The wearable market is growing as smartwatches and fitness bands are gradually becoming the ubiquitous triumph of convenient tech. In a bid to pursue a healthier lifestyle, customers are more interested in buying fitness wearables that go hand in hand with smartphones. A recent Strategy Analytics’s recent report also revealed that the global smartwatch shipments grew by 44 percent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2019.

While Apple is currently dominating the premium smartwatch segment, Xiaomi and Huami are taking care of the budget space. Lenovo is also eyeing the budget fitness wearable space in the market. The brand already offers fitness bands. A few months back, it introduced its first Lenovo Ego smartwatch, which looks like a rugged digital watch. The company is back again with its latest smartwatch offering. The Lenovo Carme is priced at Rs 3,499 in India. But does it offer good value for your money? Read on to find out.

Lenovo Carme: Design, display

Lenovo Carme Smartwatch, Lenovo Carme Smartwatch review, Lenovo Carme Smartwatch first impressions

Lenovo’s new wearable looks a lot like the Fitbit Versa. When we first caught a glimpse of the Lenovo Carme, it was clear that the company had taken a few design cues from Fitbit’s Versa and Versa 2. We like the square-shaped display and the beveled side edges. The company has used a rubber strap for the smartwatch, which seems to be of decent quality. One might find removing the watch’s bands to be a bit difficult at first, because they’re held in with pins you have to slide to remove it.

Nevertheless, it’s comfortable to wear all day and night courtesy of its light-weight design. The budget-friendly smartwatch has a metal body, which gives it a premium look and feel. You can go for an all-black color variant as it goes well with most informal and formal attires. If you want a more funky or sporty look, then go for the green variant. The fact that the Lenovo Carme is IP68 rated is an added bonus. This means the device is water and dust resistant, and you can wear it in the shower or pool.

Moving on to the user interface, there are two buttons on the right side, which have a nice tactile feel. The top one is for entering the secondary menu, whereas the bottom one is for home, back, and screen wake up functions. You can also tilt the device towards you to wake it. There were however times when I faced difficulty in checking the time as the screen wouldn’t light up. In such scenarios, you will have to manually press a button to check the time.

Apart from the side buttons, the only other interactive element is the one-touch based button at the bottom of the display, which sits flush with the body. You can only swipe in one direction to access the features, which is very annoying. In case you missed the last watch face, there is no option to swipe back. Moreover, you only get a total of three watch styles, which are okay. Its rival Mi Band 4 offers a bunch of watch faces to suit your needs, and it is about Rs 1,200 cheaper too. We feel that the overall interface could have been better to offer users a much more enjoyable experience.

The smartwatch comes with a 1.3-inch LCD display, covered in 2.5D glass. Considering the price the wearable demands, Lenovo should have offered an OLED display for better viewing angles and color saturation. The LCD panel looks dull. We also had slight issues seeing the display outdoors under direct sunlight even at full brightness. You will also notice thick, chunky bezels alongside the screen if you look closely enough. Overall, we think the new Lenovo Carme will appeal to many people as it offers a design that one will find on expensive Fitbit watches.

Lenovo Carme: Features, performance

The wearable offers all the basic health tracking features, including calorie tracking, steps, heart-rate, and sleep. Moreover, the default screen of the watch will not only show the time, date and current heart rate, but also distance traveled and calories burned. Long pressing the bottom button will also show a Bluetooth icon when the watch is connected to your smartphone. This wearable is also capable of continuous heart-rate tracking, which is an important metric for your fitness.

Lenovo Life app

For tracking activities, you will have to download the Lenovo Life smartphone app. I had no difficulty pairing and syncing the device. The company’s Lenovo Life app offers very little customization options. Apart from the detailed tracking, the app also offers a bunch of tips on how you can remain fit. There is a Sports “Guide” tab that includes health and exercise tips. You also get an option to locate the watch. The default screen of the app shows step counts, calories burnt, distance walked, progress percentage, sleep, heart rate and more.

You can check the app for your heart-rate pattern, but can’t really adjust how frequently the watch should check your heart-rate. Such an option would have helped save battery. But you can set a warning line for the heart-rate to know if it exceeds the set value. The watch logs heart-rate information at two or five-minute intervals, and you can even turn off continuous heart-rate tracking.

The heart-rate tracking results seemed accurate most of the time. Do note that the device is not able to detect if it is being worn as it then reports false data. It is also worth noting that the watch lacks the ability to measure blood pressure. Lenovo could have added this feature to set itself apart as you will rarely find BP monitoring in budget fitness trackers.

Moving ahead, its sleep analysis is useful too as you get the insight into how much time you spend in each sleep stage, awake or in light or deep sleep. The app also informs if you aren’t getting enough sleep, which could be a helpful nudge to take action in case needed. Notably, sleep detection is automatic, so you won’t need to inform the smartwatch that you’re going to bed. We found its total sleep tracking results to be fairly accurate as well.

Step counts though were far from accurate. We manually counted steps to check its accuracy. But you will never really get 100 percent accurate data with any wearable. It’s good that the watch didn’t record steps when we were traveling in a taxi. The wearable can track a number of different sport profiles too, including walking, cycling, skipping, badminton, basketball, running, football, and more. You will find these modes under the training section of the watch.

The smartwatch is also good at mirroring calls, and other app notifications to your wrist. Notifications come through to the Lenovo Carme right away. But, you can’t reply to any of them, which is fine. Additionally, if you don’t want to get notifications on your wrist from a particular app, you can turn it off from the settings. You can set alarms too using the app.

There is a Sedentary reminder feature as well, meaning if there is no activity for a long time, it will buzz you to move. One of the features that Lenovo should have added is the ability to control your phone’s music from your wrist. This is the feature that you will find on Mi Band 4 as well. The only thing is that the screen is a bit smaller than Lenovo’s smartwatch.

Battery life

Lenovo Carme SmartwatchThe best part about the Lenovo Carme smartwatch is that you won’t have to charge it very often. The company claims that the 200mAh battery will last aboutseven7 days on a single charge with basic usage. I used the smartwatch for 2 weeks, and on average it lasted six days with basic usage. I’ve been able to track sleep, heart-rate, steps, see smartphone notifications without needing to recharge the watch. But with the automatic heart rate detection enabled and long workout sessions, the battery life is likely to be heavily affected. You will get 4-5 days of battery life. Furthermore, charging took less than one and a half hour.

Lenovo Carme smartwatch: Should you buy it?

The Lenovo Carme is currently available for Rs 3,499 in India. With this smartwatch, you will get most of the basic fitness features. This includes continuous heart-rate monitoring, seven types of sport modes, steps count, and more. You also get a color display, waterproof rating, and notifications on your wrist. It offers a battery that can last nearly six days. Lastly, the square-shaped smartwatch also looks good on the wrist.

A few things to note here is that the watch lacks BP monitoring, music control and swimming mode. Additionally, there is no OLED panel, and it offers very limited customizable options. Excluding the BP monitoring, one can get all the above-mentioned features on the Mi Band 4. This band offers nearly two weeks of battery life as well. It is priced at Rs 2,299 in India, which is Rs 1,200 cheaper than the Lenovo Carme. If you’re on a tight budget and desire the same features, then go for the Xiaomi’s Mi Band 4. But, you will not get the big display and overall stylish design that Lenovo Carme offers. If you want a smartwatch with all the basic fitness features with more attractive form factor, you should consider buying the Lenovo Carme.