Is the Amazfit Pace a smartwatch or an upgraded fitness band? Veer Arjun Singh finds out.
Telling the time and having a dial does not make a fitness band a smartwatch.
The market is flooded with fitness bands that sell for as little as Rs 900, and even less, and emulate smartwatches that can be exponentially more expensive, such as the Apple Watch Series 4 (Rs 52,900).
Cashing in on the confusion, many brands have launched low-cost smartwatches, which are little more than fitness bands with dials.
Amazfit Pace is a prime example.
Pace has a circular dial with a ceramic outer ring.
The shiny finish around the 1.23-inch display gives it the appearance of a well-built watch.
It's light on the wrist at 55 gm, but does not feel flimsy.
The one I got to review is predominantly black, with bright orange at the back of the strap.
The other option inverts the colours -- orange with black accents.
Pace is casual wear at best, if not just sportswear.
It won't go with anything even remotely dressy.
The upside of its bright design, however, is that its animated watch faces don't look out of place -- a problem that legitimate smartwatches, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch, suffer from.
The watch is promising from a distance, but the display is what gives it away.
Its washed-out colours take it back into the lowly realm of fitness bands.
It has a single power button that also switches on the backlight and takes the user back to the home screen.
Everything else is controlled by gestures, which is another problem.
The response to touch is slow and patchy.
It seems like the 512 MB RAM is insufficient for its user interface.
This, despite the watch supporting limited activities such as walking, running, cycling and elliptical (the latest update supports tennis and soccer, too).
Conspicuous by its absence is swimming.
The watch has an IP67 water resistance rating, which means it can handle nothing more than accidental splashes.
Pace also monitors heart rate, tracks sleep and shows phone notifications -- all of which a much cheaper fitness band can also do.
I might also add that step (and especially floor) count is not very accurate either.
Pace, however, has GPS, which most fitness bands don't.
The other obvious smartwatch advantage is that the user can store music and connect Bluetooth earphones -- a useful feature for fitness enthusiasts who would rather not carry their phones on a run.
At Rs 10,000, Pace can't lift itself up to the stature of a good smartwatch even though it packs a better battery than most -- it lasts for over five days on regular use.
Amazfit Pace, backed by Xiaomi, is a fitness band upgrade, but not quite there.
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