As promised last week, Xiaomi-owned Huami has unveiled its Amazfit Verge 2 smartwatch, bringing with it an electrocardiogram (ECG) and an eSIM just like the Apple Watch Series 4 released last year.
The new smartwatch, which follows on from the highly-rated well-specced and affordable Amazfit Verge, is one of the only smartwatches out there to offer the potentially life-saving ECG feature.
Huami says the feature is powered by the Huanghan No.1 AI chip which it says offers more accurate heart rate monitoring thanks to a cardiac biometrics engine. Whereas Apple users have to place their finger on the Digital Crown for 30-seconds, the Verge 2 offers real-time ECG to check for irregularities like arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation.
Huami’s ECG technology doesn’t come with the same FDA approval that entitles Apple to sell the Apple Watch Series 4 as a medical device in the United States. The only other device to offer such a feature is the Withings Move ECG, which is soon to join Apple by gaining FDA clearance.
Related: Apple Watch 5 rumours
The lack of approval is primarily because the Amazfit 2 is designed for the Chinese market rather than the US and Europe, although we’re hopeful the affordable device will come to the UK and the US later this year.
The other headline Apple Watch-challenging feature is the eSIM enabling wearers to subscribe to a mobile network for standalone 4G LTE data, and the the ability to enjoy connectivity without a companion smartphone.
Elsewhere, the watch has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a 454 x 454 resolution, while the whole face is guarded by Gorilla Glass 3. Speaking of protection, it has IP68 dust and water resistance, meaning it’ll withstand a good soaking too.
The Snapdragon Wear 2500-powered watch also packs in 4GB of RAM and the usual 512GB of RAM with 4GB of internal storage. Like the Apple Watch, you’ll only get a day’s worth of battery life. Connectivity wise, there’s Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, Wi-FI b/g/n, as well as a GPS/GLONASS for navigation and activity tracking.
In terms of fitness, there’s automatic tracking for running, walking, indoor running, indoor riding, elliptical, mountaineering, skipping, outdoor riding, football, and trail running.
As well as the basic design, Huami is also flogging 5,000 limited Avengers edition (above), but it appears they’ll only be available in the company’s native China. The Verge 2 will retain its aggressive pricing, going on sale for 999 RMB (around $145 / £113), with the ECG edition costing 1299 RMB (converting to $190 / £149).