Redmi is a brand best known for its presence in the budget and mid-range segments of the smartphone market. Over the years, the company has launched a countless number of phones, and on the back of them has managed to become a household name in the country.
Because of its success in the smartphone space, the company had for the longest of time shied away from launching fitness wearables to expand its portfolio of products in the country. However, that has changed now with the company launching its first wearable in India in the form of the Redmi Smart Band — an entry-level fitness band with a colour display and support for sleep tracking technology.
We’ve had the chance to spend some time with the Redmi Smart Band. Read our review to know if it’s worth buying.
Redmi Smart Band Review: Design and display
In terms of the design, Redmi has kept things very simple, and thankfully very different from the Xiaomi Mi Band. The moment you lay eyes on the device you realise it looks nothing like the Mi Band series of wearables and that Redmi has managed to make a clear distinction between its product and Xiaomi’s Mi Bands in terms of the basic design language.
As opposed to the Mi Band 5 which features a curved display, the Redmi Band 5 features a flat, boxy design that looks t be inspired from Fitbit’s series of fitness bands. Unlike the Mi Band 5 which tries bringing in a twist to the traditional design language of smart bands, the Redmi Smart Band plays by the book and throws up a fitness tracker that looks and feels very much like a standard smart band.
The Redmi Band comes with swappable straps that are soft on the skin but do feel sturdy. The Band doesn’t get too tight on the wrist, generally feels quite light, and once you’re used to it, even non-existent on the wrist. Redmi is offering the Smart Band in four colour options, Black, Green, Blue and Orange. The design is also waterproof with a rating of 5ATM, allowing it to be submerged underwater for a short period of time.
For the display, Redmi has equipped the Mi Smart Band with a 1.08-inch TFT LCD colour touch panel which is bigger than anything else that you’d find within this price point. The panel can also get decently bright if you plan to use it under direct sunlight. Viewing angles are also good and text looks sharp enough for using the fitness tracker if you take it out on a run.
The touch screen does have a good amount of bezels around it, but since the functionality and use cases are limited here, the bezels don’t exactly take you away from the experience of using the Redmi Smart Band.
The Redmi Smart Band also doesn’t come with a charging dock. Instead, the removable straps of the band can be taken off to reveal the charging mechanism which can be connected directly to a USB port to charge the device.
Redmi Smart Band: Performance and features
As modern-day fitness trackers go the Redmi Smart Band brings in enough features and functions to help it compete with the competition in the market. Capable of pairing with both iOS and Android devices through Xiaomi Wear app, the band can help the users keep a track of their fitness on the go.
To begin the process, the band first needs to be paired to the above-mentioned companion app, which then allows it to also control the music playing from your phone directly through the fitness band. The interface of the band revolves around the touch screen display and a touch-based button at the bottom of it which can be used to navigate within the watch’s UI.
Within this interface, you have a few functions that you can explore. These include the heart rate monitor, the weather app, a workout app which has support for multiple exercise modes, including outdoor running, treadmill, cycling and walking among others.
While the results obtained during these individual exercises can be seen from the Redmi Smart Band itself, we found it more convenient to go sift through the collected data through the Xiaomi Wear app on our phone.
The Redmi Band also supports notifications for popular apps on Android, including WhatsApp and Gmail. There’s also support for custom Watch Faces which can be downloaded to customise the look of the Redmi Smart Band.
Apart from this, the fitness tracker also brings two headline features in the form of Heart Rate monitor and Sleep Tracker. Both these features work as advertised, with the Sleep Tracking feature especially throwing up accurate results.
As for the battery, the Redmi Smart Band comes with a tiny 130mAh battery which actually ended up giving us close to the advertised 2-week battery life. However, we’d like to point out that this was with light usage of the Heart Rate detection feature which is arguably one of the most battery draining applications on the smart band.
But when you run out of charge, the Redmi Smart Band can be charged using a USB port on your computer to give it a full charge in about two hours. However, as we found out, the process was much faster with a 32W Xiaomi charging brick.
Redmi Smart Band Review: Should you buy it?
The Redmi Smart Band is currently retailing at Rs 1,399 from the company’s website. At this price, it makes for a non-nonsense fitness tracker that you can buy and not regret later. Yes, it does not offer a lot of functionality, or extraordinary looks. However, if we’re being honest, an affordable smart band doesn’t even need to.
For the price, the Redmi Smart Band offers more than enough in terms value, and as such, if you are looking for an entry-level fitness tracker then Redmi’s offering should definitely be at the top of your list.
But before making any buying decisions, do check out the Mi Band 5 also. It’s another excellent smart band, which offers a different design but at a price that’s almost double of what Redmi expects you to pay for its smart band.