Huami continues to release newer products in India month after month. After having reviewed their Amazfit GTR watch not too long ago, we now have Amazfit GTS. This new watch promises most of the features that the GTR offered in a different and more compact form factor. Let’s check out how good this is as compared to its sibling and the competition in this price bracket.
Sporty design heavily inspired by Apple Watch
First things first, unlike the GTR, the Amazfit GTS’ design doesn’t stand out. Like every third smartwatch in the market, its exterior draws ample inspiration from Apple Watch. So if you are looking for a capable Apple Watch lookalike for a fraction of a cost, or simply a sporty looking fitness watch, you won’t be complaining.
The round dial and stainless steel body of the GTR are replaced by a rectangular frame made out of Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. Thanks to that, the company has managed to keep the watch’s weight down to less than 25 grams, which is impressive. Though it isn’t as elegant as the GTR, the watch doesn’t feel cheap at all and is extremely comfortable to wear for long hours. The silicone straps don’t cause sweating or skin irritation. There’s just a single physical button that allows you to turn this watch and its screen on and off. The touchscreen display lets you browse through the menus and access different functions.
Sharp display let down a bit by average watch faces
The Amazfit GTS has a sharp 1.65-inch AMOLED display that boasts of 341 PPI pixel density, which is a touch higher than that of the Amazfit GTR. The touchscreen is protected against scratches by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has an anti-fingerprint coating that works very well. The screen has auto as well as manual brightness controls and is perfectly legible outdoors even under bright sunlight.
You just need to flick your wrist to turn the screen on. If that doesn’t work, you can always press the button. In my case, flicking the wrist gently worked 99% of the time under Normal sensitivity mode. You can also schedule to turn off the ‘lift wrist to view info’ setting altogether from the app during your sleep hours. While the display is sharp and vibrant, I couldn’t come across a single watch face that utilises its full potential and makes it truly stand out; something like the stock analog watch face on the GTR that complemented it to perfection. The preloaded watch faces here can be customised to display a variety of information of your choice from step count, calories burned, heart rate, battery and more.
Simple user interface and a neat bunch of features
To begin with, you need to download the Amazfit app, add your device in there and sync it over Bluetooth. It takes a bit of time initially, but once it is set up, things work smoothly. You can control certain aspects of the watch like screen brightness and activity selection from its screen itself but bulk of the settings need to be accessed from the Amazfit app. That’s the case with all Huami watches I have tested so far. The manufacturer should consider providing a few more settings in the watch itself without making the user go to the app to make changes.
The app lets you change the watch face, set your fitness goals, track your progress, manage alerts and notifications and more. You get alerts on the watch screen when you reach your fitness goals for the day. The watch UI is very simple. All you need to do is swipe down on the screen for settings and swipe up to access and browse through activities and other options. The Amazfit GTS has built-in GPS for more accurate tracking of your jogs and swims.
Performance is good but could have been better in certain areas
While companies have been liberally using the word ‘smartwatch’ for their products, technically speaking, this is a fitness tracker with a few smartwatch functions thrown in. You can answer or reject calls from the watch screen and can also read your messages. However, you cannot reply back from the watch. You can opt to receive notifications from other apps too along with event reminders and weather updates.
Another thing that keeps it from being termed as a smartwatch is the lack of an app ecosystem. Since the Amazfit GTS is not based on popular platforms like Wear OS or Tizen, you hardly have any additional apps that you can install on this device. You have to make do with what’s built into the watch. You have a bunch of watch faces for this smartwatch, but that’s all you get for now.
As a fitness tracker, there are plenty of options. The Amazfit GTS can track 12 different kinds of exercises indoor and outdoor from walking, running, cycling, swimming and more. While it tracks your outdoor activities perfectly, courtesy of the built-in GPS, the indoor tracking is a bit inaccurate. The step counter at times reports lesser steps and occasionally even reports false steps, which wasn’t the case in the GTR.
The Amazfit GTS is 50 metres water-resistant, so you can gladly wear it into the swimming pool without a worry. However, the company states that this watch is not suitable for scuba diving, high-speed water sports, and hot water. The watch tends to act funny under a shower with the touchscreen reacting to droplets of water hitting it. So better to take it off before getting into a shower.
The watch supports continuous heart rate monitoring, and you can choose the frequency of monitoring to conserve battery life. Ideally, keep the Activity Detection setting switched on. When the watch detects some physical activity, it automatically increases the monitoring frequency for more accurate readings and analysis. After you are done with the workout, the frequency drops again to save battery. All the fitness data is available in the app and it presents you with a daily, weekly and monthly breakdown of various fitness activities you indulged in during that period.
There’s also the sleep tracking feature that sheds light on your sleeping habits. I personally do not like wearing a watch to bed but I did it for a few nights during testing. The data is limited to just light sleep, deep sleep and awake time. But it gets the duration of sleep fairly accurate. There is no REM sleep information that is available in several other fitness trackers.
Great battery life
There is one thing you can expect from Huami watches without being disappointed is the excellent battery life. The Amazfit GTS is no different. The company claims a battery life of 14 days on a single charge under typical usage scenario that the company defines as ‘Heart rate always-on, sleep monitoring, 150 pushed notifications lighting up the screen, lift the wrist to see the screen 30 times and five minutes for other operations, run or exercise three times a week for 30 minutes’. If you switch off Bluetooth, continuous heart rate monitoring, a few other features, and use it like a watch with steps counter, it can go on for 46 days. Of course, nobody would want to use a smart fitness device like that. I was just stating what the company had to say.
In real-world testing with conditions somewhat similar to the typical usage scenario but with sleep monitoring turned on only for a week, the battery lasted for 21 days on a single charge. Yes, the Amazfit GTR lasted a full month but despite that, three weeks is a great battery life. And not to forget, the Amazfit GTS weighs under 25 grams; half of that of the GTR. The built-in 220 mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery takes just over 100 minutes to charge fully with the bundled custom charger.
Price and verdict
The Huami Amazfit GTS sells for Rs 9,999 in India with a one year warranty. For that price, you get a feature-rich GPS enabled fitness watch with a sharp AMOLED display, 50-metre water resistance, various fitness modes, and an excellent battery life. There are hardly any options in this price range from other reputed brands that offer similar features with built-in GPS and this kind of battery life.
But as you might have guessed by now, its biggest competitor pretty much resides in-house, the Amazfit GTR. It costs just a thousand rupees more and offers a significantly higher style quotient, more accurate tracking and an even longer battery life. Given a choice, I would always choose the GTR over the GTS and so should you, unless of course, you are fascinated by the looks of an Apple Watch or simply prefer a rectangular dial over a circular one.
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