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Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Review: Excellent Mid-Range Smartwatch That Misses Something Utterly Basic
Mi Watch Revolve is Xiaomi's first-ever Mi-branded smartwatch for the Indian market. It has been crafted specifically for people with a keen eye for stylish design and fitness-centric features. Launched in just one size variant, i.e. 46mm, the Mi Watch Revolve is priced at Rs. 10,999. But you can grab the wearable at an introductory price of Rs. 9,999 for a limited time-period before Diwali.
- Elegant And Sturdy Design
- Vibrant AMOLED Screen
- Excellent Battery Life
- Easy-To-Use Controls
- Plenty Of Fitness Modes and Features
- Software Could Be More User-Friendly
- No 42mm Variant
- Reply To Texts Feature Not Available
- Can’t Answer Calls From Wrist
Xiaomi sent us the Chrome Silver variant which looks stunning. The round dial with a vibrant AMOLED screen is an instant head-turner. Xiaomi claims that the Mi Watch Revolve can last for 2-weeks on one full charge and offers accurate measurements of your body's vitals. Does it live up to the expectations? Let's find this out in the Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Review.
Design- Classic Circular Dial Looks Elegant
There's no other smartwatch in this price bracket that looks as good as the Mi Watch Revolve. It is an elegant-looking timepiece that can be comfortably worn in office meetings, social gatherings, and in daily routine. It effortlessly blends with formals and casuals and that's a big plus for any smart wearable. The classic circular dial with a flat-screen and the metal casing gives the Mi Watch Revolve a contemporary look. The quality of the material is good, feels long-lasting and gives it a much premium look and feel than its price tag. Xiaomi ships the Mi Watch Revolve with standard silicone straps but you can swap them with leather straps which look much better with the dial.
The smartwatch has been launched in two color variants- Midnight Black and Chrome Silver and you have the option to choose from five different straps- Neptune Blue, Astral Olive, Cosmic Dust maroon and Midnight Black which offers a leather strap. We are testing the Chrome Silver variant with Neptune Blue straps and it looks striking. The Mi Watch Revolve also checks standard durability standards. The watch's body has a water resistance rating of 5ATM (50 m water resistance).
Overall, the Mi Watch Revolve is a perfect timepiece, both for college students and office goers in terms of design.
No 42mm Size Variant!!
Xiaomi decided to introduce the Mi Watch Revolve in just one size variant, i.e. 46mm, which is a bit of a letdown as not everyone would feel comfortable with a big dial strapped on their wrist. Xiaomi should introduce a smaller variant of the Mi Watch Revolve as this classic looking timepiece deserves a 42mm sibling for consumers who have smaller wrists. The watch doesn't feel heavy or uncomfortable on the wrist; however, you might want to remove it while sleeping as the big dial can create slight discomfort. If you are habitual of wearing big watches, you will not face any size or discomfort with all-day wear.
Display- Vibrant AMOLED Display
The 46mm circular dial houses a sizeable screen for comfortable viewing of time and other important information. The good brightness level (450 nits) and vibrant colors produced by the AMOLED panel makes it easy to read notifications, check the time and health-related stats on the 1.39-inch full-touch enabled AMOLED display. The Xiaomi Wear companion app has myriad of watch faces that look pretty good on the AMOLED screen, thanks to the decent pixel density of 326 PPI (454 x 454 pixels resolution).
If you recall, the Huawei Watch GT 2 also offers similar display specifications at a higher price-point; however, I found the Mi Watch Revolve's screen slightly better in terms of color reproduction, deep black formation and viewing angles.
Overall, the Mi Revolve smartwatch offers one-of-the best screens on a smartwatch under the Rs. 12,000 price-bracket. It allows you to comfortably read the text and check important stats on your wrist, thus serving some of the most important tasks of a smartwatch.
There are two crown buttons on the right side of the dial. A single press on the top button opens the menu screen to show all the applications and long-pressing it allows you to reboot, power off and reset the smartwatch. It also works as a home button for the watch. The second button is customizable and you can set it to open workout modes, apps menu, weather interface, clock interface, music page, etc. you can customize the button function from the Xiaomi Wear companion application.
The UI is visually appealing and easy-to-use but it could have been a bit more responsive and intuitive, for instance, the app drawer is not neatly laid out and could use some modifications. The typography and color scheme is easy on eyes and the big font size makes it easy to check the time and other important information at a glance. The graphical representations of the heart rate data and sleep records look visually pleasing and informative at the same time. The same can be said for the companion app which shows health-related statistics in neat graphical formats.
No Third-Party App Support But Most Widely Apps Available
Xiaomi's in-house wearable OS has no support for third-party apps. You have to make peace with whatever Xiaomi is offering with the smartwatch. Thankfully, the in-house app has almost everything you need on your smart wearable. The Mi Watch Revolve allows you to control music from your wrist, enable a flashlight, set a timer, check weather data, use a stopwatch, set an alarm, etc. Sadly, you cannot pick incoming calls from your wrist. Moreover, replying to text messages is also not possible which seems like a missed opportunity for such a big and vivid display.
Swipe Up/Down And Left/Right To Navigate UI
As far as on-screen touch controls are concerned, the proprietary OS works with simple swipe gestures. You can swipe down on the main watch face to check notifications or can swipe up from the bottom to access quick panel which shows battery status, and some quick settings such as Torch, DND, Screen lock, etc.
You can only access the notification tray and quick settings panel if you are swiping up/down respectively from the main watch screen, which is a bit of a letdown. Ideally, the software should let me access both the panels from any screen in the user interface.
Moving on, you can swipe left or right to check health-related stats, access music controls, check stress level, weather, sleep data, and heart rate statistics. You can long tap on the main watch face to replace it with new ones or can use the companion app to set new watch faces. Swiping right on the dial works as a back button if you are in the settings menu or inside any individual application.
Always-On-Display Mode And Raise-To-Wake
The screen also supports ‘Always-On Display' to show time on the dial throughout the day but it affects the overall battery life. You must enable ‘Raise-To-Wake' mode to save some battery life as it lets you check the time by just raising your wrist; however, it could use some software tuning as it failed to display the time quite a lot during the testing period. I tried the feature with both standard and high sensitivity and did not experience any difference.
Also, I think Xiaomi should offer ‘Tap-to-wake' display to make things easier. Not everyone might prefer it as it can lead to accidental screen touches but it also comes handy in situations when you cannot use the raise-to-wake feature. Xiaomi should offer the feature and leave it on end-user to enable/disable it as per preference.
Xiaomi Wear App To Configure And Setup Mi Watch Revolve
You would need Xiaomi Wear smartphone app to configure the Mi Watch Revolve. The process is fairly simple and takes hardly 3-4 minutes to set up the watch. It is worth mentioning that the Mi Watch Revolve is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Below are the steps to configure and setup the Mi Watch Revolve.
- Install Xiaomi Wear app from Google Play Store/App Store.
- Open the app and search for new devices.
- Select Mi Watch Revolve in the app and let the phone establish a connection with the wearable.
- Give necessary permissions to the smartwatch and set up your profile by inputting age, gender, height and weight.
Post the setup process, you can check your vital health statistics by tapping on the ‘Data' tab. You can select watch faces, customize notifications to appear on the dial screen and access all wearable related settings by tapping on ‘Additional Settings' on the main page.
Health And Fitness Features
The Mi Watch Revolve has everything that you need to get started with a fitness regime if you want to give wearables a chance to bring a change in your lifestyle. It can track your steps, the distance you cover, measure your heart rate, sleep data (Light sleep, Deep sleep, REM, Awake time, etc.), body's energy consumption, VO2 Max, and even stress levels, thanks to the ‘Firstbeat Motion Algorithm' that uses an analytics engine to transform data from your heart rate into useful insights. To do that, the wearable needs a good heart rate sensor and Xiaomi seems to have offered a pretty accurate one. The Mi Watch Revolve comes equipped with a PPG heart rate sensor that delivers near accurate readings of your heart activity and uses the data to measure vital body statistics to offer useful insights.
Moving on, the smartwatch also has 10 different sports modes to track your fitness level including running, cycling, hiking, treadmill, spinning, walking, free exercises (Gym exercises) and swimming. The smartwatch can auto-track steps, distance covered and calories burned but you have to manually enable the sports mode to track body vitals. The sensors are pretty accurate in recording the aforementioned data logs.
It is worth mentioning that an instrument-like Mi Watch Revolve can only measure and inform you about your body's vitals. It is only you who have to make good use of those insights to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you lack discipline, no wearable can help you in the journey to get fit, mentally and physically.
I have been using the Mi Watch Revolve for 9 days straight and it hasn't died on me yet. It will still last for another day or two in a continuous connected state with my smart device. It is also worth mentioning that the smartwatch is set to offer continuous heart rate monitoring which consumes a lot of juice but is required to fetch vital health statistics from the wearable. If you use the Mi Watch Revolve moderately, it should last for 2 weeks on one full charge.
The Mi Watch Revolve is quite close to being an ideal smartwatch for masses. It has almost everything that most of us want from a smartwatch, i.e. elegance, long-lasting battery, and a vibrant display. It's an investment that you won't regret. Xiaomi can improve the software experience by making some necessary modifications to the proprietary OS that will only make the Mi Watch Revolve a better smartwatch over time. Also, a smaller size variant should arrive in the coming months to fill the size gap.
If you want to explore the market, Huawei's Watch GT line-up is one decent option but it seems irrelevant after Xiaomi's wearable. You can also consider the Oppo's recently launched Apple-watch lookalike that harnesses the power of Google's Wear OS platform, only if you are invested in Google's wearable platform; however, the Oppo's watch battery life is a sheer disappointment.
You can also check out Amazfit GTS, Amazfit GTR (47mm and 42mm) and some Huawei smartwatches in the sub-15K price segment that offer more or less similar features in various form-factors.