It didn’t take long for wearables to move from high-tech, geeky looking gadgets that only served niche functions, to objects that look far more like jewelry than anything else. Sometimes a product comes along that blurs the line between what was thought to be two completely separate concepts, and while the Amazfit isn’t the first fitness tracker on the market that looks like some sort of jewelry, it might be the best looking one we’ve ever used. It’s promise of ease and simplicity is certainly an attractive way to make it appear more like jewelry in more ways than one, so is this little pebble-like object worth $80? Let’s take a look.
Many fitness trackers on the market have moved toward a super simple and compact design, and it’s obvious a mile away when someone is wearing one. Most devices in this category are a simple rubber band a few millimeters thick and weigh almost nothing, providing little style to go with their substance. Amazfit is designed around a different set of ideas where looks are equally as important as the function of the device itself. Fashioned after the looks of a traditional Chinese Jade pendant, the glossy pebble-like smooth surface of the Amazfit isn’t just beautiful looking, it also feels great in the hand. The ceramic casing comes in white or black and is machined to a hard, glossy and smooth surface that resembles a smooth river pebble and also holds hypoallergenic qualities. Designed to be worn either as a necklace or on a bracelet, the Amazfit is quite versatile in its design too and weighs only 0.52oz/14g, or about the weight of a pencil or empty can of soda.
This light weight is important in keeping the Amazfit as unobtrusive and jewelry-like as possible, and it’s entirely likely that you’ll forget it’s even on your person after only a short amount of time. This weight is about half that of something like a Samsung Gear Fit2, but it’s about double the weight of a Xiaomi Mi Band 1S without a band. This round puck is smooth across its entire surface and only a little bit thicker than a standard key. The flat, circular design lends the Amazfit to be attractive as a unisex design, and one that’s entirely dependent on the band that’s worn with the Amazfit instead of the object itself. A small hole sits in the center, just a few millimeters in diameter, and will allow the tracker to be worn on a wide range of necklaces or bracelets you may already own.
The Amazfit tracker is a completely sealed unit with a minor, almost completely unnoticeable rim that circles around the bottom side edge. Since it’s truly sealed the Amazfit is rated IP68 dust and water resistant, holding the highest possible dust and water resistance standards that are measured for this type of device. Take this one in the shower, pool or just get it wet while washing dishes, either way it won’t get damaged by normal use in any of these cases, and is entirely dust resistant too for use in dirty or sandy environments. Inside this casing sits a tiny 15mAh battery that’s charged wirelessly, sensors like a pedometer, accelerometer and others designed to track a bevy of fitness activities and even a vibration motor for multiple uses.
Our particular Amazfit review unit shipped with the Equator band, a small rubber band with a round shape that attaches to the Amazfit tracker in the middle. The black band features a unisex look to it that would complement nearly any clothing style, all while still looking unique enough to stand on its own. The band snaps right into the hole in the middle of the tracker and holds it against the top of a wrist. This snapping clasp is a very tight fit and the likelihood of it being lodged loose is extremely low to say the least, although it’s entirely possible it could happen given the right circumstance. The rubber strap is extra comfortable and light, weighing itself only 0.5oz/13.5g, making the entire package weight only a single ounce, or about 28g. The clasp at the end of the rubber strap is a dual snap system that looks as good as it performs. Adjusting with one hand once the clasp is fastened is slightly difficult, but you’ll probably find the right length between the two ends after a single use, negating the need for adjusting.
Amazfit makes an app for both Android and iOS that’s designed to interface with the tracker via Bluetooth v4.0, which means any phone launched in the past couple of years should see little to no compatibility issues with it. During the review process we had issues installing the app on a Nexus 6p with Android 7.0 Nougat installed, but it worked with 4 other Android 6.0 Marshmallow-powered phones including back to a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a OnePlus One. This app handles all the data from the Amazfit but unfortunately doesn’t share data with third party apps at this time. This means folks who rely on Google Fit, Runtastic, or other popular fitness apps won’t be able to link the data Amazfit tracks with their service of choice.
Amazfit’s app provides a simple interface that’s straightforward and doesn’t keep too many things hidden. Pairing is as easy as can be and doesn’t involve any Bluetooth PINs or anything like that, just make sure the Amazfit has been charged at least once after taking it out of the box and the app will automatically find it. Once paired you’ll need to unpair it in the app to move the device to another phone, something that could definitely prove to be a problem if your phone gets lost, stolen or damaged beyond use. Here’s hoping Amazfit will find another way to allow a factory reset of the device or at least give it a method of pairing with another phone without having to unpair it first.
On the home screen you’ll find the current goals such as step tracking or calorie burning in a large, prominent circle. This shows you both visually and numerically how close you are to reaching or exceeding your daily goals, which are set up when you first pair the Amazfit. Below your daily goal is a graph of how well you slept last night, so long as you’re wearing the device to bed of course. As you scroll down you’ll see a timeline of activity for the day, including both sleep and steps or calories burned. Health hints will appear from time to time while using the app as well and are catered to keeping you on your feet to reach your goals, as well as get you relaxed before bed so that you can enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Clicking on either the large daily goal at the top of the home screen or the sleep graph below will bring you to the calendar section. Here Amazfit breaks down your daily stats into an hourly graph showing your activity, but you can also zoom out for an overview of weekly and monthly data. Pressing and holding at any point on these graphs will bring up a detailed tooltip of that point’s data and may help you figure out exactly how many steps you walked while on lunch break, or a similar time period. Clicking on your profile picture at any time will bring you to profile view which gives you average stats overall to see how well you’ve been doing lately. From here you can change your goals, adjust the units measured (like km or mile), change your account password and give feedback about the app.
The Amazfit features a vibration motor inside that can be used for alerting of phone calls and vibrating when an alarm goes off. This gives off a gentle vibration to help wake you up in the morning and another vibration when a phone call comes through. There’s no vibration for regular notifications though, which is best for battery life but may be disappointing if you were expecting it to help notify you of such things. Lastly the vibration motor can be used to help find the Amazfit if it gets lost. Since it’s such a small device there’s certainly a possibility of it getting lost, and the extra strong vibration used for this function is all but guaranteed to help you find it by the sound that comes from this motor.
Fitnesss, Sleep Tracking and Battery Life
Amazfit’s fitness tracking mostly relies on a combination of the pedometer and accelerometer to sense your movement and attempt to interpret an accurate count of your movement throughout the day. Steps are interpolated into distance and calories burned, so these measurements aren’t all exact but provide a good idea of what you’ve done throughout the day. No fitness tracker on the market provides 100% accurate measurement, so this isn’t a critique of the Amazfit, rather just an explanation of how it works. Data is gathered all the time so there’s no worry of having to select a certain physical activity to start or to monitor, it’s always keeping track of your steps.
The same goes for sleep, where the Amazfit automatically decides when you’ve gone to sleep based on the position its sensors and a general lack of movement. From here the tracker will note when you moved throughout the night, a sign that you’re drifting in and out of REM sleep. The longer the time between your cycles and the less frequently you wake up, the higher quality your sleep will be. There’s a measurement for sleep quality that’s tracked and given to you from the moment you wake up, and you’ll be provided data showing the exact time you went to sleep and woke up, as well as the amount of sleep you actually got.
The Amazfit estimates the Basal Metabolic Rate at which you’ll need to burn calories throughout the day just to keep your body at its current rate and weight. This gives you an idea of what activity you should try to aim for each day to at least maintain your current weight and physical well being. Since these numbers don’t tie into what you eat (because there’s no way to enter these numbers into the app) they are purely an estimate of what you should expect, but again given that you input your height, weight and gender these figures are at least an average of what you should aim for, as well as a combination of historical data that the Amazfit collects.
Battery life of the device is fantastic, and you’ll get at least one full week’s worth of use out of the Amazfit before having to charge it again. This includes using it for both step or fitness tracking as well as sleep tracking, so there’s no need to charge it some nights or days and alternate. It also only takes a few minutes to charge the Amazfit fully, as the small 15mAh battery is but 1/200th the size of the average smartphone’s battery size. The Amazfit charges via a proprietary wireless charger that’s included in the box and plugs into any open USB port you might have, such as the SnapPower USB Outlet, or just any old computer USB port or smartphone charger. While it’s not apparent that there’s a top and bottom side to the Amazfit at first, a closer look at the device will reveal a line working its way around the circumference of the unit. This bottom part is placed down into the charger where it sits to charge, and a white LED in the middle of the charger denotes charging.
Super versatile design
Comfortable and light weight
Automatic step and sleep tracking
Long battery life
Great app with lots of features
Equator band is super comfortable
Ultra light and unobtrusive
Casual fitness tracking
No advanced tracking features like stairs climbed
Can’t connect with third party services like Google Fit
It’s clear that the Amazfit is designed to be a casual product in every way, and it’s design follows this logic all the way around. Visually it looks like a piece of jewelry, with a stunning Zen-like look and quality ceramic construction. It goes with just about any outfit and is unisex in its qualities, not to mention being able to fit in a variety of bracelets and necklaces. The app’s automatic stat tracking and data collection keeps you from having to worry about setting types of exercise or needing to start sleep tracking, and the week long battery life will have you forgetting about needing to charge it most of the time too.
At $80 this is a very competitively priced product, especially when you consider it looks like jewelry instead of a fitness tracker, and while the app could use the ability to tie into third party services for more convenient stat tracking and collection with all your fitness trackers, at least it’s a well designed app that does a great job of step and sleep tracking. Amazfit hasn’t designed this product to be on the same level as a Gear Fit2 for example, so folks looking for the automatic ability to detect different types of exercise like cycling, rowing or stair climbing will simply need to spend more money to achieve such features. For a simple step and sleep tracking device though it doesn’t get any more convenient or beautiful than Amazfit, and that’s where it’s strengths lie.