The Cheetah Pro is Amazfit’s best smartwatch yet, boasting a decent battery life, an AMOLED touch display, multi-band GPS, and a full slate of tri features, but it does have issues with usability and accuracy.
- Better-than-advertised battery life
- Surprisingly excellent and bright AMOLED touchscreen and watch faces
- Crazy amount of features/functions/sport modes
- Decent built-in run coaching
- Light weight
- Competitive price
- Hit-or-miss GPS/elevation accuracy
- Maybe too many functions
- Inconsistent touchscreen/bevel/buttons performance
- No running with power
- Very limited on-watch post-workout data
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So I’ll start this off by saying that this isn’t the first Amazfit watch I’ve tried out, but a quick search of our site will show that it’s the first one I’ve reviewed. Though I had a chance to check out one of their previous, super-affordable sport-focused smartwatches, I didn’t rate it high enough to even warrant a review. It felt so unfinished and beta, I didn’t even know where to begin.
But rewinding even further, some history first: Amazfit is a Chinese brand established in 2015 with very very limited presence in North America. Most of their smartwatches are a little more “lifestyle” focused. Think: cheaper Fitbit.
As such, their limited traction in the U.S., coupled with limited interest in endurance sports. But with the release of the mostly capable Cheetah Pro, Amazfit is worth another look (with a few caveats, below).Section divider
Amazfit Cheetah Pro Review: The Basics
Like many “endurance sports-focused” smartwatches in the $300 price range, the Cheetah Pro ticks the running (including only cadence and stride length as advanced metrics). Where it departs from the typical $300 smartwatch feature list is when you get into stuff like the super-bright (and quite pretty) Gorilla glass-covered AMOLED screen, the multiband GPS, offline mapping, offline music, a built-in speaker and mic, and a battery life that in our experience exceeds the 14-day published spec. Features like this you usually find in the $450+ smartwatch range.
Now, not everything is executed perfectly (or even well), but there are literally so many sports and everyday “lifestyle” features on this watch—with limited documentation and iffy on-watch navigation—it’s actually difficult to find or use them all. Read on for what actually works and what doesn’t.Section divider
Amazfit Cheetah Pro Review: The Good
As mentioned above, there is an absolute embarrassment of riches when it comes to functions, and while we’ll get into a few that are missing below, it’s tough to find something on your smartwatch wishlist that isn’t already built into the Cheetah Pro.
In terms of hardware, the touchscreen is definitely a pleasant surprise at this price. It’s tough to find a decent AMOLED screen on a sports-capable smartwatch for under $400—the Garmin Forerunner 265 series is probably the closest, and it runs $450 (the 265 also has a Gorilla Glass AMOLED touchscreen). We can confirm that the screen is quite responsive with minimal ghosting, and the colors are bright and vibrant, even in bright daylight, without completely tanking the battery life. On that note, though Amazfit advertises 14 days of basic use and 7 days of heavy use (read: marathon training), we actually found it exceeded these projections by a good amount. We got somewhere between 15-20 days with the always-on display and everyday use and more like 10-15 days with a good slate of workouts thrown in.
Also like other watches in this range, the Cheetah Pro has physiological metrics, like “performance readiness,” recovery, and workout impact—as well as AI run coaching. Further testing could confirm the accuracy of these metrics (maybe), but they were oddly different than our Garmin Enduro 2 control. The important note here is that you’ll again get $400+ functions on a watch that costs far less—and they’re easy to use and understand.
Finally, one of the big drawbacks from Amazfit’s previous sports-focused smartwatches was an impossible-to-use user interface. The menus were tough to navigate, the settings were abstract and not super useful. It’s worth noting that Amazfit has made amazing progress in terms of their UI, and though it’s far from perfect, it’s at least competitive with brands like Suunto, Garmin. Polar, and Coros. The menus make sense, they’re mostly easy to navigate, and they pair well with the AMOLED touchscreen.Section divider
Amazfit Cheetah Pro Review: The OK
So while the feature list is impressive, and on paper the hardware totally outperforms at this pricepoint, there are a few lingering issues that still make the Cheetah Pro a little more “beta” than a finished product that you might see from the brands in the last paragraph. Starting at the top, the multi-band GPS is somehow pretty inconsistent, when compared with other multi-band GPS smartwatches. On-land distance consistency wasn’t too bad, except in deep canyons,
Elsewhere, we found the elevation gain to differ vastly from high-end smartwatches (below), with very unusual variances in steep terrain. At first, we assumed this was due to a lack of a barometric altimeter (common on smartwatches under $400), but the feature list says the Cheetah Pro is baro equipped, so the discrepancy is a bit of a mystery.
We also found both the touchscreen and the buttons (which include a rotating bevel, oddly similar to much of the Coros line) to be slightly inconsistent—functioning most of the time, but not always.
Finally, smaller things like no running with power (though it does have somewhat advanced running metrics like stride length and cadence), a very limited on-watch post-workout data screen (typically forcing you to use the Zepp app, which is actually very good), and intermittent issues with smartphone connectivity might not be make-or-break for the Cheetah Pro, but it does show that Amazfit isn’t 100% there when it comes to their sport-focused devices.Section divider
When compared to the previous Amazfit models that I’ve tried (and hated), the Cheetah Pro might as well be from another brand. Clearly Amazfit spent some serious time on this smartwatch, spoke to actual athletes, and did some R&D before releasing it into the wild. Most of the issues we had are pretty small, but some of the hardware problems—like GPS accuracy, elevation gain accuracy, and button/touchscreen inconsistencies show that Amazfit might have ticked the boxes, but still have some ways to go if they’re to compete with Garmin, Suunto, Polar, or Coros—excellent price aside. That said, more than a few menus and UI elements (along with the shape and button style) do look eerily similar to some of Coros’ stuff—if you’re going to “borrow,” you could borrow from worse.
Meanwhile, $300 is an absolute bargain for an AMOLED touchscreen smartwatch with a ridiculous amount of sports functions (and a surprising amount of great lifestyle functions that almost no one else is trying in a sports-focused smartwatch, like the speaker and mic).
Very clearly we only scratched the surface on all of the different features in the Cheetah Pro, but that review would end up like a tome—especially since the features and functions don’t always work quite as advertised. If you’re looking for a smartwatch under $400, but you still need a nice, bright color touchscreen, you literally won’t find anything else that works, but you might need to sacrifice some accuracy in the meantime.