Bottom line: The T-Rex Pro is an extremely durable smartwatch that packs in a lot of health monitoring capabilities with fantastic battery life. While the software is fast and easy to use, it does lack third-party apps and usable notifications.
- Functional, rugged design
- Excellent battery life
- Top-tier water resistance
- Fast and responsive software
- A full fitness suite
- Notifications aren't usable
- Some odd app bugs
- Taking SpO2 measurement is frustrating
When the T-Rex was released last year, it quickly became one of the best Amazfit Smartwatches available and made me really excited for an Amazfit T-Rex Pro. The smartwatch maker is known for its responsive software and long battery life, and with the T-Rex series, you get that at a lot more.
At first glance, it's clear to see that the T-Rex Pro is made to handle a rough and tumble adventure. This isn't a dainty watch that is designed for the boardroom. No, this smartwatch is certified MIL-STD-810G, boasting 15 levels of durability to go along with 10ATM water resistance. Combine all of that with a battery that's advertised to last up to 18 days, a slew of sensors, and the ability to recognize over 100 different exercises, and it all looks great on paper.
As we all know, what is shown on paper and what happens in real day-to-day wear can be very different. So, in the last couple of weeks, I wore the Amazfit T-Rex Pro all day, every day. I wore it working on various projects on my property, sleeping, workouts, and everything in between. How'd it hold up? Almost flawlessly.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro: Price and availability
The Amazfit T-Rex Pro was announced for release on March 23, 2021, for $180, with availability currently through Amazon and Amazfit. You can pick up the T-Rex Pro in three colors: Meteorite Black, Desert Grey, and Steel Blue.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro: What's good
While Amazfit may not be a household name like Samsung, its smartwatches have been among the most popular for years now, and it's following up the successful T-Rex with a pro model. Sure, there is a lot of DNA shared between the two versions visually, but the T-Rex Pro is much more than just a slight refresh. From the watch's durability and water resistance to the software and sensor capabilities, Amazfit took what was great about its first T-Rex and improved on nearly every aspect of it.
|Category||Amazfit T-Rex Pro|
|Dimensions||1.88 x 1.88 x .53 inches|
|Battery||390 mAh • Up to 18 days|
1.5 hours charging time
|Display||1.3" Color AMOLED|
|Water resistance||10 ATM|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE|
|Sensors||Heart rate sensor|
Ambient light sensor
From the moment I took the Amazfit T-Rex Pro out of the box, I noticed two things: one, the watch feels far more premium than the $180 price tag would suggest, and two, at the same time, it's surprisingly light. I know that these two things don't generally go together, but at no point during my review period did I feel like I would damage the T-Rex Pro, nor did it feel like I was wearing a tank on my wrist.
Setting up the watch with the Zepp Health app was easy. Several settings can be adjusted for the T-Rex Pro from within the app — like changing what types of notifications you want to receive, what apps can send you notifications, and various health monitoring options. The Zepp Health app is also where you can find and download new watch faces.
Perhaps my favorite setting found in the app is the same one from my time with the Zepp Z — which makes sense because it uses the same app — and that's scheduling the always-on display. I love that I can automatically disable the screen during evening hours and don't have to remember to put it into theater mode every night at bedtime.
There are four physical buttons on the watch, two on each side, that allow you to navigate most of the watch without using the touchscreen. This can help when you are wearing gloves or when the screen is wet. As with most other capacitive displays, a wet screen or slippery fingers makes operating the screen difficult.
Speaking of the display, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro includes an essential sensor that all smartwatches should have — an ambient light sensor. This means that there's no fussing with settings to increase or decrease the brightness depending on lighting conditions; the watch just does it for you.
Colors on the 1.3" AMOLED display are vibrant, and the text is easy to read. The oleophobic coating on the glass does a good job of keeping smudges to a minimum and helps water or sweat bead off. My wrists are on the larger size, but I think the screen size on the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is about right. Much smaller and information can get cramped and become hard to read, and much bigger and the watch could become unwieldy.
The 22mm silicone band that comes with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is really comfortable. Its dual-texture design offers plenty of clasp points, and it has channels on the underside to help with breathability and allowing moisture to escape.
While we're on the backside of the watch, you can find the BioTracker 2 PPG heart rate sensor, Sp02 sensor for blood oxygen saturation monitoring, and the two charge contacts for the magnetic pogo pin charger. The charging cable lines up onto the pins and holds on well while charging the watch from zero to full in around an hour and a half.
Amazfit uses a custom operating system based on RTOS, just like the OnePlus Watch does. You'll find notifications to the left of the home screen, quick toggles at the top, daily activity info below, and an app drawer to the right. The T-Rex Pro combines its custom software with a suite of sensors on the watch for a very capable fitness companion.
You can track your progress in over 100 different workouts using the T-Rex Pro, and with the new ExerSense algorithm, it automatically recognizes eight different sports. While only workouts like running, biking, swimming, and five others will automatically be recognized, the watch can keep up with far more.
You can choose what workouts you want to pin towards the top of the list of options to save time searching on the watch. When I used the Amazfit T-Rex Pro during some strength training sessions, it did a solid job of noticing reps. It could have been more intuitive as to how to save a set, though. Pressing the physical back button takes you to a screen to save that set and initiate your rest period, but it wasn't obvious was how to do it.
The watch uses the PAI Health Assessment System to combine all of the daily activity and health data into a score. This is to help you understand what you may need to work on more and where you are succeeding. The simple scoring system also helps to give an easy goal to aim for.
The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is designed to be tough, so it can handle nearly anything thrown at it. With a water resistance rating of 10 ATM, the first T-Rex was only 5 ATM; it is swim-ready at depths of up to 100 meters. For toughness, it's covered by 15 different military-standard certifications, MIL-STD-801G, whereas only 12 certificates covered the original T-Rex.
These certifications cover many aspects of different physical and environmental components. It is rated to survive as cold as -40°F to 158°F, 240 hours of high humidity, 96 hours of sea salt spray, freezing rain, and shock from drops.
I wore the watch working on remodeling projects, fixing my tractor, playing with the kids, cooking, and anything else that happened to come about, and the watch looks the same as it did out of the box. Every time I'd reach inside my tractor engine case, I was worried that I'd have scratches on the watch — nope, not one when I pulled my wrist out.
For a watch designed to go everywhere with you, it needs to last a long time between charges. While the watch is rated for up to 18 days of usage per charge, that's by limiting the frequency heart rate and SpO2 checks, GPS tracking, and display settings. When I had all of it active with frequent polling for heart rate and sleep tracking, I averaged about eight days between charges.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro: What's not good
Unfortunately, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is dogged by a few things holding the watch from having a permanent place in my smartwatch rotation. I need my smartwatch to do more than just track my steps and tell me time; if that's all I wanted, I would get a fitness tracker instead. In my opinion, two characteristics that a smartwatch needs to have are a good notification system and third-party apps to make it on the list of best Android smartwatches
The T-Rex Pro fails at both of these requirements. There are no third-party apps, and while it does receive notifications, they are terrible. The majority of the notifications that come through are very vague, and on the one hand, that's fine from a privacy standpoint if you can expand for more information — but that's not always the case. Here again, more inconsistency, because sometimes opening a notification will show more details, other times — nothing.
When I get a notification, and all I can see is an icon that says "App" and nothing else to give context as to what app it's tied to, it's really useless. I got to the point where I turned off almost all notifications because if I got one, I wouldn't be able to tell what it was for or what information it contained.
This isn't a major issue, but it is frustrating if you've gotten used to it — and that's Smart Lock. When using a Wear OS watch, or an option from Samsung, it is recognized as a connected Bluetooth device. This means that you can tell your phone that it is a trusted device and leave your phone unlocked when the two are connected. The Amazfit T-Rex Pro doesn't show up as a device that I can use this feature with.
I don't know for sure if this is a feature or a bug, but when trying to register a blood oxygen saturation reading, I have to be very, very still, and the watch has to be really tight. For other devices I have used that offer SpO2 reading, I have not had the same issue. I can't get consistent measurements because unless I am specifically trying to take a reading, I cannot hold still long enough, and the strap is far too tight to be comfortable.
This struggle ties in with incomplete information within workouts and sleep tracking. The watch uses data from SpO2 monitoring to give a more complete picture of your oxygen uptake for fitness coaching and sleep breathing quality. Speaking of sleep tracking, it works great, but there's an issue viewing the results in the Zepp Health app.
There's no way to see the data collected from your night's sleep on the watch directly, which is fine for the most part. On the Zepp Health app's homepage, you can see current activity data, including the most recent sleep tracking data. When tapping on that data log, you are taken to see more information on it. However, the problem lies in that when you are taken to the dedicated sleep tracking page, it's impossible to see that data.
In the screenshots above, you can see my sleep data that is from the night of April 7 — it wasn't a good night's sleep. However, when I tap on it to see if the watch can help me point to what may have led to the poor slumber, I can't get to it. I can scroll between previous days, but not the info that is shown on the homepage. This is a similar issue when trying to view how the week is going; only the info from a complete week can be seen — not a partial.
I don't recall this being an issue when I wore the Zepp Z; remember, it uses the same companion app. So I can't say for sure if it is something in the syncing with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro or an app bug. I have reached out to the company to get clarifications and will update this review should I hear back.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro: Competition
When it comes to competition in the long battery life, rugged fitness, smartwatch category, the field is slim — especially at this price. If a watch that offers good battery life, great notifications, third-party apps, with some solid fitness perks too, then the TicWatch Pro 3 is worth a look — albeit at a higher price tag. Running Google's Wear OS and the latest Snapdragon 4100 processor, the TicWatch Pro 3 brings a lot to the table.
Thanks to that chipset and the innovative dual-display, the TicWatch Pro 3 is fast and gets great battery life. No, it's not going to get 7+ days per charge, but you will get upwards of three. It offers heart rate monitoring, SpO2 measurements, sleep tracking, and automatic workout recognition. If you want similar features as the TicWatch Pro 3 but want to save some money, a more rugged watch, and don't need the fastest performer, then consider the TicWatch Pro S.
If you are looking for a smaller watch with excellent health features and solid battery life, an excellent option is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. It regularly sits atop our best smartwatch list because it has snappy performance, full of helpful fitness features, and looks great.
Running Samsung's own Tizen software, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers many of the same features found on the Amazfit T-Rex Pro and then some. You get access to third-party apps, a capacitive bezel for navigation, ECG measurement capabilities, and more in a device that is competitively priced. However, you won't find the same durability level as the T-Rex Pro or water resistance — though the Galaxy Watch Active 2 is rated at 5ATM.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You need your smartwatch to be able to take a beating.
- You don't like frequently recharging devices.
- You want a smartwatch that has an extensive fitness suite.
- You want physical buttons to aid in navigating the watch.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You don't want a bulky smartwatch.
- You want competent notifications on your watch.
- You want access to third-party apps.
The biggest selling points to the Amazfit T-Rex Pro are its excellent battery life, "survive anything "build quality, and wide range of fitness features. If those are things you value most in a smartwatch, you'll likely love this device. If you need the notifications you receive to be actionable or even noticeable as to where it's coming from, you may not enjoy it quite so much.
The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is a well-designed piece of hardware. If you are into chunkier styled watches, it looks great and uses the design to its advantage. The T-Rex Pro is a solid option from its excellent durability to usability with physical buttons, from its visible display in bright lights to the comfortable fit. The Zepp Health app paired with the watch brings a lot of great customizations and fitness features.
4 out of 5
However, it is held back by some software flaws. The Zepp Health app's issue not showing the sleep data from the night before is hopefully a solvable bug and can get resolved. Notifications on the watch — another software issue that could potentially get fixed — I'm less confident will get the attention they need. Then there's the lack of any third-party app support, but it may not be a deal-breaker for you, depending on your wearable needs.
I enjoyed my time with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro, and it will probably still have a place from time to time on my wrist. When the camping season gets into full swing, there is a good chance that the watch will make the trip with me. Thanks to its excellent battery life, fitness tracking abilities, and knowing that no matter what, the watch won't break — it has a place on my wrist, just not every day.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro
Bottom line: The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is as rugged-looking as it is in practice. With MIL-STD-810G certifications, 10ATM water resistance, excellent battery life, and a host of fitness features, this watch can handle almost anything you need — except good notifications.
Yeah I get them wanting to keep battery life up but I'd sacrifice some of that for very simple, basic actionable notification support. I can't imagine interacting with an official android api for notification actions would clobber the battery, so that excuse isn't holding water for me these days.
Have you watched any of the YouTube reviews?
The watch's big problem is something else, its proprietary strap system that won't allow us to use any aftermarket strap but a few. Next please.
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