Review of the Redmi Watch 3 Active: An excellent example of watch software design

I haven’t taken the Redmi Watch 3 Active off since I got it. This is why.

Smart watches have come a long way. You can’t go wrong with any smartwatch that costs more than Rs 2,000 these days. However, some brands outperform others. One of them is Redmi, whose Watch 3 Active has been on my wrist for a week now. And I love it. It’s insanely simple to use, loaded with capabilities, and has an interface that makes you wonder if you really need a full-fledged smartwatch. Here’s my take.

design and fit

Let us begin with the design. The robust metal frame of the Redmi Watch feels durable and premium. Its display does not sit flush into the frame; instead, it protrudes slightly, giving it a more expensive appearance. The watch is available in two colors: black and off-white, but you can spice things up with an olive green strap for Rs 499 (about a sixth of the watch’s price) if you’re feeling daring. I received the black one for review, and I enjoy how sleek and minimalist it is.

However, while I enjoyed the style, the fit could have been more comfortable. The strap mechanism on the watch is unusual in that you must tuck it in rather than take it out when wearing it. This proved difficult for me because I had narrow wrists. To see what I mean, look at the image below. People with thicker wrists may not experience this issue. Nonetheless, this flaw is partially offset by the fact that the watch is remarkably easy to remove.

When I tried to swap the black strap for the olive strap, the strap saga continued. It required a lot of wrangling on my part to get it done. But the end result was well worth it: the watch appeared to be a completely new device. Now all I have to do is pick an outfit that goes with the green.

Displays and software

The Redmi Watch 3 Active features a lovely UI that makes it a pleasure to use. Because of the 60Hz refresh rate, the scrolling is buttery smooth, the touch is very responsive, and the software feels like a real operating system in and of itself. It has a control center, a list of apps, and swipeable shortcuts to various functions.

The same can be said for the Mi Fitness app, which is sleek and simple to use but not lacking in capabilities. Everything from the watch face to the widget order may be customized with the app. Speaking of watch faces, the Watch 3 Active has a plethora of them to pick from, and they appear to have been designed with care by Xiaomi. They don’t have a ‘cheap’ sense about them and are appropriate for a variety of events and moods. “Sports Green” is my favorite, and it looks great with the olive strap.

The appearance of the watch faces is also influenced by the 1.83′′ display, which is crisp and colorful. The resolution is 240280, which is adequate at this size, but because there is no AMOLED, legibility in bright sunlight is poor. Otherwise, it functions admirably in the majority of circumstances. There’s also a little chin at the bottom that detracts from the symmetry, but it’s understandable given the price.

Overall, the interface of the watch has a very MIUI-esque flavor to it, and if you have a Xiaomi phone to pair it with, you’ll feel right at home.

Fitness tracking

When it comes to tracking your health and fitness, the watch doesn’t scrimp on functionality. It automatically measures your heart rate and tracks your sleep with pinpoint accuracy. It also recognizes your short naps, which is unusual in this category. The only item lacking is GPS and swim tracking, which is a shame given that the watch can endure water pressure of up to 5ATM.

Aside from the strap issue, the Redmi Watch 3 Active is a no-brainer in this category. It includes all you could want and more. Furthermore, the interface is so simple and straightforward that even a novice can master it. Then there’s Bluetooth calling, which works as expected.

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