Amazfit T-Rex review: This affordable rugged smartwatch is a real looker

Topics Huami | Amazfit | Xiaomi

The T-Rex is technically a smartwatch but has the makings of a fitness band
Amazfit T-Rex is Huami's first offering in the rugged smartwatch segment. Priced in the sub-10,000 range (Rs 9,999 to be exact), the T-Rex's price is clearly a talking point, but the smartwatch has also been touted for, as the name suggests, its robustness. It is available in four colours -- Rock Black, Army Green, Camo Green, and Khaki. We reviewed a rock black unit, and this is our impression of the T-Rex:

Design

The Amazfit T-Rex is a beautifully crafted smartwatch with an old-school round dial. It is a bit bulky (13.5 mm thickness), and has pronounced bezel, but it is deceptively light at 58 g since most of the material is polymer. Moreover, the makers have also used the raised bezel for a few metal screws and some fine detailing work which, combined with the distinct angles and strong texture, give the T-Rex a solid look. The four etched metallic buttons (two on either side) are fairly responsive.

Like most of the smartwatches nowadays, T-Rex features a 5ATM waterproofing system. But, the T-Rex, being a rugged smartwatch, is more robust and comes with 12 military certifications for resistance to harsh environments. The company claims that the smartwatch can withstand heat, cold, humidity and salt spray resistance, although it does put out a warning saying that prolonged exposure to such circumstances is not recommended.


Display

The Amazfit T-Rex sports a 1.3-inch AMOLED touch screen with 360 x 360-pixel colour display that offers vibrant colours, although the brightness can get a bit iffy outdoors. The screen is protected by the Gorilla Glass 3 and anti-fingerprint coating. The wrist raise function works with an ever-so-slight lag. There aren't many watch face choices by default but one can always access more choices from the accompanying app. The watch comes with an always-on display option, but at the risk of a reduced battery life.

Features and performance

The T-Rex is technically a smartwatch but has the makings of a fitness band. So, it counts steps, calculates calories burnt, and covers all the basic sports modes (14 in total) including run, treadmill, outdoor, cycle, and triathlon, among others. It also has a built-in GPS and a 24-hour heart rate monitoring. The GPS takes around 15 seconds to lock the location, but is fairly accurate. Beyond that, the watch uses PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor to track heart-rate, although it takes its own sweet time to get to the result. It also tracks sleep. The sleep analysis feature breaks down the user's sleeping hours into light sleep, deep sleep, and awake. Moreover, it also gives a sleep quality score and a comparison with other users.

On the downside, its limitations are also akin to a fitness band. For example, one can receive phone notifications and calls but cannot reply to them directly. Although, while considering such limitations, one must keep in mind the T-Rex's price, which is quite lower than most premium smartwatches.


The watch interface is similar to most Amazfit watches. One can either swipe or use the buttons to toggle through notifications, stats, and different features. One can also directly control brightness, battery saver, and DND features from the watch. The T-Rex also allows for easy control of music playing on the connected smartphone. Besides, other functions like weather forecast, event reminders, alarm, and find my phone are also available.

To dive deeper into your stats, you need to connect the watch with the Amazfit app, which also has had a makeover with the latest update. The new version seems sleeker and more tabular. The user can control nearly all the settings from the app and the detailed breakdown of sleep analysis, heart rate monitoring and other historical fitness stats are available here. The app also lets you download and change watch faces, and set your fitness goals.

Battery

Amazfit actively highlighted T-Rex's battery as one of the talking points, and for good reason. The company claims that the smartwatch, powered by a 390mAh battery, can go on for 20 straight days with regular use. The company also claims that if the watch is used in basic mode (sans connection to phone and heart rate monitoring), it can go on for 66 days. On an average, I could get the watch to go on for about 24-25 days, with occasional use of the GPS and heart monitoring function.

The watch comes with a magnetic 2 pin pogo pin charging and takes around one and half hours to fully charge which shouldn't be a major problem simply because of how long the output is.

Verdict

There isn't much competition to speak of in the rugged watch segment, especially in the price segment Huami is offering the Amazfit T-Rex. It works with both Android and iOS devices, covers all the basic fitness metrics, and boasts of a bevy of accompanying practical features.  Although, as highlighted before, the T-Rex has its own set of limitations, but with its utilitarian design, military-grade durability, and a long battery life, T-Rex is a great value for money at this price.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel