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Xiaomi Redmi Watch 3 Active: Your new budget-friendly smartwatch?

As much as I’m drawn to advanced, high-tech wearables, I’m not yet the kind of person who needs that gear. (I hope to be, but that’s a story for another day.) So, the more affordable wearable and smartwatch segment is attractive to me. I need something that looks nice and can handle most of the basic tracking without breaking the bank. And that’s what Xiaomi promises with its new Redmi Watch 3 Active. So, when they offered for us to try it out, I said yes to see if it could work with my lifestyle (and maybe with yours).

An attention-grabbing display

I’ve been using a basic smart band with a more rectangular display. And while that served its purpose, I didn’t realize how useful it is to have a large, square display on a smartwatch. Xiaomi equips the Redmi Watch 3 Active with a 1.83-inch display and 2.5D curved high-strength glass. It’s easy to see all the information I need on it. Even with that larger screen, it doesn’t feel taxing to have on the wrist.

And its shape makes it seem more premium than it is. I don’t mind wearing this with more casual outfits. I especially love the options for free watch faces on this smartwatch. Xiaomi boasts over 200 options, and I’m inclined to believe them. There’s a good mix of functional and cute options that you could switch up daily. It comes with a TPU strap out of the box, but aftermarket options will be available if you want to switch that up.

I also appreciate that the Redmi Watch 3 Active lets me customize the visible widgets on the watch. It’s something you can do with most wearables. But its larger screen allows for different layout options to highlight the data you want to see.

Tracking the basics

Don’t think that the Redmi Watch 3 Active can track the nitty gritty of your health and fitness data. That isn’t what this smartwatch is for. Instead, it’s designed to give more casual users (or those starting training) a general look at their health data. It covers most of the essential health metrics, like heart rate, step count, calories burned, and distance covered. This wearable offers over 100 sports modes that it can track, including 10 professional modes (outdoor running, treadmill, outdoor cycling, walking, trekking, trail run, hiking, elliptical, rower, and jump rope).

I find it counts steps a bit more conservatively than my smart band. But a part of me knows that’s a good thing for pushing me to get up and move around more (which I’m pretty bad at doing during work days). If you’re wondering if you can take it out for a swim, the Redmi Watch 3 Active has a waterproof level of 5ATM, giving it water resistance up to 50 meters.

You can wear this watch in pools or during other shallow water activities. But like other smartwatches at its price point, it isn’t meant for hot showers, saunas, or diving. High-speed water flow shouldn’t be hitting this watch. And that water-resistance function will decline over time. (I like that it has this “Clearing water” function, though. Because it helps clear the water from its speakers after you’ve gone on a swim.)

The Redmi Watch 3 Active can also monitor your other basic health information. It has an all-day heart rate and SpO2 monitoring and sleep and period tracking. You’ll need to input the data on your smartwatch first when monitoring your menstrual cycle.

Long-lasting battery?

Battery life depends on your usage, of course. And I’m the type who turns on all possible health monitoring features, so I’m not surprised I burned through the 289mAh battery in around three days. 

But Xiaomi claims it’s possible to get a pretty impressive 12 days of battery life from the Redmi Watch 3 Active. This watch also has a battery saver feature that can help you extend its “on time” before you can get it to its charger. I love that you can optimize the battery life on the watch itself, too.

The charging time isn’t too long either. It gets that done in around an hour and a half. I plugged it into a smartphone’s charging brick to make this happen.

It’s the extras for me

Many features on the Redmi Watch 3 Active are available on many wearables in its price range. So, I look at the “extras” to see if it offers additional value to what I typically expect from smartwatches. And I’m happy to see a number of them on this wearable.

You get media control that works on everything from Spotify to YouTube to Netflix. You can also receive notifications—with the option of getting them only when your phone is locked. Plus, you can sync your Do Not Disturb settings between your smartwatch and smartphone automatically.

One unique feature Xiaomi wanted to bring up is its Bluetooth calling option. It’s an uncommon function for a smartwatch at its price point. And it works as advertised.

I’ve been able to make calls to loved ones and answer delivery drivers without having to pick up my phone. You must have your phone nearby for this feature to work though. And it only works on calls that come in through your SIM. It doesn’t support third-party apps. So, you won’t be able to answer calls on services like Facebook Messenger, Viber, etc. It’s not a feature I’d use in public, but this comes in handy at home. I can answer an incoming call by just lifting my wrist.

The Redmi Watch 3 Active also gets another practical, potentially life-saving feature related to Bluetooth calling. Its Emergency SOS feature allows you to call your emergency contact quickly. Just press the physical button on the watch’s right side three times rapidly for the smartwatch to call your emergency contact. You must have the watch connected to your phone to make this happen.

This smartwatch can also work as your phone’s camera shutter. And it doesn’t even need to be linked to a Xiaomi phone. I’ve been using it just fine with another Android device. It takes a second or two to shoot, so I’d suggest keeping still after you press the shutter. It worked for video, too, making it helpful for a content creator like me.

Xiaomi Redmi Watch 3 Active: Price and availability

If you plan on buying the Redmi Watch 3 Active, Xiaomi offers an exclusive early bird discount on its Shopee Global Store.* It’s available starting today, July 29, until August 4. You can get the smartwatch for PHP 1,899 instead of PHP 1,999. (In Germany and Spain, it retails for EUR 39.99.) The watch comes with black or gray watch cases and four band options. Availability might vary depending on your location.

Xiaomi Redmi Watch 3 Active: Final thoughts

The Xiaomi Redmi Watch 3 Active isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. You’ve seen its features on other wearables (including the brand’s own). But it packages these at an affordable price point. Plus, its extra functionality is quite helpful. The Redmi Watch 3 Active makes a good case for the position of a starter smartwatch.

Buy the Xiaomi Redmi Watch 3 Active HERE.

* If you buy something from this link, LiTT may earn a commission, but it won’t cost you extra. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

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