Amazfit, a US based wearable tech company, recently introduced its first ceramic-based activity tracker by the same name. The bracelet does away with bulky cases we’ve seen with many other wearables. Instead, it adopts a round stainless steel watch face paired with a slim strap. The motto in terms of design is – less is more.
In terms of fitness tracking, the device allows you to monitor and record steps, distance travelled and calories burned. It also keeps tabs on your sleep quality and vibrates to alert to incoming calls.
Amazfit is owned by Huami, the exclusive provider of wearable technology for Xiaomi. Since establishing its partnership with the Chinese company two years ago, Huami has sold over 25 million Mi Bands. Amazfit is the first in Huami’s independent line of wearables, sold in the US.
Ease of use
Use of information
The tracker arrived in packaging that in all honesty would put Apple to shame. Great thought has been put into making sure every detail oozes sophistication and quality.
In the box, you get the tracker, a wristband, a USB proprietary charging cable, and a little instruction booklet.
Just by looking at it, you would never even guess that this is a fitness tracker. The company says, the circular design was inspired by traditional Chinese Jade pendant, and symbolizes peaceful and healthy living.
The core unit is definitely one of the slimmest, most lightweight activity trackers on the market today. The form factor is in a way similar to the Misfit Shine but more lightweight. Which means, you get a core flat unit that houses the accelerometer, vibration motor and battery, along with a strap that allows you to fasten it around your wrist or your neck.
The company says, each hypoallergenic ceramic casing undergoes 30 manufacturing procedures and is polished more than 120,000 times. Its hardness is second only to diamond and sapphire.
You can choose from two wristband styles, Moonbeam and Equator. Moonbeam is a white ceramic shell encased in a rose gold-plated metal frame and is surrounded by a premium white leather wristband. Equator is designed to offer sleek sophistication. The ceramic shell is surrounded by a simple, minimalistic band in complementary matted black or rose gold tones. You also get interchangeable accessories to suit your mood.
The activity tracker will keep going for around 10 days, at which point you will need to recharge it via the proprietary wireless charger. Just pop the core unit onto the charger and wait for the light to start flashing.
The tracker’s IP68 water resistance rating means that its splash-proof, so don’t plan on going swimming with it.
Download the Amazfit app, enter a few basic details, pair the fitness tracker – and you are ready to go. The bluetooth connection is a bit hit and miss, so you need to make sure you place the fitness tracker very close to your phone. At times, it can take up to 10 seconds before the tracker pairs with the phone.
Amazfit can be worn either around the neck or on the wrist depending on which bracelet and accessory you have purchased. Make sure that you have chosen the correct setting in the app.
I was receiving extraordinary high step counts the first couple of days. After congratulating myself on being so active, I checked the settings only to find out that it was set to ‘necklace’ instead of ‘wrist’. Once I chose the correct setting, the problem resolved itself and the step count reverted to a more realistic value.
All of the tracking is automatic, so there really is nothing for you to do except focus on achieving your goals. You can set your daily step goal in the app. The tracker will vibrate to alert you when you reach your desired step count.
You also have the option of switching on phone call notifications – in which case your Amazfit will vibrate when you receive a phone call.
All your information is retained in the app. Syncing will be performed automatically when you open the app, but you can also initiate a manual sync by swiping down on the smartphone screen. As mentioned, make sure the tracker is very close to your phone, otherwise it will struggle to connect.
Huami was clearly aiming for simplicity with this tracker so the features are fairly basic. Amazfit will keep tabs on your steps, distance, calories and sleep. Don’t look for heart rate tracking or GPS, or anything more sophisticated – you won’t find it.
I have tested the tracker for over a week and compared the results with the Vivoactive HR. Amazfit consistently showed a higher step count. Now, I am not sure whether this was because I have set it as a ‘necklace’ in the settings the first few days and it didn’t properly revert to wrist-based counting, or if it simply dishes out consistently higher figures. Unsurprisingly, the higher step count also caused higher calorie and distance figures compared to Garmin’s fitness tracker.
In terms of sleep, the results were very pretty much on par which was impressive considering that Amazfit does not have a heart rate sensor. Huami’s tracker monitors what time you dozed off and woke up, and categorises your sleep session into light and deep sleep. It also provides you with the number of times you woke up during the night.
The app itself is fairly basic. The main screen shows your step count, distance in miles (there is no kilometre option), active calories, and sleep statistics. There are no weekly or monthly summaries, but you can scroll through the individual days to view the history.
We are of the view that any fitness tracker, no matter how basic, is useful as a motivational tool. Amazfit allows you to set a step goal, and will buzz to alert you when you have achieved it.
Move reminders would be nice and the app itsself is a bit too basic. Weekly and monthly overviews would provide added motivation, as would social sharing options. Hopefully Amazfit will tick some of the items from our wishlist in one of the forthcoming firmware updates.
In terms of functionality, this is an entry level fitness tracker. The design is amazing (hence the name…), and this is one of the best looking fitness trackers out there. But the app is fairly simple, and the step, distance, calorie count and sleep tracking just provides the basics.
Huami is obviously targeting the fashion conscious crowd with this wearable and is tapping into the trend of wearables manufacturers linking with design outfits. For example, Fitbit is soon launching collections with Tony Burch, Vera Wang and Public School, Kate Spade is entering the wearables scene, as is Michael Kors. This is definitely the year when fitness tracker meets fashion.
When you take into consideration the beautiful packaging and seriously nice form-factor, we could easily see how this could make a great gift for a significant other who has not yet dabbled with fitness tracking. Those of us who are more seasoned are likely to be left wanting a bit more.