Smartwatches have started to pick up steam. Budget-conscious buyers are looking for a watch that can do everything from fitness tracking to calling and other functions at an affordable price.
Realme Watch 3₹3,499
The Mi Band series has set a standard for watches under the Rs 4,000 segment. So, to beat this, other companies have started launching smartwatches with a bunch of attractive features at an even attractive price. Realme is a part of that bandwagon. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Realme Watch 3, which boasts a 1.8-inch display, speakers, calling functions, and more. At a mouth-watering price of Rs 3,499, what does the Realme Watch 3 offer to tackle the competition? Find out in our review.
Realme Watch 3 Review: Design and display
The Realme Watch 3 looks premium at first glance. It is available in black and grey colour variants — we’ve received the latter and feel that it looks somewhat decent, but the black would’ve given it a more subtle look. It has a thin reflective case on either side, with the right featuring a physical button and a microphone hole. This button can be used to unlock the watch and enter menus; it also doubles up as a wake button. The left side of the case sees two openings for the speaker output. The back of the watch holds a bunch of sensors, such as the heart rate monitor and the SpO2 sensor.
It also sports a magnetic charging pin above these sensors. The watch is made entirely of plastic. The strap is made out of good quality silicone material, and it does not cause any irritation on the skin. We’ve noticed a similarity with most of the straps that they tend to collect sweat residue. However, the Realme Watch 3 does not collect any, which is good.
It uses a standard 22mm strap, so if you want to switch things around, that can be done easily. The straps can be dislodged from the back using a quick release on either side. The overall build quality feels decent, and the watch is fairly lightweight. The watch sports a 1.8-inch display with prominently thick bezels at the bottom. It has a curved display with 240×268 resolution. The jagged edges on the text and icons throughout the UI clearly indicated a lower resolution panel.
The colours look fine on display, and with the brightness set to max, we could clearly see the panel under direct sunlight. It has a maximum brightness of 500 nits. You can set the brightness levels in the settings, and we found 40-60% to be visible enough, both indoors and outdoors. The touch response of the display is good. Realme Watch 3 has a bunch of watch faces to choose from. It stores four of those on the watch itself, while the others can be downloaded and displayed from the Realme Link app.
The watch is IP68 rated for water and dust resistance. We wore it while taking showers, and it survived those without any issues. Using the watch under running water is a bit of a task as the display starts panicking, and the water droplets do not help.
Realme Watch 3 Review: Software and performance
The Realme Watch 3 has a slew of features. The homepage consists of quick shortcuts for most of them, from activities to heart rate monitoring and workouts. The UI feels smooth and we did not notice any stutters throughout. The watch has over 110 sports and activity modes along with the basics, such as sleep monitoring.
The watch can store around 16 sports modes on it, and this can be swapped around depending on one’s preference. Necessary features such as alarms, weather, event reminders, and timer are also included. Due to the wrath of COVID-19, we’ve seen several brands include SpO2 monitoring on their watches, and the same is the case with Realme Watch 3.
Swiping down from the home screen lets you tweak around with quick settings such as brightness, raise to wake, and more. Swiping up gives you access to all your notifications after connecting the watch to your phone. Swipes on either side let you go through all the activity data, sleep data, and other features. The Realme Watch 3 can be connected to your device using the Realme Link app, which lets you customise some elements of the UI.
With the help of the app, you can choose new watch faces and organise the tiles for workout modes and other stuff. It also lets you choose the apps that are allowed to send notifications to your wrist. The Realme Watch 3, unlike its predecessors, has support for Bluetooth calling. You can dial numbers directly on the watch, and it allows you to store frequent contacts on it, which is useful. Contacts can be added using the app.
Speaking of the app, the Realme Link app can be found on both Android and iOS. The pairing process was quite seamless. We used the Realme Watch 3 on the Nothing Phone (1) as well as the iPhone 12. The Realme Watch 3 also allows you to take photos using the watch — it basically acts as a shutter button when connected to the smartphone.
The watch also has support for music control. Sadly, it does not have any onboard storage to store the music, which would’ve been a great addition considering it has speakers. Talking about the speakers, they get loud, but we found it to be subpar. At higher volumes, the audio started crackling, and it was hard to understand a word.
We’ve been using the Realme Watch 3 for over a week, and in our time with it, the watch worked well as a notifier. Messages and other notifications from apps such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and others were being pushed accurately. However, it’s just a notifier. It does not allow you to reply to those messages, which is a bummer — this makes it a smart notifier instead of a smartwatch.
The Realme Watch 3 allows you to pick up and answer phones from the watch itself. The microphone quality was decent, as the person on the other line did not complain about our voice quality. We were able to maintain the conversation over the watch as there were no call drops. However, we had to keep it closer to our mouths for clarity. Realme boasts of its AI noise cancellation, but it’s not very foolproof.
We took the Realme Watch 3 for our workout sessions which included a mixture of jogs and walks for about 30 minutes. We also took with us the Garmin Instinct Solar 2S to compare the step count, and the Realme Watch 3 was close to accurate. It does not have an inbuilt GPS, but that is stretching too far at this price point. The workouts also provide important information such as calories burnt, average speed, and more. The watch recorded sleep and wake-up times for the most part, but we found it inconsistent at times. For example, it recorded just three hours of sleep despite having slept throughout the morning on a lazy Sunday. It breaks down the data on the Realme Link app, including REM sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep numbers.
We tested the heart rate and SpO2 monitor on the Realme Watch 3. For this, we used both the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Watch5 and a blood oxygen meter. The Realme Watch 3 provided accurate results at all times, although it took awfully long for the blood oxygen monitor to show the results.
Realme Watch 3 Review: Battery life and charging
Realme Watch 3, just like most smartwatches in this price range, promises long battery life. The company claims 7 days of battery with a single charge. However, in our testing, the watch was able to last for 5 to 6 days. In addition, we used the watch to receive notifications from messaging apps and some social media apps.
Besides that, we used it to track our workouts and attend a few calls. Unfortunately, the Realme Watch 3 has a proprietary charger with magnetic pins in the box. Charging the watch takes somewhere around two hours, which is a bummer.
Realme Watch 3 Review: Verdict
The Realme Watch 3 looks stylish and has a good-quality strap. The bezels on the watch make it look somewhat bizarre, but over time you get used to it and slowly adapt. A higher resolution display would have been ideal, considering the Realme Watch 2 comparatively had a better one.
Sensors on the Realme Watch 3 work accurately after comparing with the Samsung Galaxy Watch5, as well as a blood oxygen meter. Battery life on the Realme Watch 3 is also good, and with light usage, it’s possible to stretch it past the company’s claim. The microphone quality is okay; however, the speaker quality could have been better.
Overall, it’s a decent watch for casual users. If you are religiously into fitness and need a smartwatch to track your workouts, we’d suggest increasing your budget and looking for options in the market from Garmin or Samsung.