It’s tough to keep up with the surfeit of Chinese gadget brands. We’ll add one more to the mix – Huami. If you’ve been keeping tabs on wearables over the past six months, you’ve probably heard of Huami and its Amazfit line of smartwatches. This company is backed by Xiaomi and has also collaborated with Xiaomi on its Mi band. Quite a few Amazfit wearables like the Stratos are already available on online buying platforms in India. The Verge signals Huami’s big India push with a smartly priced wearable that might just tick all the boxes for fitness fanatics and couch potatoes alike. Or does it?
Its squares-versus-rounds when it comes to smartwatches. There’s the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s Versa that face off with the circular Samsung Galaxy Watch. The Verge joins the round brigade and it’s a good looking watch. The rubber strap and chassis feel premium and it’s light enough to wear 24/7. Huami claims its hypo-allergenic, so you’re good to go. We also like the bold 1.3-inch AMOLED display (360 x 360 pixels) that offers clear visibility under any light. Colours are crisp and Huami’s custom UI is easy on the eye too. Our review unit came in grey but there’s a white variant that might well win our vote. The watch size and the strap should work across all wrist sizes. On-screen navigation is intuitive and ultra-smooth, there’s just one physical button that functions as a home key.
If you like to customise your watch, the Verge offers a few watch faces that you can keep flitting between. It’s certainly not as many as the heaps of watch faces that Fitbit or Samsung offer. In terms of other cool tricks, the Verge allows you to store music and stream via Bluetooth headphones. You can answer calls from your wrist if you’re using an Android smartphone; this feature does not work with iPhones though. Aside from that, you can view key notifications from your phone on your wrist. There’s no App store where you can grab additional watch faces or any Apps. The companion App is clutter free and its remarkably easy to pair the watch (with a QR code) with your phone. However, the Amazfit App isn’t quite in the same league as Fitbit’s companion App.
In terms of hardware, the Verge packs the right amount of firepower. It’s propelled by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 512MB of RAM. There’s 4GB of onboard storage and you can use about 2.5GB of storage to store your favourite tracks. Battery life is another plus. Huami claims 5 days for each charging cycle and after 48 hours of testing, we think it’s an accurate claim. The Verge is IPS68 certified, that means its ready for a run in the rain but not quite ready for a swim. The watch lacks a dedicated voice assistant like Siri on the Apple Watch 4. Back in 2011, the iPhone 4S became one of the first devices to augment GPS with GLONASS (the Russian alternative to GPS). The Verge combines both GPS and GLONASS to effectively track your routes and distances.
Ultimately the biggest purchase driver for sporty smartwatches like the Verge is its fitness credentials. This is an area where the Amazfit Verge shines with smart sports monitoring that allows you to record 11 different sports and activities. The watch packs a bunch of sensors (including a geomagnetic sensor and an optical heart rate sensor) that give you useful insights. It’s these capabilities and premium build quality that make the Amazfit Verge a compelling option and alternative to pricier alternatives like the Fitbit Versa and Samsung Galaxy Watch.
The Amazfit Verge costs Rs 11,999 and comes in Sky grey, Moonlight white and Twilight blue