Realme Watch 3 test: a first-price watch with no 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 ever larger screen, this time reaching a very respectable diagonal of 1.8 “(4.57 cm), against 1.4 “(3.56 cm) for the Watch 2 and 1.75” (4.45 cm) for the Watch 2 Pro. The screen occupancy rate thus reaches 63.7%.

The Realme Watch 3 connected watch

The Realme Watch 3 connected watch

Despite its large screen, the dimensions of the Realme Watch 3 remain indeed 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 is inspired. strongly design. A case which is also very light (26.1 g on our scale; 41 g with strap), contributing to the wearing comfort of this watch which is quickly forgotten, especially since its 22 mm silicone strap is pleasant to wear despite its basic appearance. It can be changed easily, this one being perfectly standard.

A very classic silicone bracelet

A very classic silicone bracelet

Question finishes, we appreciate the glass with curved edges (2.5D) which integrates well with the case. The shiny metallic edges of the latter do not, however, create an illusion, hardly hiding the fact that the case is entirely made of plastic. The comparison with a steel Apple Watch remains painful – for a completely different price, however.

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. In the absence of a light sensor, however, it is up to us to adjust the light intensity of the screen on the watch to adapt it to the conditions.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Interface

The touch interface of the Realme Watch 3 is easy to use. A simple swipe downwards on the screen unrolls the shortcuts pane, while horizontal swipes scroll through the various widgets integrated into the watch (by default: daily activity report, sleep, heart rate, weather , musical controls).

Strangely, the red dot indicating unread notifications is displayed at the top of the screen, while the display of these is done with a finger slide from bottom to top. Unintuitive, but we get used to it.

The main watch face, the shortcuts panel, the heart rate widget, the display of an SMS, the list of applications and the settings menu

The main watch face, the shortcuts panel, the heart rate widget, the display of an SMS, the list of applications and the settings menu

The list of watch applications only appears by pressing the single button of the Watch 3, located on its right edge. The apps are displayed as a simple list, but since there are few of them, there is no need to scroll through them very long.

The single button used to return to the main dial and display the list of applications

The single button used to return to the main dial and display the list of applications

We regret that the widgets do not provide more information, the only way to access the details is to use the Realme Link application.

Data fields displayed during a run

Data fields displayed during a run

Equipped with a loudspeaker and a microphone, the Realme Watch 3 allows you to take phone calls received via the smartphone to which it is paired. The function is basic, but works properly. You should not be demanding on the sound quality, however, whether in reception or transmission. Even more so in a noisy environment where dialogue can be difficult.

The speaker of the Realme Watch 3

The speaker of the Realme Watch 3

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Application

The Realme Watch 3 is linked to a smartphone by the Realme Link application, common to the manufacturer’s other products. Rather rudimentary, it nevertheless offers the essentials for setting up your watch and downloading dials.

The app also offers an overview of daily activity in a “Health” tab displaying the different widgets corresponding to those included in the watch. 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 details of sports activities, yet little highlighted in the application. There is even a VO2 Max score that regular runners can appreciate.

The Explore tab includes operating routines featuring several 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's Rating: 3 out of 5

Uses and Accuracy

Equipped with heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensors, the Realme Watch 3 can track heart rate, stress and SpO2 level continuously. Health readings with no 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

A VO2 Max score is also calculated by the watch based on our physical performance during our last runs. Interesting, but again for information only and without real use as part of a training program, the watch does not offer any.

When it comes to sleep tracking, the Realme Watch 3 delivers inconsistent results. It still identifies the largest phases of deep sleep, but mixes light and paradoxical sleep and does not identify the waking phases. It will only be used at best to observe the overall sleep duration, which is not very precise either, however.

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

Sleep phases recorded by the 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 steady pace. The curve obtained with the watch follows well 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 story when you practice exercises in intervals, at an irregular rhythm. Whether cycling or rowing, the watch certainly manages to identify overall heart rate peaks, but struggles to draw the same curve as the Polar H10. There are indeed significant differences in heart rate, the average difference over a split exercise reaching 16%! Difficult to trust the Realme Watch 3 in these conditions.

Rowing machine, trial 1

Rower Trial 2

In the absence of an integrated GPS chip, it is that of the smartphone that the watch uses to record the route during an outdoor sporting 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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