Amazfit GTS 2 hit the market last year and has several improvements on the original GTS. It was packed with new smartwatch features, and had also went big on health and fitness features. But that comes at a cost.
Packing all these new features pushed the price tag to the expensive end by Amazfit standard, and landed it well into the territory of Fitbit Versa, Garmin Venu SQ and Apple Watch SE. All the latter watches are better than Amazfit in health and fitness tracking. The best Amazfit could do is to match them in a few features here and there.
Not very long after Huami released GTS 2 and GTR 2, similar watches with squaricle and round design respectively, the company was forced to release budget alternatives in the form of Amazfit GTS 2 Mini and Amazfit GTS 2e. The watches scrimp on two or more flashy features and are quite popular.
Here we would have Amazfit GTS 2 Reviewed. As both GTS 2 and GTR 2 have same sensors, their performance tells a similar story. Also, both these watches share the same price tag.
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Amazfit GTS 2: Two Minute Review
Any list of mid-range watches that have a balanced smartwatch and fitness features would be incomplete without counting in Amazfit GTS 2. The watch can be connected to both IOS and Android devices, but you might lack a few functions while connected to the former.
Aping Apple Watch design, GTS 2 is a squarcle watch with aluminum and plastic design and removable silicone strap. The watch boasts AMOLED display with always-on mode. The screen resolution is at par with Apple Watch. The botton on the right side looks like a digital crown, but don’t function like it.
The watch has a clutter free user interface and navigating through different screens is a breeze. You have plenty of watch faces to choose from, and also enjoy the freedom to customize the. The ZEPP app, though, needs further overhauling in interface department which is confusing. Fortunately, Amazfit realizes the problem and is on the right path.
The watch offer a host of health and fitness features too. It can track heart rate, stress and sleep. And now it has the SpO2 sensor to track blood oxygen tracking. Also, it can track 90 sports, and for solid tracking, there is GPS onboard.
GTS 2 has also added some smartwatch features into the mix. There are two voice assistant on board, and one of them works offline. You have 3 GB of music storage, and can now call over Bluetooth. Other than this, features like notification alert, alarm, countdown, weather update has also made it to the list.
The battery life has been reduced to 7 days from 14 in the original GTS, despite GTS 2 packing a large battery. The magnetic charger from the previous watch works with this one two, and still it takes more than 2 hours to completely charge the watch.
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Pros & Cons
What We Like:
- Crisp, Vibrant Display with great viewing angles
- Offline music storage
- Calling feature works well
- Intuitive interface
- SpO2 sensor
- Long Battery Life
- Comfortable, lightweight design
- Accurate Heart Rate, and Sleep Tracking
- Interchangeable Straps
- Water Resistant For up to 50m
What We Don’t Like:
- Wonky GPS Data
- Battery life could be better
- Cannot respond to notifications
- Zepp App needs improvement
- No third-party App Support
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Detailed Specs
|Amazfit GTS 2|
348 x 442 resolution
|Dimensions and weight||42.8 x 35.6 x 9.7mm|
24.7g (without strap), 40 g (with Strap)
|Materials||Case: Aluminum alloy and plastic|
|Colors||Midnight Black, Urban Grey, Desert Gold|
|Storage||3GB (500-600 songs)|
2-hour charging time
Typical battery life: ~7 days
Basic use battery life: ~20 days
GPS use: 25 hours
|Sensors||BioTracker 2 PPG biological data sensor|
Air pressure sensor
WiFi: WLAN 2.4GHz
|Compatibility||Android 5.0 and above|
iOS 10.0 and above
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Price
Amazfit GTS 2 is on the higher end of the price, and this put it into a whole different ball game. It costs nearly $180, and that makes it closer to the other lucrative options in this price range.
Of course, it competes with Fitbit Versa 3, Garmin Venu SQ, and Apple Watch SE, but all the latter watches are slightly expensive and missing an important features here and there.
The expensive price tag of the watch has made many users to pick the known brands despite Amazfit offering more features. Huami released remedy in the form of Amazfit GTS 2e priced around $120 and Amazfit GTS2 mini that costs around $100. Both these watches under cuts the original GTS 2, and have scaled back on flashy features.
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Design & Display
- 1.65-inch Touchscreen Display
- Squaricle watch
- Always-on Display
- 348 x 442 resolution, 341 PPI
- Ambient Light Sensor
- Anti-Fingerprint coating
- Tempered Glass Coating For Protection
At least in display department, it is at par with the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Samsung. Like original GTS, it has the same 1.65-inch, 348 x 442 resolution AMOLED touchscreen with 341 PPI. The screen is responsive to swipes and taps, and offers great sharpness and viewing angles.
Hands down a high quality display, it shows off great colors, and an equally great visibility in bright sunlight and indoors. The ambient light sensor adjust brightness outdoors, and the screen is not too reflective under bright sunlight.
The always-on display was what missing in the previous edition. It allows you to discreetly check the time and workout progress during exercise without having to tap your smartwatch screen or turn/raise your wrist to activate it.
The display is protected against scratches by a tempered glass coating and against smudges by anti-finger coating.
Casing and Silicone Straps:
- 42mm watch case
- 9.7mm thick.
- Aluminum Alloy & Plastic Build
- 20mm Rubber
- Removable Straps
The original GTS came packed in 43mm size case. You will get GTS 2 in a slightly smaller, 42mm case. IT houses a physical button on the right with curved edges around it to make it unobtrusive. The button is a rotating crown, disappointingly it is all for show.
The case has three opening at the top and bottom, so the microphone can pick your commands easily.
At 9.7mm thick and weighing just 24.7g without strap, 40g with strap, you would get a sleeker and lightweight watch.
The case looks stylish thanks to its aluminum alloy top. But to cut down the price, Huami has covered the back with plastic.
Amazfit GTS 2 comes with silicone strap, 20mm in size, and removable type. The pin system on the watch makes detaching the strap from the timepiece a breeze.
The straps on the website are aligned with the color of the smartwatch (Gold, Silver and Grey), but you can attach Fluorine rubber or leather straps with it. And better still, you can opt for third party straps if you want to.
- 5ATM Water Resistance
- Waterproof for up to 50m.
Since Apple Series 3 release, 5ATM has become a baseline for smartwatch water resistance. Amazfit GTS 2 has followed the footsteps just like Fitbit and Samsung.
5 ATM water resistance in theory translates to protection against 5 bar water pressure or the pressure of 50m column of water.
But that doesn’t hold true in practice. As the movement of hands under water raises the pressure of the watch, it can break the protective seal of the watch before it gets down to 50m.
No, you can’t take it to the extremes and should avoid activities that can significantly damage the watch (jet skiing). However, you can wore it while washing utensils, in the bath; and, pool and open water swimming.
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: User Interface & Companion App
Both the user interface and the companion smartphone app has played a role of the chunk in Amazfit wearable armor. Amazfit has significantly refined the user interface to make it more intuitive, whereas, the issues with ZEPP app remains more or less the same.
Amazfit GTS 2, like its predecessor, come packed with Huami’s own operating system. It’s intuitive and offers a host of customization. Partly due to the fact that the watch doesn’t have third party apps, and partly due to its limited metrics, the watch is quite easy to navigate.
Swiping down from the home screen would get you the quick access buttons for the flashlight, finding your phone, brightness, theatre mode, DND mode, battery saver mode, screen lock, volume, and more. You will also keep a tab on the battery life in this panel.
Swiping down would bring up smartphone notifications. You can individually delete them one by one, or delete them in one go. You can’t respond to the notifications, and Amazfit have a great room for improvement here. It should at least allow the preloaded messages on the watch.
Similarily, there are dedicated pages for activities, music player and basic settings. In short, the watch’s interface is intuitive, but it takes sometimes a couple of swipes to get to your desired metrics. Better use the built-in voice assistant for it.
Experienced users would be very disappointed by the Zepp app as it is mile away from watch app on Apple, the Gold standard for smartwatch companion app.
The Zepp App (companion app) is clunky, and this is not our subjective experience. Amazfit came under the fire for its patchy Zepp app with lots of translation issues scattered throughout, syncing problems, and a cumbersome display of statistic.
The two most important area of the app is the main Homepage where you can delve deeper into your health, fitness and exercise stats. The dedicated devices page is where you can adjust settings, such as notification support, set health monitoring modes, and get hold of more watch faces.
While the homepage is clear enough, laying out the main data you might want, as soon as you try to dig deeper into the settings it gets cluttered and confusing to navigate, with different settings spread across four different parts of the app.
Zepp App needs a major overhauling, and a significant improvement in design and interface if it were to match the standard of Apple, Garmin, and Fitbit.
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Fitness & Health Tracking
Amazfit GTS 2 has onboard GPS tracking, plus the Russian alternative to GPS: GLONASS. The tracking accuracy is satisfactory for people who have a more casual approach to fitness. For serious athletes, however, the data is unreliable.
The GPS has some issues with locking signals, and was very erratic when doing intense workout. The distance tracking is often underreported.
The watch allows you to share data with Google Fit and Strava, which in its own right, is a laudable feature.
GPS tracking on Amazfit GTS 2 was not as smooth or accurate as you might get in Garmin, Fitbit or Apple Watch. So apologies to the serious athletes, better look elsewhere for a proper GPS sports-watch.
The watch has accelerometer and gyroscope on-board, plus the GPS tracking. So it is supposed to detect workouts and track your steps accurately. In reality, the watch is quite erratic with its step count. It often went 400-500 steps over the actual count in long distance running or walking. But the accuracy is still not too far away from what we get in Garmin, Fitbit and Apple Devices.
GTS 2 can track an overwhelming number of sports, 90 to be exact. Plus, it also allows for automatic recognition of running, walking, cycling, swimming, treadmills, and elliptical machines.
The sports it can track ranges from running, walking, cycling, treadmill, swimming (open water and pool) to trail running, skiing, climbing and open cardio. Unlike Garmin Venu SQ, there’s no yoga or guided breathing.
The data fields are nicely laid out while running and easy-to-read. You can view things like pace, distance, average pace and heart rate. However, the accuracy of many of these metrics is doubtable.
The post-workout analysis in the re-badged Zepp app is good, with cadence, uphill and elevation data and so many little nuggets of data, all well-presented.
There are loads of graphs to peruse, and you can connect up Strava for all the benefits of that platform.
Heart Rate Tracking:
The watch packs Huami’s own BioTracker 2 PPG sensor that can track continuous heartrate, logs real-time heart rate reading, and tracks heart rate during exercise. Unlike the SpO2 sensor that is off by a huge margin, the heart rate tracking is satisfactorily accurate.
But when you push the sensor by tracking heart rate during intense exercise or while running, the measurement was off by a huge margin. The heart rate graph shows some unusual spikes and drops, and if you match it with a chest strap, the difference would be quite evident. Unfortunately, we cannot pair the watch with an external HR strap.
Sleep and Stress Tracking:
Huami has been tinkering with sleep and stress tracking and they are definitely not the strengths of the watch. To our surprise, Amazfit GTS 2 does a pretty good job at it, and in upcoming devices it might be one of the finest feature of the smartwatch.
The sleep tracking is divided into three phases just like in Garmin and Fitbit watches: Light, Deep and REM. The smartwatch might be a little off, probably 10-20 minutes, in each phase when compared with a dedicated wrist based device, but in our opinion it is well within the error margin.
You get all the detailed metrics and data in the Zepp app, and to qualify the sleep breathing quality, it is ranked out of 100. Like Withings traffic light system, the watch alerts you by colored cards and show you tips on how to improve night time breating.
The watch lets you record a few pre- and post-sleep conditions to help you track what might be causing your sleep quality to fluctuate.For what it is worth, the sleep tracking is accurate and reliable.
You can also track the stress which is basically the watch observing your heart-rate variability. It also gives you a score out of 100. On the ZEPP app, you can find out the graph that shows the pattern and most importantly the spikes.
The blood saturation sensor of the watch isn’t very accurate so the data should be taken with a grain of salt. You are not given the freedom to perform on-spot check, and also not given any guideline about what to do with the measurement.
Other watches, like the latest Apple Watch Series 6, Fitbit Sense, and Garmin Venu SQ are pretty accurate in this department. And yet, none of these watches has got medical approval from authorities. Speaking of which, Withing is very close to secure an approval for its Hybrid wearables.
Personal Activity Intelligence or PAI health Assessment System:
Advanced watches these days tracks your heart rate rather than focusing just on the step count to make an assessment about your personal well-being. Following the footsteps of other watches, Huami has introduced its very own PAI Health Assessment system.
Basically, the watch by using a point scoring system indicates how regularly you’ve been giving your heart a good workout. Your PAI score is a rolling 7-day average, and you earn points every time your heart-rate is elevated. The aim is apparently to hit a score of 100 or more over a week.
PAI is licensed from Mio and is a medically validated technology – but it’s not the most intuitive metric, although there’s now a traffic light system to jolt you into action when viewed on the watch. The PAI screen shows green for good, and red for ‘get out and do some exercise.’
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Smartwatch Features
The smartwatch is compatible with both IOS and Android. Other than the features discussed here in details, it can set alarm, give weather updates, and organize events. Also it has ‘find my phone feature’, and a stopwatch and timer.
The watch does allows you to toggle off and off notification from certain apps like Whatsapp and Instagram, but the customization is not available for all apps. Other apps, in sharp contrast, are lumped in together and are off by default.
The vibration alert system works perfectly fine. However, if you might face issue with syncing. More often than not we received a bundle of notifications in one go. You can delete all notifications or can delete them individually.
You can’t reply to any messages, and dismissing them on your watch doesn’t remove them on your phone. And, You can’t expand things like emails either, so most of the time you can only see the subject.
To save you the spoiler, this watch supports no third-party app.
The watch faces are easily customizable, and by default there are 9 watch faces preloaded on the watch. You can swap them with more option available in the proprietary app. Which, on the other hand, has a decent mix of analogue and digital options, and has a total of 52 watch faces.
The watch faces are better optimized for the curved display, but the company needs to open it up for third-party developers.
As the watch has a built-in speaker and microphone, Huami added the calling functionality in the watch. Plus there are two voice assistants. More on that later.
The speaker offers smooth calling experience if your phone is not far away from the device. Also, you can pick calls by pairing it with earbuds. The mic works perfectly fine, seems like a genuine effort by the company to make it a calling device.
The feature can be really useful, if your phone isn’t around, or you cannot free your hands.
Offline Voice Assistant:
Amazfit GTS2 come packed with two voice assistant, the one proprietary Voice Assistant by Huami, and the other popular Alexa. As you can guess, they are quite handy when you have got your hands full or when you are a pinch and don’t want navigate a bunch of smartwatch settings pages to find what you’re looking for.
There are a number of ways you can summon the voice assistant, and luckily, one of them works offline. The commands supported are listed on the watch. To name a few, music control, start a workout, set up alarm, weather updates, optimize brightness and so on.
Overall, the offline voice assistant is responsive to command and quite snappier. Just to add to your information, Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense also come packed with two voice assistants: Google Assistant and Alexa.
3 GB Music Storage:
Even though the watch has Wi-Fi support, it doesn’t has any music streaming app integrated into the watch. Rather, you have limited 3 GB storage, enough for around 500-600 audio files in MP3 format. You would have to use the ZEPP app for it.
There is a built-in music player, and here to the disappointment of many, the watch doesn’t support third-party apps.
Rather than streaming music, it allows you to control music the streaming app (Spotify) on your smartphone.
Amazfit GTS 2 Review: Battery Life & Charging
- 7-day Battery Life with mixed usage
- 20 days on basic watch mode
- 3-4 days with Always-on display
- 20-25 hours with continuous GPS
- Takes 2.5 hours to completely charge
- Magnetic Charging Cable
The original GTS has a 14 days of battery life, but the advanced sensors in GTS 2, plus the flashy smartwatch features, compelled it to slash the battery power to half. And yet, it is better than Apple, Fitbit and Garmin watches.
Battery performance is one of the great plus of this watch with 7 days life if you opt for a conservative use. You can further drag it out to 20 days if you turn off the battery-killer features like Always-on display, continuous heart rate monitoring, and GPS tracking. It would turn the device into a basic watch that tells nothing but time.
GPS tracking drains the battery much faster than other features and drops the expected life down to 20-25 hours. Always-on display reduces it to mere 3 days. Whereas, health features like sleep and heart rate tracking do share their significant part.
Fortunately, Amazfit allows you to turn off the superfluous features like blood oxygen measurement, continuous heart rate monitoring and always-on display.
The watch packs a 246mAh battery as compared to 220mAh included in the original GTS. The magnetic charging cable, same as it is for the original GTS, snaps the watch back of the watch case. It doesn’t support fast charging, so you might have to wait 2-2.5 hours to get to 100 per cent.