An IDC report for Q1 2020 on the wearable market in India revealed that the smartwatch segment grew by a whopping 43.3%. Huami’s Amazfit has been one of the brands that has seen an exponential growth in its India numbers. The company’s strategy has involved a busy assembly line with frequent launches across price segments. In a smartwatch landscape where brands usually takes sides when it comes to shape, Huami has almost remained agnostic with a mix of circular and square shaped smartwatches. Neo is a whole new story.
The Amazfit Neo will take you right back to the 1990s when some might say the music was better. The design language is straight out of a Casio-type digital watch playbook – a rectangular 1.2-inch black and white, STN (Super-twisted nematic) display and a black (that we tested; the Neo also comes in red and green) plastic frame with a polyurethane strap. It’s easy to forget that this is a smartwatch with a bunch of capabilities. You can pass it off as a retro fashion gadget. The display is not touch sensitive; it’s back to the nineties with four evenly sized buttons (two on either side) that handle all the navigation.
I paired the Neo with an iPhone and it was seamless. Huami has moved to a new App – Zepp, that is quite easy on the eye and intuitive. The Neo ticks some key boxes on the fitness front for its affordable price tag. I used it to track my workouts and calorie burns for a couple of days. It tracks steps, heart rate, counts calorie burns and also tracks sleep. If you’re one of those fitness data crunchers who loves drill-down data, you might like Amazfit’s customised PAI (Personal Physiological Activity Indicator) that ranks your activity based on heart data. There’s a tiny circular display within the larger display that shows your PAI scores as also other key pieces of information like your BPM (Heartbeat) and even the weather. It’s quite a clever design element.
The Amazfit Neo should please folks looking for basic fitness data with an App that packs quite a lot of information. There’s also a cool call alert that sounds like an alarm – again a 90s throwback. The caller details are not displayed but you will know that your phone is ringing; handy if you have the habit of leaving your phone under your pillow or cushion on the couch. But the most useful feature is battery life. After almost two days of use, my watch showed a 95% battery level, validating Amazfit’s claims of a 28-day battery life. That’s something smartwatches with vibrant displays can’t match.
The Neo is a cool gadget, a retro throwback to another time when our watches were less complicated. It offers an incredible battery life, a decent set of fitness features (including three sports modes) and is 5ATM certified (good for up to 50 metres under water). All this at a price tag that won’t break the bank. Think of it as a 90s digital watch with some party tricks up its sleeve.
The Amazfit Neo comes in black, red and green. It costs Rs 2,499.