Last month we received the Amazfit X and after spending a lot of quality time with the futuristic-looking wearable we are ready to share what’s good about it and what rubbed us the wrong way.
The uniqueness of the X comes from an extra-tall screen that curves around your wrist, offering a lot of room for text, while also looking much better than any of its rivals. It was initially available at Indiegogo for just over $150, but its retail price is supposed to be $329, although now that all units available through the platform are gone it’s unclear how much Amazfit will charge for it.
The Amazfit X ships in a large, round box that’s even looking impressive on the outside. Inside is the proprietary charger, a fancy stand and spare half wristband.
This is to say you only replace the lower half of the band with a shorter one to ensure better fit on slimmer wrists. The top part is the one with the buckle and is mounted with a Philips screw, clearly made to stay there.
Although the proprietary charger is not an ideal solution, its stand makes the whole thing look futuristic even when charging. You can also dismantle it and use it separately when you’re away from home.
The Amazfit X is advertised and sold as a smartwatch even if it has the form factor of a smart band – it is relatively narrow and ever so slightly wider than a Mi Band or a Galaxy Fit. Huami is selling the idea that you can have all the information you need on the screen without having to scroll, and the Amazfit X on occasion brings even more than you can handle.
The Amazfit X has no hardware keys, but there are two pressure-sensitive points in the middle of both sides. A simple squeeze, accompanied by a gentle vibration, brings you back to the watch face from any screen.
The watch is made from titanium alloy, but the bands are made of fluororubber which is a type of polycarbonate that is gentle on the skin and easy to wash away from nasty germs after a lengthy sports session.
The development of curved and foldable devices is hampered by one key aspect in general – the battery and its reluctance to follow any curvatures. However, the Amazfit X power cell has a 205 mAh capacity and is able to follow the slight 92-degree curve of the panel.
Battery life is said to be “up to 7 days” but that’s a conservative estimate without notifications, sleep tracking or sports activities. Once some of these are turned on, one charge can shell no more than 5 days of battery life, with the GPS tracker being the biggest drainer.
When it is time to top up the battery of the Amazfit X, it magnetically snaps to its charger and gets from 0 to 100% in about 75 minutes but the watch is unusable during that time.
In addition to doing a splending job of showing your notifications, the Amazfit X also promises sports and sleep tracking and SpO2 meter, while the 5ATM water resistance means you don’t need to take it off every time you wash your hands or go swimming.
Sports-wise, the Amazfit X supports 9 different modes, including running, swimming, cycling, walking, all of them either outdoor or indoor.
We faced some issues with the location functionality. While the Amazfit X supports both GPS and GLONASS at one instance the band was entirely unable to acquire lock.
However, Huami assured us this is an issue with some of the pre-production units such as the one we had for review and it will be fixed in the retail units. Also, when we got the GPS working, it was measuring as good as any smart device. Yes, it isn’t your Suunto or Garmin wearable but does the job for every running enthusiast.
All the sports are tracked by the watch and then synchronized with the app. Amazfit renamed the platform and now it is named Zepp after a California-based multi-sport sensor technology company that Huami acquired in 2018. On the inside, the app on the mobile phone is pretty the same that we criticized in several reviews of Amazfit wearables.
The application and its features would be ideal for someone living in the Amazfit universe, but even some of those users might be bothered by either having no access to a feature or having multiple access points for the very same function.
First, you cannot add your own watch faces. While the pre-loaded ones are pretty neat and many of their complications are customizable, it would be even better if you got the options to design your own. Also, the customization of the complications is only possible via the touchscreen and not the app, which would be more convenient at times.
The Zepp app is filled with features that can be used in the Amazfit universe but not with the X. For example, there is Weight holding baby, Balance on one foot, Himalayan or NFC card package – they are all compatible with other Huami-owned products that are not smart bands but for some reason Amazfit decided to keep them greyed out instead of completely hiding them.
The thing that sets apart the Amazfit X is the 2.07” touchscreen. Of course, the relatively high number comes from the very tall ratio meaning you don’t get that much more screen estate, but in the end, that’s all you need on your wrist – more info at a glance, not a big wide panel for media consumption.
Furthermore this is one of the brightest displays we have ever seen, wearable or not. There are no issues with colors getting dull under certain angles and the brightness is impressive.
And the curved screen doesn’t just look nice, the technology behind it is even more spectacular. The 92-degree curvature allows for a comfortable rest on the wrist, and engineers proudly revealed they heat the glass cover to over 700 degrees Celsius, and then bend it in a complicated 6-step process.
According to Amazfit, the panel has 326 PPI HD resolution and offers 20 different watch faces, specifically designed for this form factor.
Some of the faces are cluttered, others are rather minimalistic but they all show more information than just about any other wearable – after all, that’s the main use-case scenario of the Amazfit X.
After one month with the Amazfit X, we are left with a mixed feelings. It’s certainly an amazing looking wearable and it does a splending job with the notificatinos.
However, Huami should clearly imporve its companion application as it makes analyzing the data gathered by the Amazfit X very hard.
The wearable is currently unavailable after its initial stints at Indiegogo and at a local Chinese crowdfunding platform. Amazfit is expected to launch globally with the option to purchase the X from its website. Currently you can get it in China for $150 and while the international will certainly higher we at least hope that it will be lower than the $329 the last of the early adopters had to pay.
Regardless of the specific number however the Amazfit X is going to way pricier than other smartbands of similar functionality, so it won’t be stealing market share from the Mi Bands of this world. However its looks make it work so much better as a fashion accessory that we are certain there will be no shortage of buyers either.