Another day, another new fitness tracker — although this one is a relatively inexpensive fitness-focused smartwatch.
Huami is now selling its Amazfit Pace smartwatch in the US, a product that was previously only available in China, where Huami is based. The GPS-equipped Amazfit Pace tracks daily activity and calories burned, along with running distances, speed, and cadence. It tracks elevation, which some fitness-focused smartwatches don’t do, and has optical heart rate sensors. Huami claims it gets up to 11 days of battery life on a single charge, despite its always-on, transflective display, and 36 hours of battery life with continuous GPS-tracking.
And, like every other smartwatch, it wirelessly pairs with your phone over Bluetooth to show you incoming phone calls, texts, and app notifications. It’s running on customer software built on top of Android, and syncs with both iOS and Android phones.
It’s hard to judge the Pace’s looks without seeing and feeling the watch in person, but the round-faced, ceramic-bezeled smartwatch looks like it has at least some style to it; TheNextWeb even went as far as calling it “gorgeous.”
The Huami Pace costs $129 now through Cyber Monday (November 28th), and then jumps up to $159. That’s cheaper than a lot of smart fitness watches, but not less expensive than basic activity trackers. It’s currently sold through the company’s own website, and will be sold on Amazon starting mid-December.
While Huami might not be a household name in the US, some of the products it makes are more recognizable. The Beijing-based company is the manufacturing partner of Xiaomi, and designed and made the Mi Band for Xiaomi. Under Huami’s Amazfit brand, the company has previously released products like the $50 ceramic, “fashionable” Amazfit Moonbeam and Equator activity trackers and the $50 Amazfit Arc fitness tracker.
According to research firm IDC, Xiaomi is the second-largest wearable vendor in the world by shipments, with Fitbit leading the whole category. So far, not many Chinese hardware brands have had much success with a direct-to-consumer sales model in the US, where there’s less brand recognition and more competition from tech companies like Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung.