Xiaomi sub-brand Huami has been on a roll these past few months, and the Amazfit Stratos continues a growing line of wearables that match competition on specs – and sometimes copy design outright – but undercut on price.
The design and display
The Stratos manages to tick just about every box in the “generic sports watch” design manifesto. It’s 46mm wide, chunky, and gives off the impression it could take a fair beating without much trouble.
There’s a 1.34-inch 2.5D Gorilla Glass display and surrounding ceramic bezel that you’ll be able to knock (trust us, we’ve done so) and not see any damage. But at 70g it’s comfortably weighted for the size, weighing a little less than the Garmin Fenix 5 – where the Stratos not-so-subtly draws a lot of inspiration. We wish it were a little smaller, but that’s how we feel about most sports watches right now.
The Stratos has three buttons on the right of the case, which you’ll use to navigate the somewhat awkward OS (we’ll get to that), but they’re useful during workouts where sweaty fingers can cause mischief on the screen.
Speaking of, it’s the display that really lets the show down here. The 300 x 300 resolution is often difficult to read and fares dreadfully when lighting is poor. Colours look faded while, more peculiarly, text often appears uneven when displaying notifications.
The Stratos is Amazfit’s most ambitious wearable, both in terms of its design and its fitness-ready features. If you’re scouring the market for a device that will be a reliable gym buddy, you’ll quickly realize how expensive most of the options out there are.
In terms of the workout types it can track natively, this includes running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, mountain climbing and hiking, trail running, triathlon, tennis, soccer and skiing.
You can get granular with your fitness, should you desire. For example, the bottom button on the Stratos lets you trigger the lap function so you can time your reps if you’re aiming to get a lower time running around the local pond. Of course, something like this comes in handy when you’re swimming, which along with showering is a worry-free workout thanks to this watch’s waterproofing that can withstand five atmosphere of pressure.
No matter the workout, you can easily pause your progress by tapping the top button. From what we’ve seen, this watch doesn’t support auto-pause – something the Bip tried to questionable effect – but that’s no worry because if there’s something that fitness enthusiasts love, it’s direct control over their metrics.
The advertised five day standard watch battery life is accurate. While in GPS mode with music playing from the Stratos, I saw an average of about 15 percent battery consumption every 30 minutes of use so about two minutes of GPS tracking and music playback for each percent battery capacity. This works out to likely 6 to 7 hours of GPS and music playback.
The Amazfit Stratos is powered by a custom software package that has a watch face with widgets and apps that you scroll through and setup in the smartphone app. There are 14 watch faces to choose from, but you can also load your own image and create a custom watch face.
Always on display
Accurate step tracking
Poor display quality
Inconsistent GPS tracking
The Amazfit Stratos is an affordable GPS sports watch and it is available at Banggood.com for $159.
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