Huami through his AmazFit branded devices in the last year has certainly achieved memorable successes, attracting the interest of all lovers of wearable sports. The records obtained are given by the recent Bip model and from the first sport watch of the company known by many as Amazfit Pace, resulting in a truly complete device with a decidedly competitive price. And so when the company has proposed to the wide public a sequel renewed in design and functions offered, the community of fans began to stumble in the hope of putting a hand, or rather I would say wrist, on the new Huami AmazFit Sports Watch 2 better known also as AmazFit Stratos or Pace 2 that today we have the pleasure to review for all of you thanks to the sending of the sample provided by the store Gearbest.com.
The sales package has been reviewed with respect to the previous generation, aligning itself with the BIP packaging. White hardcover and minimal design in which we find naturally our AmazFit Stratos, a instruction manual in Chinese in which it is possible scan the QR Code for downloading the application through which communicate with the smartphone and the base for recharging charging with 4 magnetic pins. As I said during unboxing the scan of the QR Code unfortunately reports to Chinese servers that do not seem to work therefore you will have to search for the AmazFit Watch application on the net, but to facilitate you I leave below two buttons to download the most recent application that once installed on your smartphone will automatically be set to English or the application in Italian but not updated to the latest version and therefore does not carry all the features (application) such as the file manager and developed by the user @justerevenge. I recommend however to subscribe to the Telegram AmazFit channel click herewhere you will find the support of one all Italian community which boasts almost 2000 subscribers but also the latest releases of the AmazFit Watch application in Italian as well as all future news that will cover the gadget of Huami including soon the release of a ROM in Italian.
The first real news concerns the design that abandons more elegant and iconic lines to adopt a style that is more sporty but at the same time more functional thanks to three side physical buttons made of 316L marine steel that make the AmazFit Stratos look like a real watch and that they will allow us to move within the clock menus. The three keys are inserted into one 3D carbon fiber textured case where there is also a microphone that can be used for some voice commands but only in Chinese and via voice recording app.
In reality, the microphone at present is not active just like the first version of the Peace which, however, has recently received in an official way the possibility of exploiting the voice search as you can read on the Huami forum. On the back of the case we find the 4 magnetic connectors for charging, the sensor for detecting the heartbeat slightly raised for better data collection and indication WR 5ATM attesting precisely to the resistance to diving up to 5 atmospheres (50 meters depth) GB / T 30106-2013 / ISO 22810: 2010 standard.
The case bezel is made of hand-polished ceramic mixed with reinforced polycarbonate which encloses a ring with the second scale and the display covered with a glass with 2.5D curvature. Overall, the construction is very solid and durable despite a weight of only 60 grams, but compared to the previous generation I noticed a minor "hardness" of the glass display that unfortunately suffered a small scratch during a night of restless sleep. In a sense also the quick release rubber strap from 22 mm, very similar to the one seen on Peace, in my opinion it was worse. While maintaining the possibility of being replaced thanks to the two small pins for issuing from the cash desk, I did not appreciate the closure for the closure made of plastic but at the same time the poor breathability left to the skin that inevitably after long hours of wearability will be sweaty. The AmazFit Sports Watch 2 is also available in the most expensive version with a sapphire leather and glass strap, which could possibly erase the two negative notes I have reported.
Returning however to the design we conclude with the circular type display interrupted by a small section that conceals the brightness sensor. On the wrist ergonomics is good but definitely more cumbersome than the Peace and this could be a limit for those with a thin wrist. However, the design and materials of the AmazFit Stratos convince as they allow the sport watch to adapt in sporting contexts like in elegant ones.
The display is a unit from 1,34 inches with 320 resolution x 300 type pixels Transflective Always-On LCD. All this translates with one perfect visibility under the sunlight but equally good in low light conditions even if the automatic sensor is not always responsive, forcing us to act manually on the lighting level of the display (5 lighting levels are present). Furthermore the colors are definitely not at the level of conventional smartwatches, especially at certain angles, but this allows theoretically greater autonomy. However, the touchscreen is reactive also exploiting the function of the awakening of the display by double tap on it (or you can use the upper key).
One moves the Amazfit Sports Watch 2 Ingenic M200S processor with maximum clock frequency of 1.2 GHz 2015. 12 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory partly occupied by the operating system, so really available will only result in 2 GB, anyway useful for transferring music and listening to it via bluetooth headsets or installing any APK or new compatible watchfaces. An endowment that might seem poor but that actually allows our wearable gadget to perform all daily operations without problems.
Speaking Bluetooth the module inside the AmazFit Stratos is of type 4.0 Low-Energy, but we also find the WiFi b / g / n and a great one GPS / Glonass with Sony chip to 28 nm with low power consumption and there are various sensors like heart rate monitor, triaxial accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, brightness sensor and barometer. During the test I do not have never had connection problems getting notifications from many applications installed on the smartphoneOn the contrary, sometimes I could feel the vibration coming from the watch first and then the sound from the smartphone. Therefore really excellent notification management at least for what concerns the reception. To access notifications from the device you will need to swipe from the bottom up from the Home of which we could just have a visualization and not make answers. The notifications will be merged, but allowing the reading of the last notification belonging to the group in which it was inserted, but from the watch we could disable the reception by an app or delete it from the screen.
The GPS was more than good, perhaps a hair less rapid than other devices such as TicWatch, but once the satellite is hooked up, there are no problems whatsoever. The heart rate monitor has instead revealed a double soul, showing precise in the continuous monitoring of the beats while during an instantaneous measurement the returned value is decidedly in default. An added value is the ability to monitor Vo2Max as well as the possibility of using a cardio belt for more precise control of your activity.
All these functions naturally require a power that is given by one battery from 290 mAh that as stated by Huami should guarantee up to 5 days of autonomy (considering 30 minutes a day of activity and a reception of about 200 notifications, 35 hours of active GPS with constant monitoring of heart rate). In reality these values are really far away, because personally I managed to get 3 days at maximum usage without GPS (which basically consumes around the 10% / hour of battery) with over 200 daily notifications and brightness in automatic, continuous monitoring of heart rate and Bluetooth connection always active with the smartphone. Values that in spite of everything are not bad and that could improve with some extra attention such as activate the mode do not disturb at night or disable the Bluetooth connection when we do not need it (for example at night) etc .. The complete recharge using the supplied base it will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
But let's move on to the beating heart of the AmazFit Sports Watch 2, ie software that is currently available only in Chinese with the hope that soon some Italian developer will bring an interface in Italian on the device. However there are not many innovations at the firmware level respect the previous generation at least for what concerns the basic functions. We can scroll through the various menus by making side swipes or upwards or downwards according to the sub-menu in which we find ourselves. But we can also use the function keys that are very useful to control the AmazFit Stratos when we are in the water because the touchscreen would be unreactive. In particular, the upper and lower keys allow you to go forward (lower key) or back (upper key) in the menus while from the Home screen holding down the upper button you access the panel of quick toggles while with the lower one you access the notification curtain . Also from the Home screen if we press the central button, we quickly access the menu of sports activities. To unlock the AmazFit Stratos you can opt for a double tap on the display or use the top button. Finally, from each menu or submenu holding down the central button you automatically return to the Home.
The menus available are as follows:
1.Contapassi: here we will find the number of steps taken during the day while accessing the submenu, through the central button, we will have all the data collected by the sport watch concerning the pedometer function, ie calories, heartbeat but also sleep monitoring. Furthermore, it will also be possible to check the data of the previous days. The number of steps counted by our wearable is rather precise, returning values in line with what has actually been done.
2. Activity summary: through this menu we will have available the data collected during our sports sessions with specific statistics based on the type of activity performed, such as the detected heart rate, the GPS track tracked, the distance traveled, the calories etc ..
3.Attività: from this menu we could go to select the type of sport in which we are about to try, choosing between walking, running, cycling, swimming, swimming in open water, treadmill, spin bike, elliptical, mountaineering, running at high altitude and triathlon. Depending on the chosen activity, the GPS will be activated to calculate the distance traveled and the heart rate monitor to monitor the heartbeat.
4.Home: from here we find naturally information about the time and date but also percentage of battery and other information that may vary according to the chosen watchfaces. To change and choose a watchface among the 14 available we must press and hold on the display for about 2 seconds and scroll right or left until you confirm the chosen skin with a small tap. It is also possible to change the stock backgrounds with our images through the proprietary application: just click on the modified watchfaces click on the Chinese writing that appears at the bottom and select the loaded image.
5.Meteo: we will have at your disposal the weather situation for the next 5 days but we can also have more detailed information about the current day such as wind speed, humidity and UV. Really useful information for a runner / sportsman so you can plan your own sport session choosing also the most suitable type of clothing.
6.Frequency of the heart: from this screen we could measure our heart rate in real time, but also have at a glance the daily trend of our heartbeat. Furthermore, it is possible to visualize a sort of graph of the last 7 days relative to our average beating as well as the maximum and minimum value. The value returned from the "manual" measurement of heart rate can be enriched with contour data, such as indicating whether the measurement was performed in sleep mode or after exercise, indicating whether we feel tired, rested or sick but also indicate our mood. All this will contribute to providing a value related to Vo2Max.
7.Player music: as suggested by the name of the menu, through the connection of earphones or a bluetooth speaker we could listen to the music that we have previously inserted into our sport watch with the possibility of advancing or going back in respect to the music track being played.
8.Alipay: menu completely useless at our latitudes with which you can make payments through the QR Code provided by the AmazFit Stratos.
9.Sveglia: it is possible to set an alarm choosing also the frequency of this, for example setting it individually or according to the days of the week.
10.Bussola: nothing but the compass instrument, provided that there is still someone able to orientate with it, which will be activated by rotating the wrist.
11.Cronometro: through it we can monitor an activity with the possibility of pausing but also to fix save points up to an unknown number because I arrived up to 90 and I still had the possibility to insert others but the boredom took over. In any case, the function could be useful, for example, to take the times of a race of several athletes.
12.Monitoring of sleep: unmissable function that is always accurate on AmazFit devices, and also for the 2 Sports Watch, there is no exception. In fact, the device has always recorded in a meticulous manner my bedtime as well as my awakening returning values of deep sleep, light sleep and eventual awakenings.
13. Workout center / Circuits: I do not think I understood this menu very well. I think that the system every day provides a sort of suggestion about the sport to be performed such as jogging for about 2,5 km alternating phases with a more determined pace to the slower ones trying to keep the heart rate within a certain threshold.
14.Ximalaya FM: a sort of Chinese Spotify from which you can download songs through your smartphone and then transfer them to the AmazFit Stratos. Also in this case a completely useless menu in our latitudes.
15.Mi Home: personally I have not been able to test the operation that in any case is responsible for the possibility of controlling some of the equipment belonging to the Xiaomi / Mijia ecosystem.
16.Timer: we have preset countdown durations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 minutes or decide the duration.
Finally, from the Home screen, by swiping from bottom to top you can access the notification curtain mentioned above, but we add that The AmazFit Sports Watch 2 will also notify you of incoming calls, also showing the caller ID but offering only the possibility to silence the notification or better the vibration or to hook the call. In fact we have no possibility to answer neither to textual notifications nor to incoming calls. Finally the vibration is the only warning note for any sort of notification, whether it's an alarm or something else, as the device does not emit any kind of sound due to the absence of a speaker.
By swiping from top to bottom we access the Quick toggle screen where we have at a glance the status of connectivity with the smartphone of our device, percentage of remaining charge, date and weather but we can also activate the mode do not disturb, thus going to silence all eventual notifications. We can activate the airplane mode, set the brightness of the display on 5 levels or on automatic mode and finally enter the AmazFit settings where we could set some parameters such as those related to data synchronization, set the goal of daily steps, restart or turn off the sport watch, search for updates, have general device info and much more.
That said the application with which to synchronize our wearable gadget with the smartphone is the homonymous AmazFit Watch in Chinese version through which you can for example disable the useless menus like AliPay and Ximalaya Sound (actually they are moved to the end of the menus in a sort of additional menu that collects the "discarded" widgets), but you can also reverse the order of themselves. You can set the location of the weather, access the file manager with which to send the music directly to the AmazFit Stratos without having to necessarily connect to the PC but also send GPX tracks. Finally we can research and perform firmware updates as well as having all the data collected by our little sports assistant for a thorough analysis.
On balance the AmazFit Stratos Sports Watch 2 in my opinion it does not really offer important innovations such as to justify the update from Pace to this model. Surely the waterproof feature up to 50 meters is interesting but for example loses the excellent ergonomics and above all the strength and quality of the materials seen in the previous generation. Also at present the device is really immature, though I received 3 firmware updates (a sign that the company does not abandon its little technological jewel) to correct the various small bugs and improve software and hardware reactivity and stability. The price difference with the first generation is also very high, almost double, not justified because both the basic devices offer the same functions.
This does not mean that I do not recommend this productbut at the same time I do not even recommend it unless you are gods swimmers or simply look for a classic and sporty design at the same time or you are impatient to take you home a future best buy, because to define it we should wait for a translation in Italian and a definitive ROM that solves the small bugs listed on which our dear Nicola Sagliano he is already at work and we greet warmly. However, if you are one of those users who want to upgrade or are interested in buying, you can find the AmazFit Sports Watch 2 at the store Gearbest.com, which has always shown professionalism and seriousness in the shipping of this and other technological products.
Huami offers the evolution of wearable designed for athletes giving a design that can adapt even in elegant settings without giving up a technological soul. Unfortunately, the software currently in the Chinese language only places great restrictions at least until the Italian community will develop an ad hoc ROM for our latitudes. New features related to swimming thanks to waterproofness guaranteed up to 50 meters are a feature not to be underestimated but perhaps the price is still too high compared to the previous generation that offers the same basic functions with equal precision.
- BATTERY LIFE
- RELIABILITY IN MEASURING STEPS AND SLEEP
- IMPERMEABILITY UNTIL 5 ATM
- INTERCHANGEABLE STRAP
- SUPPORT COMPANY WITH RELEASE OF FREQUENT UPDATES
- SOFTWARE IN CHINESE LANGUAGE
- GLASS DISPLAY TOO FRAGILE
- LITTLE BREATHABILITY FROM THE CINTURINO