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The $99 RedMagic Watch is now available — but should you buy it?

RedMagic Watch
(Image credit: Nubia)

Good news for fans of niche smartwatch makers: The RedMagic Watch is now available for sale globally for just $99. While that's a cheap price, Nubia's RedMagic Watch sill offers such features as blood oxygen monitoring, GPS, and 15 days of battery life. 

But should you buy this budget smartwatch? We'll take a look at its specs to see if it's the bargain it seems.

RedMagic Watch: Price and availability

The RedMagic Watch was announced at the same time as the Nubia RedMagic 6 smartphone in early March. Unlike the smartphone, which was available for preorder as of April 9, the RedMagic Watch did not go on sale in the U.S. until April 22. It had been on sale in China since March 11.

The Watch is now selling for $99. In the U.S. at least, it comes with either a black band and case, or a white band and silver case. In other markets, the watch is also available with an orange, gray silicone, or brown leather strap.

At $99, the RedMagic Watch is priced competitively with some of the best cheap smartwatches, such as the $54 Amazfit Bip, the $149 Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, and the $149 Fitbit Versa 2.  

RedMagic Watch

(Image credit: Nubia)

RedMagic Watch: Design and smartwatch features

The Nubia RedMagic Watch's design is fairly minimalist, with a business-casual look: a numbered bezel surrounds a circular display, with two buttons along the right side for power and shortcuts. It's certainly not as radical a design as the Nubia Watch, with its wraparound OLED display.

The RedMagic Watch has a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with a resolution of 454x454 pixels. Nubia does not say what the size of the case is, but judging by images, we estimate it's at least 42mm. 

While the watch's screen isn't protected by anything like Gorilla Glass, the watch itself is waterproof to 5ATM. 

According to Nubia's product page, the RedMagic Watch uses a Sony CXD6506 processor; it looks to run a proprietary operating system, and has Bluetooth 5.0 LE support. 

Although Nubia doesn't say if the RedMagic watch is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, there is a RedMagic Sports app for iPhones that allows you to manage alarms, calendar and call notifications, music control. It also provides health data gleaned from the watch. From the app, you can also select from a collection of watchfaces, though there's no indication if you can customize them.

RedMagic Watch

(Image credit: Nubia)

RedMagic Watch: Health and fitness features

As a fitness-focused budget smartwatch, the RedMagic Watch has a pretty good feature set: In addition to GPS/GLONASS/QZSS, the watch offers blood oxygen monitoring and 24-hour heart rate monitoring. 

While not as comprehensive as, say, the best Garmin watches, the RedMagic Watch has 16 activity tracking modes including soccer, running, rowing, swimming, strength training, and yoga. A "dynamic activity mapping" feature also purports to show you where you spend the most time on a soccer field, for example. 

There's no mention of sleep tracking, which is becoming a must-have feature for any smartwatch, fitness-related or not. 

RedMagic Watch

(Image credit: Nubia)

RedMagic Watch: Battery life

Nubia says that the RedMagic Watch will last up to 15 days in regular mode, 23 days in Power Saver mode, and up to 50 hours in Outdoor Sports mode. Presumably, this means that the watch will be actively using its GPS, but not as frequently as a running watch.

Based on an FCC filing, the watch will come with a wireless charging cradle, which has become pretty standard among smartwatches.

While the 15-day battery life is obviously dependent on a variety of factors, that's pretty good when compared with other smartwatches, the best of which can get up to 10 days, max.

RedMagic Watch: Outlook

Between the OnePlus Watch, the Wyze Watch, and the Xiaomi Mi Watch, there's no shortage of cheap smartwatches hitting the market, so it's not enough for the RedMagic Watch to simply have a sub-$100 price. By offering longer battery life than the competition as well as GPS and blood oxygen monitoring, the RedMagic Watch may have found a way to stand out, though we'll wait until we can review the watch to see if the claims live up to reality.

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.