The demand for budget smartwatches in Nepal is at an all-time high. This segment is growing really fast with new launches taking place like every other. The problem with these frequent launches is that the products are too generic with no unique experience tied to them. As such, Xiaomi recently launched the Watch 3 Active which promises a new widget-based experience. I have been using this for over 2 weeks now, and this review has everything you need to know about the Redmi Watch 3 Active.
Redmi Watch 3 Active Specifications:
- Display: 1.83” LCD screen, 450 nits brightness, 240 x 280 pixels
- Water Resistance: 5ATM waterproof (up to 50m)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3
- Bluetooth Calling: Yes (built-in microphone, speaker)
- Sensors: Heart rate (with blood oxygen sensor), accelerometer
- Health tracking: 24/7 heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), sleep, stress, women’s health
- Sports Mode: 100+ (including 10 professional modes)
- Navigation: No
- Colors: Space Black, Twilight Gray
- Battery: 289mAh
- Battery life: 12 days with normal usage (8 days with heavy usage)
- Companion App: Mi Fitness (Android | iOS)
Redmi Watch Active 3 Review:
- Plastic Build with NCVM-coated frame, TPU strap
- 46.94 x 38.88 x 10.94mm, 41.67 grams
- 5ATM water resistance
Let’s start with the design first. Xiaomi has definitely gone for a curvier design compared to last-gen Watch 2 Lite this time around, which is way better, in my opinion. As expected, the watch is mostly plastic, but Xiaomi has added this shiny metal coating on the frame to give this a more premium look. Another design change comes in the form of the strap.
Xiaomi has finally switched to a universal strap design giving you a lot more options for after-market straps. The default strap is not bad per se — it is soft, comfortable, and has not caused any kind of irritation, but you can always go for a more flexible silicone strap when you can.
5ATM Water Resistance
Interestingly, the watch can detect when you remove the watch, locking itself with a pin for privacy. It even has a 5ATM rating, so you don’t have to worry about taking it to the pool or shower. There is even a clear mode that helps get residual out of the speaker and microphone with sound and vibrations.
- 1.83-inches LCD panel, 240 x 280 pixels
- 200+ watch faces, 450 nits brightness
The display here feels massive, and it is not just the 1.83” diagonal length I’m talking about. The bezels on this thing are quite thick, and although I was not that bothered by them, they are there if you look for them – especially the chin on the bottom.
There is a 2.5D glass on top of the screen for protection, but as you can see, it is still prone to scratches. The more serious ones are mainly concentrated on the curves outside of the main screen, but I would still recommend getting protection just to be sure.
Talking about the display quality, I would say it’s good but not as good as Xiaomi paints it to be. For instance, the colors are better than what we usually get on budget smartwatches, but I have a hard time believing it’s a 16-bit display — it just doesn’t have the depth.
Xiaomi also says it’s a 60Hz panel, but it’s hard to believe, given how slow the transitions are between different cards. The menu portions feel a bit smoother, though, making me wonder if the animations are really the issue. In that case, Xiaomi should roll out an update to slough off the heavy animation ASAP.
No Automatic Brightness Adjustment
But, as it stands, I’m disappointed that Redmi Watch 3 Active doesn’t have the smooth experience that I have been accustomed to on the Xiaomi Band 8. It also misses out on another of Band 8’s stand-out features – the automatic brightness adjustment.
Redmi Watch 3 Active is bright enough for both indoors and outdoors. However, adjusting the levels becomes a hassle as you have to go through different levels of settings. You can just leave it on the higher levels for convenience, but that will drain the battery faster.
At the least, Xiaomi could have a brightness adjustment slider on the status bar replacing the music control. This is the only change I would recommend as far as software and UI is concerned, as I’quite impressed without everything else Xiaomi has managed on the Redmi Watch 3 Active.
Software and UI
- Customizable widget screens
- Mi Fitness companion app (Android, iOS)
Obviously, you are not getting a WearOS or even Zepp OS In this price range, but the customization options on this in-house solution are the best I have seen in this price range. To start with, it replaces traditional cards with customizable widget screens. You can stack three to four widgets on a screen at your convenience.
The type of widgets ranges from music control, weather, battery info, and individual health and fitness score to workout shortcuts. You can click on these widgets for a full-screen view with detailed charts and settings.
And the best part is you don’t even need your phone to set this all up – it’s all doable from the watch itself.
- Bluetooth Calling, Wear Detection, Stacked Notification
Oh! You can also receive calls directly from here. Here, you can adjust the volume, mute, and end the call. The speaker volume and microphone quality are adequate for indoors and even peaceful outdoors. But you will have to resort to your phone when in a busy environment. You will get alerts for missed calls with the option to call back or dismiss.
Xiaomi allows up to 10 favorite contacts for quick access. For the rest, you have to dial in the numbers manually to make a call. You can also set an Emergency contact that you can call just by tapping the button on the right thrice.
Unlike calls, other notifications are not actionable. They don’t seem to support emojis, but you can read them and open them on your phone. You can access them by swiping down from the home screen, where they are grouped based on the app to reduce clutter.
- 24-hour heart rate, SpO2 monitoring, Sleep tracking
- 100+ sports, 10 professional modes
Now let’s talk about fitness tracking. From continuous heart rate to SpO2 monitoring, it has all the tracking you would expect from budget fitness tracking. You can even turn on SpO2 monitoring for sleep which not many smartwatches offer in this price range. This has to be turned on manually, along with the REM starting.
The watch also has 100+ sports modes, out of which 10 are professional modes. There is no built-in GPS, but it can access the one on your smartphone without much hassle. You can even set goals and turn on automatic pause before you begin.
The watch does count some extra steps, and the sedimentary reminder is pretty much broken. Except for these two, I have found the records to be close to accurate. All the daily records are available on the watch itself, but you will have to phone weekly and monthly reports.
- 289mAh non-removable
- Up to 12 days of battery (typical usage)
Lastly, the battery lasts up to a week with the tracking and features enabled. You can get more if you turn off some features, but you like to make the most of the watch like I do; 7 days is the maximum you can go without recharging. The process is quick, though – going from 0 to 20% in 10 minutes and the rest in over an hour.
Redmi Watch 3 Active Review: Conclusions
I really love what Xiaomi has done with the Redmi Watch 3 Active. The 60Hz display is a little deceiving but bar that the watch performs in every single aspect. The design is great, the widget screen feels refreshing, and the Bluetooth calling is actually usable. You can even use it as a fitness tracker. So, if you are looking for a smartwatch with all these features, budget Redmi Watch 3 Active is the way to go.
So this was my review of the Redmi Watch 3 Active. I will be coming up with more budget smartwatch videos pretty soon, so support us by hitting the like button and subscribing to our channel.
Redmi Watch Active 3 Review: Pros and Cons
- Premium-looking design
- Customizable widget screens
- Rich health/fitness tracking
- Week-long battery
- No automatic brightness adjustment
- Broken sedentary reminder
- Unpolished animations