Amazfit continues to release new watches every month, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the company wants to compete with the best in Garmin, Coros, Polar and Suunto. For the past few weeks I have run, walked, biked, slept and lived with the new Amazfit Cheetah.
To my surprise, its best feature might be the one you least expect.
A mid-range smartwatch with GPS and satellite tracking, up to 14 days of battery life and an AI-powered running coach.
Let me start with the hardware. The watch is quite light at just 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 to scroll through lists with a bottom right button used to go back.
The rest of the watch hardware is consistent with what I’ve seen from other $200 sports watches. There is a water resistance rating of 5 ATM and the battery capacity is 440 mAh. Amazfit advertises up to 14 days of battery life with typical use. If you’re using specialized features like dual-band GNSS (most accurate mode), battery life gets you closer to 26 hours.
While the Amazfit Cheetah has a sportier appearance than your traditional smart watchit offers much of the same experience as the GTR 4 I tested in 2022. And like the GTR 4, the Amazfit Cheetah syncs with the Zepp smartphone app, where the real power of the experience lies.
The Zepp app can be quite overwhelming with the sheer number of screens, settings, and options that require you to spend hours exploring. But once you know where your reference menus and settings are, it’s one of the best companion apps.
A significant addition to the Cheetah’s software is the inclusion of the AI Zepp trainer. Similar to ChatGPT, the Zepp software launches an interactive interface where you select your desired training plan in a chat. A training plan is then created and adapts as you go about your running activities.
I haven’t finished my full workout plan yet — it could take weeks or more — but using AI Here’s a smart way to develop the best workout for your needs. I could see this being useful for new runners who need consistent coaching and feedback, or have questions about best practices when it comes to different types of workouts and running in general.
As I mentioned before, dual-band GNSS is supported on the Cheetah, along with six satellite systems. Amazfit calls its satellite technology MaxTrack, and while it works quite well, it’s not as accurate as what I tested on Garmin and Coros devices. Overall distances were still close, with most GPS tracking issues associated with the corners of forested areas. For most people, this is perfectly acceptable.
Amazfit also includes a Track Run mode so that an algorithm corrects your GPS route to match a standard track and the lane you are running in, if your connection proves to be 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.
For more robust running training, you can select four to six metrics to display on different data pages during your workout. These categories include duration, distance, pace, steps, speed, elevation, heart rate, and more. I found the heart rate monitoring to closely match results from Garmin and Coros, but if you want the most accurate readings, you can even connect the Amazfit Cheetah with an external chest strap.
Offline maps, offline music (manually loaded MP3) and Amazon Alexa via connected smartphone are also supported. One of my favorite Garmin features is the Morning Report and Amazfit offers a similar experience on the watch face called Morning Updates. The data available in this morning update includes weather, battery status, sleep, PAI, and calendar.
Overall, the Amazfit Cheetah, at $229, reminds me of a mid-range smartphone, where as long as you’re happy with the way it comes out of the box, you should be happy with the watch. There are things that pop up from time to time that annoy me, and the smartphone app needs improvement for typical users. But for the price and the unique AI workout trainer feature, this might be the best starter watch for runners and aspiring athletes.