realme band

Realme made its debut in May 2018 with the Realme 1, just two years ago. The company has launched over two dozen smartphones in the short time since and extended its business across the globe into over 25 markets.

Realme provides great value for money smartphones across different segments but the company is also growing its ecosystem rapidly. Last December, it launched the first true wireless earphones, and the first fitness tracker, called Realme Band, in March.

Priced at the super tough INR1.499 ($20/€18), the Realme Band packs a decent range of features including 24-hour heart rate tracking, IP68 dust and water resistance and a trouble-free USB-A charging connector. I’ve been using the Realme Band for over two months and I’m ready to give you a snapshot of their real-life success.

Specifications

  • Display: 0.96″, 160×80 pixel color screen
  • Straps: Detachable TPU straps, 16 mm width, 152-227 mm adjustable length
  • Features: Real-time heart rate monitor, IP68 rating, USB-A connector, Sleep Tracking, Sports Tracking, Step Counter, Smart Notifications, Idle Alert, Drink Reminder
  • Sports Modes: Run, Walk, Bike, Hiking, Fitness, Climbing, Spinning, Yoga and Cricket
  • Sensors: PPG optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, Compatible with Android 5.0+
  • Battery: 90 mAh
  • Colors: Black, Green, and Yellow
  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 11.9 x 240 mm
  • Weight: 20 grams

Conception
The Realme Band comes with a sleek , clean style. Its body is made of plastic, with subtle curves that make it fit nicely on your wrist. The smartband comes with 16 mm long, detachable TPU straps with a length of 152-227 mm that can be modified.

The TPU straps are comfortable and sound at ease. I’ve been wearing the Realme Band for nearly a whole day for over two months every day and that didn’t cause any discomfort. The Realme Band is really lightweight at 20 grams and you can quickly forget you ‘re wearing it. There were really moments when I didn’t notice the Realme Band on my arm, so I had to check to make sure it didn’t slip off.

The Realme Band is IP68 certified, which means it’s protected from dirt , dust and sand and you don’t have to take it off your wrist when you go out in the shower. You can also wear it while swimming, but swimming is not tracked by the smartband so you won’t get any data on your performance.

A single tap on the button allows you to navigate through the menu that includes a heart rate monitor, alarm, daily step count, Realme Band regulatory details as well as three of the default nine sport modes-Yoga, Cricket and Run. A two-second long-press on the button allows you to check your daily step count data, manually measure heart rate, switch on the sports modes and enable / disable alarms.

Realme Band Comes with detachable TPU straps

Display

The Realme Band sports a 160×80 pixel resolution TFT screen of 0.96 “and can display 65,000 colors and up to 64 letters on one side. The smartband supports five watch faces and more will be added with future updates. You can pick the watch face you want from the Realme Connect app, which we will discuss in depth in the section Apps.

The default watch face shows time, regular step count, and a Bluetooth link icon. It also shows the Realme Band’s battery level, but then I would have preferred the battery percentage because I still had to open the Realme Link app to check the exact load left in the device.

None of the faces of the watch shows the percentage of the battery right now, so maybe Realme will look for an upgrade of the software to add that.
In addition, I would also have liked to have watch faces customization choices to display different details on the computer, such as date or average heart rate per day.

Band currently supports five watch faces

The Realme Band does not have a touch screen, so to operate the smartband, you must use the circular capacitive button located below the display.

A touch display would have made it much easier to operate the Realme Band as its button does not support swipe gestures, making navigation a chore. And it’s more irritating because there’s no way back to the previous page without having to click again through all the pages, which takes time.

The screen itself looks good inside but it has very poor visibility outside. Even after hand-covering the monitor and adjusting the brightness to the highest level, the on-screen material was very hard to see. This may be a deal-breaker as the Realme Band is a fitness tracker that is intended to be worn outdoors while exercising, and a screen with low outdoor visibility is losing its target.

Software
The Realme Band relies on the Realme Connect app that is only available for Android devices today. To use the App to monitor the Realme Group, you must first build an account. You can sign up with either your phone number or your email address.

Bluetooth Pairing Process

Features and Efficacy
The Realme Band comes with heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, step counter and nine sports modes including Run, Walk, Ride, Biking, Cycling, Climbing, Spinning, Yoga and Cricket-the last one specially created for India.

Other highlights include the Smart Updates, Idle Notice, Drink Reminder.

Heart Rate Monitoring
Sleep Tracking
Sports Tracking
Idle Alert and Drink Reminder
Smart Notifications

The Band uses a PPG optical heart rate monitor that flashes on your skin a green-colored light that the monitor reflects and reads to calculate heartbeats.

Band comes with Sleep Monitoring. In the Realme Link app the sleep data is presented in a graphical form and it tells you when you fell asleep and when you woke up. Then, the cumulative hours of sleep are broken down into Deep Sleep and Light Sleep. Even the bar graph tells you whether you were up at night but it doesn’t show how long and at what time.

The Realme Band has nine sport modes -Ride, Walk, Bike, Hiking, Fitness, Climbing, Spinning, Yoga, and Cricket, which are specially created for India.

The Band comes with Idle Warning and Drink Reminder– the former encourages you to move and take a walk if you sit in one spot for too long, and the latter encourages you to drink daily intervals of water.

Smart Notifications warns you with a vibration of incoming calls, text messages and updates from other devices enabled on their smartphones. You can head over to the Realme Band’s Settings menu in the Realme Connect app and click the toggle button in front of the Incoming Call option to enable / disable incoming call notifications. You can reject incoming calls from the Realme Band with the capacitive button pressed for a long time.

Battery
The Realme Band packs a 90 mAh battery that Realme claims can give six days of autonomy, with heart rate tracking switched on, and nine days off.

In my testing the Realme Band lasted an average of seven days with 24×7 heart rate tracking and a bombardment of alerts all day long (read: 100 +), which absorbs extra power because the smartband vibrates when you receive them.

However, no exercises were included in the use, and anyone who will use the Realme Band for 24×7 heart rate monitoring activity tracking will get less stamina.

That said, when the battery drops below 20 per cent, the sports modes don’t work, but step counter and heart rate monitor do. So if the battery falls below 10 percent, the Realme Band just displays the time on the clock and the smartband has to be charged to use certain functions.

The Realme Band comes with a USB-A cable for troubleshooting charging. This is undoubtedly one of the smartband’s best features because you don’t need any additional cables to power up the battery-just remove the strap from the top side of the monitor and insert the USB-A connector into a USB-A socket.

Pros

  • IP68 rating
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • USB-A connector
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Display has poor outdoor visibility
  • Sleep Tracker and Step Counter are buggy
  • Notifications need improvement
  • Realme Link app needs polishing

If you’re looking for an inexpensive fitness tracker and want the ease of charging through the USB-A connector then go for the Realme Band. But if you can let go of the luxury and are willing to stretch your budget, other options are open.

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