A very light GPS smartwatch with dual chip and system, a barometer for accurate elevation, a color touchscreen, and a long battery life welcomed for ultras.
Despite a large screen (a diameter of 48.6mm), the smartwatch does not look big on the wrist (especially welcome for the ladies) and the case made from reinforced plastic is the result of a very light smartwatch. The silicone strap allows for easy adjustment and comfort.
Impressive battery life
We were particularly impressed by the battery life. Although we did not test the battery to its full extend, it needed to be charged only once a week for 10-12h of weekly training using the GPS. Further, after a 7h trail run (Strava run: last 45km of TransLantau), the battery was still at 80% using the asynchronies screening. We tested the GPS at 1sec vs. 5sec and clearly, the accuracy decreases at 5sec, which would be useful only if you plan to run over 40h (the battery can last 75h at 5sec intervals, according to the brand).
The best battery setting for trail running: Settings/battery mode>Custom and then you select 1s at GPS interval, PPG on (this is the heart rate), wake screen off, the touch screen on. The setting by default has a wake-up screen on and we found this feature not working really well for trail running activities (the screen takes time to wake-up and update, although note that the GPS never stops recording on the backend). The magnetic charging stand that connects via a 4-pin pogo connection allows us to fast charge the watch.
The touch screen is high quality and works well even when the screen is wet (you have the option to deactivate the touch screen). The heart rate sensor (Huami’s proprietary PPG bio-tracking heart rate sensor) on the wrist did not feel accurate at all times during activities, but this is similar to any heart rate on the wrist from other brands. If you are really after an accurate heart rate, you will need to connect a chest rate monitor via Bluetooth.
User-friendly mobile app
The mobile app is well design and user-friendly with many cool features. You can control your watch from the app and update the settings quickly via Bluetooth. The stats are useful, can go into details such as the time/% of flat, climb and downhill of your run/ride. We also particularly liked the sleep feature (provide deep and light sleep, as well as calculate your resting heart rate. You can control all the features of your watch on the app (e.g. change the screen display, can even upload a photo for a custom watch display). Other cool features are a 2GB of onboard storage to listen to music via Bluetooth earbuds.
Huami brand started with fitness smartwatch models (overtook Fitbit in the number of fitness watches sold), and although a recent brand into GPS smartwatch, the quality is definitely there and impressed our team.
The price is very competitive and this model is definitely a very good quality GPS watch. The retail price on the online store weareready.hk is HK$1,698.
Note: we tested the smartwatch on a total of 30 activities over 330km, mainly trail running, but also river gorging, mountain biking, cycling, and stand up paddling.