I have tried three different smartwatches from Amazfit in the past three months. The Amazfit Verge Lite in August was an entry level wearable with long battery life. The Amazfit GTR in September was a good looking smartwatch that did not compromise on battery life. Now, we have the Amazfit GTS, which looks similar to the Apple Watch. It is not the first smartwatch from Amazfit to feature a square display, but this is the most well copied Apple Watch come yet.
Priced at Rs 9,999, the Amazfit GTS has a lot going for it. Like the smartwatch that came before it, the Amazfit Verge Lite and Amazfit GTR, it is plagued by few shortcomings. The supreme of them being the lack of a proper operating system. However, is it smart enough to be deemed a smartwatch? We find out in the review.
Photo: Rehan Hooda
Design and Display
The most important thing to know about the Amazfit GTS is it is a fashion-centric smartwatch. So, the design and display are the key elements here. The watch, as mentioned before uses a 2.5D curved display in a square format. The 1.65-inch display outputs a resolution of 348 x 442 pixels and has a pixel density of 341ppi. This is the best display that Amazfit has ever put on one of its smartwatches. The display is extremely sharp and colors look bright and vivid. It also supports always-on display which shows useful information without consuming a lot of power.
The quality of the display is not the only change this time. Amazfit has also changed the way information is displayed on the wearable. There are two preloaded watch faces that are modular. On Amazfit GTS, these watch faces can be modified to see your choice of information. You can choose from other watch faces and add custom ones but the process is not simple. The 2.5D curved glass seamlessly blends with the metal body of the watch. The watch itself is just 9.4mm thick which makes it lightweight and easy to wear for a long period of time. Amazfit GTR can feel overwhelmingly big in comparison. When placed on your wrist, it becomes difficult to not notice similarities to Apple Watch. However, this one is thinner and works with both Android and iPhone.
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There is a side button on the right-hand side but it is not as usable as a digital crown. Its functionalities are limited at this moment. It comes with an optical heart rate sensor placed underneath the casing. Our review unit came in obsidian black color and users have the option to choose from up to six colors. I am disappointed that Amazfit does not offer the option for a Milanese loop and is sticking with a simple silicone strap. Since this one is all about design, I hoped for a premium strap and probably collaboration with designers to make the whole package attractive.
Photo: Rehan Hooda
Activity Tracking and Battery Life
The Amazfit GTS, like others we have tested before, comes with a number of fitness-centric features. The primary feature of it is tracking steps and sleep. The watch tracks your steps and breaks down that data into calories burnt. You can also set the watch to continuously monitor your heart rate. I had set the watch to record my heart rate once every 30 minutes. It also breaks that data into various states such as relaxed, aerobic, etc. Among physical activities, it can track a total of 12 mainstream exercises. I tested outdoor running where it works reliably well by breaking down my pace and mapping the entire run using GPS. These are the features athletes would appreciate on a smartwatch this cheap.
It is water-resistant up to 50 meters deep and can easily recognize the swimming position. It also records data like SWOLF, pace, or calorie consumption. The options for fitness tracking are huge here but accuracy is subject to your needs. For instance, a fitness coach I spoke to said they don’t recognize data from these wearables. Unlike Apple Watch, it cannot detect fall or record electrocardiogram. The battery life is also not as great as the one seen on the GTR. With always-on display, heart rate measurement once every 30 minutes and activity tracking, the watch lasted for four and a half days. It is better than a lot of mainstream smartwatches but not one that offers week-long battery life.
Photo: Rehan Hooda
Software and App
The Amazfit GTS runs a custom software that is passive smart. It pairs with an Android or iPhone with the help of Amazfit app. You cannot pair it with your smartphone using Xiaomi‘s Mi Fit app. The app itself is simple and straightforward to use. The main screen shows your activity data including step count, sleep data, heart rate and weight. The data is followed by activity information, which could be a run or any other activity. You can initiate one of your regular activities by long-pressing the side button. The app also the number of days you have reached the goal in the form of streaks. At the bottom, the app has three options: Workout, Friends and Profile.
Tapping on Profile, you can see account details and battery life. This is also the screen where you can change the watch face. Honestly, there are a lot of options to choose from here. However, the two preloaded watch faces are highly customizable. This is where the smartness of Amazfit GTS begins to fall apart. This is also the reason why you might want to consider an alternative like the Apple Watch or the Samsung Galaxy Watch or the Fitbit Versa.
Photo: Rehan Hooda
Among all the three Amazfit smartwatches that I have tried, the GTS is the one that I would wear every day. Yes, it is not smart. It is not as smart as the Apple Watch or any mainstream smartwatch. I think that’s the beauty of it. For me, I don’t need my smartwatch to be another screen I keep looking at all times. I rather want it to augment my smartphone notifications and help me decide when to actually pick up my phone. The Amazfit GTS does that function really well. Secondly, it looks so beautiful on the wrist and whether you wear a shirt or T-Shirt, it blends in like a Jell-O. If your budget is Rs 10,000, you want a not-so-smart smartwatch then look no further than the Amazfit GTS.