I’ve been researching wearable trackers and have been looking at three products which all boast the same relative features: Fenix 3HR ($479), TomTom Adventurer ($349) and the Amazfit Pace ($159). You can find a 20% or 30% discount on retailmenot.com for the Pace. The Amazfit is new on the market. It premiered in China mid 2016 and in the USA on January of 2017. I was interested in the Pace because of it’s price. Especially if it did everything I wanted and at a third of the price with a discount. There is a lot of misinformation about the Amazfit Pace online, I suspect because it is still new or its competitors are trolling it. Here is some of the incorrect data out there;
“It is only in Chinese” – only if you purchase the Chinese version. Buy the USA version (Pace) if you want it in English.
“It is only in metric.” The Pace is in Imperial.
“It is only in military time.” Some of its native clock faces are in 24 hour time, others are in 12 hour time. There are 13 faces to choose from and it is too bad they can not be customized or utilize third party apps. Maybe they will change this in the future with an update.
“It does not have breadcrumbing or altitude features.” It does. When you begin a workout, you can choose from RUN, WALK, INDOOR RUN or TRAIL RUN. I beleive the altitude gauge only displays in TRAIL RUN mode. Breadcrumb is also in TRAIL RUN, you just have to scroll to the bottom screen for it.
I have two friends, one with the Fenix 3 and the other with Ambit 3. Then next time we go hiking together, I will do a more detailed comparison. For now, I performed a simple test of the Amazfit Pace, my Garmin Vivofit and the Android app Map My Hike. Here is the comparison data. I walked two blocks in an area surrounded by houses and trees.
Altitude: Pace said I was at 351 feet. The Altitude app on my phone reported 331. whatismyelevation.com said my elevation was 334.
Heart Rate: The Pace utilizes a PPG heart rate sensor while my Vivofit uses an ECG heart rate chest strap sensor. ECG is regarded to be more accurate while PPG is good for averages.
First check: Pace 73, Vivofit 70, my finger 68. My peak heart rate was listed: Pace 156, Vivofit 108.
Steps: Pace 967, Garmin 989.
Maximum speed: Pace 4.14 mph, Map My Hike: 4.1 mph
Calories burned: Pace 36, Map My Hike 56, Garmin 46.
Mileage: Pace .43 miles, Map My Hike .43 (I forgot to mark my Garmin but it is not GPS and I’m sure would be a little more based upon more steps).
Sleep. Neither is particularly accurate because I watched an hour of TV in bed before going to sleep and watched about an hour when I woke up.
Deep sleep: Pace 2 hours and 21 minutes. Garmin 4 hours and 42 minutes.
Total sleep: Pace 8:39, Garmin 9:09
As you can see from the attached pictures, neither my phone nor the Pace were very accurate but, I will blame that on the houses and trees. Maybe I need to recalibrate both or walk faster. Both were very accurate when I tested them while driving. The Pace tracks both Russian (GLONASS) and USA satellites and picks them up very fast.
The third photo is of the GPS tracking feature. In some wearables, this is called “Breadcrumb.” For me, this is a valuable feature because I wander off trail sometimes and using this “map,” it will help me find my way back.
It is also worth noting that one can get the Noom Walk app for a pedometer, Map My Hike for mapping and Altitude for a compass and just use your phone for the same relative data.
Who knows which one of these tools are the most accurate. If you use them to relatively and consistently track your own data, you can get a good measure of your activities and metrics.
A mark of a good company is that they give ownership of their product to their customers and clients. I hope Huami Amazfit will make their product available to third parties so that customers can customize their own workout metrics, watch faces and app export. Right now the Pace only works with Strava.
I don’t like how the Pace is propitiatory to a phone and does not work on its own. Once activated though, you don’t need to carry the phone around and, the pairing was a little confusing and not at all like the demo videos online.
The transflective screen is excellent outside in the sunlight. Not so much indoors.
Push notifications work very well and instantly. Those are very much customizable.
So, would I buy an Amazfit Pace? I don’t know yet. For sure, they give “the big boys” a run for their money so the big boys better take notice.