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Amazfit Stratos Quick Review

Xiaomi’s sub-brand Huami created a multi-sport GPS smartwatch they dubbed the Amazfit Stratos. The design looks premium so one would simply think it would cost a fortune to get one but it’s surprisingly half the price of most of the smartwatches available in the market at PHP 9,990.

Looking at the prices of other smartwatches out there, you would think twice (maybe even ten times) before you buy one, questions like “Do I really need a smartwatch”, “Do I just buy it for the convenience?”, would pop in your head and you’d end up not getting one. Yes, it’s mostly just for the convenience of not holding your phone while you’re doing fitness activities but it sure helps in making your life easier.  

Design and Build

The Amazfit Stratos is a little big for my small hands but it’s packed with features you can’t find in any other watch, which makes it acceptable. It looks premium despite the silicone wristband and the buttons are made of metal. Its display is covered by 2.5D Gorilla glass, surrounded by ceramic bezels, which looks like it could take extreme activities and come out without a scratch.

The watch has three buttons on the right, I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet but it’s useful when working out since wet hands don’t work well with touchscreens.

Let’s talk about the display, at 320 x 300 resolution, it’s far off compared to the Apple Watch. It’s a bit of a struggle to read the screen in bright areas, I tried to change the background to a picture but it appeared grainy so I switched back to the available faces they had on the app.

It works well in dark conditions but you have to set the brightness to maximum when out on daylight. Weirdly enough, I prefer the backlight turned off than on, Auto brightness helps but is also a little inconsistent so I would suggest to just set it to the highest brightness setting which would, unfortunately, take a toll on the battery.

The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters deep, 5 ATM, so you can track your swimming activities without a problem even in open waters. It also comes with a heart rate monitor, at the center of wearable’s back. As mentioned earlier, the three buttons on the right serve many functions, let’s break it down:

Upper Button

Short press wakes the app up, switches widgets to the left, long press brings you to the settings page, press it long enough to switch it on and off 

Middle Button

Short press displays your workout list, long press returns it to the watch face

Lower Button

Short press switches widgets to the right, long press takes you to the notifications

 

There are thirteen options you can run through on the main face of the watch. First is Steps where you obviously, by the name itself, can track the steps you’ve made, calories burned, and distance walked. Second is Activities where you can track sports history and VO2.

Next is the Sports tab where you can track activities like running, walking, cycling, swimming (open water and pool), indoor running, indoor cycling, elliptical training, climbing, trail running, triathlon, skiing, tennis, soccer and multisport. Lastly is the time display, Heart rate, music, alarm, weather forecast, compass, stopwatch, sleep tracking, training center, and timer.

The Amazfit Stratos has a list of options that are quite impressive, it measures a lot of activities even your sleeping pattern.

Operating System

Huami used their own OS for this device. The OS was complicated and testing it for the first few days was not easy. Navigating through the interface was confusing, it takes more than one tap to wake the screen up and the touch function is poor, especially when your hands are wet.

You can also connect your smartphone to the device through an app called Amazfit Watch and get notifications through the watch. Although you can only read not write, get notified about a call but not answer. You can also download music and listen through a Bluetooth headphone.

Battery Life

Huami claimed you get about 20 hours in GPS and 5 days of battery life with normal smartwatch use. Basing that on personal use, I only got about 4 days with maximum brightness, and regular operation – no fitness tracking but with continuous heart rate tracking.

Conclusion

The Amazfit Stratos is a well-rounded smart wearable. It has a premium design, solid structure, and abundant features. It’s not without caveats though, as the UI and OS are a bit clunky and confusing and outdoor operation can be a pain due to the low maximum brightness. Nevertheless, for Php 9,990 it’s certainly a good deal for anyone looking to have a budget sport smartwatch.

Amazfit Stratos specifications

  • Display: 34 mm 320 x 300 pixels resolution colour LCD touchscreen made with 2.5D Gorilla glass
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • Optical HR
  • Barometer
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • 1 Standard 22mm band with quick release pins
  • 290 mAh
  • 47.5mm diameter x 11.7mm
  • 70g

What we like:

  • Premium design
  • Water resistance
  • Abundant features
  • Good price
  • Navigational buttons

What we didn’t like:

  • Low brightness
  • Confusing OS and UI


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