Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Active Review: An upgrade that feels like two steps forward

Smartwatches are serious business, and Xiaomi clearly doesn’t seem to be taking this lightly. Not even a little. The second addition to the Mi Watch series and the third watch for the company in India is the new Mi Watch Revolve Active. This will now sit alongside the Mi Watch Revolve and indeed the Redmi Watch GPS. The new watch also has a very good sense of time and place, as it adds the blood oxygen monitor, or SpO2, that the older sibling doesn’t have. And that’s what the health monitoring and wellness upgrades have been built around, with activity and healthy lifestyles coming onto the radar of more and more people who have been cooped up at home for months. The price of the new Mi Watch Revolve Active? That will be Rs 8,999 for now.

It’s been a while since I last experienced the Mi Watch Revolve, but there seems to be a clear similarity in the design that the Mi Watch Revolve Active continues. It’s a mix of symmetry, smooth textures and a fairly balanced blend of sophistication and youthfulness. This is a 46mm watch, which means you’ll need to consider the size of your wrist and perhaps large dials as well. I like big watch faces, which is why the Mi Watch Revolve Active checks off the personality aspect altogether. Color choices range between beige, black and navy blue, and you can add some more color with some vibrant watch faces, which will adorn the 1.39-inch AMOLED screen. What you see photographed here is the beige color scheme, and in a way this is definitely a fresher take on smartwatches that aren’t normally seen in such bright colors.

The only buttons that break the beautifully curved and sculpted round watch frame are on the right side, while you are wearing the watch. For once, they’re also labeled, and that’s not exactly the same as trying to give your brain cells some extra work every time you have to do something on watch and trying to remember which does which. The higher one is the Home key, while the second key is called Sport, which in itself gives a hint as to what it does: this is the quick access to the workouts. The Mi Watch Revolve Active has 22mm watch straps just like its older sibling, which should make the color choices even wider for you in case you’re in the mood for a nice play of color. The Mi Watch Revolve is available in Midnight Black in leather, Neptune Blue, Cosmic Dust Maroon, Space Black and Astral Olive, subject to availability, and those strap options can now add contrast, with the Active iteration. In fact, the Mi Watch Revolve Active weighs about 32 grams, which is more than 8 grams lighter than before. There is one note about the straps that registers every time I wear or take off the Mi Watch Revolve Active. The straps, at least on the variant I received, seem to have too much friction resistance, meaning you have to put a little effort into threading the strap as it rubs against the other layer and when it comes time to thread through the two holders to go.

The 1.39-inch display with AMOLED is simply better than you might have expected, admit it. This screen is bright, colorful and sharp. There’s also the Always On display mode if you want to keep that active – I don’t, to be honest. Raising the wrist to activate the display option works pretty well for me, although something very simple often doesn’t work that well on many watches. The display of the Mi Watch Revolve Active has a brightness of 450 nits and effectively neutralizes the glare and reflections caused by bright sunlight. Yes, you may have to move your wrist just a tiny bit every now and then to eliminate a really stubborn reflection, but that’s about it. Something I had noticed with the Mi Watch Revolve, and this also applies to the Mi Watch Revolve Active: however, the screen seems to collect fingerprints a little too easily. That will be a bit annoying if you want your gadgets to be clean and spotless. This screen is big, vibrant, and gets the job done without you ever having to poke the glass more than once.

The same also applies to the software. It never gets in the way of what you plan to do. There are familiar aspects to what Google Wear OS does, what Xiaomi’s previous smartwatch showed, and what Fitbit fitness-focused watches have to offer. Mind you, this is absolutely not a criticism; it’s all about simplicity, and it’s good that Xiaomi isn’t trying to redesign the steering wheel. Whichever smartwatch you switch from, you should get used to the Mi Watch Revolve Active’s software quite quickly. Swipe right or left on the beautiful watch face (there are more than options to choose from) and you’ll scroll through widget screens that tell you your heart rate and body energy (this is my favorite and often beautifully illustrates how exhausted I am with time), sleep data, stress level and the weather details. Now the blood oxygen monitor is also available. These are all beautifully laid out with very readable font styles and sizes.

That said, the app drawer, while nicely formatted, may not be the most convenient to use. Although laid out as simply as possible, the icons don’t always give you an idea of ​​what a particular app is for, and I didn’t see the option to add text. And I would have liked to see more customizations and controls available for the elements within the different watch faces. That’s just really not an option at the moment, meaning what you see is what you get, with no flexibility to customize the finer elements on the Mi Watch Revolve Active.

Xiaomi uses the new LifeQ Health Information algorithm, which should make fitness and health measurement more accurate. This specifically improves heart rate monitoring, SpO2 measurements and sleep tracking. More data calculation points are available, which means the measurements you get will be more accurate and the suggestions will be better suited to what you need. The SpO2, or blood oxygen monitor, wasn’t exactly the fanciest feature in smartwatches until the coronavirus emerged. Now everyone wants something that allows them to track their blood oxygen stats. Yes, these statistics and measurements are often an early and crucial indicator if you have COVID-19 or even another illness, and can often be the first reason to contact your doctor. In my case, the blood oxygen monitor measurements of the Mi Watch Revolve Active came from a point of the standalone Dr. Morepen blood oxygen monitor device – the Mi Watch Revolve Active was mostly on the higher side.

Mind you, smartwatches and no smartwatch including the Mi Watch Revolve Active claim to be absolutely accurate and comparable to medical grade devices. But if you misread it a little several times, you can get a good idea that something is indeed wrong.

The one feature I continue to absolutely love is the body energy monitoring. This returns a calculation and figure of the energy value in real time, by understanding the various data and statistics that the Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve Active and its range of sensors collect about a person’s health. For me, this turned out to be quite accurate, as the score I saw matched quite well how I was generally feeling at the time. There’s also the Stress Monitoring, which collects heart rate variability statistics and performs complex calculations to indicate when you might be stressed. If nothing else, a graph of this data just tells you how you’re wasting your life, not that you can do much about it with bills you need to pay. Sports and training get a boost with the Mi Watch Revolve Active, with around 117 sports modes available, and these also include professional workouts including high-intensity training, yoga and triathlons. Because the watch is water resistant, with a rating of 5ATM, the Mi Watch Revolve Active is also ready for swimming sessions.

Last but not least is the addition of Amazon Alexa to the Mi Watch Revolve Active. Now all you have to do is call Alexa on your wrist and easily order it for a variety of use cases: alarms, to-do lists, calendar management, and even control all the smart home devices in your home. Note that if you buy the Mi Watch Revolve Active and Alexa is not built-in, you will only need to perform a software update as this functionality will be rolled out later. Nice addition to have if you have an Alexa ecosystem at home, complete with smart speakers and smart devices. Yet this is not the only reason why you would want to spend on the new smartwatch.

The final word: Mi Watch Revolve Active is an incremental but important update

Smartwatches are usually not as extensive with the list of features as the Mi Watch Revolve Active. The good thing is that the foundation remains strong with the Mi Watch Revolve Active, which follows the impressive Mi Watch Revolve just a few months later. The big additions are the SpO2 monitor and the fitness functionality updates. But the really nice design, the very useful software, the vibrant display, the strong battery life that lasts a few weeks in most cases, and a touch of interesting functionality like stress detection really make this an even stronger solution. proposal. The price of the Mi Watch Revolve has recently been reduced to Rs 7,999 to make room for this, and the Mi Watch Revolve Active is going to be a smartwatch worth considering if you use an Android phone in particular and don’t exactly want to spend a lot of money on which you’d be heading into Samsung Galaxy Watch or Fitbit territory. Currently priced at Rs 8,999 and eventually Rs 9,999 for a smartwatch, the Mi Watch Revolve Active doesn’t really throw any problems.

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