The budget fitness company’s maiden outdoor smartwatch, Amazfit T-Rex, serves up a tough competition to Garmin sports watches with a pocket-friendly price tag of 13,500 INR.
T-Rex is stronger, bigger and has longer battery life when compared to your Wear OS smartwatch or Apple Watch. It’s comes close to the new Amazfit Bip S, which has features similar to the Apple watch and is a better choice if you are looking for a basic model which is less hefty.
We’ve been spending lot of our time reviewing T-Rex to see how it fares against Garmins and other world-renowned outdoor watch brands. Read our review here:
Amazfit is no small deal, although not as hefty as its namesake! It is available only in a single size – 47.7mm in length and 13.5mm in breadth – and doesn’t fit well on women with small wrists. But it’s surprisingly light for 58g weight.
When compared to Garmin Forerunner or a Suunto, it looks slightly cheap because of the plastic make. Nonetheless, its stretchy silicone strap makes it a comfortable wear, plus it’s cheap! Huami claims that the watch has a “military-grade” MIL-STD-810G rating plus 12 certifications to prove it’s might.
It is heat resistance up to 70-degree Celsius and cold resistance up to -40 degree Celsius for about 90 minutes, and humidity resistance to 240H. In summary, this watch can withstand environmental atrocities and emerge unharmed.
The AMOLED display is 1.3 inches in length and is shielded by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that has anti- fingerprint properties. Although it comes in only one size, T-Rex is available in five different colours: black, khaki, army green, grey and a white/ green camouflage.
All of these variants have letterings in white with attractive red accents in front of the casing. There are four functions buttons on the outside. The watch functions using the combination of the touchscreen and buttons. The screen has a 360*360 resolution, which makes it bright and leads to an extended battery life.
Amazfit T-Rex: Fitness
Huami has offered a complete deal here, with a bouquet of features such as compass, GPS and GLONASS, heart rate sensor etc. Amazfit T-Rex is cut out to track 14 activity types such as running, trail running, walking, treadmill, elliptical, climbing, hiking, pool swimming, open water, skiing, triathlon and a general exercise mode for tracking gym activity, cycling (both indoor and outdoor) and so on.
It also tracks steps, heart rate and sleep time. We began with a run on a treadmill and likewise carried T-Rex for different workout sessions to compare if it keeps up with a chest strap and other GPS devices.
On comparing T-Rex’s heart rate data against Apple Watch Series 5 and Polar chest strap H7 on a 5k run, you will notice that T-Rex sustains during the intense parts. However, towards the end, during a two-minute interval, although it wasn’t too bad, T-Rex’s overall performance dipped when compared to the Apple watch and the chest strap, lagging almost by 10 BPM or more in the live readings where the heart rate fluctuated. The end-result varied but not alarmingly.
However, a reading from an outdoor run was disappointing as the section of intervals recorded were completely wrong and it seemed like T-Rex lost track completely. As depicted here, T-Rex is mostly off on a tangent, barely coinciding with the chest strap data around the peaks and drops, and it happened not just once.
On a similar occasion, where we completed the 5K outdoor run with shorter intervals, the T-Rex once again failed to match up and recorded 15 BPM lower than the chest strap during a peak. To be fair, heart rate results are inconsistent, and companies like Garmin have an edge in this department over Huami which is clearly trailing.
But the good news is that the GPS performance proved to be better than expected, although Amazfit recently came up with a patch update to fix poor GPS accuracy on its watches, there us no issue as far as T-Rex is concerned.
MapyMyRrun was used during one of the outdoor runs and the ultimate results varied just by 0.04 miles, which was within the justifiable margin of errors. We are yet to take T-Rex on a hiking trip, out in the jungle to assess if the performance is good, although it has delivered as far as the GPS is concerned, so far. It’s a disgrace to Huami that despite their best efforts to improve the sensor technology, heart rate tracking still isn’t up to the mark.
As far as the UI is concerened, Huami is using a custom operating system which supports the watch to work well on both Android and iPhone devices. With a swipe to the left, you will reach the main menu and the two left buttons will help scrolling through the widgets.
To access your frequently used features, configure the top right button. This is set to a default for when you start an activity, although in the watch settings there are a list of options you can choose from. As expected, the watch can display messages and other notifications. The app allows you to choose between notifications from Messenger, Facebook and WhatsApp but if you want to follow all the notifications from your phone to your watch, you need to select the option “Other”.
To summarise, the operating system is quite like the Wear operating system, but we aren’t complaining! The watch has two clock faces as it is but exploring the companion app will unveil more. Before doing any of this with T-Rex watch, you need to download the smartphone app.
Annoyingly, there are quite a few apps by Huami and Amazfit which can confuse you but you need to go for Amazfit Watch for this. After the download and pairing the device, we waited for 15 long minutes so that the firmware could update etc. Once you start using it, you will be happy that this app is quite extensive and gives you deeper insights about your workout data in the form of graphs for pace, heart rate, altitude change, heart rate zones and lap data.
Some of these graphs can be useful references for further examination as well. It gives far granular experience than the Fitbit app for instance and is quite similar to Garmin’s or the Polar Beat app that are most frequently used to assess EKG chest strap data and likewsie. We also like some granular settings on the T-Rex.
For instance, the time of the day can be set so that during bedtime hours, the light doesn’t disturb your eyes when you move your wrist in sleep. You can also change settings for responsiveness to the waking up motion. On the contrary, there are some peculiarities and issues with both the watch and the app.
There are some hacked renditions of these that are causing confusion apart from some style errors which we believe can be fixed in a jiffy. Once you get used to it, the UI seems quite easy to navigate, but there are some strange differences in the settings between the watch and phone app.
For instance, it took us a while to figure out that enabling the raise to wake option was possible only through the phone app although, the quick assess settings needs to be configured on the watch. We have still not figured out why it’s split this way, doesn’t make any sense, really!
The merits of manufacturing these watches in cheaper materials is that they consume very less battery and therefore T-Rex has excellent battery life.
Huami claims that you should get 20 days of battery life despite daily use (as defined by them: receive 150 messages a day, 30 minutes of running and 30 minutes of screen time every day) If GPS is used continuously, then the battery life slips to 20 hours, which isn’t too bad either!
If at all you disconnect from your phone completely and turn off all features like heart rate monitoring, Huami claims that you will get 66 days of battery life, but then you are using it like a wristwatch, practically. T-Rex is a worthy contender to Garmin, the Fenix 6 battery lasts around 14 days when the GPS is on.
We tried using different modes while testing and after a good treadmill run using the heart rate sensor, we hardly used up any battery. After 45 minutes of outdoor running, we used up another 5%, mighty impressed!
- Looks very Stylish
- Battery life is decent
- A good number of features
- Great Price
- Accuracy in HR monitoring is not great
- Doesn’t fit well with small wrists
- Comes in only one size