Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The hall was jam-packed with press from around the world. Speaking at the event was Huami CEO Huang Wang. He outlined briefly the history of the company, which dates back to 2014. Its remarkable they’ve grown so much since then. In fact, the outfit has made over 100 million device shipments since its launch four years ago. It is a huge success story.
Huami started out as the manufacturer for Xiaomi’s Mi Band. The wearable is one of the most popular budget fitness trackers around, and a big seller not just in China but also internationally. Huami then proceeded to form its own sub-brand, Amazfit. The devices unveiled today all come from that line.
First up was the Amazfit GTS, what could probably be considered as the successor to the Amazfit BIP. This is an Apple-watch lookalike that comes with 14 day battery life and a gorgeous 1.65″ rectangular AMOLED display. The PPI of its screen is 341, suprassing the Cupertino outfit’s PPI of 326.
Under the hood there’s plenty going on. The 5 ATM rated device has GPS + Glonass, BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor, 6-Axis Accelerometer, 3-Axis Geomagnetic Sensor, Air Pressure Sensor, Ambient Light Brightness Sensor and Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity. There’s also NFC for on-the-go payments.
The 220mAh lithium ion battery will keep everything going for up to 14 days. In basic watch mode it can last an incredible 46 days and an excellent 25 hours with GPS switched on.
Amazfit GTS should be available for purchase internationally in early October for around $130. We are currently testing out the watch so keep an eye out for our review in the coming weeks.
Amazfit Stratos 3 and 3+
This one is a sports-watch that comes in two variants. The $200 Stratos 3 is the basic version, the $230 Stratos 3+ comes with exactly the same features but a more premium design. The price difference is not too steep when you take into account the pricier option comes with water-repellent sapphire mirrors (instead of Sapphire Glass) encased in a titanium alloy bezel (instead of stainless steel). It also upgrades the strap to smooth and durable fluorine rubber (instead of silicone).
Stratos 3 takes across all the features of the popular Stratos 2 and slaps on a better 1.34″ transflective screen, multiple power modes, an upgraded heart-rate sensor, 8 Firstbeat features, support for 19 sports modes and more. This time around there are 4 uniquely placed physical buttons on the right hand-side of the device. They are there to circumvent the difficulty in navigating touch-screen panels in rain or sweaty conditions.
Battery life is not too shabby. The 300mAh lithium ion battery will keep the thing going for up to two weeks in basic mode and 3 weeks in limited mode. GPS offers three power options. Accurate (35 hours), Balance (45 hours) and Power Saving (70 hours).
Other than that, the device comes with GPS, GLONASS, Galileo & Beidou, the company’s BioTracker PPG, NFC and a Bluetooth Music function. Memory is 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage (of which 1.9 GB is for the user).
Stratos 3 is set to land by the end of this year. The more premium Stratos 3+ should become available early next year.
Amazfit X is currently in the concept stage although images of an early working version can be found on the internet. It is set to land towards the middle of 2020. The fitness band looks like it comes from the future.
The thing has a 12.5mm ultra high fall 2.07-inch flexible curved screen, which Huami says cost millions of dollars to develop. This type of display offers HD resolution (326 ppi), 100% NTSC high colour saturation and brightness of up to 430 nits.
The manufacturing process for something like this is quite difficult. It involves a hot-bending 3D process at extreme high temperatures. The battery has also been designed with a slight curve while the processor has been split in three parts to conform with the shape.
Huami says there are still issues to be ironed out, hence the 2020 launch date. We’ll definitely be looking forward to this one.
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