch fits you well, you end up hitting it against various surfaces due to that big dial. What doesn’t help with the accessibility is 40 grams of weight (without straps).
The display size certainly adds to the ease of usage. It gets really bright and is colorful. Xiaomi claims to offer more than 110 watch faces on the Mi Watch Revolve which allows you to customize the look.
There are two buttons on the watch – both on the right. While the first is the power button which can also be used to bring up menus, the second is a shortcut key which can be assigned to a quick workout. Both these buttons are solid and responsive.
The Mi Watch Revolve has been launched in two colour options - Midnight Black and Chrome Silver. We had the first for review purposes which has more mass appeal. These colours can be matched with five different choices of straps - Neptune Blue, Midnight Black, Cosmic Dust Maroon, Space Black, and Astral Olive. Xiaomi has used quick release pins to attach the straps so replacing them isn’t a massive task.
At the back of the dial, you get a heart rate sensor with one contact point on either side for charging.
Mi Watch Revolve review: Software and Performance
The Mi Watch Revolve uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect with the new Xiaomi Wear app on your smartphone. It took seconds to connect the watch and the app offers plenty of options to play around with. It shows you the battery status, has option to change watch faces, give permissions to other apps, restrict background activity etc. The app also stores the data collected by the watch. Going forward, Xiaomi should be looking to add more features to the app.
The watch doesn’t run Google’s Wear OS which stops you from downloading third-party apps. This isn’t a huge problem but restricts you in some cases. For example, you can’t download the Spotify app on the watch and play music directly from it.
The Mi Watch Revolve uses the Firstbeat Motion Algorithm to provide physiological data for sports and wellness. Xiaomi says it helps to provide “rich, user-friendly and actionable feedback”. It also comes with stress management, heart rate variability monitoring, HR monitoring, VO2 Max, and body energy monitoring.
I found the step counter on the Mi Watch fairly accurate. There were minute deviations every now and then, but nothing of major significance. The sleep is recorded in different phases such as Deep Sleep, Light Sleep, REM, and Awake. The watch also guides you to improve sleep quality. The challenge here is that the Mi Watch Revolve isn’t very comfortable to wear while sleeping, because of its huge dial.
You get 10 sports modes as well including running, cycling, trekking, treadmill, working out and more. The watch also boasts of 5ATM water resistance.
A major limitation of this watch is that it only acts as a notifier. This means that while you can get all call and message notifications in the watch, you can only reply to them via smartphone. This stops the Mi Watch Revolve from competing with more premium models like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series and Apple Watches.
Mi Watch Revolve review: Battery Life
Batteries on smartwatches have been a big pain point, especially on the more efficient ones. For example, Samsung smart watches don’t last for more than a day. The Mi Watch Revolve does really well here. It packs a 420mAh battery that claims to offer a standby time of two weeks. If tuned right, the watch can easily deliver over 10 days of battery life. The eventual output depends on the settings selected.
Mi Watch Revolve review: Final Verdict
The Mi Watch Revolve is a very sincere first attempt from Xiaomi in the smartwatch segment. It is priced very aggressively at Rs 10,999 and is available at even a more attractive price of Rs 9,999 till Diwali. It comes with a big and very good-looking AMOLED display. The battery life is the icing on the cake. It offers all the basic features a health-conscious person would be looking for. At this price, the Mi Watch Revolve is what masses usually want.
However, you should not forget that it is essentially a fitness band with a larger display. So large that it may not fit everyone. If you want access to more advanced features, offerings from Apple, Samsung or Oppo will serve you better.
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