Amazfit T-Rex 2 review: Rough and ready

The Amazfit T-Rex 2 is a smartwatch aimed at lovers of the outdoors who want a watch to track their adventuring, but don’t want to spend the big bucks to get one.

Amazfit’s third generation outdoor watch is hoping to be an even better outdoor companion than before by adding features like dual-band positioning to bump up tracking accuracy. This will give you the ability to upload routes and navigate yourself along the way, all while making sure you’ve got plenty of battery life to last days of trekking time.

Costing considerably less than watches like the Garmin Fenix 7 and the Polar Grit X Pro, the T-Rex 2 offers similar features for less. Does it deliver the goods though? Here’s our take.

Design and display

  • Military-grade design
  • Works in extreme temperatures
  • Waterproof up to 100 metres

The T-Rex is an outdoor watch through and through, with its bulky polymer case and exposed screws telling you this is made for some rough and tumble.

Amazfit gives it those rugged credentials by ensuring the 47mm-sized watch has passed 15 military-grade tests to ensure it can operate in a range of extreme scenarios. It can fend off freezing ice, withstand humidity for 240 hours and handle extreme heat and cold conditions as well.

If you’re fussy about colours, then you can pick up the case in black (our test sample), green, khaki and a black and gold design with a 22mm silicone strap completing the setup. Front and centre is a vibrant, 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED touchscreen display that can be used in an always-on mode. That’s joined by four physical buttons dotted around the case, which is ideal if your hands are sweaty or cold and not prepped for swiping on the touchscreen.

Around the back of the case is where you’ll find Amazfit’s BioTracker 3.0 PPG biometric sensor, which delivers heart rate and blood oxygen readings. This is also the place where you’ll charge the T-Rex 2 up and Amazfit uses the same charging method setup that most of its new watches currently adopt.

Digging into the dimensions and it measures in at 13.65mm thick and weighs 66g. Compare that to a Garmin Fenix 7 and that’s not far off the same type of weight and thickness you can expect here from the T-Rex 2.

If you want to take the T-Rex 2 for a dip, it’s fit for open water and pool swims and carries a 10 ATM water resistant rating. That means it’s safe to be submerged in water up to 100 metres depth.

If you liked the look of previous T-Rex watches then it’s more of the same for the T-Rex 2. It’s big, but it holds that weight well and it’s been comfortable to wear in and outside of that tracking time too.

Health and fitness

  • Route import and turn-by-turn navigation
  • 150+ sports modes
  • Dual-band positioning
  • Supports 5 satellite systems

While the T-Rex 2 is undeniably about offering something that’s well equipped to work for outdoor time, it has plenty of fitness tracking modes to serve you when you’re back indoors.. There’s automatic rep counting for strength training and it can automatically recognise exercises like treadmill running and sitting down on a rowing machine.

Exploring is where its biggest strengths lie and, unlike previous T-Rex watches, it’s a much better fit for that. Along with its 150+ supported sports modes, the Amazfit offers the ability to upload routes as GPX files to the Zepp companion app, which you can sync over to the watch. Then you can make use of the pretty simple turn-by-turn navigation support to get you to the finish point or help you get back home. You won’t see colourful maps, but you will see a line pointing you in the right direction. It’s basic, but it works.

On top of that new navigation support, Amazfit also includes a dual-band positioning mode, which is designed to improve location tracking accuracy when you’re tackling densely wooded areas or around a lot of tall buildings. A few other watches now offer this technology and we’d say the support on the T-Rex 2 is among the best performers for ramping up accuracy where it can be challenging, to get a consistent satellite signal connection.

Outside of that outdoor tracking time, the T-Rex 2 is a pretty solid performer. It delivers largely reliable data for indoor pool swims and rowing sessions, but can be a little sketchy for open water swims and treadmill runs.

Heart rate tracking is definitely not a strength here either particularly during more intense exercise and for average heart rate readings. You can track blood oxygen levels as well and receive alerts when levels are high or low, but this isn’t a watch that’s designed to offer serious health insights.

It is a watch that can track your steps, sleep, stress as well and while Amazfit persists with its PAI Health scores to award you for regularly raising your heart rate during exercise, it doesn’t feel all that motivating as a feature.

Amazfit has also delved into the realms of training analysis and recovery insights, based on your workout history and biometric stats like heart rate. It’ll tell you about your training load and training effect, deliver VO2 max estimates and advise you on the ideal recovery time from an activity. As long as you take these insights as guidance as opposed to a definitive take on your current fitness level, then they can be useful to push you into making the right decisions about your training.

Smartwatch features

  • ZeppOS with third party app support
  • Notifications for iOS and Android
  • Weather forecasts

It might be rugged and outdoorsy in look, but the T-Rex 2 does also behave like your typical smartwatch. Whether you pair it with an Android phone or iPhone, you’re getting staples like notifications (which you can reply to), changeable watch faces and the ability to view calendar appointments and weather forecasts.

The T-Rex 2 also runs on Amazfit’s ZeppOS platform, which does bring access to an app store. This isn’t an app store in the same vein as Apple’s or the one Wear OS users have access to, but it does include a small collection of apps from the likes of GoPro and an app that brings Google Maps navigation directions to your wrist.

You don’t get payments, Amazfit’s offline smart assistant or Amazon Alexa integration, which you can find on other Amazfit smartwatches. You’re also not getting a built-in music player either.

The T-Rex 2 is a smartwatch that does the basics well and is a good place to check the weather or quickly reply to notifications that pop up on that screen.

Battery life

  • Up to 24 days of battery life
  • 26 hours battery life in high-accuracy GPS mode
  • Up to 58 hours in power-saving GPS mode

Any watch that’s truly fit for the outdoors needs to be able to go the distance when you do, and thankfully that is definitely the case with the T-Rex 2.

Amazfit states that you can get up to 24 days in typical usage from the T-Rex 2, which drops to 10 days in heavy usage. That’s when you’re using features like the most accurate continuous heart rate monitoring and of course using the GPS-based tracking on a regular basis and switching the screen to always on.

The T-Rex 2 can also operate at different GPS accuracy modes, which will influence the amount of battery you have to play with as well. If you want to go with the most accurate mode, you’ll get up to 26 hours. Drop down to the power-saving GPS mode and you’ll get 58 hours. Amazfit even quotes GPS battery numbers for when you’re tracking in extremely low temperatures as well.

Ultimately, this is a watch that can last well over a week between charges and is absolutely capable of hitting that maximum 24 days as well, if you disable some of those features mentioned. The GPS battery performance is good as well. It felt slightly short of the quoted numbers, but it was still a very good showing overall.

If you want strong day-to-day and GPS battery life, the T-Rex 2 can absolutely offer that.

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