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Most fitness trackers are built to handle some sweat, but they aren’t necessarily designed to withstand a real beating. The $139.99 Amazfit T-Rex, on the other hand, has military-grade certifications, ensuring you can use it in some pretty extreme conditions. Amazfit calls it a smartwatch, but while it offers smartphone app notifications and basic music controls, it lacks features like mobile payments and downloadable apps. Equipped with GPS and an optical heart rate sensor, it can track your distance and route, and offers continuous and manual heart rate measurements, making it more of a fitness tracker in our book, and from that angle it’s a solid option for the price.

Design and Specs

Far from fashionable, the T-Rex has a rugged, utilitarian look. It comes in several colors including black, green, and khaki. It’s about 0.5 inches thick and weighs 2 ounces. It feels light enough on my arm, and its soft silicone band is among the most comfortable I’ve worn. 

There are four physical buttons, including up and down buttons on the left, and power/select and back buttons on the right. A significant bezel surrounds the 1.3-inch AMOLED touch screen, which features 360-by-360-pixel resolution, a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens, and an anti-fingerprint coating (though I still got fingerprints on it). The screen is bright, colors are vivid, and it’s easy to read indoors, but a bit harder to see outside.

The T-Rex has an always-on display option, but it’s disabled by default to save battery life. Amazfit warns that enabling this feature will “seriously reduce battery life.” When the screen is off, you can wake it by pressing any of the physical buttons or tapping the screen. 

In terms of battery life, Amazfit says the T-Rex can last up to 20 days with regular use. That drops to 40 hours with the GPS enabled. In my first 24 hours of testing, I tracked two roughly 25-minute workouts with GPS enabled, plus a one-hour yoga session, and the battery dropped just 18 percent. 

The T-Rex has a 5ATM rating, meaning it’s water resistant to a depth of up to 164 feet. Amazfit says it’s safe to wear while showering, swimming in a pool, or in open water, but you shouldn’t wear it when scuba diving or in a sauna, though it can withstand temperatures of up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The company says you shouldn’t operate it underwater, and to dry it off before using or charging it.

Setup and Navigation

To set up the T-Rex, you first need to download the Amazfit app (available for Android and iOS), and create an account if you don’t already have one. After creating an account, you enter your gender, birth date, height, weight, activity goal, target calories, and target sleep. The app wouldn’t let me input my actual weight—every time I tried, it went down two pounds, so I just went with that. 

From there, you select Add Device in the app, pick the model you want to pair, and a QR code scanner pops up. You then turn on the T-Rex by pressing the top right button and a QR code appears on its screen. Scan the code, press Confirm on the watch, and you’re good to go. 

After getting the watch connected, the app began downloading and installing firmware, GPS, and resource library updates. Once that was done, the first thing I did was update the watch face. The default face is pretty busy for my taste, so I went with something simpler. There are 30 options to choose from, and I picked one that shows the battery percentage, date, and time, along with my calories burned that day, distance traveled, heart rate, and steps taken.

You can swipe up or down from the main watch face to access fitness and heart rate widgets and a quick settings menu. From the settings menu, you can access a flashlight tool that lights up the screen, adjust the screen brightness, enable Do Not Disturb mode, or lock the screen. You can also enable battery-saving mode, which disables all tracking except for your steps and sleep time. 

Swiping left from the main watch face lets you access the Settings menu and the following apps: Activities, Alarm, Compass, Countdown, Event Reminder, Find My Phone, Heart Rate, Music, Status, Timer, Weather, and Workout.  

I like that there’s a Music app, which lets you control the tunes playing through your smartphone. I tested it with Spotify, and the watch had no problem bringing up the track I had playing. It lets you change the volume, go back or forward in a playlist, and pause. You can’t browse your playlists or store any music on the watch itself, but it’s nice to have basic music controls easily accessible. 

App Features

The Amazfit app’s Home tab shows your step count for the day at the top, along with your calories burned and how long you slept the previous night. Under that, there are sections you can click into to get more information about your heart rate readings, workout stats, and sleep metrics. 

In the heart rate section, you can see how much time you spent in each heart rate zone, including VO2 max, or maximum effort zone. 

The app doesn’t always do a good job of helping you interpret your metrics, however. For instance, it tells you how much time you spent in aerobic and anaerobic heart rate zones, but it doesn’t tell you the difference between them. In comparison, the companion app for the Coros Apex offers a wealth of educational information to help you understand the metrics it measures (that said, the Apex is a lot more expensive).

On a more positive note, the app lets you enable rapid heart rate warnings so the watch will alert you if your heart rate reaches a certain level, like 150 beats per minute, and you haven’t been exercising in the last 10 minutes. 

In the T-Rex section of the Profile tab, you can also enable Idle Alerts, so the watch will vibrate if you’ve been sedentary for an hour, and Goal Notifications for when you hit a daily fitness goal. You can also enable smartphone app alerts and call notifications, though the first time I tried to do that, it wouldn’t work even though the watch was connected to my phone via Bluetooth, which was frustrating. I unpaired the watch, re-paired it, and that worked. Unfortunately, doing so also reset the watch entirely, so it wiped out my step count for the day and I had to change the watch face again. 

Fitness Tracking

The T-Rex has 14 sports modes: climb, elliptical, fitness, hike, indoor cycle, open water, outdoor cycle, pool swim, run, ski, trail run, treadmill, triathlon, and walk. To track a workout, just press the top right button, use the up and down buttons or the touch screen to scroll through the sports modes, select the one you want, then press Go. Alternatively, you can swipe left from the watch face and select the Workout app. 

If you’re tracking a sport that uses GPS, like running or walking, the watch will display a message once it has successfully acquired a signal. In testing, it only took a couple of seconds to acquire a GPS signal after I started tracking a run. While tracking a run, the watch shows your current and average cadence, current and average pace, distance, duration, and heart rate. At the top of the screen, it shows the time.

After tracking a run, the Amazfit app shows all of the previously mentioned stats, plus your average and max heart rate, calories burned, stats for each mile, steps, stride, total workout time, and a map of your route. It also shows graphs of your altitude change, heart rate, heart rate zones, and pace. 

Besides runs and walks, I used the Amazfit to track yoga sessions. Since there’s no dedicated option for yoga, I just tracked it under the general fitness category. After tracking an hour-long yoga session, however, the watch wouldn’t connect to the app to sync my activity. I rebooted my phone and that didn’t help. I then rebooted the watch and it finally connected with the app and synced my stats. 

Sleep Tracking

When you wear the Amazfit to bed, it tracks your light and deep sleep, as well as how much time you spent awake during the night. You can view your stats in the app, along with your Sleep Score from one to 100 and Sleep Quality Analysis. After my first night wearing it to bed, it said I slept for 6 hours and 55 minutes and gave me a Sleep Score of 83. 

The app compares your sleep stats with those of “similar users” (i.e. people who are the same age as you and live in the same area). It said I slept better than 63 percent of similar users, fell asleep earlier than 50 percent, and spent more time in deep sleep than 10 percent. 

The Sleep Quality Analysis indicated I didn’t sleep enough, and recommended I try for seven to nine hours every day, and warned that a lack of sleep can be detrimental to my health. It also said my deep sleep time was too short. 

Comparisons and Conclusions

Not quite a smartwatch, the Amazfit T-Rex is more like an ultra-rugged fitness tracker in smartwatch clothing. It tracks your calories burned, heart rate, steps, and sleep, along with military-grade durability. 

The T-Rex offers a few advantages over the similarly priced Fitbit Charge 4, including a color touch screen, longer battery life, rapid heart rate warnings, and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. The Charge 4 also has its strengths, including mobile payment support and a much more robust and user-friendly companion app that allows for menstrual cycle tracking and lets you easily log your food and water intake. 

Both wearables feature integrated GPS, basic music controls, continuous heart rate monitoring, and water resistance to 164 feet. They are both solid options for affordable fitness and sleep tracking, though the Charge 4 remains our Editors’ Choice thanks to its more reliable app and stronger health and fitness guidance.

Amazfit T-Rex Specs

Form Factor Watch
Display Type AMOLED
Compatibility Android, iOS
Heart Rate Monitor Yes
Sleep Tracker Yes
Battery Life 20 days; 40 hours with GPS

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