I even like smartwatches, but my biggest dream has always been to try to unite the world of old watches, together with some smart functions of the latest devices. Taking advantage of the wave of the 80s and 90s that has been appearing in several places, Huami, Xiaomi’s arm in wearables, decided to create the Amazfit Neo and he has exactly this proposal: old watch face, but with something extra.
Amazfit Neo shamelessly copies the look of watches like the Casio G-Shock or Timex, uses a visible screen at all times and a battery that promises to last for almost a month, while it manages to send all app notifications and still tracks the user’s heartbeat during the whole day. It looks like the perfect match for a hybrid smartwatch right?
Yes, it seems, but like everything in life, this hybrid smartwatch has its flaws. I tell you, in the paragraphs below, where he gets it right and where he gets it wrong.
Video review of Amazfit Neo
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The Amazfit Neo was acquired in retail.
Design and canvas
The first thing that is visible in the Amazfit Neo is the look of a digital watch from the 80s and 90s, especially if you know the face of the Casio of the time, especially the G-Shock line. It was exactly this style of smart watch that caught my attention at first. It is not a micro computer that acts as a clock, but a more traditional clock that has a system ready for some interaction.
The bracelet is made of polyurethane with many holes, making the accessory almost one size. If you are still uncomfortable it is better to sell the device, as it does not allow the exchange of the bracelet with that pin for easy removal. This detail is very negative, mainly because other Amazfit allow this, as is the case of Bip.
The box is made of plastic with a robust product look and there is no burr. This point would go into the minimum necessary for anything, but it draws attention for the price of the Amazfit Neo: it is the cheapest smartwatch that Huami launched in 2020.
The screen is not touch sensitive and all interaction is made by four large buttons with functions written on the watch case, just like the Casio of the 80s. The buttons are the same color and are a little bumpy, but the texture of the plastic changes and not being too protruding allows you to move your hand against your wrist and not accidentally push any buttons.
The display, which is protected by plastic with a glass face, is made on an LCD STN and this makes the second part of the cry “I’m 80’s”. This type of screen resembles what exists in calculators or clocks of the time, has perfect visibility in any minimally lit environment, consumes very little energy and if you are in a dark place and want to see the time, just touch and hold the “back” button ”For two seconds.
I loved the bluish light, but if the purpose is an 80’s and 90’s look, I missed those yellowish side LEDs that don’t try to hide the beam of light. Anyway, it works! It also works automatically, turning on the light whenever the arm raises, while increasing energy consumption. I didn’t have it at the time, so I didn’t activate it here.
Behind is a heart rate reader and two points for the charger to send energy, but I’ll talk about them later. Closing the design part, the Amazfit Neo is only 32 grams and is one of the lightest smartwatches I have ever used. Ah yes, this watch can survive up to 50 meters deep in the water. He can accompany some exercises, but not swimming, so the protection around here works more so as not to take your watch off during your bath or while taking a dip in the pool.
The main function of a watch is to give you the time and that is exactly what Amazfit Neo does most of the time. Directly on the smartwatch you have a display that only shows the time, with a secondary screen on top with extra functions. By default, it displays date, weather forecast, amount of calories burned, distance covered and steps taken, the amount of battery, the last record of the heart rate reader on the day, stopwatch, alarm clock, do not disturb mode and a kind of score that sums up his physical activity, called Father.
The only feature that cannot be actively controlled by the clock is the alarm clock and this is a very strong negative point. In the 1980s, the watch, whether Casio G-Shock or any other competitor, allowed this. Anyway, in Amazfit Neo this adjustment happens inside the application called Zepp.
It is with it that you receive information about the exercises and heartbeat, which have accumulated on the smartwatch since the last time the Zepp was opened. Another accumulated information is the weather forecast. The watch has up to three days of data about the city where you are.
A function present only in the application is the visualization of sleep, with data collected during the night and displayed here with hours of sleep, deep sleep time, light sleep and a history says if you are sleeping as you should. In the report the app even gives tips on how to improve sleep quality.
The heart rate reader creates a history according to the time chosen for the measurements, which can be each, five, 10 or 30 minutes. This interval directly affects the battery life. I put it every half hour just because it was a good time and combined with more days away from the loader.
Another feature that the app needs is the tracking of exercises, which can be walking, running or cycling. This is another negative point, it would be very interesting to be able to have some control by the clock. When you start a workout on your smartphone, Amazfit Neo at least shows your time, distance covered and heart rate.
There is no GPS on the smartwatch and this point is acceptable for the price and the proposal, but not starting a walk through it seems wrong. Most wrong for reasons of: you can pause or stop an exercise with the buttons on the device, but not start.
Finally, notifications. A smartwatch is cool for alerting you to things that happen on your cell phone. It is the feature that I love the most in the smart part of all watches, so much so that my cell phone has not left the silencer for years, years. Anyway, they are here, you are alerted when someone calls, when a message arrives, a social media like, an email, but all without vibration.
The watch beeps and that’s it, changing the type of beep whether it is a call, email, SMS or notification from other apps. This detail is especially bad, it is horrible. The cool thing about notifications on the pulse is that they arrive without alerting other people, but that doesn’t happen here. Another detail: in a call, the upper screen shows the word “call”, but for any other notification it is only a “+1”. There is no message preview, nothing.
Worse: if you leave it to see the notification later, on your wrist, there is no area with their history. If you didn’t see it at the time, Amazfit Neo won’t even show you that something came before. I love the beep he does, it’s very 80’s, it’s very Casio G-Shock, but the notification part could get more attention. Not vibrating is their worst negative point.
After talking about the nostalgic look, the pleasant beep to hear (less during a meeting) and the screen visible even in dimly lit environments, autonomy deserves a lively chat. The Amazfit Neo has only 160 mAh and I know your face has twisted, but the autonomy predicted by Huami is 28 days away from the plug. Twenty-eight days, gives almost an entire 30-day vacation without taking the porter on the trip.
My experience was even superior to what the manufacturer promises. I arrived in 34 days on a single charge, without turning off notifications, keeping track of sleep every day, not turning off the heartbeat check every 30 minutes and turning on the Amazfit Neo light on rare occasions when I I wanted to see the time in bed, with everything off.
The choice to remove the vibration motor, the presence of an STN LCD and the lack of some sensors such as GPS, has this result. Autonomy is enviable, with an average consumption of just over 2.9% of energy per day, even with Bluetooth on all the time. To fully recharge the battery, just two hours in the socket and you’re done.
Look, to find out if the Amazfit Neo is worth it, you need to keep two things in mind: it is not the best smartwatch on the market, not even the best fitness tracker or bracelet to track exercises. He’s kind of a duck: he flies, swims and walks, but he doesn’t do any of that in the best way, only he’s cute.
If you were born or lived in the 80s and 90s, love everything about that time, you will enjoy this smartwatch. I still think it fails to have a vibration engine for notifications and for not allowing an exercise to start from the watch itself, since you can finish one for it. It also bothers me not to be able to set the alarm clock, something that any clock of the time easily allowed.
Looking at the competition, the Amazfit Neo is kind of an only child, there are no smart watches with an 80’s face. Either you have a round or square watch with a black screen when you don’t use any function of it, or else you have a bracelet to follow exercises. Nothing that puts a little of each thing in a visual from the era of the four-color bic pen and pouch.
So … it’s worth it. The Amazfit Neo is the best dive in the retro look that you will find, it gives you battery with a month of autonomy and still offers some smart thing, charging very little for it all. If you are looking for exactly this type of product, it is the best. If you are looking for something smarter, an Amazfit Bip for life can solve your desires better.
- Dimensions: 40.3 × 41 × 11.7 mm
- Weight: 32 grams
- Screen: 1.2 inch monochrome STN LCD
- Drums: 160 mAh
- Sensors: accelerometer, heart rate reader
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
- Compatibility: Android 5.0 or higher and iPhone with iOS 10 or higher