Retro styling looks great
Reliable step, sleep tracking
Excellent battery life
Fitness functions are minimal
App needs a visual overhaul
You might know Huami as the makers of the extremely popular Mi Band, but the company has been building out its own portfolio of fitness wearables. From the Amazfit Bip S to the Amazfit T-Rex, or the GTS, these watches focus on battery life and simple, yet accurate fitness tracking. The Amazfit Neo, however, is a completely different beast.
This time around, Amazfit is focussing on paring down the data and giving you a broader look at fitness levels. That’s matched up with a throwback design that is equal parts fun and functional. Does it work? Let’s find out in the Android Authority review of the Amazfit Neo.
The design of the Amazfit Neo screams 90’s Casio G-Shock watches. It hits all the right spots in its attempt to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
It’s a completely different take compared to the usual array of affordable fitness trackers. The Amazfit Neo is bold and refreshing in its use of a monochrome display paired up with a somewhat butch throwback design.
The front of the fitness watch has a 1.2-inch STN LCD display. While it certainly adds to its charm, the old-school-style STN display consumes less power and offers higher visibility outdoors. All of these factors are key to achieving that claimed 28-day battery life.
I found the display to be perfectly visible outdoors, and the soft blue backlighting helped post sundown.
Of course, there’ no touchscreen here. Four physical buttons along the side manage all the functions — of which there are precious few, but more on that later.
Two buttons on the right allow you to move the interface up and down, while the left houses the select and back button. The latter triggers the backlight as well.
As you’d expect, the heart rate tracker and pogo pins for charging are placed along the bottom of the watch. The included charging cradle clips around the central module and takes two and a half hours to charge it.
If the charging time sounds a bit much, you needn’t worry. Amazfit claims 28 days of longevity on a single charge, and my testing more or less backs that up.
The Amazfit Neo sips battery life and should easily live up to the promised 28 days of longevity.
While I haven’t had a full month with the Amazfit Neo, the fitness watch barely sips battery life. It was down to about 75 percent in ten days of use. This is with all-day heart rate tracking switched on, as well as sleep tracking and a few workout sessions. Not bad at all.
The Amazfit Neo is an affordable fitness watch, but the materials used are generally good enough. The quality of plastics used matches the price, but not much more. However, if you were expecting a fitness-oriented G-Shock, you’re in for a.. err.. shock.
Though I’m yet to come across any replacement bands, I found the included strap comfortable enough. The overall 32g weight definitely goes a long way in keeping the watch comfortable to wear all day long.
Fitness and health tracking
The Amazfit Neo sits at the cross-section of a fitness tracking fashion watch and a full-blown activity tracker. Nevertheless, the fitness tracking features here are pretty limited compared to something like the Mi Band 5.
The Amazfit Neo tracks walking, running, and cycling — that’s it.
Moreover, I found no obvious way to trigger a manual activity at all. The watch takes measurements all day long and then automatically categorizes it into fitness activities. This low-key approach can be refreshing for someone who wants a more holistic approach towards fitness, but it is not going to cut it if you want granular data.
With that out of the picture, step and distance tracking are pretty accurate. On a straight walk, the measured distance was off only by a few meters.
The watch supports connected GPS as well, but I found it to be rather inconsistent. Looking over exercise records in the app showed split records for when the watch managed to capture GPS data, and when it didn’t.
The same goes for heart rate monitoring. While you can measure your heart rate at any time by heading over to the option on the watch, I set the Amazfit Neo to grab a reading every minute. The app makes it pretty cumbersome to analyze data, but compared to my Fitbit Ionic, heart-rate data was close enough.
The Amazfit focuses on overall fitness instead of specific workouts.
Sleep tracking is excellent on the Amazfit Neo. The watch tracks sleep zones, time awake, and it gives you in-depth information on sleep quality.
As someone who suffers from insomnia, I can find myself trying to fall asleep hours after I’m in bed. The Amazfit Neo did an excellent job of capturing exactly when I fell asleep and woke up. Additionally, the app even gives you tips on how to improve sleep quality.
Overall, Amazfit is pushing the idea of a personal activity score over a data-driven approach on the Amazfit Neo. The idea is that the algorithm will gauge your overall activity, sleep data, heart rate, and age to come up with a score.
As long as you maintain a score over 100, that is a good enough indicator that you are doing enough to maintain general fitness levels. This daily score is easily viewable on the app as well as on the watch.
Amazfit Neo: Not very smart
Despite a large-ish display, there’s little in terms of smartwatch features here. The watch displays the temperature, includes a stopwatch, alarm clock, the ability to locate your phone, and to receive incoming call and app notifications.
Related: The best smartwatches you can buy
App notifications — when they work — are just that, a notification that you need to check something on your phone. Notifications and call alerts were both very inconsistent in my time with the watch and not something I’d base my purchase decision on.
Elsewhere, there are no watch faces. You can, however, rearrange and remove options that you don’t want to see at all.
How’s the Amazfit Zepp app?
The Amazfit app recently rebranded to Zepp. That’s the app you’ll need to do almost anything with the Amazfit Neo.
The app is divided into three sections — homepage, enjoy, and profile. The layout for data, however, is surprisingly convoluted.
The homepage gives you a good enough overview of steps, heartrate, and sleep data. It also affords you the option of viewing additional information like weight, BMI, but also others like bone mass, visceral data. The watch obviously cannot measure these, but I did not notice any means of adding these in from the home page if I had access to the information. For that, you will need to dive deep into the profile setting.
It takes three taps to get to exercise records which is far from user friendly.
Exercise records are hidden away in a sub-menu accessible via a shortcut. It takes three taps to get to exercise information. Nevertheless, when you do get there, it is pretty exhaustive with data on activity zones, heart rate, and connected GPS data. When it works.
Honestly, the app is convoluted enough that it was off-putting having to go back to it for any data. The app synchronizes with Google Fit, Strava, and the Relive app. I’d recommend using those to keep all fitness data in one place.
For more conventional fitness tracking, the functionality is mostly there, but the Zepp app needs a serious rethink as far as organization and discoverability of functions are concerned.
Amazfit Neo Specs
|Huami Amazfit Neo|
|Display||1.2-inch STN display|
|Sensors||BioTracker PPG optical heart rate sensor|
3-axis acceleration sensor
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE|
|Tracking and other features||Walking|
50m Water Resistance
|Charging method||Clip/2-pins POGO pin|
|Supported devices||Android 5.0 or iOS 10.0 and above|
|Colors||Black, Orange, Green|
Value for money and alternatives
The Amazfit Neo is an interesting beast. On one hand, the lack of comprehensive workout modes makes it a bit of a non-starter for anyone serious about data. On the other hand, there’s really nothing quite like it on the market. Certainly not in this price range.
The Neo is more focussed on giving you a holistic look at general fitness in a cool looking package. If solid data with a wide range of workout modes is your jam, the Mi Band 5 is the obvious alternative, and frankly, a better option. The fitness band is priced at Rs. 4749 in India or $45 in the US, making it a high-quality budget offering.
Amazfit Neo: Verdict
What you make of the Amazfit Neo depends entirely on what you expect out of it. Step tracking, sleep data, and general heart rate monitoring is what it excels at. For some users, that just might be enough.
Add a standout design to that, as well as excellent battery life, and you’ve got a decent enough fitness tracker that can double up as a daily wear watch. It certainly helps that at Rs. 2,499 in India, the Neo is very affordable.
Just don’t go expecting in a whole lot of data. There are other affordable fitness trackers that do that job a whole lot better.