Realme Watch Review: An Unpolished First-Gen Smartwatch

Realme Watch Review Smartwatch

Realme launched its first-ever smartwatch back in May and it has been with me for more time than I can remembermost likely around 3 months; yeah, that adds up. So, in this review, I will be sharing with you my experience with the Realme Watch and what I think Realme (almost desperately) needs to improve in its next-generation smartwatches. Let’s begin!

Realme Watch Specifications:

  • Body: 1.44W x 0.46H x 10.08L-inches, 31grams (w/ strap)
  • Display: 1.4-inches TFT LCD panel; Gorilla Glass 3, 262K colors, 380 nits
  • Design: Polycarbonate body, Silicon wrist band (20mm)
  • Resolution: 320 x 320 pixels
  • Water Resistance Level: IP68 rating (1.5 meters)
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0+ (no iOS support)
  • Companion App: Realme Link
  • Sensors: 3-axis Accelerometer, PPG Heart Rate, Rotor Vibration
  • Sports Mode: 14 different modes
  • Battery: 160mAh (BIS)
  • Battery Endurance: 7 hours (heart rate function enabled), up to 9 hours (heart rate disabled)
  • Charging Time: 2.5 hours (USB magnetic charging)
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 7,799
  • Buy Here (Daraz)

Realme Watch Review:

Design & Build

  • Polycarbonate body with silicon strap
  • IP68 dust/water resistance

Realme Watch - Strap

In all honesty, the first thing I noticed about this watch is just how much it’s inspired by the Apple Watch in terms of its looksbut then again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing I guess. Personally, I like how lightweight it is. So much so that it does not even feel like you are wearing anything on your wrists. I’m someone who doesn’t like wearing accessories to bed, so the Realme Watch has really been handy for me to track my sleep. But that in no way covers up for the fact that it feels a little plasticky and cheap.

While we’re on the topic of design, I skipped on using any sort of screen protector herea decision I now regret a little bit because as you can clearly see, there is quite a bit of scratch in my unit of the Realme Watch. I do admit the careless usage is on my part but had the company gone with the latest generation of Gorilla Glass instead of the third generation, I guess my watch would have been in much better condition.

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Comfortable strap

Anyways, I have liked the buckle implementation of the strap that it has. Looks clean and seamlessnot as much as the new “Solo Loop” on the new Apple Watch, but still. Once you get used to it, it becomes really easy to put it on or to take it off. Why I am mentioning this is because I think in the long-run comfort and ease of use, it plays a huge role and the Realme Watch has not disappointed me in that regard.

Realme Watch - Power Button

I didn’t have to take off the Watch as much as I have in other smartwatches that I’ve used throughout the years while washing hands or even in instances of rainfall as this one is IP68 rated. However, note that you cannot take it to the shower with you. And because this watch cannot track swimming, it’s no use taking it in the pool with you, so there’s that! That’s a little disappointing seeing how relatively cheaper fitness bands like Mi Band 4, Mi Band 5 can track pool swimming.

Display

  • 1.4-inches TFT LCD panel
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • 320 x 320 pixels, 380 nits of brightness

Speaking of the display, here you get a 1.4-inches TFT LCD screen with 320 by 320 pixels, 380 nits of peak brightness, and 323 PPI pixel density. Even on paper, you can tell that’s nothing out of the ordinary and my extensive usage proved the exact same.

Realme Watch - Display [1]

Disappointingly, despite receiving multiple updates, the touch response is still unsatisfying. Also, for all the time I used the Realme Watch, I always wished for it to be just a little brighter as I truly struggled with visibility in sunny outdoor conditions.

Fitness, Health Tracking

  • 24-hour real-time heart rate
  • Blood oxygen level (SpO2) monitoring
  • 14 sports modes (including yoga, cricket)
  • No women’s health tracking

It does track basic exercises like walking, running and it even helps you meditate. You have a bunch of options for tracking sports too. But, since it doesn’t support automatic workout detection, all the tracking needs to be manually triggered on the Watch. For instance, if you go for a run, you need to first select the “Running” option, unlike other expensive smartwatches that detect workouts automatically.

Realme Watch - Heart Rate Sensor

Talking about expensive smartwatches, I compared it with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 in regards to their heart rate sensors, blood oxygen monitoring, step counter, and basically everything else as well. Here, during my review period, the Realme Watch gave more or less similar results always in both heart rate and Blood Oxygen monitoring. But, I found the step counting to be slightly overcompensated on the Realme Watch though.

You can check all the aforementioned health-related data in the Watch itself but it will only show you a day’s stats at a time. For a precise and comprehensive reading, the watch must be connected to the Realme Link app, which by the way is only available on Google Play Store. Initially, Realme did say that its iOS version is under development, but as of now, the app is still not available on the App Store which is kinda disappointing.

Realme Watch - Wearing

Anyways, besides all the health stats, you can do quite a lot of things with the app like, changing watch faces although I only found a handful of good options that I like. So, I hope Realme gives us more watch face options through an update pretty soon.

Notification, Performance, & UI

  • Non-actionable app notifications
  • Software is inconsistent and buggy

Likewise, you can also get notifications on calls and messages, although you cannot pick calls because of the lack of a microphone, and neither can you reply to messages. I also found the vibration alerts on getting notifications to be strictly average. But, it is adequate enough to actually make you aware of the notification, even if you are riding a bike.

Overall, the app itself is pretty basic and simple and it’s really easy to work around it, while the same goes for the Watch itself as well. There’s a golden-accented button on the right which doubles as a back and power button.

Realme Watch - Watch Faces

Now about the performance, because this watch runs on an unspecified (but most definitely an under-powered) MediaTek chipset, the animations are pretty basic and the UI/UX feels like a bare minimum. Due to this, the Realme Watch does not feel slow or anything like that.

On a different note, since this is Realme’s first-ever smartwatch, I found a lot of software related issues like how the Find My Phone option wouldn’t work 100% of the time and the watch would get disconnected with the phone every now and then. This would have me miss my call and message notifications which is really counter-productive. As a result, I’ve had to reconnect the watch time and again which was quite a hassle.

Battery

  • 160mAh cell (wireless magnetic charging)

Realme Watch - Charger

Getting to the battery life, its 160mAh cell has yielded promising endurance on my use. On average, it lasted me for about an entire week on a single charge even with automatic heart-rate monitoring every 5 minutes turned on. Charging this thing is quite easy as well since all you need to do is attach it with the 2-pin magnetic charger. It takes around 2.5 hours to fully juice up the battery of the Realme Watch.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think the Realme Watch is basically a fitness band with a smartwatch design. And as I said earlier, because it is a first-generation product from the company, there is still some software related issue that Realme needs to work on.

So, should I recommend it for the price it asks? Well, even though it nails the basics of a smartwatch, I think it’s a bit overpriced. Yes, it’s technically just a $50 smartwatch, so you might be wondering why I am complaining. But the thing is, if you browse AliExpress or Gearbest, you will find so many other smartwatches similar to the Realme Watch in terms of functionality and quality, and yet, they cost half the price of what Realme is charging. Also, if you can manage to squeeze in a little more budget, the Mobvoi TicWatch GTX that retail at around Rs. 9,999 is a slightly better option.

  • Watch our video review of the Realme Watch.

Realme Watch Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • IP68 dust/water resistance
  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable strap

Cons:

  • Build quality isn’t great
  • Poor colors, visibility of the display
  • Touch response is inconsistent
  • No automatic workout detection
  • Data-sync between the app & phone is buggy
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Build
Display
Control
Battery
Fitness, Health Tracking
Assorted Features
Companion App
Value for Money