We know Spartans want to put their best foot forward. There’s really no other option on the road to success. And with so many training resources out there, it only makes sense to take advantage of whatever is going to give us that extra edge. Between heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, and smartphone apps like Strava, MapMyRide, and GAIA, there’s no shortage of ways to monitor your output and track your fitness goals when training for an obstacle course race. But nothing beats a smartwatch that’s rugged enough to take on a Spartan race, accurate, easy to use, and gives us the data we need to help hit our training goals. So, how does the Amazfit T-Rex 2 Smartwatch hold up?
Can the Amazfit T-Rex 2 Smartwatch Level Up Your Training?
New, Spartan-Worthy Features
Like many smartwatches, the Amazfit T-Rex 2 packs a ton of features into one device. But unlike many smartwatches, this one was tested in outer space on a 2.5-hour round trip journey to 113,000 feet above Earth, enduring air pressure that was 0.2% of sea level with -83.2°F temperatures. It’s passed several military grade and extreme temperature tests, so durability is not a concern with its extra-tough polycarbonate plastic construction. Back here on Earth, it still has a strong connection to space, with access to five GPS systems for activity tracking that our tester found to be fairly precise.
The Zepp smartphone app connects to the device via bluetooth and features an easily-navigated control panel to monitor a plethora of biometric data collected by the watch. This includes VO2 max, training load, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, stress levels, Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), and sleep. The app also lets you import maps and routes to navigate on the watch’s 1.39-inch touchscreen, which also displays a compass and barometric altimeter.
The T-Rex 2 has 150 activity-specific sport modes — from Triathlon to golf and even board games — and it’s supposed to be able to guess which one you’re doing as soon as you start that activity while it tracks the relevant metrics. (It can even count your sets during strength training.) Your individual amount of activity tracking will affect the life of the battery, but it charges from 0-100% in two hours and can last up to 24 days while in smartwatch mode.
Does This Product Have Rugged, Unbreakable Performance?
Our highly active, middle-aged, Utah tester wore the T-Rex 2 for 10 days while road and mountain biking, hiking, paddleboarding, strength training, pounding cardio in the gym, and playing pickleball. She found the battery life to be impressive, and only had to charge it once over the 10-day period. The sleep feedback told her how much REM sleep she got each night, in addition to total hours slept. The data seemed accurate, while the sleep tips the watch offered were sometimes helpful.
The athlete did find the software to be glitchy at times, with some confusing, poorly translated language issues when the watch gave instructions or options in English. Sometimes, the watch would guess that she was doing the wrong activity, one time tracking her board game activity when she was really mountain biking.
The heart rate sensors were inaccurate. A few times she was biking or hiking up a steep hill and the watch said that her heart rate was going down, then later indicated a significantly elevated heart rate while changing sheets on her bed. This is potentially a big issue, because the device relies on heart rate for many of the other features, like VO2 Max and calories burned.
The Final Verdict on the Amazfit T-Rex 2 Smartwatch
At a price point of just $239, this watch does a lot for the price with an ambitious list of functions. Spartans will want to read the manual and decide which of the features are most important to them, and then dive into how to maximize them for obstacle course race training. Do you want to follow suggested recovery times post workout? Track sleep? Monitor your training load? Set training zone alarms for your heart rate? Track your period? Learn what your blood glucose level does in a hard workout?
Even athletes who are not tech savvy can use this watch without getting overwhelmed, and there’s a user feedback option that you can use to troubleshoot issues with company representatives. Once they work out a few of the kinks in their future software and firmware updates, hopefully you won’t need this feature much.
If you’re curious about smartwatches but not ready to invest in a high-price item, the T-Rex 2 is a great way to try a sports-focused option out, see how you like using the features in your daily life and training, and not worry about beating it up. Consider it another tool for staying motivated and engaged in your quest to become an obstacle course racing badass.