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Amazfit Stratos

The Stratos looks a little like the first-generation Android wearables, down to the flat tire display that characterised the Moto 360

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Huami has taken all the right notes from its parent Xiaomi while launching the Amazfit brand of smart wearables—release a product that scores high on specs and finish, while undercutting the competition on price. And so it is with the Stratos, a sporty smartwatch, which tracks a diverse set of activities via its built-in GPS and optical heart rate sensors. For the price, you also get basic smartwatch capabilities (with app notifications) along with respectable multi-day battery life and a wear-everywhere rugged design.

The Stratos looks a little like the first-generation Android wearables, down to the flat tire display that characterised the Moto 360. It is thick yet surprisingly light at 70 gm, and with a ceramic bezel that encases the Gorilla Glass covered top, the Stratos has a decidedly premium feel to it that will appeal to more than just smart wearable enthusiasts. The rugged design includes stainless steel buttons and 5 ATM water resistance, so it is as tough as they come.

In use, the Stratos, which uses a proprietary software coupled with the Amazfit app (and not the Mi Fit app) on Android/iOS, takes a bit of getting used to — while you can use the touchscreen to navigate around the interface, the three-button layout works better to get stuff done when you are working out. Compared to the fitness watch competition, the Stratos does a lot for the price — tracking running, swimming, walking, hiking and a host of other activities (with V02max oxygen consumption tracking), though the GPS takes a bit of time to lock down when you are tracking your outdoor activities. Use the GPS and Bluetooth streaming/continuous heart rate tracking sparingly, and you should get about 3-4 days of battery life.

The only downside is the display. The 1.3-inch touchscreen always-on display is large and is easy to read thanks to the high-contrast watch faces, but the experience takes a dip when lighting is poor or you are viewing the watch off-centre. Colours fade and you really struggle to use it indoors when in auto mode. That said, it looks great in direct sunlight, so if you are out and about much, the screen will not bother you one bit.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 4 August 2018 Amazfit Stratos

Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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