Here at Gadgetbridge, we keep a close watch on smart wearables across all price points. Affordable Bluetooth-calling smartwatches are a dime a dozen these days, and it can be confusing for a casual buyer to sort through the extensive list of features and decide which ones even matter. Xiaomi’s latest offering, the Watch 3 Active, aims to cater to a wide range of users, bringing together the core, non-negotiable functions while cutting out the bells and whistles. All under Rs 3,000. We’ve been playing around with this smartwatch for a week, testing out its accuracy as well as going over the ‘fun’ aspects. Here is our in-depth review of the Redmi Watch 3 Active.
Table of Contents
Redmi Watch 3 Active review: Design
The first thing we look out for when trying out a new smartwatch is the fit. For folks who want a smartwatch to gather health metrics across the day and track their sleeping pattern at night, the fit and comfort offered by the watch matter the most. Redmi Watch 3 Active’s silicone strap slips under the slit after being buckled. The dial exerts a fair amount of weight on the wrist, but it’s something that you get quickly used to. The smartwatch is available in two colours – Platinum Grey and Charcoal Black. Buyers can also opt for an Olive Green strap at a premium of Rs 499.
Redmi has kept things simple on the design front. We don’t mind this at all, as some of the flashier options in the budget smartwatch category look a bit excessive. The square dial has a plastic frame with a metallic finish and a single key on the right edge. The microphone is positioned next to the side key. The 1.83-inch LCD display has a 240x280p resolution, a refresh rate of 60Hz, and a peak brightness of 450 nits. The touch response offered by this LCD unit is optimum the quick gestures make it very easy to navigate the watch’s interface. The only downside is that the display is surrounded by sizeable bezels on all sides. These bezels get thicker around the chin.
The opposite side of the dial houses the optical sensor at the sensor along with a speaker on the side. The smartwatch can handle underwater pressure up to 5ATM, which means you can wear it while swimming. The manufacturer has not mentioned the watch’s IP rating, which leaves us clueless about its dust protection capacity.
Redmi Watch 3 Active: Performance
Setting up the Redmi Watch 3 Active requires the Mi Fitness (Xiaomi Wear) app on your smartphone. The smartwatch is also compatible with Strava and Apple Health. Once it has been set up, the watch requires a stable Bluetooth connection for calling and syncing health data. We like the cross-platform compatibility offered by Watch 3 Active. It is not something that every smartwatch can boast about.
Moving on to the health and fitness tracking functions, the Redmi Watch 3 Active does not disappoint. The smartwatch allows you to measure blood oxygen, heart rate, sleep cycles, and expended calories. The blood oxygen and heart rate measurements were very close to medical-grade equipment. You can also enable the option to turn on background monitoring for SpO2 and heart rate. When it comes to sleep tracking, the watch is off by a few minutes when it comes to recording the waking up time. This isn’t a deal breaker as the REM tracking numbers are still solid.
The smartwatch is precise when it comes to counting steps and measuring the distance travelled on hikes and runs. It does not have an in-built GPS, so it relies on your smartphone’s location services to chart your runs on the map. Redmi Watch 3 Active can track over 100 workouts and exercises including sports like Tennis, Football, Cricket and dance routines like Zoumba, folk, square dancing, and more. Surprisingly, swimming is not present in the list of workouts and activities. Hopefully, Redmi can fix that with an update.
Apart from health and fitness, Redmi Watch 3 Active is decked with a bunch of ‘smart’ features. Once it is paired with your smartphone, you can use it to take calls and browse through pending notifications. The microphone and speaker on this watch work flawlessly in indoor conditions. We did not experience any lag or disturbance while using the Redmi 3 Active to make and receive calls. The option to control music comes in very handy when you’re out on a run and don’t want to pull out your phone to change the track.
The Mi Fitness app makes it easy to manage the smartwatch. This is where you can see the detailed breakdown of your health metrics and edit the functions you want on the watch. There’s a separate ‘workout’ tab for tracking your runs on the map. If you’re running indoors, you can choose the ‘treadmill’ option. This app also lets you select which notifications you want to see on your smartwatch.
You can use over 200 watch faces to customise the Redmi Watch 3 Active. These watch faces are neatly classified into different categories within the Mi Fitness app. Redmi has put a lot of thought into these designs and it clearly shows in the finished product. There aren’t any matches for these watch faces in this category. The ‘Space Bunny’, ‘Mechatronics’, and ‘Girl with a Pearl earring’ were some of our favourite watch face designs.
Talking about the battery life, Redmi promises a 12-day backup on this smartwatch. Under heavy usage, this drops down to 8 days. We used the Redmi Watch 3 Active mostly for monitoring health functions and sleep tracking. We were able to push the watch to 10 days. The 289mAh battery can be fully charged in just under 2 hours using the magnetic pin charger.
At Rs 2,999, Redmi Watch 3 Active offers all the essential features you expect from a Bluetooth-calling smartwatch. We did not notice any inconsistency in the health and fitness data gathered by the watch. However, the absence of swimming from the list of trackable activities is a little weird. Making and receiving calls on this smartwatch is as easy as it gets. The accessibility of the UI is also a big plus if you’re thinking of gifting this watch to your parents or elderly relatives.
Redmi Watch 3 Active: Pros
- Comfortable fit
- Great app support (Mi Fitness)
- Amazing watch faces
- Cross-platform connectivity
- Competitive price
Redmi Watch 3 Active: Cons
- Cannot track swimming as an activity
- Only stores 5 watch faces at one time
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