The price and positioning of the Apple Watch range makes it ambitious and perhaps a little expensive for many of us, but it has made the smartwatch more desirable overall. The result is a thriving budget smartwatch segment, supported by a variety of brands leveraging their expertise in smartphones and Bluetooth connectivity to offer capable wearable technology at affordable prices. This also includes Xiaomi, which recently launched Redmi Watch 3 Active, a health-focused smartwatch priced at Rs. 2,999.
My previous experience with budget smartwatches hasn’t been great when it comes to fitness tracking; Affordable devices are best used for core functionality, like notification mirroring and watch face customizability. It will be worth seeing if the Redmi Watch 3 Active can live up to its name and work well as a fitness and health tracker in addition to being a budget smartwatch. Find out whether the Redmi Watch 3 Active is worth the price in this review.
Redmi Watch 3 Active design and specifications
The budget smartwatch segment is all about offering as many features as possible while keeping the price low. Thus, the design and form is a bit straightforward in this area, and the Redmi Watch 3 Active sticks to this plain and simple look. The lack of distinctive elements and logos means you won’t really be able to tell that this is a Redmi product. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you, but personally I found this look a little too bland and generic.
That said, it’s functional, and some may even like the bright exterior blending with the 1.83-inch color screen. There are thick borders around the edges of the screen, but if you use a watch face with a black background, you won’t really notice them, and the front will look pretty much the same unless you look closely. . There’s only one button on the right side of the watch, which controls power, opens the app drawer, and wakes the screen from standby.
Usefully, the screen can also be activated with a lift-to-wake gesture (turning your wrist towards you, as you would normally look at a wristwatch) or by double-tapping the screen. You can turn it off immediately by covering the screen with your palm, or set the screen timeout to put the Redmi Watch 3 Active into standby after a preset period of time.
The bottom side of the Redmi Watch 3 Active features the device’s sole logo, placed just above the optical sensor that enables heart rate and blood oxygen tracking. Below are the contact points where the magnetic charger turns on, the other end connects to the USB Type-A port, although a power adapter is not included with the device. The removable and replaceable straps can also be detached from the smartwatch at the bottom.
The Redmi Watch 3 Active is available in two color options – Charcoal Black and Platinum Grey. The review unit I was sent is the former, but the latter arguably looks a little better and more distinctive. The default strap is quite comfortable and is also completely waterproof, which matches well with the smartwatch’s 5ATM water resistance rating. For connectivity, the Redmi Watch 3 Active uses Bluetooth 5.3, which supports Bluetooth calling when connected to your smartphone. Of course, there’s also a built-in speaker and microphone to get it working.
Redmi Watch 3 Active software, interface and apps
Compatibility with both smartphone operating systems (and sometimes even within the Android ecosystem) isn’t a given on budget smartwatches, but the Redmi Watch 3 Active ticks the box in this regard. The device works with the Mi Fitness app, which is available for both Android and iOS, and supports smartwatches on both platforms.
For my review, I had the Mi Fitness app installed oneplus 9 pro ,Review), paired with Redmi Watch 3 Active. The app uses Bluetooth to manage the connection between the smartwatch and the smartphone, also creating links for voice calls and syncing notifications between the two devices. Fitness and health data collected on the watch is sent to the app to provide better insights and analytics.
The app itself is neatly presented with widgets for activity, sleep, steps, heart rate, blood oxygen level and more. You can also start a workout from within the app, and Outdoor Workout appears to integrate mapping into the tracking, but it relies on your phone for location; The smartwatch itself does not support location tracking. Device settings and basic tools can be easily adjusted, and overall it is a simple, but functional and adequately equipped app for the device.
Like any good smartwatch, the Redmi Watch 3 Active has plenty of watch faces to choose from. In addition to the three default options, there is a large list of downloadable options, ordered somewhat randomly. If you see something you like, you can download it to the smartwatch via the app, and store two additional watch faces in addition to the three default picks, which can be removed and changed as often as you like. Could. While a lot of them were too weird for my liking, there were some good options that I liked.
Redmi Watch 3 Active performance and battery life
Almost every smartwatch, regardless of price, offers basic fitness tracking. However, its accuracy and usability is a hit-or-miss situation on budget devices, although the Redmi Watch 3 Active is expected to set itself apart as a fitness-friendly option, given the ‘Active’ moniker.
However, the reality is largely in line with the rest of the budget smartwatch market, and the Redmi Watch 3 Active offers nothing more than its claims. While there are over 100 tracking and sport modes with reported tracking performance, most of these are niche, and it is difficult to tell if the tracking data is accurate.
For my review, I stuck to tracking the basics – mainly steps, heart rate, and blood oxygen. In our 1,000-step test, the Redmi Watch Active measured about 1,060 steps, where I manually counted 1,000 steps, which suggests an error rate of 6 percent. This is largely similar to other smartwatches in this price segment, and a little too far from the more accurate step tracking data that higher-end devices can produce.
Heart rate tracking is equally difficult, especially when I tried to take measurements while walking; The figures were often too low or jumped wildly. Standing still or sitting with hands still was the only way to get a somewhat accurate heart rate measurement, and the same applied to blood oxygen tracking, both of which were compared apple watch series 7 For a gauge on accuracy.
The sleep tracking was extremely basic and only seemed reasonable based on actual time spent sleeping, while the specifics of the sleep tracking weren’t actually that detailed or accurate. Overall, the health tracking on this may be able to give users a general idea of what’s going on, but it’s too patchy to rely on for anything significant. General performance on the Redmi Watch 3 Active is good, with the basic UI and apps working as expected for the most part. Although the screen isn’t as sharp and good to look at compared to some that compete in this segment (which use OLED displays), the Redmi Watch 3 Active is bright and completely satisfactory for the price.
I managed to get about seven days of usage from the smartwatch on a single full charge, wearing it all day long, including while working out and sometimes even while sleeping. If you turn off the constant connection for calls, you can extend the battery life a bit, and generally don’t take too many calls on the Redmi Watch 3 Active.
If you want to use it, it’s quite easy to turn it on through Bluetooth settings. Usefully, even when the connection is active, answering a call on your paired smartphone rather than the watch ensures that audio goes to the correct device, and the Redmi Watch 3 Active will only be active for calls if you actually want to. Answers calls on smartwatch. Call quality is workable for short calls in somewhat quiet environments. For longer calls or in noisy environments, you’ll find it a bit soft and irritating to use, and you’ll probably want to switch to your smartphone or proper earphones.
While the Redmi Watch 3 Active is billed as a fitness-focused smartwatch, its actual fitness features don’t have much to offer. However, this doesn’t rule it out as a smartwatch at all; It is a capable budget wearable device, which handles tasks like notifications and calls quite well. Plus, it looks and feels good, has a good screen and software, and will last reliably for about seven days on a single charge.
Well, there’s not much to complain about here, but there’s also nothing that really sets the Redmi Watch 3 Active apart. Consider this if you want a new affordable smartwatch priced under Rs. 3,000, for roughly the reliability and longevity you can expect from a device from the Xiaomi stable.