Thanks to the affordable price structure, Xiaomi's subsidiary Redmi dominates the budget smartphone and smart TV segments. That's not all; the company is exploring newer avenues in the consumer electronics sector such as smart fitness watches (bands), power banks, and more.
The company has introduced smart wearable Redmi Watch 2 Lite for Rs 4,999. It has a bigger and brighter display and more capabilities compared to the regular Redmi Smart Band Pro (Rs 3,999).
Design and display
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite sports a 1.55-inch TFT LCD screen with 320 x 360p resolution. The sturdy case comes with a curved square design language. Also, it boasts a 5ATM rating, meaning it can sustain water pressure up to 50 meters deep.
Also, the screen quality is decent and brightness is quite good enough to view time and other notifications outdoors without much fuss. Also, the colour display supports 100 watch faces and this gives more options for owners to mix and match the watch's home screen to align with their outfit for the day.
Underneath, the Watch 2 Lite features a two-pin magnetic charging port. It is very simple to charge the device unlike some watches, which require the user to detach straps from the module.
Talking of straps, the Watch 2 Lite comes with a soft and sturdy band. The watch is light and during the entire testing period, I never felt any discomfort on my wrist.
The matte finish of the black model is visually appealing and by the way, Xiaomi also offers three other colour options-- blue, ivory, olive, and pink, and they too look good to the eyes.
User-interface and performance
Setting up the Watch 2 Lite is the same as any of the Xiaomi smart wearables. You just need to install the Xiaomi Wear or the Wear Lite app. And, initiate add device on the app and it hardly takes a few minutes to detect the pair of the watch with the companion phone. Fyi, it supports devices with Android (v6.0 and newer versions) and also, iPhones too, with iOS 10.0 and newer versions.
Navigating the Watch 2 Lite's screen is easy and any rookie can get the hang of the features in a few hours. Simple swipe gestures as shown in the screengrab of the Xiaomi Wear tutorial give an idea of how to find notifications, settings, widgets, and more.
Also, the Xiaomi Wear app offers comprehensive and easy-to-understand statistics to make you understand the day's activity in terms of calories burnt and also how much you slept the last night.
It should be noted that the data can also be merged with Strava and Apple Health app.
The Xiaomi device houses an optical heart sensor for 24/7 heartbeat monitoring along with an array of sensors such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, and GPS, it can help track more than 110 fitness activities including walking, running, treadmill walking/running, swimming, rowing and more.
During the review period, the device was able to auto-detect the outdoor walking most of the time. Every time, I walked more than 400 metres, the watch used to pop up notification on the screen, whether to continue tracking or ignore it. This is a very neat feature. It works really well and helps me keep track of calories burnt for the day and also finish the steps count target of the day.
Also, I noticed that if you remove Watch 2 Lite from the wrist and keep it in the pocket, steps get counted but calories burnt will not be added. This is kind of strange and I couldn't reach the day's target during the week's testing. In a way, Redmi Watch 2 Lite makes you earn every calorie burnt count harder, motivated, and more attentive, and that's the lesson I learned from the experience.
Also, Redmi Watch 2 Lite can track SpO₂ (blood-oxygen saturation), offer sleep quality points, stress level monitoring, offers deep breathing exercises, and track the female mensural cycle.
Like any other smart band or watches, Redmi Watch 2 Lite also enables users to control music on the phone, get the weather forecasts, messages, do not disturb, idle alerts, incoming call notifications, alarm, countdown timer, and find my phone.
With a full charge, the Watch Lite 2 promises to deliver close to 10 days of battery life. During the testing period, the device did not let me down. It actually lasted 11 days. I am not an extreme fitness enthusiast. I go out for long walks on the weekend and do yoga on alternate days during the work week (Monday to Friday). Also, I walk close to 1.2 kilometres from the office to the main bus stand to go home at night and as said before, Watch Lite 2 was able to autodetect all the time. So, I am quite happy with the overall battery life of the smartwatch.
For Rs 4,999, Redmi Watch 2 Lite is a compelling smartwatch. It is light on the wallet, but not on features. It ticks all the checkboxes, we expect to see in a smartwatch. I was most impressed with the auto-tracking of activities, and also the sleeping pattern tracker. Also, the build quality is pretty good too.