The Haylou Solar Plus RT3 is the first budget smartwatch I've reviewed.
After being impressed with the Power Bone Conduction headphones I recently reviewed, I decided to give them a try.
When I took it out of the box, I was amazed at how similar it was to the Polar Slim Ignite 3, except that the Solar Plus RT3 has a second crown button.
Featuring a brushed metal case and an easily replaceable 22mm wide black silicone strap, it's lightweight (49g) and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
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There are a number of features that you might not expect at this price point.
You get a round, bright, and colorful 1.43-inch AMOLED touchscreen, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, SPO2 tracking, sleep tracking, fitness diagnostics, support for 105 exercises, and, in my experience, two-day battery life.
After a few weeks of use, the screen and case still look new, with no visible scratches on the screen despite a few bumps and drops.
The screen resolution of 466 x 466 is a big plus. They are bright and colorful with great contrast and just glazes thin.
Menus, notifications, and messages are crisp, clear, and easy to read.
The Solar Plus RT3 is IP68 rated for dust and water resistance, but is not certified for swimming.
It is compatible with Android and iPhone, and you can make or receive calls via Bluetooth.
The microphone is located between the crowns on the right and the speaker on the left. Both provide good quality when using the watch for calls.
The latest version of the Bluetooth connection is 5.3.
The watch runs on a proprietary operating system, and your health data is stored in an app called Haylou Fun.
The app includes more than 100 watch faces.
Navigating the watch interface is quick and easy, with all menus and data screens right where you'd expect them to be.
But the app's user interface and software don't offer a smooth experience with a Fitbit or Garmin tracker, Apple watch, or Samsung smartwatch.
You can view the application list in grid or list view. I still prefer the latter, but not all watches offer it.
You'll get the expected features like access to my phone, music controls, cinema mode, and alerts.
Battery life is about 2 days with the always-on display. If this setting is disabled, you may get more than four days of retention. With a battery saver mode that leaves you with only basic functions like step counting and time, you can last more than a week on a single charge.
Charging is via a short branded cable inside the box and takes about 2 hours to fully charge.
The big downsides for me are the lack of built-in GPS, so you have to bring your phone with you if you really want to track outdoor exercises, and the lack of NFC for contactless payments.
But I compared the 24-hour heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, and Sp02 monitor to other expensive wearables, and they were all surprisingly accurate considering the price.
The number of steps and distance measurements differ slightly at times, but not by much.
Another downside is that the always-on display stays on even if you turn off the watch, which seems odd.
All in all, Haylou Solar Plus RT3 is a practical yet essential smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts.
Haylou Solar Plus RT3 costs 58.56 euros on Aliexpress.com
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