AMOLED display, lightweight, soft-touch silicon strap
Feature-packed, various activity tracking options, decent battery standby time
Limited watch faces, Incoming/ outgoing calls do not function as expected
Xiaomi-backed wearable brand Huami last month launched its Amazfit Verge smartwatch in India for Rs 11,999. The company who sells two other smartwatches on Flipkart, partnered with Amazon India for the Verge to be an exclusive online offering. The smartwatch claims to offer an integrated fitness solution for health-conscious people. It comes with features like heart rate monitoring, notifications for messages, emails and other various apps, as well as feature like incoming/ outgoing calls functionality and more. With an integrated 4GB storage, the Amazfit Verge also allows you to store music and lets you listen over a Bluetooth headset.
In India, the Amazfit Verge is available via Amazon in three color options of Moonlight White, Sky Grey, and Twilight Blue. I got a chance to use the blue color variant and here’s my full review of the Amazfit Verge smartwatch.
Amazfit Verge: Display, look and feel
The Amazfit Verge essentially comes in the category of sports smartwatch. In terms of dial size, the smartwatch features a 43mm 1.3 inch AMOLED display dial with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. I didn’t find any issue with the screen visibility outdoors, the AMOLED display is bright enough all such conditions. The screen offers a 360×360 pixels resolution, and Amazfit has used a special coating that prevents fingerprints/smudges, which although doesn’t work as good as i was expecting it to be.
The AMOLED display is not an always-on screen, but there is a workaround for it. You can go to Settings > Preferences> Lock Screen, here if you enable ‘Off screen mode‘, then it will display time like an always-on display.
Even with a thick dial, the smartwatch is much lightweight and weighs only 46 grams. It measures 8.9 x 1.69 x 0.5 inches. Amazfit uses reinforced plastic for its body with a silicone strap which has a soft touch feel and finish. I didn’t find the design to be appealing, but the soft rubberized material feels comfortable and it never irritated the skin.
Amazfit Verge: The not so ‘smart’ watch
In terms of performance, while the Amazfit Verge is feature-packed, it still lacks the quality of a smartwatch. You can connect to both iOS and Android device using a Bluetooth connection along with its companion ‘Amazfit Watch’ app. It is compatible with iPhone models running iOS 9.0 or above, as well as Android smartphones running Android 4.4 Kitkat or above. When connected to an Android phone, you’ll see the option of a dialler/phone for making voice calls from the watch, although it will still use your phone to execute the functionality. The watch doesn’t have an independent option of making a call, which means you can’t put in a SIM or use eSIM.
Good part is that you can sync up all your contacts in the watch interface. It even allows you to call any contact directly by tapping on the contact name or by dialing onto a tiny number pad for a new caller. Having said that, the watch doesn’t do any justice to calling feature. I found the quality of call to be very poor during my review time. It was practically impossible to use the watch calling functionality because the delay in voice was quite a lot and the microphone didn’t pick up sound that well. Even with the close proximity of the loudspeaker opening, i could hardly hear other person’s voice because the speaker output was quite less on it. You’ll not be able to hear anything in noisy surroundings. For most time of my review, the watch connection kept dropping as well.
About the incoming calls, you’ll get call alert with options to answer, hang-up or mute it through the watch. As for the notifications on Amazfit Verge, these are not actionable. You can only read them through the watch, but you’ll need your phone to reply. In order to check notifications on the watch, you first need to press the side button or double tap on the screen to wake up the display. Then swipe up to see what all notifications you have. Swiping down provides you with weather information, night mode toggle, airplane mode option, volume control, watch settings and more. Swiping left takes you through various options like Health, Heart-rate, Sports, Sleep and other functions.
Amazfit Verge: Watch faces, Heart rate monitoring and activity features
While some may find the custom operating system on Amazfit Verge disappointing, I think it works okay for the watch, and its companion app. You can’t install third party apps on Verge and the Watch Faces are also limited to 10 for now. The heart rate sensor can be found located at the back of the display/dial. The watch has an option to enable continuous heart rate readings from watch settings, and it helps to check on your exercise routine or rest time, although it’ll end up consuming more battery than usual.
In terms of activity tracking, the Amazfit Verge is full of features. From step counting, sleep tracking to sports mode, running, golfing, soccer, hiking, working out at the gym as well as other many other activity modes makes it a worthy option for fitness enthusiast. In my review time, i found the results to be a little off by 10 percent, but that’s okay for real-life scenarios. The Amazfit Watch app gives an in-depth look into the results, and based on it, one can plan on the activities accordingly.
Amazfit Verge: Battery and Music
In terms of battery, the Amazfit Verge comes with a 390mAh battery. I found it to be good for 4 days. In certain cases of activity tracking and music listening, the stand-by time went down to 3 days, which is also fair to be honest. The watch also alerts for low battery, which is a big positive from Bip that I reviewed last from Amazfit. In terms of charging, there is a special charging adapter for the watch. It only takes about an hour to fully (100 percent) charge.
You can copy your music on the Amazfit Verge directly. It includes 4GB of storage space. The watch is powered by a 1.2GHz processor coupled with 512MB of RAM. To transfer music, you need to plug in to supplied charger with the computer’s USB-A port, and then copy-paste songs.
Amazfit Verge: Should you buy?
At Rs 11,999, the Amazfit Verge with its sporty looks isn’t the prettiest out there. In my opinion, it’ll only attract a niche segment, where consumers are looking for an alternative to a fitness band. I feel the watch looks a little plasticky, less premium and a bit expensive for its price. What you’ll not get in the Amazfit Verge is a SIM card option for standalone connectivity, and the call experience is anyway poor too. I found the activity tracking fine on the Verge, but just in case you plan to take it out for a swim, then you are not advised to do so, despite an IP68 water resistant rating.
In my review time, I found Amazfit Verge to be a more glorified version of a smart fitness band. Consumers looking for a pure smartwatch experience might not be satisfied with the Verge, just like me. Having said that, Amazfit also sells Bip and Stratos in India. I reviewed the Bip some time back, and that’s an impressive offering from the company in its price segment. Also, i find Stratos to be a better looking smartwatch than the Verge. But it is my personal choice to style, and consumers who prefer sports band with fitness tracking as a priority can certainly have a look at it.