Realme has just launched its latest wearable device, the Realme Watch in the market. Realme Watch is the second Realme-branded wearable in the market after the Realme Band earlier in the year. Talking about the form-factor, the company claims that it is its’ first “Smart watch” to land in the market. This product will be available in two different strap designs and multiple color options. Also Read - Realme patent reveals design of new truly wireless earbuds
As per the launch information, Realme has priced the wearable at Rs 3,999 with a square, Apple Watch-like design. The wearable is set to go on sale from June 5, 2020, on Flipkart and Realme India website. Checking design and the pricing, it looks like the company wants to offer a somewhat premium experience at a budget. The company will take on other smart bands in the market including the Xiaomi Mi Band 4, Amazfit Bip Lite, and more. Let’s check out how the Realme Watch performs in the real-world in my review here. Also Read - Realme 5, 5i, and 5s receiving Android 10 update in India
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Design, form-factor, and comfort
The first thing that one will notice about the Realme Watch is the design and the overall “Smart watch” vibes. So, let’s talk about this aspect of the wearable. Realme Watch is essentially a smart band that masquerades as a “Smart watch”. The “square” shaped design with a shiny frame around the display inevitably brings the Apple Watch comparison. However, much of the Apple Watch competition goes for a similar design. Some of the more notable examples include Xiaomi Mi Watch, Oppo Watch, and more. However, this competition features a proper “Smart watch” feature-set unlike the mere form-factor change in Realme Watch. Also Read - Realme Watch launched in India at Rs 3,999: Check features and specifications
Talking about other aspects of the design, we get a single physical button on the right side of the watch. This button performs multiple functions including locking, unlocking, navigate one step back, and more. The back of the wearable features the heart rate tracking module along with pop-pins for charging. As mentioned above, the company offers multiple color options for the Silicone strap. Besides, the company will also roll out a new (Fashion) strap design in the future.
The soft silicone strap is comfortable to wear for days at length. However, the actual design of the strap focuses on minimalism rather than the actual comfort. This is because the strap has to go inside after the metal hook for security. The current design makes the experience rather cumbersome and users need to wear the Watch a bit loose to make the experience comfortable. Beyond this, the wearable also features an IP68 water resistance rating. This means that users don’t need to take off the Watch while washing their hands, exercising, or even taking a bath. The IP68 protection works as advertised without any issue.
Realme Watch Display
Now, let’s talk about the display on the latest Realme wearable. Realme has added a 1.4-inch LCD panel with 320×320 pixels resolution and touch input. The wearable maker boasts an impressive design with slim bezels online. However, the reality is somewhat different, with considerable bezels. One may be slightly disappointed looking at the actual device after the countless renders. However, most wearable makers have done this in the past but the difference remains worth pointing.
Unlike the Realme band, Watch users can adjust the brightness levels of the band in the “Settings” section. The wearable provides the option to dial the brightness from 10 percent to 100 percent with increments every 10 percent. It is worth noting that the device gets plenty bright making it ideal for direct operation under the sun. Now, let’s talk about the Watch faces on the wearable.
Realme Watch comes with 12 built-in watch faces that the user can switch between. However, at any given time, the user can only jump between six watch faces to quickly switch. Users can switch the six active watch faces inside the Realme Link app. Currently, the app does not allow any user-customizable watch faces. However, the company claims that it will bring third-party watch faces in a future update. The included watch faces feature sufficient choice to interested users.
Software and features on Realme Watch
Now, let’s talk about the different features available on the Realme Watch along with the software side. Talking about the surface level features, we get a real-time heart rate tracker along with “intelligent activity” tracking. The company has also added a blood-oxygen or SpO2 tracker to monitor the level of oxygen in the blood. Other features include 14 different sports modes, music playback, and camera controls, and smart notifications. These sports modes include Outdoor and indoor runs, outdoor and indoor cycling, aerobic ability, table tennis, and Yoga. Other modes include walking, playing Cricket, Badminton, Basketball, and Football along with strength training, and Elliptical.
The company also claims that users will be able to control Realme IoT products with the wearable. These include Realme Buds Air, Smart speakers, smart air purifier, Smart TV, lamps, and more. However, this feature will roll out in a future update. Users can also enable notification for idle alerts and take a small walk or drink water at regular intervals. Other features include “Find My Phone”, “Meditation”, “Weather”, “Activity records”, “Sleep” tracking, “Alarm”, and “Stopwatch”.
Smart notifications allow users to receive notifications directly on the wearable. However, there is no support to take action to dismiss or reply to notifications from WhatsApp, Gmail, Instagram, or more. Realme Watch also does not feature a built-in microphone or speaker so one can’t take calls from the device. Users can only check the notification for an incoming call or SMS. One can also customize the list of apps that can send the notification to the wearable to keep things clutter-free. All the settings related to the Realme Watch can be controlled through the Realme Link app. You do need to register or login to your Realme account to get started.
Realme Link app
The company uses the Realme Link app to manage its new wearable device, the Realme Watch. As mentioned above, users need to register for a Realme account or login with their existing account to get started. The app allows users to check the data that Realme Watch has recorded. Also, it syncs the data with the Realme servers. As soon as you open the app, you will be greeted with the devices linked to the “Home” tap. Other tabs include the Realme “Mall” to purchase products from the website and the “Me” tab to access the profile.
Tap on “Realme Watch” to access all the data that the app has downloaded from the app. All the important data including the number of steps, sleep, heart rate, SpO2, and “Exercise logs” are available on the home screen. You can tap on any particular section to check the details regarding the data. The top of the screen provides the battery status for Realme Watch along with a “Settings” icon. Users can head to the “Settings” section to toggle call reminders, notifications, idle alerts, water reminder, and “Find my Phone”.
One can also control settings including music playback control, remote camera, “Weather” location, goals, watch faces, notifications, and heart rate monitoring. Users can also check the firmware version, and MAC address of the Realme Watch at the bottom of this page. Beyond this, we also get unpair the device with the “Delete device” button at the bottom.
Performance and tracking
Now, let’s shift our focus to one of the most important aspects of the smart watch, the actual activity tracking. As mentioned above, the device features a multitude of features. These include tracking 14 different types of activities, blood-oxygen levels, heart-rate, sleep, steps, and more. The sleep and step tracking work as intended. However, both do fall short in tricking situations as many in the price bracket. These include skipping sleep at night and taking multiple naps in the day, and the general step-tracking accuracy. We did not observe any inaccurate steps tracking while driving because of the nationwide lock-down. Though, we will try to check the accuracy of steps tracking in this case as and when we can.
Talking about step tracking, the general measure was within the margin of acceptable error. Beyond that, we could not try many of the outdoor activities. However, running was fine as intended. Moving to built-in music and camera controls, we faced some issues in getting these features to work properly. We are in touch with Realme to sort the issue and will update this option in the coming days. The Weather, Activity records, Find My Phone, Alarms, and Stopwatch worked as intended.
Heart rate tracking and SpO2 (Blood-Oxygen level) tracking is one of the most contentious in this price point. This is because similar to all the companies in the segment, Realme adds a disclaimer that the readings should not be used for medical diagnosis. It means that users need to ensure that they use the sensors on the watch to get a general idea of these parameters. If you want to monitor heart rate and SpO2 levels for any health problem then you should look at professional health monitoring devices.
Realme Watch features a 160mAh battery and uses a magnetic pogo-pin charger. The company claims that users can get 7 days of battery backup with the heart rate monitor enabled. It also claims that one can extend this to 9 days by turning off the heart rate monitor. However, our device latest about 5 days on one single charge. Though, this is after keeping the 24-hour heart rate monitoring on and the screen brightness at 100 percent. Talking about charging, it took us about an hour to charge the Realme Watch from 0 to 100 percent. We are yet to test the battery life with the heart rate monitor off. But, we can likely manage 7-8 hours on the same.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Realme Watch?
Realme has tried its best to stand apart in an increasingly crowded wearable market. However, at the end of the day, Realme Watch is a fitness band in the form-factor of a Smart watch. There aren’t many factors that make the Realme Watch stand apart or “smart” than most of its competition. At Rs 3,999, it does look appealing and features notable improvements in the display, and software section. If you want a smart band in the “Smart watch” form-factor then go ahead with the purchase. However, the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Band 5, existing Mi Band 4 along with Amazfit Bip Lite will give fierce competition to the Watch.