- Long battery life
- Syncing takes long
- App is too simple
- Lacks analysis
Huami's on a roll this year. The Chinese company has already released the Amazfit Moon Beam and Equator wearables, which weren't perfect but fantastically eye catching devices nonetheless, and now it's following up with the Amazfit Arc and Amazfit Pace.
Where Moon Beam/Equator are the fancy lookers of the bunch and Pace is the heavy hitter chock-full of fitness features, Arc lies in between as the perfectly adept entry-level fitness tracker.
That means the Amazfit Arc isn't showy and isn't as feature packed, but still offers plenty in the form of heart rate tracking and long battery life for the small price of $69.99. Here's how we got along with the Arc.
Amazfit Arc: Design
The Amazfit Arc design looks like a cross between the Fitbit Alta and Xiaomi Mi Band 2 with its simple, 0.42-inch OLED display. Unlike the other two, Arc has a touch display - but it's limited to the bottom portion of the screen. It's pretty sensitive which is both a bad and good thing. You'll likely zip around a little too quickly missing metrics you want to look at, but the same time, it's really responsive compared to other trackers.
The screen itself is larger than the Alta's and Mi Band 2's but it doesn't show graphics where the touch area is - rather the time and so forth are only shown on the top of the Arc.
There's only one color you can get - black - which is slightly disappointing. Still, it remains unobtrusive on the wrist and the black, while boring, is likely to blend in with whatever you're wearing.
Speaking of wearing, the Arc won't have to leave your wrist very often since it's rated IP67. You can't go swimming with it but it will be ok washing dishes, in the rain and in the shower out of direct spray up to 30 minutes.
Comfort-wise, it sits snug on the wrist while the band's soft rubbery material is thin and pliable making it easy to slip on/off. There's an easy buckle clasp here like the one on Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Charge 2. The tracker module doesn't sit too high off the wrist, though on smaller wrists the display can be a bit large.
Amazfit Arc: Tracking
The Arc has an accelerometer and heart rate sensor, both of which Huami says are power efficient pieces of tech. There are no other sensors like GPS or gyroscope, so you're left with very basic fitness tracking.
Step tracking has been accurate when compared to other devices like Fitbit Flex 2 on walks and runs. There's no auto-tracking of other activities though and there's no option to manually add it in from the wrist or app.
Detecting heart rate can be a slow process and finding a beat takes longer than expected. At rest the Arc is accurate within a few beats when compared to the Philips blood pressure monitor (which is equipped with a heart rate monitor). However we haven't yet tested it with HIIT workouts to see how well it handles the intensity.
On Android, sleep tracking is similar to how the FitSleep device works in that you get a rating on your night's sleep. 100 is the best score and you'll get to see graphs of light and deep sleep, plus how long you were snoozing. On iOS, you don't get the same level of metrics and only the bar graph shows up - which is odd. The tracking itself is hit and miss. Sometimes when I was reading in bed, it would think I was already asleep, which is something we've found with a lot of basic sleep trackers.
It would also miss the times I'd wake up, thinking I'd slept in or woke up much earlier. On the whole, sleep tracking from the wrist is usually pretty spotty and you're probably better off reading the data with a grain of salt no matter what.
Amazfit Arc: Features and app
There aren't whole lot of features outside the ones mentioned in the tracking section. The device itself can show you the time, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, heart rate and battery life.
It also buzzes lightly when someone calls and shows a little phone symbol. There's no caller ID on the wrist and you can't dismiss or answer.
The Arc app is really simple and shares the same interface as the Amazfit Moon Beam/Equator. So if you're looking for in-depth analysis or extensive metrics, you won't find it with the Arc's app. It does, however, provide a general overview of your steps, sleep and heart rate activity.
Aside from the large ring showing goal progression, looking at single days will show your steps (or calories burned) on a graph, with peaks and falls at certain times of the day. It would be helpful if the app charted out your heart rate over time too but it seems like the it will only show you current heart rate, which doesn't mean much. Hopefully, it's something that could be added with a simple firmware update.
Amazfit Arc: Battery life
Arc boasts a whopping 20 day battery life from one single charge. That's huge compared to other fitness trackers that usually last five to seven days. In the week that I've used it, it still has plenty of battery left at 62%. That's from daily usage where it's counted steps from walking and running, heart rate and notifications from phone calls.
The 70mAh battery is mega tiny but Arc is apparently running off a "power efficient" accelerometer and heart rate sensor, which shows. It probably will change depending on how you use it though. For example, daily runners may get 2-3 weeks if they're constantly measuring heart rate and so forth.
The Arc comes with a proprietary charger that's magnetic and attaches to the back of the device. It doesn't take long too to recharge - about 30 mins - though I imagine you'll have to wait a little longer if it's completely dead.