The Realme Watch is priced at Rs 3,999 and comes in just one colour: Black. Nevertheless, there are multi-coloured watch straps for you to customise the look. We used the Realme Watch for a while and here is what we think of it.
Realme Watch: Design
Realme Watch comes in a squarish dial that’s rounded at the four edges. The touchscreen has about 2cm thick bezel at the bottom while the other three sides have about 1cm thick bezels. As such, the actual display area for the icons gets reduced considerably. The bottom bezel carries a very faint “Realme” branding, which can be seen only when you hold the watch against artificial indoor light.
The watch has a water-resistant rubber strap that grips the wrist evenly throughout.
There is only one physical button on the watch, a capsule-shaped one, aligned horizontally and along with on the right edge, marked in the centre with a chrome yellow line. It sticks out a bit from the side and serves to wake up the watch and go back, wherever you are while navigating through the options in the watch.
There are two strap variants the watch comes in: Classic Strap and Fashion Strap. Our review unit came with the Classic Strap. And, no, we didn’t find inserting the tail end of the strap inside beneath the wrist strap to be easy, especially with the smartwatch tightly clasped on the wrist (the Fashion Strap has the same fastening mechanism, if you were getting hopeful). Those with hair on their wrist won’t certainly like that.
So, we let the tail end free and it is not that big a deal when you are working out. Wearing the watch too tightly can chafe your wrists when worn for long periods, so we wouldn’t recommend tightening the strap too much. Wear it without tightening the strap too much; it would measure everything just fine.
Realme Watch: Display
Realme Watch sports a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with a 320 x 320 pixel resolution. The display is one of the most alluring factors about the smartwatch. It is bright for indoors, even at low brightness levels and the icon placement is neat and without any extraneous frills. The entire screen and the edges have got a glossy finish, and the high screen resolution makes the icons look punchy. The display brightness when outdoors, under the sun is also more than sufficient at over 70%. The brightness levels can be set higher or lower through the settings.
The touch is also very smooth and is equally responsive with perspiring fingers as it is when you are not working out. Fingers do leave some traces and smudges on the display.
Realme Watch comes with six default watch faces. Long press on the current watch face to access the other watch faces. There are six more that can be accessed through the Realme Link app. So, for now, a total of 12 to choose from. Realme plans to add more watch faces in future.
Realme Watch: Performance
Download the Realme Link app and charge your watch sufficiently for the pairing process. Wait for the app to identify the watch via the Bluetooth connection. If the app cannot identify the watch even after many attempts, try deleting and reinstalling the app. It worked for us and hopefully, will work for you too if there aren’t any other issues plaguing the pairing process.
Frequent splashes of water and sweat or any little moisture around it do not affect the working of the watch in any way. Realme watch is IP68-rated. You could even wash your hands wearing the watch and nothing will happen to it.
Once on the home screen that has a watch face, swipe up from the central portion of the display to go to a new screen with activity icons like Workout, SpO2, Heart Rate, Activity Records, Sleep, Music, Camera, Find My Phone, Meditation, Alarm, Stopwatch, Weather and Settings.
The Workout modes include Outdoor Run, Walk, Indoor Run, Outdoor Cycle, Aerobic Capacity, Strength Training, Football, Basketball, Table Tennis, Badminton, Indoor Cycle, Cricket, Elliptical, Yoga and Cricket, in that order from top to bottom.
Continuous heart rate monitoring can be turned on or off. You can set both high and low heart rate alerts by going to 24-hour HR monitoring option in the app.
The Meditation mode is one mode Realme could have done without, if what is going to be described could be called guidance. The watch just keeps sending alerts to breathe in and out at a gap of every 3 seconds or so and records just the heart rate at the end of the session, the smallest of which can be 1 minute long and the longest, 10 minutes. There is no chance for a person to record deep breathing and exhaling when he/she should as it relaxes you, not when the watch commands you to and also, no other options with the Meditation mode; with this mode, meditation just begins to feel like a bodyweight or a strength training workout with a specific set of repetitions. Does everyone need a smartwatch to help him/her inhale and exhale only at a regular, natural pace? Probably, there are some who require that kind of assistance.
GPS is a must for walking or any mode that’s supposed to be done outdoors. If done indoors without GPS tracking, only the heartbeat will be registered and not the steps. And why would anyone want that? Nevertheless, you can go for Indoor Run mode in these COVID times and that will record your steps.
The Realme Watch is currently only compatible with Android phones with an iOS version in the works.
Realme Watch: Battery
At 40% display brightness, which should be sufficient when working out indoors, the battery of the watch can easily last for 10 days on a single charge if the nature of your workout includes yoga and/or strength training for close to 90 minutes in total everyday for 6-7 days. During these 10 days, we didn’t use the watch for sleep tracking everyday, just using it twice to monitor the quality of sleep. We didn’t use it for outdoor runs also, considering the present circumstances. Also, 24-hour heart rate monitoring was on (every 5 minutes). On the 10th day of review, there was still about 22% of juice remaining in the watch by the evening. Based on this performance, we can assume that on a single charge, the smartwatch on 40% display brightness can be an active partner in your workout sessions for a week if you sweat it out on average of 90 minutes everyday.
At 22% battery level, if you don’t use the watch to record your workouts, the battery will start to drop at a slower rate. It got to about 14% within 6-7 hours. With the power saver mode on, the battery can be conserved and the drop in levels stopped. We turned on the power saving mode at 14% after which the battery levels dropped by just 1% overnight. Upon using the watch further at Indoor Run and Walk modes, they expectedly drained faster till they got to 3% at which the watch powered off by itself.
Realme Watch charges very swiftly when at battery levels below 5%. The watch powers off on its own at 3% battery level. Speaking of swiftness, it charged to 6% within a minute and got to 11% within two minutes. The levels stood at 23% within the first 10 minutes and after 30 minutes in total, the battery showed 51%.
The charging speed slows down after that. After 80 minutes of charge, the battery showed 70%. For full charge via a laptop, the watch took a little more than 2 hours.
The charging base has two very fine pins that attach magnetically to two points at the backside of the watch. You must not use the cord of the charging base to lift up the watch and the base together because the connection is not that strong and the watch has a high chance of detaching and falling off. It is safe to lift the combination up by holding the watch dial from the side. However, the magnetic connection is not that feeble also as when you try to shake off the base from the watch, it won’t come off. Best keep the watch on the table or bed while charging and use both hands to detach the watch from the charging pins.
Realme Watch scores top marks in almost all the major aspects that a seeker for an entry-level smartwatch will look for. It is lightweight, has a comfortable fit, is IP68-rated and has got the looks and a strong build too. The display is very well done with a high resolution appealing to the eyes and the battery life can be considered long, lasting about a week-long on average with continuous heart-rate monitoring turned on the whole time. The display brightness is also optimum outdoors in bright sunlight. With a price-tag of Rs 3,999, barring a few ifs and buts, Realme have a winner with their first smartwatch.