Xiaomi-backed wearables model Huami’s Amazfit Stratos is a multi-sport GPS watch with some options of smartwatches. It’s swim-proof, can monitor out of doors runs, reveals you notifications out of your smartphone, allows you to retailer music, and guarantees as much as 5 days of battery life. All this comes at a price ticket of Rs. 15,999, which is a reasonably good value if all of it works effectively. We used the Amazfit Stratos for every week to seek out out whether or not it’s value contemplating as a “smart” look ahead to health fanatics.
Amazfit Stratos design and luxury
The Amazfit Stratos appears to be like beautiful in images however the precise product isn’t as handsome. It’s actually cumbersome, with a thick round dial and enormous buttons. While we respect the massive show, it appears to be like a bit like a flat tyre and isn’t a full circle. The Amazfit Stratos is a bit too cumbersome to be comfy for on a regular basis use. It makes use of a silicone strap and we discovered that it match securely and did not trigger any further discomfort.
The show is maybe the most important weak spot of the Amazfit Stratos. It’s an always-on show, which is nice, however the positives finish there. The glass on prime could be very reflective, and underneath vibrant gentle, it’s laborious to learn what’s on display. The backlight tended to harm our eyes in dim rooms as a result of it lights up all the display. With the Amazfit Stratos, waking up in the midst of the evening to verify the time on our wrist was a painful expertise each single time. Even although it has some cool watch faces, the show isn’t ok to point out them off.
One huge design flaw with the Amazfit Stratos is its charger. The charging cradle snaps on to the underside of the watch, however it might probably match the wrong way up simply as simply. If you by accident get it improper, you gained’t be capable to cost the watch as a result of the pins gained’t make contact. While the mechanism works simply high-quality, this oversight could possibly be fairly annoying in the long term.
Amazfit Stratos software program and ecosystem
The Amazfit Stratos is suitable with iOS and Android, and also you’ll have to obtain the Amazfit Watch app in your smartphone. The app allowed us to decide on to register with an current Xiaomi account, and we tried this primary as a result of we had created one when reviewing the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. However, it simply didn’t work, so we needed to create a brand new account. The pairing course of was clean and we discovered the app to be well-designed. It reveals knowledge in neat graphs and you’ll see historic knowledge fairly simply too.
Our concern with the app is that it doesn’t do a lot. It has a setting to alter items from Imperial to Metric, however that change didn’t replicate on the watch. We had to do that from the watch’s settings. Similarly, choices reminiscent of auto-upload knowledge, 12- or 24-hour clocks, don’t disturb mode, and so on. can solely be modified on the watch.
The Amazfit Stratos makes use of a proprietary working system, which is kind of widespread within the health phase. Companies reminiscent of Garmin and TomTom do the identical factor. It takes a while to get used to the interface of the Amazfit Stratos, although. It has a touchscreen, and three buttons so that you can navigate by the UI. Press the highest one to scroll up, and the underside button to scroll down, and if you wish to choose an choice, you should utilize the center button. The app reveals a tutorial to take you thru different actions, reminiscent of long-pressing the highest button to return, and so on. however this isn’t intuitive in any respect.
We additionally observed that the touchscreen solely works should you “wake” the watch by urgent one of many buttons. If you attempt to use the touchscreen after it’s been idle for a while, it stays unresponsive. These are minor annoyances that add as much as make the general expertise really feel clunky.
However, the watch does present notifications and allows you to learn full messages even from third-party apps. You can’t reply to any notifications as this watch is supposed to be a health wearable with notifications, and never a correct smartwatch. While we discovered the notifications helpful, individuals who want extra management may not.
Amazfit Stratos efficiency and battery life
We can reside with a mean UI if the Amazfit Stratos does its job from a health standpoint. To take a look at this, we ran it by some commonplace checks. The first is to check the step counter by strolling 1,000 steps and counting them manually. Then we checked if the Amazfit Stratos recorded them precisely. The outcomes had been surprisingly good — the Stratos recorded 1,002 steps once we counted 1,000.
Our second take a look at was to verify if the GPS of the watch was correct. We first drove a automobile by a route close to our workplace in Mumbai to ascertain a 1-km distance as our take a look at monitor. This route took us underneath a flyover as we needed to see if the watch can hint the route precisely. We ran the take a look at with the Apple Watch Series 2 on our left hand and the Amazfit Stratos on our proper. The Stratos took three minutes to lock on to a sign in an open house on the principle street, which was irritating. Our Apple Watch discovered a GPS sign immediately (because it makes use of a paired iPhone’s GPS when). Most operating watches take round two minutes to discover a GPS sign, and three minutes is a bit too lengthy.
Then, the Stratos recorded the 1km distance as 1.64km. The Apple Watch had no such points and it confirmed the path to be precisely 1km lengthy. When we appeared on the route recorded by the Amazfit Stratos, it had marked a begin level removed from the place we had truly begun recording the stroll, however as soon as we took a U-turn underneath the flyover, the Stratos corrected itself.
We tried this take a look at a second time, simply to verify whether or not the identical error was repeated. On this try, it took one minute to lock on to a GPS sign on the similar spot, which was good to notice. The Amazfit Stratos had a significantly better displaying, however it nonetheless wasn’t completely correct. On the second attempt it recorded 1.11km on the 1km route, and its start line was barely off.
Overall, this sort of inconsistency is worrying, as a result of we’d at all times be second-guessing whether or not the Stratos’ monitoring is correct.
We additionally observed that the Amazfit Stratos doesn’t have a devoted monitoring mode for energy coaching or health club classes, or for different actions reminiscent of Pilates and yoga, that are discovered on a number of different fitness-oriented wearables. Given that, we used the elliptical coaching mode to trace a 90-minute health club session, and located that the guts charge sensor on the Stratos didn’t do an important job. When we checked out our coronary heart charge through the session, the Stratos at all times confirmed a worth that was both too low or too excessive primarily based on how we had been feeling at that time. A take a look at the information later confirmed this.
The Apple Watch confirmed our most coronary heart charge through the session as 191 beats per minute, whereas the Stratos’ knowledge mentioned this was 175bpm. It was a strenous session throughout which we felt like we’d totally exerted ourself, and our most coronary heart charge positively ought to’ve been greater. We might additionally see the guts charge knowledge peaking at totally different instances on the 2 watches, and felt that the Apple Watch’s knowledge was extra correct.
Sleep monitoring with the Amazfit Stratos was a little bit of a blended bag. We in contrast its knowledge towards what was recorded on the Apple Watch by the wonderful Sleep++ app, and located that it was correct typically however not at different instances. One day we’d set an alarm for five.30am and we awoke however went again to sleep. On that day, the Stratos claims that we awoke round 5.30am, whereas the Apple Watch knowledge steered that we awoke at 7.40am. The latter is nearer to actuality. When we managed to sleep uninterrupted at evening, the information was pretty correct.
We like the truth that the battery lifetime of the Amazfit Stratos is round 5 days. Without utilizing GPS, it lasted nearly seven days on a single cost. The second you begin monitoring exercises utilizing GPS, the battery begins to empty extra rapidly. It’s value mentioning that by default, options that might drain energy – reminiscent of routinely importing exercise knowledge – are disabled.
Finally, we actually missed automated exercise monitoring function on the Amazfit Stratos. We did forgot to manually start a exercise on one event, and the Stratos didn’t log it for us. With corporations reminiscent of Fitbit including this function to their merchandise, and Apple announcing it with watchOS 5, it could be good to see this function come to the Amazfit Stratos as effectively. We had been unable to go for a swim through the testing interval, however we did topic it to a bathe a number of instances and it continued to work simply high-quality.
The Amazfit Stratos appears to be like nice on paper however fails to reside as much as its promise in some ways. We actually like the concept of a fitness-focused wearable that reveals notifications and appears like a cool on a regular basis watch, however the Stratos’ implementation of many options leaves so much to be desired. Its bulk makes it uncomfortable to put on day-after-day, and its decidedly masculine styling implies that ladies aren’t more likely to discover it interesting.
While we predict that it might work as a multi-sport watch underneath best situations, the Amazfit Stratos’ inconsistent efficiency implies that we hesitate to advocate it over merchandise from established manufacturers reminiscent of Garmin, TomTom, and even the Apple Watch, which is not strictly direct competitors for the product. The pricing — Rs. 15,999 — is nice for the options provided, however we nonetheless assume the TomTom Spark could be a more sensible choice for health fanatics on a finances. Those who can afford an Apple Watch Series 3 could be higher served by it.
Update, 31 August 2018: Following the publication of our evaluation, Amazfit despatched us a second unit so we might verify whether or not the primary one was buggy. This unit was significantly better at locking on to GPS alerts in a number of areas, however it nonetheless struggled on the spot we used for our GPS take a look at. This unit recorded a 1km distance as 1.2km, which isn’t good in any respect. To be fully sure, we used the alternative unit on a 10km run on the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon 2018. This time, it recorded the gap as 10.2km. A deviation of 200m over 10km is appropriate (one of the best operating watches on the market may be as much as 100m off over the identical distance), however we must always be aware that the course was nearly completely in open areas with just one 100m part the place we had been underneath a bridge.
Overall, this sort of inconsistency is worrying. Serious athletes would at all times be second-guessing whether or not the Stratos’s reviews are correct. Our repeated checks lead us to the conclusion that the Stratos’s GPS monitoring may work effectively in best situations, however it struggles in crowded localities in huge cities.
Based on our new findings, we now have modified one of many ‘Cons’ from ‘Inaccurate GPS tracking’ to ‘Inconsistent GPS tracking’ and up to date the ‘Tracking accuracy’ rating from 2.5 to three.
- Battery life
- Always on show
- Accurate step monitoring
- Poor show high quality
- Inconsistent GPS monitoring
- Inaccurate sleep monitoring
- Awkward touchscreen UI
- App does not do a lot
Ratings (out of 5)
- Design and luxury: 2.5
- Tracking accuracy: three
- Software and ecosystem: three
- Battery life: four
- Overall: 2.5
Adapted From: Gadgets360