Realme Watch 2 Pro review: A low-cost smartwatch to watch out for

Topics Realme India | smartwatch | Realme

Realme Watch 2 Pro

Xiaomi needs to be credited for popularising low-cost wearables in the mass market. The first Xiaomi band priced under Rs 1,000 attracted a fair number of users in India. However, the market has changed. Fitness bands have given way to watches that are also replacing traditional timepieces. Apple’s revolution is becoming familiar at lower rungs, with players like Realme, boAt and Amazfit.

Realme earlier launched its Watch and Watch S versions and followed them up with second iterations. Now it has launched a pro version of the Watch 2. The screen size has increased, and battery life has got a bump. And Realme is also trying to improve its tracking features. All of these under Rs 5,000.

Design

There is not much to complain about design. Most other companies have either copied the Apple or Samsung model. The rectangle or the square can vary from one manufacturer to another. For the new Realme offering, an improvement is in screen size. The bezels are not as shiny and take little space. At times they are barely noticeable. The attraction, though, is the button, which you can’t miss. The watch comes in silver/metallic grey and black colours. The strap can be either white or black. While the watch design is simple, the fit is a bit of an issue. The plasticky feel of the band is irritating at times and makes the watch unwearable for longer durations in extreme weather conditions. If you sweat a lot, the band would not be comfortable at all. I would suggest replacing it with other options. The 24-hour heart rate monitor means the light sensors are on at all times and even though they did not trouble so much in the beginning, at times you may find them a bit vexing.

The other problem is lack of size options. I have very thin wrists, but the watch seems big even for a normal hand. Most companies forget that the low-cost market has as many women as men. They are letting go of a large target audience by not offering the watch in two sizes.

Display and features

This is where the real improvement for Realme’s timepiece comes. The company has upgraded the screen, making it brighter and giving it a better resolution. Even at the lowest brightness level, the screen is visible under the sun. Although the screen is still glossy and reflective, the colours and the brightness make viewing easy. Realme can give the next iterations a bit of a matte finish to improve performance. The watch comes equipped with more modes than the previous iterations. There are more exercise trackers and more watch faces, too. But some of the important elements still seem missing. More customisation would help the company in the long run. Android users do enjoy more customisation options. The do-not-disturb option works very well. There is not much difference in the vibration options, and I would love to see more iterations of vibration speed and intensity.

User interface

Realme has kept the user interface clean in its watch. There are limited swipes, and options are easy to access and understand. More skins would have been preferable, but the available format is easy to use. However, there are glitches that need to be addressed. The music player tab shows the music running even when it is paused on my phone. The next song display should be available for easy navigation. The touch screen is not up to the mark, so sometimes a simple tap just wouldn’t do the job. The settings feature doesn’t offer much in the form of toggle and the inability to add more apps makes it a bit difficult to navigate more apps.

The notification bar works very well, even with WhatsApp. Although Signal messages do not show so easily. Besides, there should be a swipe and clear option from notification, instead of a clear all notification button. The always-on feature also has some issues at times.

Battery life

This is “the” feature for Realme watches that distinguishes them from competition. The company promises a 14-day battery life. But it doesn’t go that long, the watch runs for good 10 days at 25 per cent brightness, and 8 days at 50% brightness (not needed).

Trackers

This is a problem area for most low-priced watches. The step counter is not as good as Samsung’s. The heart rate monitor does not get heart rate readings perfectly. The good feature, though, is the activity tracker. The water and exercise reminder works well and is a nice addition.

Verdict

If you want a watch in the Rs 5,000 price range with a long battery life, Realme is a really good option. But the company does need to address glitches and make tracking better. But do look at competitors at this price range before deciding on your best fit.




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