Realme is fast evolving as a lifestyle brand and one of its most interesting ecosystem products to launch in India is the Realme Watch. The company categorizes it as a ‘Basic Watch’ and retails it for a very aggressive price that’s sure to turn heads.
At Rs. 3,999, the watch costs closer to what you’d pay for a good quality fitness band than for most conventional smartwatches. So, is it a real watch or a buffed up smart band? Should you go ahead and buy it? We will answer all such questions while we detail our experience in our Realme Watch review that follows.
Realme Watch Price and specs
|Display||1.4-inch, LCD, 320 X 320, Full touch380 Nits brightness 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3|
|Design||36.5 x 11.8 x 256 mmWeight: 31 grams20mm adjustable strapIP68 water resistance|
|Sensors||3-axis accelerometer, Heart rate sensor, Rotor Vibration motor|
|Activity tracking||Automated Heart Rate Measurement, 24-hour Real-time Heart Rate,Resting Heart Rate, Exercise Heart Rate, Heart Rate Alert, Blood OxygenMeasurement, Sleep Detection, Steps Throughout the Day, Calories,Distance, Water Reminder, Sedentary Reminder, Activity Records|
|Other features||Music control, Find my phone, camera control, call notifications, Stopwatch, reminders, Alarm, Weather|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, realme Link app|
|Battery||160mAh, proprietary charger|
Realme Watch Review: Design and Display
The Realme watch has a minimal design rounded square dial with a single button on the left. This is a familiar design, but I am not sure if we would’ve had it any other way. Charging pins, heart rate sensor, and pulse oximeter sensors remain concealed at the bottom.
Currently the watch ships with a black color 20mm strap, but other replacement options will arrive soon and users will be able to easily swap them at home. The clasp mechanism is a tad tricky as you have to fold and push the extra strap under, so tie it a tad loser than you naturally would.
Both the 2.5D cover glass and the strap have managed to resist scuff marks rather well in the first week. We were quite comfortable wearing the watch even at night time.
The bottom bezel is inordinately big, and that kind of robs the watch of a premium finish. After a week of usage and after factoring in the price, we don’t mind the bezels as much. Thankfully the branding on the bottom bezel is almost obscure. It’s only visible under flashlight or under direct sunlight.
Realme uses a 1.4” color touch display with 320 x 320 pixels that can fit in a substantial amount of data. The touch response is decent and the screen is usable outdoors even under direct sunlight. You will have to set the brightness manually, though.
There is not an OLED panel, so we can notice that blacks are not as deep and colors are not very punchy, but we don’t think average consumers would mind the difference. You can keep up to 6 watch faces on the watch and access more from the app. Realme assures that a tonne of other watch faces are on their way.
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Realme Watch Review: Fitness and activity tracking
Health and fitness have emerged as the primary theme for wearables, and that’s currently were their relevance and value lie. You need to be a health-oriented person to make the most of any modern smartwatch or fitness tracker.
Realme Watch has a comprehensive set of fitness and wellness related features. There are 14 different workout modes and unlike on the Realme Band, you can access them all from the watch. Users can check their daily or weekly workout logs directly on the Watch as well.
The watch can use GPS from your phone to map your jogging or cycling routes. We checked the activity stats against Honor Band 5 and Mi Band 3 and the tracking felt mostly accurate. At times, however, the Realme Watch clearly felt off.
Consumers can enable continuous heart rate tracking at intervals ranging between 5 minutes and 30 minutes. The watch can also push alerts when the heart rate crosses a particular threshold in an inactive state.
The Watch also has an SPO2 monitor that determines the level of oxygen in the blood (a range of 95 to 100 percent is considered normal). We are not sure how many people need to actively track SPO2, but monitoring blood oxygen should nevertheless prove advantageous till the corona pandemic ends.
The Watch can also track your sleep cycles, push ‘Drink Water’ and sedentary reminders, and has breathing exercises listed under ‘meditation’ that can help you relax.
Realme Watch Review: Performance, software, and Additional functions
Realme has been consistently improving its wearable software and things stand a lot better compared to when we tried the Realme band a few months back. The Link app that pairs the Watch to the phone has a clean interface and an appealing design.
When you first install it, you will need to go to app settings and enable notifications and other additional features like camera shutter, notifications, music controls, etc manually. If you miss toggling on any of these features, they won’t work and you might not be able to figure out why. It took us a couple of attempts to get things right.
The watch interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, but not very customizable. The right swipe gives access to frequently used shortcuts, swipe up for all functions, and notifications from chosen apps can be pulled down from the top. The single hard button is for ‘back’.
‘Notifications’ is one area that requires more refinements. The Realme Watch can only show you the last notification you received. You can’t respond to the messages or notifications or expand them or mark them as read. Fortunately, this can be fixed with OTA updates, and we expect Notification management to get better in time.
Some other useful features include Find my phone (which we tend to use a lot) and music controls. Realme Watch uses Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity and the connection was mostly stable.
The Link App and Watch software seem to be a step in the right direction and have progressed leaps and bounds since we last scrutinized them. There is still some distance to cover, though.
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Realme Watch review: Battery life
The battery backup on the Realme Watch can last up to 10 days with light usage. But the mileage may vary a lot based on usage and screen on time. With continuous heart rate tracking set to 10 minutes and at 60% display brightness, we could also drain around 45% to 50% battery in a single day. Of course, the battery will last longer if you use battery saver mode.
We expect most users will be able to stretch a single charger from 3 to 5 days, which is still a pretty good mileage for a smartwatch. The proprietary charger takes a little less than 2 hours for a full charge.
Realme Watch Review verdict: Should you buy it?
Realme Watch has made us revisit what we expect of our watches and at what price.
The Android side of the watch market is a huge mess. Android Wear remains largely neglected and in the absence of a unified app market, most smartwatches ship without proper app support, and that probably reduces them to, more or less, fitness trackers.
Still, some differentiation has to be made. And In 2020, we do have some smartwatch preferences. We expect them to:
- Have bigger and beautiful displays that cram more information.
- A luxurious feel and a design that accessorizes well with our taste and wardrobe.
- And have Bluetooth (if not eSIM) calling just so we can be a little less anxious while being away from our phones.
The Realme Watch is not what we expect of a watch, but it’s still more than a smart band. If we are strictly considering features and value, Realme Watch can accomplish almost everything that a watch priced twice or thrice as much can.
The watch has a decent design, is comfortable to use, has clean software, and has a long-lasting battery. On the downside, it’s not for adults who’d want a mature watch and the software needs more work.
We can see this is an appealing product for young Indian consumers who lead hyperactive digital lives and need to stay at the top of current trends. Even consumers looking for a premium fitness band may want to consider Realme watch for its bigger display.
- Comfortable to wear
- Battery mileage
- Comprehensive fitness tracking
- Thick bottom bezel
- Notification management needs improvement
- No iOS app
Realme Watch FAQs
No, you can manually choose between 10 brightness adjustments
No. Realme Watch has an LCD display.
Yes, there is 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 on the top.
Yes, you can set heart rate scanning every 5 to 30 minutes.
No, Realme Watch shows incoming calls and you can mute or reject them. There is no microphone or speaker for direct calling.
Yes, Realme Watch is IP68 certified.