Review Huami Amazfit Verge Smartwatch with AMOLED Display for $129.99
With Huami Amazfit Verge, Xiaomi’s strategic partner expands its product portfolio with another wearable. In comparison to the Amazfit Bip or Amazfit Stratos, the Smartwatch is equipped with an AMOLED display, which in addition to the Always-On mode also offers a significantly better picture at the expense of battery life. All the advantages and disadvantages of the Amazfit Verge have been gathered in this review.
- Huami Amazfit Verge (Global Version)
|Display||1.3 inch with 360 x 360 p AMOLED display, touch screen|
|Processor||1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor|
|Internal memory||4 GB|
|Connectivity||NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS|
|App||Android 4.4 / iOS 9.0|
|Dimensions | Weight||22.60 x 4.30 x 1.26 cm | 46 g|
After the first leaks to the new Smartwatch, the name “Huami Amazfit X” was in the spotlight – this was probably only a temporary solution. Since 17 September 2018 the Huami Amazfit Verge has been in the digital shops, which is not very different from the Amazfit Stratos, but has a different focus.
Packaging & Scope of delivery
The Huami Amazfit Verge arrived undamaged in a classic “Amazfit” packaging. At the time of our order there was no global version yet, so we (unfortunately) got the China version of GearBest. But that’s not a problem, since you can now also change the CN version to English. You can find out how to do this below!
In the scope of supply is, beside the clock, a (rather bulky) USB-A charger and a manual, in our case in Chinese. The user manual of the Global version will be in English accordingly.
Sporty design instead of business look
The Huami Amazfit Verge measures 22.60 x 4.30 x 1.26 cm and weighs only 46 g – pleasantly light! Compared to the Huami Amazfit Stratos, the new Smartwatch is not only 14 g lighter, but also somewhat more compact. The watch is completely made of plastic, which doesn’t seem cheap to me, but sporty. It is available in three different colours: “Moonlight White”, “Shadow Grey” and “Midnight Blue”.
In spite of different colours, the highlights of the Amazfit Verge remain in the same colour across the board. This includes the home button and the four small strokes around the display, which are in striking Xiaomi orange. In addition, the underside of the Smartwatch is also light grey in all versions, which probably means keeping production costs low.
The rubber wristband, which is held in case colour as standard, is basically very flexible, gives the Fitnesswatch a pleasant feeling and is 21 mm wide. Thanks to spring bars with quick-release fasteners, the bracelet can also be changed without tools.
Unfortunately, compared to the Amazfit Stratos or Amazfit Bip, the watch is not compatible with standard bracelets, as the strap is tapered to 15 mm at the closure – a pity. It is also inflexible due to the material thickness of the watch case – for example, the Huami Amazfit Verge cannot be placed straight on the table.
As I mentioned briefly at the beginning, in my opinion the Huami Amazfit Verge has the most sporty design in the Amazfit Smartwatch universe. The Amazfit Bip, on the other hand, is a bit like an AppleWatch and the Amazfit Stratos also goes well with a suit and tie. What is the most beautiful design remains a matter of taste, of course, but at least we can say that every Amazfit Smartwatch has its right to exist, if only because of the different designs.
As usual with top workmanship
Altogether the Huami Amazfit Verge is very well processed, I could not find any material or processing errors. In addition, the rubber bracelet is odourless and can be washed under running water without hesitation after strenuous training sessions. Thanks to IP68 protection, the strap does not even have to be separated from the watch.
Finally an Amazfit Smartwatch with AMOLED display
There are some who have spoken negatively about the transflective Always-On-LC display of Smartwatch. With this display technology, the ambient light is reflected by the display and can therefore be read without backlighting. Such a display is also used in the Amazfit Bip, but has some advantages but also disadvantages. For example, colours are more lenient, which is what you most often criticise.
Therefore I am happy that Huami has donated an AMOLED display to Amazfit Verge for the first time. It has a size of 1.3 inches and a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels, which corresponds to a pixel density of 276 PPI. So the small screen is basically more high-resolution than the display of the Amazfit Stratos (231 PPI) and the Amazfit Bip (194 PPI). Compared to the AMOLED display of the Honor Watch Magic, however, the pixel density is lower.
The display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 so that it can withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life and various sports units. In comparison to Amazfit Stratos and Amazfit Bip, the glass of the display is not flush with the case, but is embedded about one millimeter into the case – a small additional protection.
Rich colors and high contrast
In the test I like the new AMOLED panel very much, it convinces me with strong colors and a great contrast. The brightness of the display is infinitely adjustable on a scale of 1 – 100 %, optionally there is also an auto mode. In practice, the built-in light sensor works well and ensures that the Amazfit Verge doesn’t burn its eyes out when checking the time of day at night 😀 . The touch screen also reacts reliably to wiping or swipe gestures, which enables smooth operation.
As with smartphones with AMOLED display, such as the Xiaomi Mi 8 or the OnePlus 6T, the Huami Amazfit Verge offers an optional Always-On Mode. In this mode, all pixels are switched off in standby mode, except those that are responsible for displaying the time on the respective watchface.
Overall, I am satisfied with the characteristics of the AMOLED display. However, I wouldn’t say that it is the better choice compared to the transflective display. Both options offer advantages as well as disadvantages. We have summarized the most important ones here:
Transflective LC display vs. AMOLED display
Advantages and disadvantages of the transflective display (Bip, Stratos)
Advantages and disadvantages of the AMOLED -Display (Verge)
Set up with the Amazfit Watch App
The Amazfit Watch App is already an old acquaintance, and the Amazfit Pace and Amazfit Stratos also work with it. While the app was still quite buggy at the time when Amazfit Pace came onto the market, it is now intuitive to use and is constantly being further developed and improved by Amazfit – very good! The Amazfit Watch App is of course available for both Android and iOS and works basically identically on both operating systems.
As with the Mi Fit App, which is used by Amazfit Bip and Mi Band 3 for example, a user account must first be created by e-mail if it is not already available. This has the advantage that “old” training sessions recorded with another Amazfit Smartwatch are retained. If you create a new account, you will first be asked to enter some personal parameters such as:
Then all you have to do is scan in the QR code on the display of your Amazfit Verge with the Amazfit Watch App and watch and smartphone pair automatically – that’s it!
Software & Operation
Just as Amazfit Verge, Stratos and Pace use the same app, the same operating system is also installed on the clocks, which is always only slightly adapted. This comes from Amazfit itself, officially called Amazfit OS, and is not a modified version of Google’s WearOS, but there are parallels in operation and arrangement.
Huami Amazfit is constantly developing his own OS and updates it regularly. The Verge has already received six updates between production date and unpacking. Unfortunately I had to install them one after the other and couldn’t jump from the delivery version to the newest one, it was a bit annoying, but definitely better than no OS support. Also in the following test phase there were two more system updates for Smartwatch, great!
The operating system on the Amazfit Verge is completely optimized for the touch screen. Even without using the orange home button, comprehensive and intuitive operation via touch gestures is easy. The Watchface you have chosen is the center of the system, so to speak. From here you can reach all other menu items by a wipe gesture to the left, right, up and down.
- Mi AI Language Assistant (Chinese): Wipe from left to right
- App/Icon menu: Wipe from right to left
- Quick Menu: Wipe from top to bottom
- Push-messages (notifications)/music remote control: wipe from bottom to top
Mi AI Language Assistant
The Mi AI Language Assistant (formerly Xiao AI) is the Chinese counterpart to Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri, developed by Xiaomi. Unfortunately, it is not yet available in English or other languages. If you change the clock to English, it doesn’t change, so the feature is useless for most people outside China.
To use the speech assistant in general, there must be a Bluetooth connection between Smartphone and Smartwatch. By pressing a button on the icon on the display, the assistant listens to you via the clock’s internal microphone. Answers are given in written form as well as via a small loudspeaker of the clock (relatively quiet).
The new App Menu of Verge is unfortunately not available for Amazfit Stratos. With the older fitness watch all functions are accessible by a Swipe from right to left, which is quite confusing with the abundance of functions. You can imagine it like a book, where on every new “page” a function is available.
With the Huami Amazfit Verge there is only one “page” on which each function has its own app icon. A maximum of four of them are displayed simultaneously and can now be scrolled through by wiping from bottom to top. Instead of one function per “page”, there is now a list supported by icons that is much clearer.
A total of 16 apps/icons
Via the Amazfit App it is possible to add two of these icons (functions) as favourites. These are then displayed first by wiping from right to left and only then does the entire function menu appear. There are a total of 16 of these icons in the App menu, which include
- Heart Rate (heart rate monitor)
- Sports (Sports Tracking)
- Sleep (sleep recording)
- Activities (history of sports tracking)
- Transport Card (digital bus ticket only in CN)
- Mi Home (can only be linked in CN)
- Music (internal music player)
- Waether (weather for any place)
- Alarm (alarm clock)
- Stopwatch (stopwatch)
- Schedule (calendar)
- Xiamalaya FM (CN or Chinese music only)
The Quick Menu should already be familiar to Amazfit Stratos wearers, it is reached by a swipe from top to bottom.
Here you can access without detours some functions and settings of the clock, which are otherwise available via detours also in the system settings. These include:
- Sleep Mode
- aircraft mode
- screen brightness
- Power Options (Power Off/Restart)
- (All) System Settings
In addition, useful parameters such as:
- Battery level
- pairing status
- air quality
are displayed. The air quality display is probably a feature that is probably only supported for China.
Music remote control & push messages
If Smartphone and Huami Amazfit Verge are connected and music is played on the mobile phone, the clock shows a small remote control by wiping from bottom to top. It shows which track is currently playing and by which artist. In addition, the previous or next track, the current playlist, can be selected and also the volume of the smartphone is adjustable.
If you wipe down further, the Smartwatch will display received push messages, for which apps on which notifications are allowed on the mobile phone.
For some selected apps, such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Instagram, the push settings can also be changed in the Amazfit app. In addition, the original Icos apps are also displayed for these apps, even under iOS – looks good! The Amazfit Verge supports almost all smilies and umlauts (ä,ü,ö), so that WhatsApp messages, for example, are displayed in a nice, easy-to-read format.
Some settings only adjustable via Amazfit App
Since the implementation of some settings on the small 1.3 inch display is difficult, Huami has outsourced some functions of the Amazfit Verge to the Amazfit App. These include
- Change Watchface
- App Settings
- Transport Card (only for CN)
- Weather (Location)
- Activities (sport tracking settings)
- Ximalaya FM (only for CN music)
- Aquara (only for CN)
- Select Favorites app (max. two pieces)
- Check AmazfitOS updates
- Enter WiFi password
In the Activities area, interval training units can be created and saved and the fitness parameters of all eleven sports modes can be adjusted. For example, it is possible to consider additional parameters such as speed or average speed for running fitness training. Of course, parameters activated by default can also be deactivated, such as heart rate or calories.
Sport modes in detail
The Verge supports:
- Treadmill Jogging
- ride a bicycle
- Indoor bike riding
- rope skipping
The distance covered is determined by GPS across all sports and is therefore more accurate than, for example, Mi Band 3 without GPS. In practice, the GPS of the Amazfit Verge is more accurate than that of the Amazfit Stratos. Due to the almost identical software and the same smartphone app, the sports tacking is on an identical level.
In addition to the possibility of simply “running off”, a large number of individualisations can be made in advance. In addition to various training goals, there are alarm modes, the possibility to import and select routes as .gpx files or to link accessories such as a chest strap with the Amazfit Verge.
The training goal for most sports can be a
- time target
- distance target
- calorie target
the training is automatically terminated when this is reached in the subsequent training session.
In practice, the alarm signals of the watch help you not to lose sight of the desired training goal. They can signal:
- a completed round
- exceeding the maximum heart rate
- an exceeding or falling below of the heart rate range
- or exceeding the speed
In addition, the training metrics of each sport can be adapted in the smartphone app. For example, you can add speed or average speed for jogging or deactivate heart rate as a training metric. Amazfit gives you many possibilities to individualize your training – I like it!
Switch Huami Amazfit Verge to English
Unfortunately we did not receive the Global version of the Huami Amazfit Verge, but the CN version. The Global version has also been available for quite some time. At the MWC 2019 we had the opportunity to have a closer look at it and see there, the Amazfit Verge (Global Version) is even available in German and other languages.
The Chinese version can be changed over via detours at least in English. First you have to download the Android SDK Platform Tools for your computer, unzip it and connect the clock to your computer.
Then open the corresponding folder and press Shift + the right mouse button and open the “PowerShell window here”.
Then enter the following commands in the PowerShell window:
$ setprop persist.sys.language en
$ adb reboot
Preferences customizable in Chinese only
Unfortunately there is a small hook when changing the language. As soon as the clock is in English, the “Preferences” can no longer be adjusted in the settings. If you try to select this item, the clock changes back to the start screen. This will affect:
- Enable/disable Double Tip for Wake-up
- Activate/deactivate Always-On mode
- Enable/disable wake-up gesture
- Adjust wearing habit (left arm, right arm)
- Activate/deactivate sports reminder
- Amazfit Verge Preferences Options
So you should customize these settings with the Google Translator app and change the language of the clock afterwards. Once set, this menu is usually no longer needed in everyday life anyway. So I don’t see a bigger problem here. In the case of the cases the system language can be changed in the same way again in Chinese. Therefore you have to enter the following in the PowerShell window:
- ./adb devices
- ./adb shell.
- $ setprop persist.sys.language en
- $ setprop persist.sys.country CN
- $ setprop ctl.restart sygot
- $ adb reboot
In the very best case you simply buy the Global Version and have no problems.
Battery and charging cable
The battery of the Huami Amazfit Verge has a capacity of 390 mAh. Compared to the Amazfit Stratos, the capacity increases by 100 mAh, a real step. Due to the AMOLED display, however, the battery life in the test is not significantly longer. The manufacturer advertises with a battery life of up to 7 days, which I unfortunately cannot confirm.
Depending on the configuration of the Amazfit Verge (heart rate measurement, Always-On display, display brightness, etc.) I was able to achieve an average running time of 2 – 4 days. Less than the manufacturer promises, moreover the running time depends strongly on the Screen-On time and the length of your training units.
On the other hand, the charging time of the Huami Amazfit Verge is pleasing, the complete charging process only takes about 60 minutes – a good value. Unfortunately, the USB charging cable is different from the Amazfit Stratos. Although it is also a 4-pin connector, it has a different shape and is not compatible with the Stratos.
While the Stratos lies flat when loading, the Amazfit Verge lies on its side. This has the advantage that it is easier to read, for example when lying down. On the other hand, the rather thin cable on the charging cradle acts like a predetermined breaking point. Only the long-term test will show how resistant the cable is.
The Huami Amazfit Verge is for me, like the Amazfit Stratos, an overall round product. Unfortunately, we tested the Chinese version, but it shows that the watch is even smarter in China than on the global market.
The sporty design of the watch makes it a successful counterpart to the Amazfit Stratos. Unfortunately, it does not support any water sports in comparison and is “only” equipped with IP68 protection. The new menu navigation is a good step forward for me and makes the user interface much clearer for me.
As usual, the Amazfit app has a good and structured structure and also allows easy data transfer to Strava, Aquara or Mi accounts. You also get regular updates for App and Smartwatch.
The battery life in the test of 2 – 4 days, depending on the intensity of use, is manageable, but within a reasonable range, especially since the charging process only takes about 60 minutes. I don’t like the 4-pin connector USB charging cable at all, because the clock is not placed on the table. It is definitely time for Smartwatches to be able to charge wirelessly on a QI charging pad.To the gadget