Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Last year Amazfit launched several new fashion watches that offered compelling health and wellness experiences. For the last few weeks I've been testing the latest sport model with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro and it is a solid product for those who want a GPS sports watch that holds up well to abuse and the elements for a price of just $179.99.
The Amazfit T-Rex Pro runs a RTOS (real-time operating system) and over the past year we have seen many watches sporting this flavor of operating system. With Google's Wear OS left rotting on the vine, companies are developing compelling alternative watches for Android smartphone users and those looking for something that last longer than an Apple Watch and supports more health tracking features.
There are some basic smartphone notifications, weather updates, and a few other connected features, but the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is clearly focused on tracking your health, sleep, outdoor GPS activities, and serving as a watch that last for one to two weeks with heavy and typical usage.
Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, optical HR, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometric altimeter, GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BeiDou
Battery: 390 mAh, up to 18 days in typical usage, 40 hours with GPS tracking enabled
Band size: 22mm (proprietary)
Dimensions: 47.7 x 47.7 x 13.5mm and 59.4 grams
The band is removable with the proper screwdriver, but the bands are not universal 22mm bands. Three color options (Meterorite Black, Steel Blue, Desert Gray) are available with bands that match the color of the watch body. We tested the standard black watch.
Taking a first glance of the Amazfit T-Rex Pro quickly reveals it is built to take a beating. It is a thick watch at 13.5mm and is not built for those with small wrists. Surprisingly, the watch is much lighter than it appears, which makes it very comfortable for 24/7 wear.
While the watch is thick and light, it also is very well constructed with a matte finish polycarbonate body. The vibrant AMOLED display looks great with clear, crisp font and lovely colors. It is a touchscreen display with quick response to swipes and taps.
Even with a touchscreen display, Amazfit provides four hardware buttons on the watch. At the top left we have a button for up and bottom left for down to scroll through lists and various widgets from the watch face. On the right side we have the upper button serving to select items and the bottom right button to take you back one level.
A single press on the select button from the watch face takes you to the display with your selected workouts so you can quickly launch a workout. A single press of the back button takes you to the display with all of the available apps that are installed on the watch.
Moving up and down from the watch face using the buttons moves through each of the data sets you selected and then continuing to roll over to the quick controls. If you use the touch screen, then swiping down from the top shows you the quick controls and swiping up from the bottom scrolls through the data sets.
Amazfit T-Rex Pro review: in pictures
There is no microphone or speaker on the watch so that calls and messages are not supported. The wrist-based optical heart rate sensor is positioned on the center of the back.
22mm watch straps are used on the watch, but they do not have a quick-release design and are specific to the T-Rex Pro. There are no strap options available on the website, but the strap is very comfortable and does have screws so looks to be replaceable if it fails sometime in the future.
Raise your wrist or press one of the buttons to turn on the display and show your selected watch face. There are about plenty of watch faces available for you to select from in the Zepp app installed on your smartphone. Some are classic faces while others are heavy on the presentation of the health data collected by the watch. There are some customization options for various complications too.
Swipe down from the top to quickly view the date, day of the week, weather, and seven quick control buttons. These buttons include battery saver, flashlight, do not disturb, theater mode, find my phone, and more.
Swipe up from the bottom to view various widgets for your data. Options include activity goal, heart rate, SpO2, last workout, workout status, steps, weather, and PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence). You can go into the settings to select the data summaries you want to view in this area.
You can customize the action that results from pressing the top right select button. By default, the various workout types appear when you press this button. In the preferences area of the settings you can choose other options for quick start, including activity goal, heart rate, weather, music, notification, alarm, events, stopwatch, timer, find phone, PAI, workout records, barometer, blood oxygen, workout status, or disable.
There are many settings available to setup the always-on display, do not disturb times, vibration, GPS, system, and workout detection. The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is designed to automatically recognize eight sports and then start recording the data. These include outdoor running, indoor walking, walking, treadmill, outdoor cycling, rowing machine, elliptical, and pool swimming.
With the T-Rex Pro you can track your activity in more than 100 sports modes, which is more than I have seen on any other GPS sports watch. Within each mode, tap or select the gear icon to setup goals, alerts, and workout settings. You can customize the number of data elements that appears on the display when you workout, auto options, and more. Default data elements are shown with no options for customizing these elements.
The T-Rex Pro supports FirstBeat algorithms so that recovery time, VO2Max, training load, and training effect are tracked and presented to you. This data is important to helping you train at an optimal level and also help reduce the likelihood of injury due to overtraining.
In order to connect your phone and experience everything there is to offer with the Amazfit T-Rex Pro, download and install the Zepp app to your phone. The Zepp app is a very comprehensive application that supports connecting and managing all of your Amazfit products. It is used for the various earbuds, like the PowerBuds I recently reviewed, as well as other Amazfit wearables. I tested it on both Android and iOS devices, with flawless performance.
The application launches with a summary page that shows your daily steps status, calories burned, sleep, sleep score, heart rate history, PAI, goal tracker, and more. The other two main screens are labeled Enjoy and Profile. The Enjoy tab is oddly labeled and provides extra features that would work better in the specific device options/features area of the Zepp app. Actually, many of the options in the Enjoy tab are duplicated in each device area.
The app continues to improve each time I test a new watch and dive into using it, but it can also be overwhelming. When there are three bottom tabs, a right corner button, and then deep dive options within these pages that open up it just seems to be too much. For example, if I did not record a workout for the current day then there is no workouts shown on the home page. To see my last workout I have to tap the right top four leaf button, then tap exercise record, and then scroll to find the workout I want to check. I'm now used to finding this data, but I think the app could be refined and optimized for the masses.
The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is built to withstand just about anything you can throw at it and keep going for a week or two (with very light usages and the always-on display turned off) in great comfort. It can track just about every activity you can think of and in my experiences, the GPS tracking was fairly accurate. I did experience a bit of variance while running in tree-covered areas and the T-Rex Pro doesn't match the accuracy of other higher-end devices that cost twice the price. The heart rate monitor performed well, but chest straps still pick up changes in your heart rate faster than a monitor on your wrist.
While auto-tracking is advertised for eight sports, I only tested it for walking. If I am going to measure a specific activity, I prefer to start and stop my watch manually. The T-Rex Pro did seem to track my walking fine, but I still don't trust a wearable to start up automatically on a regular basis.
If you are looking for a rugged smartwatch for an affordable price then the T-Rex Pro is a great option. It is priced hundreds less than other high-end outdoor enthusiast watches I have tested in the past, but the materials are also not as premium. That said, the watch is well built and very comfortable for extended wear.
The Zepp app is very comprehensive and you can spend hours exploring all of the data captured by the watch. Amazfit continues to refine the smartphone software to make it more user-friendly, but even if it is still a bit clunky there is an amazing amount of data there to help you understand your activities and daily living.
I consider the T-Rex Pro a GPS sports watch since there is no support for third-party apps, the included apps are pretty limited to fitness and health tracking, and the notifications are very basic and not actionable. You can see incoming calls and messages, but you cannot respond to them or answer a call on the watch. That said, it's only $180 and provides a significant amount of support for tracking your activity, sleep, daily steps, and more.