With a dozen military-grade certifications, long-lasting battery life, built-in GPS, and comfortable wearing, we believe the Amazfit T-Rex is worthy of being our Best Choice recommendation for an affordable rugged smartwatch, all at an attractive price.
Casio’s G-Shock series of wristwatches are famous for their rugged build, tolerance against water, and low-temperature. Their watches are primarily designed for sports, military, and outdoors-oriented activities. They are the best in terms of utility and toughness among their counterparts in the same price range. And I love them.
Now, why am I going on and on about G-Shock in an Amazfit T-Rex review? My fanboyism of G-Shock is oozing because Amazfit has built a similar watch and added some “smart” functionalities to it. The Amazfit T-Rex comes with a host of exciting features alongside providing a rugged build and a dozen Military Grade certifications. All for under Rs 10,000 / $150.
The Amazfit T-Rex was first showcased at CES 2020. While the smartwatch made its way to the United States soon after, it is now being made available in India. I’ve been using it for more than two weeks, and here are my thoughts, in our Amazfit T-Rex review below.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pull the Amazfit T-Rex out of the box is its unapologetic resemblance to G-Shock, which is not bad by any means. While the smartwatch is rugged, you won’t feel the bulk since it weighs just 58 grams. It is very light for its size and design. I liked it, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to like it too. Some people prefer heft on the bulky design. If you are one of them, then the T-Rex might fail to deliver.
It might be light, but when it comes to design, it lives up to its name. The T-Rex features a polycarbonate body and comes with STD-MIL-810G certification, which means the wearable can last up to an hour and a half at -40 degrees Celsius. The heat resistance goes up to 70 degrees Celsius. Now, I wasn’t able to test the extremes for obvious reasons, but the watch did survive in the range of zero degrees Celsius (I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes) to 45 degrees Celsius (I live in Delhi heat). It also has a 5ATM rating, which means it is water-resistant to a depth of up to 164 feet.
There are four physical buttons on the watch. They are meant to help you with UI navigation. On the left edge lie the Up and Down buttons, while on the right there are Select and Back buttons. They are prominent and easy to find. However, the click feels a bit hollow. I’d prefer better tactile feedback. The text, on the other hand, is deeply indented into the plastic, so you need not worry about it fading any time soon. On the back of the device, you’ll find the Bio-Tracking Optical sensor.
Oh, and the silicone band is one of the most comfortable I’ve worn thus far. It feels like the bands have no weight of their own. Further, they do not stick on your wrist while you sweat during workouts.
The Amazfit T-Rex features a 1.3-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. It is covered in Gorilla Glass 3 and comes with an oleophobic coating on top, which is admittedly not the best out there. It is sharp, and the viewing experience is pretty good, even under direct sunlight.
However, the same can’t be said for the always-on display. While the brightness goes up to the maximum for the main screen, the always-on screen is not easy to view under sunlight. Touch sensitivity and accuracy are good, but I experienced touch issues with wet fingers.
Amazfit offers two pre-loaded watch faces out of the box, however, many more can be installed from the app. You can set your favorite watch face, but it won’t be visible on the always-on display (AOD). The T-Rex gives you two options for AOD – digital or analog. And these are preset faces so you can’t choose the information that you want to be displayed on your screen. It shows the time, day, date and steps count on the always-on screen.
The Amazfit T-Rex comes with 13 workout modes: Outdoor Running, Walking Outdoor Cycling, Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Treadmill, Indoor Cycling, Elliptical Trainer, Exercise, Climbing, Trail Running, Skiing, Outdoor Trekking.
To track a workout, you need to swipe right or press the Select button and go to Workouts. The wearable also comes equipped with a dedicated GPS receiver. While testing, it took only about 15-20 seconds to acquire a GPS signal. I started my run after that and the watch showed current and average pace, distance, duration, and heart rate. During my walk, however, I noticed that the watch didn’t register my steps at times, especially when I moved back and forth within 5-10 meters. Nonetheless, it didn’t register any fake steps. If you are after optimal GPS performance, you can go with the T-Rex.
Aside from Walk and Running, I used my unit while exercising. During the Exercise mode, the watch shows duration, calorie consumption, and heart rate. It also shows what kind of exercise you are doing based on the heart rate. It can be Low, Intensive, Aerobic, and more. But you can’t change the song (if you are playing any) during the workout since the watch face is locked.
Further, the Amazfit T-Rex features Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), which helps you achieve workout goals over a span of a week.
Sleep tracking, on the other hand, is a hit and a miss. While it did offer the correct metric of total sleep for me, the number of minutes I was awake in between was sometimes correct and other times completely off.
I didn’t wear the smartwatch for one day and it was kept on a table. While sitting on the wood, it still showed a heart rate value. It can be an issue if you are monitoring your heart rate throughout the day.
User Interface and Functionality
The UI on Amazfit T-Rex is straightforward and easy to use. Swipe down to go to quick shortcuts, which include flashlight, battery saver, DND mode, auto-brightness, and lock. It also shows the battery level and the temperature in your city. Swipe right to check your notifications and Swiping left takes you to the in-built apps, which by the way, are all the apps you get. You can check your PAI score, day’s status, heart rate, activities, start a timer, countdown, compass, control your music, and more. Overall, we didn’t encounter any stutters while navigating through the watch during the time of our Amazfit T-Rex review.
As for the music control, it allows you to skip a track, go to the previous track, and adjust the volume. It works with third-party music streaming apps like Spotify. But there is no option to store music locally, so you will have to rely on your phone to play your favorite tunes.
Coming to the notifications, you can choose the apps you want to get notified for, from the app. Additionally, you can adjust the vibration-style for your notifications. The watch views your messages and alerts you when someone is calling. However, while showing notifications from third-party apps like Slack, it alerts you with the name “App” instead of showing the app icon.
Moreover, it doesn’t show emojis or messages in languages other than English. You’ll only receive the name of the sender in such cases. Further, the notifications aren’t actionable. This is one feature I missed a lot. You can’t send a quick “ok” to a text or a message using your voice. There is no voice assistant either. While we are talking of no support, I should also mention that it doesn’t support third-party apps. But I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any app.
Amazfit delivers what it claims for the battery life of the T-Rex. With Always-on-Display (AOD) turned off, 30 minutes of exercise, and heart rate monitoring set to 30 minutes, the battery drained just four to five percent in 24 hours during our Amazfit T-Rex review period. That gives it a battery life of 20 days on a single charge.
However, it is a different story if you turn on AOD. With the said feature turned on and heart rate monitoring set for 10 minutes, it lasted five days. Moreover, with AOD turned on and heart rate monitoring set for 30 minutes it got the extra juice to deliver six days of battery. All of this includes 45 minutes of exercise and walking.
While AOD is a battery drainer, the Amazfit T-Rex is a champ is in this department. It delivers on the promise and lasts for days without needing to be charged.
Amazfit companion App
To set up your T-Rex, you need to download the Amazfit app (available for Android and iOS) and create an account (if you don’t already have one. It asks for basic information like gender, height, weight, and date of birth alongside your target calories and target sleep. It is relatively simple to add a device too. The app asks you to pick the model you want to pair. Then, a QR code pops up on the watch, which you need to scan and press Confirm. I was all set within five minutes. However, my Amazfit T-Rex review unit had several pending updates, which took another 10 minutes or so.
There are three tabs at the bottom: Homepage, Enjoy, Profile. The app’s Homepage is quite busy. It shows you all your tracked data like the number of steps, calories burnt, hours of sleep taken, heart rate, sleep score, PAI, and more.
Coming to the Enjoy tab, it shows the utilities like alarm clock, event reminder, find device, target setting, dial setting, etc.
Tapping on Profile takes you to well, your profile page where you can see the amount of charge left on your device, set your goals, records, and more.
Tapping on Sleep takes you to the Sleep Score page that gives you a score based on the amount of sleep you took. Further, it is classified into Deep sleep, Light sleep, and Time awake.
The app basically helps you make sense of the data gathered by your watch and install watch faces in the watch.
In concluding our Amazfit T-Rex review, we can say this is the best in its segment of Rs 10,000 / $150. The rugged design, comfortable wearing, long-lasting battery life makes it easy to recommend. However, it isn’t a full-fledged smartwatch in my opinion, since you can’t take actions from the notifications and there is no third-party app support. But overall, the pros outweigh the cons and I can safely say that this T-Rex isn’t going extinct anytime soon.
|Rugged design||Non-actionable notifications|
|Excellent battery life|
|Sharp and Vibrant display|