It will not be an exaggeration to say that the wearable segment in India has exploded, with a wide assortment of devices available to suit all needs and budgets. Wrist wearables typically include fitness bands and full-fledged smartwatches, though the lines are becoming increasingly blurred thanks to different models and form factors being introduced in a variety of different price points. Most fitness bands offer smart features, while smartwatches also come with fitness features. Then there are devices that are essentially fitness bands, but come in the form of watches. In the fray are brands like Realme, OPPO, OnePlus, Huawei, Noise, Amazfit, Dizo and countless others. Xiaomi is a brand that’s way ahead of most, having introduced its first Mi Band to the country in 2015.
The company now has a decent portfolio of wearables, branded Xiaomi and Redmi. The latest addition to the list comes in the form of the Redmi Smart Band Pro. The inclusion of “Pro” in the moniker is interesting, indicating an extensive list of features. And the device does not disappoint in this regard, despite its attractive price. Time to check it out closely to see how well it works.
Design and display
From a design and form-factor standpoint, the Redmi Smart Band Pro is essentially a fitness band, although it does go the hybrid route by including a larger display than most typical trackers. Trackers sporting similar designs have also been introduced by other brands like Realme, OPPO, etc., so nothing out of the ordinary here, really. That said, the Redmi Smart Band Pro is pretty sleek wrapped around the wrist. The device is only available in a black colorway though, and I wish the brand had introduced more colors. The thin rubber straps are removable, so hopefully different color straps will be available later. The TPU straps use proprietary connectors, with one end featuring a buckle and the other carrying a metal stud with a pin that goes into one of the holes on the other side. The module in the center is the key component, however, with the rectangular screen on top being the most visible element.
Weighing just over 25 grams, the Redmi Smart Band Pro is supremely comfortable to wear 24/7, and even features 5ATM water resistance so you can take it anywhere. the pool carefree. On the back you’ll see Redmi branding, optical sensors and a few pogo pins where the included charging cable attaches magnetically. It should be mentioned here that there are no physical buttons on the device and the use is entirely tactile. The 1.47-inch, 194 x 368 display uses AMOLED technology and produces vibrant colors. At 450 nits it also gets quite bright, and Redmi has even added an ambient light sensor to automatically control the brightness. As for the display, it should be mentioned that the Redmi Smart Band Pro also supports always-on display. Although it consumes more battery, it’s useful when you want to glance at the time in a hurry. Once you turn it on, the wristband screen will display basic time information in digital format.
In keeping with the “Pro” in its moniker, the band comes with a plethora of features. The standard assortment of features such as weather, stopwatch, timer, alarm, music control, phone finder, etc. are all there. There’s even a remote camera shutter feature, currently in beta. It also mirrors notifications from a paired smartphone, and while there’s no way to interact with those directly on the band, its decently sized screen and elongated shape make text quite readable.
Where the Redmi Smart Band Pro shines is the full suite of fitness features it offers. There’s a step counter, heart rate, breathing exercises, stress monitoring, and sleep tracking. Female users would appreciate the women’s health features offered. Although blood oxygen saturation has become more important lately, it has always been a useful measurement for sports enthusiasts, hikers, climbers, etc. Accordingly, there is also an SpO2 sensor. Plus, you can set it to continuously monitor your oxygen saturation levels while you sleep as well. The device uses the LifeQ Heart algorithm and includes a 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, PPG heart rate sensor and vibration motor, and the SpO2 and ambient light sensors I mentioned earlier.
To top it off, Redmi has supported 110 sports modes, and this includes activities as varied as parkour and paragliding under outdoor sports, belly dancing and Zumba under dancing, kickboxing and fencing under combat sports, beach football and something. called Sepak takraw in ball sports, and kite flying and fishing in recreational sports. All usual activities and sporting activities are covered of course. I don’t know if regular people would find many of them useful, but suffice it to say that you should be able to find your favorite physical activity or sport. Automatic workout detection is also supported for walking and running. There’s no built-in GPS, so you’ll need your phone with you if you want the Redmi Smart Band Pro to track your runs.
App and Connectivity
The Redmi Smart Band Pro syncs with your phone using the Xiaomi Wear app on Android and Xiaomi Wear Lite on iPhone. During my review period, I tried the band with both platforms to see how it worked. The functionality is slightly limited on iOS, which is probably why they chose to add the “Lite” suffix to the app’s name on Apple’s App Store. From what I can gather, the main difference is that on iOS the user doesn’t have as much control over notifications as on Android. On Android, the Xiaomi Wear app lists all the apps you have installed on your phone, and you can choose to select which ones you want to receive notifications from. On iOS, the Xiaomi Wear Lite app only lists Phone, Messages, Mail and Mi Home, and groups all others under “Other”. This is not necessarily a deciding factor and is due to the limitations imposed by iOS. However, I found minor connectivity issues on iOS, in which I had to restart the band to connect to the iPhone every time I turned Bluetooth back on. There were no such problems on Android. However, I didn’t experience any syncing issues on either platform, and the Redmi Smart Band Pro quickly synced data with the Xiaomi Wear/Wear Lite app.
Speaking of which, the app itself is intuitive and displays synced data well. You can use it to configure the group, set alarms, choose which apps can show you notifications, select which workouts you want the group to list, and more. Physical activity data is well presented – you can view steps, heart rate, SpO2, stress etc. over a period of time. Sleep data is divided into deep sleep, light sleep, REM and awake time. You can also use the app to configure and set advanced features such as continuous SpO2 monitoring while you sleep, specify time intervals for heart rate measurement, set alerts for high and low heart rate , customize the alarm clock function and more.
Of course, you can also use the app to choose one from a set of five different pre-installed watch faces and download more. The selection of additional watch faces is reasonably good, but if you asked me the only comment I would have on that would be “the more the merrier”. You can even use photos stored in your phone’s gallery to create custom watch faces, which is nice. That said, I would like to see more options.
Usage, performance and battery
Overall, I think the Redmi Smart Band Pro performs quite well. I have no complaints about accuracy or responsiveness. The step counter seems fairly accurate, while my sleep schedules were also captured well. The wake-up feature is responsive, and the screen dutifully lights up when you raise your arm. The swipe interface is pretty decent, but could be a bit more intuitive I think.
From the watch face, you can swipe right to access quick settings, while swiping left scrolls through widgets that show heart rate, SpO2, weather, activity stats, and more. These widgets are customizable through the app. There’s no direct way to return to the watch face while you’re scrolling through widgets, though. Swiping down on the screen shows your notifications while swiping up shows icons for different group functions.
Battery life is another feather in the Redmi Smart Band Pro’s hat, as it lasted me around 12 days on a single charge. This is quite close to the 14 days promised by the brand. Of course, the battery life would be reduced if you activate functions such as always-on display, continuous SpO2, etc. and increase the heart rate monitoring frequency or increase the screen timeout.
The Redmi Smart Band Pro’s main rivals include the Realme Band 2 and Xiaomi’s own Mi Smart Band 6, among others. The Realme Smart Band 2 offers a similar feature set and is also cheaper, although it doesn’t have an AMOLED display. It does, however, allow you to use conventional 18mm straps, which Redmi’s device does not offer. The Mi Smart Band 6 (review) is pretty close in terms of features and price, although between the two I’d prefer the Redmi Smart Band Pro for its bigger screen and always-on display. Redmi has pegged it at Rs 3,999, but the band would be available for Rs 3,499 for a limited period… and for that amount it’s a solid buy I think. While there may be cheaper options, the Redmi Smart Band Pro stands out for its comfortable design, decently sized AMOLED display, good battery life, and tons of useful fitness and health features.
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
- Nice display
- Comfortable and light
- Tons of sports modes
- Good autonomy
- Exclusive straps
- Minor issues with iPhone connectivity