“The Amazfit Verge Lite is quite possibly, the best budget smartwatch in the market right now”
I’ve been reviewing fitness trackers and smartwatches for a hot minute now, and I look for three pillars in any wearable. Firstly, it needs to be cost-effective. Secondly, I shouldn’t have to charge the smartwatch every other day. And lastly, the wearable shouldn’t skimp on features.
Now, in my experience, most smartwatches only deliver on two of the aforementioned pillars, but Amazfit’s range of wearables have been my one ray of hope. The Xiaomi-backed fitness firm has consistently impressed me with its offerings and recently, the brand unveiled the Verge Lite smartwatch in India, which comes as a watered-down variant of the Verge we reviewed a while ago. I’ve spent the better part of two weeks with the wearable strapped to my wrist and here’s why I feel it has what it takes to be the smartwatch for the masses.
Much like the Bip and the Bip Lite (review) which rock the same design, the Amazfit Verge Lite looks identical to the Verge (review). Therefore, if you’d like to learn more about the design of the smartwatch, I’d recommend you head over to our full review of the Verge. That said, if you’re interested in the TL;DR, then you should know that the Verge Lite is quite possibly the coolest-looking wearable I’ve ever tested, and I was showered with compliments by my colleagues and friends over the watch’s aesthetics. The smartwatch ships with a circular dial and comes in peppy hues which set it apart from the herd of all-black smartwatches in the market. What’s more, the watch is featherlight, and I was all but wearing it to bed during my testing period.
Now, I’ve been using the Verge Lite with its bundled silicone straps, but you can easily swap out the bands for something fancier if you so choose as the watch comes with quick release pins. What’s more, despite its plasticky build, the Verge Lite doesn’t come across as cheap or flimsy. In fact, I banged the smartwatch numerous times on my desk (inadvertently of course), and was still able to get away without so much as a scuff on the wearable’s frame. Adding to the list of pros, the Amazfit Verge Lite is IP68 rated and therefore, I didn’t have to worry about stepping outside with the watch in Delhi’s temperamental rains.
I recently reviewed the Amazfit Bip Lite and have used the Amazfit Pace for a good number of days too. While I absolutely love the transflective displays on both the wearables, I must admit, the AMOLED panel on the Verge Lite is just as beautiful, if not more. The display packs in 360 x 360 pixels and therefore, it’s plenty sharp and vivid for day-to-day usage. However, unlike its siblings, the Verge Lite’s display can be a bit tedious to use when the sun’s out, as you might have to cover the watch’s face with your hand to view the content on the screen. Barring that, I have absolutely no complaints with the Verge Lite’s display – it’s colourful, responsive and just a joy to look at.
There aren’t many buttons on the Verge Lite. In fact, there’s just a single multi-function key which is located towards the top right-hand side of the case and it can be used to go back from within an app or a menu or lock the watch’s face. You can also long press the button to enable the outdoor running mode. The rest of the I/O is present towards the bottom of the watch and it comprises a heart rate monitor, along with a 4-pin connector which is used to charge the watch. For the most part, you’ll be using the touch panel on the smartwatch to navigate your way around the UI. The interface is easy to grasp, and you should be able to get the hang of it after using the watch for a few hours.
Now, unlike the Verge, the Verge Lite doesn’t ship with a microphone or a speaker and therefore, you will not be able to take calls on the watch. You do get support for push notifications, but the caveat is that you won’t be able to interact with them via the watch itself. So, you can all but forget about voice-based dictation or choosing from a list of quick replies to respond to your messages with the smartwatch.
There are some other downsides to using the Amazfit Verge Lite too. For starters, since the watch uses a proprietary OS, you won’t be able to install third-party applications on the watch. Furthermore, if you’re into customising the look of your wearable, then you might find the lack of watch faces available for the Verge Lite a bit disappointing too. For what it’s worth, you do get a total of nine custom themes to rock on the Verge Lite, and they look good. However, I do wish the company would’ve given users more options to choose from.
As for the fitness features, the Verge Lite is about as loaded as you can expect at its price point. The smartwatch ships with a slurry of fitness-tracking features and can record your steps, give you crucial metrics on your stride and cadence whilst running and can even tell you your top speed when you’re cycling. The smartwatch even ships with a built-in GPS, which is fantastic as it’ll help you map your routes without having to take your phone with you. Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn’t get the GPS to lock to my position during my testing. I am willing to give the brand the benefit of the doubt as the GPS tracking worked flawlessly on the Verge. So, here’s to hoping the company fixes the issue in an upcoming update.
During my week with the Verge Lite, I was thoroughly satisfied with the smartwatch’s fitness tracking capabilities. The watch faithfully traced my steps with little to no margin of error, gave me a correct reading of my heart rate (the figures were on par with other wearables) and kept a tab on my activity and prompted me to move around if I was sitting idle for too long. What’s more, unlike other budget smartwatches, navigating through the Verge Lite’s UI wasn’t a lagfest either and I could even control my music directly from the watch. Suffice it to say, for its price, the Verge Lite did everything I could’ve asked for, and then some.
What’s more, to ensure you enjoy the watch’s buttery smooth performance or its wealth of fitness-tracking features, the Verge Lite offers a 20-day battery life. And sure enough, despite having the smartwatch connected to my phone for over a week over Bluetooth, measuring my heart rate every hour or so, using the device to count my steps and display notifications, I still have over thirty percent of juice in the tank as of writing this review. For a smartwatch with a coloured AMOLED display, these numbers are unheard of, really. My best guess is that the company has optimised the wearable to work well over Bluetooth v5.0 BLE, which consumes significantly less energy as compared to a standard Bluetooth connection.
The Amazfit Verge Lite retails for Rs 6,999 and for the price, is a good deal in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, the smartwatch is not without its faults and between the limited number of watch faces, and its finicky GPS positioning, I was irked more than once during my time with the wearable.
But, the Verge Lite delivers where it matters and offers a good-looking design, an AMOLED display, a plethora of fitness tracking features as well as a week-long battery life. More importantly, it does so without burning a hole in your wallet. So, if you’ve been looking to invest in a smartwatch but have the limited dough to spend, the Verge Lite should be at the top of your list.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Good-looking design
- AMOLED display
- Bevy of fitness features
- Long-lasting battery life
- GPS lock is a bit finicky
- Limited customisation options
- Can’t interact with notifications