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Realme Watch Review

The Realme Watch offers a wide variety of health, fitness and smart features at a low price – but how does the smartwatch perform?

Verdict

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The Realme Watch is a fantastic choice if you’re on the fence about investing hundreds on a more premium smartwatch option. At £50, it offers many of the smart features and fitness-tracking capabilities you’d expect to see on a mid-range device, including heart rate and blood-oxygen monitoring, and useful everyday features such as smart notifications, sleep tracking and a remote camera shutter. The watch isn’t without its issues, though. The display is slow to respond and I encountered issues syncing the watch with the Realme Link app. If you’re used to more high-end smartwatches, you’ll definitely notice the downgrade. However, for a first smartwatch shopper, Realme’s first entry is a great choice that won't break the bank.

Pros

  • Heart rate and blood-oxygen monitoring
  • Good variety of smart and fitness features
  • Long-lasting battery life

Cons

  • Slow display
  • Issues connecting with the Realme Link app

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £49.99
  • 1.4-inch 320 x 320 touchscreen display
  • Real-time heart rate monitor
  • Blood-oxygen level monitor
  • 14 sports modes
  • IP68 water-resistance
  • Smart notifications
  • Music and camera controls

The Realme Watch is the Chinese company’s first dedicated smartwatch, following in the footsteps of its £25/$TBC fitness tracker, the Realme Band.

While the Realme Watch is priced twice as high as its fitness-orientated sibling, the smartwatch actually offers a greater range of sports-tracking modes.

These additional capabilities, alongside a blood-oxygen monitor, make the Realme Watch as attractive to gym enthusiasts as the Realme Band. At the same time, smart notifications, music controls and remote camera controls enable the watch to appeal to anyone on the hunt for a cheap, feature-packed smartwatch.

There’s no question that the Realme Watch is affordable, but can its features and performance lure buyers away from our tried-and-tested best smartwatches? Read on to learn all about our experience with the Realme Watch.

Realme Watch design and screen – A budget Apple Watch clone

  • The Realme Watch design is a good dupe for the Apple Watch 6

  • The display is slow to respond 

  • The Realme Watch can withstand sweat and rain, but it isn’t a good choice for swimmers

From afar, the Realme Watch could be mistaken for the Apple Watch 6 or the Fitbit Versa 3. The 1.4-inch display sits in a similar black square body with rounded off edges, and includes a button on the side to wake up the screen.

Realme Watch

Up close, you’ll notice that the bezels are wider than those on the Apple Watch, especially across the bottom edge. This causes the Realme Watch to look more dated than the popular Apple smartwatch, especially when the display lights up to reveal its shiny black borders.

However, if you like the distinctive style of the Apple Watch, but don’t like the price, then this watch will definitely appeal.

Realme Watch

The 320 x 320 display is bright, but lacks detail. My biggest qualm with the touchscreen is that it can be slow to respond when swiping and scrolling. While the delay isn’t a major issue if you’re simply checking the time or peaking at your step count, it does serve as a reminder that the Realme Watch isn’t a high-end, or even mid-range, smartwatch.

The Realme Watch comes with an adjustable and detachable 20mm x 168-208mm rubber wrist strap that’s available in four colours: black, red, blue and green.

It also comes with a water- and dust-resistance rating of IP68, meaning it can withstand sweat and rain. That said, if you’re hoping to track your progress in the pool, there are better options available on the market that offer higher water-resistance ratings and dedicated swim modes, such as the Fitbit Charge 4.

Realme Watch fitness tracking and health – A good array of fitness features

  • The step counter displays your step count, calories burned and hours in a simple, easy t0 digest format

  • Continuous heart rate tracking and blood-oxygen monitoring 

  • It packs more workout modes than the company’s fitness tracker, the Realme Band

The Realme Watch is a smartwatch first, but it comes packed with a variety of health and fitness tracking features, including a step counter, sleep monitor, heart rate monitor, blood-oxygen level monitor and 14 workout modes.

While the Realme Watch won’t offer enough data for a serious athlete, the device does provide a good array of features for fitness enthusiasts looking to begin tracking their workouts on a budget.

In my experience, the step counter delivered accurate numbers. I strapped on the watch to walk into town and back, checking my wrist to view my step count, calories burned and the number of hours I’d walked on my return.

The information is displayed in an easy to digest format, with bold text and colourful icons to indicate each category. The watch offered a clear summary of what I’d accomplished on my trip out, and discovering that I’d burned enough calories to make up for the bubble tea I’d bought on my way back was a nice bonus.

Realme Watch

The Realme Watch also includes a sleep tracker to map your sleeping habits on a graph. The data appeared accurate based on my sleeping habits, but I did find the watch took some getting used to at night – the large display wasn’t the most comfortable to sleep in.

Heart rate monitoring and blood-oxygen tracking are two of the more advanced health features that this watch offers, and a really neat addition to such a budget-friendly smartwatch. While both measurements can be taken by selecting them on the menu, the Realme Watch also offers continuous heart rate tracking to map out your heart rate throughout the day on the watch and in the Realme Link app.

Realme Watch

As far as sports modes go, workout options include outdoor run, walk, indoor run, outdoor cycle, aerobic capacity, strength training, football, basketball, table tennis, badminton, indoor cycle, elliptical, yoga, and cricket. This is actually a greater number of modes than Realme’s dedicated fitness tracker, the Realme Band, offers – and selecting any of the above will allow you to view your heart rate, calories and the duration of your workout while you exercise, enabling you to keep an eye on your progress as you go.

One of my favourite health features was Meditation mode. Here, you can select one, three, five or 10-minute periods to follow the watch as it vibrates to indicate when to inhale and exhale. It’s a relatively simple feature, but one that I used more than I had expected.

Realme Watch software and performance – Feature-packed but slow

  • The Realme Link mobile app can be a challenge to set up

  • The watch is simple, but slow to navigate 

  • There are plenty of smart features, including weather, smart notifications, music controls and a remote camera shutter 

To view all of your settings, and to access your health data on your smartphone, you’ll need to download the Realme Link app.

Initially, I struggled to sync the watch as the app appeared to send me in circles during the pairing process with my phone. The setup asked me to enter my gender, date of birth, height, weight and step goal a grand total of five times before the app finally accepted my details, syncing with the watch. I’m not sure why this error occurred – I used the Realme 6i and failed to find any additional information on the issue online – but, thankfully, it was all smooth-sailing from there.

Realme Link app

The watch itself has a simple and intuitive interface. From the homescreen, you can swipe down for messages, to the side for key metrics – including weather, sleep, heart rate and activity – and up for other tools and settings. You can also view a more detailed breakdown of your daily progress on a larger screen in the Realme Link app.

As I warned in the Design section, I did encounter a persistent delay when swiping and scrolling on the watch, which prevents the experience from feeling overly premium. I repeatedly found myself groaning because I’d accidentally tapped the wrong feature and had to wait for that app to open before I could swipe back to the main menu.

Along with its plethora of health and fitness settings, the Realme Watch also allows you to check the weather, view notifications, control Spotify and take photos in your phone’s camera app from your wrist. The watch packs alarms, a stopwatch and the option to schedule intermittent reminders to get up and move your body and to drink water.

Realme Watch battery life – A long-lasting battery

  • The Realme Watch battery lasts seven to nine days

  • It can last longer on power-saving mode

  • The battery life stands up well to rivals

The Realme Watch offers excellent battery life. Realme claims the 160mAh unit can power the watch for seven to nine days of regular use, or 20 days on power-saving mode. I was impressed by the watch’s long battery life and rarely found I had to take it off to charge.

Realme Watch

Its battery life is also very good when compared against other smartwatches on the market. The Apple Watch 6 offers up to 18 hours in regular use or 14 hours with Family Setup-enabled, while Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 lasts 43 hours. The Realme Watch’s battery life is more in line with our favourite all-round fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4, which claims it can go for seven days without GPS.

You should buy the Realme Watch if

  • You’re looking for an affordable first smartwatch

The Realme Watch is a good smartwatch with a wide offering of smart features and sports modes. If you’re new to smartwatches, then this is a great option to test the waters without having to make a significant dent in your bank account if you later decide that a smartwatch isn’t for you.

  • You need both a good balance of sports and smart features 

With 14 sports modes, heart rate and blood-oxygen monitors, sleep tracking, smart notifications, music and camera controls and more, the Realme Watch offers a great mix of fitness-tracking abilities and smart features.

  • You want a watch with a long battery life 

The Realme Watch packs a battery that can outlast many of its rivals, making it a fantastic option if you hate stopping to charge your device.

You shouldn’t buy the Realme Watch if

  • You want a premium experience

While the Realme Watch could definitely pass for some more expensive smartwatches at a glance, once it’s on your wrist you’ll notice the difference. The display is slow to react when scrolling and swiping and, in my experience, the app experience needs polishing too.

  • This isn’t your first smartwatch

While the Realme Watch makes a good first smartwatch, if you’re used to higher-end watches then you’ll definitely notice the downgrade in performance, especially when it comes to the display. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend the Realme Watch as a replacement for more heavy-hitting smartwatches such as the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

  • You need advanced fitness-tracking capabilities

The Realme Watch includes a good array of workout modes, but the feedback is limited to your heart rate, calories and duration spent exercising. While this should satisfy a casual fitness fan, it won’t offer enough depth for a serious athlete. It also lacks a swimming mode – something to consider if you’re looking to monitor your performance in the pool. If you want the best for this kind of activity, check out our best running watches.

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