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Playfit SW75 review: an entry-level smartwatch that gets the job done

Smartwatches and fitness trackers are a fast-growing segment these days, with several established and new brands releasing devices in these categories. While you have premium smartwatches like the Apple Watch that can do nearly everything your phone can, you now also have VFM options from brands like Amazfit, Lenovo and more. Delhi-based Play is a new entrant in the wearables market, and its latest smartwatch, the Playfit SW75, comes with an ultra-affordable price tag of Rs 2,999. To find out how it fares, I have been using it for over a week now, and here’s my take on it.

Design and display

Given its pricing, the Playfit SW75 predictably offers a plastic chassis and strap. To its credit, despite the materials used, the smartwatch doesn’t look or feel cheap. In fact, it’s pretty solid and features a two-tone finish with black on the bottom and a dark metallic grey on top.

The straps and the clasp on the watch feel slightly tacky, but I have been using the watch extensively for a week now and they are pretty solid. The double hole strap allows it to fit any size of wrist.

As for the other elements, you will find the heart rate sensor at the base with a recessed magnetic charging connector above it. The watch comes with a custom charger that press fits on the watch through two notches on the base. There are two physical buttons on either side of the watch. The one on the left one can be assigned to one fitness tracking mode of your choice, and the one on the right serves as a back / sleep button. Build-wise, the Playfit SW75 is rated at 5 ATM, which means it can survive underwater up to a depth of 50m.

As for the display, the Playfit SW75 is fitted with a 1.3-inch full-touchscreen panel offering a screen resolution of 260 x 260 pixels. The LCD panel is covered by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches and drops. The display has great outdoor visibility despite featuring an LCD panel. Moreover, the LCD screen doesn’t have a grey footprint and as such, the watch face looks like a black slab of glass adding to the aesthetics. The display is quite responsive to touch and I had no qualms with it during my usage.

Performance and battery

Coming to the core specifications of the Playfit SW75, in my day to day usage I found the watch to be pretty responsive. The smartwatch has a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC ticking at its core, which is a super low power chipset. The onboard storage of the Playfit SW75 is 8GB, however, I couldn’t find a way to make use of the storage. This is because there is no way to transfer music to the watch or install third-party apps and as such, the presence of 8GB memory made no sense to me.

As for the battery, the company claims that the Playfit SW75 can easily last up to 10-15 days in working mode with all features turned on. In my time with the watch, I could get a total of 8 days out of a single charge, and this was with vibration notifications, heart rate monitor and sleep monitor turned on. This is pretty impressive for a battery that has a 210mAh capacity.

Software and features

The software and interface on the Playfit SW75 is straightforward with swipes, clicks and buttons controlling the whole navigation. I have already mentioned earlier that you can configure the left button to launch any one activity, with a total of eight preset modes to choose from. There is no power button on the smartwatch, with the button on the right merely turning the screen off. To switch the watch off, you will have to go into the settings menu for the power off option.

You can access various functions of the watch by swiping in from each edge. Swiping down from the top will give you access to all notifications that you have received from your phone. Unfortunately, there is no support for interacting with the notifications and all you get is the option to glance at previews and dismiss. The watch supports third-party apps including Twitter, WhatsApp and Telegram. I would suggest turning off notifications for apps that are not that important, as the vibration motor on the watch is pretty powerful and too many notifications will only end up being distracting.

Swipe in from the left, and you get the option to toggle on or off the heart rate monitor, raise to wake screen, DND and find my phone. While all other features work perfectly, the raise to wake function required several shakes to get the display to turn on, no matter which angle I raised my wrist. Another let down for me was the limited number of watch faces and the fact that none of the watch faces displays heart rate information. Therefore, you are required to swipe in from the right edge and tap on the heart rate icon to check your readings. I found the sedentary alert on the watch to be slightly finicky as well, since it kept reminding me to move even when I was on the move.

Swiping from the right, you get options like sports modes including eight activities, heart rate, relax, alarm, music controller, and more. Here too I had few issues, like not being able to disable or adjust alarms from the watch. There’s also no swimming mode available. However, the relax mode has a guide to help you control breathing and it works wonders. The watch also has a tracker for menstrual cycles, which is a useful feature for women. Swiping up from the bottom, you will get all data related to your activities and day in detail.

As for the fitness tracking features, I could only test the walking mode on the smartwatch due to health reasons, and the watch didn’t disappoint me. The pedometer was able to accurately calculate the number of steps I walked and distance travelled. You can also go into the companion app on your phone to set parameters like step length and more.

Verdict

For those who are on a tight budget and want a fitness tracker that looks like a smartwatch, the Playfit SW75 is a good option. However, for Rs 2,299 the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 offers a more polished interface, companion app and swimming mode as well, which is missing from the SW75. If you don’t mind the fitness band form factor, the Mi Band 4 is a better option in this price band.

Pricebaba’s rating: 7/ 10

What works:

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Good battery life
  • Easy to use interface
  • Good outdoor legibility

What doesn’t:

  • Raise to wake is glitchy
  • Limited watch faces
  • Companion app required for most functions
  • No swim mode

Photos by Raj Rout

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