When it comes to affordable fitness wearables, Xiaomi’s products have always offered some solid features. But what I love about the Mi fitness range is the accuracy of step and fitness tracking in general. The latest option from the brand is the Redmi Watch 2 Lite, which has a slightly bigger display coupled with support for over 100 sports modes. But this one has a higher price as well at Rs 4,999. So is it worth considering? Here’s my review.
Redmi Watch 2 Lite review: What’s good?
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite design follows the square one that we’ve seen on plenty of budget watches to date. Yes, it looks like another Apple Watch clone. In fact, someone asked me if I was wearing the new Apple Watch when I had this on, and I had to correct them. The watch has a 1.55-inch TFT display and comes with a better screen-to-body ratio than the previous generation, according to Redmi. The watch display is legible during bright sunlight and good enough for indoor usage as well.
The watch comes in Ivory, Black and Blue colour options, and I have the black one for review, which always looks the best. This might have a plastic body and strap, but the watch’s build quality is in no way shoddy, though I noticed some scratches on the display.
Redmi Watch 2 Lite packs a number of features such as heart-rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, step tracking, plenty of sports modes, etc. You can press the button on the side to access all the apps that the watch supports. It can also be used to find your phone (worked accurately) and control music on the device as well the camera. The last bit didn’t work for me at all and I’m not sure why.
When it comes to fitness tracking, this remains an accurate budget device. I used it to track my exercise sessions (freestyle) and found that the heart range and other parameters it showed was in line with what the Apple Watch reflects. The step count is conservative and accurate. There’s no random jump in step count if you’re in a train or a vehicle, which can be an issue on some budget watches. I’ve always believed Xiaomi devices are a little less generous in handing out your daily steps target. You have to work a little extra for those 10k daily steps.
But what really impressed me was the Redmi Watch 2 Lite’s accuracy when I took the watch on a swim. I’ve tried countless smart bands and watches in pools, and the lap tracking is invariably off. Very often there is a jump in lap count. I expected the same with this Redmi watch, but it proved me wrong. In a 25 metre pool, it tracked my measly 12 laps with precision. My half-hearted attempts to just float across the pool towards the end were not counted as laps. Of course, the watch continues to work fine post-swim sessions. If you are into swimming and need a device to track your daily strokes, this is a good affordable device to consider. One can view more detailed break up of their activity data on the Mi Fitness app after syncing the watch.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite’s battery should last you a week or so with intensive usage, which involves a lot of steps, activity tracking and incoming notifications. Do keep in mind that I had limited the notifications on this one. The company claims a battery life of 10 days in typical usage mode, which has some set parameters. Still, a week’s worth of battery life is what an active user should expect.
Redmi Watch 2 Lite review: What’s not good?
The watch does lack some features, which are becoming common in other budget watches. For instance, rivals like Noise do have watches with a better aluminium body or even stainless steel at a similar price. Some watches also come with a speaker at this price point.
I’m not a fan of the magnetic charging pin and I say this for all watches in this segment. It can at times be very frustrating to connect it with the watch. You think you’ve managed to put the watch to charge and realise an hour later, the pin wasn’t perfectly attached.
I did notice a bit of stutter when scrolling through some of the data for my activities on the watch itself. It was also not the most comfortable fit for me, especially when I had to tighten the strap. This is not a watch I would go wear to bed—if say one is using it for sleeping tracking—because the strap does get uncomfortable.
Redmi Watch 2 Lite review: Should you consider it?
Yes, if you are looking for a budget fitness wearable with good fitness accuracy and plenty of features. Redmi Watch 2 Lite delivers on those aspects very well. The only problem is that Redmi and Xiaomi also have more affordable options, including the Redmi Smart Band Pro and Mi Band 6, at slightly more affordable prices, and with a similar range of features.
Get the Redmi Watch 2 Lite if you want the bigger display, since that is always more useful when it comes to wearables.