Redmi Watch 2 Lite Review: Budget fitness tracking smartwatch


Xiaomi’s Redmi brand launched the Redmi Watch 2 Lite, the company’s latest budget smartwatch, in India last week as the successor to the Redmi Watch. This comes with a colour LCD full-touch display, built-in GPS support, 100+ sports modes, music controls and more features. I have been using the latest smartwatch from Redmi for almost a week now, and here is the review.

Box contents

  • Redmi Watch 2 Lite in Black colour
  • Charging dock
  • User manual

Design

The Redmi Watch 2 Lite has the square design that is similar to most watches. It weighs just 35 grams with the strap, thanks to the polycarbonate body, which offers a smooth finish. The smartwatch has 5ATM water resistance, so you can even wear when swimming. There is 3-axis accelerometer + 3-axis gyroscope as well as GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BeiDou, and Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to Android and iOS devices.

Coming to the strap, it is made of skin-friendly thermoplastic polyurethane. In addition to Black, it comes in Ivory, Black and Blue colours with straps in matching Ivory Creme, Midnight Black and Blue Dragon colours. There is a single function button on the right side with a metal finish that lets you wake up the watch and also use the features.

The strap is tight, thanks to adjustable holes. You can remove the strap with a press of a button. You see the M2109W1 model number and ‘Made in China’ text on one side and 5V-1A input, when you remove the strap.

On the back, you can see the heart rate sensor that has glowing green LED lights when you are using it to measure heart rate and glowing red colour when you use the SpO2. There is Redmi branding on the top and there is also contact points for charging.

Display and features

Coming to the display, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite has a large 1.55-inch (320×360 pixels) LCD colour touch screen display with up to 450 nits brightness and 2D glass. You can set it to turn on when you lift your hand, and the screen turns off in a few seconds to save power, but you can it to turn off up to 10 seconds. It still attracts fingerprints and is not completely scratch resistant. Touch screen is smooth to use.

Thanks to 450 nits peak brightness, outdoor visibility is good. You can adjust the brightness from more→Settings→Brightness. Unlike the Redmi Watch and the Redmi Smart Band Pro which had an ambient light sensor, this lacks it, so you have to manually adjust it from level 1 till level 5 from the settings.

There is also a notification shade option when you swipe from the top. You can read or clear the notification you receive from the smartphone, but you can’t reply to them. When you swipe from the bottom, there is a quick settings option. This has DND mode toggle, option to toggle raise to wake, Alarm, flashlight option that brightens up the screen, keep the screen awake screen for 5 minutes and settings option.

Pressing the function button opens up the menu that shows all the options available on the smartwatch. This includes Workout / sport modes, activity that shows activity performed, stats that shows calories burnt, steps and standing data for the data with detailed stats. There is heart rate option, SpO2 monitoring, sleep data, stress data, breathing (1 to 5 minutes with slow, moderate and fast option), menstrual cycle tracking, Weather, Music control, camera control, Alarm, stop watch, timer, compass, notification, find phone, flashlight and settings.

Software

The Watch uses Xiaomi Wear / Mi Fitness companion app on Android and iOS.  It has Status, Workouts and Profile section. Status section shows the steps, calories burnt, the latest workout stats, sleep data, heart rate and standing details. Workout tab shows outdoor running, treadmill, walking and outdoor cycling options that you can start directly from the app. My Profile section shows the battery stat, option to change watch faces and settings.

There are some local faces and the online options has 100+ watch faces. It takes a few seconds to download a new watch face. You can also set a custom image including a slideshow as a watch face.

From the app, you can choose which widgets to show up on the watch when you swipe. You can also choose which app should show notifications and add up to 7 widgets. There is also an option to enable incoming call notification with or without contact information details.

Fitness and Sleep tracking

The Redmi Watch 2 Lite has 110+ fitness modes, including 17 professional workout modes that includes Outdoor Running, Treadmill, Walking, Outdoor Cycling, Hiking, Trail Run, Indoor Cycling, Elliptical, Rower, Jump Rope, HIIT, Yoga and Pool Swimming.

Except route map for outdoor workouts, you get all the details such as distance, calories burnt, steps, average speed, cadence, average heart rate and heart rate zones right from the smartwatch.

Steps tracking is accurate compared to Samsung Watch 4. Since it has built-in location support, you don’t need to take your phone for outdoor activities such as running or cycling, and it only takes a few seconds for the location lock some time to lock since it has Four major global positioning systems–GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou.  It shows time, distance, pace, cadence, elevation and heart rate for workouts like running. You can press and hold the function button to pause a workout in the middle, and resume it or stop it.

Location tracking is almost accurate as the Galaxy Watch, Mi Watch Revolve active and Strava app from the phone. Location doesn’t cut out when you run under trees or bridges. You can share the workout data as an image, and there is also Strava support, which can be enabled from Settings and Selecting Connected apps. Transfer to Mi Fit lets you move workout history and health data from Xiaomi wear to Mi Fit.

Sleep tracking accurate compared to the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Mi Watch Revolve Active. It shows light, deep and REM sleep as well as awake time, but it doesn’t have an option to track naps like the Mi Band 5 or Mi Band 6. The band also has SpO2 monitoring during sleep, but the company says that it will drain the battery quickly.

Heart rate and SpO2 monitoring

The band uses LED lights and photo-diodes to illuminate the blood vessel for a while and monitors the heart rate via the change of green light absorbed. You can’t say this is 100% accurate, but heart rate recordings — both resting and active, are almost accurate compared to Blood oximeter device. It shows a graph for heart rate throughout the day in the band itself, and you can set continuous monitoring every 1 min to 30 minutes.

The smartwatch also comes with SpO2 or blood oxygen monitoring, which the company says should not be used for medical purposes. It has SpO2 monitoring during sleep every 30 minutes or 10 minutes, but this will affect the battery life, says the company.

Battery life

The Redmi Watch 2 Lite has a 262mAh battery, and the company promises 10 days of usage under typical usage mode and 5 days under heavy usage mode. I have been using it for a week now, and I have charged it only once till 100%. Now I have 22% charge left since I have only enabled call and limited app notifications and used GPS for outdoor of at least 30 minutes for the past 5 days. The company says that it will last for 14 hours with continuous GPS use, better than the Redmi Watch. GPS use of about 30 minutes drains 6 to 7% battery. Based on my use, it will last a week.

Battery life might vary depending on frequent use of the display with increased brightness, use of heart rate monitor during workouts and all the notifications turned on.

The watch has a magnetic charging cable, unlike the Redmi Watch that had a separate charging dock. The company recommends 5V-1A input, so you can even plug it in a USB port of a PC or a laptop or use power bank in low-power mode. It takes about 2 hours to charge the watch fully from 0%. Since the battery last for over a week, long charging time doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

The Redmi Watch 2 Lite is a good smartwatch with GPS at a price of Rs. 4999. It has a large screen, is packed with GPS, several workout modes, has 5ATM water resistance, offers a good battery life and the sleep tracking is accurate as well. Wish this had the ambient light sensor for auto brightness adjustment, which the first Redmi Watch and the Redmi Smart Band Pro have.

The Redmi Watch 2 Lite is priced at Rs. 4999 and is available from Amazon.in, Mi.com, Reliance Digital, Mi Home stores and other retail partners starting from today, March 15th at 12 noon.

Pros

  • Large colour touch display
  • Water-resistant (5ATM)
  • Several sports modes with GPS for outdoor activity tracking
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Lacks auto brightness adjustment
  • Same old design


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram





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