You might not be familiar with the name, but Xiaomi backed Chinese brand Huami has been selling quite a few wearable products in India. Their latest offering is the Amazfit Verge which sits between the Amazfit Pace and the Amazfit Stratos fitness-focused smartwatches. Priced at Rs 11,999 the Verge can track a wide range of activities, offers a claimed battery life of 5 days and can even be used to take phone calls if you pair it with an Android phone.
Now I have been using the smartwatch for quite a bit and it is one of the most comfortable ones on the market. Mind you, it’s more of a sporty smartwatch, so it isn’t going to be a great companion for your formal events. There’s round dial up-front with thick bezels around it. It isn’t the slimmest watch but the main body is made out of plastic keeping the overall weight in check. It comes with a soft silicon based strap, but in case you don’t like the material, you can swap them out. Although, do keep in mind that the company doesn’t offer any extra options. The watch does, however, come in black, blue and white colour variants. Overall the watch feels pretty comfortable for all-day use and one can even wear it to bed as it can track your sleep patterns.
There’s a single button on the right which acts as the home key and doubles as the power button. You can also see a small microphone and a slit on the other side which houses the speaker. At the bottom are the heart rate sensor and pogo-pins that help in charging the watch when you dock it in the charging cradle. Apart from that the watch also comes with built-in GPS to track your movement and regular connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The display is a 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen which offers excellent brightness even under the harshest light of the sun. It is also quite responsive and renders good colours. The display is covered with Gorilla Glass 3, hence you do get some level of protection against scratches and bumps. It is also IP68 rated, which means it can withstand splashes and sweat but you can’t take it for a swim.
Like Huami’s other products, the Verge runs on a proprietary software called Amazfit OS. It comes with a limited number of watch faces (11 to be specific) which can be a deal breaker for some but, honestly I was just about satisfied with the set of preloaded faces. This also means that you can’t install any third party apps.
The watch is capable of showing notifications from your phone though, and you can even customise what apps can send notifications to your wrist. It works well for the most part, but there are minor instances where the notifications are delayed. Also, you cannot interact with them, so they just sit there on the watch until you swipe them off.
The watch can also notify you when you get a phone call, but of course, you need to have the phone around. You can either pick it up from the watch itself, or choose to talk via your phone. It even works the other way around as the watch can sync your contacts and call log. The speaker on the watch is actually loud and good enough to take calls. And while this feature does sound cool, I found talking to my wrist a little silly, especially when I was out in public. Like most smartwatches, you can even control your music using the Verge.
As for the fitness features the watch can track various activities apart from walking and running. It can track cycling both indoor and outdoor, indoor running on a treadmill, climbing, skiing, and even sports like Tennis and Football. The GPS and compass help in tracking your movement. It isn’t completely accurate as you are going to notice quite a bit of difference. To test the accuracy I walked 500 steps which logged as 489, then I walked 400 steps which logged 371 and in the end, I went for 100 steps which logged 94. The GPS isn’t perfect either and seemed a little slow to lock-onto my location. In my tests, I found the GPS was off by 5-10 percent, which isn’t all that bad.
The heart rate sensor is accurate but you need to manually test this out as there is no automatic heart rate tracking. There is a continuous heart rate tracking feature which can only be enabled when you are using any of the workout modes.
The best part about this watch is the battery life. The company claims up to 5 days of battery life, which is on spot if you don’t log a whole lot of workout activity. If you like to keep a regular log of your daily workouts, the watch last anywhere around 3.5 to 4 days.
For its price, the Amazfit Verge is surprisingly a decent smartwatch. It is very comfortable, offers a bright AMOLED display and an excellent battery life. There are some quirks here and there, but none of them seemed like a deal-breaker to me. Having said that, if you are very particular about tracking your fitness, this might not be the product to go for as it isn't 100 percent accurate. Not to mention the limited watch-faces and the inability to download third-party apps. For someone who just wants basic functionality in an affordable package, the Verge is worth the money.