Tried it: Amazfit Verge Lite Smartwatch Reviewed
The name Huami is often mentioned together with Xiaomi. While Xiaomi's fitness tapes build on Huami's development work, the strategic cooperation agreement with Xiaomi in turn strengthens Huami's market position.
The Chinese Huami Corporation specializes in intelligent wearable technology. At the core of Huami's mobile apps, Mi Fit and Amazfit, is a database of multidimensional user data, including heart rate, electrocardiograph, weight, body fat composition, GPS track, steps and sleep duration. Since 2013, Huami has been collecting and analyzing activity and biometric data from users to return meaningful analysis. Huami estimated the number of registered users at 56.1 million at the end of 2017.
Specifications Amazfit Verge Lite
- Sensors: Optical heart rate monitor, triaxial accelerometer, ambient light sensor
- GNSS: GPS, GLONASS
- Further Components: Bluetooth 5.0 LE
- Display: AMOLED, 1,3 Zoll, 360 x 360 px, reinforced Gorilla Glass 3, Anti-Fingerprint coating
- Battery: 390 mAh
- Other: IP68
- Scope of delivery: Amazfit Verge Lite, USB charging adapter, Operating instructions
- Price: around 89 Euro (~98USD), for example at Amazon
The Huami Amazfit Verge Lite connects to Android (from version 4.4) as well as to iOS 9 or higher. The watch itself supports Bluetooth 5 LE and expects at least Bluetooth 4 on the smartphone. First it is charged via the included USB dock, which takes about 2.5 hours when the battery is empty. You can use this time to install the app on your smartphone: Mi Fit is available for both systems and is also easy to find via a QR code in the enclosed manual.
In order to compare and analyze the fitness data with those of other users, they are stored on the manufacturer's server. Therefore, an account must first be set up to be fed with personal data such as age, height and weight. If you want to receive notifications on the Verge Lite and be informed about incoming calls, some permissions must be granted, such as those for contacts and phone functions. As far as notifications are concerned, the next step is to narrow down which notifications should arrive on the clock and which should not, and also to prevent them from sliding across the display while the clock is in active use.
Finally, personal fitness goals can be defined via the app, as well as times when the watch will call you if you have sat still for too long.
Case and Equipment
There are more elegant watches, that's for sure. The simple design of the Huami Smartwatch in dark grey with bright accents on the back and buckle should go well with many outfits and is suitable for anyone looking for an unagitated functional watch. The two 70 and 113 mm long sides of the strap can be removed. There is no information about separate straps from the manufacturer; if it's the same bandwidth as the Xiaomi Amazfit Verge, Amazon has at least a few color alternatives from third parties.
The fibreglass and reinforced polycarbonate enclosure is IP68 certified and can withstand a 30 minute immersion at depths of up to 1.5 metres without damage. However, the instruction manual states that the watch is not suitable for showering, swimming, underwater use, sauna use or outdoor temperatures above 40 degrees. Warranty damage can be claimed for up to one year from the date of purchase.
The display has a diameter of 43 mm. Once transferred from the smartphone to the watch, you can choose between different dials with and without complications directly from the menu. The luminosity is not outstanding but sufficient to ensure legibility even in sunshine. The setting is done by a brightness sensor, alternatively it can be adjusted by a virtual slider.
Operation and software
Unlike the German app, the Smartwatch itself has an English interface. An update with a German language package did not appear at least during the test period. That was different with the test of the Amazfit Verge, therefore it can be quite possible that also for the Verge Lite still something follows.
The gesture control follows a simple scheme: By wiping sideways, the dial, pulse counter and pedometer alternate in standard mode. You only need the latter, however, if you have decided on a simple dial that does not visualize this information in the display anyway. In training mode, the wipe to the side brings the time forward, it is not directly visible on the training screen. The usual quick settings such as brightness, rest and energy saving mode as well as a flashlight open from above, while other functions open from below. These include timer, alarm, weather forecast, Smartwatch finder and notifications. They appear briefly when you come in, but require several wiping and typing movements if you want to read them later. A calculator is not on board at least during the test period.
The only button on the clock returns from the functions to the start screen. From there, i.e. pressed in the start screen, it starts the training recording.
Training and Health Functions
Amazfit Smartwatch distinguishes between indoor activities and GPS-supported outdoor activities during training. You can choose between outdoor walking, outdoor running and outdoor cycling, indoor Treadmill (treadmill), indoor cycling, elliptical or cross trainer and exercise (training with weights / equipment). As mentioned above, the Amazfit Verge Lite is not suitable for swimming. In the app, which unfortunately is not free of advertising, we found the possibility to learn further movement patterns, which we did not try out. The last screen under this paragraph shows which sports are planned here.
Even if the route is only rudimentarily displayed on the smartphone (only on the smartphone is the corresponding map material added), it is a nice feature to be able to take a look at it directly after the training. The GPX data, however, cannot be exported, at least not directly. Here the app Mi Fit Exporter for Android may help, but it requires root privileges.
GPS yes, offline music no: If you want to listen to music while training, you have to take your smartphone with you despite the integrated GPS, because the music functions of the clock are limited to controlling the player on the smartphone: Android supports the native Google player and Spotify, Apple Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.
Even without explicit activation, the Verge Lite records every movement and also logs sleep cycles when worn at night. The movement log does not read very exciting, but sleep and heart rhythm logs provide many clues if you are interested and can be helpful if you suspect any disturbances. The interval for heart rate measurement is 1, 5, 10 or 30 minutes, depending on the selected setting, and increases automatically in training mode.
Battery and runtime
Power-saving sensors, including a 28nm ultra-low-power GPS chip from Sony, and optimized algorithms are designed to keep the Verge Lite running for up to 20 days with the 390 mAh battery. And not only in standby mode, but also in a practical usage scenario. In our test with several tracked hikes and runs as well as permanent pulse measurement every minute, the battery display still stood at 19 percent after two weeks. That's why, and because the battery wasn't empty at the start of the test, we can only pass on the duration for a full charge as Huami says: in 2.5 hours the Amazfit Verge Lite should be fit again for another 20 days.
The Amazfit Verge Lite is an enduring, fully-fledged Smartwatch at a low price (around 89 Euro, for example at Amazon). With continuous pulse measurement, regular training recordings and typical functions such as the retrieval of weather information and notifications, you can rely on it for two weeks; despite the generally positive trend towards the running time of smart watches, this is a high house number.
A functional Smartwatch with a running time of several weeks - that's a good idea.
However, those looking for a fitness tracker with integrated GPS usually do so in order to be independent of the smartphone during training. The Verge Lite's range of functions is therefore not quite complete, at least not for those who enjoy listening to music while exercising or even let themselves be driven by the beats. This is where an integrated player is missing for complete freedom. Athletes may also miss the water suitability under certain circumstances. Both deficiencies are covered by the Fitbit Versa 2, which in turn lacks a GPS receiver. If you miss the hands-free function on the Verge Lite, you should take a look at the more expensive, GPS-supported Amazfit Verge, which is clearly beaten by the Verge Lite in terms of battery life.