Review the Amazfit T-Rex smartwatch, protected by the MIL-STD 810G military standard, was presented at the international consumer electronics exhibition CES 2022, which was held in January. At the presentation, they impressed me with their brutal design and good protection from all kinds of external factors, so I bought them at the first opportunity. After receiving it, about 2 months have already passed and all this time I have been using them on a round-the-clock basis. Well, now I want to share with you the prevailing opinion, which was formed from the long experience of using the watch.
Amazfit T-Rex specifications:
- Screen : 1.3 “AMOLED with a resolution of 360×360, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with an oleophobic coating
- Sensors : BioTracker ™ PPG, 3-axis acceleration sensor, geomagnetic sensor, ambient light sensor
- Navigation : GPS, GLONASS
- Bluetooth : 5.0 Low Energy
- Battery : 390 mAh (up to 20 days in intensive mode, up to 66 days in economy mode)
- Operating system : Amazfit OS
- Environmental Protection : MIL-STD-810G-2014
- Water resistance: 5 ATM / 50M
- Compatability : Android 5.0 / iOS 10.0 and above
- Dimensions : 47.7mm x 47.7mm x 13.5mm
- Weight : 58g (with strap)
You can buy T-Rex in the official storeon aliexpress. But be sure to compare prices with local stores, because these watches are often cheaper to buy locally, and you also get a guarantee.
Packaging and equipment
A small box with a modern laconic design, not overloaded with information. On the front: name and image of the model, as well as the main advantages in the form of a small list:
- AMOLED screen
- 20 days of battery life
- water resistance up to 50m
- built-in GPS
- multisport modes
On the back there are more detailed characteristics of the device and information on compliance with various quality standards.
Spartan complete set: watch, charger and instructions. What else can you expect?
The charger is made in the form of a magnetic pad with two contacts.
The charge is held on the watch case by a magnet. The connection is reliable and such that the charging accidentally loses contact — I did not have it. Any power supply that can supply 5V is suitable, I use from my smartphone. For 2 months, I used the charger only 3 times: the first time, when I just got the watch, and twice more I charged it when the battery was low.
Appearance, strap, control
Let’s look at the design. Actually, this is what first sunk into my heart. I have been looking for a smart watch with a round screen for a long time, but basically everything on sale is somehow polished, sophisticated and glamorous. And I wanted something more rude and brutal. This is what I found in T-Rex. In terms of colors, there are also khakis, sand and some others, but black is a classic and looks the most organic.
The watch case is made of durable polymer and in a couple of months I personally appreciated it. Impacts against furniture and other hard objects pass without consequences. I never take them off. I dig in the car, make repairs in the apartment, sports, active games with the child, and of course the shower, swimming pool and sauna. This watch does not care about anything! On YouTube, you can find a video where they were kicked on the asphalt, thrown with force at the wall and generally brutally mocked. The watch got a couple of small pads, but continued to work as if nothing had happened.
Of course, I didn’t specifically scoff at the clock, because I don’t want to scratch it, but for the sake of interest I ran a freeze test. It was always fun to do something like this. We were promised a job at minus 40? At the same time, I checked how the battery reacts to cold. Before the experiment, it was 86%. I filled it with water and left it in the freezer for 7 hours.
The water froze, but the clock inside the ice continued to work as if nothing had happened. The screen lit up, automatic heart rate measurement was carried out every minute, communication with the smartphone via bluetooth was present and, accordingly, notifications were displayed on the screen, accompanied by vibration. After defrosting, the battery charge was 82%. That is, in 7 hours of terrible frost, the charge decreased by 4%.
Regarding water resistance, the instructions clearly state that the watch can be used in the shower, in the rain, in the pool or when swimming in shallow water, and should not be used when diving. The fact is that the water resistance of 50 meters means that the watch can withstand water pressure at a depth of 50 meters. But in reality, such pressure can be created even at a shallow depth, because when we swim, a sufficiently large pressure is created locally at the points of contact with water. I calmly swim in them in the pool and without fear dive a couple of meters in depth, I did not expect more from them.
Consider the controls. In general, there is a touch screen, but most of the actions are duplicated by mechanical buttons. Select to confirm the action and call the specified function (I hung up the launch of the music player on it), back is back and up / down for navigating the menu.
The screen is recessed into the case relative to the bezel and is protected from direct contact when hitting a flat surface. And Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects the screen well from scratches. All 2 months I walked without any protective films and even micro scratches did not appear on the surface. Usually I glue the film, but it has a very pleasant oleophobic coating, so this time I decided not to spoil the impression of using the device with cheap films.
The buttons are metal, large and with a grooved surface.
Chopped edges and sharp corners, no streamlining and other mimicry. T-rex looks like a real men’s watch — boilers.
The strap is replaceable, with a width of 20 mm, but not standard. Nevertheless, there is a choice of third-party straps: metal, nylon, silicone — for every taste and color.
But this can over time, because today I am completely satisfied with the complete one. It is soft and pleasant to the body, elastic and very durable. Before buying a watch, I wore Mi Band 3, which I did not take off even before going to bed. For hours I was a little afraid, it would suddenly be uncomfortable to sleep, they are larger, but I got used to it almost immediately, I don’t feel any discomfort.
By the way, thanks to the holes for the entire length of the strap, the watch will fit any hand in volume.
The fastening looks reliable, inside the strap there are metal pins that go into the molded eyelet, which is part of the case.
The bio-track optical sensor is used the same as in the Amazfit GTR — BioTracker ™ PPG. The measurement accuracy is quite high, compared with the readings of the Omron medical tonometer and the treadmill heart rate monitor in the fitness center. When the intensity of the load changes, the watch quickly responds to changes in heart rate and in fact the readings can be monitored online. This is useful when running, when you need to keep the heart rate in a certain interval for cardio training.
And this is how the watch looks on the hand.
The screen expected in this watch is more detailed. It seems that the resolution of 360×360 is excellent for such a diagonal, but anyway, if you look closely, the eye distinguishes individual pixels. Then of course you get used to it and stop paying attention. Well, there are no questions about brightness and color rendition. AMOLED screen is bright and energy efficient. You can see everything well on the street.
The choice of watch faces is huge. In addition to the standard ones, which can be installed through the official amazfit application, there are hundreds of custom ones that are installed through third-party applications. For example, I use the dedicated Amazfit T-Rex Watch Face app from the Play Market. Here are just a couple of examples:
You can filter the watch faces by information content, language and other parameters. By the way, with the English language.
And then there are AOD dials that are constantly lit on the screen, but thanks to the AMOLED feature of screens, they consume a little power. You can look at the time without any fuss, just by looking down. AOD is available in digital and analogue versions, so far only 2 dials.
What a watch can do
Let’s go through the menu and discuss the possibilities of the watch. Raising your hand or pressing any of the buttons opens the main screen with a dial. What it will be depends only on preferences, but conventionally it can be digital or mechanical. Mechanical ones may or may not have a second hand; there are also dials with animation. Being able to choose a new watch face and instantly transform your watch is awesome. Today I have a conditional G shock, and a month later Tissot. There are, of course, original ones from Amazfit. It’s easy to change it, load it into your watch via bluetooth, hold it for a few seconds on the main screen and choose the one you like. To the left of the home screen is the notification screen. The font is large enough, there is a lot of information on the screen, so it is convenient to read messages and notifications from the watch.
Now let’s see what actions can be done directly from the watch. The first section is status, here you can see the progress of steps since the beginning of the day, the distance traveled and the calories burned. Information for the previous days from the beginning of the week is also available.
The next section is heartbeat. Here you can measure your heart rate and watch it change in real time. You can also look at the statistics for the day if the automatic measurement function is enabled. I have a one-minute measurement enabled throughout the day, so I can even watch the data in the form of a graph, where you can see how the heart rate decreases at night and increases during the day. Well, for convenience, everything is divided into categories, for statistics, all this is very interesting and allows us to draw conclusions about whether I lead an active enough lifestyle.
Now, of course, I cannot lead an active lifestyle, because my fitness center and pool are closed due to quarantine and all that remains is walking in the fresh air and jogging. From time to time I go out for walks, since the Dnieper and the rocks are very close. I turn on the “walking” program and forward. While the program is running, GPS works, so the distance traveled is calculated very accurately, and the movement track is also recorded. In online mode, the pulse and steps are measured and of course everything is saved in the watch’s memory.
The program can be paused and resumed at any time.
There is a screen that shows the current speed (based on GPS data), average speed and power consumption.
At the end of the program, you can watch the schematic track. But of course, more and more details can be viewed in the Amazfit application, on the watch it is rather express data.
There are 13 programs in total:
- walking jogging
- swimming in the pool
- swimming in open water
- exercise bike
- elliptical trainer
- cross country running
- mountain climbing
And in the next OTA update, the developer promised to add another mode — triathlon.
Not bad, huh? Moreover, depending on the program, certain data are collected, GPS is connected if necessary. For the pool, you need to specify the length of the swimming strip so that the distance that you swam is correctly calculated, etc.
You can make adjustments to the workout, for example, set a goal: a certain distance, time or energy expenditure. You can also set vibration alerts for various events: a notification about the distance traveled, an alert when you go beyond a safe heart rate or when your heart rate drops below a preset value.
You can track the data on the watch in the form of a graph in real time, which will display heart rate, pace or other information.
In addition to sports functions, there are other useful things, for example, you can see the current weather and a few days in advance. The data is updated when synchronized with a smartphone, but since my watch and smartphone are always connected to each other, then the data on the screen I get current.
There is a player control, which will undoubtedly be appreciated by fans of listening to music on wireless headphones. I really like my AWEI T19 TWS headphones, but the control implemented by touching the touch zone is not the most convenient. On the watch, you can quickly switch the track, change the volume, and even more importantly, you can immediately see the name of the artist and song. I also use alarms and reminders all the time. The vibration is of medium intensity, but it wakes up well and until I press the desired button, the alarm will not calm down.
There is a timer and a countdown. In the countdown, you can choose one of the preset timings, or enter any value yourself.
A handy feature is phone search. When the function is turned on, the smartphone begins to emit a high-pitched sound at maximum volume, even if it is in silent mode, which helps to find it quickly. Well, of course, the compass is also present, you can safely go into the forest at night (this is of course a joke).
Now let’s see the settings. In the dial settings, you can enable one of the AOD (Always On Display) screens, these are minimalistic dials on a black background that are constantly displayed. You can make them work only during the day and not glow at night when you sleep. You can also select the backlight time for normal dials from 2 to 14 seconds.
The quick launch button (select) can be assigned one of the actions, for example, measuring heart rate or weather. I put music on because I use this function a lot.
And of course information about the system. At the moment, the latest firmware for our region is V0.0.1.42, there is OTA and the clock is updated over the air when synchronized with a smartphone. In the same section, you can turn off the clock, reboot or reset to the factory state.
What does the Amazfit app do?
The watch app is called Amazfit, although the regular Mi Fit can also be used as an alternative. By and large, they are similar and differ mainly in design, although there are some differences, mainly related to their own ecosystem. On the main screen, you see daily progress and heart rate data, and there is also data about the quality of the last sleep.
You can also view in detail the information about your workouts, for example, this is how the walk looks like, which I talked about just above. There are data and graphs about changes in speed, heart rate, altitude. In general, everything is more detailed than on the watch + the ability to see the track on the map, broken down by mileage.
Another example, data from a small run:
The application collects a large amount of statistical data that can be used for sports or a healthy lifestyle. Some data are entered manually, others are calculated by the application based on the readings. It is possible to work in conjunction with other devices of the Xiaomi ecosystem, for example, scales
In addition to sports functions, the watch copes well with the role of an assistant: notifications and screen calls, reminders, alarms, etc.
Everything is customizable to the smallest detail, since the functionality has been honed on previous models of watches and bracelets.
There are many official watch faces, even if you do not install third-party applications — there is plenty to choose from. The installation process is very simple.
In general, as I said, the application is very similar to Mi Fit and, accordingly, the main features in the application are the same.
You can also use the Notify & Fitness for Amazfit app, which has broader functionality and expands the capabilities of the watch. I’m thinking about the work of this application in conjunction with the clock, I will write a separate article.
The operating time from a single charge of hours is simply amazing. For 2 months of use, I managed to charge them twice and now the third cycle is in progress. Before each cycle, I slightly change the settings to find out how long they will work in one mode or another.
The first cycle : calls and notifications on the screen (viber, skype, telegram, sms, olkh, banking), high screen brightness, screen activation by gesture is enabled, automatic heart rate measurement during sleep for correct definitions of sleep phases, GPS did not use. In this mode, the clock worked for 28 days !
Second cycle: calls and notifications on the screen (viber, skype, telegram, sms, olkh, banking), high brightness of the screen, activation of the screen by means of a gesture enabled, automatic heart rate measurement 24/7 with a frequency of 1 time per minute, including at night, GPS did not use. In this mode, the clock worked for 18 days and there is still 13% left, that is, you can count on 20 days .
third cycle is now underway. Here I added the periodic use of GPS and it certainly consumes noticeably the charge, about 5% per hour of walking. That is, for continuous recording of a track, the battery will last about 20 hours, which is also very good.
By the way, the T-Rex is charged in less than a couple of hours.
Personal impressions and results
Let’s summarize. I’m sure there will be those who will say that this is not a watch, but an ordinary smart bracelet in a watch case. In part they will be right. At least, the main functions are the same as those of a regular smart bracelet. In terms of functionality, the watch does not differ very much from the same Mi Band 4. Only GPS has appeared. But on the other hand, here is the form factor of the watch, which means that they are. They are much more convenient than a bracelet, because they have a larger screen where more information can be placed. They are much more attractive in terms of customizing the watchfaces. They are stronger, more reliable and more durable. Are they worth the money? Well, let’s think about it: a good AMOLED screen, a sturdy body and 5 ATM water protection, built-in GPS and reference autonomy. All these are really very significant advantages, and therefore I safely recommend Amazfit T-Rex to those.