Realme entered the smartwatch market with its aptly named Realme Watch more than two years ago, and since then, the manufacturer has been expanding its wearables portfolio. The new Realme Watch 3 is its latest, and it’s positioned as a direct successor to last year’s Realme Watch 2 – a watch that brings great battery life and decent settings for 4,125 rupees ($55/€45) .
This year’s model has been thoroughly redesigned, with a larger screen, square edges and Bluetooth calling, while still offering regular sports and activity tracking for 3,500 rupees ($44/€44). How does the Realme Watch 3 stand out from the competition, and do the new features make it a worthwhile upgrade?
Realme Watch 3 Specifications
- exhibit: 1.8-inch, 240 x 286 pixel color screen, 323ppi pixel density, 500 nits peak brightness, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
- Shoulder straps: Removable Silicone Band, 22mm wide, 130-220mm adjustable length
- feature: IP68 Rating, Bluetooth Talking, Speaker, Real-Time Heart Rate Monitor, 24/7 SpO2 Monitor, Sleep Tracking, Stress Monitoring, Exercise Tracking, VO2 Max, Pedometer, Meditation, Smart Notifications, Idle Alarm, Drink Reminder, Phone Finder , weather forecast, music and camera controls
- Sport mode: Outdoor Running, Indoor Running, Outdoor Walking, Indoor Walking, Outdoor Cycling, Indoor Cycling, Strength Training, Soccer, Yoga and Cricket (100 more in Realme Link app)
- sensor: PPG Optical Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, 3-Axis Accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3, compatible with Android 5.1+ and iOS 11+
- Battery: 340 mA
- color: black, grey
- aspect: 45 x 37 x 11.5 mm
- weight: 40 grams
The Realme Watch 3 looks more premium than its predecessor, although the body is still entirely plastic. The sides are now flat and have a shiny finish that looks like a metal alloy from a distance. We have the black variant for our review here, which has an interesting bronze finish.
Realme also sells a grey variant with a lighter case and a lighter strap. Speaking of the strap, it’s made of durable silicone material, and it’s the standard 22mm model, so you can swap it out for any other strap you might put on.
The watch weighs only 40 grams and is comfortable to carry all day. There’s a button on the right that wakes the watch and also acts as a back button. While the speaker is on the left, you also get a microphone on the same side.
The LCD panel on the Watch 3 has grown from the Realme Watch 2’s 1.4-inch diagonal to 1.8 inches, although the resolution count has been bumped to 240 x 286 pixels, while last year’s watch had a sharper 320 x 320 pixel output. To be fair, the difference isn’t noticeable in day-to-day use, but it’s still odd that the newer model watch has a lower screen resolution.
Unlike the OLED screens on some competing smartwatches, the Watch 3 doesn’t have an always-on display (AoD) feature because it’s an LCD panel. The screen also lacks automatic brightness, so you’ll need to manually choose how bright you want the screen to be. There are four brightness options, ranging from 20%, and I found the 40% option to be very useful in most situations, even outdoors and in direct August sun. The Watch 3 peaked at 500 nits, and while last year’s Realme Watch 2 peaked at 600 nits, it did get brighter.
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 includes the watch, a proprietary two-pin magnetic charger, and a USB-A cable on the end.
Like recent smartwatches, the Realme Watch 3 brings 24/7 heart rate monitoring along with continuous SpO2 tracking, stress and sleep monitoring. The watch also tracks over 110 sports and activities. You can have 16 sport modes on the watch at once, and switching from one mode to another requires going into the Realme Link app on your phone.
Realme also offers over 100 watch faces via the Link app that sync to the watch in seconds. You can only have four watch faces on your watch at a time, though, and if you want to add more, you’ll have to delete existing ones. The watch also has many useful features, such as an alarm clock, weather widget, reminder app, music controls, and the ability to act as a Bluetooth camera shutter.
Aerobic activities such as running and cycling have specialized workout results that determine your exercise intensity level and help you reach new goals. Watch 3 also provides recovery time recommendations based on your most recent workouts and VO2 max measurements, giving you a better understanding of your workout efficiency. There is no built-in GPS receiver on the watch, although your phone antenna should give more accurate results.
Bluetooth calling is one of the new features on the Watch 3, which 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 easy dialing. There’s no user-accessible storage on the watch to store music or other files, which would be a nice feature considering the onboard speakers.
The vibration motor gets the job done, though the haptic feel isn’t quite as convincing as some of the more premium watches we’ve tested. Compared to the 315 mAh battery on the Realme Watch 2, there is a larger 340 mAh battery pack here, and you can head to the battery section to see how it performs.
The navigation interface feels smooth and responsive, and UI animations run without lag. Like the rest of Realme’s watch portfolio, the Watch 3 runs a basic proprietary operating system with a few simple apps pre-installed. You can swipe to navigate the watch, and the side key acts as a back button. One thing missing is a double tap gesture to wake the screen.
24/7 heart rate monitoring as well as continuous SpO2 and stress monitoring work equally well on more expensive watches. Instant heart rate and SpO2 readings are quick and easy to record. Workout data is displayed in a nice way, with large scrollable indicators.
Cardio gets useful information such as average pace, calories burned, average cadence (steps per minute), average stride, total steps, and average speed. I did have a few cases where the watch would reboot on its own during a few training sessions, causing the workout to fail, so hopefully this will be fixed with a future software update. There is no built-in GPS receiver on the watch, although the receiver on your paired phone should give more accurate results.
The sleep tracking results did show the exact time to fall asleep and wake up. Like most other watches on the market, the Realme Watch 3 also offers sleep breakdown by category, including Rapid Eye Movement (REM).
All health and activity data is accessible on the watch, which doesn’t allow you to compare values over longer periods of time. The Health tab in the Realme Link mobile app provides a detailed breakdown of your health and activity metrics, allowing you to compare data for up to a month. You can also export your workout results as images to share with friends or track your training regimen.
Bluetooth calling on the Watch 3 was very useful and worked well during my testing. You can dial numbers directly on the watch via the tiny keyboard, and even transfer some of your favorite contacts on the watch. You can also make a call on your phone and transfer it to the watch. Thanks to the dual-mode Bluetooth chip, the signal is strong enough so you can leave your phone in a room and move around during a call without degrading the quality of the call.
Even when talking outdoors, the Watch 3’s speakers are loud enough, and the microphone pickup is adequate for most use cases, though you still have to lift your wrists close to your mouth, which feels awkward. During the call, the person on the other end reported that my voice was clear, although disturbances like wind and car traffic would interfere with the conversation. Realme touts its AI noise-cancelling algorithm, but an extra microphone would be a better solution to interference.
Realme claims you can get up to 7 days of use out of the Watch 3, and in our testing we found these values to be accurate and light usage, though I got 5 days on a single charge.
My Watch 3 use cases include constant notifications from all apps on the paired phone, 40% screen brightness with wake enabled, 24/7 heart rate, SpO2, sleep and stress measurements, and exercise three to four times a week. The watch also has a power saving mode that only displays the time and date. A full charge takes just over two hours.
The Realme Watch 3 is an iterative upgrade to last year’s Watch 2. The biggest new feature this year is Bluetooth calling, which works well and isn’t usually promised on a watch at this price point. The Watch 3 is made entirely of plastic, and while it looks more premium than its predecessor, it’s still light enough on the wrist. The slightly larger 1.8-inch screen and narrower bezels are welcome, although the lower resolution and peak brightness levels aren’t ideal.
Health and fitness tracking is on par with other watches and smartbands in this price range. A dedicated GPS sensor and a better OLED screen are the two missing pieces that would make this watch an easy recommendation. At INR 3,500 ($44/€44), the Realme Watch 3 is a great-value smartwatch that offers robust health and fitness tracking as well as Bluetooth calling, which isn’t always the case at this price point.
- Bluetooth calling
- Lightweight Design
- Solid battery life
- IP68 rating
- Iterative upgrade of Realme Watch 2
- Low resolution display (still LCD)
- no automatic brightness
- Not resistant to swimming