Amazfit T-Rex 2 Review: Heavy-duty fitness tracking
Amazfit has been able to leave the competition behind with its relatively affordable smartwatches and the promise of great battery life. The company’s T-Rex 2 smartwatch– which I’ve been using for the better part of the last few weeks — costs less than $200 and it has lasted me well over two weeks on a single charge. It falls short of the company claims about its battery life, but I’d say it’s still quite commendable given my usage was also on the heavier side.
The T-Rex 2 isn’t the most premium-looking device in the world but this rugged smartwatch pulls off a reasonable G-Shock imitation, just like the original T-Rex smartwatch. It has learned some new tricks, so it’s better equipped to help you with your fitness regime, even if it is a little more adventurous than just a quick walk in your neighborhood. It packs a lot of bells and whistles including an AMOLED display, 10ATM water resistance, and a bunch of sensors to track your heart rate and blood oxygen levels at all times.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is a good device, but it lacks the polish on a software level. Zepp OS (previously Amazfit) has improved over the years, but it needs a bit more time in the oven. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker as the T-Rex 2 can be used as a reliable activity tracker as long as you keep your expectations in check when it comes to the “smart” features. I can easily recommend it to those who are looking to buy a relatively affordable and reliable watch with long battery life. If it sounds like something you’re interested to buy, then read on to find out more about the T-Rex 2 and to know why I think this smartwatch has a lot going for it.
Navigate this review:
- Pricing and availability
- Design and hardware
- Performance and battery life
- Should you buy it?
|Specification||Amazfit T-Rex 2|
|Dimensions & weight||47.1 x 47.1 x 13.65mm, 66.5g|
|Body Material||Polymer Alloy|
|Sensors||BioTracker™ 3.0 PPG bio-tracking optical sensor, 3- axis acceleration sensor, 3-axis gyroscope sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Ambient light sensor, Barometric altimeter|
|Military standard||Passed 15 military-grade tests, U.S. military standard 810G|
|Satellite + other support||Dual-band GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/GALILEO/ QZSS|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE|
About this review: We received the T-Rex 2 smartwatch on loan from Amafit India for testing. The company had no input on this review.
Pricing and Availability
- The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is available to purchase for $179 in the US or ₹16,000 in India.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is available to purchase for $179 in the US at the time of writing this article. You can purchase it directly from Amazfit’s website or Amazon. It’s available in Ember Black, Wild Green, Desert Khaki, and Astro Black & Gold colorways. In India, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is available to purchase for just ₹16,000.
Design and Hardware
- The Amazfit T-Rex 2 has a rugged build with 10ATM water resistance and STD-MIL-810G certification.
- The T-Rex 2 is bigger and bulkier than a lot of other smartwatches, but it’s surprisingly light and comfortable to wear.
- It has a 1.39-inch AMOLED panel on the front, and it also packs a BioTracker 3.0 PPG bio-tracking optical sensor at the back.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2, just like its predecessor, is unapologetic in its rugged look and feel. I don’t consider myself an adventurous person, but I like wearing rugged timepieces and this one fits the bill. I don’t mind the apparent G-Shock design inspiration because it screams rugged and sporty, but your opinion may vary. Design is entirely subjective, after all. Unlike me, if you like minimal-looking sports watches like the Galaxy Watch Active or the Apple Watch, then the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is not for you.
The T-Rex 2 is also quite big, so it may not be the best choice if you have small hands or slim wrists. It measures 47.1 x 47.1 x 13.65 mm in dimensions, which means it is both bigger and bulkier than, say, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The T-Rex 2 is made out of a polymer alloy and it’s a tough-looking mold, emphasized by metal screw heads, textured buttons, and chunky guard pieces. The circular watch face also has raised bumpers for protection, but there’s no Gorilla Glass this time around.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 454 x 454. That’s 326PPI for those counting the pixels. It delivers beautiful colors and crisp visuals. I also found the display to be bright enough to remain perfectly usable under direct sunlight. The automatic brightness adjustment feature isn’t as reliable as I expected it to be, so I just let it sit at 50-percent brightness at all times. The OLED panel was easy on the battery, and it also makes the T-Rex 2 look more expensive than it is, which is great.
The touch sensitivity and accuracy weren’t really an issue for me either. The Amazfit software makes it easier with some big UI elements too. The T-Rex 2 also has four physical buttons on the sides that let you access most of the UI elements without having to touch the screen, really. I found myself falling back to these buttons to navigate the UI once I got used to the software.
The T-Rex 2 watch has a BioTracker 3.0 PPG bio-tracking optical sensor at the back. It sits on top of a separate surface protruding from the surface of the watch itself. It’s an interesting design choice, which is perhaps for the better as it keeps the sensor as close to your skin as possible for accurate measurements. The watch also comes with a soft and elastic strap which I think is super sturdy and comfortable. That’s good because you can’t swap out or replace the strap that easily as it uses a non-standard attachment design, just like its predecessor.
- The Amazfit T-Rex 2 works with both Android phones as well as iPhones.
- The watch runs Zepp OS and requires the Zepp companion app installed on your phone for syncing data.
- The software needs a little more time in the oven as it seems to lack some key features.
I am not a huge fan of custom software and interface, but the bespoke Zepp OS on the T-Rex 2 is now an exception. It’s very easy to navigate around the interface and I also like how the watch presents all the useful functions right on the front. All the important functions that you’d use on a day-to-day basis are just a few clicks away. I never find myself fiddling with the menu all that much to find what I need.
The T-Rex 2 smartwatch works with both Android phones and iPhones, and you can pair them easily with the help of the companion app called Zepp. This app will also help you manage all the watch settings as well as the apps. While there’s no shortage of pre-installed apps on the T-Rex 2, I don’t find a lot of value in most of them. There are some thoughtful additions like the Pomodoro Timer and menstrual cycle tracking, but others like the Calendar and To-Do apps are quite useless as they don’t sync with accounts on your phone.
Sure, you can open the calendar on your watch to check the dates, but it’s not really useful if it can’t sync to my accounts on phone to show me the events, is it? The T-Rex 2 can display notifications from almost all the apps that are installed on your phone, but there is no way to compose a custom response while interacting with message notifications. The lack of internal memory and the support for Bluetooth earbuds also seem like a glaring omission, forcing me to carry my phone with me during my morning walks.
You get a decent selection of customizable watch faces on the T-Rex 2 along with an option to download and add more via the companion app. Similarly, you can also install a handful of other applications via the Zepp app.
Performance and Battery Life
- The Amazfit T-Rex 2 can track more than 150 different sports, with support for automatic detection on a select few.
- It also has a PPG heart rate sensor that can measure blood oxygen (SpO2) and stress levels, GPS, and more.
- Activity and sleep tracking on the Amazfit T-Rex 2 work well.
Amazfit doesn’t talk much about the hardware on a chip level, so it’s hard to tell what kind of processor the T-Rex 2 is using. It is, however, quite kitted when it comes to the sensors for activity tracking. It packs a PPG heart rate sensor that can measure blood oxygen (SpO2) and stress levels. Notably, it also has a dual-band, five-satellite GPS, a compass, and a barometric altimeter for reading your location and altitude.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 can also track more than 150 different sports, some of which it can automatically detect if you allow it. Even the ones which it can’t detect automatically can be made to show on the top by customizing the list. The activity detection itself is reliable too. The T-Rex 2 was able to tell when I was out for a walk or a swim in my neighborhood swimming pool. The watch is also quite accurate and consistent with its activity tracking too. It seems pretty good at ignoring ghost steps, and I am yet to face any GPS dropouts during my walks in the evening too.
The sleep tracking also seems to work well, and I like the detailed sleep analysis which tells me how I slept the night before and how I could improve over time. I’ve been using the watch quite heavily with almost all the features enabled to track all the metrics. The T-Rex 2 measures my heart rate every 10 minutes and is also continuously monitoring my exercise status to detect the selected workouts. The automatic sleep tracking is also enabled and so is the always-on display to show the time when the screen is off. Some watch faces show more elements on the always-on screen than others but it shouldn’t really be an issue considering it’s an OLED panel.
Despite all of these functions, the T-Rex 2 doesn’t struggle with battery life. This particular watch packs a 500mAh battery, a step up from its predecessor. I was looking at two weeks between charges, which is quite impressive for a watch that’s tasked with so many things to do. I am inclined to believe that you’ll get anywhere between ten days to about two weeks if you’re doing serious exercising every day and get a ton of notifications. I didn’t push the watch to its limits when it comes to activity tracking, but it still performed admirably in the battery department with my usage.
The T-Rex 2 also has an extreme battery saver mode that can reportedly keep the lights on for up to 45 days. I haven’t had the watch long enough with me to actually test this but it’ll probably come close as it only records steps and basic sleep info when this mode is enabled.
The T-Rex 2 uses a proprietary charger with magnetic pins to charge. The charger clips onto the watch from behind and takes around 2 hours for a full recharge.
Should you buy the Amazfit T-Rex 2 smartwatch?
The Amazfit T-Rex 2, as you can see, offers an exhaustive list of features for the price. Its rugged construction offers great protection for those with an active lifestyle, without looking overtly obnoxious in more casual settings, in my opinion. The T-Rex 2 also knows a thing or two about withstanding extreme weather and environmental conditions if that’s something of interest to you.
Zepp OS can use a little bit of work, though. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it misses some key functions like being able to compose a custom response to messages. The companion app is also a letdown due to the lack of polish. You’ll still have to look at other options like, say, the Garmin watches if you want something that is more than just a reliable activity tracker, but you’re also looking at higher prices in such a scenario. The best thing about the Amazfit T-Rex 2 has got to be its amazing battery life. You only have to charge the Amazfit T-Rex 2 twice or maybe thrice a month to take advantage of all its features.
You should buy the Amazfit T-Rex 2 if:
- You want an affordable rugged smartwatch to keep up with your active lifestyle.
- You want a smartwatch that you don’t have to charge every other day.
- You want a reliable device to help you with your fitness journey.
You should not buy the Amazfit T-Rex 2 if:
- You want a sleek and minimal-looking watch as this one is unapologetically rugged.
- If you want to respond to message notifications directly with your watch.
- If you want to use a lot of third-party apps on your watch.