In mid-2021, Redmi came out with its first smartwatch, the Redmi Watch. It was quite an impressive device, and perhaps one of the best options for anyone looking for a smartwatch under Rs 4,000. Now, the brand has come out with the Redmi Watch’s successor, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite. The price has been bumped up from Rs 3,999 to Rs 4,999. With that higher price also come better specs. But in a market where fitness bands have been getting more powerful and smartwatches more affordable, is the second Redmi Watch as compelling a product as the first one?

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Looks like the Redmi Watch

In terms of design, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite broadly follows the template of the Redmi Watch, which is not a bad thing. This is a smart-looking watch. You get a slightly squarish display and a comfortable TPU strap with a conventional buckle. We got the blue strap in the box, but there are also pink, ivory, coral, and black options.

The body of the watch is sturdy plastic, the display is glass, and the device has 5 ATM water resistance so that it can be taken swimming. The back has sensors and charging pins, and on the right side of the watch is a single button for controls and navigation. However, unlike the Redmi Watch, where this button was near the top of the side, it is now bang in the center of the right side. There is a proprietary two-pin charger in the box, very similar to the one that accompanied the Redmi Smart Band Pro.

Bigger, but not always better, display

Although it looks like a clone of the original Redmi Watch, has almost exactly the same proportions, and weighs the same (a very light 35 grams with strap), the Redmi Watch 2 Lite differs in one very significant respect. Within that same-sized frame, it actually has a slightly larger display. The newer watch comes with a 1.55-inch LCD display as compared to the 1.4-inch LCD one on the Redmi Watch and with a higher resolution as well (320 x 360 as compared to 320 x 320).

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Bigger, however, does not seem to be better in this case. While there is no doubt that the display is visibly larger and has smaller bezels around it, we felt it was not as vivid and colorful as the one on the previous Redmi Watch. The colors looked a little dull on this one. Also missing on the Redmi Watch 2 Lite is auto-brightness, so we had to tweak brightness manually from time to time. The watch has five brightness levels, and at 3 and above, it is comfortably visible in sunlight. As this is an LCD display, an always-on display is not an option, but the watch comes with a raise to wake option.

It is definitely a good display, and its larger size makes it more readable, but it just does not look as sharp as the one on the Redmi Watch and the recently launched Redmi Smart Band Pro (which has a 1.47 inch AMOLED display). As with other Xiaomi wearables, there are plenty of watchfaces available to change the watch’s appearance if need be.

Generally a very smooth performer

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In terms of functionality, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite ticks every budget smartwatch box you can think of. It comes with a heart rate sensor, electronic compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope. There is also GPS onboard, so you do not have to keep your phone handy to get location data or more accurate distance measurements. The watch comes with support for more than a hundred workout modes, including walking, treadmill, outdoor cycling, swimming, yoga, and even sports like cricket, badminton, and football. The watch measures heart rate, tracks blood oxygen, can track sleep, and can even keep an eye on stress levels. You get notifications if your heart rate is high (we got a few) and also are prompted to get up if you have been sitting for too long. There is also women’s cycle tracking.

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The Redmi Watch 2 Lite does all of this very well indeed. We felt that its sleep tracker was a little too generous for our liking, always showing a higher number of hours slept, and occasionally, the heart sensor gave slightly higher recordings than those shown by our Oximeter. But apart from that, the watch was on point with step counts, distance traveled, and tracking workouts. Blood oxygen counts were also accurate, but continuous Blood Oxygen tracking happens only while you are asleep – while you are awake, you need to measure it manually. Stress measurement also seemed a little off the pace, with the watch insisting that all was well, even when not.

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The interface is the same as in the Redmi Watch. You use the button on the side to head to the menu or back to the main watchface. A long press of the button also switches the watch on and off. The rest of the navigation is a matter of swipes and touches. You swipe down from the main watchface to see notifications, swipe up to get to basic settings, and swipe to the right and left from the main screen to view information on heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness goals, workouts, and the weather. The watch pairs with the Xiaomi Wear App on Android and Xiaomi Wear Lite on the iPhone. We have used the app before and like its clean interface.

See more, read more

The big screen does help in reading data. You often just get so much more information than you would on a smaller smartband. So you can actually find out more than how much you slept. You can also check the kind of sleep you experienced and all without looking at your phone. You can also check out the weather in some detail and find out more about your heart rate. The watch also comes with support for notifications from apps and some smart features. You can reject a call from the watch but not accept it. Similarly, you can also control your phone’s music and camera from the watch itself and even find your phone, should you lose it.

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Emails are, however, limited to the subject line, as are messages. The watch is an extension of the notifications bar of your phone in some ways. That said, it does let you keep track of what’s happening without having to take your phone out. There’s no calling supported here, but if you are the type that likes to keep their phone inside their pockets, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite does a better job than most fitness bands. That big display is just simpler to read and see graphics on.

A few rough spots, but great battery life

It is reasonably accurate and is great for reading the information, but the Redmi Watch 2 Lite has its share of oddities. Perhaps the strangest thing is that even though the watch itself works smoothly, it takes some time to wake up. Whether you use raise to wake, use the button on the side, or simply double-tap the display, there often was a clear pause before the display turned on.

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Another thing that we found a little odd was that the watch did not seem to synchronize fitness data with the connected phone automatically. We often had to open the Xiaomi Wear app and then go to the profiles to update the data. It is not a deal-breaker, as you get most of the data on your wrist anyway, but it just feels odd to see newer data on the watch and older data on the phone it is connected to.

Xiaomi claims the Redmi Watch 2 Lite comes with 10-day battery life. If you stick to the default settings, the watch will deliver this and more. However, turn on sleep tracking, constant blood oxygen checking, move the heart rate monitoring to every few minutes instead of once in half an hour, and you will see battery life coming down to something in the region of five days to a week. Given all that it does, that is very impressive still. It takes about two hours to charge using a 33W Xiaomi charger.

A worthy investment?

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At Rs 4,999, we would say that the Redmi Watch 2 Lite is not as much of a no-brainer as the Redmi Watch was. Although it brings a bigger display to the table, the Rs 1,000 extra it charges over the Redmi Watch puts it up against some very stiff competition. One of its biggest challengers is actually not even a smartwatch, but the Redmi Smart Band Pro, which is priced at Rs 3,999, and Xiaomi has tried to market it as a sports watch. It replicates a lot of the Redmi Watch 2 Lite’s functionality (it does not have GPS, though) while coming with a slightly wider than usual AMOLED display with the always-on feature.

On the smartwatch front, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite will also cross swords with the Amazfit Bip U Pro, which also comes with GPS and similar functionality and has a similar price tag, but comes with a smaller display. The Redmi Watch was pretty much the boss of its zone. Thanks to its slightly higher price tag, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite cannot yet claim to be the same. It definitely is one of the best options for anyone who wants a smartwatch for under Rs 5,000. But it is by no means the only option.

Buy Redmi Watch 2 Lite

Pros

Bigger display
Onboard GPS
Smooth operation
Good battery life
Accurate distance and fitness tracking

Cons

Display looks a little dull
Can take time to wake up
Stress and sleep tracking are a little iffy

Review Overview
Design
Features
Performance
Ease of Use
Price
SUMMARY

While it is a smooth and steady operator, the Rs 4,999 price tag means that the Redmi Watch 2 Lite is likely to face stiff competition, some of it even from its own sibling smart bands. Here's our review.

3.8
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