Realme Watch S is a new round hybrid smartwatch now available from Realme UK. It boasts a bright beautiful round display, stellar battery life, and even a blood oxygen sensor!
One of the most affordable smartwatches in 2020 and part of the Realme ecosystem of smart devices. I have been using the Realme Watch S for a little over 10 days now and am quite impressed with what this watch has to offer for just £75. So let's get the unboxing done and dive into the full review.
Unboxing the Realme Watch S
The box has the Watch S laid out flat which I like and underneath contains the charging base and a user manual. You will need to provide a power brick to charge it.
Realme Watch S Hardware is Excellent
First off, I am partial to round watches. Thankfully the Realme Watch S ditches any pretensions about copying the other really popular smartwatch and I must say, the end result looks very good. The round shape with the minute markings for the hour on the slim bezel are nice. The grey aluminum case shows precision crafting and for a large watch, it is extremely lightweight.
There are two buttons on the right-hand side. The top one allows switching between views and menus. Whereas the bottom one lets you get to the exercise menu options quickly. The black silicone strap is smooth and doesn’t attract dirt and lint like some other cheap smartwatches. In addition, there are plenty of holes in the watch strap which allow a nice snug fit to the wrist. This is especially good for measuring oxygen saturation levels which the Watch S has the capability for.
The Realme Watch S is a bit on the large size, especially for my hands. The bezels are reasonably sized and the glass is flat at least till the hour marking ring and then gently tapers to the aluminum housing. Realme also put on Gorilla Glass on the display to help protect it from scratches. Swapping out the bands is easy since it uses pins and you can use a regular watch band with the Realme Watch S as well.
Besides the regular heartrate monitoring sensors, the Realme Watch S has a blood oxygen level measuring sensor as well which is a great feature considering the price. The vibration motor is quite strong and I left it at the default setting but you can tweak it to your liking. And finally since it the main function of this watch is a fitness monitor, it has an IP68 waterproof rating so don’t worry about sweat impacting the performance of the Watch S.
Display is absolutely gorgeous
One thing cheap hybrid smartwatches cut corners on is the display quality. The Realme Watch S on the other hand has a stunningly clear and crisp 1.3-inch display. Outdoor visibility is excellent and there is no pixelation whatsoever. The smart display adapts itself to the brightness of the ambient light seamlessly so it is easy to view the information indoors as well as outdoors.
Realme Watch S is easy to use on a day to day basis
The top button or Power button on the right side will power the device On/Off with a long press. A single press will either go ‘Back’ or 'Return to Home' depending on what you are trying to do. Navigation is possible by swiping up or down and left or right. Swiping up from the home screen brings up the different options that you can choose from. Swiping down from the home screen shows you the notifications. Scrolling to the bottom of the notifications you can hit the delete button to clear the notifications.
The bottom shortcut button is mainly to quickly change display brightness and to enter the sports activity monitoring list.
Swiping right brings you to settings quick view which includes raise to view, adjusting brightness, DND mode, and settings. You can also check the battery life in this view and toggle on battery saver mode as well.
Swiping left brings you to activity monitoring snapshot, weather, sleep record, heart rate, and settings quick view and back to the home screen.
Long pressing the home screen allows changing watch faces on the fly. But there are only 6 options available on the watch itself. For additional watch faces, you need the Realme Link app which we will discuss in detail next. Speaking of watch faces there’s about a 100 in the app and even a custom version you can create using a photo from the gallery.
Connectivity via Bluetooth
Just like every other smartwatch, the Realme Watch S connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0. No GPS or altimeter is on the watch but then this is a basic or hybrid smartwatch. GPS tracking for your workouts is available if you also carry the paired smartphone with you. An important omission is NFC so you cannot use the watch for contactless payments but the price is also way below watches that have NFC on board.
For looking at the time, checking movement activity levels, basic notifications, and heart rate/oxygen level/sleep tracking the Realme Watch S works just fine.
Pairing the Realme Watch S with the Realme Link App
To set up the Realme Watch S you need to download the Realme Link app from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. Once the app is installed pairing is quite easy. The app alone is worth half the price of the smartwatch because with the cheaper devices the app functionality is not that great. In that sense, the Realme Link is really very well designed and thought out. Additionally, you can use the app the pair your Realme Buds as well.
The home screen on the app shows steps, sleep, heart rate, SpO2, and exercise log data. Tapping each one gives additional details.
The settings menu is where you can fine-tune Watch Face, get call reminders, and which notifications you want from a preset app list. There are reminder settings for getting up and drinking water as well. You can also control music playback here and take pictures with your smartphone camera too. Find my Phone is also a useful feature that you can toggle on or off in the settings. Goal settings, weather information, and heart rate monitoring round out the features.
I like that the user guide is built into the app as well and has a lot more detail than the teeny manual inside the box. You can also check on device firmware updates towards the bottom part of the settings menu.
How good is the fitness tracking?
Well as far as fitness tracking is concerned the Realme Watch S can track 16 different types of exercises. Just choose whatever exercise you want from the various modes. But note GPS tracking on the go is only available via pairing watch with your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Real-time information on distance, calories burned and heart rate is presented quite nicely. In my use case, the distance and heart rate measurements were very similar to my Apple Watch 4. So from an accuracy perspective, this is a great device.
Additionally, it is easy to control the music from the watch if you are streaming music via your smartphone while exercising. I used this feature in conjunction with my Realme Buds Air Pro which were also paired to the Realme Link App. One last thing, the shortcut button comes in handy to get quick access to music controls or toggling information during exercise tracking.
Battery life is absolutely stellar
The onboard battery is a fairly large 390 mAh. And in my two-week usage on and off I only saw the battery drop to 60%. I don’t wear a watch while sleeping so that probably helped quite a bit. In theory, it should be easy to get the advertised two-week battery life with average use and probably between 7-10 days with heavy use.
To charge the Watch S you need to use the charging base with 5W output charging brick. On the bright side, you will not need to charge this device often because the battery life is absolutely stellar.
Charging the watch is easy with the base from the box. But a replacement charger is hard to find if you happen to lose it. And lastly, I don't have any idea about full charging time because I typically leave the watch to charge overnight on the base.
Realme Watch S is a beautiful hybrid smartwatch
Overall, the Realme Watch S is a fairly comfortable device to wear on a daily basis. It sports a relatively modern and casual design, metal frame, and an absolutely gorgeous circular display. Stellar battery life, SpO2 measurement sensors, fairly accurate distance, and heart rate monitoring are also great features. Add to these a strong vibration motor, IP68 waterproof rating, and music controls. With all these options you can see why the Realme Watch S is a huge improvement over the prior versions. The superb integration of the Realme Watch S with the Realme Link App is a great bonus. For the price, I think the Realme Watch S something you should consider especially if you have a Realme smartphone.