Amazfit Verge Review: GPS Smartwatch on the Verge of Perfection
Huami, the Xiaomi-backed company, has had a decent run in India ever since it launched the Amazfit Bip and Stratos smartwatches back in July last year. Since then, the company has launched the Amazfit Cor, Amazfit Pace and most recently the Amazfit Verge smartwatch in India. I have been using the Amazfit Verge for over two weeks now and here is an in-depth review of the same.
Note: Like always, I experienced the Amazfit Verge for over two weeks in parallel with Fitbit Ionic. The reason being it gives me a better understanding and a reference based on my old and current stats.
AmazFit Verge Review
I have reviewed a couple of smartwatches and fitness trackers including Amazfit’s Stratos, Cor, and Lenovo’s HX03F Spectra. The experience has given me a fair idea on the default settings of smartwatches. Now, this may vary from person to person, but they are built primarily as fitness trackers.
After the initial setup, I had to change a few settings. They included:
- Double tap to unlock, wake on wrist turns, sports reminding.
- Enabling DND for peaceful sleep and sleep tracking.
- Continuous HR
My regular activities included seven days of sports activities, daily walks, sleep tracking and interaction with notifications on the watch and so on. One change compared to my past experiences of smartwatches was using in the Gym. The new activities included indoor cycling, weight lifting, treadmill and so on.
Design and Build
Amazfit Verge offers a sporty looking plastic build round watch. Looking at the overall design, this is strictly targeted towards the younger generation who would not crave classic watches. That’s where the Stratos fits well. Some may even call it kids watch, but hey, don’t take it lightly as it packs in some great features in it.
The minimal design offers one home button on the right corner with a microphone hole next to it, and a speaker right on the opposite side. Why? Because you can receive calls on the watch. The display is nicely covered by the plastic rim on the sides making sure the accidental hits don’t scratch the screen.
On the rear, you have a heart rate sensor for all-day monitoring. You can also perform instant HR check from the ‘features’ section. You also have the charging points at the back. The silicone watch straps are replaceable. Since the watch is lightweight, it was comfortable taking it off the wrist.
Super crisp AMOLED display
I’m delighted with the display the Verge houses. You get a 1.3-inch color display and astounding clarity. I am as happy with Verge display as I was disappointed with the Stratos. If I have to define, it’s like those digital displays, but it looks like drawn on paper. The viewing experience is one of the best both in daylight, and night mode. Thanks to the ambient sensor, the display adapts when the light changes.
Interacting with the watch was a breeze as well. With just one physical button, everything else is a swipe to left and right. I had no issues using it during a workout or otherwise. That said, you still have to get used to an overwhelming number of menu items on the watch.
The Amazfit Verge can track a lot of sports. You can record data like HR, distance, GPS based mapping, and combined with the sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope, and geomagnetic sensor; it helps the system to make sense of the incoming data accurately. You can track eleven different sports and fitness activities which include Running, Run Indoor, Trail Run, Walk, Elliptical Training, Climb, Tennis, Skiing, Soccer, Outdoor and Indoor Cycling.
All you need to do is a swipe to the left, select the sports and start tracking. Once complete, depending on the games, You can dive into detailed analysis. Steps, HR, distance, mileage, calories, cadence, along with your GPS tracked path.
Auto Tracking Walk and Run
When it comes to walking and running, I loved the auto-detection mode. While Fitbit watches do the same, Verge takes it one step ahead. If you keep walking for more than five to seven minutes, it will prompt you. If you confirm that you are indeed working out, it will kick start GPS and regular activity tracking along with it. And when you stop for a while, it prompts you again to stop it. It makes sure I never miss my GPS-based tracking!
Accuracy, Step counting, and Workouts
All the workouts went on par with Fitbit, including indoor cycling, elliptical exercise, and treadmill running. I had the advantage of looking at the third set of data that came from those workout machines. Both Fitbit and Verge calculated more distance and calories, and since the difference was same every day, this is where I put in my quote:
None of the trackers can claim they are accurate. So you need to follow this thumb rule. If the error (ha!) is consistent, it still works.
What I liked about Verge when it came to treadmill tracking is that you can adjust the distance after the workout is complete. You can change km on the watch to match what you see on the treadmill (if you want).
Sleep Tracking & Resting HR:
Amazfit Verge can track sleep, and it worked well. It can track deep sleep, light sleep, how many minutes it took you to get to sleep and so on. I suffer for partial sleep apnea and looking at my stats at Fitbit; the data was reasonably similar. The same applies to resting-HR data as well.
Amazfit App & Data Analysis
The watch can store a lot of data, and it can also help you analyze the data right on the clock. I call it device-based approach and is useful if you want to examine your workout without syncing with the app instantly. Sometimes it could be overwhelming, and this is where the app comes into the picture. It can show you everything the watch can, just on a bigger screen.
Some might like to see on the watch right away, while others would relax and check them at the end of the day. It’s entirely a personal choice.
What I liked about data syncing is that the watch once connected to wifi can sync your data online. You don’t need to pair with the phone and sync everything over Bluetooth. This approach works better as per my experience. Many a time it becomes painful to synchronize my Fitbit data when the Bluetooth isn’t ready to get along with it.
Here is another thing liking which could depend on personal choice. The app doesn’t offer much to change the settings on the watch. You can change everything right on the smartwatch. The advantage is that you don’t have to depend and wait for everything to sync with the app.
I remember saying in my Amazfit Stratos review that Fitbit has a more balanced approach, and I still like it because it is easy to change things. However, when you want to change something on the run, it’s not always smooth. So the device approach works if you can deal with menus.
Finally, easy five days of battery life on Amazfit Verge. I remember this was only two to two and a half days with Stratos, but with Verge, Amazfit has finally nailed it. Keeping in mind that I was using it for almost one and a half hours of workout every day, along with GPS, this is impressive. Amazfit seems to have fixed the charging speed as well. The watch charges up to 100% within 40 minutes which is great.
The charging cradle might look a little odd because the wire gets in from the bottom. My first expression was like why would anyone do that. Then I realized it is supposed to keep the watch that way, but still not convinced. Amazfit Stratos cradle was better!
Call Experience on Watch
I had never liked the idea of making or receiving calls on a smartwatch. But then I had never tried it either. It turned out that Amazfit Verge supports it and it wasn’t bad if you want to have a quick conversation. The speaker sound is good, and the mic is decent. It also means you don’t want to do this in public as the clarity will go for a toss. However, this came super handy when I was on the treadmill, and my wife called in. Quick conversation while running does come in handy.
You can access your contacts available on your phone, recent call history, call dialers and can make calls as well. The watch also lets you instantly switch to the phone when you need it.
WatchFace, Notifications, and Music
Just like its other models, you can change watch faces right from within the watch. Do remember to and turn on the second-hand setting if you choose classic watch face. Notifications haven’t improved much for multiple notifications, but individual ones are bliss as you can read them in full.
Lastly, you can upload your music, and stream it over Bluetooth. The experience was great, especially with the smooth control it offers.
Should you buy AmazFit Verge?
There is one thing we need to understand. If I say yes go ahead and buy it at Rs 11,999, and you might come back with the argument that one can buy a classic watch for that price, In my opinion, that isn’t even a valid argument. There is no replacement for the vintage watches, especially high-quality watches. And if you are into them, you will not think about a smartwatch. Smartwatches cater to a different purpose — those who need a smartwatch, and particularly a fitness tracker. Not everyone wants to wear a band.
So coming back to the real question, the answer is it’s probably the best of all Amazfit products I have experienced. Display, battery, and sports tracking system delivers a great experience.