Review: Amazfit GTS smart watch
The Amazfit GTS was presented for the international market as early as September 2019. The manufacturer is the China-based company Huami, which is also responsible for the development and production of various Xiaomi wearables (e.g. Xiaomi Mi Band 4) responsible for.
Like all previously released Amazfit wearables, the GTS is also equipped with the proprietary Amazfit OS. The target group are primarily amateur athletes, to whom Amazfit OS offers more than 12 sports programs.
At first glance, the Amazfit GTS looks confusingly similar to the Apple Watch. Both watches share a rectangular watch case with a curved display glass. The watch case is 43.25 mm high and 36.25 mm wide. The thickness is only 9.4 mm. Thanks to its compact design, the smartwatch looks very discreet, even on narrow wrists. The weight is just under 25g without the bracelet and 39g with the bracelet.
Silicone bracelet with quick release
Speaking of the bracelet: This is made of skin-friendly silicone, 20 cm long, 20 mm wide and adjustable in size in 13 steps. A pin buckle and two loops hold the GTS securely on the wrist. The bracelet can be exchanged in no time using the quick release fastener. Replacement wristbands with quick release fasteners are available in all possible variations. Only the width of 20 mm has to fit.
High quality aluminum frame
A high-resolution AMOLED display is hidden behind the curved display glass. The sloping display glass merges into a chic aluminum frame. The power button is the only physical control element on the right. The back of the smartwatch, which is only made of plastic, is of less quality.
Waterproof to 5 ATM
The water resistance up to 5 ATM is also worth mentioning. That means as much as that the smartwatch can withstand the pressure of an assumed water column of 50 meters. In everyday use, the GTS is not afraid of water and can confidently remain on the wrist while washing hands and showering. Swimming is also possible with the Amazfit GTS, after all, the watch also has its own sports program. Diving and salt water should be avoided.
Six different colors
The Amazfit GTS is available in 6 different colors. In addition to classic black and gray, gold, pink, orange and blue are also available.
In contrast to the older Amazfit models, which rely on a transflective display, the GTS uses a 1.65 inch AMOLED display.
Bold colors, deep black
The display type is characterized by particularly strong colors (100% NTSC) and a deep black. The deep black is achieved by simply turning off the (black) pixels that are not required. At the same time, the energy consumption is reduced so that the GTS achieves a long battery life even in always-on operation. (You can find more about battery life at the end of the review.)
Given the price of the watch, the display is a real highlight. The small 1.65 inch display has an extremely high display resolution of 348 x 442 pixels, which in turn corresponds to a razor-sharp 341 PPI. It is hardly possible to recognize individual pixels with the naked eye. The brightness and contrast are flawless and the display cuts a fine figure even in strong light. A brightness sensor automatically adjusts the display brightness to the ambient light. The small touchscreen reacts precisely to inputs. Only the animations are slightly jerky and delayed, which is due to the Amazfit OS.
Scratch-resistant display glass
The particularly scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 does what it says on the tin. Even after several weeks of daily use of the watch, no scratches can be seen at the end of the test phase. The anti-fingerprint coating prevents annoying fingerprints and at the same time ensures better gliding on the display.
Functions of the Amazfit GTS
The Amazfit GTS is not a watch with which you can make phone calls, WhatsAppen, make mobile payments or just surf the Internet. The focus of the smartwatch is mainly on the extensive sports functions. Strictly speaking, the GTS is a mix of a fitness bracelet and a smartwatch. Anyone expecting a full-fledged smartwatch like the Apple Watch is clearly out of place with Huami watches!
Because of the proprietary Amazfit OS, no own apps can be installed, which is why one is dependent on the apps and functions that Amazfit specifies. At the same time, the GTS is strongly linked to the Amazfit app. A Bluetooth connection to the smartphone is required to set up the smartwatch, to evaluate the data collected and to receive notifications.
Amazfit GTS firmware updates at a glance
Update 26. June 2020
New firmware 0.0.9.12 released. This is a new feature update. The Amazfit GTS is now able to monitor nap time. Only sleep that lasts longer than 20 minutes is tracked. The evaluation of the afternoon nap is included in the overall evaluation of sleep.
Update 31. May 2020
New firmware 0.0.9.05 released. This update fixes unspecified bugs.
Update 30. April 2020
New firmware 0.0.8.90 released. With this update, the smartwatch receives a weather and UVI control center.
Update 28. March 2020
New firmware 0.0.8.56 released. The update improves the performance of the smartwatch, adds a vibration when it is switched off and shows a stop button as soon as the alarm sounds. The bug fixes concern PAI and the stopwatch.
Update 17. January 2020
The Amazfit GTS has received an update. According to the changelog, firmware 0.0.8.37 improves GPS speed and GPS accuracy. This improvement could be reproduced in the test. Compared to firmware 0.0.8.33, the GPS fix is found faster overall and the location accuracy is also a little more precise.
Pedometer and sports programs
The fact that the GTS essentially wants to be a sports watch is shown by the total of 12 sports programs and the extensive sensor system, consisting of GPS, a PPG BioTracker, a 6-axis acceleration sensor and a 3-axis G-sensor.
The GTS reliably records steps. Arm movements while sitting or driving are not counted as steps. A daily goal can be set in steps of 1000 using the Amazfit app. The watch itself clearly shows the steps taken, the route and the calories burned. An inactivity warning provides information about sitting for too long.
The following sports programs are available to the user:
- Running (outdoor)
- Running (indoor)
- Walking / hiking (outdoor)
- Biking (outdoor)
- Cycling (indoor)
- Swimming (swimming pool)
- Swimming (open water)
- elliptical trainer
- Trail Running
- free training
Each of the sports programs is tailored to the respective sport. For example, if you choose to swim in a pool, the pool length must first be determined. Activity goals can be set in terms of distance, duration and consumption. Depending on the selected sports program, there are also reminder options for distance, heart rate and speed. Some of the data, such as speed or heart rate, can also be displayed in the form of a real-time diagram. All relevant data can be viewed at a glance.
The auto-pause function of the sports programs is practical. As soon as the sports program is interrupted, the GTS pauses data acquisition. In the test, the feature worked largely precisely. However, one should note that the auto-pause function is set very sharply. If you put in a short gear unit during running training, the watch can pause the sports program!
GPS and outdoor
In order to be able to track outdoor activities even more precisely, the Amazfit GTS is equipped with GPS. What sounds excellent in theory still requires a lot of improvement in practice. It usually takes 15-60 seconds until a stable GPS signal is established. This is especially annoying when you are in a hurry.
The same applies to the route, which is very imprecise depending on the environment. In the open field, the deviation is already 1-2 meters. In the forest or urban areas, deviations of a good 6-10 meters are possible. An export and import option for GPX or TCX files is not available by default. The training data can only be exported in the appropriate format using third-party apps.
Heart rate and PAI
The heart rate is determined by a PPG sensor (photoplethysmography). In the measurement process, light is directed into the skin and it is measured how much light is backscattered depending on the blood flow. In the Amazfit app, the detection frequency can be set in 1, 5, 10 or 30 minutes. The sensor works continuously in the work-out.
Unfortunately, the determination of the heart rate is only partially reliable. During the work-out in particular, there were more frequent failures and incorrect measurements. Despite constant performance, the heart rate fell from 130 to less than 80 and only slowly recovered to a realistic value. It is not possible to connect a heart rate belt to the watch.
A new feature introduced by Huami is “Personal Activity Intelligence” (PAI). PAI is a scientifically recognized procedure for determining the state of health. In a time window of 7 days, the so-called PAI score (1-100) is recorded, which uses the heart rate to evaluate the individual health status. In order to increase your own fitness or to motivate yourself, PAI is a very interesting function. How reliable the value is remains questionable due to the sometimes incorrect heart rate recording.
Sleep monitor and alarm clock
The sleep recording starts automatically when you fall asleep. Manual control is not possible. The data collected includes the time to fall asleep and wake up as well as the various sleep phases. The detection of sleep and wake-up times is accurate to within a few minutes. The always-on display is annoying and does not switch off during sleep monitoring.
Several wake-up profiles can be set via the GTS or the app. The alarm clock works reliably and also wakes up from a firmer sleep.
Notifications, music and others
If the GTS is connected to a smartphone, incoming notifications on the smartphone can be transmitted to the watch. For example, WhatApp messages or incoming calls can be displayed. However, it is not possible to reply to the messages. Which app notifications are forwarded to the smartwatch can be set via the Amazfit app.
The watch's music function is not a music player, but a pure control element for music playback on the connected smartphone. The volume can be adjusted, songs can be skipped and playback paused.
The other functions of the Amazfit GTS include a 7-day weather forecast with UV index, humidity and wind strength, a compass, a timer, a countdown and a mobile phone search function.
As already mentioned, the smartwatch is very strongly tied to the Amazfit app. The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple Store. As an alternative to the Amazfit app, the data can also be synchronized with the Mi Fit app and imported into Google Fit or Strava.
In addition to managing the watch, the Amazfit app also evaluates the data collected. Sports activities can be presented in a prepared manner so that conclusions can be drawn about the average heart rate, the distance covered or the calories burned. All activities and daily steps can be filtered by days, weeks and months.
There are more than 102 watch faces to choose from for customizing the smartwatch. The Watfach can be conveniently selected via the Amazfit app and synchronized with the smartwatch at the push of a button. If the selection is too small for you, you can create your own watch faces or use watch faces from the community.
Install your own watch faces on the Amazfit GTS?
- Create a watch face in .BIN format or download a watch face.
- Synchronize a watchface via the Amazfit app.
- Open the file path Android \ data \ com.huami.watch.hmwatchmanager \ files \ watch_skin_local on your smartphone
- Copy the file name of the file stored there and replace your .BIN Watchface with this file name.
- After a new synchronization, your new watchface is on the watch.
The Amazfit GTS battery has a capacity of 220 mAh. For charging, the smartwatch is plugged into a magnetic 2-pin charging connector. The charging time is just under 100 minutes. The battery life is highly dependent on the respective use.
With always-on display, 2-hour sports program, about 30 notifications a day and GPS turned off, the battery lasts about 4 days. If you deactivate the always-on display, the battery lasts an average of 15 days. GPS is rapidly reducing battery life. If you walk in the forest for an hour and use GPS, you lose about 20% of the battery.