Unless you are enthusiastic about all the advances Apple and Samsung are making in the world of smartwatches, it makes more sense just to settle for a simple and affordable watch. And why not? A smartwatch under Rs. 5000 usually ends up with a display as large as cheap feature phones, and they have become more than just glorified fitness bands. You can even get hands free calling in this segment – a feature that has been largely reserved for the high-end watches so far. The Realme Techlife Watch R100 is one that also features the same.
It costs Rs. 3999 and for the price, you are getting an entry-level smartwatch with a desirable round display, handsfree calling, lots of fitness tracking, and decent design to round it off. On paper, this Realme Watch sounds like the ideal deal for buyers. But is it ideal in the real world? I have been wearing it for 10 days now and here is how it fares.
Realme makes some of the nicest looking round smartwatches in the budget space and the Realme Techlife Watch R100 is no exception. It resembles the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic with its aluminium bezels marked with minutes. Two buttons shaped in the form of crowns pop-out of the sides, only enhancing the appeal.
Sadly, Realme is only offering a silicon strap with the watch – an option with a leather strap would have been nicer. Nonetheless, the strap is soft on the skin and so is the underside of the watch. With an IP67 rating, I had no concerns about taking it out in the rain or dusty days this watch had to endure during the review period.
Then there’s the display, which is fairly large at 1.32-inches. Sadly, this is an LCD display and hence, colours don’t pop out as much as they do on the Dizo Watch R with its OLED display. It looks decent though and the touch input is on par with what the competition offers.
Without Wear OS and watchOS, most smartwatches are simply glorified fitness bands. Realme brings its proprietary OS from its older watch models, which means you get lots of features and a nice interface to play with. Sadly, the lack of a powerful chipset means it all runs laggy – the animations are jittery and apps aren’t as eager to load. If you get past this, this is a basic smartwatch that shows you notifications from your phone, lets you track your exercise, and do basic activities such as set an alarm, check reminders, and find your phone.
The distinction comes from the Bluetooth calling feature, which works as advertised. The quality is no Apple Watch but for quick calls between chores, it works. The audio quality is tinny and its max volume is best suited for indoor use. You can save shortcuts to your favorite contacts and access recent calls history, and even dial them from the watch. That is a neat touch.
Since there is a microphone here, the Watch R100 makes its use for Amazon Alexa on-board voice assistant. Alexa on the Realme Techlife Watch R100 does limited things such as set an alarm, check weather, open the health apps, and the likes – no smart home controls, or even answers to “how are you”.
The watch faces on the Watch R100 are some of the best ones I have seen on a budget watch. Realme has an online store full of such impressive watch faces that are either obsessed with the design, or focused on productivity. Sadly, message notifications still don’t give you the ability to send a quick reply.
Unlike previous Realme watches, the Realme Techlife Watch R100 relies on the Realme Wear app. This is essentially a redesigned app for watches with neatly laid out infographic and quick access to the basic watch settings. You can even access the watch face store from here. Data between the app and watch is synced via bluetooth and hence, you have to be patient while loading up a watch face, or syncing the health data. It works well on both iOS and Android devices.
Most of you are likely to buy the Watch R100 for its looks and BT calling feature, but if you ever decide to take up fitness seriously, this watch has you covered. There are over 100 sports activities to monitor, most of which will track your heart rate, pace, steps, and the basic info. I tried the Outdoor Walking mode (since I am no fitness fan), and the data obtained was comparable to the Apple Watch Series 7 with minor variations. Running modes have this AI assistant that tells you in real-time how fast or slow you need to run in order to match your goals.
Coming to health monitoring, the Watch R100 surprisingly returns accurate SpO2 data readouts comparable to a certified medical-grade device. The heart rate is a bit off occasionally and the sleep tracking data is decent. You can even keep an eye on your Stress and reduce it with guided Breathing Exercises. An Activity mode shows a summary of your fitness efforts, something which my Watch R100 never got to see its rings completed.
With all-day health monitoring enabled and taking some calls on it, the Realme Techlife Watch R100 could last me at best six days on a single charge. For a watch with Bluetooth calling, this is just fine. You get a magnetic puck charger in the box to fill up the battery, which takes almost two hours for a full recharge.
For Rs. 3,999, the Realme Techlife Watch R100 is a pleasant gadget to pick if you are eager to step into the realm of smartwatches. It misses out on those eye-popping OLED displays that some of its rivals offer, and the laggy animations are an eyesore, but the convenience of Bluetooth calling on your watch makes up for it all. There are enough watch faces to play with, and the same can be said for the basic features. Fitness enthusiasts will be served fine too but we recommend spending on specialized gear with better sensors, such as a Garmin or a Fitbit tracker.
But the biggest draw on the Realme Techlife Watch R100 is its design. For a smartwatch costing Rs. 4000, it gives the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Amazfit GTR 3 a run for their money.
Copyright © HT Media Limited
All rights reserved.