realme Watch review: Budget smartwatch with 24/7 heart rate monitoring

realme Watch review: Budget smartwatch with 24/7 heart rate monitoring

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In a span of a few months, not only was realme able to produce a variety of phones ranging from budget to flagship but has also started venturing into lifestyle tech products.  Among those was the company’s first wearable, the realme band, so it only makes sense that realme’s next step was to products its own smartwatch, the realme Watch.

Design

At first glance, the realme Watch’s design is quite similar to the Apple Watch.  It sports a rounded square plastic body with a sizeable 1.4-inch color touch display and one large button on the right.

Turning it on for the first time, I was disappointed to see thick bezels all around and more noticeably on the chin where a faint realme logo is placed. But at its price range, it’s honestly something that I could easily let pass.

The screen itself performs well but is a little hard to see in bright sunlight. The touch screen’s responsiveness fares well for its price point and it was easy to navigate through the watch’s menus. There were some delays but it’s easily forgivable. Swiping up reveals the watch’s apps, down for notification, left for settings, and right for the weather.

The realme Watch comes with a total of 12 watch faces but you, unfortunately, can only load 6 faces at a time on the watch. You can change the watch faces by long pressing on the screen and you can change your selection of faces on the app. It’s definitely not a lot compared to other smartwatches and for someone who loves personalizing, this was a bit disappointing. Thankfully though, the designs are actually not bad and I  was able to pick out a few that I really liked. Additionally, realme has announced that over 100 more watch faces will be available via an over-the-air (OTA) update coming soon so that’s something to be excited about!

It comes with a simple black silicone strap. I initially had some trouble with the locking mechanism but after a couple of uses, it became a lot easier to use. I admire how the strap really holds the watch in place even during workout sessions. The straps are actually interchangeable but only the black strap will come in the box. The company says that they will be introducing new strap colors soon as a separate purchase.

One of the very first things I noticed about the overall build of the realme Watch was how incredibly light it is. It’s may well be expected though given its plastic construction and strap but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being as light as it makes it pretty easy to wear in most situations and especially when sleeping. Additionally, the watch has IP68 water resistance which means you don’t have to worry about it getting wet.

Health and Fitness

The amount of health and fitness features the realme Watch has is actually pretty surprising considering its price. For starters, it comes with 24/7 Heart Rate Monitoring, a feature usually found on pricier watches, and also supports high or low heart rate alerts. It also has a SpO2 or Blood oxygen Level monitor which may be especially helpful to athletes. As the name suggests, it measures the amount of oxygen saturation in your blood. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have all-day monitoring unlike the heart rate monitor.

It also carries the usual step tracker as well as meditation mode, and 14 different sport modes. The activities are pretty varied and include the likes of walking, basketball, weight training, and even cricket. Additionally, the intelligent activity tracker automatically detects if you’re walking or running for more accurate step counts.

Another surprising find on the realme Watch is a rather detailed sleep tracker. Not only did the watch detect both long periods of sleep and naps, but was also able to show sleep phases and duration.

Overall, the realme Watch has very capable fitness features for its price point while having built-in heart rate and blood oxygen sensors are pretty impressive in itself.

Smart Features

The realme Watch has its own OS which works alongside the realme Link app that you can download on your phone. The app is straightforward and shows a summary of all your current and past activities. It’s also where you’ll be able to set up your notification settings and reminders as well as the interval time of your heart rate monitor.

There’s a variety of notifications you can receive through the realme Watch. Apart from text messages, there’s also Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, and more. A slight vibration on the watch signals you of incoming notifications but you can only go as far as reading them. There’s no option to reply or to view media such as photos, videos, or audio.

The realme Watch also notifies you when someone is calling and gives you the option to reject it. Other smart features include tilt-to-wake, real-time weather, music control, remote camera shutter, and music control.

Battery

With its 160mAh battery, realme says that the realme Watch can last up to 7 days with 24/7 heart rate tracking on and up to 9 days when turned off. On Power Saving Mode, it’s supposed to last as long as 20 days.

My experience was a little bit different though. Starting with a fully charged watch, heart rate tracking set at 30-minute intervals, brightness at 50%, and tilt-to-wake turned on, I was able to get a total of 4 whole days before the battery dropped to 10%. While it may have not lasted as long as the company says, not having to charge for four days is still pretty convenient.

The realme Watch comes with a magnetic USB charger that attaches to the back of the watch. Plugging it into my computer, it took 2 and a half hours to charge from 0 to 100 percent. The watch easily snaps to the charger but the magnets aren’t very strong. You have to be careful to not move it too much while charging or else it might disconnect and leave you with a partially charged watched.

Creature Feature

In our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in a device that make it worth having – things that give it a slight edge from among its peers. For the realme Watch, it has to be the 24/7 heart rate monitor, SpO2 monitor, and sleep tracking. As we’ve already mentioned, these features are normally found on more expensive smartwatches so having these available on a budget smartwatch makes for a very big plus.

 Final Thoughts


Overall, realme’s first attempt at a smartwatch resulted in a safe, capable, and very usable device.
At PhP 3,990, the realme Watch offers value for money and performs beyond a typical fitness tracker with its smart features. It’s a great option for those looking into buying their first smartwatch but don’t really want to shell out too much money.

And speaking of not shelling out too much money, realme will be slashing off Php 1000 off on their official store during the Lazada 7.15 Mid-year Sale. This brings down the price from PhP 3,990 to just PhP 2,990.

realme Watch specs and features:

1.4-inch IPS LCD Color touch display
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Front
320×320 resolution
20mm removable silicone strap
160mAh battery
IP68 Water resistance
Bluetooth 5.0
realme Link app
24/7 Heart rate monitor
SpO2 Blood oxygen monitor
Sleep detection and tracker
Step counter
14 Sport modes
Meditation mode
Intelligent Activity Tracker
Idle reminder
Water reminder
Music control
Remote camera control
Find phone
Weather
Call and text notifications
App notifications
Power saving mode
Do not disturb mode