ameya daviJul 28, 2022 10:02:48 IST
– Elegant design, good build quality
– Crisp AMOLED screen
– Fast and accurate SpO2 sensor
– IP67 dust and water resistant, but not swim proof
– Simple user interface
– Direct call function from the watch
– No GPS; the pedometer records the lowest step count
– Slot for a single face of your choice on the clock
– Minor bugs, questionable sleep tracking
– Frequent disconnections from the application
Price: Rs 3,999
We’ve reviewed a handful of Boat’s audio products in the recent past, and today we’re looking at their latest sports watch. Like most of their products, the Primia Boat Watch is also a budget offering, but it looks quite stylish and can easily be mistaken for something much more expensive. It offers a couple of cool features that are hard to find in this segment. So let’s find out how much style and how much substance this sports watch brings to your wrist.
Primia nautical clock: design and construction
The Boat Watch Primia is quite stylish without being too flashy. The dark blue faux leather belts nicely complement its shiny metallic frame. You also get a variant with black straps. What caught my eye was the lack of any conspicuous Boat branding on the frame or display bezels. It is only present on the buckle if you are observant enough to notice it. In some ways, it’s a good thing as the watch looks much more premium without the brand diluting that perception. Even better, if you don’t like being called ‘BoAthead’.
The build quality is quite good and the watch feels sturdy without being too heavy. It probably weighs around 50 grams. The straps fit well and do not cause skin irritation even after wearing the watch for most of the day. They come in a standard 22mm width with a simple locking mechanism, and if you don’t like the defaults, you can replace them with third-party straps of the same width.
The watch is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance. While it can easily handle some splashes, it doesn’t make it swim resistant. So don’t forget to take it off before jumping into the pool. The SpO2 and heart rate sensors are located on the back, along with the charging points. There are two physical buttons on the right side: one that works as a menu and home button, while the other serves as a shortcut for physical activities.
Boat Watch Primia: screen and covers
One of the most striking features of the Boat Watch Primia is its 1.39-inch circular AMOLED screen. It has a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels and is quite sharp, vibrant and responsive. Circular AMOLED screens in this budget are pretty rare, but it’s great to have one. There’s a curved glass on top, but there’s no mention of any scratch-resistant layer or oleophobic coating. Don’t think that Boat has enforced the latter, as one can easily spot smudge marks on the screen. However, there were no scratches even after weeks of use.
You get five brightness levels, of which level 3 is bright enough indoors, and level 4 or 5 gets the job done in bright sunlight. In the current climate, even level 3 was fine outdoors. You can turn on the screen by moving your wrist or pressing one of the buttons. A single movement usually works, but I didn’t find it as responsive as watches from Amazfit or Xiaomi. The Flick to wake feature can be turned off or set to stay off during sleeping hours or in a dark room like a movie theater. It also has an always-on display option, but at the cost of battery life.
Moving on to watch faces, there are five of them pre-installed on the watch and you get around 100 more through the Boat Crest app. You get the usual mix of digital and analog watch faces, and some with fitness data like step count, heart rate, calories burned, etc. I liked a few of the lot, but the watch allows you to store only one face of your choice. If you add another one, it replaces the one you uploaded before. Pre-installed faces cannot be removed. If not more, the company should have let users store at least three faces of their choice on the watch.
Boat Watch Primia: software and user interface
The user interface is quite simple, even for first-time sports watch users, and there is no lag either. Swiping down brings up the quick settings menu, while you can check notifications by swiping up. Swiping left or right lets you cycle through widgets such as daily activity progress, heart rate, music playback, stress levels, and more. Swiping right on any screen other than the home screen takes you back to the previous screen and pressing the top button takes you to the home screen directly.
Before you start using this watch, you need to download and install the Boat Crest app and sync the watch with it. The app is pretty basic, which is good for beginners, but it could have worked with a bit more depth. In addition to watch settings and watch face library, you get access to daily activity progress, training data, heart rate, sleep data and SpO2 level. Tapping on some of them shows more information, but don’t expect a lot of data processing.
For example, the sleep data covers the amount of deep sleep, light sleep, and REM sleep information, but does not provide an in-depth analysis of sleep quality such as a score or what the ideal ratio of deep sleep to sleep should be. the overall duration of sleep. The same goes for the training data. Yes, this is an entry-level sports watch, but we still think there’s room for more analysis.
Primia Marine Watch: Performance
You can track 11 different physical activities on this watch, from walking, running, cycling, and yoga to sports like basketball, badminton, and soccer. The watch has a heart rate sensor that can monitor your heart rate throughout the day with a frequency that varies from 5 minutes to an hour. I would have liked to see a 1 minute option as well. Stress management is also available here and with a dedicated widget on the clock.
The SpO2 sensor on this watch does a great job in terms of speed and accuracy. It gets a reading in just 15 seconds, which is almost twice as fast as some of the fastest sports watches I’ve come across. Understandably not as fast as over-the-counter oximeters, but readings are on par with a maximum variation of 1%. As always, these are reference values only and are not intended to replace clinical equipment.
This Boat watch doesn’t have built-in GPS, but walks and runs are tracked with reasonable accuracy. There is a 5% margin of error, which is acceptable in this segment. The good thing is that the pedometer does not record false steps. If anything, it often underestimates total steps. The accuracy of sleep tracking is questionable here. While it provides information on the different stages of sleep, I felt that the total sleep duration it reported was much lower than it actually was. I tried it three times and it only seemed to get it right once.
Boat Watch Primia: Other interesting features
In addition to the above, you get the usual set of features like music controls, call alerts, and notifications from various apps on your phone that you allow. The messages are perfectly legible on the clock screen, but as always, you can’t reply. Beyond the usual, it supports an interesting feature: calling functionality. In fact, you can make calls from this watch without the need for a headset. It has a built-in microphone and speaker.
Of course, the watch needs to sync with your phone to route calls, since it doesn’t have a SIM slot. But you do get a dialer on the clock screen from where you can dial a number. If you give the watch access to your contacts, you can directly choose one of your saved numbers. Similarly, you can also answer a call while on call, but it can be hit or miss. The watch tends to disconnect from the app frequently, and you often do not receive the incoming call alerts on the watch.
Call quality is acceptable at best. In a quieter place, you should hold the watch closer to your ear to hear clearly, as the speaker of the watch is not very loud. However, the microphone does a good job as the person on the line could hear me with reasonable clarity. The watch also gives you hourly sedentary reminders to get up and move. The implementation could have been smarter, as they seem to appear on the screen even when you’re not wearing the watch.
Primia Nautical Watch: Backup Battery
The Boat Watch Primia claims to last a week on a full charge. Actually, it does better and goes further if you don’t spend too much time calling from the watch. During my test, it lasted 8 days with screen brightness set to 3 most of the time, notifications limited to SMS and email, three hours of total physical activity in four days, two daily oximeter readings, and three nights sleep tracking during the period .
That’s not bad, but several sports watches have been running comfortably for 10 days. And since this watch doesn’t have built-in GPS, it should have worked hard to hit that number. Another minor issue is that you don’t get a numerical value for the watch battery and the battery graph isn’t perfect. The watch runs out of battery without a warning when one feels there is 25% juice left in the tank based on the battery graph.
Barco Primia Watch: Price and Verdict
The Boat Watch Primia was launched at Rs 4,999 with a one-year warranty, but it can be easily purchased for Rs 3,999 online. It’s a fair price for what it offers, and if style is high on your list of requirements, then it’s a great price. And it’s not light on features, either. Yes, GPS is an obvious absence, but that’s made up for by a circular AMOLED screen; something extremely rare in this budget. Add to that decent performance, ease of use, and one of the fastest SpO2 sensors around, and you easily get your money’s worth.
As for alternatives with round dials, you have the Realme duo of Watch S and R100 which offer similar features in the 4k to 5k range but without an AMOLED screen. If a rectangular screen is fine for you, then you have two good options from Amazfit that also have built-in GPS. The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini and Bip 3 Pro can be picked up for Rs 4,999 and Rs 3,999 respectively, with the former flaunting an AMOLED display. They are also resistant to swimming thanks to their 5ATM water resistance. Choose one based on the style and features that most appeal to you.