This new Amazfit watch has a big advantage over Garmin, and is a third of the price
The Amazfit Bip 3 Pro is a super cheap new GPS sports watch with a health tracking feature Garmin is still sleeping on
Amazfit has released a pair of new GPS sports watches that are a fraction of the price of a Garmin, and have one important feature that even the Forerunner 955 and Fenix 7 are missing: the ability to track naps.
The Amazfit Bip 3 and Bip 3 Pro both have on-board GPS, battery life of up to 14 days, and unlike Garmin devices, are capable of tracking more than just one session of sleep in a 24-hour period. The Bip 3 Pro also supports all four major satellite navigation systems, which should make it quicker to establish a lock even in tricky locations such as beside cliffs and in woodland.
As Notebookcheck (opens in new tab) reports, the Bip 3 and Bip 3 Pro leaked via a Brazilian retailer's website a few weeks ago, but have now been officially launched and are available to purchase for $59.99 and $69.99 respectively direct from Amazfit (opens in new tab). For comparison, Garmin's entry-level Forerunner 55 has a list price of $199.99.
Keeping costs down
Amazfit has explained that its parent company Zepp keeps costs down by manufacturing watch components in-house rather than buying them from third-party suppliers. However, there are still a few areas where the Bip 3 and Bip 3 Pro don't quite match Garmin's best GPS watches.
For example, rather than toughened Gorilla Glass or sapphire crystal, Amazfit has used plastic to cover the screens of its two new watches. This helps keep weight and costs down, but may be more prone to scuffs and scratches.
It's also worth noting the the Bip 3 and Bip 3 Pro only have a water resistance rating of 5atm. This means they're fine for shallow water swimming (and the pair both come with a new open water swimming mode), but aren't suitable for surfing or motor-powered water sports like jet-skiing.
Nevertheless, if you're on a tight budget and looking for a running watch that will help you balance training and rest, the pair are well worth investigating. If you need something tougher that won't break the bank, take a look at the rugged Amazfit T-Rex 2 as an alternative.
Opinion: naps matter
It's somewhat surprising that after all these years, even the best Garmin watch can't track more than one 'session' of sleep in 24 hours. It used to be possible to activate sleep tracking manually if you wanted to put your head down for a few minutes during the day, but now the company's devices only monitor and display one chunk of downtime per day.
Many top athletes use naps as part of their regular training, with Eliud Kipchoge (opens in new tab), Venus Williams (opens in new tab), and Usain Bolt (opens in new tab) among those who value a top-up of rest during the day to improve their performance.
We've got our fingers crossed that Garmin will update its sleep and recovery algorithm to take naps into account at some point in the near future – and ideally polyphasic sleep (opens in new tab) as well.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).