Amazfit Verge Test: More features, less money
"From GPS performance to multi-sport fitness tracking, the price of $ 160 has always amazed us displaced. "
- Light weight
- Integrated GPS
- Vibrant AMOLED display
- Alexa support
- Stepping often inaccurate
- Mobile app needed work
- Not waterproof
Xiaomi-Der Proven smartwatch maker Huami has cult status on Amazon with its super-affordable and feature-rich Amazfit fitness watches. The Verge, an affordable $ 160 GPS watch targeted at active people, is part of Amazfit Bip and GTS in the company's repertoire of fitness watches. Low price is often equated with low quality, but does the low price of the Verge lead to poor performance? We ran the clock, wandered around with the clock and carried it around the clock to find out.
The Amazfit Verge feels good on your wrist thanks to its comfortable, lightweight design. The Verge impressed us with his comfort, but his choice of materials was disappointing. In contrast to other watches with a durable stainless steel bezel and a reinforced polymer housing, the Verge is made entirely of plastic, with a plastic housing and a plastic bezel. The bezel is raised to protect the screen from scratches. However, it is not very robust. The watch is not waterproof either. It may be exposed to light rain, but not swimming, showering or soaking wet.
The rim measures 43 mm in the face and is 12.6 mm high, so it looks a bit chunky. Honestly, it looks more playful than professional. I did not mind wearing it in the gym, but I pulled it off before attending any meetings. The best-selling feature of the Amazfit Verge is the 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 360 x 360 pixels. The display is bright and the colors only appear on the screen. The display is as beautiful as the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 or the Fitbit Versa 2. Like most AMOLED displays, it is well legible with artificial lighting both out in the sun and inside.
Simple user interface with less obvious features settings
If you are familiar with fitness watches, you can easily navigate the relatively simple interface of Amazfit Verge. If this is your first watch, start your computer and download the online manual. The Amazfit Verge combines a touch-screen interface with a single button, which is used to unlock the watch, return to the dial and start Alexa.
The interface is intuitive because it is simple. You have a customizable dial, two widgets, and multiple apps that allow you to examine your health, view your activities, and more. With just a few swipes, you can access most of the important functions of the watch.
However, not everything is self-explanatory. There is a nice health overview screen with steps, stairs and much more, but access is difficult. By default, it is buried in the health app and available only after repeated tapping and swiping. You can configure the clock to display this information as one of two available widgets. However, you can not change the widgets with your watch. You need to connect the watch to the phone and make the changes using the mobile app.
I would like to display this information from the beginning on the dial. I would also like to see more than two widgets. Competing watches from Garmin and Suunto offer a variety of widgets for health, weather, music control and more.
Health and Fitness Tracking Exceed Expectations
Given the low price, I did not have high expectations of the Verge, but I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the watch. The watch supports up to 12 different sports, including running, climbing, cycling, hiking, tennis, elliptical training, skiing, football and more.
The activity tracking was just right with heart rate, pace, and cadence, comparable to my Suunto and Garmin watches. The automatic activity detection was effective even if I forgot to manually capture a walk or a hike.
Despite my overwhelmingly positive experience, there were some weaknesses. The step tracking was consistently 2,000 to 4,000 paces lower than my other watches. I am not sure what caused this anomaly, but it was disappointing to achieve my goal of 10,000 paces on my other watches and not on the Verge.
My watch also came with disabled heart rate monitoring and automatic sync, so my first impressions of the watch were not that great. I could not see any heart rate trends and had to open the app to sync the workout and wellness data. After a few frustrating days, I looked around the software settings and figured out how to enable these features. People unfamiliar with fitness watches may not take the time to find these settings and may be disappointed with these perceived limitations.
Sleep tracking needs to be improved Sleep and wake up, but not REM sleep. Deep sleep was accurate compared to Fitbit and Garmin, but Amazfit's calculation of light sleep was not exactly accurate. Garmin and Fitbit both divide the light sleep into REM and the light sleep, while Amazfit summarizes the two.
Amazfit reports twice as much light sleep as competitive watches.
Amazfit reports twice as much light sleep as competitive watches.
Consequently, Amazfit reports twice as much light sleep as competing watches. The Amazfit watch also tried to make out the difference between sleeping and standing in bed. I sometimes read 20 minutes before going to bed and Amazfit counted my reading time as sleeping time.
On the positive side, the Verge gives a nocturnal sleep value, which measures the quality of your sleep and includes suggestions for improving your sleep. Recently, I only got 6 hours sleep, which is well below the recommended seven to nine hours. The Amazfit software not only noticed that I did not have enough sleep, but also made it a habit to go to bed too late.
Accurate GPS with breadcrumb cards
Similar to fitness tracking, the GPS performance on the Amazfit Verge was surprisingly good. As with most GPS watches, the first GPS connection in an area took a few minutes, but the subsequent connections lasted only about a minute. The GPS tracking and altitude profiles were accurate enough for most purposes and were compared to my Garmin and Suunto watches. There were some cases where the Amazfit distance was different from my Garmin clock, but the differences were usually less than 0.5 miles.
On the Verge, there is no standalone navigation that lets you draw a path to a POI is a breadcrumb navigation that displays your path as you walk or hike. There is also a compass if you just have to orient yourself.
The Amazfit Verge connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth LE and sends notifications from your phone. The clock strikes when a notification arrives, so you hardly miss an incoming notification.
Thanks to the AMOLED display, the entire content of the notification is easy to read. On the iPhone, you are limited to notifications, but Android owners can receive calls directly on the clock. Phone calls work in an emergency – the speaker is loud, but the microphone is a bit too thin for the person on the other end of the line.
Reasonable battery life, but no energy-saving modes
The Amazfit Verge holds his own in the battery compartment. The clock is fully charged for an average of three to four days, just before the promised five days. I've pushed the clock to its limits with continuous heart rate monitoring enabled, alerts enabled, and GPS tracking for my daily, hours-long hikes or trails.
Unlike Garmin and Suunto, which offer energy-saving profiles, the Verge has none. You can extend battery life by manually turning off heart rate monitoring around the clock, or by turning down your notifications, by limiting which apps send alerts for your fitness and wellness data in one place. All basic metrics are available, including sleep, steps, and a breakdown of your activities. The app has a clean interface, but is not as clear and intuitive as the Fitbit app, which has one of the best app interfaces on the market.
It's also not as detailed as Garmin Connect, which is distinguished by dividing your data into trends and metrics that appeals to serious athletes. Although Amazfit supports third-party services, the options are limited. I was able to sync with Strava and Apple Health, but not with other services like Training Peaks. There is no web-based app to view or analyze your data.
Music and Alexa complete the lifestyle features.
The Amazfit Verge has music, but is not as robust as Garmin and Fitbit, which can be synced with Spotify. You can download songs to Verge and play them from the clock. You can also use the watch to control music on your connected phone. These music features work, but are not as polished as on competing devices. A useful feature of Amazfit Verge is Alexa, the voice assistant from Amazon.
Once you link the Amazfit app to your Amazon account, you can use Alexa for the watch. Just press the side button briefly when the clock is unlocked and ask a question or say a command. With Alexa, you can track local weather, get sports updates, and control Alexa-enabled devices.
Price, Availability and Warranty
The Amazfit Verge is available from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Amazfit for $ 160. The Verge offers a 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee that allows you to return the unit if you are not satisfied with the performance. There is also a one-year limited warranty covering manufacturer's defects. The warranty is for the first owner and is not transferable.
Our Purchase Price
The $ 160 Amazfit Verge is an excellent value as long as you know what you are getting. It lacks the durable construction and comprehensive features of Garmin and Suunto watches, but it's only half the price. The Amazfit Verge is in a class of its own – you will not find another GPS watch with continuous heart rate monitoring and multiple sports modes at this price.
Is there a better alternative?
With integrated GPS, an AMOLED display and multi-sport tracking – the Amazfit Verge is an impressive GPS fitness entry-level watch. While perfectly suited for easy fitness tracking, it does not have the comprehensive features and durable construction of its competitors.
An alternative is the $ 200 Fitbit Versa 2. It costs a bit more than the Verge, but has an AMOLED display. A stylish design and a robust app experience as long as you do not mind the new subscription model.
Another alternative is the $ 400 Garmin Venu. Although it costs almost twice as much, the Venu is much more robust than the Verge. The Venu has a strong polymer case, a stainless steel bezel and a layer of Gorilla Glass to protect the beautiful AMOLED display. Garmin has also bundled a number of new health and wellness metrics such as breathing, sweat loss and more at Venu.
How long does it last?
The Amazfit Verge is made of plastic and does not have the sturdy construction of a metal or a polymer-based clock. I expect the plastic case and bezel to last up to two years under normal use.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Amazfit Verge is great value for active people who want a GPS-equipped fitness tracker but do not want to spend a lot of money on it.