While this is a very tough wearable both in design and physicality, it has so much more going for it than those things. It's loaded with sport and health tracking features, along with excellent battery life. Can this device, which resides between smartwatch and fitness tracker, be your do it all device? Probably.
- Very durable
- The display can get very bright
- Lots of sports modes
- A fantastic suite of health features
- Improved notifications
- Workout controls could be more intuitive
- The always-on display is too dim in bright lights
Despite the name suggesting otherwise, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is the third watch in the series as it follows up the original T-Rex from 2020, and the T-Rex Pro in 2021. The wearable maker hasn't strayed from the original recipe with the latest iteration of the wearable. It's a bold and beefy watch that's unapologetic about how it looks, but the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is about more than just looking tough.
It's packed with outdoorsy features like excellent water resistance, military-grade durability, lots of sports modes, a long-lasting battery, and so much more. But what makes this watch better or different from the previous models? And is it one that you can integrate into your rough and tumble lifestyle? Hopefully, I can help answer your questions and decide if the new T-Rex 2 is ready for your next adventure.
Amazfit T-Rex 2: Price and availability
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 went on sale in May 2022 for $229. The watch is available in four color options — Astro Black & Gold, Ember Black, Wild Green, and Desert Khaki. As for where you can purchase the smartwatch, it can be found at Amazon, Best Buy, and Amazfit's website.
Amazfit T-Rex 2: What's good
Right away, when looking at the Amazfit T-Rex 2, it is clear to see the lineage it is following in terms of design. When I put it beside the T-Rex Pro that I reviewed last year, the case of each watch is extremely similar. Both have angular elements complementing the round watch with two knurled buttons on each side of the case.
The presence of physical buttons on each side of the case is a feature that has stayed consistent on the T-Rex line since the beginning. These buttons are used to scroll content on the display up and down, go back, and select options in the UI. Of course, you can also use the touchscreen functionality. These buttons come in handy when the watch is wet or covered in mud.
One obvious difference is the new device has a bridge-like strip of metal that spans a gap between the two buttons on the right side. Amazfit also changed up the band on the new watch compared to prior generations by removing the ability of the watch band to move at the point it connects to the watch. The 22mm watch strap is also stiffer than before.
Another noticeable difference is on the backside of the T-Rex 2 with the BioTracker 3.0. Looking at the Pro model next to the latest watch, you can visually see the differences. The newest version brings more accurate readings, over 50 additional sports modes compared to the Pro model, and more than 130 over the original T-Rex.
|Amazfit T-Rex 2|
|Dimensions||47.1 x 47.1 x 13.65 mm|
|Display||Touchscreen AMOLED, 1.39 inches, 454 x 454 326 ppi, 1,000nit|
|Colors||Astro Black and Gold, Ember Black, Wild Green, Desert Khaki|
|Operating System||Zepp OS (RTOS)|
|Strap||22 mm, silicone|
|Battery||500mAh, 9 - 45 days|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE|
|Sensors||BioTracker 3.0 PPG biometric sensor, acceleration, Gyroscope, geomagnetic, barometric, ambient light|
|Health tracking||SpO2, heart rate, stress|
|Trackable sport modes||150+|
|Water Resistance||10 ATM (100 meters, surface swimming, and snorkeling)|
|Durability||15 MIL-STD-810G certifications|
|Location||Dual-band 5 satellite positioning|
Amazfit is bringing another new feature to the T-Rex 2: One-tap measuring. This will take a reading of your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, stress level, and breathing rate in around 45 seconds. All of these individual metrics can be set to 24-hour monitoring, but if you want a current reading of each — this feature can do it.
Of course, what is a fitness watch without GPS and other location services? The T-Rex 2 is rocking Dual-band 5 satellite positioning to help keep you on track and record your outdoor excursions.
I tested the watch on some familiar outdoor road runs alongside the Polar Pacer fitness watch. Overall I found that the distance calculations were pretty accurate with very little delineation from the Pacer. The health metrics also matched up very well.
Polar largely makes some of the best fitness watches thanks to their excellent health monitoring, and the fact that Amazfit's watch was on par with the Pacer is promising.
OK, so the watch has some impressive health tracking chops, and it looks tough, but can it actually hold up to some abuse? Yes. Amazfit sealed the T-Rex 2 up so tight that it has a 10 ATM water resistance rating. That equates to a depth of 100 meters, making it perfect for surface swimming and snorkeling.
The average rating of IP-68 means protection up to 1 meter of water and some dust resistance. It also carries 15 different MIL-STD-810G certifications, along with the impressive water resistance rating.
In my month of testing, I wore the T-Rex 2 through everything. From daily use, to exercising, and also while working on my tractor and broken down Polaris RZR. Reaching into tight spaces, smacking the watch on engine parts, getting covered in dirt and grease, and in the end, the watch came out completely unscathed. Amazfit took the watch somewhere I never could — space.
Something many of the best Android smartwatches suffer from is poor battery life. Outside of the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and others in the TicWatch Pro lineup, most smartwatches only eke out about 24-36 hours of use.
Most of the top fitness trackers can go weeks between charges. I wouldn't call the T-Rex 2 a simple fitness tracker or a full-featured smartwatch. So, where does it sit for battery life?
Well, Amazfit's wearable lands more in the fitness tracker world in terms of battery life. I enabled all of the health features to monitor 24 hours, always on display, and used automatic sleep tracking every night to obtain nearly two weeks of battery life. Oh, and that includes workouts with and without GPS tracking! Very impressed with the battery life.
The T-Rex 2 is capable of even longer time between charges depending on what settings are on or off. Amazfit gave the watch a maximum rating of 45 days, with a minimum of about 10 hours in ultra-low temperature mode with GPS running.
Another improvement for the T-Rex 2 is the display. Though the T-Rex line has always had AMOLED screens, this version is the first to get an upgrade. Going from a 1.3-inch 360x360 display on previous models to a 454x454 1.39-inch panel on the newest is noticeable. The screen is bright, up to 1000 nits, vibrant, and responsive.
While I didn't have any complaints about the display on the T-Rex Pro, I didn't like the way notifications looked on it. But that was an issue with the OS rather than the hardware — the T-Rex 2 fixes that.
Before, when a notification arrived on the watch, it would simply say App and then any text associated with the message. That's it, with no idea what app the message was from and no interacting with it.
Not only will notifications display the app it's from, but you can now respond to messages. The responses are limited to a handful of preset options, but it is a step in the right direction.
Amazfit is also bringing mini apps to the watch, with twenty available now. These aren't apps like what you'd find in the Google Play Store on the Galaxy Watch 4, but you do get some helpful utilities and even a tie-in to control your GoPro.
Managing the watch and its apps happens in the Zepp app. Over the last couple of years, the Zepp app has greatly improved. It has picked up a lot of new features while not getting overly complicated: You can view all of your health records from the watch, change watch settings, connect the app with other services like Google Fit, and more.
Perhaps one of my favorite features of the T-Rex 2 and the Zepp app is that to connect the watch with another phone — you don't have to reset the device. The Zepp app backs up the watch settings, and when changing devices or even after resetting the watch, you can simply restore the T-Rex 2. It's like nothing happened.
Amazfit T-Rex 2: What's not good
To some, one of the T-Rex 2's defining features may also be a big no to them. That feature is its design. This is not a dainty watch. It is thick, heavy, and angular — let's be honest, the watch is chonky.
While the overall dimensions of the watch remain the same as in previous generations, it did put on some weight. The T-Rex Pro came in at 59 grams and the T-Rex 2 at 66.5 grams. Much of this weight comes from the jump in battery size, going from 390mAh to 500mAh on the T-Rex 2. No, seven and a half grams isn't much, but for something small that sits on your wrist — it's noticeable.
Staying on the subject of chonkiness, the watch band fits into that same category. It isn't that the band on previous T-Rex models had been slight, but it was fully articulated at the hinge. For some reason, Amazift opted to change that on the T-Rex 2 and not let the band hinge at all. I felt like the overall comfort wasn't as nice as before because of this, and the band itself is also stiffer.
One area of the software that I found particularly irritating is the lack of intuitiveness during workouts. There were no indications as to what direction to swipe, button to press, or where to tap to make changes — or even pause the workout. During a run, I ended up creating additional lap splits when I pressed the back button when I was trying to pause the tracking.
Lastly, the display on the T-Rex 2 can get very bright at 1000 nits. But that doesn't matter when using the always-on display. The watch features an ambient light sensor to adjust the display's brightness based on the environment automatically.
However, it doesn't activate for the always-on mode or when working out. This means if you are in a bright area, you'll need to tap the screen or press a button to get the watch to make the display brighter.
Amazfit T-Rex 2: Competition
Even though the T-Rex 2 isn't the only non-Wear OS wearable on the market, it is unique in its capabilities. Few watches match it in both durability and functionality. You could get most of the same options from the T-Rex Pro, and save some money in the process. But if you want to venture outside the Amazfit ecosystem, the options get slim.
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra mentioned above can offer the full smartwatch experience with Google Assistant, the Play Store for apps, a keyboard and microphone for responding to messages, and more. While this watch can get you the best battery life among Wear OS watches, it won't get near the range of the T-Rex 2. Nor is it as durable or water resistant. But the screen will always be visible no matter the lighting situation, thanks to the dual-layer display technology used.
If battery life and fitness features are core to your needs, then picking up one of the best smartwatches for fitness, like the Garmin Vivoactive 4, might be best for you. This watch brings eight days of battery life, all the fitness features you'd want, and NFC for contactless payments. But it does lack the crisp AMOLED display of the T-Rex 2, and it's less durable.
Amazfit T-Rex 2: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want a watch that can handle the roughest of adventures.
- You want long battery life.
- You want a watch with a lot of sports tracking modes.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a sleek and slim watch.
- You want third-party apps on your wrist.
- You want to type your own replies to notifications.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2, like its predecessors, isn't for everyone. It is chunky and heavy, but it makes great use of that by being very durable and having excellent battery life.
It will not only track over 150 sports and exercises, but it can withstand the harshest of environments. While it does have improved notifications over earlier models, the T-Rex 2 hasn't gained keyboard support or third-party apps for that full smartwatch experience.
A watch that knows what it is, and what it can do
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is a wearable that fills a niche in the market as a highly capable and highly durable watch. It's even the official partner for the obstacle course racing brand Spartan for 2022. I know back when I ran Tough Mudder races and other trail runs, I would have loved to have used this watch.
Thanks to the combination of a durable design, improved software, and a long list of tracking modes — the T-Rex 2 is built to survive. No, it isn't for everyone, but it doesn't have to be.
More than just tough
From tracking over 150 different sports to being tough enough to withstand space, the T-Rex 2 is a very capable fitness watch that borders on being a smartwatch. With up to 45 days of use between charges, you'll be able to adventure until you can't anymore.
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