Realme Watch 3 review: an iterative upgrade

Here's our review of Realme's latest wearable which sells for Rs 3,499 and comes in the form of the Watch 3

As of late, the smartwatch market has exploded with new products mushrooming both in the premium and budget departments. One prominent name associated with the latter is Realme which has recently unveiled the Watch 3 for a price of Rs 3,499. With this third iteration, Realme is taking the fight to several big names in the segment like AmazFit, Noise, and others. The Realme Watch 3 features improvements across the board as compared to the last generation and this makes it an enticing choice at under Rs 4,000. Here’s a full review to see if the Realme Watch 3 is an intelligent buy for its price.

The lowdown

  • In terms of its design, the Watch 3 looks good aesthetically, especially keeping in mind its budget price tag. The LCD screen is bigger than the Watch 2 (review) measuring 1.8-inches diagonally. While the device uses a plastic unibody design, the look can be mistaken for a polished metal alloy and this works in the smartwatch’s favour. A single physical button on the side is used to access the pre-installed apps on the device as well as to go back to the main screen. 
  • There are two colour options to choose from — black and grey, of which I have the former. The silicone plastic strap that comes with the Watch 3 is of the same shade and feels quite durable. The total weight of the Watch 3, along with its strap, is an acceptable 40g. The smartwatch is also IP68 water and dust-resistant, but even so, it’s not advisable to go on a swim with the device. Lastly, the device can be charged using a two-pin magnetic charging cable that is provided in the box.
  • The display resolution is lower than the last iteration, dropping from 320 x 320 to 240 x 286. However, in the overall scheme of things, this difference can be considered negligible. At its price point, the Watch 3’s display features remain a bit limited in functionality. There is no auto brightness sensor and neither does the panel support an always-on display. The colour profile is acceptable and brightness levels are capped at 500 nits. As for the touch latency, it is hard to get a silky smooth response while interacting with the screen but the Watch 3 does a fairly decent job.
  • Feature-wise, the Watch 3 offers all the basic necessities to monitor your health and fitness, including activity tracker for counting steps, calories burnt, and more. There are also trackers for sleep cycle, heart rate, menstrual cycle, SpO2 and breathing. Other features include weather and event reminders. Music controls on the Watch 3 include the ability to adjust the volume and change tracks. One thing absent from the previous iteration is the ability to make phone calls on your watch. This time around, there is a dedicated Phone app on the Watch 3 with a dialer, call history and frequent contact list. Of course, your smartphone has to be connected to your smartwatch to handle any phone calls. Also, the in-built speaker allows you to take phone calls directly on the watch as well.
  • The Watch 3 connects with your Android or iOS smartphone via the Realme Link app. Within the application, you can customise various other settings such as setting up different watch faces. There are more than 1,000 faces to choose from, though the Watch itself can store up to four faces at a time. In terms of fitness tracking, the smartwatch supports up to 16 sports modes, with Realme Link offering a total of 110 workout routines. The app also enables Find my Watch and Find my Phone as well as allowing you to control your smartphone’s camera remotely. 
  • Coming now to the performance, my time with the Watch 3 has been largely enjoyable. Its connectivity with the Realme Link app has been seamless for the most part although the watch did randomly disconnect a few times. The UI is as smooth as can be and is very user intuitive. Workout tracking is slightly inconsistent but that is to be expected at this price.
  • However, the continuous heart rate and SpO2 monitoring are on point. Your health data can be accessed on the Realme Link app and it is categorised well. The calling feature works very well and thanks to the dual-mode Bluetooth chip, you can walk reasonably far from your phone without experiencing any drops in call quality. You can also see notifications of messages received on your device but you cannot reply to them from your watch.
  • Realme claims a seven-day battery life on the Watch 3 and during my usage with the device, I got upwards of five days without having to look for the charger. Features enabled included heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, notifications and more while the screen brightness was set at 60 percent. The charger provided inside the box is capable of fully juicing up the Watch 3 in less than two hours.

Verdict

The Realme Watch 3 is a good example of how the sub Rs 5,000 smartwatch market now offers solid, feature-rich options. Alongside traditional fitness tracking monitors, the Watch 3 also incorporates on-device calling along with a user-friendly interface. There are a few issues though, mainly revolving around sporadic connectivity issues that I faced. I tried syncing the Watch 3 with different phones and the niggles remained. However, for the most part, the Watch 3 served me well. If you are looking a budget friendly fitness companion, then the Watch 3 is likely the way to go.

Expert’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Nice design
  • User friendly UI
  • Decent battery life
  • Bluetooth call functionality

Cons

  • Sporadic connectivity issues
  • No auto brightness