The Mi Watch Revolve, launched last year, has a round AMOLED display and offers good battery life, but has limited smartwatch functionality. Xiaomi has now brought in a new wearable called the Mi Watch Revolve Active, which sounds like a more fitness-focussed sibling of the original Mi Watch Revolve. The new Mi Watch Revolve Active boasts of SpO2 tracking as well as Alexa voice assistant support. The most interesting thing of all is that it slots in at the same price level that the Mi Watch Revolve launched at, though the older model has recently had a price cut. So, does the Mi Watch Revolve Active offer the best value in the market? I put this smartwatch to the test to find out.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at Rs. 9,999, but I did see it selling for Rs. 8,999 during the review period. Xiaomi offers three colour options for the Mi Watch Revolve Active: Beige, Blue, and Black.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active has a circular dial, which makes it look like a traditional watch from a distance. It sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 2.5D curved glass which sits on top of the frame. The Mi Watch Revolve Active comes in only one size, and if you have small hands, it might look big on your wrist. The display has a thin bezel all around, with Home and Sport inscribed on it near the two physical buttons on the right side. These offer good clicky feedback when pressed. The left side is completely blank.
Xiaomi says that the frame of the Mi Watch Revolve Active is made of fibre-reinforced polyamide which makes it look a bit plasticky. It also makes it light – the watch body weighs just 35g. You get 22mm straps with the Mi Watch Revolve Active and these are user-replaceable without needing any special tools.
The strap material is soft and has a textured finish. It has a standard pin buckle to secure it on your wrist. Xiaomi says it will offer more strap options, which should give you the option to customise the look of your watch. At first, the textured strap was a little hard to wear, but with use, it got more comfortable. I did not experience any irritation while wearing the watch.
The underside of the Mi Watch Revolve Active houses all the sensors for heart rate and SpO2 measurement. It also has pin connectors to charge the 420mAh battery on the watch. The mics for Alexa are at the 12 o'clock position and are only visible when the strap is removed.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is water resistant upto 5ATM, so you will be able to take it for a swim and track that if you wish to. The charger has magnets to ensure that the Mi Watch Revolve Active sits securely when charging. This charger has a full-size USB plug on the other end.
You need to pair the Mi Watch Revolve Active with a smartphone during the setup process to start using it. You can pair the watch with an Android smartphone using the Xiaomi Wear app or an iOS device using the Xiaomi Wear Lite app. These are the same apps that you'd need to use the Redmi Watch (Review) as well as the Mi Watch Revolve (Review). The pairing process is quite simple and straightforward. These apps also show you all the health data recorded by the watch at one glance.
Once paired, you can enable notifications on the watch and also set up Alexa using the app for your phone. You can change certain settings of the Mi Watch Revolve Active using the app such as watch faces, and select which apps can notify you on the wrist. Over 100 watch faces are available online for you to download, but the watch only allows you to store five faces on it. Also, these faces cannot be customised in any way except the ones that let you set a photo as a watchface. You can reorder the widgets on the watch as well as reorder workouts right from the app.
Xiaomi lets you take full advantage of the AMOLED display offering an Always-On display mode. This isn't enabled by default since there will be an impact on battery life. Strangely, the raise-to-wake feature is disabled when the Always-on Display is active, so you'll need to press a button to wake the watch which can become inconvenient. There are a few different faces for the always-on display as well.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active runs a custom OS and has different widgets that you can access by swiping right from the watch face. Pressing the top button on the right takes you to the app drawer UI, giving you access to more features such as the timer, alarms, compass, barometer, and Alexa. You can also long-press this button to access Alexa directly.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active doesn't seem to have the full-fledged version of Alexa running on the watch itself, and its capabilities are limited. You can talk to this voice assistant, and replies will appear in the form of text on the screen. You can ask Alexa about the weather and it will respond. I could also ask it different questions and it fetched the answers from the internet. I could check the status of Amazon orders on the watch directly. You should also be able to control IoT devices if you have them set up using Alexa. I couldn't play music on my phone using Alexa, and it to send someone a message didn't work either.
I had no issues navigating around on the watch as it was quite responsive. I could also quickly check my heart rate and SpO2 levels by swiping from the watch face. Long-pressing the bottom button labelled Sport takes you straight to the workouts that you can track on the Mi Watch Revolve Active.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is better equipped than Xiaomi's previous watch. It has SpO2 tracking, which is a nifty feature to have during these times. I tested the SpO2 tracking on the Mi Watch Revolve Active by comparing it to a fingertip pulse oximeter and found the results to be accurate. Heart rate measurements while at rest were also accurate when compared to those displayed by an Apple Watch SE (Review) that I was using at the same time.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active was comfortable to wear while sleeping, and sleep tracking was accurate as well. The Mi Wear App gave me a breakdown of different stages of my sleep. To measure step tracking, I counted 1,000 steps manually as I walked, and the Mi Watch Revolve Active showed 1,005 steps. This isn't a huge deviation and will suffice for anyone who wants a general overview of their activity levels.
You can track a lot of different workouts with the Mi Watch Revolve Active. It constantly shows your heart rate and calories burned while you're working out. I found heart rate tracking while active to be a bit off. While exercising on one occasion, I had the Apple Watch reporting 131bpm while the Mi Watch Revolve Active was showing 84bpm, which was not accurate. I wouldn't recommend relying on this heart rate information while working out.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active can also track the wearer's energy and stress levels. As expected, energy levels were high after a good night of sleep, and lower on days when I hadn't slept well. As for stress levels, the watch gives you a number and a rating of either High, Moderate, Mild, or Relaxed. On most days the Mi Watch Revolve Active showed that I was experiencing Moderate levels of stress during weekdays and was in the Mild/Relaxed zone over the weekends. The watch also has a guided breathing widget that you can use to try to reduce stress levels.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active can notify you of incoming notifications by vibrating on your wrist. You can only see these notifications and cannot respond to them. Similarly, you can see incoming calls with the caller's name on the watch, but only get the options to silence or reject the call.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active lasted me less than two weeks on a full charge. My usage included tracking workouts on most days, with sleep tracking enabled and occasional SpO2 measurements. I also had the always-on display turned on for a day or two which drained the battery slightly quicker. My workouts were indoors, without needing GPS to latch on, and if you plan on tracking outdoor activities outdoors, you might experience lower battery life. It took around two hours to fully charge the watch.
The new Mi Watch Revolve Active is targeted at people who are regularly on the move. SpO2 tracking is a good feature to have during these times. Xiaomi has priced this watch at Rs. 9,999, and it is positioned as more premium than the Mi Watch Revolve which now sells for Rs. 7,999. The new watch does basic tracking quite well but heart rate tracking while working out was not as reliable..
You do get Alexa integration with the Mi Watch Revolve Active, but its functionality is limited. There aren't a whole lot of options in the market at this price, but the Amazfit GTS 2e is one option that comes close.