After making its mark in the wearable market, Amazfit has entered the hearable space with the PowerBuds truly wireless earphones. And as you would’ve guessed, this isn’t an ordinary TWS pair. It is a fitness earbud with a built-in heart rate tracker. Yeah, you get to monitor your heart rate in real-time but there’s a catch (which we’ll address soon). The highlights also include a bass-friendly sound, passive noise cancellation, 8 hours of battery life (exclusive of the case’s charge), water resistance, among other things.
It currently comes at a price of Rs. 6,999 in India. We’ll see how good it is for the asking price. And how good it meets the basics of fitness buds. So, let’s get the ball rolling.
Amazfit PowerBuds Specifications
|Working frequency||20 to 20,000Hz|
|Wireless Connection||Bluetooth BLE|
|Codecs||mSBC, SBC, AAC|
|Ingress protection||IP55 water and dust resistance (only buds)|
|Battery||Buds: up to 8Hr from 55mAh; up to an additional 16Hr from 450mAh|
|Weight||Earbuds: 6g; Case (w/ buds and ear hooks): 69g|
|Colors||Dynamic Black and Active White|
Let’s now see what we get inside the package.
Amazfit PowerBuds Unboxing
- Charging case
- Ear hooks
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Silicone earplugs (SS, S, M, L)
- User manual
And the Smartprix review of Amazfit PowerBuds thus begins.
Amazfit PowerBuds Review: Design and Build
The case looks like a black oval grenade. It’s strong but a bit big and bulkier than most TWS cases I am acquainted with. For instance, it weighs at 69g (w/ buds and ear hooks) while the Galaxy Buds’ case weighs just 39.6g. There is the Amazfit logo up top, a tiny LED indicator to the front, and a USB-C port by the back.
Opening the case requires two hands. Within, the buds are sitting tight. They won’t slip out that easily unless you pluck them or accidentally drop the case. Even if the latter happens, don’t worry, because like the case, the buds are also built solid. Inside the case, there are two ear hooks (entrenched in its ceiling) and a button (to enable the pairing mode).
The buds look like marble orbs or pebbles and weigh 6g each. Meanwhile, the Sammy buds clocks at 5.6g. But, it’s not like you would feel the heft while wearing them.
Thanks to an in-ear design, they sit flush, for the most part. But during strenuous physical movements, they could loosen out and fall. Gladly, you can use the ear hooks to combat this. They magnetically attach and whence not required, can be simply tucked back in the case.
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Finally on the design front, note that the buds are IP55 certified against water and dust. So, you can safely use them during sweat sessions.
Amazfit PowerBuds Review: Connectivity, Controls and Battery Life
This section is more like an extension of the design part.
Let’s first look at the pairing process. It is fairly simple. For the initial setup, you just need to open the case and the buds will auto-connect to the other device (provided the case and buds have charge, and the other device’s Bluetooth is active). Thereafter, the buds will tether in a jiff, once the case is open (w/ the buds inside).
PowerBuds support mono playback, while the other one rests in the case. Once you take out that one too, there you have stereo output. Now, if by any chance, one of the buds stop working, don’t fret. You just have to reset the buds by either following the guide within the Zepp app or press the button inside the case (again with the buds housed inside). It will blink to hint the reset. Pair it as explained above and voila! It’ll work as it’s supposed to.
Next, the controls. Basically, you get to configure double and triple tap sequences for the following actions:
- Music Play/Pause
- Thru Mode On/Off
- Wake Up Voice Assistant
- or disable them altogether
This can be done via Amazfit’s Zepp app.
The taps are finely registered. I felt the controls were simple and convenient. This will come handy during heavy workouts when you are unlikely to use the phone. After all, it is advised to keep the distracting slab at bay for the sake of physical posture and effort.
Additionally, there’s wear detection which is always cool to have. More so, here to listen to people around in the gym or park. Even the Thru Mode can be useful while you’re out and about.
Other than the one time I had to reset it, there were occasional blips in connection which will sort on its own even before you’d know.
The PowerBuds come with Bluetooth 5.0 (Low Energy) and compliant with SBC and AAC codecs. If your device supports the latter, you will see a High-Quality Audio toggle. Enable it for better audio.
The calls were pleasingly audible to me, but not to the other party.
I was getting at least 6 hours of playback with max volume, and workout mode enabled (ie both heart rate tracking and enhanced bass on). Your mileage may vary and as per the company, if you bring down the volume to 50-percent, you could eke out 8 hours of juice.
Plus, the charging cradle adds another 16 hours to the total runtime. And when the cradle light blinks red, you can fast charge it to top it up. This would take about 2 hours. Well, if you’re in hurry, plug it in for 15 minutes, and there you have 3 hours of battery life. All that’s alright. I just wish there was wireless charging though, especially since, you get it in cheaper pairs like Realme Buds Air (review).
Amazfit PowerBuds Review: Audio
Amazfit PowerBuds go for a warm sound signature. The brand has capsuled a 9mm MC driver within. There’s even an option within the workout settings to boost the bass presence.
Imaging is fine though sound staging isn’t spacious enough. That is I could clearly make out the position of different sounds but, they all seem hobbled together in a small room. The instruments in the upper register were extended fine without sounding shrill. And it does a good job in vocals too.
So, thumbs up for music and other media consumption.
But, when it comes to calls, the other person couldn’t hear me clearly. So, that was slightly disappointing for an otherwise fine audio experience.
Amazfit PowerBuds Review: Fitness
Amazfit PowerBuds is a fitness-oriented product because of the integrated heart rate monitoring feature. But, to make it work, you have to follow this MO:
- First, enable the feature from within the workout settings of the Zepp app.
- Then, start any of these activities from the list – running, cycling, and walking. And you’ll see the bpm going up and down in real-time.
This is a little messy implementation in my opinion. At the very least, they could have mentioned the procedure within the app or the guide booklet.
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As for its accuracy, it is like any other consumer-grade gear. It helps you keep a track of your cardiovascular health while in action. And motivates you to grind safely till you hit your fitness goals.
So, should you buy it?
Amazfit PowerBuds Review: Verdict
I feel the heart rate tracking, albeit a useful to fitness enthusiasts, is more of an add-on feature to a decent sounding earphone. It will help you access your quantified self and will be a good companion to your workout regimen.
Even other things like sweat/dust resistance, durable build, easy controls, and respectable battery life sell it as good all-round earphones.
- Enjoyable sound
- Easy controls
- Sweat/Dust Resistance
- Sturdy build
- Good in-ear seal
- Heart rate tracking
- Weak mic input
- Rather big and bulky
- Heart rate monitoring is tough to access