The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is the successor to the T-Rex Pro, a fairly inexpensive, but very rugged smartwatch which still does well in an industrial environment, even two years of daily use. Using this foundation, Amazfit decided to improve some of the key elements of the smartwatch to make it more competitive with the other options on the market (especially Samsung, since Apple decided to make Garmin’s pricing affordable..).
|Amazfit T-Rex 2
So yes, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 has a bigger screen (1.39 inches vs the 1.3in display of the T-Rex Pro), a better resolution and it still uses AMOLED which means that the contrast remains excellent. The rugged smartwatch is now equipped with an upgraded BioTracker sensor and there is also a bigger battery to handle the slightly larger display, while also promising up to 24 days on a single charge. That’s quite the bold statement for any smartwatch, let alone one that seemingly didn’t cut corners in terms of features.
As a minor spoiler, I have bought this watch for a month and I have already charged it twice, so, while the battery is very good, it’s not that great. The Amazfit T-Rex 2 does pride itself with the military standard certification 810G, but do be aware that to keep the cost fairly affordable, the manufacturer did not use metal, the case is made of plastic. I wasn’t really that impressed by the software on the T-Rex Pro (due to its resemblance with the cheap entry-level brands), but Amazfit is adamant that it has made changes in this regard as well.
So, let’s put the Amazfit T-Rex 2 to the test and see if it can convince the public that they don’t need to spend close to $1000 to get a good fitness tracker and a rugged smartwatch in the same package.
Design and Build Quality
The T-Rex line has clearly taken some inspiration from the Casio G-Shock smartwatches look and the Amazfit T-Rex 2 does follow a similar design path. But in a strange turn of events, the T-Rex 2 looks classier than its predecessors, while also trending dangerously close to being tacky. And to make it more obvious, I got the black and gold version of the Amazfit T-Rex 2. Like I said in the intro, the smartwatch is made of plastic, so no ceramic or metal, with the exception of the four circular buttons.
The frame is fairly thick and the entire device is on the large side, so be aware that it may not look that great on a thin wrist (then again, I still think that it sat fine on my wrist). The T-Rex 2 measures 1.85 x 1.85 x 0.51 inches (4.7 x 4.7 x 1.3mm), so it’s about the same size as the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and, considering that it weighs 2.3oz (66.5g), you’re going to feel it on your wrist, but it’s still a fairly lightweight smartwatch considering its size.
The bezel is glossy black with the role of the buttons engraved into the plastic and since I went with the gold version, the buttons, the labels and the sensor protective section are covered by a gold finish. If you’re not paying attention, it can trick you that the smartwatch is more expensive than it is. But, then the large T-REX logo gets in the way along with the tacky Amazfit logo on the side which manages to quickly disperse the illusion of a premium-looking smartwatch. The T-Rex Pro did not have all these brand names plastered around and I have no idea why Amazfit thought it would be a good idea to go this route.
I did mention the sensor cover on the right side, but does the Amazfit T-Rex 2 have a microphone for making calls? No, it does not, Amazfit decided that it’s best to not add a microphone on its T-Rex 2. Now let’s talk a bit about the straps. Just like the T-Rex Pro, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 uses a pin-type closing mechanism, so it didn’t adhere to the universal standard and I know that a few brands also like to keep their ecosystem as closed as possible (Garmin), but it’s still a minus from my point of view.
The straps themselves are made of silicone and they felt surprisingly comfortable on my wrist. On the rear panel, Amazfit has positioned the sensors in the middle, while the two metallic pins sit apart, looking very similar to the charging pins on the Amazfit T-Rex Pro. Of course, I quickly took the charging cable to check if I could indeed charge the battery of the T-Rex 2. You didn’t think it would work did you? No, the charging cables are not compatible between brands.
And I do mean it when I say that this anti-consumer behavior seriously needs to be regulated because we’re going beyond stupid at this point. The smartwatches are getting popular every day and if there is a minimum of care for the environment, we absolutely more push for an universal charging port.
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 has four buttons positioned on the frame of the smartwatch, two on the left and two on the right and, even if the display is touch-sensitive, you can fully control it only using the buttons. This is very important for a rugged smartwatch since it allows construction or industrial workers to access the interface while wearing gloves. On the left, there are the UP and DOWN buttons, while on the right, there’s the SELect button at the top which enables a specific function and also acts as a shortcut to the Sport features.
Lastly, there’s the BACK button which opens up the menu and returns to the previous section. The buttons are reactive and very easy to press.
How rugged is the Amazfit T-Rex 2?
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 was built to withstand some amount of abuse by rising the bezels slightly above the display and by passing some tests which gave it the STD-MIL-810G certification. I suppose I would have liked to see a Sapphire glass display but that would have increased the price substantially, but the Amazfit T-Rex 2 should have at least used Gorilla Glass for extra protection. So yes, you should be careful not to hit the screen at the wrong angle.
Then again, if I were to compare it to the T-Rex Pro which has seen daily use in an industrial / construction site, I would say that it should do fine in the long run. Yes, the Pro took some beating and the protection layer has some scratches, but the display remains unharmed to this day.
I have mentioned the STD-MIL-810G certification which should essentially make the case shock-proof, but the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is also water resistant, ensuring that it will survive at 10ATM conditions. I would still keep in mind that the smartwatch is not currently IP rated. One other highlighted feature is the the device’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures. To be more exact, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is built to remain operational when the surrounding temperature reaches as low as -22 degrees F (or -30 C), so it should fare well in extreme cold.
The Internal Hardware and Connectivity
I didn’t want to open up the case of the Amazfit T-Rex 2, so I just checked he FCC ID website to see the main components. I was able to see the 500mAh battery (93Wh), as well as identify the 512MB SPI NAND flash from Kioxia America (TC58CYG2S0HRAIJ). Unfortunately, the other photos were too blurry, so I can’t be sure of the CPU, GPU or the amount of RAM.
At the same time, it does seem that it may be 32MB of RAM and an Exynos processor, but it’s not completely verified info. As for Bluetooth, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 relies on the version 5.0 BLE, so you can go as far as about 10 feet from the phone before it disconnects (with some walls in between). Additionally, the smartwatch uses what it calls dual-band and 6 satellite positioning for accurate position tracking.
It’s Amazfit’s way of saying that they use multiple frequency bands (two) and connect to six satellites to accurately pin-point your location when wearing the smartwatch. It’s also worth mentioning that you can pair the T-Rex 2 to both Android and iOS smartphones.
The rugged smartwatch has received a slightly bigger display, moving from the 1.3in display of its predecessors to a 1.39-inch screen. And it may not seem that much, but there is a bump in terms of resolution, a more substantial one, going from the 360×360 pixels of the T-Rex Pro to the 454×454 pixels of the Amazfit T-Rex 2, plus we get 326ppi which is quite a bit for a screen of this size (same pixel density as the Apple Watch 8).
There is more because the star of the show is the AMOLED panel which is able to deliver deep blacks and overall, a very good contrast. Considering the aforementioned stats, the display is capable of producing detailed images with crisp text and I expected the white to be a bit more yellowish, but no, it’s actually more on the cooler side. What about the brightness level? I chose to keep the adaptive mode enabled, so the brightness will raise and lower accordingly to how much light there is in the room – and it’s surprisingly reactive.
But it can also get very bright, more than enough to see the time or messages if it’s bright outside. Additionally, something that I really liked was that the smartwatch manages to create the illusion of depth (like there’s a screen above the existing one). What I didn’t like was the fake always on display feature that I saw on the Haylou Solar Plus and, while they didn’t really advertise it in an outright manner, like Haylou did, it’s still nowhere near the TicWatch’s ability to keep a genuine always-on display for days.
I didn’t really expect to have issues with the tilt to wake wrist movement, but I still checked it out to see if it’s reactive enough (some cheaper devices aren’t – I am looking at you, Kospet). And it did light up the screen every time without issues.
The Zepp OS
The Amazfit T-Rex 2 uses Zepp OS which is a closed system, but it’s surprisingly lightweight considering some of its functions. I have tested a lot of inexpensive smartwatches over the years and all of them, without exception had a similar OS experience, even down to the icons, so the Zepp OS didn’t strike me as a mature platform, capable to go against Wear OS and other smartwatches operating systems. But using it for a month, it kind of grew on me.
Amazfit T-Rex 2-
- AMOLED display
- The smartwatch is properly rugged
- The sensors are fairly accurate, considering the price tag
- Can touchscreen display can also be operated using only the buttons
- I liked the PAI system
- No microphone and speaker
- The OS is closed-off, so not third-party apps
- Some design quirks