Previously, Huami sent out its fitness bands the Amazfit Band 5 and Bip U for review, and we found both to be very capable little devices. Today, we’re taking a look at the latest smartwatch from the brand — one which takes a massive leap in design and materials. That model? The Zepp Z.
The Zepp Z is a gorgeous looking smartwatch with the design of a classic timepiece. It’s made from a titanium alloy which proves to be lightweight, strong, and gives it a premium look.
The leather strap that comes with the watch is a little stiff and doesn’t feel as if it’s the highest of quality. Regardless, it looks great and feels comfortable. If you want a leather strap that’s more soft or supple or a metal link band, that’s also an option. The Zepp Z uses a 22mm band and replacements are easy to find.
On the right side of the Zepp Z features a rotating crown button and two additional buttons that can be customized in the settings. The top health key is used to measure stats such as your heart rate or blood oxygen levels on demand, while the bottom button is used to launch different apps for controlling music, checking the weather, exercise tracking, and more.
The display on the Zepp Z is a 1.39-inch 326 PPI AMOLED that looks gorgeous. It’s sharp with vibrant colors and the auto-brightness setting ensures you can view it under any lighting conditions.
On top of being a beautiful watch, the Zepp Z also has 5 ATM water resistance which allows for tracking swimming. Moreover, it also uses a magnetic wireless charger. There are no pins to line up and it’s also compatible with other Qi-enabled wireless chargers. It’s such a nice change of pace when compared to most other wearables on the market.
The Zepp Z does almost everything I could want out of a smartwatch. It shows the time, allows you to set timers, and use it as a stopwatch. Additionally, you can keep an eye on the weather, control music playback on your phone, and view notifications.
However, I do wish it had better integration with notifications. For example, when you swipe away a notification on the watch it isn’t dismissed on your phone as well. There’s also no way to delete emails or even read the body of the email on the watch. I assume this is beyond the capability of smartwatches that do not run Wear OS and Google reserves these features for its own watch operating system.
Two of my favorite features of the Zepp Z include the rotating crown and always-on display. These are two things that I’ve been spoiled by on other smartwatches, and they make a big difference when using the watch day to day. Being able to glance down at the time and other info without tilting your wrist is so convenient. While scrolling the display using the crown keeps your big greasy finger off the screen and makes it easier to read what’s on the watch.
Additionally, the Zepp Z has a set of offline voice commands to control the watch and has Alexa built-in. This makes it easy to control functions on the watch hands-free, as well as giving you the ability to control your smart home and have your queries answered by Alexa.
When it comes to fitness tracking the Zepp Z is a beast; it will track your steps, calories burned, and sleep automatically. It even does 24-hour monitoring of your heart rate and stress levels.
The only metrics that must be manually initiated include blood oxygen measurements using the SpO2 sensor, and exercise tracking.
Now that you have all of this health data, you need a good way to view and keep track of it. While the Zepp app has a nice looking homepage that clearly lays all of this info out for you, getting it set up in the beginning can be a pain.
The settings are scattered throughout the app and finding the ones you want to enable can be a real frustrating affair. Adding to the confusion are items in the app which aren’t available on the Zepp Z and are present for other products. To be fair, many of these are greyed out, but it just feels cluttered and confusing. On top of that, some of the English translations are a little off, and overall, the app could use a redesign and some polish.
However, once you get everything set up, you’ll mostly live on the well-designed homepage where you can see all the info you truly care about. The Zepp app even gives you some insights into the data it collects which I found truly helpful.
Zepp rates the battery life at up to 15 days of use with the normal mode. In my experience, it was far from that with mine only lasting for around four days total.
While that’s a far cry from 15 days, I also have every feature enabled, including the always-on display, which surely puts a drain on the battery. And to be fair, four days is really impressive, it easily beats any Wear OS smartwatch I’ve ever worn.
It may be possible to get 15 days of use out of the Zepp Z, but if you want to use it to its full potential, then you’re looking at around four days.
The Zepp Z has the looks of a classic timepiece while being jam-packed with features. There aren’t many smartwatches on the market that look this stylish with a premium build and the ability to track fitness this well.
Regardless, the app needs some polish and the notification integration is lacking. That makes the $350 price tag a little hard to justify. Especially when there are other smartwatches on the market such as the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS with a similar style and feature set for only $300.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy Zepp Z though. Just be aware of all the pros and cons before go spending $350 on one, and if you can find it on sale then that’s even better.
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