Formerly associated with Xiaomi, which invested in the brand in its early days, the Huami group now stands on its own and offers with the Amazfit T-Rex, a new choice for the market of connected watches that are more resistant and designed for sport. . Let’s see that in detail in this test.
Characteristics Of The Amazfit T-REX :
A Sports Watch :
To create a connected watch, a manufacturer has several design choices before him. First there is the demarcation with the classic object, which the Apple Watch offers with its square screen, or even the imitation of a jewel to create a “high-end” effect. With the T-Rex, Amazfit did not choose either of these two choices, and instead took that of the watch designed for sport, and therefore drew inspiration from the benchmark of the sector: the G-Shock range from Casio.
We thus find a round screen, surrounded by a reinforced plastic frame and physical metal buttons that stand out to create the 4 corners of the watch. The plastic effect may be shocking, but in reality it allows the watch to remain light despite the density of material used and the idea of making it more resistant to shocks. The case has a fairly massive appearance, but which seems totally assumed, as if to show that the device will be able to go off-road. Under the watch, there is a “PPG BioTracker optical sensor” which will allow you to measure heart rate regularly.
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This design will look even better on very thin wrists like mine and really feels like a big watch on your wrist. With a body of 47.7 x 47.7 mm, the Amazfit T-Rex is clearly at the top of the basket in terms of bulk. With only 58 grams on the scale, the T-Rex however remains quite light, and is forgotten over time.
The silicone strap is quite elastic and makes it easy to adjust the watch to your wrist. It does its job, but it’s not the nicest texture there is. The numerous adjustments to adjust the watch to the wrist also play the role of ventilation to let the skin breathe during a rather smart workout. It is interchangeable.
The T-Rex can boast of having an STD-MIL-810G certification (works with temperatures between -40 ° C and 70 ° C in particular) and of being water resistant up to 5 ATM (up to at a depth of 50 meters). It is therefore compatible with swimming. Carelessly, I repeatedly banged the watch during my tests, against walls, forgetting that I had the object on my wrist. Either way, it came out without a scratch, which gives me some confidence in the resistance of the object. I think that we should especially avoid direct impacts on the screen, but that the body is otherwise quite resistant.
Low Consumption OLED Screen :
The T-Rex includes a 1.3-inch AMOLED screen with a definition of 360 x 360 pixels. It obviously consumes very little energy, we will come back to this later, and allows a fine choice of dials, many of which rely on the infinite contrasts offered. The screen is bright enough to be used in direct sunlight. On the other hand, the minimum brightness is a bit strong, which could disturb the night, in bed. Everything is adjusted automatically thanks to a sensor integrated into the watch.
The watch offers an Always-On mode (strangely translated as “always on”), which keeps the screen on at all times, or a mode that only activates the screen with a wave of the arm. You just have to look at your arm to automatically turn on the screen, which also saves energy. The detection works perfectly, even if there is a small latency before the screen turns on. You never wait too long. Let’s finish by saying that the watch screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass 3 coating.
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Closer To The Bracelet Than The Connected Watch :
It has already been mentioned several times that the purpose of this watch was to help with physical activity. This is obviously felt in the uses offered directly by the installed system. No WearOS here, we find the system developed by Huami. Indeed, the proposed dials are in English (“Mon” for Monday for example). This watch is a device halfway between bracelet and connected watch. On the one hand, we have “connected watch” uses (time, weather, notification monitoring) to which are added sports-related functions, closer to the bracelet.
It is the “watch” uses that disappoint the most. For example, you will not be able to install an additional application on the watch, so you will have to be content with basic uses, accessible with a simple swipe to the right: a stopwatch application, another to manage the alarm clock and finally the possibility of control music playback remotely from your watch. Without NFC, there’s no way you can make payments in-store either.
The manufacturer clearly wanted to focus on sport, and there is a whole host of integrated exercises: outdoor running, walking, cycling, swimming, treadmills, or even elliptical and skiing. As we can see, the brand has thought of both indoor sport, which is inevitably fashionable at the moment, or outdoor sport. These exercises can be accessed by clicking on the select button, then scrolling with the touch screen and then selecting the appropriate exercise.
Data acquisition is fairly basic, the watch records exercise time and your heart rate for most programs. In the open air, the watch can also record your position thanks to the integrated GPS. The latter, however, is a bit finicky in use, and it is very sensitive to passing through interiors, where it will be difficult to locate you precisely. There follows a succession of vibrations on the wrist, each time the GPS succeeds in locating you or loses the signal.
The watch data can then be entrusted to the manufacturer’s Zepp app, or to services like Apple Health or Google Fit.
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Tchoo! The Amazfit App Becomes Zepp :
This application brings together in fact two: on the one hand the application for monitoring exercises and its data, which can be similar to those offered by Apple and Google with their services, and on the other hand the application which allows you to manage the watch. These two parts are really independent and you have to understand how they work to get used to them. Again, the translation of the whole thing is sometimes a bit wonky (even in the name of the central menu “enjoy”), but we generally understand what the application wants to tell us.
The part dedicated to the watch is used to manage updates. We had the right to two firmware updates during our test, which made the watch unusable for about ten minutes or so. You can also configure certain functions: synchronization of notifications, alarm settings. These functions are usually also accessible from the watch, but easier to manage on the large screen of a smartphone.
In the more general part of the application, you will find your heart rate history, reports on your exercises (with the display of the map when they are outdoor exercises) or even sleep monitoring night after night . In each part, you can access the history day after day, or take averages by period. For example, see that you have slept an average of 7 hours and 30 minutes per night in the past week. Exercise monitoring is well done, and allows you to know the number of calories burned, or the average walking speed. You can easily share the map of your route with your friends, or on the contrary hide the map to keep your address confidential.
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A Watch That Can Really Last A Month :
As with any technological device, autonomy will depend on your usage. This is even more changing for a connected watch like the T-Rex that can be used as a simple connected object to receive notifications, or as a real sports assistant. On paper, Amazfit promises up to 66 days of battery life in “basic” mode (Bluetooth connection disabled, no heart rate tracking, and time tracking 100 times a day). This advertised autonomy can drop to 20 hours if we are talking about continuous operation with GPS tracking enabled.
This is indeed the kind of difference we observed during our weeks of testing. We were able to last 4 weeks before falling below the 9% battery mark, in a fairly light use integrating notification tracking and a little walking without GPS tracking. On another cycle, with more physical exercises recorded, the watch lasted just under a week, partly due to the consumption of the built-in GPS. In any case, the autonomy of this watch is never a problem thanks to its energy saving mode which activates automatically and makes it easy to hold up to the possibility of charging your watch.
You can easily go away for a whole weekend, for example forgetting the watch charger, and not panic at the idea of running out of battery. In this regard, the watch is recharged using a proprietary cable that connects by two metal pins to the watch. Without taking the form of a “dock”, the system is still magnetized which greatly facilitates connection. The one time I needed to charge the watch, it took about an hour to wind up from 7 to 100%.