Amazfit continues to release new watches every month, and it becomes clearer and clearer that the company wants to compete with the best from Garmin, Coros, Polar, and Suunto. For the past few weeks, I’ve been running, walking, biking, sleeping, and living with new Amazfit Cheetah.
To my surprise, the best part of it might be the one you least expect.
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A mid-range smartwatch with GPS and satellite tracking, up to 14 days of battery life, and an AI-generated running coach.
I’ll start with the hardware. The watch is relatively light at 32 grams and has a beautiful 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 454 x 454 pixels. The top right button doubles as a rotating crown for scrolling through lists with the bottom right button used to return.
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The rest of the watch’s hardware is consistent with what I’ve seen from other $200 sports watches. There is a 5 ATM rating for water resistance, and the battery capacity is a whopping 440mAh. Amazfit advertises up to 14 days of battery life with typical use. If you use special features like dual-band GNSS (highest accuracy mode), battery life gets you closer to 26 hours.
While the Amazfit Cheetah has a sportier look than your traditional smartwatch, it offers much of the same experience as the GTR 4 that I tested back in 2022. And like the GTR 4, the Amazfit Cheetah syncs with the Zepp smartphone app , where the real power of experience lies.
The Zepp app can be overwhelming with so many screens, settings, and options that you need to spend hours exploring. But once you know where your menus and settings are, this is one of the best companion apps out there.
An important addition to the Cheetah software is the inclusion of the AI Zepp Coach. Like ChatGPT, Zepp software launches an interactive interface where you choose your preferred training plan in a chat. A training plan is created instantly and adjusts itself as you complete your running activities.
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I haven’t completed my full training plan — that could take weeks, if not longer — but using AI here is a smart way to develop the best workouts for your needs. I find it helpful for new runners who need coaching and constant feedback, or have questions about best practices when it comes to different types of exercise and running in general.
As I mentioned before, dual-band GNSS is supported by Cheetah, along with six satellite systems. Amazfit calls its satellite technology MaxTrack, and while it performs well, it’s not as accurate as I’ve tested from Garmin and Coros devices. The total distance is still close, with most of the GPS tracking issues associated with corners in wooded areas. For most people, this is perfectly acceptable.
Amazfit also includes a Track Run mode so that an algorithm will correct your GPS route to match a standard track and the lane you are running in, if your connection proves unstable . You can also sync your run data with various services, including Strava, Relive, Google Fit, and Apple Health, which I’m a fan of.
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For a more intense running workout, you can select four to six metrics that appear on different data pages as you exercise. These categories include duration, distance, pace, steps, speed, altitude, heart rate, and more. I found the heart rate monitor almost matches the results from Garmin and Coros, but if you want the most accurate readings, you can connect the Amazfit Cheetah with an external strap to chest.
Offline maps, offline music (manually loaded to MP3), and Amazon Alexa via a connected smartphone are also supported. One of my favorite Garmin features is Morning Report and Amazfit provides a similar watch face experience called Morning Updates. Data available in this Morning Update includes time, battery status, sleep, PAI, and schedule.
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In all, the Amazfit Cheetah, for $229, reminds me of a mid-range smartphone, where as long as you are satisfied with how it comes out of the box, then you should be satisfied with the watch. There are things that pop up from time to time that annoy me, and the smartphone app needs some work to improve for average users. But for the price, and the incredible AI training coach feature, this might be the best starter watch for aspiring runners and athletes.