Amazfit has been on a tear this year, releasing new smartwatches at a blistering pace. The latest two options are priced at just $179 and offer customers two different form factors with long battery life, extensive health tracking capability, integrated GPS, onboard music support, and call reception from the watch.
There is a lot packed into these watches, especially at this $180 price, but no everything performed as well as hoped. The majority of features work well and with a bit of work on the smartphone software these watches may appeal to many people.
- Display: 1.39-inch (GTR 2) and 1.65-inch (GTS 2) AMOLED touchscreen
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Connectivity and sensors: Bluetooth 5.0, optical HR, accelerometer, gyroscope sensor, air pressure sensor, GPS/GLONASS
- Battery (GTR 2): 471 mAh, up to 14 days in typical usage
- Battery (GTS 2): 246 mAh, up to 7 days in typical usage
- Band size: 22mm (GTR 2) and 20 mm (GTS 2)
- Dimensions (GTR 2): 46.4 x 46.4 x 10.7mm and 34 grams
- Dimensions (GTS 2): 42.8 x 35.6 x 9.7mm and 27 grams
The GTS 2 is a smaller, lighter watch with half the battery life of the GTR 2, but all of the same functions and features in the software are present in both watches.
Amazfit GTR 2
If you read my recent Zepp Z review, but didn’t want to pay $350 for a smartwatch, then you should seriously consider the Amazfit GTR 2. This watch is very similar to the Zepp Z, but isn’t constructed of the same high quality titanium casing. However, the GTR 2 actually packs a bit more inside with onboard music storage and speaker so you can receive phone calls right on the watch itself.
The round AMOLED display is gorgeous and the various watch faces pop when you rotate your wrist and the display lights up. The glass curves down and transitions into the aluminum alloy bezel with the back constructed of matte plastic.
There are two buttons on the right side of the watch to help you navigate around the interface. The touchscreen also works reliably and quickly with swipes and taps.
The mic and speaker work well for phone calls and people on the other end said I sounded a lot better than I did when using the Fitbit Sense for calls. Amazon Alexa support is coming in a future update too.
The standard 22mm bands are nice to see with a very comfortable black silicone band included in the box.
Amazfit GTS 2
In October I reviewed the Zepp E Square smartwatch and found it to be a very attractive watch. It didn’t have integrated GPS, onboard music support, or phone call support, but the hardware was fantastic. The GTS 2 has a similar square design, although not as elegantly designed, but it has more inside and is priced less at $179.99.
Like the GTR 2, the AMOLED screen is excellent with clarity and colors that pop while also having a reliable touchscreen interface. There is a single button on one side with the side bezel that transitions into the button.
20mm bands are used on this watch with quick release pins present on the black silicone band included in the package. This watch is light and will work very well for those who do not have large wrists.
Raise your wrist or press one of the buttons to turn on the display and show your selected watch face. There are about 50 available watch faces for each of these models in the Zepp app installed on your smartphone. Some are classic faces while others are heavy on presentation of the health data collected by the watch. There are some customization options for various complications too.
Swipe down from the top to quickly view the date, day of the week, weather, and seven (GTR 2) or eight (GTS 2) quick control buttons. These buttons include battery saver, flashlight, do not disturb, theater mode, find my phone, and more.
Swipe up from the bottom to view your notifications. Press and hold on the watch face to customize or change your watch face. Swipes to the left and right take you through the various screens. These screens include activity goal, heart rate, music, weather, and PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence). You can go into the settings to select other apps to show quickly by swiping right or left.
Press the side button (top button on the GTR 2) to view the included apps. Apps are available for stress, PAI, heart rate, SpO2, workout, activities, activity goal, weather, music, alarm, events, widgets, and settings. You can scroll through these with swipes on the display.
On the GTR 2 there is also a lower right side button. On the GTS 2 you simply double press the single button to perform the same action. Press this button to launch the Workout utility and then scroll to find your preferred workout. 12 sport modes are available, including outdoor running, walking, outdoor cycling, treadmill, open water swimming (the watch is rated for 5 ATM), elliptical, trail running, skiing, and more.
In order to connect your phone and experience everything there is to offer with the GTR 2 or GTS 2, download and install the Zepp app to your phone. The Zepp app is a very comprehensive application that supports connecting and managing all of your Amazfit products. It is used for various earbuds, like the PowerBuds I recently reviewed, as well as other Amazfit wearables. I tested it on both Android and iOS devices, with flawless performance.
The application launches with a summary page that shows your daily steps status, calories burned, sleep, sleep score, heart rate history, PAI, goal tracker, and more. The other two main screens are labeled Enjoy and Profile. The Enjoy tab is oddly labeled and provides extra features that would work better in the specific device options/features area of the Zepp app. Actually, many of the options in the Enjoy tab are duplicated in each device area.
Now that I’ve been using the Zepp app for more than a month, it seems to me that Amazfit can refine the app and simplify it a bit more for users. I mentioned it is comprehensive, but this can also be overwhelming. When there are three bottom tabs, a right corner button, and then deep dive options within these pages that open up it just seems to be too much. For example, if I did not record a workout for the current day then there is no workouts shown on the home page. To see my last workout I have to tap the right top four leaf button, then tap exercise record, and then scroll to find the workout I want to check. I’m now used to finding this data, but I think the app could be refined and optimized for the masses.
The Profile screen is where you see the status of your devices and can also control and completely manage the specific devices. Your goals, records, friends, third party connected accounts (We Chat, Google Fit, Strava, and Relive), and other settings are present here.
There is a watch face store with a large number of available faces for you to download and use on the Amazfit Band 5 so you won’t be lacking for watch face options.
Back on the main smartphone display, tap the four leaf icon in the upper right corner to view All Data. Here you can see categories for exercise data, status data, health sign, body measurements, and body composition. Much of this data is entered manually as the wearables don’t track all of this, but this data may help determine the accuracy of the coaching features.
There are some health tips and summary reports, including charts, for the exercise and health data that are interesting and helpful to understand your health and wellness. You can use some of the tips for motivation to improve your health and it is a comprehensive application.
Daily usage experiences and conclusion
I was excited to try out these watches because there is a ton of features supported for just $180. In typical Amazfit fashion, the watches are attractive and well constructed pieces of hardware and I have no concerns at all regarding the hardware. It’s nice to see options for a smaller and lighter watch with the known trade-off in battery life.
When running with each watch and comparing to other GPS sports watches the overall distance, heart rate, and other stats appeared to match fairly well. However, diving into a comparison of the GPS tracking and heart rate measurements reveal the GTR 2 and GTS 2 are a bit all over the place. Thus, these are decent GPS watches for casual athletes and those that don’t care about minute-by-minute accuracy, but more particular people like myself will not want to use these as primary GPS sports watches.
Phone call reception quality and volume were surprisingly quite good. Amazon Alexa support is coming in a future update and I would love to see Google Assistant support too. Amazfit has a nice offline voice control system with something like 55 controls included. This function worked well for basic navigation of the watch and was handy at times.
About 3GB of storage is provided for offline music support, but you will need your own MP3 files to install for use on the watch. There is also phone music control support so if you have music playing on your phone then you can control basic playback through the watch. This has proven handy for me since I use a phone to play Spotify music most of the time when I run.
At $180, it’s tough to beat these two watches from Amazfit. There is a ton of health tracking packed into each one with GPS, music, phone calls, and more. They are well made watches and for the casual athlete and person looking for an affordable smartwatch then they are worth consideration. There is no third party app support, but the essentials are provided.
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