Realme debuted as a smartphone brand in May 2018 but it’s quickly expanding its ecosystem lately. The company launched its first TWS earphones Buds Air last December, then the first smartband, Realme Band, in March, followed by its first smart TV and smartwatch in May that are simply called Realme TV and Realme Watch.
The Realme Watch is kept at the center of Realme’s AIoT ecosystem, and in the future, it will be able to control multiple AIoT devices like air purifiers, smart lamp and smart speakers without requiring a smartphone.
Priced at €55/INR3,999 ($53), the Realme Watch comes with a 1.4″ color touchscreen, app and call notifications, activity tracking, IP68 dust and water resistance, and 24-hour heart rate monitoring. It also features an SpO2 monitor that measures your blood oxygen level. I used the Realme Watch for over a month and I’m ready to give you a rundown of its real life performance.
Realme Watch specifications
- Display: 1.4″, 320×320 pixel color screen, 323ppi pixel density, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
- Straps: Detachable silicon straps, 20mm width, 164-208mm adjustable length
- Features: Real-time heart rate monitor, Blood Oxygen level monitor, IP68 rating, Sleep Tracking, Sports Tracking, Step Counter, Meditation, Smart Notifications, Idle Alert, Drink Reminder, Phone Finder, Weather Forecast, Music and Camera Control
- Sports Modes: Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Strength Training, Football, Basketball, Yoga, Cricket, Aerobic Capacity, Badminton, Indoor Cycle, Elliptical and Table Tennis
- Sensors: PPG optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Compatible with Android 5.0+
- Battery: 160 mAh
- Colors: Black, Blue, Red, and Green
- Dimensions: 36.5 x 11.8 x 256 mm
- Weight: 31 grams
The Realme Watch has a minimal design reminiscent of the Apple Watch. It has a glossy finish and on its right side is a multi-functional physical button with a golden accent. It offers decent feedback and can be used to turn on/off the screen, go back, and power on/off the smartwatch. However, the button does make some noises when pressed which makes me question its durability.
The Realme Watch weighs just 31 grams, making it ideal to wear at night for sleep tracking. Its detachable silicon straps are also quite comfortable and durable. They are 20mm wide and have an adjustable length of 164-208mm. However, their design sometimes makes the process of wearing the smartwatch quite cumbersome.
The straps are offered in black, blue, red and green colors and have two design types – Classic and Fashion. The former is available only in black color and comes bundled with the Realme Watch, while the latter arrives in all four shades and needs to be purchased separately.
The Realme Watch is IP68 certified, meaning you can take it in a shower and wear it while swimming, but like the Realme Band, the Realme Watch doesn’t track swimming so you won’t get any data about your performance.
The smartwatch packs a 1.4″ color touchscreen and below that is the Realme logo. It isn’t clearly visible most of the time, making us question the need to put it there in the first place. Realme could’ve avoided that to make the bezels smaller and pack a larger display.
Around the back, we have charging pins, PPG optical heart rate sensor and the SpO2 sensor. These are arranged inside a slightly elevated circular plate, which ensures the sensors make proper contact with the skin for accurate measurements and there’s no grime accumulated over time.
Charging pins, PPG optical heart rate sensor, and SpO2 sensor on Realme Watch
The Realme Watch packs a 1.4″ color touchscreen of 320×320-pixel resolution. It has a peak brightness of 380 nits and comes with the protection of 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The screen of the Realme Watch looks quite good indoors even at 10% brightness, but outdoors you need to crank up the brightness all the way up to 100% to be able to see the on-screen content. However, even at max brightness, it becomes a tad difficult to see the content under sunlight if the screen is covered with fingerprint smudges.
Since we are talking about brightness, it’s worth mentioning that unlike the Realme Band, the Realme Watch doesn’t support Night Brightness Setting in the Realme Link app, meaning you’ll have to manually reduce the brightness at night and then increase it during the day. This is really inconvenient and we hope Realme adds the Night Brightness feature to the Watch soon.
The Realme Watch currently supports a total of 12 watch faces with the default one displaying time, date, weather, steps, heart rate, and calories burned. The battery level can be checked with a right swipe on the homescreen which also presents quick shortcuts for DND, Lift Wrist to Wake Screen, Brightness, and Power Saving Mode.
Realme says more than 100 watch faces will be rolled out through an OTA, but no timeframe has been provided for that. At present, the smartwatch can hold a maximum of six watch faces on board and these can be replaced whenever you want through the Realme Link app. However, you don’t need the app if you want to change the watch face on the smartwatch. You can do that from the smartwatch itself by long pressing on the homescreen and selecting the watch face you like.
Realme Watch currently supports 12 watch faces
It’s worth noting that unlike some other smartwatches in the price range, the Realme Watch doesn’t come with a customizable watch face, but Realme told me it will provide this functionality with a future update.
The Realme Watch comes with a
the Smart Notifications feature which alerts you of incoming calls, SMS as well as notifications from other apps installed on the paired smartphone. And there’s also the Lift Wrist to Wake Screen feature which turns on the display when you raise your wrist. This worked mostly fine but unlike the Realme Band, you can’t set it up to turn on/off automatically at a given time. It needs to be enabled/disabled from the Realme Watch manually which is quite a chore.
Like the Realme Band, the Realme Watch also relies on the Realme Link app to be set up and operated. The app is currently only available for Android users and there’s no word on when it will come to iOS.
The pairing process of the Realme Watch is similar to Realme Band’s and you can check out the screenshots below to get a better idea of smartwatch’s settings options in the Realme Link app.
Realme Watch settings in Realme Link app
The UI of the Realme Watch is pretty clean and simple but sluggish at times. A swipe down on the homescreen gives access to the notifications, one on the right presents quick settings, and swiping left provides information about the weather, last night’s sleep, daily heart rate as well as daily step count and burned calories.
Swiping up on the homescreen presents different options which include Workout, SpO2, Heart Rate, Activity Records, Sleep, Music, Camera, Find My Phone, Meditation, Alarm, Stopwatch, Weather, and Settings. The last one lets you tinker with Do Not Disturb, Raise to Wake, heart rate monitoring, time format, display brightness, and vibration intensity among a few others.
Those who’ve used the Realme Band will notice that settings for alarm, DND, and Lift Wrist to Wake Screen have been moved from the Realme Link app to the Realme Watch. We talked to Realme about this and were told that the company moved these features to the smartwatch since it has a screen bigger than Realme Band’s which makes it easier for the users to customize them.
Features and Performance
The Realme Watch, like the Realme Band, comes with real-time heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, step counter, drink reminder, sedentary reminder, sport modes and Smart Notifications, and the new features include blood oxygen level monitor, meditation relaxing and camera control.
The Realme Watch also features weather forecast, music control and phone finder, which were rolled out for Realme Band in April.
Let’s talk about heart rate monitoring first. The Realme Watch comes with a PPG optical heart rate sensor located on the back like the Realme Band, but this time it’s supplied by Goodix.
I compared the heart rate monitoring on the Realme Watch with the slightly more expensive Amazfit Bip S and found the values to be similar most of the time. You can measure the pulse manually from the Realme Watch or have it measured automatically at an interval of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes. You also get options to set thresholds for low and high heart rates to receive alerts if your pulse remains above or below the thresholds for 10 minutes. You can get a quick glance at your pulse data for the current day on the smartwatch itself and more details can be found in the Realme Link app.
Realme Watch can measure heart rate manually and automatically
The Realme Watch comes with an SpO2 sensor located at the back which measures the oxygen level in your blood. However, unlike heart rate monitoring, the blood oxygen level isn’t measured automatically at a set interval and you have to manually start it from the smartwatch. All the data is displayed in the Realme Link app along with your blood oxygen level range, its average, and the number of times it was measured. But do note that this data should be only used for reference and Realme advises against using it as a basis for diagnosis and treatment.
Blood oxygen level data in Realme Link app
Moving on to sleep tracking, the Realme Watch automatically measures the quality of your sleep and provides quick access to the data on the smartwatch. It also presents the data in a graphical form in the Realme Link app and tells you when you fell asleep and woke up, and the total sleep hours are broken into Deep Sleep, Light Sleep, REM, and Awake. However, sleep tracking is buggy at the moment and many times the smartwatch thought I was awake when I wasn’t.
Sleep data with sleep heart rate
The Smart Notifications feature works the same way as it did on Realme Band – you get alerts for incoming calls, SMS, and notifications from other apps installed on the paired smartphone.
Initially, the Realme Watch could only show one notification but after an OTA update, the smartwatch shows up to 10 notifications. And like the Realme Band, the Realme Watch also doesn’t display notifications with icons of many apps – even popular ones like Instagram that’s mentioned in the company’s marketing material. Besides, notifications aren’t displayed on the screen when one of the 14 sports modes is turned on or the music control screen is open, but with the latter, you can press the back button and check notifications from the notification center.
Incoming Call alert • App Notification alerts
Scrolling through the notifications isn’t always a smooth experience since the smartwatch often registers accidental touches and opens the notification you may not be interested in. And to exit the notification center you have to scroll down all the way to the Clear All button and then swipe up, which doesn’t always work and you end up opening a notification, but fortunately, you can exit the notification center using the physical button of the smartwatch.
Besides, there’s no way to reply to notifications from the Realme Watch right now and it’s unclear if Realme will roll out Quick Replies for the smartwatch since the company’s Indian CEO Madhav Sheth last month said that this feature is still under evaluation.
Talking about sports tracking, the Realme Watch comes with a total of 14 sports modes which include Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Strength Training, Football, Basketball, Yoga, Cricket, Aerobic Capacity, Badminton, Indoor Cycle, Elliptical and Table Tennis. The last five are the new ones introduced by Realme.
Badminton • Indoor Cycle/Spinning • Elliptical • Table Tennis
Aerobic Capacity is basically a VO2 Max test that requires you to take an outdoor run for 12 minutes, while the other four are self-explanatory. You can check out your workout history for the current week on the Realme Watch with some data that’s not shown on the Realme Link app for some reason. For example, the Walk mode will record your peak heart rate, average speed, average pace, and average cadence and display that data in the Activity Records section on the smartwatch but not on the Realme Link app.
Walk mode data in Realme Link app
The steps counter isn’t perfect and does count some extra steps which is often the case with fitness trackers, but it’s worth mentioning that the Realme Watch counted steps when driving. I also noticed that the Realme Watch doesn’t record the distance in sports modes like Walk if the GPS with the paired smartphone is disconnected.
The Realme Watch also comes with a feature called Meditation which helps you relax by inhaling and exhaling. It’s turned on from the smartwatch and you get four duration options – 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes. At the end of the session, the smartwatch displays your beats per minute but the data isn’t recorded and shown in the Realme Link app.
Other health features on the Realme Watch include sedentary reminder and drink reminder. The former reminds you to get up and move while the latter reminds you to stay hydrated by drinking water. You get to select the reminder frequency for both features, but Realme has made a small change to the drink reminder – you don’t get to select the days when you want to be reminded to drink water, which was possible with the Realme Band.
Sedentary Reminder • Drink Reminder
Lastly, we have the Weather Forecast and Phone Finder which are self-explanatory, as well as Camera Control and Music Control – the former allows you to use the Realme Watch as a remote shutter button for your phone, while the latter lets you play/pause music, change tracks and adjust the volume. It also worked with YouTube videos.
Phone Finder • Camera Control
Before I wrap up the performance review of the Realme Watch, I want to point out the connectivity issues the smartwatch is marred with. After the Realme Watch is reconnected with the paired smartphone you have to open the Realme Link app, tap on the Realme Watch option, and swipe down to sync a few times before the smartwatch is actually connected with the phone to receive notifications. This often took a couple of minutes and hampered the overall experience with the Realme Watch.
The Realme Watch ships with a 160mAh battery which the company says can offer seven days of autonomy with heart rate monitoring turned on, and nine days without it.
In my testing, the Realme Watch lasted four days on an average with the display brightness at 20%, vibration intensity set to highest and over 100 notifications throughout the day, which do consume extra power since the smartwatch vibrates every time you get a notification. This also includes around 80 minutes of walking and do note that your mileage will vary depending on the duration and type of your workout.
Realme Watch with its circular charger
It’s also worth mentioning that once the battery dips below 10% charge, you can’t measure heart rate manually, but for some reason, the smartwatch keeps measuring the pulse automatically. It even lets you measure your blood oxygen level with the SpO2 monitor.
To juice up the battery, the Realme Watch ships with a small, circular charger which the company told us can fill the cell from flat to 100% in around 2.5 hours. But our charging tests yielded different results.
The smartwatch took 2 hours and 45 minutes to go from zero to 100%, 5 hours and 21 minutes to go from 3% to 100%, and 3 hours and 42 minutes to go from 4% to 100%. We talked to Realme’s product team about this and they concluded that my unit was defective and shipped a new one, but I couldn’t get the battery to fully drain for a charge test at the time of writing this so we’ll update the review once we’ve completed the tests on the new unit.
The Realme Watch is a nice-looking smartwatch that is lightweight and comes with features like IP68 dust and water resistance, SpO2 monitor for blood oxygen level measurement, and music and camera controls. But the smartwatch has its fair share of issues. The outdoor visibility of its display isn’t impressive and sleep tracking is also buggy at the moment. Besides, the Smart Notifications feature is less than stellar right now and the smartwatch only supports Android devices.
So is the Realme Watch worth your money? Well, the Realme Watch is a first-gen smartwatch from the company and we weren’t really expecting it to sweep us off our feet. Besides, most of the issues the smartwatch has right now are something Realme can fix with software updates. So if you have the patience to wait for Realme to squash the bugs or plan on investing in the company’s ecosystem, you can buy the Realme Watch, but if that’s not the case, the Amazfit Bip S is worth considering. It’s slightly more expensive but offers a better overall experience than the Realme Watch. We’ll publish our Amazfit Bip S review soon, so you might want to hold off your purchase for a few days.
- IP68 rating
- SpO2 monitor
- Sleep Tracker is buggy
- Smart Notifications need improvement
- Has connectivity issues
- Some workout data is only accessible on the smartwatch for a limited time
- No iOS support