Smartwatches are quite common now but good ones are very rare. I've seen multiple attempts from different manufacturers, but very few have managed to tick all my requirements. While people in the Apple ecosystem don't have to think twice before picking up an Apple Watch, the selection in the Android world isn't as straightforward. Google's WearOS has not been quite as successful, and manufacturers are trying everything possible including custom operating systems to make their smartwatches stand out. Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer to join the smartwatch race, but is it ready for the marathon ahead? I got my hands on Xiaomi's Mi Watch Revolve and here are my first impressions.
The packaging of the Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve is a lot like that of the Apple Watch. The rectangular box is tall and narrow. After opening the box, the first thing you'll see is the Mi Watch Revolve. Xiaomi has gone with a traditional circular dial just like Samsung, while some other manufacturers such as Apple prefer rectangular displays.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve measures 46mm in diameter which is a lot bigger than many other smartwatches in the market, but it looked nice on my hands. If you have thin arms, this watch might look huge on your wrist. Xiaomi offers the Mi Watch Revolve in one size only, which could be an issue for some people.
Xiaomi offers the Mi Watch Revolve in two colours, Midnight Black and Chrome Silver. I have the Chrome Silver version with a Neptune Blue strap. The strap is 22mm in width and can be removed easily without any tools. It has a metal clasp just like a regular watch.
Xiaomi's circular Mi Watch Revolve has two buttons on the right. These buttons have a reassuring clicky feedback so I did not find myself second-guessing any input. The 1.39-inch AMOLED display has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an anti-scratch coating. This display has very good viewing angles and does get bright enough when outdoors. Xiaomi has raised the dial bezel slightly while the display is slightly recessed. This should reduce the chances of the display getting scratched.
Turning the watch around reveals the pins for charging and a PPG heart rate sensor in the centre. This smartwatch also has a geomagnetic sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, baraceptor, and ambient light sensor. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 LE as well as GPS and GLONASS for navigation.
The Mi Watch Revolve is quite light and tips at the scale at 40g without a strap. There are no holes on the body of the Mi Watch Revolve for mics, as it does not work with voice commands. Xiaomi has packed in a 420mAh battery and claims a standby time of two weeks. I will be testing the battery life when I review this smartwatch.
You can pair the Mi Watch Revolve with an Android smartphone using the Xiaomi Wear app, as well as iOS devices using the Xiaomi Wear Lite app. Pairing with a smartphone is very easy and you can customise the watch's settings using the app. The Mi Watch Revolve shows notifications from your smartphone on your wrist. I could read notifications and dismiss them but couldn't interact with them in any way. I found three watch faces on the Mi Watch Revolve, but there are a lot more available for download using the Xiaomi Wear app. You can change a watch face but there doesn't appear to be any way to customise them.
Fitness features on the Mi Watch Revolve include exercise, heart-rate, step, distance, sleep and stress tracking. I did check out a few of these features but I will reserve my comments for the full review. Xiaomi has priced the Mi Watch Revolve at Rs. 10,999 in India, which is aggressive compared to the competition. The company is offering an early bird price of Rs. 9,999 which could make it even more appealing. Have your eyes set on the Mi Watch Revolve? Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for the full review.
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