The Amazfit brand, a subsidiary of Xiaomi, is starting to have a very complete catalog of connected watches dedicated to sport. The Amazfit T Rex model is a little apart, standing out with several military certifications supposed to ensure its solidity. But is this enough in the face of the fierce competition that reigns at this price point?
Every year, at least two or three new Amazfit smartwatches are born. A frantic pace of release for this brand that is still young, but which seems to want to establish itself in the market for connected objects.
The T-Rex wants to be as imposing as the prehistoric animal from which it takes its name. A marketing choice that comes out of the ruts, reinforced connected watches are not legion in the mid-range. It remains to be seen if the rest are up to the task, as the 2018 Verge turned out to be rather mixed in our previous test.
Marketed at 159 €, the Amazfit T-Rex must also face serious competitors such as the Huawei Watch GT2e or the Polar Ignite which are also aimed at avid athletes. The confrontation is going to be tough!
- Amazfit T-Rex Smartwatch, Military Standard Certified, Tough Body, GPS, 20-Day Battery Life, 1.3'' AMOLED Display, Water Resistant, 14-Sports Modes, Rock Black
- Amazfit T-Rex: technical specifications
- Design and construction
- Screens and display
- Operating system: heavily modified Android
- Amazfit app: new look, same flaws
- Sports functions: the essential is there
- Connected functions: the great void
- Autonomy – Amazfit T-REX
- Amazfit T-Rex Price and conclusions
Amazfit T-Rex Smartwatch, Military Standard Certified, Tough Body, GPS, 20-Day Battery Life, 1.3'' AMOLED Display, Water Resistant, 14-Sports Modes, Rock Black
- MILITARY STANDARD & 1.3” AMOLED DISPLAY -- A military standard smartwatch with 12 military certifications, enhancing the robustness and resistance to harsh environments. Boasting a 1.3” AMOLED color screen with an always-on display, making important information available simply by raising your wrist.
- ULTRA-LONG BATTERY LIFE -- A deep power optimization gives the Amazfit T-Rex watch a 20-day ultra-long battery life on a single charge. Stays with the user over the long haul, allowing you to wear it without worry and never think about charging.
- HIGH-PRECISION GPS -- T-Rex smartwatch uses a high-end Sony GPS chip and built-in highly precise dual-satellite positioning system. Signal efficiency has been significantly increased, making satellite search faster and positioning more accurate.
- A Good Sports Companion -- This fitness watch has 14 built-in professional sports modes and is rated waterproof to 5ATM (50 Meters). You can wear it while swimming in pools and open water to meet the diverse needs of athletes.
- Focus On Your Health -- The smartwatch is equipped with Huami's self-developed BioTracker PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor, which performs 24-hours high-precision heart rate monitoring. The watch also issues reminders to stand up, which encourage you to develop healthy habits and become your best self.
Amazfit T-Rex: technical specifications
Myself, owner of watches from the Chinese brand, I must admit that the latest productions are often very close to each other in terms of technical characteristics. The T-Rex stands out, however, with its hardened shell designed to endure the harshest conditions.
As for the characteristics, they are very classic as you can see below:
1.3 ”AMOLED touchscreen – 360 x 360 px – Gorilla Glass 3
Heart rate sensor
GPS and GLONASS
Water resistant 5 ATM
MIL-STD 810G certification
390 mAh battery
Dimensions: 47.7 x 47.7 x 13.5 mm for 58 grams
Android based home OS
We remain in the standard of current sports connected watches. The Amazfit T-Rex does however make concessions on the features: no Wi-Fi, no NFC, no SPO2 sensor, no internal storage for music, no microphone, proprietary bracelets … the same price, the Huawei Watch GT2e is much more complete. Even the old Stratos from 2018 is fuller.
The manufacturer made drastic compromises to maintain the best possible value for money. But what you lose in functionality you gain in strength, the T-Rex being very robust. A choice that ultimately seems relevant in a world where the slightest shock endangers the proper functioning of our trusty smartwatches.
Compatibility level, the Chinese reinforced watch can work with smartphones running Android 5.0 and iOS 10 or more. For this test, we went on a Xiaomi Pocophone F1 running Android 10.
Design and construction
Considering its decidedly large dimensions, the design of the Amazfit T-REX is one of those who hate or love each other. This is clearly a predominantly masculine design and with which little attention has been paid to optimizing spaces, but it should be remembered that this is a rugged smartwatch, and for that l he aesthetic aspect of the T-REX is more than suited to its category.
But even if the dimensions are what they are, it must be admitted that Amazfit did a great job with the T-REX, which with its 58 grams Its weight is decidedly comfortable on the wrist also thanks to its structure entirely in reinforced plastic , which guarantees resistance and extreme lightness and the possibility of being submerged to a depth of 50 meters.
There are four metal keys on the side with which it will be possible to interact with all the elements of the software, among which we find those on the left that allow you to scroll through the menu without having to touch the screen: the solution is not bad, especially bearing in mind that this smarwatch was made to be used in extreme situations or in water, where the touchscreen is difficult to use. Very well.
Even the dial is completely plastic (with a polimeter designed to withstand all weather conditions) and while the first impact might be to use a decidedly inexpensive product, the ability to wear the smartwatch without worrying too much about the weather. shocks, scratches and drops overshadow this detail.
Screens and display
It is true, however, that the polimeter that protects the screen tends to make you lose that sense of quality that the fantastic panel should convey AMOLED used in T-REX, a 1.3-inch diagonal circular panel with 360 resolution. X 360 pixels, which ensures excellent brightness outdoors and supports automatic activation through wrist rotation capable of operating fairly precisely, although I would have preferred it to be faster.
Considering the technology used in the panel, always-on display mode is supported, characterized by a decidedly spartan graphical interface and which, I say, has nothing to do with the available dials: whatever the dial it is chosen to use, when the always active is active, only two interfaces will be displayed, one digital and one analog, much less refined. In short, the flaw in the details of the always on finally led me to decide to deactivate this feature in favor of the always on screen, which however drains the battery in a much more obvious way.
Operating system: heavily modified Android
Like many of its competitors, Amazfit uses a home interface. Although based on Android, it has nothing to do with WearOS, the system for connected watches from Google.
For the T-Rex, the Xiaomi subsidiary is changing a lot of things in the operation of its interface. To be honest, the more time goes by, the more Amazfit gets to the point … It’s not as light logically speaking as the Polar Ignite, but it’s pretty close.
From now on, navigation between the various dials is done from top to bottom and more from right to left. As always, the main screen is the one dedicated to the time. The T-Rex offers two basic watchfaces, one digital and one analog. About 20 more can be downloaded from the app, but only one dial is registered on the watch at a time. A small regression knowing that on the previous watches of the brand we could store several.
Swipe down to access the settings panel. It takes the basic shortcuts:
Energy saving mode
Do Not Disturb Mode
Lock the screen
You can also see the weather forecast, the battery level and the date in US format. And no, after all these years European users still do not have access to data in their region’s format …
Always sliding up or down, you arrive on the dial dedicated to the heart rate. It displays your current calculated pace every minute and the intensity zone. By pressing it, you access the graph of the readings of the day, as well as the percentage spent in each zone: light, intensive, aerobic, anaerobic and VO2Max. We get to the essentials without having to open the application.
The last dial shows your data for the day, in particular the number of steps. It also gives you an estimate of the distance traveled and calories burned. With a press, you can also access a graph giving a general idea of the progress over the current week. Don’t expect something very detailed, you have to use the app for that.
Connected watch requires, we have some utility applications accessible with a swipe to the left. There is a jumble of a compass, an alarm, a stopwatch or even the weather forecast. Nothing very exciting, if necessary you can remove from the application the apps that are of no use to you. It should also be noted that the weather part, although it is quite complete, is still as capricious as on previous productions of the brand.
Further parameters are also accessible in the list. It is through them that you can adjust the screen time, activate AoD mode or choose which application to launch with the button at the top right. It is clear that the parameters proposed have been reduced this year. Amazfit seems to want to make the use of its watches as easy as possible. It must be said that the lack of Wi-Fi or music storage quickly limits usage. Even pre-designed training programs are taking their reverence …
To end this roundup, let’s review the notification system. Nothing new on this side, we are sticking to something very basic. You can technically display any type of notification on the watch, whether it’s text messages, emails, or whatever. But under no circumstances will you be able to reply with pre-programmed messages or even reply with a hypothetical virtual keyboard. The T-Rex does like all Amazfit watches: it just serves to display notifications, period.
And the buttons in all of this? They can replace the touchscreen in almost all cases. Those to the left of the box scroll the screens from top to bottom. The other two are used to navigate forward or backward in the menus. A long press on the button at the top right activates the shortcut to your favorite application, programmed by default for launching an activity. In use, the touch screen is faster and more precise. In addition, it is not possible to open the list of applications through the buttons. However, we imagine that in bad weather conditions such as in pouring rain, these physical buttons must be practical to navigate through the interface without too much hair pulling.
To conclude, the change in look of the Amazfit home interface also brings a change in philosophy. It seems that the Asian brand is always aiming for more simplicity. In absolute terms, it works well, the T-Rex is very easy to use. But it feels more like a big activity tracker on your wrist than a real smartwatch packed with functionality. It’s quite a shame …
Amazfit app: new look, same flaws
In the time that I have been using Amazfit products, I have rarely seen so many changes in an Android application. It seems like every six months there is a big graphic overhaul. The brand seems to be struggling to find a true identity and keep it …
From the all-white look of a few months ago, we are moving to a dark interface enhanced with bright colors, a bit like Garmin.
The main menu displays your steps for the day, calories burned and time asleep in a semi-circle. Below, you have several graphs such as the heart rate, the sleep score with the various phases or the number of consecutive days when you have fulfilled your goals.
We also observe the appearance of a new data item called PAI. It’s sort of the equivalent of cardio points at Google Fit, but here they are much more difficult to accumulate. The goal is to get active every day to increase this score. Depending on your successes, it will adapt to motivate you to always try harder.
The rest of the application is dedicated to managing the connected watch. We quickly notice redundancies between the various menus. We have thus counted no less than three ways to change dials or adjust notifications. The Android application becomes unnecessarily complex, going the opposite of what is offered on the T-Rex. Add to that the often hazardous translations and you have an app that still has a lot of progress to make to stand out …
Sports functions: the essential is there
Sports connected watch requires, the Amazfit T-Rex tries to cover a wide range of physical activities. There are no less than thirteen directly accessible from the Asian tocante:
Open water swimming
For each activity, the metrics recorded are more or less the same: heart rate, duration, calories burned, VO2Max … The GPS makes it possible to obtain the speed or the altitude if necessary. Strangely, only walking shows a heart rate chart. For water activities, the screen locks automatically. You must then use the buttons to navigate within the data dials.
The overall precision remains satisfactory. The heart rate calculation seems to hold water and closely follows variations during activities. On the other hand, we had some random cuts in the GPS signal. This only happened in one exercise, so nothing too bad. Overall, the tracking performs well enough for anyone looking for a small sport watch that gets to the point. It’s just a shame to note the lack of an SPO2 sensor, something that is becoming more and more common in the mid-range. Note also the absence of a counter for the floors climbed.
Now let’s take a look at sleep tracking. While not comfortable to wear overnight, the Amazfit T-Rex does a good job when it comes to monitoring the quality of sleep. She is able to correctly detect when to sleep and wake up. During my tests, I had a few restless nights with nocturnal awakenings. These were spotted each time. The watch spotted my chronic tendency to lack deep sleep. Some advice is therefore given in order to improve things.
In the end, the Amazfit T-Rex makes a good health companion given its price. It does not innovate in anything, but does well in health monitoring. What more could you ask for at this price?
Connected functions: the great void
We already talked about this earlier in this review, but let’s go into more detail about the so-called “smart” capabilities of the Amazfit T-Rex. If you are looking for a companion of the same ilk as the Apple Watch and company, then go your way.
The T-Rex is the most minimalist thing. Due to the lack of a speaker and microphone, she cannot benefit from the services of an Alexa-type intelligent assistant. For these kinds of functions, you have to look at the Amazfit Verge.
Also forget the idea of using wireless headphones like the Sony WF-1000XM3: the Chinese watch does not have any internal memory on board to store music. The best she can do is control what is playing on the smartphone. To do this, you have to launch your songs on Tidal, Qobuz or other, then open the Music application of the watch. If the T-Rex’s screen goes blank, you must re-open the application by browsing through the list. We have already seen more practical …
In terms of notifications, it’s just as simplistic. You will only be able to read what is happening. Sometimes the name of the issuing application is not even listed. It is also impossible to reply to text messages or emails. Deleting a notification on the watch does not erase it from the smartphone either. In short, other than reading a message quickly, you won’t be doing anything else with your notifications.
Closed system requires, the Amazfit T-Rex suffers from the same drawback as many of its mid-range counterparts: the inability to add applications from a dedicated store. So you have to be content with what’s on the watch, that’s all. As for the dials, there are about twenty in the app. If necessary, unofficial dials are available on the net. It’s better than nothing.
You will understand, the “smart” part of the T-Rex is clearly not the most developed. Unfortunately, this is symptomatic of most entry and mid-range watches in the market today …
Autonomy – Amazfit T-REX
The 390 mAh battery dell ‘Amazfit T-REX it should guarantee about 20 days of autonomy, at least according to what the company has said. In reality, however, in our testing we managed to achieve a maximum of a few weeks of use on a single charge, which came down to around 7 days by diligently using GPS for some workouts or deciding to keep the screen always active.
If necessary, the low power mode cuts the connections to keep only a black and white display, as well as the step counter and the sleep tracker. In this scenario, the brand promises us an autonomy of up to 30 days. Not bad !
On the charging side, Amazfit seems to have learned from the mistakes made with the horrible dock of its Verge model. This brings us back to a magnetic base that is easier to use. Once plugged in, it takes two hours to charge the T-Rex. A classic time in the field of connected watches.
Amazfit T-Rex Price and conclusions
The Amazfit T-REX it is sold at the official price of $139, a very interesting figure and already lower than what the GTR had at the time of launch. Of course, given its design, this is a smartwatch that does not suit everyone, yet absolutely does not disappoint expectations and guarantees more than convincing battery life and software that although very simple, is still very responsive.
The only flaw is still the handling of notifications and the fact that those from Amazfit underestimated the importance of the graphic aspect of the always present, but if you are in love with old G-Shock and like the possibility of being able to l use practically anywhere and in any situation, Amazfit t-rex is the right model: it is ultra resistant, complete, has an excellent display and a long battery life.The smartwatch suffers not only from external competition like the Huawei Watch GT2e, but also from its own internal competition.
The Amazfit T-Rex is not a watch for everyone. Less complete than its counterparts from the same brand, it stands out with its reinforced hull capable of withstanding the worst turpitudes.
We recommend it above all for its strength and excellent autonomy. At this price point, it will be hard to find such a durable smartwatch.