Amazfit Pop 2 review: a mixed bag

Here's my take on the new Amazfit smartwatch - the Pop 2

The India-exclusive Amazfit Pop 2 is sure to turn some heads. The wearable has almost everything that one might come to expect from a smartwatch. The Amazfit Pop 2 offers a premium design, Bluetooth voice calls, and a bunch of fitness-tracking features, and comes in at an affordable price tag. But, does it deliver a fruitful experience? Read the full review to find out how the budget-centric Amazfit Pop 2 performed in day-to-day usage and whether you should consider buying one.

The lowdown

  • First things first, the Amazfit Pop 2 paired with my iPhone via the newly-launched Zepp Active app. The app is exclusive to the Pop 2 smartwatch, at least for now, and supports Android 5.0 or above devices as well. I’m using the 1.0.4 version of the Zepp Active app, and it looks similar to the original Zepp app to me. Like the latter, the Zepp Active app asked me to log in with my registered email ID to begin with. After that, I was able to pair Pop 2 with my smartphone via the QR code Bluetooth pairing process, which worked seamlessly. The app also offers the good-old search and pair option.
  • Once the setup was done, the app fetched details from the smartwatch and showed widgets of my activities, exercises, heart rate, SpO2, and sleep on the home screen. I’m able to interact with those widgets to see how active I was were during the week, month, or year, check sleep patterns and review workouts, which is very useful. Apart from this, the app has ‘Exercise’ and ‘Me’ tabs right next to the home screen. The former offers location-based tracking for my workouts, including cycling, running and walking, using my phone’s GPS, while the Me tab pulls up the watch’s settings, dial centre, reminder settings, and more. While the app is easy to use, I found it very basic and lacking key features such as dark mode.
  • Now, talking about the smartwatch, the Amazfit Pop 2 has been fashioned out of a metal body for a premium look and feel. It does make the watch a bit hefty, but I was comfortable wearing the Pop 2 for hours. It also helps that the watch had round edges and soft and flexible straps, which don’t itch or bite. The straps sport quick-release pins for easy swapping with straps of a similar size and changing the look of the watch on the go. Furthermore, like many other smartwatches, the Amazfit Pop 2 features a rectangular dial, which sports a 1.78-inch touchscreen AMOLED display. The latter bears 368 x 448p resolution, 326 PPI, raise-to-wake gesture, and Always-on support. Everything worked out just fine and I had no trouble using the watch even under direct sunlight. The screen gets sufficiently bright, but I had to manually adjust that since there was no auto-brightness support on this wearable.
  • The Amazfit Pop 2’s raise-to-wake gesture works seamlessly too. I was able to check the date and time, without using my other hand or the always-on screen. The latter is disabled by default, but it can be enabled using the watch’s settings. The always-on screen can’t be customised, but there is an option to choose between digital and analogue clocks. Be that as it may, the feature is a real battery hogger and I would advise you to keep it disabled. Talking about battery life, the wearable can easily last 7-8 days between charges with normal usage and always-on screen turned off. This is an impressive performance, considering the company promises 10 days of battery life on a single charge. The Amazfit Pop 2 juiced up from zero to 100 percent using the proprietary charger in about an hour and a half.
  • On the fitness front, the Amazfit Pop 2 packs a bunch of health-tracking features, which worked to my satisfaction. The wearable did a decent job tracking my vitals, including steps, heart rate, and sleep. The data was a bit off at times, but given the price, I couldn’t have asked for more. Moving on, the smartwatch offers 100 different sports modes, including free training, running, walking, cycling, football, basketball, and more. I mostly used the watch to track my workouts, which it did by actively keeping a tab on my heart rate and calories burnt for the entire duration. Unfortunately, the watch didn’t give me an overview of my exercise post-workout.
  • This is one of the many limitations of the Amazfit Pop 2’s OS. Apart from the missing workout overview, the watch can’t really mimic smartphone notifications properly. Not only does the watch lack a reply option and support for emojis, it even showed me WhatsApp messages shared on groups as DMs, which made me check my phone more often than I used to. The watch also doesn’t automatically stop buzzing for notifications and calls when the phone is on silent. I had to manually enable the do not disturb mode to pause all alerts on Pop 2. Furthermore, the Amazfit smartwatch did not tell me the exact battery left in the tank. It would only reflect the battery percentage in increments of 10. This concerned me initially as I had trouble figuring out how long the watch will last. The Amazfit Pop 2 even worked for me with zero percent battery. But, you get used to it after using the device for a while.
  • As for the UI, it appeared similar to other smartwatches in the segment. Like its counterparts, the Pop 2 offers a step counter, heart rate, SpO2, and sleep data, along with music control, weather information, and voice assistant, with a simple swipe to the left or right on the home screen. A swipe up shows the notification panel on the screen, while a swipe down gives access to quick controls to adjust brightness, enable/ disable sleep mode, deactivate the raise to wake gesture, go to settings, and more. The physical button on the right spine pulls up the pre-installed apps, including dial pad, contact person, call records, workout, camera, weather, sleep, and more. The button can also be used to jump to the home screen or pause a workout.
  • The Amazfit Pop 2 comes with a Bluetooth voice-calling feature as well, but for that, the watch needs to be within the range of the smartphone. As for the quality, it seems average at best. Besides this, the wearable supports an array of watch faces which can be downloaded from the Zepp Active app. The latter also offers an option to customise watch faces, using the preset options, per your liking. That said, the watch can only store up to five watch faces at a time.

Verdict

The Amazfit Pop 2 is an affordable smartwatch, priced in India at Rs 3,999. Several features of the Amazfit watch can be found on similarly-priced and some of the more affordable wearables in the country, but very few come with the metal design and an AMOLED screen. The Amazfit Pop 2 has them both, and the watch looks more elegant than most of its competitors. Besides this, the watch’s tracking ability is fairly accurate, while its Bluetooth voice calling works out just fine. The OS has a few shortcomings, and if the company can fix those with a future software update(s), the Amazfit Pop 2 would make a good buy for the price.

Note: At the time of writing this review, the Amazfit Pop 2 was on V1.10 306D firmware version.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Good design
  • Nice display
  • Feature-rich
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Lacks women’s health features
  • OS needs improvement