We review the Redmi Watch 2 Lite, a modest smartwatch that walks the fine line between smartwatches and sports tracking bracelets.
Xiaomi and Redmi give a new example of their symbiosis in an exercise typical of the Schrödinger cat in which they are the same company and they are not at the same time.
The watch continues to tread the thin line that separates the category of cheap smartwatches from that of sports bands. The bet on a better screen and some tweaks to the sensors are the main elements that keep it on the smartwatch side.
The price is another of its strong points. It remains in the same line as its rivals and can already be purchased for 60.21 dollars. We tell you all the details of the Redmi Watch 2 Lite and we give you our opinion.
|Dimensions||41.2 x 35.3 x 10.7mm | 35g|
|Screen||Color TFT | 1.55 inches | 320 x 360 pixels|
|Battery||Magnetic pin charging|
|connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 | GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS|
|sensors||Accelerometer | gyroscope | Optical heart rate sensor | Sleep measurement | Breath control | Compass|
|strap materials||140-210mm TPU silicone strap|
|Endurance||5 ATM | polymer case|
Discreet design update by reducing screen bezels
We begin this analysis by talking about the design of this renewed Redmi Watch 2 Lite. Despite the name change, the Watch 2 Lite is practically a clone of its predecessor, maintaining its simple and functional style.
Just a couple of details differentiate it from the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite, and they are only appreciated if you have both in your hand. It is a bit more compact in its dimensions, barely noticeable and a bit thinner.
The polycarbonate case retains the same square shape with rounded edges and arrives in our country with black, ivory and blue matte finishes for the case, and is combined with black, ivory, blue, pink, olive and brown straps.
The strap is made of TPU silicone with good flexibility and has a classic buckle closure made of plastic. The strap is interchangeable with others compatible with the Xiaomi anchoring system.
Although the straps can be removed without tools by pressing a clip and pulling them, the truth is that the anchors are quite hard and it can be a bit difficult to remove the strap.
On the right side we find a button that allows you to activate the screen and access the clock functions. Unlike the one we found in the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite, it is centered, has a glossy finish and a very pleasant click.
In the internal part we find a base with smooth shapes in which the set of optical sensors is inserted. The absence of ridges or edges on the inner face of the watch makes it very comfortable on the wrist. It is quite fortunate since we have had to wear it a little tighter than usual so that the sensors record the data with greater precision.
The size of the touch screen is one of the most obvious improvements of this Redmi Watch 2 Lite. With a diagonal of 1.55 inches with a resolution of 320 x 360 pixels. This improvement means reducing the generous frames that the previous version had, although the Watch 2 Lite still has room to use the front.
The AMOLED screen technology has been changed and now sports a TFT that delivers a brightness of 370 lux offering vivid colors, good sharpness and visibility outdoors. The main drawback is that it does not have an automatic brightness adjustment, so the brightness adjustment must be done manually between 5 possible levels.
In our case, we have always kept it between 3 and 4, achieving a good balance between consumption and correct visibility outdoors.
The screen does have a wrist lift mode, but it’s not very reactive and takes a while to wake up forcing you to hold the gesture to view the screen content. This plays against the experience of using the watch.
The tactile experience does not play too much in its favor when navigating the interface, which, again, is not too reactive when changing screens or when pressing to activate functions.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite allows you to carry up to 8 pre-installed watch faces and from the app you can choose up to 100 different faces, so it will be difficult not to find one that suits your needs.
New features are added, but accuracy is not its forte
The operating system is the key for a smart watch to offer more or less functions. In this case, Redmi repeats the experience with its own operating system that, although it comes with a good assortment of pre-installed apps, cannot be expanded since there is no app store itself.
The watch includes all the necessary functions to monitor exercise, heart rate, record steps and distances and measure blood oxygen saturation levels, but also includes others such as alarms, stopwatch and timer, weather forecast, compass and even control for smartphone music or camera shot.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite syncs with the smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0 and receives notifications, call alerts and messages by displaying much of the text content on the screen, but it has some problems with emojis and other signs that are displayed as asterisks.
It is not possible to respond to these messages directly from the watch, while for calls it only allows you to silence or reject them since it lacks a microphone and speaker.
If we focus on data recording during training, we have had some problems to obtain reliable data. The reason for this inconsistency in the records was that the watch was not correctly adjusted on the wrist.
As luck would have it, the correct fit for my wrist is between the adjustment holes. Either I have something loose, but I lose precision, or I tighten it, losing comfort, but gaining precision. The solution has been to tighten it one more hole only when the activity starts.
With this, the data recording has improved, but it is far from being 100% reliable data. As a reference we have gone for a walk around the city activating the GPS and we compare the results of the Watch 2 Lite with those collected by the Huawei Watch GT 3 that we analyzed a few weeks ago as a control watch.
The graph of the route collected by the integrated GPS of the Redmi Watch 2 Lite showed a trajectory that did not quite match the real one, while the distance traveled was about 300 meters below that recorded by the Huawei watch.
It is not something that surprises us since the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite also showed a similar behavior by applying an algorithm that processes the data, so it may not interpret all the steps as valid, canceling the non-consecutive steps.
Something that has been corrected with respect to the Mi Watch Lite is the possibility of controlling the music of the smartphone while doing a sports activity. Something that, surprisingly enough, the previous model did not allow.
The heart rate record also differs slightly, showing slightly higher pulse rates than reality and, again, the position and pressure of the watch is decisive in the measurement of blood oxygen saturation.
Normally we already indicate that these types of devices only serve as a reference since they are not medical devices. In the case of the Redmi Watch 2 Lite, this warning is more justified than ever. It’s not giving you a tachycardia, you just need to tighten the Watch 2 Lite strap a little more.
The Watch 2 Lite does not have an automatic sports activity start system, but it does detect movement and invites the user to select one of the more than 100 available sports activities.
You can find room activities such as running on a treadmill, yoga, HIIT, as well as different disciplines of dance or activities such as running, walking, cycling or climbing.
Nor does it forget team and ball sports such as soccer, basketball, handball or tennis. By having a 5 ATM resistance, the Watch 2 Lite allows you to practice water sports such as swimming, sailing, water polo or rowing, although it is recommended that it always be in fresh water to avoid saltpeter corrosion.
All the information collected by the watch is sent to the Xiaomi Wear app, compatible with Android and iOS mobiles. In addition to graphing the data, it also acts as a control panel from which to configure the clock’s functions.
Xiaomi Wear maintains the simplicity of use that characterizes the Chinese firm’s designs, displaying information in a simple way. This makes the data understandable for all users, but if you are looking for something more detailed and specific you will notice that it lacks information.
By clicking on the different sections of the Status section, you access the detailed information on each parameter: sleep monitoring showing its phases; heart rate with averages and history or the routes and data recorded in your last workouts.
From the Profile section you can configure the behavior of the clock, activate notifications, add spheres, etc.
A week of moderate use with GPS and notifications on
Autonomy is one of the keys for this type of device and another of the points in which this Redmi Watch 2 Lite has slightly improved.
Redmi promises up to 10 days of use with a 262 mAh battery. In our tests we have not managed to stretch its autonomy as much, managing to reach a maximum of 7 days with moderate use of notifications and about three weekly activities with GPS.
If the brightness level is increased a little more, more notifications are received from the account or the time of physical activity is increased, its autonomy easily drops to 5 days of use.
In any case, it is not a bad autonomy for a sports watch of these characteristics and it is placed in the average of its main rivals.
Along with the Watch 2 Lite, a very compact magnetic charger is included that barely consists of a terminal with the two charging connectors at one end, while at the other we find a USB A.
32 minutes of charging will suffice to recover 50% of the battery, and 1 hour and 20 minutes to recover 100% of its capacity.
Discreet screen improvements, but Redmi has forgotten the important thing
We reach the last lines of this analysis of the Redmi Watch 2 Lite with a certain feeling of déjà vu that transports us a year back in time to the analysis of the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite since, literally, the sensations are very similar.
It is possible that the name change and its correct location in the new Xiaomi and Redmi catalog was the excuse to present a slight update of one that was already on the market as a new product.
A slight change in the screen, a touch up in the sensors, more sports activities or being able to read more text in the notifications do not seem like sufficient justifications to launch a smart watch that, in addition, is presented with a higher price than its predecessor.
Don’t get us wrong, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite is a smart watch with good value for money if you are looking for a device that goes a little further than what the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 offers, which has already passed through our laboratory, but it is that That device already existed and is called Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite.