Huami through its AmazFit branded devices in the last year has certainly achieved memorable successes, arousing the interest of all lovers of sporting wearables. 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 offered the public a sequel renewed in design and in the 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 of reviewing for all of you thanks to sending 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 language in which it is possible scan the QR Code to download the application through which communicate with the smartphone and the base for recharging charging with 4 magnetic pins. As I said during the unboxing scan of the QR Code unfortunately returns to Chinese servers that seem not to work therefore you will need 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 the smartphone will automatically be set to English or the application in Italian but not updated to the latest version and therefore does not carry with it all the features (of the application) such as the file manager and developed by the user @justerevenge. I recommend however to subscribe to the Telegram AmazFit channel click here where you will find the support of one all Italian community which boasts almost 2000 members but also the latest releases of the AmazFit Watch application in Italian as well as all future news about the Huami gadget including 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 will allow us to move around the clock menus. The three keys are inserted into one polycarbonate case with carbon-fiber glass inserts.
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 lower "hardness" of the display glass that unfortunately suffered a slight scratch during a night of restless sleep. In a sense, even 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 like the plastic fastener but at the same time the scarce breathability left to the skin that inevitably will be sweaty after long hours of wearability. The AmazFit Sports Watch 2 is also available in the more expensive version with a leather strap and sapphire glass, which could perhaps reset the two negative notes I 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). Moreover the colors are definitely not at the level of conventional smartwatches, especially at certain angles, but this theoretically allows 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).
To move the Amazfit Sports Watch 2 takes care of one 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 smartphonein fact sometimes I could hear the vibration coming from the clock 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 it will be necessary 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 allowing, however, the reading of the last notification belonging to the group in which it was inserted but from the clock we could instead disable 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 supply 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 heart of the AmazFit Sports Watch 2, that is software that is currently available only in Chinese with the hope that soon some Italian developers 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 up or down the bottom depending on the submenu we are in. 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 very unresponsive. In particular, the upper and lower keys allow you to go forward (lower key) or backward (upper key) in the menus while from the Home screen, keeping the upper button pressed, you access the quick toggle panel while the lower one gives access to the notification drop-down . Also from the Home screen, if we press the central button, we quickly access the sports activities menu. To unlock the Stratos AmazFit you can opt for a double tap on the display or use the upper button. Finally, from every menu or submenu, keeping the central button pressed will 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 sporting activity in which we are going to try, choosing between walking, running, cycling, swimming, open water swimming, treadmill, spin bike, elliptical, mountaineering, high altitude running and triathlon. Depending on the activity selected, the GPS will be activated to calculate the distance traveled and the heart rate monitor to keep the heart rate under control.
4.Home: from here we naturally find information regarding the time and the date but also percentage of battery and other information that may vary according to the chosen watchface. To change and choose a watchface from the available 14 we have to hold down on the display for about 2 seconds and scroll right or left to confirm with a small tap the chosen skin. It is also possible to change stock backgrounds with our images through the proprietary application: just go over the modified watchfaces and click on the Chinese writing that appears at the bottom and select the image you have loaded.
5.Meteo: we will have available at a glance the weather situation for the next 5 days but we can also have more detailed information regarding the current day such as wind speed, humidity and UV. Really useful information for a runner / sportsman so that he can plan his sports session by choosing 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 progress of our heart rate. Moreover it is possible to visualize a sort of graph of the last 7 days relative to our average beat as well as the maximum and minimum value. The value returned by the "manual" heart rate measurement can be enriched with contour data, how to indicate if the measurement was made in rest mode or after a physical exercise, indicate if we feel tired, rested or sick but also indicate our mood. All this will help provide a value for the Vo2Max.
7.Player music: as the name of the menu suggests, through the connection of earphones or a bluetooth speaker we could listen to the music that we had previously inserted in our sport watch with the possibility of advancing or turning back with respect to the music track in execution.
8.Alipay: totally useless menu at our latitudes with which payments can be made 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, assuming that there is still someone able to orient themselves with it, which will be activated by rotating the wrist.
11.Cronometro: through it we can monitor an activity with the possibility to pause but also to set save points up to an unspecified number because I arrived up to 90 and I still had the possibility to insert others but the boredom has taken over. However the function could be useful for example to take the time of a run of more 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 don't think I understood this menu very well. I think that the system every day provides a sort of suggestion about the sporting activity to be carried out, such as jogging for about 2,5 km, alternating more decisive steps with slower ones, trying to keep the heart rate within a certain threshold.
14.Ximalaya FM: a sort of Chinese Spotify from which to download songs through the smartphone and then transfer them to the AmazFit Stratos. Also in this case a completely useless menu at our latitudes.
15.Mi Home: personally I could not test the operation that is in any case 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 drop-down that we talked about earlier, but let's add that the AmazFit Sports Watch 2 will also notify you of incoming calls including 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 vibration is the only warning note for all sorts of notifications, be it an alarm or something else, as the device does not emit any type of sound due to the absence of a speaker.
Performing a swipe from top to bottom, we instead access the Quick toggle screen where we have at a glance the state of connectivity with our device's smartphone, percentage of remaining charge, date and weather, but we can also activate the "do not disturb" mode, thus silencing all 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 daily steps target, restart or turn off the sport watch, search for updates, get the general info of the device and much more.
That said the application with which to sync our wearable gadget with the smartphone is the homonymous AmazFit Watch in Chinese version through which you can for example disable useless menus like AliPay and Ximalaya Sound (in reality 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 the themselves. You can set the weather location, access the file manager with which to send the music directly to the AmazFit Stratos without necessarily connecting it 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 an in-depth analysis.
On balance the AmazFit Stratos Sports Watch 2 in my opinion it does not really offer important innovations that justify the update from Pace to this model. Surely the waterproof feature up to 50 meters is interesting but loses for example 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 small technological jewel) capable of correcting various small bugs and improving software and hardware responsiveness and stability. The price difference with the first generation is also really high, almost double, not justified since 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 is already at work and we greet warmly. However if you are among 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