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Top 10 Smartwatch Display Shootout Review: Testing Brightness and Sunlight Legibility

The display is what you use to interact with the smartwatch and its features, making it an important part of a smartwatch. Needless to mention, it’s also one of the most expensive components. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to judge a smartwatch display’s quality on paper. And therefore, in this article, we bring you a mega smartwatch display shootout, testing the brightness, outdoor visibility, and colors of popular smartwatches in the market.

Smartwatch Display Shootout: Testing Brightness & Colors Of Popular Smartwatches

Also, Read | How To Install, Uninstall, And Manage Apps On Amazfit Smartwatches

Reality Check of Popular Smartwatches Display

We have tested some popular smartwatches in direct sunlight to check their display quality in real life. This includes entry-level budget smartwatches from Noise and Boat to mid-range models from Amazfit and even the industry benchmarks like Galaxy Watch 4 and Apple Watch Series 7. Read on.

Note: The smartwatches here are clicked with the same watch face, set on maximum brightness under bright daylight. We have also tested each smartwatch with the torch mode (white light on full brightness) on a lux meter to gauge the real-life brightness output.

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Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 has one of the brightest and most vibrant displays on smartwatches. The screen is clearly visible in direct sunlight. The text is very sharp, thanks to the pixel density of 326 PPI. Apple has used an always-on Retina LTPO AMOLED panel that switches the refresh rate automatically between 1hz to 60hz to save battery.

The Series 7 screen is also crack resistant, thanks to the strong crystal glass. Overall, the Apple Watch is a no-brainer when it comes to the most advanced display in a smartwatch.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.61″ (41mm) & 1.9″ (45mm) OLED
  • Resolution: 352 x 430 (41mm) & 396 x 484 (45mm)
  • Pixel Density: 345 PPI (41mm) & 326 PPI (45mm)
  • Peak Brightness: 1000 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 679 Lux
  • Price & Link: GPS, 45mm – Rs 44,900 (Buy on Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (FAQ) is ahead of most smartwatches in terms of brightness and colors. It has got a super bright and vibrant Super AMOLED display from Samsung which is clearly visible even in direct sunlight. The colors are very punchy, and the text is sharp enough with a pixel density of 330 PPI.

It has an always-on feature with Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ protection on it. Overall, the Galaxy Watch 4 is the king in this regard, unless you’re looking at something like the Galaxy Watch 5-series.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.19″ (40mm) & 1.36″ (44mm) Super AMOLED
  • Resolution: 396 x 396 (40mm) & 450 x 450 (44mm)
  • Pixel Density: 330 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 1000 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 734 Lux
  • Price & Link: Bluetooth, 44mm – Rs 14,114 (Buy on Amazon)

Amazfit T-REX 2

The Amazfit T-REX 2 is a premium rugged smartwatch with a circular AMOLED display. The colors are bright and stand out even under the scorching heat of the direct sun. It has sharp text, thanks to the higher pixel density of 462 PPI. The panel is very smooth to touch, and since it’s AMOLED, you also get the always-on display feature.

Being a rugged watch, it’s meant to be used outdoors which is justified by its high-quality display and the protective Military grade casing.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.39″ AMOLED
  • Resolution: 454 x 454 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 462 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 1000 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 503 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 15,999 (Buy on Amazon)

Amazfit GTS 2 Mini New

The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is a mid-range smartwatch that features an AMOLED display. It has one of the finest displays on smartwatches under Rs 10,000. You get a small yet good quality panel with 100% NTSC and high color saturation that shows punchy colors and improves the overall picture quality.

Although not as bright as the Galaxy Watch or TREX 2, it’s still easily readable in sunlight.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.55″ AMOLED
  • Resolution: 354 x 306 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 314 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 450 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 477 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 5,999 (Buy on Amazon)

Fire-Boltt Ring 3

Fire-Boltt Ring 3 is a budget Bluetooth calling smartwatch that comes under the Rs 5000 price segment. In our testing, we found the display to be decent in terms of brightness under the sun. The colors are not that vibrant but the text is readable in direct sunlight. It has a TFT panel that could have been brighter for better legibility.

Overall, Fire-Boltt Ring 3 has a decent display quality with smooth touch and feel, but an AMOLED would have been better in this price range.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.8″ TFT
  • Resolution: 240 x 286 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 218 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 500 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 288 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 4,499 (Buy on Amazon)

Noise ColorFit Pro 4 Max

The Noise ColorFit Pro 4 Max also has a 1.8-inch TFT display like the Fire-Boltt Ring 3. But, the display is slightly better than the latter. The colors are more punchy and saturated- it is easily legible in direct sunlight with good viewing angles.

Overall, the ColorFit Pro 4 Max has a decent display. But indoors, you may feel the lack of AMOLED display due to bad black levels.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.8″ TFT
  • Resolution: 240 x 285 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 207 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 500 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 491 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 3,999 (Buy on Amazon)

Realme Watch 2 Pro

The Realme Watch 2 Pro has one of the smoothest displays in smartwatches under Rs 5000. The colors are good enough and the brightness is also decent, similar to the ColorFit Pro 4 Max. The display is less reflective which makes the content easily readable.

Overall, the Realme Watch 2 Pro has an overall better panel compared to Noise ColorFit Pro 4 and Fireboltt Ring 3, thanks to its smooth touch and a less reflective panel.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.75″ IPS
  • Resolution: 320 x 385 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 286 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 600 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 401 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 4,999 (Buy on Amazon)

DIZO Watch D

The DIZO Watch D has a bigger 1.8-inch curved TFT display. The brightness watch is quite average and although it is visible in direct sunlight, the viewing angles are not that good. The touch feels very smooth and the glass quality is good, but the brightness and colors are average.

But again, it retails for under Rs. 2500 with a premium metal build and curved panel which makes up for the other shortcomings.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.8″ TFT
  • Resolution: 240 x 286 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 218 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 550 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 291 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 2,999 (Buy on Flipkart)

DIZO Watch R

The DIZO Watch R has a circular 2.5D curved AMOLED display with a pixel density of 392 PPI. The text is clear enough but the brightness is again average like the DIZO D. It is legible under sunlight, but considering it is an AMOLED display, the viewing angles are not good and it has a warm tint.

Overall, the DIZO Watch R has a sharp and smooth display. But comparing it with the peers, GTS 2 Mini for example, has a much better screen.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.3″ AMOLED
  • Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 392 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 550 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 242 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 3,399 (Buy on Flipkart)

TAGG Verve Engage

The TAGG Verve Engage is an entry-level smartwatch under Rs 2000. It has a peak brightness of 500 nits on paper, but the brightness looks average in direct sunlight. Viewing angles too are very average.

Overall, the display is smooth and the colors are good, but the brightness brings it down which is justifiable considering the super low price it sells for.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.69-inch TFT
  • Resolution: 240 x 280 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 218 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: 500 nits
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 227 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 1,799 (Buy on Flipkart)

Titan Smart Pro

Titan Smart Pro is a mid-range smartwatch that comes with a 1.19-inch AMOLED display. It has decent brightness and good colors. But the bezels are too thick and the touch area is quite small which is disappointing. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the display.

Overall, the display of Titan Smart Pro is decent, but again we prefer the one on the GTS 2 Mini more.

Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.19″ AMOLED
  • Resolution: 390 x 390 pixels
  • Pixel Density: Not Available
  • Peak Brightness: Not Available
  • Brightness in Lux (Tested): 333 Lux
  • Price & Link: Rs 11,995 (Buy on Amazon)

Noise ColorFit Icon Buzz

The Noise ColorFit Icon Buzz is a budget smartwatch that comes under Rs 4000. It has a 1.69-inch TFT display which is very average with extremely poor visibility in direct sunlight. The colors, too, are also average. Another disappointment is lack of custom watch faces.

Overall, the display of ColorFit Icon Buzz is way behind in terms of brightness, colors, and smoothness from all the smartwatches tested in this article.

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Display Specs:

  • Screen Size: 1.69″ TFT
  • Resolution: 240 x 280 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 218 PPI
  • Peak Brightness: Not Available
  • Price & Link: Rs 3,499 (Buy on Amazon)

How To Check Smartwatch Display Before Buying

Whenever buying a new smartwatch, check the following points to have a better idea of its screen quality:

  • Screen Size: Always check the screen size of the smartwatch. An extremely small screen will act as a hurdle in your productivity whereas a super large panel may look odd on smaller wrists. Also, a bigger display will need to have a higher resolution to compensate for the pixel density.
  • Resolution and Pixel Density: You should always buy a smartwatch with a higher pixel density. Higher PPI translates to more pixels per inch and sharper image and text quality.
  • IPS/TFT/AMOLED: Screen type is a must to check whenever you are buying a smartwatch. Generally, we always prefer an AMOLED when buying a smartwatch in the range upwards of Rs. 5000. However, in entry-level models, you’ll only find IPS and TFT panels. Here’s a comparison of smartwatch display types.
  • Brightness: Brightness is one of the most important factors in any smartwatch. It is measured in nits. The higher nits value translates to better legibility outdoors.
  • Reviews: Make sure to check real-life images and videos posted by users on the internet. It will give you a better idea of how the watch looks in real life, the bezel size, and how is the overall panel quality.

Conclusion

As evident, top-tier smartwatches like Apple Watch Series 7 and Galaxy Watch 4 have the best displays for obvious reasons, be it in terms of colors or brightness. Rugged watches like TREX 2, too, have great visibility under the sun. We also liked the panel on GTS 2 Mini. It’s only the entry-level models where the screen quality is very disappointing due to the obvious cost cutting.

This was our reality check of popular smartwatch displays and we will keep updating the article as we review new smartwatches. Anyways, let us know your thoughts via comments. Stay tuned with WearablesToUse for more interesting articles!

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