1. Verdict
  2. Price and competition
  3. Design and screen
  4. Features, OS, and ecosystem
  5. Sports tracking
  6. Health tracking
  7. Sleep tracking
  8. Battery life
  9. Should you buy it?

Amazfit Active review

Budget fitness smartwatch shines
Wareable Amazfit Active review photo 9
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Amazfit Active
By Zepp Health
The Amazfit Active is a smart buy for anyone looking for a strong budget fitness smartwatch. Some of the health features don’t make the mark, and there’s overall a basic feel to the OS, notifications, and experience. But in terms of solid GPS accuracy, and decent analysis of your fitness and top battery life, it’s hard to beat.

  • Great battery life
  • Solid GPS and sports features
  • Slim and light
  • Budget OS
  • A little fiddly to use
  • Some HR issues

The Amazfit Active feels every bit like a Zepp Health classic. A cut-price budget smartwatch that excels above its pay grade for fitness features – this is what Amazfit does best.

However, it has done all this before. The Amazfit Active feels essentially like a reworked Amazfit GTS 4 Mini – and perhaps is a move towards simplifying its GTS range.

It does have a couple of flashy new features – and a not-so-subtle rework of the Whoop/Oura/Fitbit Daily Readiness metric.

And it also plugs into Amazfit’s new AI trainer features. But is it worth your cash? We spent a couple of weeks living with the Amazfit Active – here’s our hot take.

Price and competition

At $149/$129, the Amazfit Active certainly offers some decent value. It sits above the chunky-but-cheap Bip 5, which impressed us in all but looks. It’s also a tad more than the GTS 4 Mini, which sits at around $99/£99 but has a few more features.

Amazfit just launched its Cheetah ($199) and Cheetah Pro ($250) range – and this represents such a good alternative to the Cheetah; it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

If you’re talking like-for-like alternatives, only the Huawei Watch Fit 2 can compare. Given Amazfit’s global availability, it probably gets the edge here. It’s a close call in terms of analysis and tracking prowess.

Design and screen

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 5

We said that the Active was the quintessential Amazfit smartwatch, and that comes through in the design. It’s a black square, made of aluminum alloy + plastic, and looks like pretty much every Amazfit ever, bar the round GTR range.

It’s lightweight on the wrist and comfortable to wear for long periods, even when asleep.

It’s not a bad-looking watch; it’s just not good-looking either. It disappears and quietly does its job.

It’s 42mm, so it gets away with being fairly unisex – and the bland square design doesn’t have any feminine or masculine quality. You could help things out by buying a replacement 20mm band, which is easily swappable.

It’s helped by a sharp 1.75-inch AMOLED display that surpasses most rivals in this price bracket. It’s helped by a decent 390x450 resolution, with a solid 341ppi. You can’t fault the screen at all.

It can be set to always-on, where a low-power mode will show the time. You will want to extend the sleep/wake time as it’s very quick by default. The wrist raise is quite sluggish, however.

The 20mm silicone strap is also comfortable to wear and tucks under to stop any flapping around.

Finally, the Active is 5ATM water-resistant, so it’s good for a dip in the pool or shower.

Overall, the Amazfit Active wins no design awards, while still being sleek, light, and functional.

Features, OS, and ecosystem

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 6

The Zepp OS experience is almost identical to pretty much every Amazfit smartwatch to date.

It’s not the most pleasing design, with primary colors and very basic interfaces. There are quirks using some of the features, which close as soon as the screen turns off. But it’s certainly feature-packed.

We’ll go through the health and fitness features separately, but there’s a smattering of useful apps, such as timers, stopwatch, and weather widgets. There’s also the Alexa digital assistant if you like. We’re Alexa users but rarely found a use for it here.

The experience is good – but basic. There aren’t “apps” as such – although there’s an array of applets, which add extra functions to the watch. But don’t think you’re getting Strava, Uber, or your other preferred services here.

There are also no payments or extra services, so it’s a much more pared-back experience than an Apple Watch or Pixel Watch.

Notifications are well presented, and it works with iOS and Android. You also have pretty granular control over what hits your wrist.

It's no slouch when it comes to fitness tracking – and that’s really where the Active shows its value.

Sports tracking

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 4

As a sports tracker, the Active excels, and this seems like an example of Zepp Health being aggressive with its positioning.

The big new addition is the Daily Readiness score, which aims to ape the likes of Whoop and Oura by using heart rate variability, sleep data, and other factors. It offers the same experience and an at-a-glance over whether your body is ready to take strain.

You get a single number for your physical and mental readiness, which is highly based on the sleep tracking.

Its AI coaching platform is behind the paywall. We trialed it with the review of the Amazfit Cheetah and Cheetah Pro and found it hit and miss, to say the least – and a long way from a service we’d pay for.

There's also Zepp Coach, which will offer training plan tips and suggest workout intensities. This can be turned off at a press of a button if you're not interested.

The GPS accuracy and sports tracking on the Active is decent – and really belies its meager price tag.

While we found slight discrepancies between the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and its multi-band GNSS tech, overall, it certainly does the job.

We found around a 100m difference over a 7KM run, and less in many cases. It’s hard to find fault with it from our testing – especially at this price point. It’s more than good enough for casual runners, although those keen on their data and spending a lot of time running with tree cover might want to go for something with multiband.

Heart rate accuracy was generally up to the mark against devices such as the Apple Watch and Forerunner 265 across low-intensity runs – and we didn't have any major complaints.

We experienced a few periods where heart rate tracking crapped out or just produced low data for long periods. This was likely due to band tightness, and we found that to get usable data, you need to tighten the band.

In one such run (shown below), the heart rate didn’t rise above 110 for the first 10 minutes of the run. After tightening the band the heart rate was better – and something to be mindful of when using the Active.

Wareableworkout data

The Amazfit Active will also show your predicted finishing times for a host of races, and for once, these were pretty spot on for my fitness level.

It’s a good feature and also an indicator that Active is using some smart algorithms to predict fitness levels and that the HR data stands up.

It’s not just about running. There are scores of workout modes, although few are as detailed as running. We tried indoor cycling and yoga workouts, measuring time and heart rate across the session. We did find some suspiciously low-calorie estimates from both, which might show the algorithms aren't quite as tuned as we’re used to on Apple Watch or Whoop.

A key thing to factor in is that the Zepp Health app will connect to Strava, so you can have all your workout data sync there automatically.

All this makes the Amazfit Active a powerful fitness partner.

Health tracking

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 3

There’s a plethora of health features on the Amazfit Active, which does offer more than its meager price tag would suggest. This certainly isn’t a health watch, but there are several health features to take a look at.

Stress tracking is on board, and there’s a guided breathing feature too. Regular readers will know that my general take on stress tracking is that it's a waste of time, and this is a classic case in point. There’s no insight or analysis, and will show a number for stress such as “46” – with zero context.

Cycle tracking is on board for female users, although it’s just a calendar input and doesn’t use biometrics.

Then there’s One-Tap Measuring which will take a sample of your metrics as a snapshot. It records heart rate, stress, and blood oxygen percentage. It’s not really that useful, and what’s more, as soon as the screen saving kicks in, those stats are gone and irretrievable. They’re also not collected anywhere in the app, and again, a waste of time.

Heart rate at rest didn’t seem to have any major issues, and resting heart rate in the app was close to what we’d expect to see. There are high/low HR alerts in the app, although we were alerted to a low HR of 45 during sleep, which seems excessive.

The watch will track steps, sleep, and stand time, and offer move reminders. The best fitness tracking is offered by PAI (which stands for Personal Activity Index). It rates your weekly exertion out of 100 – stick to the number and you’re doing your bit. It’s a decent system but hidden away on the watch and a little hard to understand.

Overall, it's a solid fitness tracker – but not a powerful health watch.

Sleep tracking

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 2

We do like the Amazfit sleep tracking system, even if it does tend to be kinder than the likes of Whoop and Oura.

We regularly recorded between 30-60 minutes more sleep a night on Zepp than Whoop, which was less likely to account for restlessness.

That’s not hugely different from the likes of Garmin, which also tends to report more sleep than Whoop and Oura.

Those devices are very harsh judges of sleep and restlessness, so if you’re looking to improve the quality of your rest, you do need a better tracker.

However, as a guide to sleep, the Amazfit Active more than does the job. You get tracking of sleep cycles (impossible to judge the accuracy, but this was in line with Whoop) and a sleep score. What was dramatically different was the time awake, which was too low.

Sleep heart rate seemed to report a little high compared to our baseline established by Whoop and Oura. We’d expect to see something around 47 bpm, but Amazfit reported 52 bpm. It will flag an abnormally high heart rate during sleep, which could be illness, stress, or alcohol-related.

And there’s some nifty trends data on most scores, from sleep regularity to time spent in sleep cycles. It’s a good level of depth – but certainly a little heavy on data and low on insights.

A good example is the sleep breathing quality feature will also check for breathing disturbances, but the data presentation made it very difficult to glean much useful information.

Battery life

WareableAmazfit Active review photo 1

Battery life is one of the most impressive elements of the Amazfit Active, and if you keep the always-on display off, the battery barely drains. A night’s sleep tracking will knock off 1-2%, as will 30 minutes of running or exercise. It’s seriously impressive.

Zepp Health states a 10-day battery life with heavy use and 14 days in normal use. We think that 14 days is easily achievable with all-day wear regular workouts and nightly sleep tracking.

I did keep notifications to a minimum as getting stuff on the wrist constantly buzzing isn't my cup of tea. However, all the advanced tracking and SpO2 were left on.

It’s a really big benefit of the Amazfit Active – and underlines a good all-rounder smartwatch at a great price.

Should you buy it?

We’d heartily recommend the Amazfit Active – and this is what the company does best. A budget-friendly all-rounder, with enough health features and solid workout tracking to feel useful all day. It's a much better fitness smartwatch than it has any right to be at this price.

Some of the heart rate accuracy isn’t the best, but the Amazfit app is rich and well-designed, and you don’t feel shortchanged.

The downsides are the basic design and the slightly unpolished experience of using and browsing the watch. But overall, there’s a lot to like here if you’re looking for a budget option.

TAGGED Smartwatches

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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