Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2 \ 2S (Stratos) Hands-On Review (Courtesy of GeekBuying)

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Huami through its branded devices AmazFit last year, of course, has made unforgettable success, attracting the interest of all sports fans. The received records are given by the recent Bip Model and from the company’s first sports watches, known to many as Amazfit Pace, which resulted in a truly complete device with a clear competitive price. And so, when the company offered the public a continuation, updated in design and features offered , the fan community began to stumble in the hope of putting a hand, or more precisely I will say the wrist, to the new Sports Watch of Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2, also better known as AmazFit Stratos or Pace 2 that today we are happy to review all of you thanks to sending igeekphone a sample provided by Geekbuying.com

The Chinese producer “Huami”, who also produces wearables for “Xiaomi”, released the successor to the popular Amazfit Pace Sports Smartwatch at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, we were able to take a closer look at the new Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2 or Stratos. The smartwatch appeared once in a standard version and once in a premium version. The design, which is quite different from its predecessor, comes from “Pengtao Yu”, who has already designed products for Xiaomi, but also Google Nest. More in the following review!

Specification

  • Display
    Display: transflective
    Display diagonal: 1.34 inches Display
    resolution: 320 x 300 pixels
  • Processor and Memory
    CPU: Dual Core 1.2GHz
    RAM: 512MB
    Internal Memory: 4GB
    Memory Expansion: No
  • Other
    Bluetooth: 4.0 BLE
    WiFi: 802.11 b / g / n
    GPS: Yes
    Pedometer: Yes
    Heart Rate Monitor: Yes
  • OS: Android / iOS
    battery: 280 mAh

Unboxing

The sales package was revised against the previous generation, combining it with BIP-packaging. The white hardcover and minimal design in which we find, naturally, AmazFit Stratos, the instruction manual in the Chinese language in which it is possible to scan the QR code to download the application through which interact with the smartphone and the base for recharging the charging with magnetic pins 4. On the cover, we only have the Amazfit logo in shiny silver, while at the base we can see some product specifications.

If we do it to the side, we can see that below is an instruction manual and the Charging dock with 4 magnetic pins, also deposited in a small box.

The instruction manual is in the Chinese language, but it also brings us a QR code that can be scanned to download the application that we will synchronize with the smartphone. Unfortunately, Chinese servers do not seem to work outside of this country so you will have to search for the application on the network.

Now we can safely conclude that the complete package includes :

  • Xiaomi Huami Amazfit 2
  • Charging dock with 4 magnetic pins
  • User’s manual in Chinese

Design & Build

Before we focus on all the features of the smartwatch, let’s first look at the difference between the two models. The standard model was announced as Amazfit Smartwatch 2, the premium model as Amazfit Smartwatch 2S. The smartwatch was released under the general model name “Stratos”. Differences between both versions, there are only the display glass and the watch strap used. The standard model uses a conventional tempered display glass and a silicone wristband. The premium model, however, relies on sapphire crystal and a leather strap. The watch strap is interchangeable on both models.

The design of the new Amazfit Smartwatch is completely different from the design of the Huami Amazfit Pace. Overall, the watch case of the Amazfit Smartwatch 2 appears much more powerful in appearance but is still based on a sporty style. The housing is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the typical carbon look. The diameter is 4.8 cm, the height 1.5 cm and the weight of the watch including watchband is exactly 60g.

On the upper side is the transflective display with 1.34 inch diagonal. The display is surrounded by a noble ceramic bezel. 

Three side-mounted stainless steel buttons (316L), the Amazfit Stratos can actively control. On the underside, there are the 4-pin charging connector and the slightly protruding heart rate sensor. The smartwatch cannot be opened, which prevents access to the battery or internal hardware.

A clear advantage over the predecessor model is the classification (protection class IP68) as waterproof up to 5 bar (5 ATM / 50 meters). Under normal conditions it is thus possible to take a shower, to swim and to dive with the Smartwatch.

The removable silicone strap, the standard model available for the test, is adjustable in 15 levels and closes with a pin buckle. The band length is 20 cm, the bandwidth measures 22 mm. The build quality of the actual smartwatch is not objectionable. Criticisms reap, however, the watch strap, which shows after a few weeks, slight signs of wear.

Display

The color display has a diagonal of 1.34 inches. The resolution is 320 x 300 pixels. Like the display of the Amazfit Pace, the new Amazfit Smartwatch 2 uses a so-called “transflective display”. This type of display does not require backlighting and reflects incident light. The display is always active as “Always-On” so that the display does not have to be switched on first to read the time. Further advantages of a transflective display are especially the excellent readability in the sunshine and the low energy consumption. However, there are also disadvantages, such as a comparatively low viewing angle stability and a mostly pale color rendering. Equipped with a touchscreen, the operation of the smartwatch can be done not only via the side buttons, but also directly on the display.

The transflective display convinces in the test. Especially in sunshine or direct light, the display of the Amazfit Smartwatch 2 is easy to read. Smartwatches with conventional LCD or AMOLED display is the Stratos ahead. In low light conditions, however, the readability decreases. To be able to use the smartwatch in the dark, the display also has a backlight equipped, which is activated at the push of a button or by lifting the arm. An ambient light sensor located below the display regulates the brightness of the backlight according to the ambient light. What you have to accept, are the sometimes pale colors that appear more or less strong depending on the light. The operation via the small touchscreen works well. Entries and swipes are detected precisely.

The Amazfit Smartwatch 2 is protected by a hardened display glass. As already mentioned, the premium model (Smartwatch 2S) is protected by sapphire crystal. In the multi-week test, the conventional, hardened display glass proved to be extremely scratch-resistant and shock-resistant. Even an accidental fall from 1.5 meters, the smartwatch survived unscathed.

Hardware

The internal hardware of Stratos does not differ from its predecessor. Huami continues to rely on a dual-core processor that clocks at up to 1.2 GHz, a 512MB of memory and a 4GB flash memory. A whopping 2GB of internal flash memory is already in the system, leaving the user with only 2GB of space available. A memory expansion possibility does not exist!

Further hardware features are a WiFi module (802.11 b / g), a Bluetooth 4.0 module, a GPS module, a PPG heart rate sensor, an acceleration sensor, a gyroscope, a magnetic sensor, a barometer and an ambient light sensor.

Connectivity and other Features

After we have dealt with the hardware of Stratos, we now look at the functionality of the smartwatch closer. Unlike many other China smartwatches, which are usually equipped with a native Android and thus allow the installation of other apps, the system of all Amazfit Watches is largely closed. What You See Is What You Get – ie all “apps” or functions are permanently integrated into the system. Nevertheless, the Amazfit user interface offers all the necessary sports and everyday features to make the Amazfit Stratos an everyday companion. The structure of the user interface is clear, even if you must first familiarize yourself with the numerous functions and setting options at the beginning. The performance of the user interface is acceptable. Smaller hangers or less fluent animations are possible!

About Bluetooth, the module inside is version 4.0 of low power consumption. But we also found the WiFi b / g / n and an excellent GPS / Glonass with a 28nm Sony chip that also has low power consumption. Of course, the various sensors cannot miss, such as the heart rate monitor, the triaxial accelerometer, the gyroscope, the compass, the brightness sensor and the barometer.

During the test, there were never connection problems or to receive notifications of the applications installed on the smartphone; In fact, sometimes you could feel the vibration of the clock first and then the sound of the mobile. Therefore, very good notification management at least with regards to reception.

GPS is the best, maybe a little less fast than other devices, but once the satellite is connected there are no problems of any kind. The heart rate monitor with dual core is accurate in continuous monitoring of heartbeats, while, during an instantaneous measurement, the return value is definitely the default. Something added is the ability to monitor Vo2 Max, as well as the possibility of using a cardio band for more precise control of your activity.

Amazfit 2 UI

Let’s go to the heart of AmazFit 2, whose interface is available only in Chinese (the version we received). However, it is possible to acquire the version with the interface in English and also, there are not many innovations at the firmware level compared to the previous generation, at least with regard to the basic functions. We can move through the different menus by sliding laterally, up or down according to the submenu in which we find ourselves. But we can also use the function keys that are very useful to control when we are in the water because the touch screen is unusable.

The upper and lower buttons allow you to go backward or forwards, respectively. On the other hand, if you keep pressing the top button you can access the quick panel, while with the lower one you access the notification curtain. From the home screen, if we press the central button, we access the menu of sports activities. To unlock the smartwatch you can choose a double tap on the screen or use the top button. Finally, by keeping the middle button pressed, it automatically returns to the Start.

From the main screen, sliding from bottom to top, you can access a drop-down notification, but this will also notify incoming calls. This will show the caller ID, offering only the possibility of silencing the notification or hooking the call. You can not respond to textual notifications or incoming calls. Finally, the vibration is the only warning note for any type of notification, since the device does not emit any type of sound given the absence of a speaker.

When sliding from top to bottom we access the quick access screen, where we take a look at the state of the connectivity with the mobile, the percentage of remaining charge, the date and the weather, but we can also activate the do not disturb mode, silencing all the coming notifications. We can activate the airplane mode, configure the brightness of the screen in 5 levels or automatic mode. Finally, you enter the configuration, where you can set some parameters related to data synchronization, set the goal of daily steps, restart or shut down, check for updates and much more.

How to install English ROM

Before deciding on the Amazfit Stratos, you should be aware that the Smartwatch initially appeared for the Chinese market. Since late February, the smartwatch is also available in an international version. Before buying, you should pay attention to which version you choose. Mostly, the Chinese model is cheaper, but also offers only a Chinese user interface. With knowledge, a Chinese Stratos can also be converted into an international model with a multilanguage user interface on the software side!

To start your watch one needs Amazfit Watch app, which gives it both for Android, and iOS mobile devices. One drawback of the Chinese Stratos is that the Amazfit Watch app available in the respective app stores does not yet support the Chinese Amazfit Smartwatch 2. You can find a link to Chinese Amazfit App here: app.mi.com

The app itself adapts to the system language and is completely available in English on a smartphone with a German language setting. To use the app you need a Mi account. The connection between the app and the watch is via Bluetooth. A QR code with the connection data displayed on the watch and read out via the Amazfit Watch app facilitates the connection.

Update: In the meantime, resourceful developers have released multilingual custom ROMs for Amazfit Stratos. The so-called “StratOS” ROM  and the “STRATOSfied” ROM translate the user interface into German, English and also into other languages. The following steps are necessary for flashing.

  1. Download the ADB and Fastboot drivers and install them. Generally, valid drivers can be found on the net.
  2. Connect the watch to the PC. Open the Windows Command Prompt (CMD) and go to the ADB folder with “cd”. Now enter “adb devices” to check if the smartwatch has been detected. With “adb reboot bootloader” you switch to fast boot mode. Then enter “fastboot getvar all” to read all parameters. Save the parameters for the next step.
  3. Visit the unlockamazfit.com page and follow the steps to unlock the bootloader. Some of the previously retrieved parameters must be entered on the page. Wait until you receive an e-mail with a corresponding unlock code. Within the Windows command line and with an active Fastboot mode, you now enter “fastboot OEM unlock” followed by your unlock code. With “fastboot getvar unlocked” you can check if your bootloader is unlocked.
  4. Download the STRATOSfied ( Link ) or StratOS ROM ( Link ). After downloading, unzip all the files of the ROM you have chosen for into your ADB directory.
  5. For StratOS: Double-click on the “Install.bat” to start the installation process. The process usually takes 8 to 10 minutes. The smartwatch must remain connected to the PC! After startup, the smartwatch is set to Italian by default. Within the settings you can also select English as the system language.
  6. For STRATOSfied: If you chose STRATOSfied, you have to use “adb push” to copy all files to the sdcard directory of your watch. With “adb root” you switch to the root mode. Then you switch to a root shell with “adb shell” . Give there “cd / sdcard /; sh start_update.sh ” to start the installation process.

Pedometer & Sports Activities

The Amazfit Smartwatch 2 cleverly combines the design of an everyday watch with the functions of a sports wearables. Essential, of course, are the numerous sports functions, which record various user data in combination with a pedometer, a heart rate sensor and GPS. Choose from a total of 11 different activities . Here is an overview:

  • Running (outdoor)
  • Walking (Outdoor)
  • Cycle
  • Swimming (swimming pool)
  • Swimming (open water)
  • Running (indoor)
  • Cycling (indoor)
  • elliptical trainer
  • Rockclimbing
  • Trail Running
  • Triathlon

Each sport activity offers different training modes and settings options . Among other things, training sessions recommended by the watch can be started, as well as the creation of personal training units within the Amazfit app. Training goals per unit can be specified in distance, calories, time or training effect (TE). The different setting options are characterized by the fact that, for example, a pool length can be set for swimming activities, or that geodata can be imported as GPX for walking and running activities in order to be able to run a given distance.

If you start an outdoor sports activity, the Smartwatch first tries to find a GPS fix. This makes even more precise data acquisition possible. However, if one has opted for the Chinese model of the Stratos, the clock lacks the European map data. In the evaluation, you will thus be shown the route, but a map display is missing (see screenshot)! As soon as the Smartwatch can also be connected to the international Amazfit App, the relevant map data will most likely be submitted later.

In addition to sports activities, the smartwatch also captures everyday movement. A pedometer counts the daily steps. A daily goal can be set individually. The steps also determine the distance covered and the calories burned. The pedometer convinces in practice. The step detection is precise. Incorrect measurements due to driving or other activities that do not represent a stepping motion do not occur.

Heart Rate Sensor & Sleep Monitor

For heart rate measurement is located on the bottom of the smartwatch a combination of a photodiode and LED. The blood flow under the skin, which is supposed to reflect the current heart rate, is measured. In addition to a single measurement, an interval measurement and a continuous measurement are possible. The accuracy of optical heart rate measurement should always be considered critically.

In the test, the measurement accuracy of the heart rate sensor was less convincing. Although a precise heartbeat rate is measured at rest, in the case of heavy exercise it comes with significantly different measurement results. To what extent Huami will accept this measurement inaccuracy will have to be shown. Other users report similar problems. For greater accuracy, the Smartwatch can also be connected to a heart rate chest strap!

The sleep monitor of the Amazfit Smartwatch 2 is activated automatically and is not manually adjustable. Among other things, data on the time for falling asleep and recovery and the different phases of sleep are collected. The detection of the individual sleep times worked quite well in the test. Getting used to it, however, is to go to sleep with a rather large wristwatch.

Weather features and GPS

To stay up to date on the weather, the user interface offers a 5-day weather forecast. The respective location and the temperature unit can be adjusted in the Amazfit app. The respective weather is displayed with maximum and minimum temperatures.

As mentioned earlier, the watch is also equipped with a GPS module. A GPS fix finds the clock quite fast. A likewise existing E-compass allows a precise reproduction of the direction of the compass. Further and also plausible measurement data are provided by the Amazfit Stratos, including air pressure and altitude above sea level.

Music, Alarm Clock, & Training Plan

With the integrated music player, the smartwatch can also be used for music playback. There are just under 2.56GB remaining memory available, which is sufficient for 500 songs regularly. Connected to a PC, songs can be copied to the memory of the watch and played via a connected Bluetooth headset. There is no radio function!

The alarm function is similar to the alarm clock of a smartphone. You can create different profiles, as well as there is a snooze function. A vibration of the watch is the alarm. The vibration intensity can be set in 3 levels (soft, mild, strong). There is no such thing as a smart wake-up function that automatically awakens on the basis of the sleep phase.

The Training Plan mode offers 5 different and multi-week (56 days) training plans for beginners and professionals. Activating a training plan gives you daily guidelines for physical activity.

Stopwatch, Timer, & Mi Home

A classic stop function with split time display is also available as an app. A timer can be used to measure individual or predefined periods. Also integrated is “Mi Home”, which allows various products of the Xiaomi ecosystem (eg lamps) to be controlled.

Push Notifications, Screen Unlock, & Others

The watch can receive push notifications from a Bluetooth connected mobile device. For example, if you receive an app notification (WhatsApp or Facebook, a phone call or an SMS), you will be notified directly by Amazfit Stratos. The message content (text + emojis), even of several messages, is readable. There is no way to answer via the smartwatch directly! Which app is allowed to send notifications to the clock can be set within the Amazfit app.

The Screen Unlock feature allows the Smartwatch to be used as a secure unlock device. Within the security settings of the mobile device, the Stratos can be created as a trusted Bluetooth device. If you are now in the vicinity of the mobile device as a watch carrier, no PIN, pattern or password is required to unlock it.

The Smartwatch receives official updates via the integrated WiFi module. For travelers, the watch offers a flight mode, so the Amazfit Smartwatch 2 can also be used on the plane.

Amazfit Watch App

The administration of the smartwatch and the data it collects is done via the Amazfit app. The home screen provides information about the current step count, battery, heart rate, and sleep. The “Sport” tab takes you to the sports overview, where all the tracked sports activities are displayed with information on the duration, the average heart rate, the distance traveled, the steps and the calories burned. Sports activities can be filtered by days, weeks and months, as well as by activity. If you click on a sports activity, you get a detailed overview of the respective measurement data.

The “Me” tab allows you to configure smartwatch and app settings, as well as the personal VO2max and EPOC parameters. Within the settings, the smartwatch’s widget layout can be customized, the real-time data collection of individual sports activities can be adjusted, as well as weather and notification settings can be made. With the help of an integrated file manager, one has access to the file system of the clock.

Watch faces can be downloaded from a store that is also integrated into the app. In the test, no connection to the store could be established. Alternatively, you can choose from 14 pre-installed, digital and analog watch faces. The background images of individual watch faces can also be individualized by their own images. Own watch faces can be played in .wfz format.

Overall, the app has a clear structure and offers numerous administration and configuration options. A synchronization with Strava is not yet possible with the Chinese Stratos Smartwatch, because the Chinese Amazfit app, in contrast to its international counterpart, does not allow external synchronization of the data. However, the synchronization with the Mi-Fit App is supported!

 

Battery

The capacity of the battery is Huami with 280 mAh, which also corresponds to the measured value. The duration should be about 5 days with a daily movement activity of 30 minutes and a permanent receipt of push notifications. With active GPS and automatic heart rate detection, the runtime is reduced to 35 hours (according to Huami).

In practice, the duration is about 3 days, if the automatic heart rate measurement is active, receive regular notifications and daily for 45 minutes a sports program with GPS is started. Charging is via a 4-pin charging station. In the test, the charging station proved to be stiff, so the smartwatch had to be literally pressed into the dock. A full battery charge takes 2 hours.

Conclusions

The Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2 is one of the most functionally comprehensive sports wearables on the market. With a total of 11 different sports activities and many individual settings, the Smartwatch is versatile. The pedometer impresses with its precise step detection. The accuracy of the heart rate measurement, however, is in need of improvement.

Even as an everyday clock, the Amazfit Stratos makes a good figure. Huami cleverly combines a sporty and elegant watch design. Through the transflective “always-on” display, the clock is readable at any time. Various and self-created Watchfaces provide more variety.

Read also: Grab New Year Coupons to Cut Down Price for All Goods of Geekbuying

In direct comparison to the Amazfit Pace, however, the Amazfit Stratos is much more of a design upgrade. The hardware has remained identical to its predecessor and there are only a few new features on the software side. For the Amazfit Stratos, however, clearly the IP68 water protection, which is why the Stratos is also suitable for swimming.

The Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2 is available on Geekbuyinig at $164.99, respectively By Using Our Discount Coupon Code: FKVGEQRP

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Update on Nov.12, 2018

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4 Comments

  1. ​This is my first week using Amazfit Stratos for swimming and unfortunately my experience is really bad. It is cristal clear when designing the watch faces to be displayed for swimming none swimmer was involved on the decission. Watch displays several data on the corners using small numbers that are almost imposible to see while swimming. While simming most important information are length and distance but that info must me displayed on the center of the watch using large numbers. This info usually are read while turning but with small figures is imposible. I have even tried to read it stopping but when swimming swimming glasses have fog, drops of water and so for so you also need large figures not small ones. Even if you remove swimming glasses from your eyes you can have problems because if you use small glasses due to the pressure over eyes you can have blurred sight. Garmin and other brands displays data while swimming with very large numbers.

  2. Marcos Gonzalez Brintrup on

    How to know the ROM version at my Amazfit Pace by bootloader?
    The answer I get is V1.1 2013032, but unlockamazifit.com didn´t recognize it

    Thanks a lto

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