Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Mi Watch Revolve is a wearable that intended to become a smartwatch, but gave up halfway through. On paper, though, the plans seem solid and it looks like Xiaomi has a solid plan for the future.

Brand: Xiaomi

Product: Mi Watch Revolve

Key specs: 46mm AMOLED display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3.5ATM water resistance, GPS, GLONASS, heart rate sensor, 420mAh battery.

Price: 10.999

Rating: 2.5/5

Usually when friends or family ask us for smartwatch recommendations, our direct question to them is, “Why do you want one?”. The second question, of course, is – “How much do you want to spend?”.

Most smartwatches have a very limited purpose, such as providing message and call notifications, counting steps, giving a heart rate, etc. Throw in a little more money and you’ll get upgrades to these features – you’ll be able to reply to messages from your wrist, take calls, etc.

It ultimately comes down to how you plan to use it and why you think you need a smartwatch.

Keeping up with the tradition of all things affordable but feature-rich, Xiaomi’s first smartwatch, the Mi Watch Revolve, sells for 10,999.

To be fair, Rs. 11,000 is not change, but Xiaomi is trying to position its first smartwatch somewhere between smartbands (obviously) and more famous smartwatches such as the Fitbit Versa/Sense, the Garmin party and of course Samsung and Apple.

Just like the price, the Mi Watch Revolve’s features also come in this middle ground.

At 46 mm, this is a large watch. That dial is larger than Samsung’s 45mm Galaxy Watch and Apple’s 44mm dial. This might be good news for anyone with wide wrists and big hands, but for everyone else it’s just clumsy and pointless.

Our review unit was the Chrome Silver variant, which comes with a thin silver bezel that shines way too bright for our liking. The fact that the bezel essentially serves no purpose (you can’t rotate it like you do with Samsung watches) makes you wonder why it is the way it is. Choose the Midnight Black if you plan to buy the Mi Watch Revolve.

The watch screen itself is bright and big enough to pack enough content, which is great, but since you can do so little about the apps on the screen, you’ll wonder why you’re so big around screen in the first place.

Because the watch is so big, I’ve often bumped it against doors and tables, and so have you. At least it has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect the screen and the bezels around are slightly raised as well.

Then it has two buttons – a power button that can be used to open the menu and a second that can be set to perform a single function of your choice. The functions these buttons serve are rather limited, so you’ll have to make do with that. I assigned it the quick training function, but you can choose the weather or music or other functions for this.

Also read: Fossil Hybrid HR review: more watch than smartwatch, and that’s great

The heart rate sensor and the charger contact point are located on the back. The Mi Watch Revolve comes with GPS so you can theoretically track your steps without your smartwatch, but I often found it not recording step data. More on this later.

Although the watch is large, it is not heavy. But it’s bulky and that doesn’t make it easy to keep it on if you plan on wearing it to sleep.

The Mi Watch revolve is powered by a 420mAh battery and this is a feature where it performs perfectly as I could easily go two weeks without a single charge. That’s fantastic for a smartwatch. People like Apple, Samsung and even Fitbit deliver much, much less, but given that the Mi Watch Revolve can do a lot of little (at least compared to the first two), this incredible battery life makes sense.

Now, if you’re not using an Android phone, don’t buy the Mi Watch Revolve. It won’t do anything for you. On Android, there’s more hope. Limited hope, but more hope. You can read your messages and see who is calling – that’s all you can do. And things like this make you wonder: what should I do with this huge watch face, Xiaomi?

Furthermore, when I put it to the test with workouts, I found quite a bit of difference between the calories burned and the heart rate of the workout between the Mi Watch Revolve compared to the Apple Watch 5. For a cardio session, the Apple Watch clocked my heart rate up. 139 clocked Mi Watch Revolve 112. Here’s another example –

I wore both smartwatches, one on each hand, for the same training session.

I wore both smartwatches, one on each hand, for the same training session. (HT Tech/Jhinuk Sen)

Again, I noticed that the Mi Watch often didn’t take into account steps taken (especially when walking around the house) or sleep clocks or the fact that I was standing. The reminders to get up, similar to the ones you get on the Apple Watch, were also very random with the Mi Watch Revolve asking me to get up literally 5 minutes after I sat down. Since Xiaomi acquires all software from others (like Garmin’s Firstbeat), it’s unlikely that the problem lies with the software and can be ‘fixed’ with an OTA update.

Also read: Garmin Venu review: Wonderfully no-nonsense about sports

There are a lot of fitness options that this watch should be able to offer on paper, but it fails on most counts because if you can’t log a two-hour nap, or if I’m walking around the house for 15 minutes at a time – then what’s really the point?

Data like deep sleep, light sleep, and REM are great to have, but if you can’t track the time we went to sleep and woke up correctly, the other data is useless. Plus, most of us won’t know what to do with the data and how to use it to “improve sleep quality.”

That’s the problem with most smartwatch data, to be honest. Unless you have personal trainers or doctors that you can consult regularly, most of us are ill-equipped to use it to improve our health or fitness.

The Mi Watch Revolve also manages stress and has a simplified variation of Garmin’s body battery function (this is some of the Garmin software features Xiaomi has licensed on its smartwatch) – but is nowhere as accurate as what devices like the Garmin Venu deliver. .

Should you buy it?

To top it off, the Mi Watch Revolve is a wearable that wanted to become a smartwatch but gave up halfway through. On paper, though, the plans seem solid and it looks like Xiaomi has a solid plan for the future. The Mi Watch Revolve is basically a Mi Band with a great screen and solid battery life. So Xiaomi has done some things right. But from here it all goes uphill and Xiaomi better start climbing.

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