Review Tested: Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 Smartwatch for $196.99
In 2016, Xiaomi, in cooperation with Huami, launched a Smartwatch under the name Amazfit. Now the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 is on the market. We have had the watch here for some time and are very pleased with the range of sports modes available.
- Huami Amazfit Stratos Smartwatch 2 (English Version)
- Huami Amazfit Smartwatch 2S
|Display||1.34 inch with 320 x 300 pixels|
|Processor||Dual-Core Processor with 1.2GHz|
|Internal memory||4 GB|
|App||Android 4.4 / iOS 9.0|
Packaging & Scope of Delivery
Like the Huami Amazfit Bip or the Huami Amazfit Cor Midong, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 has arrived in a plain white box. Only the “Amazfit” lettering with the corresponding logo is emblazoned on the top. There is no trace of the well-known cooperation partner Xiaomi, who built up the Amazfit brand together with Huami. It seems as if the joint fire did not need a “publicity boost” from technology giant Xiaomi.
The scope of delivery, which is quite small, includes the Smartwatch itself, a manual in English and a charging cable. This is a 4-pin connector into which the watch locks. At the other end of the charger is a standard USB-A port. A socket adapter is not included.
The Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 makes a good first impression on me, it looks pretty classy. You move away from the original, sporty look in black-red. The second iteration of this series appears entirely in black. Measuring 23 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm and weighing just under 60 g (incl. strap), the new Smartwatch differs only slightly from its predecessor.
The bracelet has a length of 23 cm and is 2.2 cm wide. The strap can be adjusted to the individual circumference of the wrist with 15 eyelets. Thanks to spring bars with quick-release fastener, it is also easy to release the bracelet and it can be replaced with another one as desired.
For sports and leisure, however, the supplied rubber strap makes a solid impression. I feel very comfortable to wear and the bracelet is also resistant to water. Unfortunately, like the Amazfit Bip bracelet, it attracts dust.
The watch case is made of various materials. The sides visible during wearing are made of carbon fibres. The underside, where the heart rate monitor and 4-pin charging connector are also located, is made of plastic, the three control buttons of the watch are made of stainless steel.
However, the main focus is on the display, which is a 1.34 inch transflective always-on color touch display. This is protected by 2.5D Tempred glass with rounded edges.
Water resistance 5 ATM
The water protection of the watch is not specified by the manufacturer according to IP protection class, but according to DIN 8310 classification. This describes the water protection by the pressure in bar that is created, for example, during the immersion of the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2. 5 ATM means that the watch can withstand a pressure of 5 bar for a limited time, which corresponds to a water column of 50 metres.
Immersion under the tap or showers are no problem with the watch. However, the 5 ATM protection does not mean that the watch is suitable for diving up to approximately 50 metres, as the pressure is also increased by movements in the water, for example during swimming. According to the classification table according to DIN 8310, a watch is only suitable for swimming without hesitation from the 10 ATM protection class.
Since the multisport tracking of the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 Smartwatch also includes swimming as a sport, I would have thought that this should not be a problem with the watch. However, the officially too low watertightness according to DIN 8310 makes me cautious. Amazfit itself states in the operating instructions that swimming in shallow water, as in a pool, is no problem. If you want to record your swim training with the Smartwatch, you should avoid deep diving if possible.
In the extreme test, regardless of losses, we have been swimming with the Stratos in the saltwater pool and in the Mediterranean Sea and see since it still works!
The already mentioned display with 1.34 inch transflective always-on color touch display has a resolution of 320 x 300 pixels. In direct comparison to the display of the Huami Amazfit Bip, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 Smartwatch looks similar, apart from its size. Colors have a comparable saturation and the backlight is also adjustable in five levels. Auto-Brightness mode has also been implemented.
With its comparatively large screen, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 offers more display options than the Amazfit Bip, for example. For example, it is possible to simultaneously display the weather for a location of your choice for the next five days, notifications in a clearly legible font size or complete training results. The watch can also display smilies correctly.
Setting up the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2
Unlike the Mi Band 3 or the Amazfit Bip, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 is not configured and synchronized with the Mi Fit app by default, but with the Amazfit Watch app. This is available for both Android and iOS. The app looks solid on both operating systems. They are structured identically and seem to be optimized for current operating system versions of Android and iOS.
- Download Amazfit Watch for Android
- Download Amazfit Watch for iOS
The first connection to the smartphone is very easy and in my opinion very well thought out and programmed. The first step is to create an account by email address, then select the watch you want to connect to your phone.
Now you will be asked for some personal data:
- date of birth
In the last step, the QR code on the watch is scanned with the app. Now the Huami Amazfit Stratos automatically connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, no need to search for the device in the Bluetooth settings. Once the watch and mobile phone are connected, the personal data already stored in the app is automatically transferred to the fitness tracker and off you go! – pretty smart.
Connecting the clock to a WLAN is also easy. With the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2, there is no need to enter long passwords on the small touch screen. The WLAN to which you want to connect the watch is selected on the display of the Smartwatch and the password is easily stored in the Smartphone app in the next step.
Software Interface & Operation
The user interface is optimized for touch screen operation. By wiping from left to right or from right to left, the most important main functions of the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 are selected or used. You can also navigate Smartwatch with the three control buttons, an advantage for example during training in the water.
When you are on the Watch Face clock display, wiping from bottom to top displays the music remote control when music is available or the music player of the paired phone is turned on. If you wipe again from bottom to top, you can read received notifications. With a wipe from top to bottom, however, you get to the options, some of which can also be adjusted via smartphone app. In addition to the large options menu, there are also three short cut touch buttons for the flight mode, not disturb mode and the display brightness.
In the regular settings, the sleep and/or flight mode can also be configured with fixed times. The fact that the clock vibrates when you receive a push message may have its advantages during the day, but in the evening or at night it disturbs quickly. For example, you can set the sleep mode to be active between 22:00-08:00, as you wish. To conserve the battery, a flight mode time can also be scheduled.
Overall, the operation of the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 is intuitive and already internalized after about half a day. The buttons have a pleasant pressure point and give a nice haptic feedback and also the touch screen reacts reliably to swipe gestures.
Sports modes and functions
Where does a fitness tracker stop, where does a Smartwatch start? While such a Xiaomi Mi Band 3 already offers many functions for little money, the Stratos 2 from Amazfit can do a lot more. However, the core functions such as pedometer and heart rate monitor remain important. This becomes clear because currently running steps and calories burned as a result are integrated in many Watch Faces. In addition, statistics on the pedometer and heart rate monitor can be viewed in the app. The pulse can be measured manually or every minute.
For athletes, the manufacturer has cooperated with the Firstbeat research institute. Its algorithm was used to collect fitness data. Thus Amazfit implements a total of 14 different sports modes, whereby “different” is to be seen rather relatively. A distinction is made, for example, between indoor running and outdoor running.
Overview of the sports modes of the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2:
- swimming (swimming pool)
- swimming (open water)
- running (indoor, treadmill)
- cycling (indoor, bike trainer)
- crosstrainer (indoor)
- obstacle course
Instead of simply wearing the Fitness Watch while doing sports, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 offers many possibilities to individualize the training for the mentioned sports by personal training goals.
In sports, except swimming, climbing, obstacle course, soccer, skiing and tennis, metrics such as:
- distance covered
- calories burned
can be defined as a training goal. Interval training sessions can also be set up in the app and selected for some sports.
Set route via GPS
Routes are available for the sports: running, walking, climbing, obstacle course and skiing. Unfortunately, this does not work as easily with the Huami Amazfit Stratos as with a navigation system. Tracks must be loaded onto the fitness tracker in advance as GPS Exchange format (GPX file). Similar to loading music files onto the fitness tracker, this can also be done quite simply by drag & drop. The corresponding folder “gpxdata”, in which route data can be stored, is displayed as soon as the clock is connected to the computer.
Create routes in GPS Exchange format (.gpx)
There is no proper way to create a route in .gpx format. There are countless tools on the net to help you reach your goal, here I would like to briefly introduce you one possibility.
One, if not even the web browser map program, is Google Maps. Under My Maps you can create your own routes, save them in your drive and also download them.
If you want to plan intermediate stops, you have the option of inserting additional needles between pins A and B. As soon as the route is ready, it can be downloaded directly from the browser as a KML file, which must then be converted into a GPX file.The menu opens by clicking on the three items in the top right-hand corner of the field
On the web there are many KML to GPX converters, the easiest and fastest way for me is to convert the file directly online at kml2gpx.com.
In the sport mode settings, under “Course Import”, the saved routes for upcoming training units are stored.
Unfortunately, the clock does not show any other roads, paths or alternative routes, so it can only be used as a car navigation system to a limited extent. However, the function is useful for defining a running, hiking or cycling route that is always adhered to.
Under the sport mode “running” you can determine before the start which training effect should be achieved. Here you can choose:
- Easy fat burn
- Healthy cardio
- Moderate fat burn
- Keeps fit cardio
- Improving cardio
- Endurance cardio
- Hard cardio
- Very hard cardio
The watch checks the heart rate and, depending on the training goal, “warns” the watch via vibration if the heart rate for the respective training goal is exceeded or undershot. The training evaluation generally follows the same principle as when walking. The watch records various things during training:
- distance walked in km
- Speed in km/h (maximum, minimum & average)
- calories burned
- Heartrate Zone (Maximum, Minimum & Average)
The Amazfit Stratos app is also linked to the Strava network, which is popular among athletes. Training data can be entered directly from the Amazfit Watch App in Strava. This also works reliably, but Strava does not take into account any breaks taken during the training. Thus results in Strava are falsified and times may no longer correspond to reality.
For the “sport” of walking, training goals such as the distance covered, time covered or calories consumed can be defined. In addition, various alarm signals can be set, such as: Lap alarm, heart rate alarm or automatic lap alarm. Finally it is also possible to define a route, which has to be loaded as a GPX file onto the clock as described above.
In the test I took a lap around the block during my lunch break. The later evaluation showed that the GPS/Glonass is unfortunately not particularly accurate, or the coordination between map and GPS was not programmed particularly well.
Of course I didn’t jump from house to house in the test, but walked along the sidewalk 😀 . However, GPS tracking is accurate enough, at least in urban areas, to give you an idea of the route you have walked. Besides route, time and number of steps, further training parameters are clearly arranged in the app.
Less descriptive, but just as informative, all training data can also be read directly on the Huami Amazfit Stratos.
I like the available space on the comparatively large screen of the fitness tracker!
In order not to lose sight of body and training goals, alarm signals can be switched on and defined.
- Lap Alert (every 5 km)
- HR Alert (alarm at preset heart rate)
- Auto Lap Alert (automatically detects laps driven)
- Pace Alert (indicates exceeding a set speed)
In the sport swimming you have the possibility to choose the length of the course:
- 25 metres tracks
- 50 metres tracks
- 25 yards
- 50 yards
- individually determined length in meters
After you have set the length of the path in the settings, pressing the “Go” button locks the touchscreen after three seconds. The clock can then only be navigated using the three control buttons. In the test on a standard 25 meter course, the watch shows for example the number of courses already swum, the time, or also the heart rate during swimming. Especially the number of swum courses the watch shows very reliably, there are no deviations – very good!
In the later evaluation of the training, the distance in metres covered, calorie consumption and swimmers’ stiles are given, among other things. Here, too, the results, both on the clock and in the app, are clearly displayed.
Swimming (open water)
Distance, heart rate and calories to consume can be set.
In the test of the “Open Water” function, we swam with the Stratos in the Mediterranean Sea.
While swimming, the Huami Amazfit Stratos records the distance covered by GPS. In the test the route shown in the evaluation unfortunately did not correspond to the actual route and is, as already during the run training, inaccurate.
In the test I did not swim towards the open sea and did not finish the training there either
While I was crawling around in the pool, the watch here recognized correctly that I changed the swimming style several times, as the evaluation shows.
Here, too, the three metrics mentioned above can be defined. In addition, the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 Smartwatch Alarm will sound if the heart rate range is exceeded or not reached.
In the gym we tested the Huami Amazfit Stratos on an indoor bike. You can enter either a period of time or an amount of calories to be consumed as the training line. In addition, there is a heart rate alarm, which reacts as soon as a previously set heart rate is exceeded.
During the test, the heart rate measured with the hand sensors matched that of the Huami Amazfit Stratos. After completion of the training you will receive a detailed evaluation, which can be viewed directly via the watch itself or via smartphone.
The evaluation on the Stratos itself is not particularly clear, due to the small display, but also here all information regarding the past training units is displayed clearly.
The same settings are available for the “Crosstrainer” sport as for indoor cycling.
The evaluation parameters are identical to an indoor bike workout, both on the watch and in the app.
Climbing, obstacle course, football
In this type of sport, only the heart rate alarm is available.
Here, too, the heart rate alarm is implemented, and there is also a speed alarm that starts at a user-defined speed.
First, the arm on which the watch is worn during the game is determined. In addition, there is the optional heart rate alarm
- MP3 player
- Some functions of a Smartwatch are implemented besides the sport modes. With the 4GB memory it is possible to store and play your own music files directly via USB cable on the Huami Amazfit Stratos. Thanks to the ability to connect your Bluetooth headphones to your watch, your phone can stay at home during your workout. The clock can also be used as remote control for the smartphone music player.
- Sleep monitoring
- This function is nothing new in itself. However, with the Huami Amazfit Stratos 2 it is possible to view and evaluate the collected sleep information directly with the watch. With the Amazfit Bip or the Mi Band 3 this is only possible via Mi Fit App.
- In the test, push messages function very reliably. They are forwarded to the Smartwatch with a minimal delay, provided there is a connection between the watch and the smartphone. Besides a small preview, you also have the possibility to read messages completely. Since the corresponding App logo is shown on the display, the service to which the push message belongs is quickly registered.
- Weather forecast for the next five days
The battery life of the 290 mAh battery should last up to 5 days if you run “only” half an hour per day and the number of push notifications is in the range of 200 per day. In the test the battery life was strongly dependent on the active usage time. During the first of the tests she only lasted about three days, because during this time the minutely heart rate monitoring and often also GPS was switched on.
However, if you try to use the watch as energy-saving as possible, a battery life of up to six days is possible in the test. What made testing the battery life easy for me was a display on the start screen of the app. Displays the current charge level and the time that has elapsed since the battery was last fully charged.
The Huami Amazfit Stratos offers an incredible range of functions. The currently most expensive fitness tracker, from the cooperation between Huami and Xiaomi, is most worthwhile for sports freaks who practice many of the sports to be tracked. In two months of intensive use we have still not managed to try all sports. This is however rather due to the season (skiing in summer does not work so well 😀 )
All in all I really like the Smartwatch. As usual from Xiaomi/Amazfit, the fitness tracker is very well made and there is nothing to complain about. The software, both the app and the Stratos 2 itself, can be operated intuitively and is currently state-of-the-art – this made setting up and pairing with the smartphone child’s play.
Outwardly, the Huami Amazfit Statos, which is even bigger than the Amazfit Bip, looks like a Smartwatch. If you take a closer look at the functions, the scope is larger than with the Amazfit Bip, but with regard to the sports modes and some display options. Apart from the integrated music player and the smartphone music remote, the new fitness watch from Amazfit is no piece smarter. Functions such as sending and replying to SMS, accessing the phone book or answering or making calls are not available. These are usually implemented in every Smartwatch.
But the Huami Amazfit Stratos Smartwatch 2 draws from the full range of sports functions. Individual settings or even training programs can be selected for many sports. Training results can be evaluated on the display of the watch as well as in the app, thanks to the built-in GPS and Glonass.
The battery life of about five days may be too short for many people. But if you compare the functionality and hardware of Mi Band 3 and Amazfit Stratos, the Mi Band looks quite old. You have to decide what you want or which fitness tracker has what advantages for you. For me personally, the advantages of the various sports modes outweigh the battery life.To the gadget