In the ranking of the most desirable gadgets, smartphones are gradually giving way to wearable electronics. No wonder every brand is trying to create its own vision of the Apple Watch or Xiaomi Mi Band.
Stand out are the legendary Garmin and Polar: So far, none of the many Chinese “repeaters” has been able to create activity trackers in a convenient form for professional athletes.
Huawei and Amazfit are trying hard: the latest version of the Stratos smartwatch, according to many experts, has come close to the professional level.
Tested and made my own conclusions. You will be interested.
Normal men’s watch
Amazfit Stratos 3 with stock dial look like a normal mechanical watch. Big, brutal, classic — in moderation, of course.
The glossy metal bezel has 60 notches, does not rotate, but gives the Stratos a much more impressive look than most smartwatches.
The notches are decorative and are duplicated on those watchfaces where they would be useful.
The case itself is made of durable polycarbonate with a texture «under the carbon». Dirt does not collect, traces of use and scratches also pass by.
The silicone strap with perforations along the entire length allows you to wear this model on any wrist. It is a pity that ventilation does not help during training, the hand under the watch still sweats.
Despite the purely masculine size of the watch, the weight is very small. You can wear around the clock, and quite comfortable.
The strap measures 22mm. Complete checked by time, holds perfectly, does not cause skin reactions.
Not worth changing, although Stratos 3 look great paired with a leather bracelet and a classic style of clothing.
The transflective screen is not for the weak
The watch screen is covered with synthetic tempered glass Gorilla Glass 3. It practically does not scratch, it only breaks with a direct blow of a sharp object.
Under the protection hides the most interesting: instead of a full-fledged AMOLED display, the Stratos 3 received the same transflective display as the old generation Bip with blue backlight.
A peculiar solution allows you to seriously save the charge and do without the mode Always ON: The display always shows information. But in «sleep mode» it will require external light to read it, as for ordinary watches.
However, the solution eliminates the problems of readability in bright sunlight. More light means better visibility.
The image is peculiar: dim, not saturated enough. As if dull, with a bluish tint. You have to immediately change the regular watchface, since the effect is most pronounced on it.
If the glass will glare, you can activate the screen. It will give enough light that you can use it as a flashlight.
Mechanical control for full stuffing
Stratos 3 controls are combined: swipes and taps on the touch screen with an unlock button are duplicated by 4 navigation keys.
Upper Select is used to select a menu item, and double-clicking it opens the workout type selection.
swing two buttons is for navigation.
Key Back required to exit or activate the main menu of 16 sections: Health, Heart Rate, Sports, Log, Exercise Status, Weather, Alarm Clock, Compass, Barometer, Location, Timer, Stopwatch, Music, Sleep, Phone Finder and Settings.
The combo allows you to control the watch where the sensor cannot work: in water, in the rain or in the cold when you have to wear gloves.
However, keys do not replace swipes. So, a single swipe up opens the quick settings panel, repeated successively open a list of functions that can be configured in the application.
In addition to the voiced ones, there is a «Find phone», «Timer», «Journal», «Alarm clock», «Music», «Weather», «Fitness», «Pulse measurement». They are also available with a swipe down.
Horizontal scrolling is required to read new messages and enter the main menu, accessible by pressing a key.
Filling and its possibilities
Inside Amazfit Stratos 3 (and outside) are very similar to the GTS we have already described. But there are differences, even despite the use of a similar pulse measurement sensor BioTracker PPG«comparable to breastplates in accuracy.»
For charging, it uses its own 4-pin base, which is incompatible with other two-pin Amazfit: 2 additional ones are needed for data transfer via USB.
They are useful for recording music on 2 GB of internal memory. To do this, you can also use the Wi-Fi module by connecting to a DLNA server.
Files, alas, are not readable — today only Apple Watch and Android Wear devices can do this.
Stratos operating modes and autonomy
In the Stratos 3 settings, you can find the item for switching operating modes. One promises up to 7 days of autonomy, the second — twice as much:
Smart assumes full-featured use with support for all sports and according to the documentation it is rated for viewing about 150 notifications, 30 times raising the wrist to view the time, half an hour of outdoor sports and 5 minutes of other activities.
Ultra limits the choice of tracking modes to 11 sports, reduces the accuracy of navigation.
The Sony GNSS module used for it supports GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo. But not everything is simple here either.
Autonomy can be increased or decreased by adjusting the accuracy:
Accurate (up to 35 hours) — enabled heart rate monitoring, touch control, access to notifications, always-on display with low power consumption, up to 10 wrist lifts per hour, GPS recording once per second.
Balanced (up to 45 hours) — everything is the same, but GPS is written once every five seconds.
energy saving (up to 70 hours) — everything is the same, but heart rate monitoring and notifications are turned off, and GPS is written once a minute.
The economy modes are only available for some of the gentle workout modes.
Interesting: for hiking, you can download a prepared track using it as a navigator.
80 sports to track!
And here is their list is really impressive: Amazfit Stratos 3 can track 80 sports!
In fact, most of them are slightly different from each other, so they may be of interest mainly to those who clearly distinguish between swimming options or actively play team sports.
See for yourself:
► Running and Walking (4): Running, Walking, Treadmill, Trail.
► Riding (4): Bicycle, Exercise Bike, Mountain Bike, BMX.
► Swimming (2): Pool, Open water swimming.
► Activities (9): Hunting, Climbing, Fishing, Sailing, Walking, Skateboarding, Paddleboarding, Roller Skating, Climbing.
► Fitness (16) , Yoga, Free learning.
► Dance (7): Ballet, Belly dance, Square dance, Street dance, Ballroom dance, Dancing, Zumba.
► Martial Arts (10): Fencing, Karate, Boxing, Judo, Wrestling, Tai Chi, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Martial Arts, Kickboxing.
► Games (15): Cricket, Baseball, Bowling, Squash, Rugby, Basketball, Softball, Gateball, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Hockey, Handball, Tennis, Badminton, Football.
► Winter sports (8): Curling, Snowboarding, Alpine skiing, Ice skating, Skiing, Outdoor skating, Cross country skiing, Skiing.
► Other (5): All-around, Shooting, Equestrian, Triathlon, Rope.
Not all names are familiar to many, not to deal with them. Therefore, Amazfit positions the gadget precisely in the role professional device. And a competitor to related brands like Poral or Garmin.
But the latter have their own devices for certain activities. And here everything at once.
Additional application features
Unlike most mainstream fitness smartwatches, the Stratos 3 has support for connecting external devices.
In the simplest case, it is supposed to be combined with smart fully wireless headphones. Amazfit PowerBuds. To do this, you don’t even have to do anything — the devices work in one application and are synchronized automatically.
More advanced gadgets (like the PowerBuds, by the way) can connect via Bluetooth directly to the Stratos using quick pairing protocols.
An unnamed chest Bluetooth heart rate monitor connected, but how the watch takes statistics into account is a little unclear. Subjectively, the data with and without it differ slightly, but the statistics in the application do not indicate this.
There are no problems with headphones and the player. Any work.
Important: unlike many, the Zepp app allows you to connect both Strava and GoogleFit. There is no support for a similar Apple service.
Amazfit boasts that it was their sensor that became most accurateat least among Chinese smartwatches.
If we compare the readings of the heart rate monitor, indeed, the Stratos, which fit tightly on the arm, exactly match the data from the medical device and manual measurement.
Evaluation in dynamics is much more difficult. Unlike many «colleagues», the watch do not count trips in transport for running / walking. But the transition to running is normally considered only at the start of the workout.
Swim tracking and active play modes only take into account the total load, so you can’t replace professional devices: neither the number of strokes, nor the exact distance.
But the clock count strokes and racket hits/ball throwsif they are performed by hand with an accessory on. Without mistakes.
In other cases, distances and calories are taken into account. Stratos even try take into account jumps or other complex movements based on the distance traveled, that is, their accelerometer in training mode is really more sensitive than their counterparts.
How to implement the capabilities of Stratos?
To be honest, the colossal capabilities of this smartwatch are impressive and depressing at the same time. Why so many variations of activities, if you could create more “smart”, but capacious categories?
The point is clearly not that an endless list of sports will help someone. Probably for the same reason, Garmin creates options for swimmers or football players.
Sensors in watches are still not enough. Connecting external solves only part of the problems.
However, active athletes and fans of a variety of activities can rest easy: Stratos 3 accurately track, separate and account for any activity.
Underrated and very expensive. Or not?
Amazfit is valued primarily for its budget devices. Apple securely occupies the highest segment of wearable electronics, Samsung — mid-price.
The Stratos line balances prices between Huawei, which has become a newcomer to the segment, and Samsung. The first ones offer a very stylish appearance for humane prices, the second ones are a little more expensive — but they have contactless payment.
Yes, and Amazfit themselves have GTR (47 mm), which look no worse than Stratos 3 — they can be worn in the same way during training or with a formal suit.
Therefore, 16 thousand rubles for Stratos 3 turns out to be a high price: the unique combination of an always-on transflective screen, high autonomy and advanced sports modes should attract either athletes or aesthetes.
For others, the market offers too many analogues. But trying Stratos instead of Garmin is really worth it.