We’ve been wanting ahead to the Amazfit GTS 2 all 12 months. The unique GTS impressed us with a wise, well-balanced strategy to health that belied its price ticket.
Launching alongside the Amazfit GTR 2 (the identical watch however spherical), we’ve been eager to see the place Amazfit would take the GTS 2. Buoyed by success from the Amazfit T-Rex, GTS and even the Bip S, the corporate has been turning out some nice smartwatches via 2020.
For sure that including extra options has been the order of the day. Stress monitoring, SpO2, voice assistants – there’s much more to get caught into on the GTS.
However does it nonetheless ship the straightforward and seamless expertise we loved on the primary Amazfit GTS? Spoiler: not fairly. Learn on for extra.
Value and competitors
Amazfit GTS 2 and GTR 2
A 12 months is a very long time in tech – and 2020 does appear particularly lengthy. The original Amazfit GTS impressed us with GPS and good health monitoring at simply $149.99.
First, the Amazfit GTS 2 is a tad extra expensive than its predecessor at$179.99 – the identical worth because the Amazfit GTR 2.
Whereas the GTR 2 has been radically overhauled from its predecessor, enhancements to the GTS 2 are far more refined.
It seems the identical to the untrained eye, however with just a little finesse across the right-hand bezel.
It now makes use of aluminium casing quite than plastic, and feels just a little extra premium to the contact.
The button stays but it surely’s now a rotating crown – however all for present. Turning the crown doesn’t management the interface, it simply twizzles between your fingers.
The display screen stays a punchy 348 x 442 AMOLED show, with a 341ppi density that does look the enterprise. It’s packed right into a 41mm case, so it does really feel unisex – far more so than the 47mm GTR 2.
When you think about you’re a battery lifetime of round per week with actual utilization, that is spectacular stuff.
It comes with a 20mm rubber strap, which we did discover fairly annoying, with it continuously falling out of the loop and flapping about. Nevertheless, the entire ensemble is fairly good wanting, though it’s unlikely to get admirers coo-ing like an Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch three would.
Health monitoring options
Whereas it’s a finances smartwatch participant, Amazfit nonetheless goals on the health and wellness finish of the market – so exercise monitoring is a key focus.
Steps, sleep and energy are all tracked – but it surely’s the PAI rating that dominates proceedings.
It distils your coronary heart fee and exercise right into a single rating. Hold it over 100 to make sure you’re getting the energetic time really helpful by the WHO.
PAI is licensed from Mio and is a medically validated know-how – but it surely’s not essentially the most intuitive metric, though there’s now a visitors gentle system to jolt you into motion when considered on the watch. The PAI display screen reveals inexperienced for good, and pink for ‘get out and do some train.’
It’s not as motivating as Fitbit or Apple’s exercise rings. However if you happen to embrace it, there’s so much to love.
Sleep monitoring is introduced with numerous knowledge, nevertheless, it’s not as delicate because the main units we in contrast it towards.
You’re extra more likely to get an excellent sleep rating utilizing Amazfit than Fitbit or Withings, and it solely tracked wake-ups the place we truly acquired off the bed. We averaged round an hour extra tracked sleep than Fitbit and Withings per night time.
That mentioned, neither of these are infallible – however the Amazfit awarded us an 89/100 sleep rating with a 3 week previous new child and 6 hours damaged sleep, which says all of it.
You continue to get deep, REM and light-weight sleep levels – and there’s element on respiratory charges too if you happen to flip them on. This may additional eat into that battery life, nevertheless.
There are additionally some neat little trending factoids to indicate whether or not the standard of your kip is trending higher or worse than baseline, so it might probably nonetheless be helpful, even when it’s not fairly as delicate.
However not like any of its rivals, the Amazfit will monitor naps longer than 20 minutes. Nevertheless, we did get a number of false naps added whereas sat on the couch.
Sports activities monitoring and GPS
The Amazfit GTS received us over with sports activities monitoring – and it’s nonetheless the very best a part of the GTS 2 and with built-in GPS, some numerous and strong monitoring profiles and the flexibility to pair to Strava, there’s so much to love.
It’ll monitor working, strolling, biking, treadmill, swimming (open water and pool) path working, snowboarding and open cardio. There’s no yoga or guided respiratory, which is uncommon given the watch does monitor stress.
We’ve needed to overcome some GPS points with the Amazfit GTS 2, which appear to have been mounted with an OTA replace. We had some early runs come up brief in comparison with Garmin, and even had GPS fail to lock on, however this appears to have been cleared up.
A bug with the always-on show meant our first two runs with the watch had been cancelled mid-workout. It was mounted by returning to raise-to-wake.
However as soon as the replace landed we had a fairly sturdy GPS expertise, with correct runs with out having to attend too lengthy for a lock.
The information fields are properly laid out whereas working and easy-to-read.
The post-workout evaluation within the re-badged Zepp app is sweet, with cadence, uphill and elevation knowledge and so many little nuggets of knowledge, all well-presented.
There are a great deal of graphs to peruse, and as we talked about earlier, you may join up Strava for all the advantages of that platform.
Amazfit has rebranded its app to its Zepp platform, however the app does really feel one thing of a piece in progress. It’s grown to resemble Apple Well being with a great deal of choices for all form of physique measurements, from VO2 Max to chest dimension, blood strain and extra.
However these metrics aren’t populated by the GTS 2, so the app concurrently feels extraordinarily busy, but additionally having little imported knowledge.
Well being monitoring
The GTS 2 provides a load of recent well being options, because the complexity of options grows over the GTS.
There’s now an SpO2 sensor able to monitoring knowledge each as a spot examine and through sleep.
Rivals equivalent to Huawei solely permit spot checks, however blood oxygen knowledge is most helpful tracked at night time, which places the Amazfit in good firm with Fitbit, Apple and Garmin. In your sleep stats you may see Sleep Respiratory High quality ranked out of 100, with a visitors gentle system similar to Withings. In case you do rating low, there are tips about how one can enhance night time time respiratory.
SpO2 knowledge accuracy stacked up towards rivals – and if you happen to’re on this knowledge it’s a powerful addition to the watch.
There’s additionally the monitoring of stress, which is completed by way of a handbook check with an choice for all-day monitoring that you simply’ll have to activate.
The spot scores did lack context or a lot usefulness, and we regularly discovered it troublesome to get a stress studying even sat nonetheless.
However the all-day strain monitoring was far more attention-grabbing.
It spits out a stress rating – very similar to Fitbit and Garmin. The spot scores are just a little meaningless however we did just like the all-day monitoring, which clearly reveals spikes in your day, and will be helpful to try to add context to the way you’re feeling.
Coronary heart fee
The GTS 2 makes use of the Huami BioTracker 2 PPG sensor, which is the title for its coronary heart fee monitoring module. It tracks your coronary heart fee 24/7, logs resting coronary heart fee and through train.
All of our resting coronary heart fee scores (~50bpm) had been tagged with a “low” warning – and that is the one gadget we’ve ever seen this on. We really feel this might do with some adjustment.
When it comes to accuracy throughout exercises, issues weren’t too dangerous. In comparison with a chest strap on a gradual run we discovered it to be pretty shut, reporting a 162bpm common over an hour, in comparison with 164bpm on the chest strap.
Nevertheless, after we pushed the sensor, it wasn’t able to monitoring fast rises and falls in coronary heart fee – and appeared to get caught at round 160bpm. As you may see from the graph, when the rises and falls got here, the GTS 2 simply ploughed via regardless.
Optical sensors are infamous for this, and few can stand up to the pains of that form of exercise. If you need correct coronary heart fee at max HR hundreds then purchase a correct sports activities watch.
However we examined the Garmin Venu Sq on the identical run and it fared significantly better.
As a smartwatch the Amazfit GTS 2 does an excellent job of protecting the fundamentals, however does fall brief in locations.
Let’s begin with what works properly.
Notification customisation is sort of granular, so widespread apps like Messages, WhatsApp and Instagram will be toggled on and off. Different apps are lumped in collectively and off by default, which meant we didn’t really feel overwhelmed by wrist buzzes.
You’ll be able to obtain calls on the watch itself if you need (must be turned on individually), and the built-in speaker is good and clear – if you happen to want that performance.
There’s a voice assistant on board (Alexa is on the spec sheet however to date it isn’t been launched, like we’ve seen on the Amazfit Band 5), which works independently of your smartphone. As soon as enabled in settings you may tilt your wrist to summon the assistant and ask to open sure exercise modes.
We discovered the tilt-to-speak typically wasn’t recognised. Likewise, after we opened the out of doors working mode it confusingly circumvented GPS lock-on. It’s not one thing we will see something however essentially the most dedicated voice assistant fans persevering with.
You’ll be able to retailer music on the watch and hear offline with a pair of Bluetooth headphones – but it surely’s a baffling expertise that simply doesn’t appear well worth the trouble. You get 3GB of storage that can stretch to roughly 600 songs.
On Android the music add wouldn’t work in any respect from the Zepp app. On iOS we might add MP3s from Information or iCloud, however couldn’t get them to switch to the watch.
You’ll be able to switch them by way of PC by plugging the watch in utilizing the charging cable, however that doesn’t work for Mac. Allegedly you should utilize Android sync, however we noticed studies that wasn’t profitable both, and had misplaced the desire to dwell by then.
In fact, MP3s are fairly out of vogue now – and there’s no help for any streaming providers, as you’ll discover on Garmin, Apple and Fitbit.
There are not any fee providers, however there are some neat climate widgets. The shop for downloading watch faces is definitely impressively full, and we discovered some choices we actually appreciated.
So, it’s nonetheless a smartwatch that covers the fundamentals – similar to the unique GTS. And whereas there have been substantial additions, these don’t really feel polished or properly labored. In case you’re blissful to stay to the fundamentals of notifications, climate and easy watch face downloads, there’s sufficient to love.
Amazfit quotes 20 days of fundamental use for the GTS 2 – however meaning having every little thing of word turned off.
At all times-on show, all day oxygen monitoring, all-day stress, superior sleep monitoring – all of this may nuke your battery all the way down to round three days with every little thing turned on.
In case you maintain the all day strain monitoring and sleep respiratory high quality off you’ll get round 5 – 7 days.
And if you wish to go longer than you may toggle off fixed coronary heart fee (which reduces sampling to as soon as a minute) and sleep assistant too.
GPS battery life is a lot spectacular, and whereas quoted 25 hours of GPS is just a little unrealistic with every little thing turned on, you must be capable of get round 15.
It’s spectacular battery life, given the display screen and the tech on board. And what’s good is that Amazfit gives customers the possibility to show off superfluous options and reap the profit when it comes to battery life.
The Amazfit GTS 2 continues to be an excellent smartwatch, and we will advocate it for the stress, SpO2 and exercise monitoring, which make it respectable worth at sub $200. However the hike in worth, which coincides with the decrease value of the Apple Watch SE, Fitbit Versa three with GPS and even the Amazfit Bip S, make the GTS 2 appear much less spectacular this time round.
- Good exercise stats
- Nice display screen and construct
- Love the battery life and worth
- Spo2 and superior monitoring
- Zepp app is figure in progress
- New good options miss mark
- Generally is a little buggy