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Realme Watch Review: Best Budget Fitness Tracker Disguised As A Smartwatch
Realme forayed into the wearable segment with the affordable Realme band in March 2020. The budget fitness band failed to meet our expectations and also received mixed reactions from consumers. The brand is now working towards improving the budget fitness band for masses. Meanwhile, Realme has announced its second offering in the wearable portfolio for price-conscious buyers.
- Good Value For Money
- Premium Aesthetics And Lightweight Design
- IP68 Certified
- Week Long Battery Life
- Supports A Variety Of Sports Mode
- Built-In Heart Rate & SpO2 Monitor
- Bezels Are Annoyingly Thick
- Replying To On-wrist Notifications Not Supported
- Call Pick Up From Wrist Not Supported
- Display’s Touch Response Could Have Been Better
Priced at Rs. 3,999, the Realme Watch is essentially a fitness tracker that takes design cues from the premium Apple watch series. The budget fitness tracker is IP68 certified for protection against water and dust and comes fitted with a heart rate sensor and a SpO2 monitor. These features are usually seen in premium fitness trackers priced much higher than the Realme Watch. Additionally, the watch supports 14 different sports modes and promises to last for a week on one full charge.
These features sound impressive for a budget fitness tracker which is why we used the Realme watch to test out its features and performance. Here's what we found out.
Design: Lightweight Body With IP68 Water-Dust Resistivity
The Realme Watch has a classic smartwatch design that works pretty well for everyday use. It flaunts a black color square-shaped dial that's reminiscent of Apple watches; however, the bezels surrounding the screen are surprisingly thick, especially the bottom bezel that houses the Realme branding.
There's just one physical button on the watch which is positioned on the right side of the dial. It works as a power button to switch on/off the watch and can also be used as a screen wakeup button.
The Realme Watch feels very light on the wrist (31g) and is perhaps the lightest wearable in its category. The wearing experience is mostly comfortable but the rubber straps can make your wrist sweat in summers making it slightly uncomfortable to wear it for prolonged duration.
The Realme Watch does not come across as a cheap-looking wearable as the build quality justifies the price-point. Importantly, the budget wearable is IP68 certified which means it can withstand water and dust. The screen is also protected by the 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layer.
You can only buy the Realme Watch with black straps; however, the company mentioned that the blue, red, and green straps will be made available on Flipkart at Rs. 499 each.
Display- 1.4-inch Color Touchscreen
The 1.4-inch color touchscreen has a 2.5D curved glass layer which adds a premium touch to the watch's design. The screen's touch response is decent, if not the best. The IPS LCD panel has 320 x 320 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 323 PPI. The colors pop out well and with 380 nits of brightness, the watch is fairly comfortable to use outdoors. There are ten levels of adjustment for screen brightness which can be accessed in the ‘Display & Brightness' option in general settings.
Overall, Realme has given a good panel on the budget wearable but the thick bezels spoil the look and feel of the watch.
User Interface And Touch Controls
The Realme Watch is pretty simple to use. Simply turn your wrist or press the physical button to wake up the display. Swipe down to see your messages and swipe right or left to see different home screens which include weather, heart rate counter, sleep monitor, your activity record, and a quick settings panel.
Swipe up from the bottom of the display to see the list of all the supported features. The list includes- Workouts, Music, Camera, Find my Phone, Alarm, Stopwatch, Weather and Settings. The settings menu let you tweak the watch's basic features such as display brightness, vibration intensity, access Power Saving mode, DND, time system, etc.
The Realme Watch can store six watch faces that can be accessed by simply long tapping on the main screen. To access more watch faces and the watch's health and fitness features in detail, you have to use the companion app- Realme Link on your smartphone. The wearable supports 12 watch faces for now but Realme plans to provide more than 100 new watch faces in the upcoming OTA update.
The Realme Link app is fairly straightforward but it crashed too often on our handset. The company will address the stability issues in the upcoming update. Besides, the watch's UI navigation is not very smooth, probably because of the display's slower touch response or the watch's entry-level hardware. The Realme Watch runs on Realme's in-house wearable software.
Health And Fitness Features
The Realme Watch comes with a built-in heart-rate monitor which can continuously monitor your heart rate for anomalies. The budget wearable can also send alerts if your heart rate is too high or too low, which can be helpful for users with cardiac health issues. You can set specific intervals to let the watch detect heart rate throughout the day.
The Realme Watch can also detect blood oxygen level during intensive exercises as it comes fitted with SpO2 monitor. The company claims that the built-in monitor is comparable to medical blood oxygen monitors.
The usual fitness tracking features include step monitoring, idle alert, sleep monitoring, hydration reminder and even meditation relaxing.
Additionally, the watch can monitor your physical activity with 14 different sports modes such as outdoor run, walk, indoor run, outdoor cycle, aerobic capacity, strength training, football, basketball, table tennis, badminton, indoor cycle, elliptical machine, yoga and cricket. The budget wearable can automatically track walking and running, which makes step monitoring a hassle-free process.
The sensors work just fine on this budget fitness tracker and give near accurate readings. The heart rate monitor and step counter readings were at par with other fitness trackers and even some premium smartwatches we have tested recently.
How Smart Is Realme Watch?
- Realme Watch can be used to control the music player on your smartphone.
- You can also use the watch to control your smartphone's camera to capture pictures. You need to enable the ‘Remote Camera' feature within the realme link companion application to use the watch to take pictures.
- You can only disconnect incoming calls from the watch dial and can receive notifications from third-party applications.
- Sadly, you cannot reply to those notifications. Moreover, you cannot pick up incoming calls from the watch which comes as a disappointment.
The Realme Watch is backed by a 160mAH battery cell, which can last a week depending upon your usage pattern. The company mentioned that the watch can last for seven days with a heart rate monitor on. Switching off the heart rate monitor will extend the battery life to up to nine days. We have been using the watch with heart rate monitor on and set to the 30-minute interval. The watch lasted for six days on one full charge, which is pretty good.
Should You Buy It?
The affordable Realme Watch is one of the best budget fitness trackers in the market despite its shortcomings. It looks premium and comes loaded with fitness centric features. The battery can last a week and the watch's design is also IP68 certified which adds value to the overall package. Moreover, the built-in heart rate and SpO2 monitor along with a range of health centric features make the Realme Watch a great buy for fitness enthusiasts.
There's room for improvement. The brand could have at least provided basic features such as picking up incoming calls and to send short replies to notifications from the watch itself. Overall, if you were looking for a smartwatch inspired fitness tracker with plenty of features in sub-5K, this is the wearable to go for.