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Much like your shoes and your briefcase, your wrist makes a statement. If it’s adorned with a sports watch, that statement is: I’m a fit and active individual, and therefore someone to be reckoned with.
Agree? Disagree? Doesn’t matter: I’m not here to make a business case for a sports watch; just here to share a great deal.
Which is this: For a limited time, BBH readers can get the Amazfit Stratos for $160.99 with promo code CHEAPSKATE. It normally runs $229.99 — higher, actually, then when it first hit the market a few months ago, when it was around $200.
That was the price when ZDNet’s Matthew Miller reviewed the Stratos — and found it comparable to similar watches costing $400-500. More on that in a bit.
My first encounter with an Amazfit product was the Bip, an Apple Watch lookalike with an impressive feature set and even more impressive 30-day battery life. I like it a lot.
The Stratos is a completely different animal — not just because it’s bigger and pricier (the Bip runs $100, though it’s often available for less), but because it’s built for athletes.
To that end, it has a large, round display that responds to touch, though it also relies on three side buttons for navigation. Its battery runs more like 5-10 days, depending on how you use it. That’s still pretty good compared with, say, an Apple Watch.
Other noteworthy features include built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor, support for notifications and 4GB of onboard storage for on-the-go music. You can also pair a Bluetooth headset, meaning you really can ditch your phone while engaging in various exercise activities. (There’s no cellular option, though, alas.)
I’ve spent precious little time with the Stratos, so I’ll send you back to the aforementioned review for thorough hands-on coverage. Miller’s verdict: Very, very close to pricier models like the Garmin Fenix 3 HR.
I will say that the display looks better outdoors than indoors (arguably a good thing), and that the controls are a huge pain until you memorize them. The top button alone, for example, performs five functions depending on how long you hold it down. In a touchscreen-equipped watch, that’s just silly.
But I love the look of the Stratos and how easy it is (via app) to switch between the 14 included faces, many of which are really attractive.
As Miller himself notes, a lower price can make it easier to forgive certain shortcomings. The Stratos doesn’t have the brightest display or best interface, but at $161 out the door, it’s half the price of many sports-watch competitors.