So my accidental upgrade happened a little over two months ago. To briefly summarize the story, I purchased an Amazfit Bip after reading some reviews on the product, was incredibly satisfied with the product. After a few months of using, I received a flash of Chinese lettering, and never received notifications on the device from then on. All things considered, it really wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was about the only smartwatch-esque feature that carried over to third party smartwatches on an iPhone, so I wanted them. I contacted the company, and they sent me their top tier product to replace the old one.
Let’s fast forward to now – I’ve been getting back into my daily gym routine, 45 mins to an hour a day either before work or afterwards… admittedly preferring the 4am hour as there is NOBODY to fight over machines with. As I’m doing this, I like to track my workouts. On every Smart Watch I’ve owned to date (with the exception of the Pebble) there’s been some sort of “other workout” option available to choose, even the Bip had this. However, unfortunately the Stratos does not. It offers a multitude of other options including elliptical, climbing, cycling, and works well when I do my cardio on the treadmill – even offering a calibration option which helps it become more accurate.
After two months with this device I think I’ve officially reached a verdict. If you’re a runner or climber, and want a way to track your distance and log your runs, this is a fantastic watch to consider. In addition, if you just want a watch that will display your notifications so you’re not constantly wondering what that message says when you’re in that meeting where it would be inappropriate to pull the phone out, this watch is a solid option. It’s a pretty looking run tracker and notification screen, and that’s about it. Moving forward, when it comes to the activity tracker, I may need to start looking around. While I’m tempted to go back to an Apple Watch, I just don’t know if I want to shell out $400 for a device where the battery is barely going to last me a day. While I’ve had my complaints about these two [the Bip and Stratos] devices, battery life was never one of them. Typically out of the Bip, the battery (with a built in GPS running, and tracking) would last me two weeks on a charge with a custom, live ticking watch face. The Stratos, with a much nicer display, same GPS runtime, and live ticking watch face, still I can typically get five days. Out of the watches I’ve had, for tracking features, the Samsung Gear Fit, and the AmazFit Bip hold a tie for best.
It seems to me that Apple, Samsung, and in fact all of the major players out there in the Smartwatch world really need to take a page out of the books of these Chinese companies, and step up their battery game. I want to come back, but for that price tag, I’m having a hard time justifying it.