Why Xiaomi Amazfit Sport Smartwatch (aka Pace or Watch) is both the worst and the best smartwatch in the world.
Review of Original Amazfit Pace Smartwatch Amazfit Smart Watch Bluetooth Notification GPS Information Push Heart Rate Monitor for Android
The Amazfit brand is considered to be “associated” with Xiaomi — they are produced by Huami, which collaborates with the “Chinese Apple”. According to representatives of the company and analysts, Amazfit Watch was developed by order of Xiaomi and is distributed to it. I can say for sure that the latter is true, at least in Xiaomi offline stores in Shenzhen these watches are.
This is not my first acquaintance with the Amazfit watch — I have already reviewed their Chinese version. The fact is that the watch is available in two versions — Amazfit Watch for the Asian market (only Chinese interface language, support for Xiaomi Mi Fit and its own Mi Dong application) and Amazfit Pace (English interface language, synchronization). They have several very significant differences, moreover, the manufacturer claims that the watches differ “in hardware” (although, in fact, this is not the case). But first, let’s take a look at the watch itself.
The Amazfit Pace looks just fine. They have a shiny ceramic bezel, and the screen is covered with Gorilla Glass. You can be sure not to scratch them, unless you put extra effort into it.
The watch has a silicone strap with a large number of holes, the default one is suitable both for fixing the device on a chicken foot and on a log, in general, any hand size will do.
If anything, the straps can be removed and others put on. I haven’t found anything interesting on sale yet, but I’m looking.
And all because the mount here is standard, 22mm. The watch has a heart rate sensor that works on the light. For blacks, the accuracy will not be very high, for a white person it will do, of course, for fitness use and not for a professional one (there are only chest straps, they can boast excellent accuracy at a low price).
There are no holes in the watch, they are waterproof. Therefore, a cradle is used for charging. It is not needed very often, so it does not bother much.
The delivery set is simple — watch, cradle, cable for recharging.
There is one button for control, otherwise the clock is controlled by swipes. They are very comfortable to wear, despite the fact that they are not massive. Before that, for 15 years I did not have hours all the time — everyone pissed off. The Amazfit Pace does not have this.
Nothing clings to the hair, if you don’t tighten it too tightly, then you get used to it and you practically don’t feel it on your hand.
Characteristics and main feature
The characteristics themselves are pretty common for a smartwatch.
- CPU: Ingenic M200 (2 cores, 1.2 GHz)
- RAM: 512 MB
- ROM: eMMC 4GB
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- OS: Proprietary add-on over Android
- Sensors: GPS, heart rate sensor
- Battery: 200mAh, claimed up to 5 days of operation in normal mode or about 30 hours with GPS turned on
- Display: transflective, 1.34 inches with a resolution of 300 × 300
Of the interesting things here — a large amount of memory, as well as a new processor, which many call “the best for smart watches today.”
Rom is a sufficient amount to keep an impressive music collection in hours, but it doesn’t take longer, not to watch movies from there. 4.0 Bluetooth is very good (of course, if your phone supports it), my watch was connected to a smartphone from any room.
The coolest feature of the watch is the trans — reflective display . Do not believe those who say in reviews that the watch is dull. Everything is visible in the bright sun, the backlight turns on in the dark and everything is also visible. Yes, of course, the device does not blaze a display like Orodruin amoled.
At the same time, the display is always on, and the backlight turns on at the moment when it is dark around and you raise your hand. This is approximately how the display on the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 works, it suits me.
What the clock can do
But let’s briefly go over the capabilities of a smartwatch, since I now have an English version. So, we have a main screen on which you can “pull” different watchfaces.
The watch is able to constantly monitor and record heart rate. True, as they say, this drains the battery a lot. My watch survives 3–4 days in this mode, I think it’s not bad.
The watch has an alarm clock setting (normal, not smart), and it can also show the weather.
The watch is excellent, just superbly shows notifications — calls, SMS. There is also a place to read messages from social networks. Which applications will show notifications — you can adjust. There are no problems with the Russian language in the notifications neither in the Chinese, nor in the English, nor in the Chinese version. Whoever has a “falling off” watch — just remove the watch application from auto-upload (in the list of all applications, click on the “lock”).
It is important that the watch also has a “quiet” mode, which can be turned on forcibly, or on a schedule.
Of the convenient additional features — “Tap to Wake” is supported, and you can also listen to music from the internal memory (of course, the watch does not have a headphone jack via Bluetooth).
Another useful feature is a compass and a stopwatch. They work great, but, probably, few people need it 🙂
The sports mode is also good — we select an activity, start a workout, and the watch itself records the GPS track and plays the selected music to us. That is, you don’t need to carry your phone with you, hurray.
Show workouts, calories, you can carefully study when what workout was and how it went, how stable the pace was, whether you fell out of the go zone, you can roughly look at the track.
You can sync workouts with Strava (manually), from there to Google Fit, then everywhere.
In general, it would seem that everything is fine. But. But! Attention.
The most horror
The attentive reader is probably already all impatient, trying to understand why I called the article that way? Everything, in fact, is very simple, and if you have dealt with any Xiaomi products, you can probably guess what the matter is. In any Xiaomi smart technology, there are two options — cropped, and Chinese. The Xiaomi smart socket (I will tell you about it soon) in the English version does not want to count the electricity consumption. Smart switch — work with smart light bulb. Etc.
But the Amazfit Pace watch in the English version does not know how to synchronize normally with a computer and a phone. Because the “synchronization” that is declared is, forgive me, to the chickens to laugh. All we can do is manually upload what we ran back to Strava. Strava is a great app, I switched to it from Runtastic and I don’t regret it in the least, although I’m not going to buy a premium. But it only has training. But the watch collects so much useful information!
For example, the watch contains information about sleep. But somehow I can’t look at her! Only poke on a small screen, tormented with swipes. And if I want to deduce the average duration of sleep, or those days in which I slept more, then, of course, I cannot do this.
At the same time, note that the Chinese version, which is synchronized with MiFit and with MiDong, allows you to normally upload data on heart rate and sleep statistics.
In fact, standing on your head, you can force the watch to upload sleep and heart rate data to MiFit. To do this, you must first download the old Chinese version of the Amazfit Watch app. Reset the clock (losing all information), and link the English clock to the Chinese application. Then, in this Chinese application, you need to link the watch to MiFit, and only then update the Amazfit Watch application from the Google Play Market. And then (all of a sudden) the export to MiFit will work as well as to Strava! What is it, huh? Moreover, there is no guarantee that it will work after the update.
Let’s go further. For example, in the Chinese version, mileage is measured in kilometers. Okay, there still weight is measured in jin (half a kilo), but it’s not so difficult to multiply your weight by two when you first enter it. But in the American version it is … miles away, of course! Every time you have to think, multiply by 1.8. And also — divide by 1.8, too, you need to quickly to understand, the pace of 10 minutes per mile, is it like a lot or a little? Cool, isn’t it?
Moreover, here in the “weather” application you can choose — Fahrenheit, or Celsius (thanks!).
No, of course, users have found here how to wriggle out. Run adb, and … Well, read on here on XDA-Developers. Beauty! What prevented the ability to measure mileage in kilometers for the American version, despite the fact that this opportunity is already in the program in the Chinese version, which, moreover, works with English?
Also, for example, the English version does not support cycling. You are welcome to run and walk, but no export of a bicycle. Why? Who banned it? Okay, I could understand why the bike is not in the Chinese version — MiFit does not support such training.
But there is MiDong, an app from Huami that has these same cycling workouts. That is, to pervert and make two programs in order to fill in different workouts in the Chinese version — please. Record both workouts and upload them to Amazfit, which supports this activity — no way! How so Huami?
If you read the Huami Amazfit threads on XDA-Developer, you will see there competitions in perverted atosadomasochistic acrobatics with version juggling, script editing, and other heresy. With a certain amount of luck, the watch can be made to sync with both MiFit and Amazfit, and if you apply a certain self-written track, then you can even export the data to Endomondo.
Of course, the point is not that you cannot do without these opportunities. But damn it, it’s insulting! The manufacturing company feeds breakfast and promises that yes, there will definitely be bike support. Yes, you can normally export data to other programs. But when will it be?
And be that as it may …
Aspirations for unrealized opportunities aside, the Amazfit Pace is just a great watch. They regularly send notifications, moreover, with data from a notebook. They look great — aggressive with a silicone strap, and if replaced with another, they will look strict. The materials from which the watch is made are simply excellent. I wore them almost without taking off for a month, and they did not have a single tiny scratch. And this despite the fact that I am always like an elephant in a china shop, touching corners and doorframes.
All this can be listed endlessly. But, in my opinion, the most important thing here is, of course, the transreflective display, which is constantly active and perfectly visible in the light. This, coupled with its long battery life, makes the watch a truly unique proposition for its price.
One more thing. I am now looking at the active pace of development for Amazfit Watch / Pace. There is a boil in the forum threads — people really fell in love with this elegant watch, and shreds their protection. A great variety of applications have been released for Xiaomi Mi Band that expand their functionality. It looks like the same fate awaits the Amazfit Watch / Pace. Moreover, there is great hope for this — the Ingenic company literally in the middle of January opened the OS kernel for its processor . So while I train using this particular watch, I hope that someday I will be able to fully pull out the data on both training and sleep.
Oh, yes, and a smart alarm clock, of course, would not hurt.
That’s all, happy shopping!