You get a little more than what you pay for- Technology News, Firstpost

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Realme’s sub-brand Dizo has been quite busy launching new products in the audio and fitness category since its inception earlier this year. While most of its initial products were rebranded Realme units, some of the recent releases have been unique to the brand. One such product being the Dizo Watch 2. At first glance it may seem like a Realme Watch 2, but it isn’t. So, let’s see what’s special about it and what isn’t.

What I liked about the Dizo Watch 2

Extremely affordable

Let me get the pricing out of the way right at the start so that the things to follow can be seen in the right light. The Dizo Watch 2 can be purchased for Rs 2,499 with a one-year warranty. At times, it can even be spotted for another Rs 500 less in online sales. Despite being an entry-level fitness watch, the pricing is extremely attractive for what it offers. It can easily woo those new to fitness wearables and looking for a fitness band to get a taste of this domain.

Good build quality and comfortable to wear

It has a standard rectangular design that’s quite generic, but the build quality and finish are what make it look a little more premium than it actually is. Interestingly, the company has opted for a zinc alloy frame instead of plastic in this budget. That lends a bit of sturdiness to the construction but takes the weight a shade over 50 grams with straps, which though not the lightest around, isn’t too heavy either. The watch is 5ATM water resistant and you can dive into the pool wearing it.

The watch weighs in at a little over 50 grams; silicone straps feel comfortable around the wrist. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

The watch weighs in at a little over 50 grams; silicone straps feel comfortable around the wrist. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

While the black variant has a matte finish along the periphery, the other coloured options have a coat of gloss that attracts a few smudge marks. The silicone straps feel comfortable around the wrist, and there was no skin irritation despite wearing it throughout the day. The straps have a standard 22 mm width, and you can replace them with any third-party straps of the same width.

Surprisingly good display for the segment

The Dizo Watch 2 has a 1.69-inch touchscreen display, the resolution of which hasn’t been specified. Our queries on the same were met with silence. Though it is a normal TFT-LCD display, the colour reproduction is good, and so is the sharpness. In fact, it is surprisingly good for an entry-level watch with more than decent pixel density. Hence, I was surprised that the company chose to keep the resolution figures under wraps.

The 1.69-inch touchscreen is protected against scratches by a 2.5D glass that blends nicely into the metallic rim. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

The 1.69-inch touchscreen is protected against scratches by a 2.5D glass that blends nicely into the metallic rim. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

The screen is protected against scratches by a 2.5D glass that blends nicely into the metallic rim. It has five levels of brightness of which level three is bright enough when indoors. You need to bump it up to level four or five under bright sunlight. You either need to flick your wrist or press the solitary physical button on the right to turn on the display. Flick to wake is slow to respond, with two seconds being the fastest response time. This is one aspect of the display I did not like, and will circle back in the latter half of the review.

Simple UI and uncomplicated Dizo app

The watch UI is straight out of Realme’s playbook and simple enough even for a first-time user to grasp. You just need to remember four basic gestures – swipe down for notifications, swipe up for apps library, swipe right for access to quick settings and left to see a handful of widgets like daily activity progress, heart rate, sleep info, weather updates, music playback etc. Inside a menu, swiping right takes you to the previous screen. The physical button can either be used to turn the screen on or off or jump to the home screen from anywhere.

You can opt for either a grid of small icons or a list for all the functions of the watch in the app drawer. The UI is snappy and lag-free. The transition effects are kept to minimum, but they are present, unlike in case of the Redmi Watch. You cannot install any additional apps, which is pretty much the case with all watches in this price range.

Dizo has moved away from the Realme Link app and now has its own companion app called Dizo App. It is as simple and basic as they come. Other than certain settings of the watch and access to watch faces, you get five tiles that display the activity progress of the day (steps, distance, calories burned), latest workout data, sleep data, heart rate and last checked SpO2 level. You can tap on either of those tiles for some more information, but do not expect detailed reports. I wouldn’t want to judge the capabilities of the app based on this watch given its limited features.

The watch UI is simple enough for first-time users, snappy and lag-free. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

The watch UI is simple enough for first-time users, snappy and lag-free. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

Basic fitness features generally work as expected

The Dizo Watch 2 sets realistic expectations and doesn’t promise the world, which is good. It claims to monitor 15 different fitness activities ranging from walking, running, cycling, freestyle workouts, strength training, elliptical to popular sports like cricket, basketball, badminton, football and a few more. The watch has a PPG heart rate sensor capable of all-day heart rate monitoring, but the frequency of monitoring isn’t mentioned, nor could I find an option to change it.

The walks and runs are tracked accurately with less than five percent margin of error, which is quite good for a watch without GPS. Also, it errs on the conservative side, meaning it slightly under-reports the distance covered. The watch can also track your sleep, and while it works well, the tracking is elementary. All you get is the quantum of deep sleep, light sleep and awake time, no REM periods either. Stress monitoring isn’t available here, but again, we are talking about a sub-Rs 2,500 fitness watch. Menstrual tracking is available, though.

More details of your fitness activities are available in the companion app. In addition to that, you also get reminders to drink water or move around if you have been stationary for too long. Beyond fitness, you get the usual bunch of features like music controls, remote camera shutter and call alerts (silence or reject call). You also get notifications from your phone, and the messages are perfectly legible on the watch’s screen; however, you cannot reply to them.

Good battery life

Dizo claims that the Watch 2 can last 10 days on a full charge, and the estimate is spot on. I managed to get close to 10 days out of it with screen brightness set to three, notifications limited to SMS and email, 30 minutes of daily fitness activity, two oximeter readings per day and three nights of sleep tracking during the period. That is impressive battery backup. Even if you wear it to bed daily, it may drop to eight days at most, which is perfectly acceptable.

What I did not like about the Dizo Watch 2

Oximeter reading are not reliable

As with most fitness watches these days, the Dizo Watch 2 is equipped with an SpO2 sensor, however the readings aren’t accurate. It would often give me blood oxygen readings in the 92 to 94 range, when a clinical oximeter would suggest that it’s around 98-99. No points for guessing which device I would trust more. I am not sure if it’s an issue with my unit, but it is always advisable not to take SpO2 sensors in budget watches too seriously.

No A-GPS, pedometer registers false steps

Strangely, this watch has indoor and outdoor options for running, and I wonder why. This watch doesn’t have built-in GPS, nor was I expecting the feature at this price point. But it doesn’t even support assisted GPS (A-GPS) wherein the watch can use the GPS on the phone it is paired with. So, the tracking is the same irrespective of your location. Also, the pedometer tends to register false steps if you sit at one place and wave your hands or on a bumpy ride on a bike or in a car.

You either need to flick your wrist or press the solitary physical button on the right to turn on the display. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

You either need to flick your wrist or press the solitary physical button on the right to turn on the display. Image: Tech2/Ameya Dalvi

Limited watch faces and just one slot on the watch

The company states that there are over 100 watch faces for the Dizo Watch 2. While you do have the usual mix of digital and analogue faces, along with some funky and creative ones, I did not find many options that appealed to me. But that’s a matter of individual taste. The bigger issue is you can only store one watch face of your choice on the watch. That is being excessively stingy. Yes, you can change the face from the app but that’s not the point.

Certain aspects of the watch could have been smarter

By now we have established that this is an entry-level watch, and while the number of features available here are more than acceptable for the segment, some could have been implemented smartly. For instance, the sedentary reminders pop up when the clock strikes an hour irrespective of whether you are stationary or active at the moment.

Also, when you are out for a walk or a run, the watch doesn’t alert you after mini milestones like completing a kilometre. The delay of a couple of seconds between flicking the wrist and the screen waking up (that I mentioned earlier) can be disconcerting. Hope the company fixes these in the next firmware update.

Final words

All said and done, the Dizo Watch 2 is a good budget fitness watch for those looking for basic features like steps count, heart rate monitor and notifications. A solid battery life and 5ATM water resistance are great to have. It does have a few shortcomings, but some of them can be overlooked given its modest pricing. It can be a good alternative for fitness bands as the pricing is similar, but you get a bigger screen and better battery backup here.

Rating: 3.5/5

Price: Rs 2,499





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