Realme Watch 2 Review
Realme’s first smartwatch came out a year ago, and since then we’ve seen four more smartwatches from the brand. The latest on the doorstep is the Realme Watch 2 – a direct successor to the Realme Watch, and it’s time to see what a year’s worth of development brings to the table.
Looking alone will tell you that not much has changed, though the new model brings a brighter screen (though still LCD) and a larger battery that is estimated to last up to 12 hours on a single charge. The software front has also been revised to allow you to control Realme AIoT peripherals directly from your wrist. You are also treated with the usual mix of activity and sleep tracking, heart rate measurement and oxygen level measurements in the blood.
So is watch 2 a worthy successor to the watch that started it all for Realme, or is it better to look elsewhere for your health and fitness tracking needs? Let’s find out in our Realme Watch 2 review.
Realme Watch 2 specifications
- Screen: 1.4 “, 320×320 pixel color screen, 323ppi pixel density, 600 nits peak brightness, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
- Brakes: Detachable silicone straps, 22 mm wide, 130-220 mm adjustable length
- Features: Real-time heart rate monitor, Blood oxygen level meter, IP68 rating, sleep tracking, sports tracking, pedometer, meditation, smart messaging, idle alarm, drink reminder, phone finder, weather forecast, music and camera control
- Sports modes: Outdoor running, indoor running, outdoor walking, indoor walking, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, strength training, football, yoga and cricket (80 more in the Realme Link app)
- Sensors: PPG optical pulse sensor, SpO2 sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, rotor vibration motor
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.0, compatible with Android 5.0+ and iOS 11+
- Battery: 315 mAh
- Colors: Black
- Dimensions: 35.7 x 25.8 x 12.2 mm
- Weight: 38 grams
Realme Watch 2 brings a square look with a plastic frame and 22 mm silicone watch strap. The screen now comes with uniform top and bottom frames, unlike its predecessor, which had a noticeably larger chin. The Realme logo on the watch is also gone, enhancing the creepy look. There is a single button on the right side that acts as a sleep / wake and back button.
In addition to the modified display frames and watch strap, the Realme Watch 2 is visually identical to its predecessor in all respects. It still boasts the PPG optical pulse and SpO2 sensors, charging pins and IP68 rating. The Watch 2 feels far from premium on your wrist, though it is certainly light and quite compact, which I liked. There is also a subtle Dare to Leap branding on the watch strap that sets it apart from the old model.
The building is decent enough for the entry-level price range, and I’m glad to report that the Realme Watch 2 held up nicely in my daily use while surviving the occasional thinking and bump without being scratched up. The side button does not give the most tactile feel and makes a squeaky sound when pressed. The built-in vibration motor offers soft and strong signals and I found the former to be good enough for my daily use.
The panel on the Watch 2 is a 1.4-inch IPS LCD with the same 320×320-pixel resolution as its predecessor. The new bit here is the maximum brightness, which now increases up to 600 nits compared to 380 nits on the old model. There is still no control over automatic brightness, and the screen is certainly not that impressive in direct sunlight compared to AMOLED panels on competing watches.
You get a five-speed manual brightness level control as well as raising to wake-up functionality, which struggled to pick up the occasional wrist lift during my test. You also do not have the ability to schedule the lift for the wake-up function in specific time frames and need to turn it on or off manually, which feels like a task, especially late at night.
There’s a ton of new dials on the Realme Watch 2, including plenty of live ones too, and you’re also free to create your own with an image of your choice, even if you’re not allowed to rearrange any of the dials. widgets. The Watch 2 can hold six dials alone, and you can easily switch between them by holding down the watch screen.
The user interface of the Realme Watch 2 is almost identical to its predecessor. You get your control center on the left of the dial followed by your daily activity page on the right, heart rate monitor, weather information and music control. Swipe down to the notification screen, while a swipe in the opposite direction takes you to the app menu.
The user interface feels mostly responsive and snappy. There was an occasional bug with the lift to wake feature on the watch, but I can say with certainty that the Realme Watch 2 performs quite well compared to other budget smartwatches in the class.
You still need to pair the watch with a smartphone via the Realme Link app. It’s important to note that the app now supports Apple devices starting iOS 11 and later, which was not the case on last year’s smartwatch. The installation process is fast and straightforward, and the Link app gives you all the training and health data you need.
There are only 10 sports modes out of the box in total, though the Realme Link app has 80 more modes that you can swap depending on your needs. You can also check a simplified view of your activity records on the watch itself or with more details in the Realme Link app.
Other health information available directly on the watch includes your sleep, heart rate and SpO2 readings. There is a breathing / meditation app, timer, stopwatch, alarm folder that allows you to set alarms on the watch itself, a camera shutter and a find my phone feature that plays the phone’s ringtone to help you find it.
The Realmes Link app is also present on the Watch 2, so you can control supported Realm AIoT products such as air purifiers, smart lamps and smart speakers without the need for a smartphone.
Features and performance
Like previous smartwatches in Realme’s portfolio, the Watch 2 performs all the standard range of health and fitness tracking you would expect. There is an ample list of over 90 sports modes, though you can only hold up to 10 of them at a time on the watch. You really can not complain when it comes to variety, there are some strangely specific options like fishing, fitness games, hula hoop and darts. I stuck to the more traditional outdoor / indoor running, cycling and weight training and can report similar tracking accuracy to the Realme Watch S that I tested a while back.
During training, Realme Watch 2 reports on your heart rate level, calories burned and total training time. There is no built-in GPS here, which can be expected considering the price point. Runs were aided by my phone’s GPS, and the combination worked fine while delivering accurate results. The Realme Link companion app stored in up to two weeks of training data that gives you an overview of your threshold heart rate complete with total calories burned, average HR values and total training time.
Compared to my daily driver Xiaomi Mi Band 5, Realme Watch 2 produced almost identical heart rate measurements, while the number of steps was slightly higher with an average of 200 more steps displayed on Realme Watch 2. Realme also allows you to automatically measure your HR levels in intervals of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30 minutes 24/7 and to receive alarms if your heart rate goes above or below a certain threshold.
The measurements of oxygen levels in the blood (SpO2) were on a par with previous Realme clocks. You are still required to manually start readings from the watch, as there is no automatic option as with heart rate measurements. You also need to keep the watch tight just above your wrist to get the most accurate measurements. While we are here, keep in mind that SpO2 readings from Realme Watch 2 (or any smartwatch) are for reference only and not for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Sleep tracking is a clear step up from the original Realme Watch and Watch S mainly in the fact that it could actually record my sleep and wake-up time. Sleep data consists of deep sleep, light sleep and waking time. For some reason, the REM sleep component was completely removed, although its absence is not harmful. You can finally read last night’s sleep data on the watch itself, which is another welcome addition. The Link phone app stores a month’s sleep data.
Messages appear as soon as they are received on your phone, and while you can only read and reject them without interacting in any other way, I found the system to be quite responsive. Realme Watch 2 managed to display notifications in different languages, even though it struggled with most emojis.
There is no speaker or microphone here, which also means you can not take calls on Realme Watch 2. You get a notification and can reject incoming calls when someone tries to reach you, but nothing more.
I also encountered several bugs in my time testing the Watch 2, including a connectivity issue that prevented some clock data from syncing with my phone right away and required a restart of the watch. There is also the aforementioned unregistered wake-up call and some complications in the Realme Link phone app that could definitely use some polish with future software updates.
Realme claims 12 days on a single charge, and this number can certainly be achieved with some moderation of the health and sports tracking features on the watch. My usage case contained the following settings:
- Standard dial
- Lift-to-wake screen activated
- 60% screen brightness
- Notifications about call and messaging apps
- Automatic heart rate monitoring interval set to five minutes
- Sleep tracking enabled
- Between 30 minutes and 1 hour walk daily
- Three training programs per week (approx. 1 hour each)
With these options, I managed nine days on a single charge, usually starting day 10 with less than 10% battery, which got a recharge. These results are quite impressive and a great advantage over the previous generation of Realme Watch, which lasted for about four days with a similar usage pattern. A full charge took just under 2 hours.
Realme Watch 2 is a clear upgrade over the original Realme Watch in terms of battery life and sleep tracking. The added sport modes are a good touch, as is the reworked screen design. For $ 55 / € 45 / INR 4,125 you get your money’s worth here and that price is likely to drop with future sales promotions.
I encountered several connectivity issues and some software bugs along the way, though I hope these can be easily stretched out with future software updates. The lack of automatic brightness and the use of an LCD panel instead of an AMOLED are other pitfalls. Despite these shortcomings, the Realme Watch 2 offered a smooth feel interface, a varied dial selection, decent health and fitness tracking in a light form factor.
The design is basic and the plastic frame does not exude first-class build quality, but the Realme Watch 2 felt good enough and worked quite well with health and fitness tracking, while giving me timely update notifications and ample battery life.
- Lighter screen than Realme Watch
- Improved sleep tracking
- Fixed battery life
- IP68 rating
- Not so much different from last year’s Realme Watch
- Connection issues
- No automatic brightness