Hot off the heals after releasing their premium line of smartwatches, Zepp is at it again with a new wearable that takes premium to another level. While their first smartwatches, the Zepp E Circle and Zepp E Square were very elegant and modern looking, they weren’t really much different from Huami’s other line of watches, Amazfit. With the new Zepp Z however, they’ve really embraced the whole premium theme with a watch that uses high-end materials, will have future Alexa support, and all the latest fitness and health tracking tech.
The Zepp Z is the best-looking watch in their lineup, hands down. While the Zepp E had a distinctive unisex look to it, the Zepp Z is very much a men’s watch. The large face, thick body, and hard lines give it a masculine, strong look. Not only that, the Zepp Z looks like a high end, classically styled watch that if you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was just a regular watch.
Let’s start with what makes the Zepp Z so premium. First, the case of the watch is made from a single piece of polished titanium alloy. This gives it a very lightweight feel, yet it’s strong enough to survive in any environment. The Zepp Z is also the first smartwatch in their lineup to feature an actual rotating crown that lets you navigate your menus and information without having to swipe up and down on the touchscreen. Lastly, the Zepp Z now features wireless charging, which means no more having to mess with a special charging cable if you already have wireless chargers laying around.
So let’s talk about the case. I love the polished look of the titanium and how it’s a slightly darker shade of silver. There is a non-moveable dial around the display that seems to be laser etched with the second increments and numbers. This is a nice touch and again, gives it a more regular watch feel to it. This also might have a secondary function of protecting the display a bit more, especially around the edges.
Moving on to the side, there are three buttons present here with one of the buttons also integrating a rotating crown. The crown is used for navigation and the button it’s attached to is used to wake the watch or to bring up the apps menu. The button under it is used to bring up the workout menu so you can select an activity. The button under it is used to bring up the workout menu so you can select an activity. The top button is known as the “health key”. By default, it is set in the off position, but you’ll need to go into settings and have it point to either heart rate, SpO, or stress levels shortcut. By tapping on the button, it will quickly take you to that app. Just note that it does work. You just need to go into the watch’s settings to enable it.
Lastly, the display on the Zepp Z is very good. It is a 1.39″ AMOLED display with 326ppi and 100% NTSC high color saturation. You can enable an always-on function for the display, but I tend to keep this off just to conserve some battery. There are over 50 watch faces you can choose from for your Zepp Z, so you’re bound to find a few you like.
The software on the Zepp Z is a tiny bit different than what’s on the Zepp E and is more in line with what you’ll find on the new Amazfit GTR 2 and Amazfit GTS 2. In fact, the software is nearly identical to those aside from some different watch faces you get and the smaller list of workouts. I’ll explain about those in a bit.
Let’s start with the sensors. This also has the latest BioTracker 2 sensors as seen on the Zepp E and new gen Amazfit watches. This is the second generation PPG bio-tracking optical sensor that can perform 24-hour heart rate monitoring. This includes your resting heart rate, heart rate zones, and abnormal heart rate warnings. The BioTracker 2 also supports OxygenBeats, which measures blood-oxygen saturation levels (SpO2).
The Zepp Z also supports sleep quality monitoring so you can monitor your sleep and understand your sleep patterns. What’s new here is the introduction of REM sleep stages monitoring as well as monitoring for naps you might take in the middle of the day.
The PAI Health Assessment System is present here. This is the Personal Activity Intelligence which just tries to simplify all the data collected into a single easy to understand score. This feature covers any form of exercise at any time.
The Zepp Z features 12 built-in sports modes that i can track and record data on. The Amazfit GTR-2 software however saw a update recently which now supports over 60 sports modes. I have a feeling that we’ll probably see this soon too on the Zepp Z in a future update, so it shouldn’t be long. Until then, you’re stuck with the current 12 modes, though it usually doesn’t take long for them to update their software.
Other sensors include GPS and GLONASS to track your runs.
Aside from the health and fitness-related features, the Zepp Z also acts like a smartwatch. You get features like alarm, schedules, weather, and being able to control your music through your watch. There’s even a built-in mic to access the voice assistant. You use this in various ways such as to set workouts, check your status, etc. I turn it off however to conserve battery and because it’s just easier swiping or using the crown and buttons. Amazon Alexa will also be supported soon over a future OTA update.
Like all Zepp and Amazfit watches, you’ll need to use the Zepp app. The app adapts to whatever watch you’re using and you will need to use it for everything. The Zepp app has gotten much better over the years and makes reading your data points super easy. What’s good now is that it will export this data out to Google Fit now if you use android. The app still needs more integration with other apps however which is still where the Zepp app is lacking.
The Zepp Z is in my opinion, the best looking watch Zepp or Amazfit have made so far, though the Amazfit GTR 2 isn’t far behind. The titanium build on this watch is top-notch and you can really feel the quality when you’re wearing it. The Zepp Z makes for a very handsome dress and casual watch, though if you’re using it for actual fitness-related activities, I’d suggest changing the band out for something more fitness oriented. Aside from its looks, the Zepp Z is very adept at collecting all your fitness metrics.
Here’s where the Zepp Z gets a bit hard to swallow. The price is where it might have some issues, especially when you start comparing it to other smartwatches. I know Zepp is supposed to be premium, but at $349, you’re in Apple Watch territory, which is a very difficult place to be in. While I do think that the Zepp Z looks better than an Apple Watch, it’s tough to choose it over one since the Apple Watch can do so much more now.
If you’re not in Apple’s ecosystem though, choosing the Zepp Z might not be as difficult a choice and if you’re looking for a smartwatch purely for fitness and health and one that actually looks like a classically styled watch, then the Zepp Z should definitely be at the top of your list.