In a first test round, the Huami Amazfit Pace watch has already convinced us with its good properties. So let’s go to round 2: how is the watch performing during sports, its actual purpose? We have recorded some training kilometers with the watch and now we’d like to share our experiences with you.
Wearing comfort and accuracy of fit
The Huami Amazfit watch provides everything you need to record sports activities: its own GPS, an optical pulse measurement on the wrist and the corresponding apps that have been specially developed for the selected activity. Before you can start recording an activity, the watch must be correctly positioned on the wrist. In order to ensure best functionality of the pulse measurement, the watch should sit quite close to the wrist. As is usual with this technology, strong hairiness or tattoos, for example, can negatively influence the accuracy of the measurement. Our test model is equipped with a milanaise wristband with magnetic closure, which works excellently in everyday use due to its step-less adjustment, but proves to be less suitable for sports. Unfortunately, in three out of four running units the fastening came loose a little, so that the pulse recording was interrupted. The watch will alert you with a vibration and a message text, but usually, something like this doesn’t happen with a standard silicone strap and clasp (with which the watch is normally delivered).
If the watch is correctly positioned, simply select the desired activity (in our case “running”) from the list. You will be reminded to wear the watch close to your wrist before the GPS connection is established. Unfortunately, it takes a little longer than with our comparison device, the Garmin Fenix 3, but it is still in a normal range. Once the GPS connection has been established, the start of the recording must be confirmed by pressing the “Start” button. Unfortunately, there is still a 3-second countdown built in, which in my opinion has no real use for a watch, and it cannot be deactivated. When you take part in a competition especially and want to start recording right at the start line, you realize how superfluous this countdown is.
During recording, the watch switches to the passive mode and displays either four data fields (duration, distance, pulse, pace) or six data fields (duration, stride rate, distance, pulse, average pace, pace) during the run. In both variants, the current time is also displayed at the top. The selected display representation is absolutely successful, even if the individual fields cannot be configured further. The display is also easy to read even under different lighting conditions. If you activate the display, further values are indicated like e.g. speed, consumed calories or the stride frequency. Furthermore, the GPS route and the music player can be selected. A wipe gesture can be used to pause or stop recording. Here, however, we have to voice a small criticism: During the run the display is in passive mode, which is also very meaningful due to the thus clearly smaller battery consumption. But if you want to interrupt or stop recording, you must always activate the display first (double-tap or press a button) and then additionally perform a wipe gesture or press a button. Therefore, two actions are always necessary, which has sometimes turned out to be somewhat laboriously. It would certainly be easier to solve with additional buttons on the watch. Otherwise the setup during the recording of sports activities is quite convincing.
In the activity settings, in addition to the already mentioned choice between the 4 or 6 field display in passive mode, options such as lap alarm, configurable pulse alarm, pulse range alarm, auto-pause, pace alarm and the possibility of setting a target time or a target distance can be found. The adjustment possibilities are thus quite various and also ambitious hobby runners will be satisfied.
The evaluation of the recorded activities is quite reminiscent of the Mi Fit app and can be described as quite successful. The route summary shows the distance, duration, pace and calories burned, including a map.
Selecting “Details” you can see further values and diagrams concerning pace/speed, heart rate and step frequency/length. Of course, the obligatory representation of the rounds and a view with diagrams are also available.
Via an integrated function the activity can also be shared , e.g. in social networks, and unlike the Mi Band 2 or the Mi Fit app, the Amazfit Pace also offers a GPX export function. The GPX file can be exported directly from the activity view on the watch and is stored in the internal memory of the watch. If the watch is now connected to a PC via an USB cable, the GPX file can be easily accessed and imported into the common portals. It worked without any problems with Endomondo and Runtastic, for example.
The Amazfit Pace watch is really a pretty complete sports watch, which can be seen in the existing exercise plans. You can choose between
- Beginner (8 weeks – 56 days with 85.6 km)
- 5 km (8 weeks – 56 days with 148 km)
- 10 km (8 weeks – 56 days with 212 km)
- Half marathon (8 weeks – 56 days with 307.4km)
- Marathon ( 8 weeks – 56 days with 436 km).
The plan leads you through the training units day by day. There are rest days, days with slower runs, with tempo runs, with regeneration runs, with driving games, with uphill runs or with intervals. The sizes are partly quite ambitious and maybe a bit high, especially for beginners. Experienced runners can have fun with the plans, however.
When comparing the data recorded by the Amazfit Pace with those of Garmin Fenix 3, it becomes clear once again that Xiaomi has a really good device in its selection. On a total distance of 32.8 km, the Amazfit deviated only 210 m from the values of the Garmin watch, although a slightly shorter distance was recorded. The average heart rate also deviated by a maximum of two from the values determined with the Garmin watch and chest strap. Only at the maximum heart rate do the weaknesses of the optical pulse measurement on the wrist become apparent. Here the values differ by up to 20 beats from those of the Garmin watch, which is, however, a well-known phenomenon of optical pulse measurement. The Huami Amazfit Pace does not have to hide from comparison with an established triathlon watch like the Garmin Fenix 3. With the exception of the maximum heart rate, very good values were determined.
The Huami Amazfit Pace is a real sports and fitness watch with many classic functions. The accuracy of the recording, the evaluation options in the Amazfit App, the export function and the exercise plans are convincing. If you are looking for a somewhat different smartwatch for recording your sports activities, you will certainly have a lot of fun with this watch.