Realme Watch 3 review

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Scarlette Lennon6 August 2022Last Update : 1 week ago
Realme Watch 3 review

Introduction

Realme entered the smartwatch market over two years ago with its aptly named Realme Watch, and since then the manufacturer has consistently expanded its wearable portfolio. The new Realme Watch 3 is its latest offering, and it’s positioned as a direct successor to last year’s Realme Watch 2 — a watch that brought great battery life and a decent set of features to INR 4,125 ($55/€45).

This year’s model gets an overhauled design with a bigger screen, squared-off edges and Bluetooth calling, while still offering the usual sports and activity tracking for INR 3,500 ($44/€44). How does the Realme Watch 3 stack up against the competition, and do the new features make it a worthy upgrade?

Realme Watch 3 specifications

  • Screen: 1.8″, 240 x 286 pixel color screen, 323ppi pixel density, 500 nits maximum brightness, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
  • Straps: Removable silicone straps, 22mm width, 130-220mm adjustable length
  • Features: IP68 Rating, Bluetooth Calling, Speakerphone, Real-time Heart Rate Monitor, 24/7 SpO2 Monitor, Sleep Tracking, Stress Monitoring, Sports Tracking, VO2 Max, Pedometer, Meditation, Smart Notifications, Idle Alarm, Drink Reminder, Phone Finder, Weather Forecast, Music and Camera Control
  • Sports Modes: Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Indoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling, Indoor Cycling, Strength Training, Football, Yoga and Cricket (100 more in Realme Link app)
  • Sensors: PPG optical pulse sensor, SpO2 sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.3, compatible with Android 5.1+ and iOS 11+
  • Battery: 340mAh
  • Colors: Black, Grey
  • Dimensions: 45 x 37 x 11.5 mm
  • Weight: 40 grams

Design

The Realme Watch 3 looks more premium than its predecessor, although the body is still all plastic. The sides are now flat and have a shiny finish that looks like a metal alloy from a distance. We have the black color variant for our review here, which has an interesting gunmetal look.

Realme Watch 3 review

Realme also sells a gray variant that offers a lighter shade on the watch case and a lighter watch strap. Speaking of the watch strap, it’s made from a durable silicone material and is the standard 22mm variety, so you can swap it out for any other band you might have lying around.

The watch weighs only 40 grams, which makes it comfortable to carry all day. There is a single button on the right side that can wake the watch and also act as a back button. You also get a microphone on the same side, while the speaker is located on the left.

The LCD panel on the Watch 3 has grown to 1.8 inches from the Realme Watch 2’s 1.4 inches diagonal, though the resolution count has taken a hit to 240 x 286 px, while last year’s watch had a sharper 320 x 320 px output. To be fair, the difference isn’t noticeable in day-to-day use, but it’s still strange that the newer model watch has a lower-resolution screen.

Realme Watch 3 review

Unlike OLED displays on some competing smartwatches, there’s no Always on Display (AoD) functionality on the Watch 3, as it’s an LCD panel. The screen also lacks automatic brightness, so you have to manually choose how bright you want it. There are four brightness options ranging from 20% and I found the 40% option to be perfectly serviceable in most cases, even outdoors and in direct sunlight in August. The maximum brightness of the Watch 3 is 500 nits, which is good enough, although last year’s Realme Watch 2 was brighter with its 600 nits maximum brightness.

Realme Watch 3 review

While the Realme Watch 3 is IP68 water and dust resistant, the device is not suitable for showers and swimming, so keep that in mind. The retail package consists of the watch, a proprietary two-pin magnetic charger that terminates in a USB-A cable.

Functions

Like most recent smartwatches, the Realme Watch 3 brings 24/7 heart rate monitoring as well as continuous SpO2 tracking, stress and sleep monitoring. The watch also tracks over 110 sports and activities. You can have 16 sports modes on the watch at a time, while switching from one mode to another requires entering the Realme Link app on your phone.

Realme also offers over 100 watch faces via the Link app that syncs with the watch in seconds. However, you can only have four watch faces at a time, and you’ll need to delete existing ones if you want to add more. The watch also has a lot of useful features like an alarm, weather widget, reminder app, music controls and the ability to act as a Bluetooth camera trigger.

Realme Watch 3 review

Aerobic exercise like running and cycling get specialized training results that determine your training intensity level and help you reach new goals. Watch 3 also provides recovery time recommendations based on your most recent exercise and VO2 max measurements to give you a better sense of your exercise effectiveness. There is no built-in GPS receiver on the watch, although your phone’s antenna should give more accurate results anyway.

Bluetooth calling is one of the new features on the Watch 3 that was not available on previous Realme Watch models. You set it up right after the initial pairing process in the Realme Link app on your phone, and you can sync your favorite contacts on the watch for easier calls. There’s no user-accessible storage on the watch to store music or other files, which would have been a nice feature given the built-in speaker.

Realme Watch 3 review

The vibration motor gets the job done, although the haptics feel a step less convincing than some of the more premium watches we’ve tested. There’s a bigger 340mAh battery pack here compared to the 315mAh cell on the Realme Watch 2, and you can head over to the battery segment to see how it fared.

Performance

Navigating the interface feels smooth and responsive with UI animations running lag-free. Like the rest of Realme’s watch portfolio, the Watch 3 runs a basic proprietary operating system with several bare-bones pre-installed apps. You navigate the watch via swipes with the side key, which acts as a back button. One thing missing is a double tap to wake the screen.

Realme Watch 3 review

The round-the-clock pulse monitoring as well as continuous SpO2 and stress monitoring work just as well as on more expensive watches. Instant heart rate and SpO2 readings are quick and easy to record. Training data is displayed in a neat way with large scrollable metrics.

Realme Watch 3 review

Fitness provides useful information such as average pace, calories burned, average cadence (steps per minute), average steps, total steps and average speed. I encountered a few instances where the watch would restart itself during several training sessions, resulting in missed workouts, so hopefully this will be fixed with future software updates. There is no built-in GPS receiver on the watch, although the one on your paired phone should give more accurate results anyway.

Sleep tracking results showed accurate go-to-sleep and wake-up times. Like most other watches on the market, the Realme Watch 3 also offers a sleep breakdown by category with rapid eye movement (REM) included.

Realme Watch 3 review

All health and activity data is available on the watch, which does not let you compare values ​​over longer periods. The Health tab in the Realme Link phone app brings you detailed breakdowns of your health and activity metrics, allowing you to compare up to a month’s worth of data. You can also export the results of your training sessions as images to share with friends or keep track of your training program.

Realme Watch 3 review

Bluetooth calling on the Watch 3 is quite useful and worked flawlessly during my testing. You can dial numbers directly on the watch via a miniature keypad or even transfer some of your favorite contacts onto the watch. You can also start a call on your phone and then transfer it to the watch. The signal is strong enough thanks to the dual-mode Bluetooth chip, so you can leave your phone in one room and walk around during a call without a drop in call quality.

Realme Watch 3 review

The Watch 3’s speaker is loud enough during calls, even outdoors, and microphone pickup is good enough for most cases, though you still have to lift your wrist closer to your mouth, which feels awkward. During calls, people on the other end reported my voice as clear, although disturbances such as wind and car traffic would muffle the conversation. Realme boasts its AI noise reduction algorithm, although an additional microphone would be a more optimal solution to combat interference.

Battery life

Realme claims you can get up to 7 days of use out of the Watch 3, and in our testing we found these figures to be accurate with light use, although I got 5 days on a single charge.

Realme Watch 3 review

My Watch 3 use case included constant notifications from all apps on my paired phone, 40% screen brightness with raise-to-wake enabled, 24/7 heart rate, SpO2, sleep and stress metrics, and three to four workouts per week. The watch also gets a power-saving mode, which only shows you the time and date. A full charge takes just over two hours

Judgment

The Realme Watch 3 is an iterative upgrade to last year’s Watch 2. The big new feature this year is Bluetooth calling, which works well and isn’t usually promised for watches in this price range. The Watch 3 is made entirely of plastic, although it looks more premium than its predecessor, and it’s still light enough on the wrist. The slightly larger 1.8-inch display and slimmer bezels are welcome additions, although the lower resolution and maximum brightness levels aren’t ideal.

Realme Watch 3 review

Health and fitness tracking is on par with other watches and smart bands in this price range. A dedicated GPS sensor and a nicer OLED screen are two of the missing pieces that would make this watch an easy recommendation. At INR 3,500 ($44/€44), the Realme Watch 3 is a well-priced smartwatch that delivers capable health and fitness tracking as well as Bluetooth calling, which isn’t always a given at this price point.

Advantage

  • Bluetooth calling
  • Lightweight design
  • Solid battery life
  • IP68 rating

Disadvantages

  • Iterative upgrade over Realme Watch 2
  • Lower resolution screen (still LCD)
  • No automatic brightness
  • Not swim proof
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