Hike Hong Kong Web Site

HikeHongKOng on Facebook

Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Amazfit Pace fitness smartwatch review


(Note that Amazfit sponsored me my Amazfit Pace)
(35% off with the MYFRIEND code on checkout)
I received a package last week. It was an Amazfit Pace fitness smartwatch sent by the fine folks at Amazfit. So, here's my review after putting it through some tests.

It does look as good as the pictures makes it to be. I was afraid the built would look and feel cheap but it doesn't. Solid watch, and quite lightweight.
My humble opinion is that it looks much, much better than an AppleWatch. But then again, I always thought that the AppleWatch looked ugly (all of them) and cheap (but for the very expensive models).

I took the Pace hiking on West Dog Tooth, on Lantau. I set the GPS on the Pace and started MapMyRun on my Samsung S7. We were done after 3.5 hours, and I stopped both the Pace GPS and MapMyRun. I had used up 15% of the Pace's battery, while my S7 was 50% drained.

It was a very good performance, if I compare the Pace to my Garmin Forerunner 410 of a few years back which was drained after 8 hours of GPS use. Based on the 3.5 hours for 15%, the Pace would could likely do in excess of 20 hours of straight GPS use. Now, if you are going to run or hike this long without a recharge break, you're a freak! But for the rest of the world, that's plenty.
If you are going to use it for its watch-mode and notifications only, the battery should last you a full week.

I initially thought that the heart rate monitor was inaccurate but it turned-out that you have to tighten the strap quite a bit to get an accurate read. Once tightened, I got an exact pulse rate.

In terms of GPS accuracy, it seems to be fine; I compared a 6km mountain hike I did that I recorded on both the Pace, and on my Samsung S7. Results were quite similar. I am sure that the higher-end GPS watches might be more accurate, but I don't think it would be very significant for the average hiker/runner.

I tried the sleep monitor as well, which does what it is supposed to do. However, I don't think there's much to hope for in terms of wrist-based sleep monitors in general beyond telling you that you don't sleep enough.

One thing that will need to be fixed is that the watch reports distances in miles and there's currently no way to change that. Provided most countries in the world are using the metric system, I am assuming/hoping that we'll see an update soon. 
(UPDATED 2017-03-04: Firmware update just fixed this)

From the Amazfit app that you can download on the Play store (or whatever Apple equivalent), you can pick from a number of watch faces, which get updated in real-time. Not a lot of faces to choose from, but they are all nice enough and show the key information you'll need to see.

The Pace comes with a charging dock and a USB cable. It will recharge in about an hour.

It is a fitness watch and what it does, it does quite well. It is also quite nice in a subdued-yet-edgy, artsy-not-geeky, sportsy-casual kind of way.

I was given the watch but it is now my main watch and at the current selling price-point, I would definitely recommend it.

Price is right and at a 20% discount if you register for their mailing-list ($130 USD, quite inexpensive).
(Check it out and if you buy from the link below, I get a commission)
(35% off with the MYFRIEND code on checkout)

Details, straight from Amazfit:

  • Run Tracking: Track your runs and capture distance, time, pace, heart rate, calories, speed, cadence, maximum/average moving pace, max/avg moving speed, max/avg cadence, altitude, elevation gain, elevation loss and min/max altitude.
  • Phone-Free Music: Connect wirelessly to Bluetooth earbuds, load up your music to the internal storage, and run phone-free.
  • GPS: Track your route and distance with built-in GPS.
  • Notifications: Receive notifications for incoming calls, messages, emails, and other apps.
  • Heart Rate: Optimize workouts with automatic heart rate monitoring and continuous heart rate tracking.

  • Battery life: 5 days regular use / 11 days basic use
  • Water resistance: IP67, resistant to water and dust
  • Heart rate sensor: Optical (PPG)