When it comes to choosing the right smartwatch, a side-by-side comparison of the latest offerings can be incredibly insightful. The Amazfit Balance and Amazfit Active Edge, launched by Zepp Health in August and October 2023 respectively, present two distinct options. The first is designed for those who seek a comprehensive health and fitness companion. The Active Edge, on the other hand, is geared towards users who prioritise essential fitness tracking and durability in their wearable tech.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
You may be in two minds as to which, if any, of these devices is a good fit for your needs. In this article we aim to highlight their main differences.
The Amazfit Balance, featuring advanced health sensors and an elegant design, is ideal for health-conscious users, while the durable and more masculine looking Amazfit Active Edge suits outdoor adventurers and fitness buffs. The Balance, priced at $230, offers comprehensive health tracking and lifestyle features, whereas the Active Edge, at $139, provides essential fitness tracking and basic smartwatch functions
Amazfit Balance vs Active Edge: Hardware
Look & feel
The build and size of these two smartwatches sets the tone for their overall design ethos. The Amazfit Balance boasts an elegant construction with an aluminum alloy middle frame and a fiber-reinforced polymer bottom shell. You could say it blends durability with a premium feel. The dimensions of the watch, 46 x 46 x 10.6 mm, strike a balance between presence and comfort on the wrist.
In contrast, the Amazfit Active Edge opts for a dual-color plastic build, offering a more sporty and rugged appearance. It’s slightly larger and thicker, measuring 46.62 × 46.62 x 12mm, which might appeal to those who prefer a more substantial look on their wrist. So while the Balance is more of a unisex device, Active Edge takes on a masculine appearance.
Physical buttons are a critical aspect of user interaction with these devices. The Amazfit Balance features two buttons, including a crown, which facilitates easy navigation and adds a classic touch to its design. The Amazfit Active Edge, on the other hand, is equipped with four flat buttons, two on each side. This not only enhances the watch’s functionality but also contributes to its robust and outdoor-ready design aesthetic.
Display, colour options, water resistance
The screen is another area where these two models diverge. The Amazfit Balance is adorned with a 1.5-inch AMOLED display, boasting a resolution of 480 x 480 pixels. This screen type offers an engaging visual experience. The Amazfit Active Edge, however, features a smaller 1.32-inch TFT display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. TFT screens are generally less vibrant than AMOLEDs. But they are perfectly adequate for most users, especially those prioritizing battery life and outdoor visibility.
Water resistance is another key factor in the look and feel of these watches, influencing their versatility and durability. The Amazfit Balance is designed with a 5 ATM water resistance rating, making it suitable for swimming and exposure to water in daily activities. The Amazfit Active Edge steps up the game with a 10 ATM rating. This makes it more suitable for intense water activities.
Finally, colour options may also influence your decision. The Amazfit Balance is available in two sophisticated case colors: Midnight and Sunset Grey, which align with its overall elegant design. The Amazfit Active Edge offers a broader palette with Lava Black, Midnight Pulse, and Mint Green.
As far as sensor technology, the Amazfit Balance, it’s equipped with a lot. It packs the advanced BioTracker 5.0 PPG biometric sensor, which includes 8PD (photodiodes) and 2LED, offering precise heart rate monitoring and other health metrics. This model also features a BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor, providing insights into body composition—a rare find in smartwatches. Additionally, it includes a 3-axis acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, temperature sensor, and an ambient light sensor. This comprehensive suite of sensors makes the Amazfit Balance not just a fitness tracker but a holistic health monitoring device.
In contrast, the Amazfit Active Edge offers a slightly pared-down sensor array. It includes the BioTracker PPG biometric sensor for heart rate monitoring, an acceleration sensor, and a gyroscope sensor. Zepp Health does not specify the version of the sensor, but we suspect it is 4.0. The absence of the more advanced sensors in the Active Edge indicates a focus on basic fitness tracking than the extensive health monitoring offered by the Balance.
When it comes to GPS connectivity, both models are well-equipped, but with notable differences. The Amazfit Balance boasts a circularly-polarized GPS antenna, dual-band positioning, and support for six satellite positioning systems. This ensures highly accurate location tracking. The Amazfit Active Edge, while still offering GPS functionality, supports five satellite positioning systems (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, Qzss, Beidou), which is slightly less comprehensive than the Balance but still effective for most users.
NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities also differentiate these two models. The Amazfit Balance comes with NFC, enabling contactless payments and other convenient NFC-based interactions. This feature adds a layer of convenience. It’s useful for users who prefer to leave their wallets at home during workouts or errands. At the time of writing, this is the only Amazfit watch with this feature.
Music storage is another area where the Amazfit Balance shines. It offers up to 2.3GB of storage for music, allowing users to store and play their favorite tracks directly from the watch. The Active Edge does not offer music storage.
Amazfit watches are known for their excellent battery life, and these two devices are no different. Balance conjures up to 14 days of usage in normal mode. This extends to 24 days in Battery Saver Mode, ensuring longevity for those who prioritize battery life. Additionally, in Accuracy GPS Mode, the device can last up to 26 hours, making it a reliable companion for long-distance activities.
The Amazfit Active Edge can last up to 16 days, ensuring consistent support without frequent charging interruptions. For those looking to extend battery life even further, the device offers a battery saver mode, which can push the battery life up to an impressive 24 days, ideal for extended trips or when charging opportunities are scarce. In heavy usage scenarios, the battery life is still robust, lasting up to 10 days. Additionally, for those who rely heavily on GPS, the Active Edge provides up to 20 hours of continuous GPS usage, making it a reliable companion for long hikes, runs, or cycling sessions.
Amazfit Balance vs Active Edge: Technical specs
Here’s a detailed comparison table for the Amazfit Active and Amazfit Balance smartwatches, highlighting their technical specifications:
Amazfit Active Edge
Aluminum alloy middle frame, Fiber-reinforced polymer bottom shell
46 x 46 x 10.6 mm
46.62 × 46.62 x 12mm
AMOLED Screen with Tempered glass + anti-fingerprint coating
480 x 480 pixels
360 x 360 pixels
BioTracker™ 5.0 PPG biometric sensor (8PD + 2LED), BIA Bioelectric Impedance Sensor, 3-axis acceleration sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic sensor, Air pressure sensor, Temperature sensor, Ambient light sensor
BioTracker PPG biometric sensor, Acceleration sensor, Gyroscope sensor
Circularly-polarized GPS antenna, Dual-band positioning, 6 satellite positioning systems
GPS, Galileo, Glonass, Qzss, Beidou
Yes (max storage space for music is 2.3GB)
WLAN 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 & BLE
14 days in normal mode. 24 days in Battery Saver Mode, 26 hours in Accuracy GPS Mode
16 days in normal mode. 24 days in battery saver mode, up to 10 days in heavy usage scenario, 20 hours of continuous GPS usage
Zepp OS 3.+
Zepp OS 2.+
Midnight, Sunset Grey
Lava Black, Midnight Pulse, Mint Green
starting at $230
starting at $140
Amazfit Balance vs Active Edge: Features
The Amazfit Balance, with its advanced BioTracker 5.0 PPG biometric sensor, offers a comprehensive health monitoring experience. It goes beyond basic fitness tracking by providing insights into body composition. This is a feature that’s particularly beneficial for users focused on detailed health metrics. The Balance also includes mental and physical readiness scores, leveraging AI-driven wellness services. These features are designed to guide users towards a balanced lifestyle, offering actionable insights based on sleep indicators and expert-backed research. Additionally, the Balance’s ability to measure various body composition metrics directly from the wrist. This includes metrics such as body fat percentage and muscle mass.
On the other hand, the Amazfit Active Edge, while equipped with the previous generation BioTracker PPG biometric sensor for basic health monitoring, focuses more on fitness and sports features. It includes a gyroscope sensor, enhancing its capability to track movement more accurately. The Active Edge’s robust build and higher water resistance rating (10 ATM) make it more suitable for outdoor and water-based activities. However, it lacks the advanced health monitoring features found in the Balance.
When it comes to smartwatch-type features, both models offer a range of functionalities. The Amazfit Balance stands out with its NFC capability for contactless payments and music storage, adding convenience for daily use. It also supports Bluetooth calling, a feature that enhances its utility as a smartwatch. The Active Edge, while not supporting NFC or music storage, still offers essential smartwatch features like notifications and basic app support. Both models run on Zepp OS. However, the Balance features the newer 3.+ version, potentially offering a more refined user interface and additional software features.
Amazfit Balance vs Active Edge: Price
The Balance, with its advanced health features, premium build, and additional smartwatch capabilities, is priced starting at $230. This price point reflects its positioning as a more comprehensive health and lifestyle device. The Amazfit Active Edge, on the other hand, is priced more affordably, starting at $139. Its focus on essential fitness and sports features, coupled with a durable design, makes it an attractive option for those seeking a reliable fitness-oriented smartwatch without the need for extensive health monitoring capabilities.
Amazfit Balance vs Active Edge: Final thoughts
The Amazfit Balance, with its sophisticated health monitoring capabilities, including advanced biometric sensors and body composition analysis, is tailored for users who prioritize comprehensive health tracking. Its elegant design, coupled with smartwatch features like NFC, Bluetooth calling, and music storage, positions it as a versatile lifestyle companion. On the other hand, the Amazfit Active Edge, with its robust build and focus on essential fitness and sports features, appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and fitness buffs seeking a durable and straightforward fitness tracking device.
The pricing of these models reflects their targeted functionalities. The Amazfit Balance, priced at $230, offers value for money for those seeking a health-centric smartwatch with a range of lifestyle features. The Amazfit Active Edge, starting at $139, is an affordable alternative for users looking for a reliable fitness tracker with basic smartwatch capabilities.
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