Test Realme Watch 3: a first price watch without surprises

Test Realme Watch 3: a first price watch without surprises

ergonomics and design

Like many entry-level connected watches, the Realme Watch 3 retains a rectangular format. And like many competitors, it incorporates an increasingly larger screen, this time reaching a very respectable 1.8″ (4.57 cm) diagonal, compared to 1.4″ (3.56 cm) of the Watch 2 and the 1.75″ (4.45 cm) of the Watch 2 Pro. The screen occupancy rate thus reaches 63.7%.

The connected watch Realme Watch 3

The connected watch Realme Watch 3

Despite its large screen, the dimensions of the Realme Watch 3 are still reasonable (45 x 37 x 11.5 mm) and comparable to those of an Apple Watch (45 x 38 x 10.7 mm) from which it draws heavily. In the design. A case that is also very light (26.1 g on our scale; 41 g with strap), which contributes to the wearing comfort of this watch that is quickly forgotten, especially since its 22 mm silicone strap is pleasant. to wear despite its basic appearance. It can be changed easily, this being perfectly standard.

A very classic silicone bracelet.

A very classic silicone bracelet.

A matter of finishes, we appreciate the glass with curved edges (2.5D) that integrates very well with the case. However, the shiny metallic edges of the latter do not create an illusion and hardly hide the fact that the case is made entirely of plastic. The comparison with a steel Apple Watch is still painful, however, for a completely different price.

In terms of display, we can regret that the definition of the LCD panel of this Realme Watch 3 is not higher (240 x 286 px), because the pixels are visible and the fineness of the texts suffers. Without being exceptional, the maximum brightness of 500 nits allows the screen to remain readable in the sun, although we have already seen much better at this level. However, in the absence of a light sensor, it is up to us to adjust the intensity of the display light on the watch to suit the conditions.

Editor rating: 4 out of 5

Interface

The touch interface of the Realme Watch 3 is easy to use. A simple swipe down on the screen brings up the shortcut panel, while horizontal swipes scroll through the various widgets built into the watch (default: daily activity report, sleep, heart rate, weather, music controls ).

Interestingly, the red dot indicating unread notifications is displayed at the top of the screen, while viewing them is done by swiping from bottom to top. Not very intuitive, but we get used to it.

The main watch face, the shortcut panel, the heart rate widget, the SMS display, the app list, and the settings menu

The main watch face, the shortcut panel, the heart rate widget, the SMS display, the app list, and the settings menu

The list of watch apps only appears by pressing the Watch 3’s single button, located on its right edge. The apps are displayed as a simple list, but since there are few of them, you don’t need to scroll through them for a long time.

The only button used to go back to the main dial and show the app list

The only button used to go back to the main dial and show the app list

We are sorry that the widgets do not provide more information, the only way to access the details is by using the Realme Link app.

Data fields displayed during a run

Data fields displayed during a run

Equipped with a speaker and a microphone, the Realme Watch 3 allows you to receive phone calls received through the smartphone it is paired with. The function is basic, but it works correctly. However, you shouldn’t be picky about sound quality, whether it’s receiving or transmitting. Even more so in a noisy environment where dialogue can be difficult.

Realme Watch 3 speaker

Realme Watch 3 speaker

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

Request

The Realme Watch 3 is linked to a smartphone through the Realme Link application, common to the rest of the manufacturer’s products. Fairly rudimentary, however, it offers the essentials for setting your watch and downloading dials.

The app also provides an overview of daily activity in a “Health” tab that shows the different widgets corresponding to those included in the clock. These provide more details and a history of the last days up to the whole year.

App-Realme-Link

Some more detailed data is provided in the sports activity details, but little highlighted in the app. There’s even a VO2 Max score that regular runners can appreciate.

The Explore tab includes operational routines with various Realme devices that are not used with the watch. Minimum service for Realme Link with this Watch 3 therefore.

App-Realme-Link-Health-Exercise-Sleep

App-Realme-Link-Health-Exercise-Sleep

Editor Rating: 3 out of 5

Uses and Accuracy

Equipped with heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensors, the Realme Watch 3 can continuously track your heart rate, stress, and SpO2 level. Health readings without particular interpretation, but which can be examined for general physical condition.

The optical sensors of the Realme Watch 3

The optical sensors of the Realme Watch 3

The watch also calculates a VO2 Max score based on your physical performance during your last few runs. Interesting, but again for information only and without actual use as part of a training program, the watch offers none.

When it comes to sleep tracking, the Realme Watch 3 offers inconsistent results. It still identifies the larger phases of deep sleep, but it mixes light and paradoxical sleep and does not identify the waking phases. At best, it will only be used to look at the total duration of sleep, which, however, is also not very accurate.

Sleep phases recorded by Realme Watch 3 and the specialized Dreem 2 headband.

Sleep phases recorded by Realme Watch 3 and the specialized Dreem 2 headband.

As for the accuracy of heart rate monitoring, we see good results for activities at a constant pace. The curve obtained with the watch closely follows that generated with our reference chest strap, the Polar H10, renowned for its precision.

The heart rate curves obtained after running at a regular pace: Realme Watch 3 in orange;  Polar H10 in thin red.

The heart rate curves obtained after running at a regular pace: Realme Watch 3 in orange; Polar H10 in thin red.

Unfortunately, it’s not the same when you’re doing exercises in intervals, at an irregular pace. Whether cycling or rowing, the watch certainly manages to identify general heart rate spikes, but it struggles to draw the same curve as the Polar H10. In fact, there are significant differences in heart rate, the average difference in a split exercise reaches 16%! Difficult to trust the Realme Watch 3 in these conditions.

Rowing machine test 1

rowing test 2

In the absence of an integrated GPS chip, it is the one in the smartphone that the watch uses to record the route during an outdoor sports activity. It is necessary to ensure that the signal is well acquired before starting its output and to ensure that the application does not go into the background.

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