Zepp Well being (previously Huami) launched its first rugged smartwatch – the Amazfit T-Rex – again at CES 2020; one 12 months on and a successor – within the T-Rex Professional – emerges; providing refined enhancements on the identical acquainted ‘powerful watch’ recipe.
At a look, you might need a tough time telling the Professional aside from its predecessor however its creators have targeted on delivering a well timed (no pun supposed) follow-up that gives extra of what is anticipated from the present wearable market, while additionally doubling down on traits that assist the T-Rex line stand out from the gang.
Design and construct
If you happen to’ve seen the unique T-Rex, you’ve got seen the T-Rex Professional; harking back to Casio’s G-Shock watches, it is filled with angles and ridges. Being manufactured from polycarbonate, the Professional could really feel a bit toy-like, in comparison with some rivals on the market, however in the event you’re a fan of this basic ‘powerful tech’ aesthetic, the T-Rex Professional suits the invoice.
Regardless of its deliberately cumbersome look, it is really a surprisingly light-weight timepiece (clocking in at 59.four grams, together with the strap) – whether or not that is a professional or a con could also be extra a matter of non-public desire than a practical benefit/drawback.
This robust-looking design is not only for present, although; the T-Rex Professional has undergone the identical MIL-STD-810G testing as its predecessor and truly surpasses it, with a complete of 15 certifications (up from 12); masking every part from temperature and humidity extremes, to shock and water resistance.
The truth is, one of many huge upgrades is 10ATM swim proofing – double that of the unique T-Rex (and nearly all of the market’s greatest smartwatches, for that matter), that means it approaches diving watch territory and will doubtless stand up to being worn within the sea (though really diving all the way down to 100m nonetheless is not really helpful).
4 textured metallic buttons (two on both sides of the casing) stick out simply sufficient that they are simple to really feel out with out having to look however do not protrude a lot that they’re going to catch on something throughout basic put on. As such, operation whereas sporting gloves is comparatively simple, in comparison with smartwatches that extra closely depend on contact interplay.
The unique T-Rex got here equipped with a disconcertingly stretchy and versatile non-removable silicone strap and whereas the Professional’s 22mm band nonetheless comes fused to the watch’s physique by design, the mix of the fabric used feels way more inflexible and harder-wearing, to not point out it sports activities a two-tone impact that units itself aside this time round.
There’s nonetheless sufficient flex that your wrist looks like it could possibly transfer freely throughout use, whereas the tang-buckled strap – with its single tongued loop – ensures the T-Rex Professional stays firmly and comfortably out of the best way but in addition securely in place.
The Professional is available in three colourways (two fewer than its predecessor): Meteorite Black (pictured) – which incorporates a ‘metallic sprayed gunmetal bezel, Desert Gray (a heat gray that verges on beige) and Metal Blue – which manifests as a darkish teal.
In addition to a well-recognized design, the Professional mannequin additionally depends on what appears to be like like the identical 1.3in round AMOLED display as the unique T-Rex. As such, it is pleasingly vibrant, with good distinction and spectacular sharpness, as earlier than – facilitated by a decision of 360 x 360 pixels.
Brightness can be enough – even in direct daylight – so it is simple to look at comfortably in all situations. There’s additionally auto-brightness adjustment and a handbook slider, that is accessible from the watch’s fast settings – a swipe down out of your chosen watch face.
One refined change is the shift from Gorilla Glass three on the unique T-Rex to tempered glass on the Professional. On the floor, this looks as if a downgrade, nonetheless, with out figuring out extra concerning the make-up of the brand new glass the Amazfit crew has opted for right here, it is onerous to say for certain.
In the course of the prolonged testing of the watch, the Professional’s cowl glass has confirmed impressively resilient, standing as much as knocks and scrapes throughout a number of weeks with none noticeable lasting injury, which suggests it is on a par with its predecessor’s protecting measures (or could even surpass them), at the least almost about scratch resistance.
One pleasing aesthetic change comes with the non-obligatory always-on show; beforehand restricted to both a single analogue or a digital watch face, customers now have the choice to make use of a design that compliments their chosen default watch face; that means the number of always-on faces is simply actually restricted by the full variety of customary faces the Professional helps.
It is a good factor too, as even when set to ‘delicate’ the response pace when lifting your wrist to verify the time feels painfully gradual.
The watch comes with 5 pre-loaded faces out the field – a few of which help customisable issues tied to first-party metrics logged by the Professional – whereas the companion Zepp app (for Android and iOS) expands the full variety of selections (on the time of writing) to 35, with really helpful faces determined upon relative to the Amazfit watch you could have paired.
Software program and options
The Professional’s proprietary consumer expertise is not significantly wealthy, however it’s clear, practical and straightforward to navigate.
As already talked about, a swipe down (or urgent the ‘Up’ button) grants entry to fast settings; like brightness controls, Discover My Telephone (which rings your related smartphone), a torch (which turns the display white) and theatre mode. A swipe up (or the ‘Down’ button) reveals a customisable overview that homes widgets regarding every part from real-time climate to steps and exercise targets.
Urgent ‘Choose’ when on the principle watch faces acts as a shortcut button for a selected motion; set to exercises by default, whereas the ‘again’ button brings up the complete apps menu, the order of which may be customised from the Zepp smartphone app (which additionally helps you to conceal undesirable entries from the checklist altogether).
If enabled, notifications are additionally accessible by swiping proper from the principle watch face, nonetheless, there’s little you are able to do with them past studying them on-watch, whereas the best way the textual content codecs generally endures unusual line breaks that make them less-than-glanceable.
Past health options, the T-Rex Professional’s set of abilities is assorted, nonetheless, practically all include caveats. You will discover handy instruments like distant music management (though it solely works on tracks saved regionally in your smartphone), an occasions app (however one that may solely checklist occasions manually entered into the Zepp companion app, i.e. it could possibly’t synchronise with energetic companies like Google Calendar) and an alarms app (that is vibrate-only, because the Professional lacks a speaker [or microphone, for that matter]).
Efficiency and health
Out the gate, health followers will admire the expanded array of supported exercise modes; rising from simply 14 on the authentic T-Rex’s launch, to over 100 with the arrival of the T-Rex Professional.
Workout routines are grouped by color inside the watch’s exercise menu and canopy every part from strolling and mountaineering, to biking, open water swimming, browsing, power coaching, tai chi, archery and even driving(?).
The Professional additionally stands aside from its namesake with a bunch of latest sensors; extra sturdy location monitoring (due to help from an expanded 4 world positioning methods), a barometric altimeter – offering air stress and elevation knowledge (helpful for numerous actions, together with stair climbing), alongside blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring – supreme for evaluating the physique’s efficiency and restoration.
Its wellbeing options prolong to devoted coronary heart charge, SpO2 and stress monitoring apps on-watch, in addition to sleep monitoring, which is greatest considered within the Zepp smartphone app. Your sleep exercise is given an general rating, with every evening’s sleep being damaged down into differing states, paired with knowledge on ‘sleep respiratory high quality’ and proportions of sunshine and deep sleep.
Whereas a bit nebulous at first look – alongside an enormous wealth of stats and knowledge factors you could drill down into, relative to the train in query – the Professional’s major health metric is one thing referred to as PAI (Private Exercise Intelligence). Based on the corporate that created it, it is a measurement primarily based on the “coronary heart well being impression of bodily exercise.”
The Zepp app suggests aiming for a PAI rating of 100 by the top of a seven-day interval (at which level it resets). In apply, I used to be constantly reaching between 70s and 80s by the top of every week; understanding for roughly 30 to 50 minutes, 3 times every week.
The algorithm behind PAI is designed to regulate dynamically as your health improves, so with out longer-term testing, it is onerous to gauge whether or not PAI is just a demanding metric that I used to be unable to succeed in goal on, or the algorithm hadn’t but hit its stride relative to my health means. That stated, it nonetheless serves as a helpful catch-all indicator of day by day and weekly health progress and if you wish to glean better perception, then between the watch and the Zepp app, these further metrics are there too.
When it comes to performance, there isn’t any query that Zepp has managed to create a tracker – and by extension an ecosystem – that gives the extent of perception wanted by health followers who worth ‘the quantified self’; these prone to think about tailored wearables from rivals like Polar and Garmin.
The principle problem with Zepp’s strategy is that – just like the occasions app and the biometric knowledge you possibly can enter to raised inform the watch’s monitoring – most (if not all) of the info acquired by the T-Rex Professional stays locked inside its personal walled backyard. Third-party companies may be related, however at evaluation, solely Google Match, Strava, WeChat and Relive supplied any such compatibility.
Contemplating each it and its predecessor share in the identical 390mAh battery capability, Zepp has countered the advantages of the Professional mannequin’s further sensors and performance by lowering its quoted battery life by a few days (from 20 all the way down to 18).
As is acutely true within the wearable area (the place each milliampere-hour counts), mileage can fluctuate fairly considerably primarily based on a large number of things; from GPS utilization to notification frequency.
Zepp particulars the situations beneath which the Professional achieves its quoted 18-day battery life, nonetheless, in testing (which included 40 minutes of GPS utilization [draining 3% charge] and frequent house exercise classes), I wasn’t in a position to push previous 14 days of damage at a time.
This really nonetheless impressed, particularly when you think about the passive monitoring at play (coronary heart charge, sleep, stress and so on.) that means most may have little problem with the longevity supplied up by the T-Rex Professional (and relying on utilization could discover that it lasts longer anyway).
Whereas the magnetic USB charger is not probably the most well-designed accompaniment, it does refill the watch with stunning haste, breaking previous 50% in 30 minutes and absolutely recharging the T-Rex Professional in 75 minutes, flat.
Worth and availability
The Amazfit T-Rex Professional launched in late March 2021, a bit greater than a 12 months on from its predecessor. It is now accessible within the UK, US, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Thailand, priced at £139/€169.90/US$179.99; solely marginally increased than its predecessor, which value £129/€139.99/$139.99.
Within the UK, the Professional is available for purchase from the Amazfit EU retailer, Amazon and Argos. Whereas Stateside, it may be had direct from Amazfit US or Amazon US.
If you happen to do not want the extra options, then the usual T-Rex continues to be nice worth for cash, whereas extra superior rugged choices – just like the Honor Watch GS Professional – can even attraction, in the event you’re available in the market for a tricky smartwatch.
Regardless of releasing simply over a 12 months on from the unique T-Rex, the Amazfit T-Rex Professional represents a modest improve; with further options like SpO2 monitoring and a far better breadth of sports activities modes than its predecessor, in a package deal that is solely marginally costlier.
Enhancements to the hardiness, coronary heart charge sensor and water resistance push the Professional from a great to an awesome worth providing, nonetheless, it is not good. The software program and stats it could possibly monitor are comparatively self-contained, with no app third-party app help or wider ecosystem to interface with. Plus, extra premium options like an built-in speaker, user-accessible storage and interchangeable straps aren’t on the desk, right here.
In order for you an inexpensive fitness-centric smartwatch that may maintain its nerve within the nice outside, the Amazfit T-Rex Professional is an effective match. In order for you a watch that may discuss with different health companies and ship the complete platter of ‘sensible’ wearable options, Zepp’s newest powerful providing would possibly really feel a bit soft-boiled.
Amazfit T-Rex Professional: Specs
Round 1.3in 360×360 AMOLED show
100+ exercise modes
PPG optical coronary heart charge sensor
GPS + GLONASS + BeiDou + Galileo
10ATM swim proof
Quoted 18-day battery life
Magnetic 2-pin pogo pin charger
59.four grams w/ strap
Help for Android 5.0/iOS 10.Zero and up