The Realme Watch S was a budget watch that packed lots of features. The Pro model looks even better, but does it come at an acceptable premium?
The Pro version of the Watch S brings three additions to the watch; a crisp AMOLED display with a higher resolution, GPS, plus a stainless steel surround that makes it more durable and looking that bit more premium in look and feel.
I won’t repeat everything that I already talked about in the Watch S review, as the two watches are almost functionally identical, with the exception of an always-on-display (AoD) now possible (something the LCD display on the non-Pro doesn’t allow for), and GPS for more accurate workout tracking.
Sadly, despite the higher resolution display (454×454 pixels vs 360×360 pixels), the choice of watch faces are still as limited as before – and the digital faces still lack seconds. What’s with that Realme? Does nobody ever need that extra level of accuracy?
I have no idea why Realme has not progressed on watch face design, or allowed third-party designs to be either sideloaded or downloaded via its gallery, but it is the one thing that left me a little disappointed in what would otherwise be a watch easily able to stand its ground against comparable watches.
On the plus side, the battery life is still excellent with an advertised battery life of up to 14 days. With the always-on-display, or heavy usage of the tracking with GPS enabled, you can expect that to drop to around 3, maybe 4, days. That’s still fine for a long weekend away without fear of running out of battery, and also enables you to wear it in bed to use the sleep tracking functionality.
Not that the magnetic charger is much of a hardship to carry with you for peace of mind, as it’s very lightweight and can plug into any USB-A power adapter or power bank.
AoD for me is a must, but you can turn it off if you want the far longer battery life. You can also limit the AoD to certain hours of the day to further increase the battery life.
On a long walk, the tracking was almost identical to the Huawei GT 2 Pro I also wore on my other arm. Initially I had a concern about a big variance in the data on distance walked, until I realised I had the Watch S Pro set to miles and the Huawei in kilometres. Once adjusted, I was impressed that there was a good level of consistency with a watch that is very much more expensive and marketed as a premium watch.
The only issue I found on this occasion was that when I returned home and looked at my walk, the GPS had correctly captured the details of my walk – but placed it on a map some considerable distance to the east (offset around 10 miles). Had I been in that location, I’d have somehow managed to walk over two rivers and part of a lake!
I am not sure what caused this issue and it didn’t reoccur.
For the money, the Watch S Pro gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It has the usual heart rate monitoring, a blood oxygen meter, and decent sleep tracking that doesn’t get phased by the time of day you sleep as I find with Amazfit/Zepp watches that can only detect sleep if you go to sleep at normal hours (although, they do track sleep at other times as naps, but losing the detailed analysis of light sleep, REM sleep, deep sleep etc).
The touchscreen is responsive, although the menu system is a little laggy when you scroll through the menu. You can get notifications for selected applications (although not respond to them – you’ll need to use your phone for that), turn the watch into a torch, manage alarms, check the weather, control the music player on your phone, or use your watch as a shutter release for your phone camera.
It’s IP68 rated too.
Besides the rather odd GPS tracking issue, the only real issues are the exact same issues I had with the standard Watch S.
Firstly, the lack of customisation. I ranted at length in the last review, so I won’t repeat it here – but there simply need to be more choices of both analogue and digital faces.
Secondly, if you have sensitive skin then you’ll likely want and need to change the strap. It’s easy to do and there are plenty of straps available on Amazon, eBay and elsewhere. Going with a metal strap to go with the stainless steel bezel would likely work very well.
I concluded the Watch S review by saying it was the perfect choice for someone wanting key fitness tracking features and perhaps not being so concerned about the overall design.
Now the Watch S Pro has come along and improved the overall aesthetics, but at a premium of £44.
Is it worth the extra money? Well, if you want an always-on-display then the answer is a firm yes, and if GPS is important then that’s another reason.
However, now you’re at £119, it doesn’t then cost much more again to make a big step up to a watch with a lot more functionality, such as the £159 Honor Magic Watch 2 which has a huge watch face store for one, but also Bluetooth connectivity so you can make and receive calls on the watch. It also has internal storage to store music that can be played on a run without the need to carry your phone.
Of course you can keep adding money on top until you’re buying a flagship Hublot smartwatch for £4k, and Realme is known for doing promotions that can bring that price down on the watch from time to time. So, judging the watch on its own merits, it is a very nice overall package and looks more expensive than it is.
It has all the key features and excellent battery life, so if Realme can work on some more watch faces, or you’re not really bothered by this, it’s a decent offering. Just don’t ignore the standard Watch S as an alternative consideration!
Pricing & Availability
The Realme Watch S is available from Realme’s website for £119 (before promotions). It is available in black only.
Realme Watch S Pro£119
- Higher quality finish over the standard Watch S
- AMOLED display is far nicer, and allows for always-on-display
- Still excellent battery life
- Added GPS
- Same strap as standard Watch S
- Lack of watch face choice spoils the overall package
- At the price, it is very close to more powerful rivals so not quite as much a 'steal' as the non-Pro version