It’s the new year, and perhaps you’ve set some goals for yourself to get out there and be more active. There are all the major brands to consider, of course, and then there are all manner of smaller companies that you may not have heard of. A lot of those could be iffy, but we’ve recently been spending time with one that’s light and compact, has plenty of functionality, and won’t break the bank. Read on for our review of the Redmi Watch 3.
What is it?
In many ways, the Redmi Watch 3 is going to look quite familiar – there are a few very iconic smart watches out there that go with a square shape for the case, and this watch follows that same path. For a tech device, it makes sense, as a squared screen is what we’re used to getting. In terms of what all it can do, it can talk to your phone (via Bluetooth), track your heart rate and oxygen levels, record your steps, track your distance (without needing your phone’s GPS), and the like. In other words, it does what we expect just about any modern smartwatch to be able to do. For interacting with it, most things are touch screen, with a dose of the single side button thrown in for some selection confirmation.
What we really liked
The first thing that we really liked about the Redmi Watch 3 was the form factor. Being relatively thin (just under 10mm), it can easily slip under a cuff, whether it’s while heading out for a run or just heading out about your day. With it being only 36.5mm wide, it visually feels small, which meant I was quite comfortable wearing it on my right wrist, while I’d have a more traditional watch on my left. With this, I was able to get that all day picture of my movement and so on, while still relying on my traditional watch to keep an eye on the time.
Another thing that was great was the on-board GPS that the Redmi Watch 3 has. For inexpensive smart watches, we’re more accustomed to them needing to talk to your phone and rely on its GPS (which sucks the battery down, of course). Here, it’s all on-board, and things can just get you going.
Finally, we’ll call out the battery life. The specs claim 12 days between charges, but I don’t know that we got quite to that. That said, getting over a week off of it, while using the GPS for morning jogs 3-5 days per week, that’s nothing to sneeze at. And if you want, there’s a low-power time-only mode that drastically extends the battery life; we’re at several weeks now that it’s been clicking away.
What we thought could use improvement
One very odd thing was, for all of the accurate tracking the Redmi Watch 3 could do, was that I could not figure out how to switch the units from metric to imperial. So, when I would head out for my jog, the watch would start tracking, and then give me notifications when I’d complete a kilometer. I dug through settings on the watch, as well as in the app on my phone, and I could not figure out how to change it. And, once it filtered through the connected apps in my phone, I was able to see the distance in miles, rather than kilometers. Just not on the watch itself, so if you’re training to specific distance intervals, this one might give you some problems.
Wrapping things up
The weird distance thing on the watch aside, there’s a lot going for the Redmi Watch 3 that make it an interesting option for someone looking for an inexpensive device to start quantifying their day. When compared with other more-expensive devices that we have around, the measurements and step/distance tracking was spot on. So, if you’re looking for a squared-off fitness partner, then we’ll say the Redmi Watch 3 should be on your short list to consider. You can get yours for $119.99 right on over at the place that has everything, Amazon. For more details on the watch, you can get those over at mi.com
- 42.58 x 36.56 x 9.99mm
- 37g (with inbox strap)
- Black strap: TPU strap (size: 135～200mm)
- Ivory strap: Silicone strap (size: 135～200mm)
- Sensors: Heart rate sensor (with blood oxygen sensor), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor
- Satellite positioning systems: Beidou/GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS
- Typical use time: 12 days
- Capacity: 289mAh
- 1.75 inch AMOLED Touch Display
- Resolution: 390×450 pixel
- Brightness: up to 600 nits, adjustable
- Glass with anti-fingerprint coating
- Microphone: supported
- Speaker: supported
- 5ATM water resistant
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Operating system: Android 6.0 or higher, iOS 12 or higher
- Package contents: Watch/Magnetic charging cable/User Manual (including warranty notice)