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realme Watch S Review: Value-packed Smartwatch

Stylish and affordable

Verdict: The realme Watch S brings plenty of features the table that you usually find on more expensive models, though the omission of GPS makes it a little tougher to recommend to more serious runners. Despite that it’s a great choice for people looking for a stylish, feature-packed smartwatch for not much cash.

The realme Watch S retails for Php 4,990.

realme is looking to shore up their #1 market position by offering a bunch of new products to their AIoT line. Aside from the realme Buds Pro, the brand is also launching their new smartwatch realme Watch S to the Philippines today. The realme Watch S offers a solid set of features alongside robust battery life, which makes it an excellent pick for anyone looking for a value-packed wearable.

Pros

  • Non-proprietary watch straps
  • Good battery endurance
  • Real-time heart monitoring
  • SPo2 tracking

Cons

  • No GPS module
  • Can’t be used while swimming or showering

Design and display

realme is ditching their Apple-inspired designs for something a little more conventional this time. The realme Watch S uses a more traditional circular watch face this time around.

The outer body is constructed with aluminum, though the back of the watch uses plastic to save cost and weight. There are Tachymeter marks on the bezel to add a bit of style though obviously, these are simply for looks.

The back of the watch holds the sensors, as well as the charging pins for charging. Magnets along the charging dock help align the watch for charging.

There are two buttons on the side of the watch for navigation, though most of the inputs will be done through the 1.3-inch LCD display. Resolution is around 360 x 360 for the round panel, with total brightness going up as high as 600 nits. The panel has Corning Gorilla Glass protection for added durability, though there’s no always-on feature available as well.

The watch comes with several watch faces out of the box, with more accessible through the accompanying realme app, realme Link. You can’t upload your own custom one though.

The display is bright enough to use even under direct sunlight thanks to the 600 nit brightness. The automatic brightness feature handled ambient light well, dimming and brightening depending on how much light is available.

The realme Watch S uses 22mm watchbands which means you can swap out the included silicone ones for normal bands if you wish. This is a nice touch that allows people to customize their watches with their own bands.

Like most smartwatches, the realme Watch S is dust and water-resistant up to 1.5 meters, though realme doesn’t necessarily endorse people using it while swimming or diving.

Software and tracking

realme uses their own proprietary OS on the smartwatch to keep it running smoothly, and so far we haven’t had any issues with it during its time with us.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to put in new apps or anything like that unlike smartwatches powered by Google Wear OS, so you’re pretty much stuck with what’s available in the watch.

The watch has most of the basic health tracking options covered: there’s a real-time heart rate sensor onboard that tracks your heart rate every five minutes while you’re wearing the watch, and there’s a manual option to get your current BPM as well.

There’s also a SpO2 blood oxygen monitor on the realme Watch S which is fast becoming a must-have feature for fitness bands in the time of COVID.

The realme Watch S has a multitude of fitness modes, though most of them center around more common activities like running, cycling, strength training, basketball, yoga, stationary bike, and the like.

You do get outliers like Cricket for example, but for the most part, you’re stuck with the most common exercises for the watch. There’s also a lack of H20-related exercises here as well despite the watch being water-resistant.

Aside from fitness tracking, there’s also health and calorie tracking as well as sleep tracking.

Pairing the realme Watch S is done via the realme Link Smart App, and unfortunately, the watch doesn’t work with iOS devices as of now.

realme link gives you a detailed look at your metrics for any given day, as well as your exercise records.

Like other smartwatches, the realme Watch S can read and display notifications from your phone directly on to it. You can use it to remotely control the music that’s coming from your phone, as well as a remote shutter to take photos.

Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t have its own GPS module, so if you want tracking information along with your jog, you’ll have to bring your phone along with you.

Battery life

The realme Watch S is advertised as having a 15-day battery endurance, which is quite a claim, especially with the 390mAh battery.

Personally, I saw much lower battery endurance of around 6 days, though that’s with notifications going off regularly, as well as having the brightness on auto and automatic heart detection as well.

While the battery life is a bit off the mark compared to realme’s claims, it’s hard to find smartwatches nowadays that can last more than a day on a single charge that has as many tracking features as the realme Watch S has. That being said, you can probably stretch the watch’s battery endurance even longer by turning off or disabling some features.

Wrap-up and conclusions

realme’s latest addition to its AIoT lineup is a solid choice for people looking for an affordable smartwatch to pair with their Android device.

The realme Watch S has real-time heart tracking, SPo2 monitoring capabilities as well as all the essential tracking tools we’ve come to expect from a smartwatch.

Battery life is also good – going six days without having to charge your smartwatch is a great feeling, though it’s still not the class leader as far as battery endurance is concerned.

Then there’s the price – the realme Watch S goes for Php 4,990, which is pretty affordable as smartwatches go.

If that wasn’t enough, realme will be cutting the SRP of the Watch S by Php 1,000 on December 3, 7 PM and during 12/12 Super Brand Day sale in both Lazada and Shopee. It’ll be shipping in physical stores come December 4 nationwide.

 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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