Zepp Z

Zepp Z

The Zepp Z is a sports focused smartwatch released in November 2020. Amazfit is a brand from Huami Technology, the exclusive supplier of smart wearables for Xiaomi. Huami is one of the largest smart wearable manufacturers in the world, best known for making the Mi Bands. Zepp was acquired by Huami in 2018 and Huami is positioning Zepp as their premium brand.

Unfortunately Huami does not disclose the chipset used for the Zepp Z. That being said, the watch does not lag and performs well. It has very similar performance to its sibling, the Amazfit GTR 2. We suspect both smartwatches are using the same processor.

This watch is using Amazfit OS, the proprietary operating system for Huami smartwatches. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store such as the Google Play Store. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Design

The Zepp Z has a circular watch face design and is quite sleek, stylish and attractive. The case is titanium and the Zepp Z is one of the better looking watches on the market. The only color available is silver. This smartwatch is medium sized at 45.9 x 45.9 x 10.8 mm and weighs 40g. The 10.8 mm thickness is on the slimmer side and the watch is comfortable to wear.

The Zepp Z comes with a 22mm leather interchangeable strap. The leather strap is very nice quality and suits the design of the watch well. For fitness activities, a silicone band may be preferred by some but we find the leather band quite comfortable.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen, digital crown, 2 physical buttons and 1 capacitive button. The capacitive button at the top of the watch is the health key used to view health data when you are on the home screen. The crown can be used to scroll and select items. The third button is a traditional smartwatch button can be is can be customized to open an app. Haptic feedback is provided when using the buttons and this provides a good tactile experience.

Zepp Z Buttons
Zepp Z – 3 Buttons

The touchscreen works very well with no lag. However the fonts, menus and icons are small which has led to some owner complaints.

The Zepp Z has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. Salt water or chlorine could be problematic for the leather band and watch so make sure to rinse, wipe and dry the watch after swimming.

Screen

The screen of the Zepp Z is one of the highlights of this smartwatch. The 1.39″ AMOLED Touchscreen, with 454 x 454 pixels and 326 ppi pixel density delivers an excellent visual experience. Indoors the display is excellent while outdoors it is acceptable but not great.

The Zepp Z uses nanotech coating to protect the screen. The watch has a protruding bezel that should offer some additional protection to the screen to help prevent scrapes and scratches.

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The Zepp Z comes with a 340 mAh battery. Huami claims that typical usage battery life is 15 days and watch mode battery life is 30 days. Real world battery life is in the 10 day plus range and is quite good when compared to other smartwatches.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the Zepp Z has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can only receive notifications and there is no ability to respond to notifications from the watch.

Even setting up these one-way notifications requires manually whitelisting the Zepp app on your phone. Duplicate notifications are another common complaint from owners. Not the most polished notification experience for a smartwatch.

Some users have had success with the 3rd party app ‘Notify and Fitness for Zepp’ to respond to notifications. With this app, when a notification comes in, you can open the music control menu, select a pre-written response and press the play button to send. Note that by doing this you will lose the music control capabilities on your smartwatch.

The Z does not have a speaker but has a microphone and does not have the ability to answer or place calls via Bluetooth. The microphone can be used for offline voice controls which work well and are quite useful. Alexa voice assistant is promised for a future firmware update but as of launch, this feature was not available.

The inability to have outbound notifications, receive calls or place calls is a significant negative which separates the GTR 2 from full featured smartwatches. The Z does not have a camera and does not have cellular connectivity. It also does not have any internal storage available for music.

On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. GPS connectivity is quick and while accuracy is not perfect, it performs adequately. Finally, Near Field Communication (NFC) is not supported, hence you cannot use this smartwatch to make payments. In the over $300 price range, NFC for payments is expected so that is another negative against the Zepp Z.

Health and Fitness Features

The Z comes with 7 sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 9 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming. Also included are 12 different sports modes.

There have been a number of complaints on the heart rate measurement accuracy as well as the other metrics. For casual tracking, this may be adequate but could be a concern if you are looking for high tracking accuracy for your sports or fitness goals.

Zepp App

The Zepp Z uses the Zepp app, which is decent but not best in class. While the app has a lot of functions and features, it is not the most refined or easy to navigate. You can see how the Zepp app ranks on our Smartwatch Apps Page.

Known Issues

As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.

Verdict

Very high quality design with excellent build quality and good materials. At this high price range watch is missing many features.  No notification replies, no 3rd party apps, no speaker, no memory for music and no NFC. The Amazfit GTR 2 is nearly identical with a speaker and onboard memory for a lower price. A better buy than the Zepp Z.

Specifications

General

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Watch Type Sports Focused Smartwatch
Gender Men
Release Date November 2020
Operating System Proprietary - Amazfit OS
App Zepp
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 10.0+
Processor Not Disclosed

Design

Shape Circular
Case Size 45.9 x 45.9 x 10.8 mm
Case Material Titanium
Weight 40g
Strap Width 22 mm
Strap Material Leather
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Silver
Input Touchscreen, 3 Buttons, Digital Crown
Water Resistance

Screen

Screen Size 1.39"
Screen Type AMOLED Touchscreen
Resolution 454 x 454
Pixels per Inch 326 ppi
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection Nanotech Coating

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 15
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) 30
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) Not disclosed
Charging System Wireless, Magnetic
Capacity 340 mAh

Features

Notifications Receive Only
Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth Calling No
Bluetooth Music No
Speaker No
Microphone Yes
Camera No
Cellular No
GPS GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia)
Near Field Communication (NFC) No
Payments No
WiFi No
Voice Command Alexa
Memory None
Sensors Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming
Sport Modes 12
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Unique Features Offline voice control
Advantages 15 day battery life
Good quality screen
Disadvantages Cannot respond to notifications
Not the most accurate heart rate monitor
Limited apps, no app store with third-party apps
Zepp app is more complex than other smartwatch apps
Verdict Very high quality design with excellent build quality and good materials. At this high price range watch is missing many features. No notification replies, no 3rd party apps,no speaker, no memory for music and no NFC. The Amazfit GTR 2 is nearly identical with a speaker and onboard memory for a lower price.

Published: January 05, 2021

Zepp Z - WatchSmarty
Zepp Z

The Zepp Z has a very high quality design with excellent build quality and good materials. At this high price range watch is missing many features.

Product SKU: Zepp Z

Product Brand: Zepp

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 350

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.3