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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Lenovo Carme Smartwatch review: Basic fitness tracker in a premium body

Lenovo Carme Smartwatch review: Lenovo Carme packs basic fitness tracker features in a smartwatch with a colour screen and premium body. Here is how it performs.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rs. 3,499
Written by Mohammad Faisal | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2019 7:15:45 pm
lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme smartwatch review: Should you spend Rs 3,499 on this fitness tracker? (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Apple currently dominates the premium smartwatch segment, but smart wearables are no longer the luxury items with players like Xiaomi and Honor taking care of the budget space. In a bid to pursue a healthy lifestyle, users are now more inclined to owning a smartwatch or band that fits their budget. Lenovo is also eyeing this segment and its Carme smartwatch is the latest addition to its smart wearable offering.

The Lenovo Carme Smartwatch is priced at Rs 3,499 and comes with features like coloured display, activity tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring, sedentary reminders, and app notifications. It is available in two colour variants– Black and Green. Here is how the new smartwatch from Lenovo performs.

Lenovo Carme Smartwatch review

The Lenovo Carme has a nice design with square-shaped dial and bevelled side edges. There are two physical buttons on the right edge and a touch sensor at the chin aligned to the centre. The top button is used to enter the secondary menu whereas the bottom one is for back, screen wake up, and screen sleep functions. You can also tilt your wrist or raise it to wake the screen.

lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme review: Lenovo Carme has only three display styles. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The watch often misses the gesture to wake up or takes too much time to activate. In that case, you have to press the physical button to see the time, and here lies the problem. Most of the time, as soon as you press the button to wake the screen, the gesture kicks in to wake the screen and the physical buttons turns it off. To get out of this situation, you can turn off the raise to wake feature and use only the physical buttons to raise the screen but the buttons are so tight to press that you wouldn’t want to use it as your default wake-up action.

The textured rubber strap of Lenovo Carme feels nice to the skin and so far the quality looks decent enough. The straps are easy to remove with the sliding pins if the need ever arrives and the weight of the watch is light enough to wear the whole day without tiring your wrists. I had the Black colour variant of the Lenovo Carme and it doesn’t give the impression of being a budget offering, thanks to its metal body.

lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme review: You can charge the smartwatch without removing the straps. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The watch is rated IP68 for water and dust resistance. You don’t need to care about its safety while washing your hands or while you sweat out in the gym. The display on the Lenovo Carme is a 1.3-inch square-shaped IPS colour screen equipped with a one-touch sensor. The screen is bright enough to use outdoors and you can easily see time and notifications even under direct sunlight. However, there is no setting to auto-decrease the brightness levels with the sunset. So be ready to have the screen brightness in your face during the night.

lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme review: Lenovo Carme Smartwatch features a colour display. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The touch sensor navigates through different screens in a linear fashion and that becomes very frustrating at times. I also wish it were easier to access the screen brightness option; for some reason, the brightness levels are placed under “Others” screen, that too right at the end of the setting.

If you are not bothered by the blinding screen brightness at night and want to wear it when you go to sleep, you can actually track your sleep pattern. You do not need to activate the sleep tracking manually as the watch automatically detects when you are sleeping. It tracks light and deep sleep and Lenovo Carme is pretty good at sleep tracking.

lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme review: Lenovo Carme Smartwatch comes with sleep tracking. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The watch supports features like Find Phone and Stopwatch. There are only three display styles to choose from and it could have been better if Lenovo had added more. Lenovo Carme picks up call notifications but you cannot silent the ringtone on your smartphone when you press any keys on the smartwatch. You can also set apps to receive notifications on the watch, but that works very inconsistently.

lenovo carme smartwatch, lenovo carme smartwatch review, lenovo carme review, lenovo smartwatch review Lenovo Carme review: The Smartwatch supports heart rate monitor and smart alert. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The step counter on the Lenovo Carme is good and gets the steps accurate most of the time. Normally, the step counter isn’t affected by the rides on e-rickshaw or autorickshaw, but often times it misreads it as walking. Also, as the case with most of the fitness trackers, the step counter on the Lenovo Carme can be fooled into recording steps while you stand in a place and move your hands forward and backwards.

The idle alert on the watch doesn’t work consistently and sometimes it goes through whole day without giving a single alert. You can pair the watch with your smartphone using the Lenovo Life app and track your steps, calories burnt, distance walked, sleep, and heart rate. The app also gives you the option to set alarm in the watch.

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You have the option to turn on the automated heart rate tracker or you can just use it manually. Apart from walking, Lenovo Carme smartwatch doesn’t identify your activities, but you can select the activity from the watch menu like running, cycling, and skipping. It also supports sports tracking for badminton, basketball, football but I did not have the chance to test it out.

The battery backup on the Lenovo Carme is its strongest part. The battery lasts for more than a week when the heart rate monitor is set to manual. I used the smartwatch as my primary fitness tracker for two weeks and I got 6-7days of backup on a single charge. The charging takes a bit time but since you don’t have to take out the dial-case from the strap to charge it, it’s no big deal.

Lenovo Carme review: Verdict

To sum it up, with Lenovo Carme smartwatch, you get a big colour display, premium design, accurate sleep tracker, good steps counter, and great battery life. However, the ‘ease of use’ factor of the watch is not good and most of the time, it feels like a beta tester product. The watch also offers very limited features for Rs 3,499 and it could have a hard time competing with the fitness bands under the same price range. But if you aren’t a fan of fitness bands and strictly want a smartwatch, you can consider Lenovo Carme.

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