realme Smartwatch Watch 2 Pro in Review: Affordable smartwatch with GPS and SpO2 sensor
Case and features - With GPS, without barometer
Since the (first) realme Watch in the spring of 2020, realme has already launched 5 smartwatches: the two round realme Watch S and Watch S Pro are somewhat better equipped and, for example, independently regulate the display brightness via an ambient light sensor.
Of the three non-round ones, the realme Watch and Watch 2 are each 1.4 inches, thus smaller than the present Watch 2 Pro, which has a display diagonal of 1.75 inches and is also the only one of the three to have GPS. Other hardware on all three includes an accelerometer and a heart rate monitor that also analyzes blood oxygen saturation (SpO2).
The illumination of the 1.75-inch display can be manually adjusted in 5 steps between 20% and 100% via the quick settings menu. In the test, 40% was often sufficient even in sunshine. Despite good brightness, black image areas on the LCD remain comparatively dark and ensure good contrasts.
The plastic casing is certified according to IP68. A side button supports operation, which is otherwise done via the touchscreen. The 22 mm (~0.87 in) silicone strap can be easily changed via a quick-release fastener. On the original, realme sets an accent with its slogan "Dare to Leap". Watch 2 and Watch 2 Pro also feature a total of 90 sports modes.
Setup and operation - Controls for music and camera
To set up the realme Watch 2 Pro, download the realme Link app to your Android smartphone or iPhone. The test was mostly carried out with an iPhone 12 Pro.
In the app, you set reminders for exercise and fluid intake, as well as alarms and the interval for monitoring heart rate. The apps and widgets installed on the Watch 2 Pro can be sorted and individually hidden via realme Link.
On the Watch, you can scroll through the widgets with horizontal gestures and open the notifications and the app overview with vertical gestures, either as a list or grid. In the home screen, the button turns the display on and off, otherwise it takes over the back function.
According to realme, the watchface store includes over 100 watch faces. However, more than 7 cannot be saved on the watch. To be able to transfer a new one from the store via the app, you first have to delete another one. Among the preloaded themes, there are some animated ones as well as an interactive watch face via which you can open the heart rate chart or the settings and start the training app.
In terms of tools, the Watch 2 Pro offers a stopwatch, timer and alarm clock with up to 5 alarms, remote controls for the smartphone's camera and music player, and smartphone search, among others.
Telephony and notifications
The Watch 2 Pro signals incoming calls and notifications via vibration . Notifications can be read and deleted, but not responded to. Emojis are replaced by block symbols.
Health and fitness - With VO2max test
The Link app connects with Apple Health on the iPhone and with Google Fit at Android. The Watch 2 Pro counts steps during the day, determines the approximate distance traveled and calories burned. The activity widget on the Watch 2 Pro also informs you how many hours a day you spent moving and not just sitting.
The Watch 2 Pro measures heart rate at intervals ranging from 5 minutes to half an hour, depending on the setting, and alerts when the rate exceeds or falls below the previously set limits. Blood oxygen saturation is recorded manually by an app App manually.
Measurement of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2)
In 10 measurements, we compare the oxygen saturation analyzed by the Watch 2 Pro with the result of a medically certified pulse oximeter. The maximum deviation is 3 percentage points during the test series. With an average deviation of 1 percentage point, the Watch 2 Pro performs slightly better than the majority of the wearables we have tested so far.
Both on the watch and in the app, the log shows the time of falling asleep and waking up, as well as the sleep phases. In the log on the smartphone, realme also sets the sleep phases in relation to each other and adds the heart rate trend.
A total of 15 sports modes can be installed on the Watch 2 Pro from a selection of about 90 sports. Swimming is not among them: The casing is IP68 certified and not suitable for swimming.
A 12-minute VO2max test he concludes from height, age and weight, as well as the power and the maximum oxygen uptake, which the body utilizes during the test per minute and per kilogram of body weight, on the cardiovascular fitness. As a result, the Watch 2 Pro certified excellent cardiovascular fitness for the author; this is flattering, but better than sports watches from Garmin or Polar have stated and somewhat calls into question the validity of the VO2max test.
It is not possible to define goals or set alarms before the workout to stay informed about the elapsed time or distance without having to look at the watch. During the workout, you can control the currently active music app on the smartphone. As long as you have it with you, which is not absolutely necessary thanks to the integrated GPS.
The following screens show the training display while running and an example of a running log in the app.
GPS and navigation
The realme Watch 2 Pro works with dual-frequency GPS. Which second navigation system is still supported was not available by the editorial deadline. We will add the requested info when we receive it. During the above run, the Watch 2 Pro was not always so accurate with the recording. Although the app does not support a hybrid view that also marks the paths to the satellite image, the deviations from the actual path are visible in the following clips. In the end, it recorded 150 meters (164 yards) more than the actual distance covered for the above workout.
The 390 mAh battery lasts up to 14 days according to realme. Since the Watch 2 Pro does not have an ambient light sensor, a lot depends on the settings for brightness and display timeout. We logged two scenarios in the practical test:
In the first cycle with an animated watch face, gesture activation turned on, maximum brightness and a display timeout of 15 seconds, the battery did not last 6 days. If one or more GPS-supported workouts are added, the Watch 2 Pro might have to be recharged after only 4 days.
The display timeout was set to 5 seconds in the second cycle. Gesture activation was not active. In this case, it is positive that the display does not only react to the button, but also to a short tap. 20% brightness did not seem to be enough, whereas the display could usually still be read outdoors at 40%. With these settings, the battery was still at 100% after 24 hours, and only then did it slowly start to sink. The 14 days promised by realme are easily achievable in this frugal scenario.
With a remaining capacity of 7%, the battery regains 50% of its charge after about a quarter of an hour on the charging cable, but then needs another one and a half hours for full capacity (1:43).
GPS and SpO2 measurement are features of the inexpensive realme Watch 2 Pro, but it does not offer much beyond that.
With about 90 sports profiles for athletes, the Watch 2 Pro positively stands out from the more expensive Watch S Pro. Additional settings, such as target settings, alarms during training, or personalizable training screens would complement this orientation well, but they are missing. In this context, inexpensive trackers like the Amazfit Band 5 or the Mi Smart Band 6 from Xiaomi prove interesting features such as counting the moves or repetitions when rowing and jumping rope do not have to be reserved for expensive wearables. realme does not make use of them. The app's training log remains comparatively rudimentary, and the log on the Watch 2 Pro itself offers less than on the Watch S Pro.
We liked the nice and partly animated watch faces in the test, which the Watch 2 Pro shows to advantage with high contrast even without OLED.
The inexpensive watch is quite suitable as a fitness tracker to monitor the heart rate and to be alerted when the heart rate is too high or too low, especially since it also records the oxygen saturation with a comparatively high accuracy in the test.
Price and availability
In the online store of realme the Watch 2 Pro costs €74.99 (~$88.35) at the end of the test. At other retailers, it is hardly cheaper or even more expensive at this time (Amazon DE: €75.99/~$89.53). At best, you benefit from faster or cheaper shipping.