If we analyzed the Realme Watch a few days ago, today it is the turn of the Realme Band, Realme’s bet to compete against well-known products such as the Mi Smart Band 4 and the new Mi Band 5. It is a most peculiar bracelet not only for its charging system, but also because in a world full of touch screens , the Realme Band does not have it.
One of its most striking arguments is the price, and it is that the Realme Band is worth 24.99 euros on the official website (although it can be found for 19.99 euros). It is a significantly lower figure than that of its rivals and, as we will see throughout this text, it is something that is noticed on a day-to-day basis. Without further delay, let’s go with his analysis of the Realme Band.
Technical sheet of the Realme Band
|Dimensions and weight||19.6 x 11.9 x 240mm
Resolution 80 x 160 pixels
|Resistance||IP68 to water and dust|
|Sport modes||Up to nine|
|System||Own phone notifications|
|Battery||90 mAh (up to 9 theoretical days)|
Design: thin and light
We start by reviewing the design and the aesthetic section. The Realme Band is quite simple, it is made of plastic (even if it looks like aluminium or stainless steel) and it has a small tilt on the side edges. In these edges, we have absolutely nothing, not a single button, but they are completely smooth. At the bottom, meanwhile, we have the heart rate sensor, consisting of two green LEDs as has been normal in this type of wearables.
In the upper area, we have the screen. The glass that protects the panel is curved to fit better on the wrist, but the screen is flat. We will talk about it later because there is a lot of fabric to cut. It is a relatively small screen if we compare it with the front and with it we will interact through a capacitive button located in the lower area.
The straps are silicone and removable. They are 16 millimetres wide and feel good. They do not have the same quality as those of Fitbit or Xiaomi, but they are more pleasant to the touch than the straps of Amazfit or Realme Watch itself. Only one is included in the box, the length of which is adjustable to 152-227 millimetres, enough for all wrist sizes.
To get them out we have to pull back and make force. It is something that we will do on more than one occasion since the USB port with which we will charge the bracelet is integrated in the device itself and it is to which we hook the strap. When I say that it is necessary to make force it is that it is necessary to make a lot of force, so much that when going to load it for the first time it reaches have a certain fear of breaking it.
The reason is that the USB port has two tie-downs to hold the strap and prevent it from moving or falling off. These moorings are quite large and hook well, yes, but exert too much resistance when we pull the strap. It was not a mechanism that seemed too pleasant to us since, as I say, it gives the feeling that we are going to break it. A magnetic charging system or similar to that of the Mi Smart Band 4 would have been preferable. The closure is a traditional buckle and has not given any problem.
What we really liked is its weight. The Realme Band weighs only 20 grams, which is not bad at all. That makes it not uncomfortable to carry it at all times, whether sleeping, exercising or while writing these lines. It is quite discreet in that regard and is appreciated. Save the detail of the strap, you can not fault the design, much less if we consider that it is worth 25 euros. With the screen, however, it is something else.
Screen: a set of bad decisions
I tell you an anecdote. When I took the bracelet out of the box and started to use it, I got a little angry because the screen did not respond. I have used bracelets and watches in which as you do not make the gesture perfectly or slide from a certain area of the screen it does not respond, so I spent five minutes there touching the glass without doing anything. After a while I realized what was happening: Realme Band display is non-touch. It seems a minor detail, but it is not at all.
The screen measures 0.96 inches, is colour and has a resolution of 80 x 160 pixels, slightly less than the Fitbit Charge 4. It looks good indoors, but outdoors and in broad daylight visibility is nil, even with brightness to maximum. It can represent 65,000 colours and there are no complaints about its saturation and contrast.
Since the side frames are black, the feeling is that the screen occupies the entire front, but nothing is further from reality. Most of the front is frame And, as we said in the Realme Watch analysis, it could have been used a little better. All in all, I understand the decision, since if the frames had been reduced the device itself would be too small. The glass that covers the screen fills with fingerprints with an amazing ease, but since it is not tactile it is not that we are going to touch it too much.
As we said, we will interact with it using the lower capacitive button, and it is not the best way. Why? Because it makes everything too slow. With touch swipes everything is faster, you can go back, press to expand information … but with touches of a button no. Pressing the button we will go to the lower screen, one by one, and we can’t go back So if you give us the setting or access to which we want to go we have to go all over the screens and start from the beginning.
If we have to press to move between the screen, to access a sports mode or any function we will have to leave it pressed for about three seconds. Again, much slower than we would if the screen were touch. Although the screen looks good when conditions accompany and respond correctly to button touches, the overall experience with it is quite improbable.
To activate it you have to press the button or make a gesture with your wrist, either option works well. Does not have automatic brightness And, to top it off, we cannot change it manually from the app itself since everything that is managing the device we have to do it from the Android app. Something you do have is an option to put the screen horizontal, something that has no practical utility in the day to day.
Definitely, The Realme Band fails in one of the capital sections of any wearable: the screen. It does not look good in broad daylight, so it does not comply when doing sports outdoors. It is not tactile, so all interactions with the bracelet are too slow and the capacitive button, which works well, does not allow us to return to the previous screen or swipe. The experience, in short, has been very improvable.
The Realme Band on a daily basis
Like any quantifying bracelet, the Realme Band can be paired with a smartphone to receive notifications and call alerts. Unless you have an iPhone, of course. As on Realme Watch, The Realme Link app, which is necessary to manage the device, is only available for Android, so if you have an iPhone or iPad you will not be able to use it. It is in development, but at the moment it is only available on Google Play. It is a data to contemplate.
Pressing the button we will access the seven screens that we can have configured. By default they are as follows:
- Time and date: does nothing if we press and hold the button.
- Steps: if we leave the button pressed we will see the steps, the calories, the distance travelled and the hours of walking.
- Heart rate: It measures it in real time and pressing the button does nothing.
- Sports modes: we can only configure three.
- Music control: if we press and hold we will access the interface.
- Weather: the current weather and, if we press and hold, a longer-term forecast.
- About the device: if we leave pressed we will see the certifications and information of the bracelet.
That’s it. We can not install more applications, or access more advanced functions or open a settings screen to modify parameters of the bracelet. In fact, the bracelet has four “apps” available: music control, time, stopwatch and finding the mobile to which it is linked, but we can only choose two. In other words, if you want to be in control of the music and the time, you cannot have the stopwatch. The options are scarce and do not bring anything new.
Music control is interesting, but just like in Realme Watch, we can’t access it when it is most useful: doing sports. Also, since we don’t have a touch screen, to do something as simple as going to the next song we have to tap the button three times and keep it pressed. It is all too slow.
The management of notifications is also poor, since if we receive several we can only see the last one and not go back to see the previous ones. Must configure them manually in the app, something that seems good to me because that way we avoid receiving notifications of absolutely everything, but I would have appreciated having a section dedicated to them on the bracelet to see all that I have received. In the end you always end up looking at the mobile to be the day. It also notifies us of calls and we can reject them by pressing and holding the button, but not answer them.
More functions that the bracelet offers us are activity and water reminders. The first one can be configured so that between 9:00 and 18:00 it reminds us from time to time that we have to move, while the second one allows us to establish the days and time slot of operation, as well as the period that must to pass between sending us a notification and another. The second, especially, seems particularly useful to me.
Finally, it is worth highlighting the sleep analysis. If we leave the bracelet on during the night, it will analyze how much and how we have slept. From the app we can access the full report to know how much time have we spent in each phase and how our heart rate has changed at night. Hourly detection seems accurate, but variations in heart rate at night seem too pronounced to me.
In short, the Realme Band is a bracelet that offers what you can expect from a 25 euro device. It falls short in many respects, the overall experience is sufficient, although it can be improved and the app does not stand out among other third-party apps either. It is an entry-level bracelet and behaves as such.
Battery: one week of autonomy
Realme promises on its website that the bracelet has an autonomy of between six and nine days, depending on use. With heart rate monitoring activated every five minutes, taking her to sleep and connected to her mobile, it has lasted us a week. It is not the highest autonomy on the market, but it is enough to not have to worry about charging it.
Now, it has a trick. The bracelet automatically turns off when you have 3% battery left and does not allow to start a sports session when it is below 20%, so exhausting those last drops of battery is more complicated than in normal conditions. I would have liked the app to let me disable this feature, but it is not possible.
Charging is done by plugging the bracelet’s USB into any port. It’s really convenient to charge using a USB port on your computer, but we can also do it in any charger that we have at home. It takes around an hour and a half to fully charge, which is not bad.
The Realme Band doing sports
One of the keys of the quantifier bracelets is the sports record, and here the Realme Band does not stop standing out. The bracelet only has nine sport modes (yoga, running, walking, hiking, climbing, cycling, spinning, fitness and cricket) and we can only leave three charged on the device itself. Leaving aside such popular sports as soccer or basketball, it does not have a “free mode” that allows us to record more diverse sports.
When we start a session we can access information from it giving different taps on the button, such as the time we have spent running, the steps we have taken, distance travelled, pace, calories burned, current pulse and average pulse. This information obviously changes according to the sport mode we choose, since in yoga it makes little sense to talk about distance travelled and kilometres.
The bracelet does not have GPS, so it cannot record the route we have taken in a race. We also cannot control the music while doing sports or, as we said before, start a session if the battery is below 20%. Heart rate detection is not the most accurate on the market, but it is enough for amateur athletes. Amateur athletes are likely to miss a more detailed breakdown or more metrics, such as blood oxygen level.
When we finish the session, the bracelet will be synchronized with the mobile to create a report in the app. There we can see the best-ordered metrics and how much time we have spent in each “cardiac zone”, but little else. To give you a better idea, in the screenshot above you have the summary of a 15-minute walk.
Something that the bracelet also offers is automatic exercise detection, but only for walking and running. It is very sensitive and to the minimum that we begin to take a walk, even if it is at a slower pace, it warns us that it has detected that we have started walking. The problem is that it only does that, it warns us, but it does not register the session as when we start a sport mode manually.
Realme Band, Xataka’s opinion
The Realme Band is a basic quantizer bracelet that delivers what it promises. For 25 euros, you can not ask for more to the device, but if we talk about functions, screen, performance and sport, unfortunately, stays below other alternatives like the Mi Smart Band 4, which is slightly more expensive than this, or the Fitbit Charge 4, which is significantly more expensive.
The screen has a lot of room for improvement in terms of visibility, especially when the light is directly incident, and other than touch is too important a handicap. That all interaction with the bracelet goes through pressing a button X times makes everything too slow. With a touch screen, the experience would have been much better, but it is what it is.
Performance is good, but the features are lacking. Notifications are pretty upgradeable, music control works halfway, and there aren’t too many sport modes. A positive point is its autonomy, of about seven days, but it is not that it is the highest figure in this type of devices. We are talking about a bracelet of the most basic range, but even so, it may be more worth spending a little more and buying something more complete.
- The autonomy of a week
- It’s cheap.
- The charging system saves having more cables in between.
- The screen does not look good in broad daylight.
- That it is not tactile makes interacting with it very slow.
- It is not compatible with iOS devices.
The device has been loaned for testing by Realme. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.