Redmi Watch 4 Review: Affordable Elegance with Top-notch Features
In the wake of Xiaomi’s 10th-anniversary celebration, which saw the release of the highly anticipated K70 series, the Redmi Watch 4 emerged as a standout among the supporting accessories. This budget-friendly smartwatch marked a significant departure for the series, donning a metal armor for the first time.
Eager to explore the potential of this new entrant, I wasted no time in acquiring one for myself. As I delved into the Redmi Watch 4’s features, design, and performance, it became clear that Xiaomi had crafted a compelling contender in the affordable smartwatch arena.
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Design and Build Quality
Upon unboxing, the Redmi Watch 4 immediately exudes a premium feel, thanks to its metal shield design. The aluminum frame brings a refreshing change, a stark contrast to its predecessor, the Redmi Watch 3, which struggled to convincingly imitate a metallic appearance with its plastic frame. The watch 4 is noticeably lightweight, with the metal build adding just 10 grams compared to its predecessor, bringing the total weight (excluding straps) to a manageable 32 grams.
The matte finish on the metal surface not only enhances the premium look but also keeps fingerprints at bay. An interesting detail is the stainless steel Crown with a subtle texture, contributing to an overall polished appearance. However, the sharp edges on the front face raise some concerns about potential scratches and scuffs, especially for those who lead an active lifestyle.
One peculiar issue arises for users, like myself, who wear the watch on their left wrist. Tying it too tightly might lead to accidental touches of the protruding crown. While this could be a minor inconvenience, it’s worth noting for those who prioritize wrist comfort.
The Redmi Watch 4 also brings good news for those who enjoy customization. It supports Xiaomi’s quick-release straps, making it easy to swap them out for different styles. This compatibility with other Xiaomi wearables’ straps expands the options for personalization.
Display Quality and Features
The front side of the Redmi Watch 4 maintains the square dial design characteristic of Apple’s watches. With a 1.97-inch AMOLED display and a commendable 74.8% screen-to-body ratio, the watch provides a more immersive information display compared to its predecessor. The display quality is impressive, offering vivid colors and decent resolution.
Outdoor usability is enhanced by the auto-adjustable brightness, reaching up to 600 nits in bright daylight. One notable feature is the variable refresh rate, allowing the display to run at 60Hz for a smooth experience and dropping to 5Hz in Always-On Display (AOD) mode for improved power efficiency.
The Redmi Watch 4 runs on the latest Xiaomi Hyper OS, making it the second Xiaomi wearable to feature this operating system. The software offers a wide selection of personalized displays, catering to diverse user preferences. Navigating the user interface is straightforward, with swipes in different directions on the dial page to access notifications and widgets. However, the absence of a dedicated shortcut button for actions like starting sports might be a drawback for some users.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The Redmi Watch 4 excels in health and fitness tracking, incorporating an upgraded heart rate monitoring sensor for more accurate readings. It supports 24/7 auto-tracking of blood oxygen levels, adding a valuable health metric to the mix. Other features include sleep tracking, stress tracking, female cycle reminders, and breathing training.
For sports enthusiasts, the watch supports an extensive list of over 150 sports modes, covering a wide range of activities. From water sports and outdoor pursuits to ball sports and more, the Redmi Watch 4 is a versatile companion for various physical activities. The built-in independent GNSS chip allows for outdoor running tracking without the need for a connected phone. With a 5 ATM water resistance rating, it’s also suitable for swimming.
However, caution is advised for certain sports with sharp movements, such as basketball and football, as the watch’s sharp edges could pose a risk of injury to others.
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Connectivity and Battery Life
The Redmi Watch 4 introduces several improvements in connectivity, featuring NFC for convenient offline mobile payments and a full transportation card simulation, particularly useful for users in China.
Despite these enhancements, the watch falls short of fully leveraging Xiaomi’s Multi-Device connectivity, offering only a switch for smartphones in various scenarios. Additionally, the voice assistant functionality is currently limited to Chinese, potentially excluding a broader international audience.
One of the most promising aspects of the Redmi Watch 4 is its impressive battery life. Xiaomi claims a 50% to 80% improvement, with the watch capable of lasting up to 10 days in typical AOD mode and an impressive 20 days in typical mode with default factory settings.
Redmi Watch 4 Review “Pros And Cons”:
- Premium Metal Build: The Redmi Watch 4 boasts a metal shield design, a departure from its predecessor’s plastic frame, giving it a more premium and durable feel.
- Lightweight: Despite the metal build, the watch remains lightweight, making it comfortable for extended wear without compromising on durability.
- Quick Release Straps: The compatibility with Xiaomi’s quick-release straps enhances customization options, allowing users to easily swap out straps for different styles.
- Vivid Display: The 1.97-inch AMOLED display with a 74.8% screen-to-body ratio provides a visually immersive experience, delivering vibrant colors and decent resolution.
- Variable Refresh Rate: The variable refresh rate feature allows the display to run at 60Hz for smooth interactions and can drop to 5Hz in AOD mode, contributing to improved power efficiency.
- Extensive Sports Modes: With support for over 150 sports modes, including water sports, outdoors, ball sports, and more, the Redmi Watch 4 caters to a wide range of physical activities.
- Health Tracking Features: The upgraded heart rate monitoring sensor, 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring, sleep tracking, stress tracking, female cycle reminders, and breathing training enhance its health and fitness tracking capabilities.
- NFC and Transportation Simulation: The inclusion of NFC enables secure offline mobile payments, and the full transportation card simulation is a valuable feature, especially for users in China.
- Impressive Battery Life: Xiaomi claims a significant improvement in battery life, with up to 10 days in AOD mode and 20 days in typical mode. Initial use suggests commendable efficiency, with only an 11% battery drop after a full day of use.
- Sharp Edges: The sharp edges on the watch face may lead to concerns about potential scratches and scuffs, especially for users with an active lifestyle.
- Left-Wrist Wear Issue: Users who wear the watch on their left wrist might encounter accidental touches of the protruding crown when tied too tightly, requiring some adjustment for optimal comfort.
- Limited Multi-Device Connectivity: The Redmi Watch 4 falls short in fully utilizing Xiaomi’s Multi-Device connectivity, offering only a switch for smartphones in various scenarios.
- Chinese-Only Voice Assistant: The voice assistant functionality is currently available only in Chinese, limiting its accessibility for a broader international audience.
- Contact Sports Caution: The sharp edges and design might pose a risk of injury during contact sports, such as basketball and football, potentially limiting its use in certain activities.
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Reasons to Buy:
- Affordable Premium Build: The Redmi Watch 4 combines a budget-friendly price with a premium metal build, offering users a cost-effective option without compromising on quality.
- Versatile Sports Tracking: With support for over 150 sports modes, the watch caters to a diverse range of physical activities, making it an excellent choice for fitness enthusiasts.
- Comprehensive Health Tracking: The upgraded sensors for heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring, coupled with sleep tracking and stress monitoring, make it a compelling device for those prioritizing health and well-being.
- Customization Options: The compatibility with quick-release straps enhances customization, allowing users to change the look of their watch to suit different occasions.
- Impressive Battery Life: The claimed improvement in battery life, coupled with efficient power management, makes the Redmi Watch 4 a reliable companion for extended use without frequent recharging.
- Vivid Display for Information: The vibrant and large display offers a visually immersive experience, making it easy to read notifications and information at a glance.
- NFC and Transportation Features: The inclusion of NFC for mobile payments and transportation card simulation provides added convenience, particularly for users in regions where these features are supported.
- Xiaomi’s Commitment to Updates: Xiaomi’s track record of providing regular software updates increases the likelihood of addressing any software limitations and enhancing the overall user experience over time.
As of the second half of 2023, the Redmi Watch 4 stands out as a top contender for the title of the best affordable smartwatch. Xiaomi has addressed previous design criticisms, delivering a budget-friendly device that feels and looks premium. The metal build, impressive display, extensive health tracking features, and remarkable battery life make it a compelling choice for users on a budget.
However, the watch falls short in fully capitalizing on Xiaomi’s Multi-Device connectivity, limiting its potential appeal. Additionally, the watch’s sharp edges might pose a concern for some users, especially those engaged in contact sports.
In conclusion, the Redmi Watch 4 is a noteworthy addition to Xiaomi’s wearable lineup, offering a compelling package for budget-conscious consumers. If you can overlook the minor drawbacks, it’s a strong contender for the best affordable smartwatch of the year. As always, Xiaomi’s commitment to regular software updates might address some of these concerns, making the Redmi Watch 4 an even more attractive option in the months to come.
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