Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Smartwatch for $99.99/79,90€/£78 at Amazon
Apparently, the first Amazfit GTS was ripped out of Amazfit’s hand in such a way that they now want to tackle the successor as broadly as possible. Besides the Amazfit GTS 2 and the Amazfit GTS 2e, the manufacturer has also released the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini. The GTS 2 Mini is not only smaller, but even does some things a bit better than its big brothers.
- Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
Technical data of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
|Display||1,55″ AMOLED, 354 x 306 p, 301 ppi|
|colors||black, pink, mint green|
|Battery||220 mAh, ~14 days runtime|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS|
|App compatibility||Android 5, iOS 10|
|Water resistance||ATM 5|
|Dimensions | band | weight||40,5 x 35,8 x 8,95 mm | 20 mm | 19,5 without band|
Same look, only smaller
The fact that one wants to overshadow the first generation can be seen at first glance, because the GTS 2 Mini and GTS 1 look more similar to each other than the GTS 2 Mini and GTS 2. Of course, one goes back to the square design, but the display “shrinks” to a 1.55 inch screen diagonal. This makes it minimally smaller than the other two GTSs, which is also noticeable in the dimensions of 40.5 x 35.8 x 8.95 mm and the weight of 19.5 g (without strap). Aside from the size, you can recognize the GTS 2 Mini by two other features. First, the case has a silver, glossy case rim that gives the Mini a classy look. Secondly, the new side element of the GTS 2 is missing, the function button is not extra protected here.
Looking at the watch head-on, it does appear a bit more rounded, however, like the GTS 2e, they use 2.5D glass and not 3D glass. The silicone straps are again easy to swap and are available in three colors: Black, Pink and Mint Green; the case colors vary accordingly. One advantage of the silicone wristband is that it has a pin, which is a small pin that holds the band in place. The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is protected against water according to the ATM 5 classification. I was in the shower with it several times during the test period and could not find any problems because of it, except for the missing display lock.
Workmanship & comfort
The fact that the GTS 2 Mini is considerably cheaper than the GTS 2e and GTS 2 is noticeable in the workmanship. Not that the manufacturer makes any mistakes here, but more plastic is used than in the GTS 2. Only half of the upper casing frame is made of aluminum alloy, while the entire frame of the GTS 2 is made of aluminum. Thus, the GTS 2 Mini has a larger polycarbonate tray that hides the actual technology. This also explains the lower weight and unfortunately also makes for a somewhat inferior overall impression, since the holders for the silicone wristband, for example, are also made of plastic and not aluminum.
However, this should not be judged too critically considering the price, and it is not unusual for the price. Apart from that, the function button also offers a good pressure point and the silicone wristbands feel high-quality. It is only through these decisions that Amazfit manages to offer a really comfortable watch. At less than 20g on the scales, the GTS 2 Mini is light as a feather despite its size, and I forgot about it after just a few minutes on my arm.
Sharp, but not too sharp, please!
Even though the watch does not cost much, you do not have to do without an AMOLED display, in contrast to the Amazfit Bip U. It offers a resolution of 354 x 306 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 301 ppi. That is not as sharp as the two “big” models, but definitely still sharp enough. Fonts can be read well despite the lower resolution and size, the colors are vivid and the brightness of the display is also really remarkable. I use the GTS 2 Mini on minimum settings and manage well in most situations.
The touchscreen in the display should also be praised. The response time is adequate and it reacts precisely despite the smaller display, so incorrect inputs are extremely rare. In addition, the Amazfit operating system offers some setting options. You can activate the Always-On Display so that you can also read the time in standby. However, this halves the runtime. You can choose between a customized watch face, a generic analog or digital watch face. I prefer to use the “raise wrist” function, which turns on the display as soon as the watch registers the corresponding movement.
However, we have to criticize that the display cannot currently be locked. So, when you take a shower with it, the water jet can make inputs. Unfortunately, this also applies to the sports mode; the screen cannot be locked while jogging. Deep in the watch settings, you can find “Activate screen lock”, but that only applies to incoming notifications so that you do not accidentally delete them.
The first GTS pioneered Amazfit by offering customizable watchfaces on an Amazfit smartwatch for the first time. While the GTS 2 and the GTS 2e have only made limited use of this feature so far, the GTS 2 Mini offers customizable watchfaces like we are used to. Two of the four preloaded watchfaces offer the possibility to individualize them and up to six freely assignable complications (shortcuts). In contrast to the GTS 2, you can also put applications like the music control, the timer or the sports modes on there, so you hardly have to go into the menu! The GTS 2 and the e variant should take a page out of this book.
However, there are only four preloaded watchfaces, whereas the GTS 2 and GTS 2e offer twice as many. However, you can download and install more than 50 additional watchfaces via the Zepp app.
What do we do without in contrast to the GTS 2?
The name “Mini” does not only refer to the size, but also to the range of functions. This is because Amazfit eliminates some of the features that make the GTS 2 so interesting. No offline music playback and no Bluetooth phone calls. Although a microphone is installed, it can only be used for Amazon Alexa as soon as this feature is available via an OTA update. The watch also lacks Wi-Fi and has 20 fewer sport modes than the GTS 2 and GTS 2e.Buy the GTS Mini 2 »
Operation of the GTS 2 Mini
Fortunately, when it comes to operation, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is oriented towards the new generation and not the first GTS. It has a function button like every other GTS, but the majority of the operation is done via the touchscreen. The starting point is the watch face. The favorite apps like music control, heart rate monitor or weather are on the horizontal axis, but they can be customized in the Zepp app. Swiping upwards opens the notifications, which is fortunately not as awkward as on the first GTS. Swiping down opens the quick settings, which are much more reduced than on the GTS 2.
The function key on the right serves as a menu key and back key. It can also be freely assigned for a long press and hold, so you can put an application on it, such as “Training”.
Functional range of the GTS 2 Mini
At least the revised BioTracker PPG Sensor 2 is installed, which supports permanent heart rate measurement as well as blood oxygen saturation measurement and can also be used for sleep tracking in combination with the gyro and acceleration sensor. In addition, there is a light sensor, compass and vibration motor. Thus, the GTS 2 Mini focuses more on athletes, who are offered over 70 sports modes, automatic activity recognition, the PAI and stress measurement here. In addition, GPS is also integrated. The connection with the Zepp app and the smartphone is done via Bluetooth 5. In the following, we will go into the most important applications and usage scenarios.
Sports tracking with GPS
Amazfit has fortunately clearly worked on the GPS accuracy and also includes this work in the cheaper watches. The Apple Watch SE serves as a reference and the deviations of the GTS 2 Mini are still within limits. The difference was 140 meters for a distance of 7.56 km, which I still consider okay for the distance. However, it is not possible to determine the exact cause of the deviation, at least not from the GPS positioning, which is accurate and seamless on the map. In general, the GTS 2 Mini also measured more time, which decisively changes the pace. This could be due to a differently functioning “Auto Pause”.
While running, you can also control the music on the phone with a swipe to the left on the watch. Unfortunately, there is no offline music storage. As already mentioned, there is also no screen lock, which does not work as usual. While running, you can still make entries, which also caused my run to end prematurely during a run and I had to restart it. This is annoying and easily avoidable.
Even though the GTS 2 Mini has about 20 fewer sports modes than the GTS 2, almost everyone should still find what they are looking for. Besides running, swimming and cycling, there are also exercises like rope skipping, yoga or outdoor trekking. Under more sports, there are even more categories where you can find square dancing, boxing or archery, for example. Everywhere GPS is available, tracking is done and there are also slight differences in what is measured in the sport modes. Jumping rope even measures number and frequency, but spinning, for example, only measures duration, calories burned and pulse. In addition, you can still set up warnings or reminders before the start of the training session, for example, if the pulse is too high.
Finally! We have been criticizing Amazfit for ages for only displaying its accurate sleep tracking in the Zepp app and not on the smartwatch. Similar to the Bip U, Amazfit is now changing that and pre-installing a “sleep” app that shows the last night’s sleep, including the time it took to fall asleep and the time it took to get up. In addition, the watch shows the average as well as maximum sleep over the last 7 days, so you can put your sleep in context. I like that a lot and the sleep tracking is also exceedingly accurate in my estimation. Of course, discrepancies can occur when waking up/waking up (two completely different things as I’m sure we know), but that’s not a deciding factor, at least for me. I wonder why Amazfit is only now integrating this on the watch like this.
Unlike the Amazfit GTS 2, the GTS 2 Mini, like the first GTS, can only control music on the smartphone, but not play it independently. The watch recognizes when you use Spotify or the podcast app you trust, for example, and then offers to pause the playback, play the next or previous song, or change the volume. This works quickly and reliably, though I wish you could use the crown as a cog to change the volume here, too.
Like all Amazfit smartwatches, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini also has a notification function. It can therefore mirror incoming push messages on the smartphone, but it cannot display messages that are not also displayed on the smartphone. Nevertheless, you can select which app you want to receive notifications for in the Zepp app. The notifications are displayed legibly, but only some emojis are displayed. However, most of them were displayed correctly in the test period. Only rarely was there a box with a question mark when the emoji could not be displayed. You can display the notification in its entirety by tapping on it.
As in all current Amazfit models, the BioTracker 2 heart rate sensor is used, which also provides a relatively precise heart rate measurement in the GTS 2 Mini, which is performed every minute if you want it. I could not determine any significant deviations from the Apple Watch SE. In addition, there is the SpO2 measurement, which also provides reliable results but is only meant to serve as an indicator. A smartwatch cannot replace a trip to the doctor. However, Amazfit also makes that clear and also provides an explanation as well as a classification of the results on the watch.
In addition, the watch has “stress” measurement, i.e. blood pressure measurement, as well as cycle tracking. You can also do this on the watch and don’t have to rely on the app; you determine the number of days and can specify when your period is over. In addition, there are breathing exercises and also the Pomodoro tracker. This is actually just a countdown, which is intended for concentration phases.
Of course, a smartwatch also comes with some watch functions. There is the alarm clock, which can also be activated and set on the watch itself and without an app. Of course, the time can be set, but also the days on which it should ring. The vibration strength of the clock can be set as light, medium and heavy, although I prefer “heavy” and would like a little more vibration. Nevertheless, it is enough for me to wake up. Cool is that you can also use the snooze function, in which you simply tap on the blank area of the screen.
There is also a countdown (timer) that offers various presets but can also be set individually. Unfortunately, you cannot leave the timer, so the GTS 2 Mini does not offer rudimentary multitasking. In addition, there is also a stopwatch and a world clock integrated, which offers space for six time zones.
Other features of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini include activity goal overview, PAI, workout history (activities), weather forecast for the next week, phone search function, a compass and remote camera release. The remote camera release in particular is a feature that is still a bit newer for Amazfit smartwatches and worked well in the test. However, all these functions play a rather subordinate role in my private use, for example. An altimeter is also integrated, contrary to Amazfit’s claim, and can be found in the compass as well as in the “Climbing” sports mode.
In contrast to the GTS 2, however, the Mini should be able to follow up on the solid runtime of the GTS 1. Thanks to the 220 mAh battery, Huami promises a runtime of 14 days with “normal” use and even 21 days with occasional use here. However, the runtime shortens to about 7 days during intensive use. The battery capacity is slightly lower than in the normal GTS 2, but the resolution is also lower and the display is smaller. However, this does not change the fact that Amazfit cannot keep its promise here either. Under my test conditions, I can achieve a better runtime than with the GTS 2, but I only manage about 10 days of use.
Here, I use the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini at very low brightness settings, with 3 GPS units of over 30 minutes per week, deactivated always-on display, minute-by-minute heart rate measurement, sleep tracking, alarm clock and sporadic notifications. So, with minimal use, you can already manage the 14 days, but I think 10 days is more realistic for most. With the included charging cable, a full charge takes just under 90 minutes again. The cable is not compatible with the first GTS, but it is compatible with the GTS 2 and GTS 2e.
Zepp, the app
At this point, we won’t raise the question of the renaming. The app, formerly called “Amazfit”, is also essential for using and setting up the smartwatch on the GTS 2 Mini. The setup actually hardly has any potential for errors. Simply follow the instructions and the watch should pair successfully, which works with both Android and iOS. With the latter, you have to allow the watch to share system messages in the Bluetooth settings if you want to receive notifications, but the phone also asks for that.
In the Zepp app, you have an overview of all your data such as steps, heart rate, sleep, calories burned, as well as access to your activities on the home screen, although these are somewhat unnecessarily hidden. You can also pull up a “Tools” menu, where you can access DeepL some settings options that you would otherwise find under Profile. In the profile, you can update your personal data, set goals, but also adjust the settings of the watch. You can install watchfaces, manage notifications, adjust the health monitoring or update the firmware there.
Conclusion: “Mini” only in price!
The fact that two sizes of a watch are released was already the case with the first GTR. And Apple has also been doing this for years with the Apple Watch. However, you don’t have to do without any functions, but you do with the GTS 2 Mini. They are limited to the features that are new on the GTS 2, such as offline music storage and Bluetooth telephony. However, that is absolutely justified in view of the price of less than €100/$100. Offline music storage is otherwise only found in the Huawei Watch GT 2e in this price range.
Maybe it’s because of lower expectations, maybe because of the price, but I really like the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini in the test and I have much less to complain about than with the GTS 2 or GTS 2e. It delivers what it promises, and apart from the Alexa feature, the smartwatch is also “ready” for the market. It does not make the mistakes of the GTS 2 and offers emojis and customizable watchfaces right from the start, although it only costs almost half as much. How can that be?
The GTS 2 Mini isn’t perfect either. There are annoying little bugs like the missing screen lock or the mediocre emoji support, and the stated battery life doesn’t quite add up either. All in all, I can recommend the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini. It will probably replace the first GTS in the long run and scores over it with better navigation and more precise GPS tracking. There you go, Amazfit!To the gadget