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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Amazfit X Day 68 Are we all still here?

I posted on the indiegogo site about my unsatisfactory experience and did get a reply back (maybe they just reply to 1 in 10 posts and I got picked) that I can raise my issues via the support link, blah blah, same answer as ever.

I have responded that it is time they actually responded and resolved issues rather than keep asking people to raise tickets....which aren't tickets, they are emails into the void because the support site they advertise is an email address where they just often do not often bother to read it seems. 

It is now over two months since I received the watch and the only material change I have seen is battery life got worse.

Indiegogo were quite clear that they would not step in and provide any support and besides new products are expected to have issues and the vendor must either provide the perks listed, provide a refund, provide a coherent way forwards or offer an alternative, none of which have happened.


2 months on and Huami have demonstrated utter disdain for their customers and an inability to move forwards and Indiegogo have demonstrated that they just want their cut and please stop bothering us.


My suspicion is, given the issues I am hearing about through other sites with Huami's other products that they do have a core product problem around GPS and I imagine that either the business has gone belly up and the we've not seen the extremities die yet or maybe it is just cynical marketing, produce a product, fire it out there, reap the rewards, ignore issues, produce a product, fire it out there <repeat>.





Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Amazfit Day 67

 Ok, so I relented, the atrocious notification handling on the Amazfit default software drove me to distraction so Notify & Fitness was installed and now I have the schedule and the notifications and it's not too bad.

One loss is that the Weather panel is painfully slow to update, most times it is missing detail unless you sit there staring at it for about 30 seconds, then it updates & I have fed that back but obviously I don't expect to get any response as Huami just don't improve things as best I can tell.


I have been offered another replacement, it seems refund is not an option and I've been offered a 100-200USD voucher on Aliexpress to compensate for the postage....but when attempting to use the voucher it seems like perhaps a 10% discount on a 100-200USD purchase but given the product I already have doesn't work I don't feel inclined to add to my woes.


Anyway, so far my experience is that the watch gps is terrible but if I had no other option it at least puts me in the right county (we live close to a county border but luckily for that statement not too close) but does produce something akin to what happened. Not really useful on a day to day basis but Notify and fitness allows me to use the phone gps so manageable & I will move the workouts option down the list, not going to use it much and essentially the watch has become a really expensive fitness band.

What is interesting is that there appears to be no forward progress so to review the issues I had before the watch was returned for the first time :

Amazfit / Zepp Issues :

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work, this, my second watch, does get a lock after a couple of minutes which is slow but it does get there it seems but the route is only indicative of reality at best.
  2. Amazfit X : It's so useless I've given up.
  3. Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback).
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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
  7. Battery life, the new watch with all my tinkering and three 1 hour GPS plots has been 4 days to reach 14%, so perhaps 5 days. Somewhat under expectation.
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. Update 24/11/20 I can see that addition is planned next release, no idea if it will be automatic.
  3. Stress : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 8/10/20. 24/11/20 I emailled because Stress is now in the app but not collected.
  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 I really want just vibration for wake up.
  2. ...or use Smart alarms on Sleep as Android...if it vibrates the watch before kicking off on the phone then great
  3. How do I connect up a UK radio station, grr, insanely painful

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.
  2. Zepp : Where to view the GPS route.....found it, it seems the refresh of zepp for workouts is very slow.
Othe Resolved :
1. The annoying single buzzes I was getting every moring, 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. 



Friday, 20 November 2020

Amazfit : Day 63

Yesterday afternoon I received my replacement watch, it's battery was on 0% charge so I had to wait.


Fully charged at 3pm which on the 19th November which I can use as my "how long does the battery last line".

I have installed Zepp again but this time I am on a different phone, everything is new so I can rule out if any issues were related to my old phone (which did have flakey bluetooth for certain).

I am not seeing any notable improvements in Zepp since my last use and on the watch I see no new watches faces which is a shame, the schedule still doesn't connect to any standard calendar software and the notifications from applications receiving messages close together is still unusual (what good is a count, show me the messages). This time while I decide if the watch is viable I am sticking with just Zepp, the time and effort required to get Notify & Fitness working in a sensible manner is too much hassle - it's great when you get there but I'll wait.


This morning I set up a work out for the morning dog walk, approx 1 mile in a circle...I already know that there are 3 issues to consider from my last Amazfit X :

1) The GPS doesn't get a lock (especially when the device is worn) & when it does it doesn't last

2) When GPS is working the route reported is only loosely based on reality

3) Zepp's software representation further smooths the route like an over aggressive compression algorithm (I know this because in Notfiy & Fitness that same data is represented in more detail).

So first walk......

1) GPS got a lock within 2 minutes, while that is slow it did get there and when I checked about a minute later it was still there, I then forgot to check again.

2) The route, oh the route, foolishly I choose to strap my watch to my tame squirrel for the walk and he visited the pub some 100 metres away from where I went and was dashing around to the side of where I went as we walked, wait, oh yes, if I zoom out from a google maps level view to google earth level view the route does represent where I went, for any sort of fitness tracking or recording of where I went it is useless still and  yet even with all the extra bits it added it was reported as under a mile, not a million miles out but not the sort of accuracy we would expect from a positioning system.

I have reported this back on my ticket and on the feedback in the App because it is simply untenable as a solution.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Amazfit X : day 39

Well it is tough to tell where we are now, Huami have finally provided RMA details and to show they can respond answered a relevant question quickly on on day 37 my watch went into the post to Hungary, so I have had to stump up for postage so tough to tell if I will get it back, will it work etc.

Of interest  I am really appreciating my Mi Band 3 though, it is simple, it does the job and just worka. 

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.