I’ve long been a fan of thebudget smartwatch (and its excellent successor, the ). But the name? A bit too cutesy. How about something a little more exciting, like Razor or Stealth or… T-Rex! Now we’re talking. Indeed, on the merits of its ferocious moniker alone, I like Amazfit’s rugged wearable. It’s also a genuinely cool watch, with a price that’s hard to beat: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the with promo code CNET. I believe that’s the lowest price to date; the previous best was $112.
Available in your choice of four colors, the T-Rex is a big watch; thick, chunky and rugged, with a dozen different military certifications for things like heat, cold and humidity resistance. It can accompany you into the shower or pool, and its Gorilla Glass 3 display should withstand hard knocks. Despite all that, it feels pretty light on your wrist, thanks in part to the all-plastic bezel. Even so, I wouldn’t want to wear it to bed, sleep-tracking features notwithstanding. It’s just too bulky.
Speaking of features, the T-Rex does pretty much everything. It can monitor your heart rate and provide warnings if your ticker is beating too fast. It can control music playback and find your phone. It offers dozens of different analog and digital watch-face choices, many of them gorgeous. There’s also an always-on display option, though Amazfit notes this will “seriously degrade battery life.”
That battery can last as long as 20 days, though using features such as GPS and the always-on display will impact it. But even if you get, say, five days? That’s still better than most.
The Amazfit app (which is now called Zepp) is the weak link in this equation. It can be glitchy and unintuitive — not impossible to figure out, but definitely in need of some polish. (There are three main screens, including one labeled “Enjoy.” Huh?) Plus, I discovered that while nearly all phone notifications come through fine on the watch, those from the iOS Reminders app don’t. You’ll get a notification, but it merely says to “see phone.”
Those annoyances aside, the T-Rex is a pretty sweet watch, one you’d expect would cost more like $200 to $250. Anyone looking for a rugged wearable would be wise to consider this.
Originally published earlier. Updated to reflect new sale price and availability. Removed expired bonus deal.
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