Haylou, a relatively emerging brand in the smart wearable market, is gradually carving a niche for itself with its high-quality, affordable products. Despite its nascent popularity, it has garnered attention for offering value-packed devices that defy the typical trade-offs between price and performance commonly observed in the budget electronics sector. Haylou’s strategic association with Xiaomi, leveraging financial backing and component supply from one of the industry’s giants. This way, the Haylou RS5 Smartwatch emerges as a compelling blend of style, functionality, and affordability, challenging the notion that high quality comes at a high price.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

So, the Haylou RS5 stands out by offering a suite of features that rival those of more expensive models, without compromising on build quality or performance, and defies expectations, proving that high quality and affordability can indeed go hand-in-hand. This review delves into the various aspects of the RS5, from its design and construction to its technical specifications and user experience, highlighting the smartwatch’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Haylou RS5 Features

  • Metallic Bezel & Sleek Design
    • IP68 Waterproof
  • 2.01″ Curved AMOLED Display
    • 60Hz Refresh Rate & 1000 nits
    • AOD (Always-On-Display)
  • Up to 20 Days of Battery Life
  • Bluetooth Calling
    • Al Voice Assistant
  • 2-in-1 Smart Chip
  • 150+ Sport Modes & Activity Tracking
  • Full Health Tracking
Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Unboxing and Setup Guide

The moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived as you hold the neatly packaged Haylou RS5 Smartwatch in your hands. Upon opening the box, you’re greeted by the Haylou RS5 Smartwatch itself. Alongside the watch, you’ll find an elastic fabric strap that promises comfort and breathability. The package also includes a 60 cm magnetic charging cable for easy charging and documentation to help you get acquainted with your device, including a user manual. Additionally, the smartwatch comes with a second strap option.

The initial excitement of exploring the contents transitions into the eagerness to get the device up and running. Starting with the power-on, a long press on the side button of the Haylou RS5 showcases its vibrant and high-resolution AMOLED screen. The smartwatch prompts you to select your preferred language, making it accessible and personalized from the get-go.

The next step involves downloading the “Haylou App” from either the App Store or Google Play Store, depending on your smartphone. This app is crucial for syncing your smartwatch with your phone and unlocking a multitude of features. After installing the app, it guides you through the pairing process, which includes scanning a QR code displayed on the smartwatch’s screen. This simple process establishes a Bluetooth connection between your devices. With the devices paired, you can customize settings and explore features through the app. From selecting watch faces that match your style to setting up notification preferences and health monitoring options.

Design and Build Quality

The Haylou RS5’s design subtly nods to the aesthetic popularized by Apple’s smartwatches, offering a familiar yet distinct look. While the design is unique enough to stand on its own, it possesses certain qualities that may lead you to associate it with higher-end smartwatches. This aspect of its design allows one to enjoy a luxurious appearance without the associated cost. Underneath the reinforced tempered glass lies an over two-inch AMOLED screen, boasting infinitely high contrast and deeply saturated colors.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

The smartwatch’s case is crafted from a high-quality zinc alloy, providing a sturdy and premium feel. This material choice offers resilience against daily wear and tear and also contributes to the device’s sleek appearance. The smartwatch is available in a deep, metallic shade that the manufacturer refers to as “metallic,” commonly perceived as black or black metallic by the general public. In addition to the standard metallic color, the Haylou RS5 is also available in silver, accompanied by a white silicone band. For those looking for a unique touch, there is a version featuring a braided strap with a subtle orange-salmon-peach accent, offering a pop of color and a different texture for a distinctive look.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

At the heart of its user interface is a pressed rotating crown located on the right side of the watch. This intuitive feature enhances navigation, allowing you to effortlessly return to the main screen from any application or setting with a simple press. When on the watch face, pressing the crown reveals the application screen, facilitating quick access to various functions.

Water Resistance

One of the standout features of the HAYLOU RS5 is its IP68 waterproof rating. This rating indicates that the watch is not only dust-tight but can also withstand immersion in water to a certain depth and duration. This means peace of mind during activities like jogging in the rain, washing hands, or sweating during an intense workout.

While the IP68 rating does offer a significant degree of protection, it’s important to note its limitations. The RS5 is not designed for activities involving high-velocity water or submersion beyond shallow depths. Therefore, activities like swimming, diving, or water sports may exceed the watch’s resistance capabilities and are not recommended.

Display Quality

The display quality of the Haylou RS5 Smartwatch is highlighted by its over two-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 410*502 pixels, which delivers infinitely high contrast and deep, perfectly saturated colors. This ensures that visuals are vibrant and engaging, making for a more immersive user experience. The inclusion of a 60hz refresh rate further enhances the display by ensuring smooth animations, contributing to a fluid and responsive interface that is pleasant to interact with. Making the device feel more premium than its price might suggest.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Brightness is another area where the RS5 excels. With the capability to reach up to 1000 nits at its fourth brightness level, the screen remains legible even under direct sunlight, ensuring that you can easily read the display content in various lighting conditions. The Always-On Display (AOD) feature in the Haylou RS5 smartwatch allows the time and some basic information to be displayed continuously on the screen, even when the watch is in standby mode. This means that without having to raise your wrist or press any button, you can quickly glance at your watch to check the time or see if you have any notifications. You can choose from two AOD styles, the minimalist digital clock or the elaborate analog design.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Furthermore, the display’s resemblance to styles used by high-end brands, such as Apple, lends the Haylou RS5 a premium appearance that belies its affordable price point. This aspect of the design may lead observers to mistake it for a much more expensive smartwatch.

Dial Customization

The ability to customize the watch dial (or watch face) is another area where the Haylou RS5 excels. The device comes preloaded with a variety of options that cater to different tastes. For those who crave even more variety, Haylou provides access to an online library through their companion app, where new designs are regularly added. These range from artistic and whimsical to professional and data-rich layouts. Also, it offers the capability to create custom watch faces. This means you can select personal photos or designs from your smartphone and use them as the background of your watch face.

Customization doesn’t stop at just choosing watch faces. Many of the watch faces on the RS5 allow for the customization of complications—small widgets on the watch face that display information like battery life, step count, weather, and more.

Performance and Software

At the heart of the Haylou RS5 lies the Realtek RTL8762C chipset with 128 MB of Flash memory, a processor engineered specifically for wearable devices. This chipset is a cornerstone of the smartwatch’s capability, designed to prioritize low power consumption without sacrificing the processing power necessary for the device’s core functionalities. It ensures that you can navigate through menus smoothly, make Bluetooth calls, and playback multimedia content without any hitches. The chipset’s efficiency is not just about handling everyday tasks; it’s also about enabling the smartwatch to perform real-time data processing, such as monitoring heart rates or tracking steps, with accuracy and speed.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Navigating through the user interface is intuitive and straightforward. Swiping from the top provides access to Quick Settings while swiping from the bottom reveals notifications. Although there is no quick reply functionality available, the interface is generally well-designed and easy to navigate. The watch supports three different menu display options, allowing to customize their experience based on their preferences.

The quick settings panel, displays smartphone connectivity status, battery level, date, weather information, media playback controls, screen timeout settings, display brightness adjustment, QR code for the companion app, and Do Not Disturb mode.

Within the menu, you can find options such as call history, contacts, and a wide range of training modes. Other functionalities include notifications for alarms, music control on your smartphone, weather updates for the current and upcoming days, and detailed camera shutter control from the watch itself. However, it’s worth mentioning that the stopwatch and timer functions do not work in the background. Additionally, it includes a calculator, activity tracking, calendar, and other system functions. While these features may not be as comprehensive as those found in high-end smartwatches, they cover the essentials for day-to-day use.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

Smart Notifications and Alerts

Customization extends beyond aesthetics with the Haylou RS5. You can personalize smart notifications and alerts to suit your daily needs and preferences. This includes the ability to select which apps send notifications to the watch, the type of alerts received (vibrate or silent), and the prioritization of notifications.

Making and Receiving Calls

The Haylou RS5 stands out from the crowd by offering a seamless calling experience. While many smartwatches merely notify you of incoming calls, this watch takes it a step further – it allows you to answer your smartphone calls directly from your wrist. All you need to do is sync your smartphone with the watch via Bluetooth 5.2 and when a call comes in, a button will appear on the watch’s screen. Simply tap it to answer the call. What sets the RS5 apart is its integrated microphone and speaker. The microphone delivers remarkably clear sound, even in noisy environments like on the road, ensuring that your calls are audible and clear.

To enhance efficiency further, the smartwatch lets you save your important and frequently-called contacts, eliminating the need to sift through a lengthy contact list when you’re in a hurry. Additionally, it features a dial pad that enables you to make calls quickly and conveniently.

Activity and Health Monitoring

The Haylou RS5 Smartwatch is equipped with a wide array of features aimed at monitoring both activity and health, by combining cutting-edge sensor technology and sophisticated software algorithms to deliver precise and insightful data on various aspects of health and fitness routines. One of the standout features of the RS5 is its heart rate monitoring capability. The device uses a continuous heart rate sensor to track the user’s pulse throughout the day and night to focus on maintaining or improving their cardiovascular health, as it offers insights into heart health and alerts you to any potential irregularities.

Sleep tracking is another key feature, where the smartwatch automatically detects and analyzes the user’s sleep patterns, including periods of deep sleep, light sleep, and times when they are awake. Providing detailed insights into sleep quality, helps you to understand how your rest impacts your health and offers suggestions for enhancing sleep quality. Stress management is also a focal point of the Haylou RS5’s health monitoring suite. The device assesses stress levels based on heart rate variability and suggests breathing exercises to help manage stress, thereby supporting mental and emotional well-being.

For fitness enthusiasts and athletes, the activity-tracking functionality of the Haylou RS5 is particularly beneficial. The smartwatch supports numerous sports modes such as running, cycling, swimming, and more, enabling precise tracking of performance metrics such as calories burned, and distance covered, and provides detailed summaries after each workout session. Additionally, the RS5 encourages users to lead an active lifestyle through its step counter and sedentary reminder features.

However, these features come with inherent limitations that can impact their effectiveness and reliability. One of the primary limitations is the accuracy of sensors. Despite the advanced technology used in the Haylou RS5, the precision of sensors tracking heart rate, steps, and other health metrics can vary. While the RS5 and similar devices offer valuable information, they should not replace professional medical advice.

Battery Performance

The Haylou RS5 Smartwatch showcases a commendable battery life that stands out in its category, blending efficiency with robust performance. Equipped with a 300mAh battery, the smartwatch is designed to last up to 12 days on a single charge under typical usage scenarios, which includes daily activities like step tracking, sleep monitoring, and receiving a moderate number of notifications.

For those engaging in more intensive usage, such as frequent Bluetooth calls or continuous heart rate monitoring, the battery life is expected to decrease accordingly, yet it still maintains a respectable endurance, offering around 5 to 7 days of power. Charging the RS5 is both straightforward and convenient, thanks to its magnetic charging cable. A full charge from 0% to 100% can be achieved in approximately 2 hours.

Final Thoughts

The Haylou RS5 smartwatch emerges as a compelling choice in the budget-friendly segment of the smartwatch market, Its association with Xiaomi lends it a badge of quality and reliability, not often found in products within its price range. This smartwatch offers a blend of affordability and functionality that is hard to overlook and typically found in more expensive models. The design is both elegant and durable, featuring a zinc alloy case, and its AMOLED screen, with customizable watch faces and smooth navigation, enhances the user experience, making it comparable to higher-end models.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

From a design and build perspective, the Haylou RS5 impresses with its stylish and durable construction, It’s crafted to offer a comfortable wearing experience. The watch doesn’t just look good; it’s designed to withstand the rigors of daily use, thanks to its water and dust resistance capabilities. Feature-wise, the RS5 is generously equipped. It supports Bluetooth calling and multimedia control, alongside a comprehensive suite of health and fitness tracking options such as heart rate monitoring, sleep analysis, stress tracking, and activity logging. One of the standout attributes of the RS5 is its battery life. The watch is engineered to last, allowing users to enjoy its features for extended periods without the constant need for recharging.

Why the Haylou RS5 Is the Best Budget Smartwatch of the Year

However, the Haylou RS5 is not without its drawbacks. The absence of an ambient light sensor means that the screen brightness does not automatically adjust to the surrounding light conditions, which can be a nuisance in environments where lighting varies significantly. Additionally, the user interface may present challenges for some, with limitations in screen management and navigation potentially detracting from the overall user experience. Furthermore, while the health and fitness tracking features are comprehensive, their accuracy may not always match the precision offered by higher-end models, a factor that could be significant for those who rely heavily on these functions for their health monitoring.