One-minute review

The Amazfit T-Rex 2 positions itself as a cost-effective rival to the best running watches and Garmin watches like the Instinct 2 or Forerunner series, and a companion to take on your outdoor adventures. 

It’s an outdoor watch through-and-through: it’s robust, it’s bulky, it’s waterproof, and much is made in the marketing of the T-Rex 2 being subject to “15 military-grade toughness tests”. It’s even been sent to space, in a marketing stunt that had the watch survive air pressure as low as 0.2% and -64 degrees. 

It certainly looks the part, and it’s stuffed with features such as plenty of sports mode, dual-band GPS, a sensor array including a barometer and gyroscope for altitude and compass functionality, all for a comparatively low price. 

If you’re on a budget and looking for an outdoor watch to weather through your scrambling, surfing, and fell-running adventures, and provide a good approximation of your GPS and heart rate, this would be a decent model to get. However, a few small niggles prevent it from truly challenging the might of the big boys of the adventure watch genre, or putting it on the same accuracy levels of other equivalent watches, making it unsuitable for races where every second counts. 

The UX on the app is a little shaky, the controls aren’t as intuitive as they could be, and we experienced some accuracy queries over GPS. It’s still a great watch at this price, but we would struggle to recommend this over, say, a good deal on a Garmin Instinct.

Amazfit T-Rex 2: Price and availability

 The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is out now, released in May 2022. It’s priced at $229.99 in the US and £219.99 in the UK. Australia’s price and availability is TBC.  

Amazfit T-Rex 2

(Image credit: Matt Evans)

Amazfit T-Rex 2: Design

  • Chunky and robust
  • Beautiful bright screen
  • Non-intuitive app

The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is designed like a G-Shock, chunky and blocky with a polymer outer layer. It also echoes the structure of Garmin, with four buttons – up, down, select and back – and a steel loop or nodule where the fifth button should be. 

The strap that comes with it is a thick rubber, while the watch face is large, sporting a 1.39” AMOLED screen at 434px x 434px, which is bright to the tune of 1,000 nits. The watch is undoubtedly robust, with 10ATM water resistance and passing its military tests including being “tough enough to be operated4 even in extreme temperatures as low as -30°C”, but the chunkiness and the wide watch face is larger than some of its competitors. 

The big screen is lovely from a touch-screen perspective, allowing for additional space to swipe through, and the action is smooth. I absolutely loved the screen, and even though some of the watch face designs were a little ugly, I could not fault the screen itself. It shone at night, it was readable in sunlight, and it was a genuine pleasure to operate. However, its size, which is what makes it so visually striking, might also be its undoing. 

It could be that in order to get all the features in needed at this price point, Amazfit hasn’t minimized some of the technology. It could be that the watch is thick because that’s what an adventure watch is expected to be, but either way, people with smaller wrists might feel a tad overwhelmed at the large size. 

When it comes to design, the Zepp app is okay. It’s far from unusable, the graphs on sleep metrics and GPS are well-presented, but it’s not got either the friendliness and accessibility of Fitbit Premium, which is all rounded corners and simple scores, or Garmin Connect, which has advanced AI pacing tools and next-level metric deep dives. 

The layout makes no sense, with features arbitrarily split between the “homepage” and “health” tabs. Workouts are presented as dull lists of stats, and although there’s plenty of metrics, little actionable advice on what you can do with all that information. 

  • Design score: 3/5

Amazfit T-Rex 2: Features

  • 150 sports modes
  • Smart ExerSense algorithm
  • Expansive battery life

This is one of the areas the T-Rex 2 really good for its price, as it crams in the features with over 150 sports modes. Eight sports, including running, walking, pool swimming and outdoor cycling, can be automatically tracked and logged, so you don’t even have to select a workout (providing you enable the watch’s ExerSense algorithm). 

There’s a whole host of other modes from skiing to outdoor swimming to indoor strength training, but we obviously didn’t have time to test them all. The running and walking ExerSense automatic workout logging kicked in roughly 15-20 seconds after the exercise began. It’s obviously not for measuring race-accurate start time but I was satisfied with the results on the Zepp app. 

Amazfit offers “training templates” which are essentially workout plans on your watch, including warm-ups and cool-downs. It offers good sleep tracking capabilities, strength training exercise recognition, and tools like the in-built barometer and compass suited for the watch’s primary audience: adventure enthusiasts. 

When it comes to reporting on your workouts, training load, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max and all the usual metrics you’d expect are very much present-and-correct alongside simple time, distance, heart rate and calories burned. Swimming metrics include strokes counted, and strength training functionalities include neat body heat maps where you can effectively see which part of the body your exercise has worked.  

Dual-band satellite positioning should allow for accurate positioning, with full-color maps displayed on the watch and the ability to follow your route back the way you came, to the start of your course. The battery life, said to support 24 days of typical use, 10 days of heavy use and 50 hours in GPS mode, will suit weekend adventure warriors down to the ground. 

  • Features score: 4/5

Amazfit T-Rex 2

(Image credit: Future)

Amazfit T-Rex 2: Performance

  • Lots of great metrics
  • Battery up to snuff
  • Some initial accuracy issues

I tested the Amazfit T-Rex 2 over two weeks, and the battery life certainly held up to expectation. With moderate use, I didn’t have to charge it once. I tested the T-Rex 2 in the most adventure-esque environment I could think of: a weekend festival of trail running in West Wales.

This is where I had issues with the GPS and controls. On my first run, an 11k along the coast, my GPS was playing up. During a conversation with my running buddy, I noticed the T-Rex 2 claimed we had run around 4.1k, while my friend’s Polar Ignite 2 registered significantly more, over a kilometer’s difference. While trying to get a more in-depth look at my route while paused, the watch started a new lap before I restarted the run on the watch in frustration. After using it for over a week, its on-the-fly controls still weren’t intuitive. 

However, on my next run, I paired it with the GPS from my phone, an Oppo Find X2 Pro, and the readings were much more comparable, with just a 0.02km difference. Perhaps my friend’s watch was the odd one out, but Polar’s suite of GPS tracking features is traditionally very reliable. 

Other reviewers have noticed discrepancies with the watch’s accuracy, such as its heart rate sensors. But when compared to the GPS on my phone, the watch offers comparable readings.

Other tools worked fine in performance, from sleep tracking providing me a detailed picture of my evening’s rest and offering me a sleep score similar, and comparable, to Fitbit. As you can see the watch breaks down sleep metrics very well, to the point where it’s actually a high point of the device: you get as much detail as you would in the subscription-plan Fitbit Premium, with the exception that it offers no tips or strategies for improving sleep scores. 

Zepp

(Image credit: Matt Evans)

I would also have liked a more comprehensive plotted graph in the Zepp app rather than, or in addition to, the bar chart format Zepp uses, to the bright AMOLED screen and responsible, butter-smooth touch screen action. It’s a great looking and rugged-feeling watch, even if it is on the bit on the plasticky side. If you’re looking for a feature-stuffed adventure watch on a budget, the T-Rex 2 is far from the worst choice you can make. 

  • Performance score: 3/5

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Don’t buy it if…

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