I had been in the market for a smart sports watch for quite a while. It was one of those “I really should” things that I forever skirted around, not knowing where to start, being intimidated by the choice, the hefty price tags, and suspecting that my lack of tech savvy might make this watch more of a hindrance than a help to my adventures.
When Amazfit gave me the opportunity to test out their latest watch - the Amazfit T-Rex Pro - I leapt at it. I was heading out to Scotland for a week to present a small wildlife documentary at sea, and in-between would have some time on land to pursue my own activities. Based in the costal town of Oban, with the dramatic mountains of Glencoe only half an hour away, I knew that I’d be able to maximise what little time I had with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro by putting it through a varied range of environments.
Quick facts: the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is a classic rugged design military-grade smart watch for sports / the outdoors. This latest model comes with a few new features not yet seen in the Amazfit range: 100m water-resistance, 18 days of battery life (!!!) and weather durability resistance, meaning it should defy the coldest of peaks to the hottest of plains.
When I first took it out of the box, I immediately liked the look and feel of it. It looked bulkier than it actually felt - it is pleasantly light for something so sturdy and with such solid build quality. It looks smart, and badass. It reminded me a little of a G shock watch, with elevated design. The screen is beautiful: large, clear, and - to my immense relief! - easily navigable. Based on the looks alone, I’d happily wear it as a standalone watch. I also appreciated that it arrived fully charged, ready for me to get familiar with its features.
The watch collects quite a lot of data from your activity and as a result is able to provide impressively detailed information about your health via the paired app. It contains all sorts of sensors to help it do this, including an altimeter for precise altitude measurements (this, along with the oxygen saturation readings, will come in handy for me when hiking at altitude later this year), and a “BioTracker™ 2 PPG Bio-Tracking Optical Sensor”, AKA a sensor that performs highly precise heart rate monitoring 24 hours a day. This means it can raise issues if your heart rate gets too high, but it also tracks heart rate variability to record all day stress levels .
You can also see information about your sleep - this part I was most looking forward to - because it has a sleep-monitoring feature that allows it to recognise different states of sleep; light, deep, REM, etc. Having a watch that can detect the difference between night and day and monitor my quality of sleep was a pretty mind blowing prospect to me. I enjoyed the opportunity to be a super sleuth about my sleep, and observe sleep patterns over a few nights. I could see where in the night I wasn’t sleeping too well (and was actually able to figure out why - the old oven timer in the airbnb was randomly chiming at a certain hour, plus the blinds on the windows weren’t down!).
The only downside here was that getting the watch and the app to stay synced was a little bit of a struggle for me. It worked at first - you setup this connection via a scannable QR code which connects via app. But then they disconnected and didn’t recognise each other. Luckily this was easily solvable - if you bump into this when setting up too, as a solution try opening the Zepp app and going >> Profile >> My devices >> Amazfit T-Rex Pro >> and it should automatically connect! Having all that data is great; it would’ve also been cool to have a detailed information pamphlet about all the features just to save on ‘figuring out’ time (although it is mostly very intuitive).
When it comes to durability, this watch blew it out the water. I hiked with it in Glencoe, through alternating states of brilliant sunshine and cold rain showers. I exercised / tracked exercise with it, and benefitted from the information about my heart rate it recorded as well as the GPS. I free-dived in the open sea with it (in Scotland at this time of year, that’s pretty bloody fresh!). No doubts about it - this is a tough watch, and there’s not much more to say on that because it just worked.
The battery life of this watch is immense. At time of writing, I still haven’t charged it after the first time I charged it. I almost forgot it needed charging at all! Battery life is rated at 18 days - I’ve been at it for just over a week so I’m keen to see if it really can make it all the way there.
Price - for the functionality, durability and heavy usage that you get, the watch is really good value for money. I’ve been intimidated by some of the heftier price tags for smart outdoors watches out there and I feel this watch makes a really affordable alternative, meeting a wide range of needs without breaking the bank. If it’s multi-sport capabilities, data tracking / raw data, and affordability you need, you can’t get any better than this!