Prior to the start of their press conference at IFA 2019, Amazfit rolled a continuous loop of several videos that painted a unique picture of what a connected lifestyle could look like. People wearing smart apparel—from jackets to t-shirts—moved throughout their day, and things just happened for them.
One example showed a sleeping man whose t-shirt sensed he was entering the wakeup cycle, so his shirt started the wakeup routine. His music kicked on, the coffee pot started brewing, and the shower turned on for him. From there, his music followed him throughout the house until he left for work—the doors automatically locked behind him, and the house temperature was adjusted up. His car unlocked as it sensed him approaching, again via the t-shirt. His music transferred into the car, and he was off.
Though perhaps not so well known by its own name, Amazfit is a brand of the Huami company. Another relative unknown, Huami is the brand behind the technology that powers Xaiomi’s Mi band. Looking to capitalize on the success of its technology, Huami founder Wang Huang decided to get into the smart wearables game, launching the Amazfit brand in late 2015. Since then, Huami has seen its name listed on the NYSE, they’ve formed partnerships with Timex and McLaren Applied Technologies, and they’ve surpassed more than 93 million units sold in over 60 countries.
Which brings us to IFA 2019. Here, the company used the global tech platform to announce the launch of two new lines of smartwatches alongside a unique concept watch.
The new Amazfit GTS is where my attention was thoroughly grabbed. Despite being the first announcement of the event, I found it to be their most impressive. The completely new line is similar in design to the Bip smartwatch, but it makes massive improvements to both the design and the technical specs.
The watch, unapologetically from Amazfit, looks incredibly similar to the Apple Watch. Huang’s reasoning for going the square route is the improved screen real estate—you get at a minimum 23 percent more screen with a square design as opposed to the traditional round shape of watches, and more screen means more space for information to be displayed. Still, the GTS isn’t a cumbersome watch on the wrist. It checks in at just 24.8 grams, which is 17.5 percent lighter than the 40mm Apple Watch Series 4 (and more than 32 percent lighter than the 44mm Series 4). It’s also just 9.4mm thick, which is another 12 percent thinner than the Apple Watch Series 4.
- The Amazfit GTS (right) side-by-side with the 44mm Apple Watch Series 4
Featuring a 1.65-inch AMOLED display, the GTS display is simply gorgeous. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the countless watch faces all appear large and easily viewable. Several face options include the ability to customize complications—similar to the modularity of the Apple Watch OS—giving the user access to all kinds of information at the flick of their wrist.
With an emphasis on health and wellness information, the GTS features biological tracking sensors and Amazfit’s RealBeats AI-based biological data engine. With those technologies, the watch can track everything from atrial fibrillation, sleep recording, steps, real-time heart rates, resting heart rates, and more. And it can provide heart rate warnings when it notices an unusual spike or irregularity.
Users will also be able to track 12 different activities, including outdoor running, treadmill exercises, swimming (open water and pool), cycling, and more.
Amazfit kills it on battery life with the GTS. Huang noted that, when set to just basic watch mode, the GTS could last for 46 days on a single charge, with the user checking the time up to 100 times per day. With more traditional use and the GPS function on continuously, the GTS will last 25 hours. Typical usage of the watch was clocked at roughly 14 days per charge.
Launching this month, the GTS will retail for an insanely cheap 130 Euros ($143).
Amazfit also introduced an iterative version of their Stratos line—the Stratos 3 and 3+. Similar in look and design to the previous version of the ruggedized watch, the Amazfit Stratos 3 line features a 1.34-inch Transflective always-on display that’s 320-pixels across. Upgrades were made to the Bluetooth (4.2 and BLE 5.0), it features a slightly larger 300mAh battery that can last up to six days, and it features a BioTracker PPG sensor. The Stratos 3 will retail for $199 Euros ($221.50) and the 3+ will retail for 229 Euros ($255).
- Amazfit Stratos 3
The only real difference between the two lines is the build of the casing itself. The Stratos 3 uses a Corning Gorilla Glass screen housed in a stainless steel body, and held on a black silicone band. The Stratos 3+ uses a sapphire crystal screen on a titanium body and held together on a red fluorubber band.
The concept Amazfit X (pronounced as the letter) is a curved glass watch that looks more like a sport band with an elongated watch face. While not the most aesthetically pleasing to me personally, the Amazfit X certainly tested the company from an engineering perspective. The curved AMOLED display alone is a technological marvel. Add on top of that the 3D curved glass, a curved lithium ion battery, and three-piece motherboard that makes the whole thing tick, and you’re looking at a truly innovative product. Amazfit is targeting the first half of 2020 for this product, and pricing details were not available here at IFA 2019.
In all, the Amazfit announcements were exciting, and they serve as an important step for the company in its vision of a completely connected lifestyle.