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Monday, 19 October 2020

Amazfit X : Day 33

I really would like to say things have moved on but in material terms they have not moved at all. 

I did get contact from Amazfit agreeing tha my problems could not be resolved remotely and they would arrange a return but their normal RMA process would not work so they sent instructions which were completed same day.... That as 6 days ago and no signs of any action thee. 

Indiegogo have washed their hands of the issue. 

Zepp had an update, was listed at the 14th Oct, on the evening the 15th Oct I had an A-GPS update, on the 16th Oct the update dated the 14th Oct became available. But the Zepp version number is unchanged. As a result of one of the other of these (presumably) my watch got locked into a mode just displaying time and step counter (long press on the button twice resolved, somewhat random! Quite an elegant display actually) and this morning I woke up to the default watch face.

The is still confusion between the Amazfit & Zepp apps and something triggers an alarm sometimes (I have heard it twice now when out cycling with friends, absolutely no idea what the trigger is but by the time stop & unlock the phone it is gone with no signs of any issue). 

Amazfit / Zepp Issues :

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work, sometimes it gets a lock when not being worn but cannot maintain it (2 open tickets, #252878 and #2977, raised on the campaign and via Zepp Feedback) - this is the one that matters, the rest would make the device better, this would make the device worth wearing (worth paying for, oh hang on I already did that). This continues to be a problem - there was a A-GPS update and I now get data about 1 time in 3 but it is only representative of the route followed - yes we could identify that Hannibal went over the Alps but more than that I couldn't commit to. Please refer to the squirrel analogy above.
  2. Amafix X / Zepp : workouts generate random data - 1 walk of 194 steps showed as a slow walk and 4 calories burned, the other 7,800 steps in the day burned the other 5 calories I used, seems a little off to me. (raised via Zep feedback).
  3. Amafixfix : Where to view GPS plotted route on the watch (was suggested as available by support on ticket #252878 although I wonder if they mean "can you see the GPS lock working") 
  4. Amazfit X : Auto pause of exercise works, auto-unpause doesn't, raised via feedback & ticket (#2977 18/9/20) but I am assuming that it will start working if the GPS works.
  5. Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback)
  6. Zepp : Have a UK style screen - gets annoying that weeks start on Sundays, they don't they start on Monday that way I have 2 days off at the end of a week. This applies to both the Watch faces and the Zepp data.
  7. Zepp : Automatic updates.... Why in this day and age are updates only found if I open the app and stumble across them, for pete's sake at least send a notification. Reporting on Feedback and Indiegogo repeatedly. 
  8. New suggestion : ability to change (remove or reorder) workout types on the watch to deprioritize those I will never use and bring those I will use top the top. Reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20
  9. Battery life, seems to be 3 to 4 days of normal use without any workout tracking (pointless see above) ie around 50% of that advertised. First reporting 9/10/20.
Notify & Fitness issue :
1. Idle alerts in N&F, I thought they did not work but I have turned off the idle alerts in Zepp and do get idle alerts still, however, in the app I have set 10 minutes while I was testing and the idle alert is still working on 1 hour. Raised via support request through the report 9/10.
2. Smart alarms / alarms on the watch get lost - it appears that there is a conflict between Zepp & N&F that loses alarms, luckily I found out 5 minutes before I was supposed to be picking my son up from somewhere. Unfortunately until updates are reliably available / notified it's imperative to retain Zepp. 

Notify & Fitness suggestions  
  1. Ability to reorder the list of workouts on the watch so that the ones I might do are near the top rather than off the bottom of the page. Raised via email 8/10/20
  2. SP02 : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 7/10/20 and promised in the next release.
  3. Stress : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 8/10/20
  4. Ability to use goals that are calorie or steps (and sync with the watch) : Raised by email 7/10/20 & have seen an update that it will be available soon. 

Sleep as Android
  1. Stop it turning off my smart alarms in N&F, I'm sure I just haven't figured out how yet and it falls below my mysterious issue below.
  2. Figure out why it has started sending a summary notification in the morning, usually when I haven't woken up. It started randomly so I am hoping it will stop randomly (best I've got as I can't find answer that says it will send a notification).
Mysterious Issues still to resolve
  1. Annoying single vibrations that happens in the morning with no associated notification....if there is no notification where is it coming from? No way to tell. Apparently I need to try a reinstall of N&F. What is notable is that it has only happened since putting N&F on there (there might be an overlap with Sleep as Android but it was not happening with just Zepp or with the old N&F for Mi Band. 9/10 I have tinkered with the zepp settings as zepp is still in place. 

Nice to haves :
  1. I would very much like a simple watch face, literally just black with white hands. If I got excited I might suggest progressive banding of hand colour according to % of goals / pai to spice it up.

Amazfit & Zepp Issues no longer relevant because Notify & Fitness works - it is interesting how a little diligence appears to go a long way :

  1. Tracked routes (when they do) have no detail about speed etc - this appears in N&F so it is a Zepp limitation.
  2. Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback)  - I still think this is too aggressive but that appears to be a summary item forcing you to go to the notifications view on the watch, unfortunately you can't swipe anywhere on the notification summary to get to the notifications, instead you have to swipe back to the main screen and then to notifications. It is worth nothing that N&F has much better handling of notifications and resolves this issue - it is so much better, indeed usable
  3. Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) - ticket has been closed - I'm told it isn't available at this time, others have been told it is not possible. Again N&F has the capability of syncing to a google calendar, not sure what Huami's problem is because this independent developer has done it (it's really good actually, I thought it would be like a gimic but it actually works and displays nicely).
  4. Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403), I have received an answer but it is not working yet, I have asked support and followed the instructions but it just generates empty files
  5. Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback). If anyone is confused by "adverts" I mean Zepp self promoting.
  6. Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 
  7. Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android. Latest firmware (1.0.1.30) has added "sleep breathing quality monitor, beta" so hopefully work has been carried out on the sleep module, again annoying that when I looked at my sleep record on Sunday morning it said none for the week because in America Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no indication of what this does / presents.
  8. Workouts are not being synchronised with Google Fit, reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20 but resolved by N&F.
  9. New suggestion : smart alarms, work brilliantly with Notify & Fitness, clearly needs good sleep tracking, I did suggest this during the campaign but also 5/10 via feedback In zepp

Amazfit Closed Issues - and notably not a single fix by Huami so far: 
  1. Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch which is a blessed relief.
Othe Resolved :
1. The annoying single buzzes I was getting every monring, no ide where they came from but I did eventually pin down the annoying message about the amount of sleep (that would arrive just as I was waking up) which was buried in N&F. 

Monday, 12 October 2020

Amazfit X Issues Update

26  days in.

Huami have now responded with an update saying that my issues cannot be resolved and that the watch needs returning "for further investigation". My suspicion is that they simply don't know, I think every issue I am seeing has been reported by others and it still seems a mixed bag on which delivery gives a good result.

I have heard that Huami charge for returns which is disappointing but I have invited that they send me a replacement with reply paid packaging, refund or just reply paid document I can print. 

I do have concerns regarding how long the return will take to turnaround and how much I will get messed about, after all it seems that Huami are struggling to deliver existing orders and they have not yet managed to sell the entire list of perks on the campaign which I think is a shame, the concept and product should be good if the manufacturing issues can be resolved promptly - I'm not sure what problem Huami have, I guess they must be using a different facility to normal due to the curved glass screen because their other products don't seem to have such a high proportion of failures.

Anyway, I thought that I would rehash my list of issues to just have the Amazfit list for a reference point to summarise everything I have outstanding.

I will start by flagging that the Notify & Fitness for Amazfit app is excellent, of all the things it does it allows use of the phone GPS which means exercise can get tracked, unfortunately it does not handle goals that are not simply steps but it more than makes up for that by really top notch notification handling and pulling in Google Calendar which actually pops the reminder up too so not just a static list which I am really impressed with because it works so smoothly (but reminds me to tidy the dumping group of my calendar). I really hope that Amazfit learn from this guy - I don't want to be disloyal to him and don't begrudge the money I have handed him even though I am about to lose the watch possibly to never see it again but Zepp could be so much better, just pay the man and buy his product and integrate it all together neatly - that really is a win for everyone.

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work - if it gets a lock it does not do so quickly enough and does not retain it reliably and what it does track is often wildly different from reality so routes are often absent, random or incomplete. 
  2. Amazfit X : Auto pause of exercise works, I really rather like that feature but auto-unpause doesn't and is entirely random if that, I have to assume that the issue is the GPS failing. 
  3. Battery life, on my initial attempts was just about making 6 days but after the latest firmware has dropped to 4 days at best and with the sensitive setting for the lift wrist functionality that drops to 2 days and that is without any GPS use. The campaign does repeatedly reiterate 7 day battery life & "all day every day". Let's be honest 7 day battery life is not much to write home about and even when I placed the initial order it was my one doubt as the only devices that don't manage 7 days are Wear Os and that Apple thing but I assumed that the claim would be eaaily achieved but now looking at Huami's method of calculating battery life I would suggest it is optimistic in the extreme. Take a look, let me remind that the campaign stresses the workout credentials of the device whilst Huami assume that 15 minute every other day is a reasonable basis from which to work, a detail now visible on the support site but not noted on the campaign.
  4. Zepp, currently I am unable to download my data, this may not be helped that each of my calls has been closed and the answer rolled into one call which means outstanding items will get lost but the service desk can report lots of calls closed.
I know for sure that items 1 & 3 are being reported by plenty of other people and are the big ticket items for rectification from my perspective.

Features to improve :
  1. The list of workouts available on the watch need to be editable or reorderable so that I can place the workouts I use at the top of the list, meaning they are easier to find without having to lift my glasses up to look closer.
  2. SP02 measurement, I know this requires stillness but regular automatic sampling would be useful given it might be a useful health indicator. I know this could be a challenge but the stress and heart monitor both purport to want stillness from the interface and still operate.
  3. UK style data, I do like having a 2 day weekend at the end of the week not a day off at either end of the week. But seriously on a Sunday I expect a week of data to be Monday to Sunday, what is traditionally a week with Sunday off as a rest day (for those who don't work every hour to keep afloat). That also has implications for design of watch faces as there is no good reason why watch faces with days should not pick up the phone's language, likewise dates.
  4. Watch faces, we need more, the default selection are ok but given the number of people having serious problems I haven't really experimented with many, personally I would like a classic black display with white hands, nothing else, and I would like to be able to save 2 watch faces to hand on the device day / evening or work / play) rather than being stuck with the default design + 1 of my choice.
  5. Notifications, stop batching notification together into a count, what is the point of collapsing notifications forcing reference to the phone.
  6. The schedule function needs to integrate with the standard calendar apps, as a standalone item it is a gimmick.
  7. Zepp sleep analysis could do with integrating with Sleep As Android, likewise Smart alarms would are useful.
  8. Zepp has far too much noise relating to self advertisement and features that are not available-at the very least the main screen should be tailorable to hide features I cannot use.
  9. Zepp was not synchronising with Google Fit.

Response from Indiegogo

 Today I had a response from that looks a bit "hmm, yeah your worry not ours" : 

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t receive a response from this campaigner, and I understand your frustration around this situation.

Indiegogo values crowdfunding as a collaborative, community-driven endeavor. At the heart of any successful collaboration is open communication. This is why we ask campaigners to stay in regular contact with their backers, and provide updates on the status of their project and perks.

As with any early-stage project, crowdfunding campaigns may take unexpected turns, which can include changes, delays or unforeseen challenges. While your contribution helps to bring something new closer to reality, there is always the risk that a project may end up falling through, and that the campaign owner may not be able to deliver the perks they'd originally offered.

However, our minimum expectation is that a campaigner is transparent to contributors about the status of their project by posting updates to their campaign. We will be reaching out to them directly to urge them to post an update. While we can’t force them to post an update, if they continue to remain unresponsive, you can use our Terms of Use to take legal action against the campaigner.

Whenever a campaign fails to meet backer expectations, we share in the disappointment of the community. However, we will continue to focus on building better tools and sharing best practices to foster open communication and transparency.

We value your feedback and thank you for your understanding.


However, I have also had a response from Amazfit today stating :

"

Our developers have checked the feedback you sent. We regret to tell you that your watch issue can't be fixed online and it should be returned for further tests.

"


Perhaps progress, what we already know is that this means it will disappear for an unknown period of time and then be returned mysteriously fixed, I'm suspecting they will argue about postage and it will be a year from when the campaign started until I have a working device.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Amazfit X : battery life

Certainly never managed the advertised 7 days, was 6 and the latest firmware dropped that to 4 and I am currently getting 2 to 3 days.

Fully charged 9/10 at 12.45
12.54 at 98%, 9 minutes for 2% that makes 450 minutes, could be as bad as 10. 5 hours


Ok : so it turned out that was going to be optimistically 36 hours.

However, it also transpired that the issue was using the high sensitivity mode to react to the lift motion. Changing back to the default, which some have reported as too slow, is fine in terms of response time but the problem is that rather often it just does not respond at all. 

Back on  default sensitivity battery life rises to the giddy heights of 3 to 4 days again - still a long way short of the claimed 7 days.

Amazfit do publish how their battery life should be on their support site  which is interesting because they only accommodate 15 minutes of running every other day which for a device pitched at fitness seems a little limiting. and their means of testing your own device's battery life is frankly silly.

Amazfit x... not so smart

Today I tried to start a workout and the watch told me to connect to the app to get updates for better tracking.

This being a smart watch :
Smart!
Specific : update required by the watch
Measurable : presumably tracking that relates to where I walked not where my imagination wandered
Achievable : ah there's a problem, the app has no update
Realistic : it appears not
Times : why am I doing manual updates!