Review Huami Amazfit GTS Smartwatch für $141.99: “Apple, Watch out!”
Apple or Huami? After the Huami Amazfit GTR the next Smartwatch of the manufacturer is already coming. The Huami Amazfit GTS Smartwatch looks suspiciously like the Apple-Watch and maybe that’s why it sparked a lot of hype. Can the Amazfit GTS withstand the pressure of expectations?
Technical data of the Huami Amazfit GTS
|Huami Amazfit GTS|
|Display||1,65″ AMOLED, 348 x 442 p, 326 ppi, GorillaGlass 3|
|Colors||Black, Gold, Rosé, Blue, Grey, Red|
|Battery||220 mAh, ~10 days running time|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS|
|App compatibility||Android 5, iOS 10|
|Water resistance||ATM 5|
|Dimensions | Strap | weight||43.25 x 36.25 x 1.1 mm | 20 mm | 34.8 g with strip|
Bold Apple Watch 4 copy?
The reason why a new Apple Watch was originally assumed is obvious at first glance. The new Huami Amazfit Smartwatch looks almost 1:1 like the current Apple Watch Series 4. It is a watch with a rounded, “square” screen. Apple has perfected this look a bit with the current generation, as the display is larger and the corners are not quite as rounded. However, the function key of the GTS is not located at the top right of the side, but centrally on the side.
The size is fairly identical to that of the Amazfit Bip, although the GTS display is a good 0.4 inches larger. The GTS’s screen edges are thinner in comparison, but not as marginal as the current Apple Watches.
The watch case is made of aluminum, the 20 mm bracelet of course of silicone, which is especially advantageous for athletes. Without the strap you get a weight of 24.8 g, which makes the watch relatively light. With dimensions of 43.25 x 36.25 x 10.1 mm, it is comparable in size to the Apple Watch 5 44 mm, even though the Watch 5 has a slightly larger display. As always, the underside of the watch houses the heart rate monitor, which protrudes slightly from the plastic back. There is a CE mark as well as technical information.
The Amazift GTS also looks good optically. The watch is available in six different colors, but the colors refer almost exclusively to the straps. The silicone bracelets are available in black, grey, blue, red, rosé and beige/gold. The aluminium case of the latter two is also dyed accordingly, while the other Colorways come with a similar body on the market. With our blue GTS, the body is also blue-grey, but not quite as bright as the strap.
Workmanship & wearing comfort
Although we call the Amazfit GTS an “Apple Watch” clone because of its outward appearance, the GTS has almost nothing in common with an “Apple Watch” clone like the LEMFO LEM10. For my taste the GTS is probably one of the most beautiful Smartwatches on the market, also because with a thickness of 1.1 cm it is much more filigree at the thickest point than the Amazfit GTR for example. Huami’s workmanship is exemplary, the watch looks very high-quality, not least thanks to the aluminium case. The pressure point of the function key provides good feedback, the strap is easy to change and the corners are pleasantly rounded.
Accordingly, I really like the wearing comfort. Thanks to the 38.4 g total weight, including the included silicone strap, it’s easy to forget that you’re wearing a watch at all. The last time I had that was with the Amazfit Bip. The small size flatters even thinner wrists, but doesn’t look lost even with wider forearms. In my opinion Amazfit found the sweet spot here.
Water resistance according to ATM 5 Classification
It is pleasing that the Huami Amazfit GTS is protected against water according to the ATM 5 classification. So it’s no problem to shower and swim, I took a shower with my watch every day during the test period. I could not go swimming with the clock yet, that is gladly caught up. However, the watch is not intended for a dive, and there is a risk of equipment damage.
It is recommended, however, to lock the display in the quick settings before taking a shower so that the water pressure does not activate the touch screen.
The sharpest display of a Smartwatch
For the Huami Amazfit GTS, the manufacturer relies on a 1.65″ AMOLED display with a resolution of 348 x 442 pixels. This not only makes the screen bigger than the Huami Amazfit GTR 47 mm, but also sharper than the Apple Watch. The display has a higher pixel density than the “original”. The 341 ppi pixel density of the GTS isn’t much higher than the 326 ppi of the Apple Watch 4/5, but it’s enough to advertise with it. The panel even protects Huami with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, the 2.5 D glass is slightly rounded on the sides.
Especially for someone like me who comes from the Amazfit Bip, the difference is enormous. The screen display is actually razor sharp, even at very close inspection it is almost impossible to recognize individual pixels. The AMOLED panel also shows the colors in a very nice way, in the menu and the watchfaces the strong colors provide an improved orientation in the operating system. Thanks to the high number of pixels Amazfit also manages to place a lot of information on the watchface. In fact, the GTS can win the comparison with the Apple Watch, the display is a bit brighter overall and also slightly sharper, even if you have to take a closer look.
The AMOLED panel provides a “perfect black“, whereby the difference between the display and the screen edge runs almost smoothly and you can quickly fade out the edge inside. Amazfit also cleverly converts the surface so that you never have a sharp contrast between the edge and the display (except with the flashlight), since with the two pre-installed watchfaces and any menu item you always have only a black background.
Brightness & Functionality
Nevertheless, the display can be really bright. The maximum brightness is actually not necessary in any situation. Even in strong sunlight, everything can be easily seen at medium brightness. Those who don’t have to pay attention to the battery can even adjust up to 75%. In everyday office life and grey autumn days, I can even cope with about one fifth of the maximum setting. This is where the good contrast ratio of the AMOLED panel comes into its own, like moving helpers. That’s why you can save yourself the automatic brightness, which in my opinion sets the display too high in every situation. In the long run, of course, this is due to the battery life.
Amazfit has always built good touchscreens into its displays, and GTS is no exception. The clock reacts quickly and precisely, the risk of an input error is almost zero.
Like a wristwatch: Always On mode
Since it is an AMOLED panel, the watch is also equipped with an Always-On display, which has been present this time since the release and was not handed over later as with the GTR. With an Always On Display, the clock still shows the time even in standby, but reduces the watchface as far as possible. Since each pixel of an AMOLED panel can be illuminated individually, in this mode only those pixels are displayed that are needed and not the whole screen. Therefore an AMOLED panel is usually more energy efficient and you have a higher contrast ratio.
That I criticized the Amazfit Verge Lite for lacking an AOD mode and that I definitely needed it, I have to revise. There are two reasons for this:
- Amazfit offers hardly any setting options for the Always On-Display. You can only switch it on or off and choose one of the two “Watchfaces”. It would be desirable to be able to set this in time. It only seems to go out when you are actually asleep.
- The Always-On display drastically reduces the battery life of the Huami Amazfit GTS. With my settings I used up almost 20% battery per day, while sleeping it was already about 7% battery consumption. If GPS use or many notifications are added, the battery life is drastically reduced.
One positive note is that Amazfit updated the option during the test period and at least added the option for the two different watchfaces. However, since the raise-to-wake function (turning the wrist) is so sensitive, the best thing I can do at the moment is to have it activated and switch off the display automatically after 7 seconds.
Operating the Amazfit GTS
The Huami Amazfit GTS is of course equipped with a touch screen that really responds reliably and precisely. This is mainly used to control the clock, even if the function button on the right-hand side is also used from time to time.
As always, you start from the watchface and automatically return there when you get the watch out of standby. If you wipe down, the list menu of the GTS opens, through which you can scroll up and down. If you swiped down from above, the quick settings open. There you will find the battery status, but you can also lock the display, activate the flashlight, adjust the brightness (including auto brightness) and select one of three DND modes (“Do not disturb”).
A wipe to the left will take you to the pedometer, another click will give you a history of the steps you have taken and additional information. The “Back”-Swipe is known to be a quick wipe to the right. If you are back at the watchface, you can wipe right to get to the heart rate monitor. If you have deactivated the automatic pulse measurement, the heart rate monitor starts measuring the pulse immediately.
If you want to get back to the Watchface quickly, just tap on the function button on the right side. If you press it again, the Amazfit GTS goes into standby mode. In the settings, however, you can also determine what should happen if you keep the button pressed for approx. 2 seconds. You have the choice between the sport modes, status, pulse, weather, messages, reminder, alarm, compass, countdown, timer, music, mobile phone search or switch off.
As with the Amazfit Verge Lite, I would wish that you could change the two apps “Status” and “Pulse” on the horizontal watchface level. By coincidence, these are also the two apps at the top of the list by default. You can change the order in the Amazfit app, but that doesn’t change the status and pulse app – too bad! So you would have another option to customize the app.
Individualize Watchfaces – the unique selling point
The Watchface can be set up for this, two of them are pre-installed. The “digital” display offers five modules, three of which offer almost the entire range of functions, the other two are limited to a few options. The “anaologic” Watchface even offers seven such modules. If one touches these modules on the start screen, one lands directly in the appropriate menu point, which is very practical in my eyes. If you want to adjust the Watchfaces, you only have to hold the screen pressed for a long time and then click on the “pen”-symbol under the Watchface.
Since you have two customizable watchfaces, you can create two “start screens”, since the Huami Amazfit GTS stores the individual settings for each watchface and does not overwrite them. For example, you could set up a watchface for home, weather, countdown and sports, and a watchface for travel, with music control, pedometer and notifications. The other watchfaces from the Amazfit app are unfortunately not customizable. We hope that Amazfit will be able to add more options.
Even though Amazfit is clearly pointing in the direction of Apple Watch, I don’t want to miss this function anymore. To be able to reach my most frequently used apps like the countdown or the music control with one click saves time and nerves in everyday life.
Huami Amazfit GTS with 14 days running time
It is not a “real” Smartwatch, but rather a sports smartwatch like the Amazfit Stratos or the Amazfit GTR. After all, the manufacturer does not use an internal memory, so there is no App Store available like with a Ticwatch C2 with WearOS. However, this has a positive effect on battery life. Inside is a 220 mAh battery, which is charged via a magnetic cable. Amazfit promises a battery life of 14 days with “normal” use, without Bluetooth, heart rate monitor and GPS are probably up to one and a half months. With permanently activated GPS you can only do about 24 hours.
Unfortunately I can’t confirm the manufacturer’s data here so far, two weeks I didn’t get along with my use. As already mentioned with the AOD function, this mode draws almost 20% battery life per day. With low brightness, deactivated notifications, heart rate monitor only in use, 7 seconds display and without GPS use I get ~10 days. This is by far no time of an Amazfit Bip and also not as strong as with the internal competition. I was already astonished in the apron that one “only” spendiert the clock 220 mAh, where nevertheless the GTR with smaller display offers even 390 mAh capacity.
Even if the runtime is not so high, it is still more than fine for me, even as a Bip user. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to pack a charger cable before a weekend trip with about 60% left. I also think that charging something once a week is not a broken neck. After all, the watch charges completely in one hour, so that you can manage with just under 170 hours or even more is in a healthy ratio. Nevertheless: a slightly larger battery would not have harmed the Amazfit GTS.
As already mentioned, it is, depending on the interpretation, not a real Smartwatch. It is equipped with a proprietary Amazfit operating system and does not offer an open interface like the WearOS watches from Ticwatch. In addition there is only a minimal memory, which is only enough for the collected data, but not for additional apps or music. You already reach your limits with the Watchface memory, here you have to make do with an additional Watchface. But this also has the advantage that the OS reacts very quickly and is well tuned to the hardware. There were no noticeable delays during the whole test period.
Bluetooth 5 is available for the connection with the smartphone, but there is no WiFi chip. GPS and GLONASS are used to determine the position, and NFC is even integrated for Chinese users. This can be used there for public transport tickets, unfortunately the function cannot be used outside China. For the different sports modes the Huami Amazfit GTS offers almost the same sensory equipment as the Amazfit GTR. These include an optical BioTracker heart rate monitor, a 6-axis acceleration sensor, an air sensor and a geomagnetic sensor.
The Amazfit App
Unlike many China smartwatches like the LEMFO LEM10, the Amazfit smartwatches use one or two apps of their own. For the smaller/cheaper fitness trackers like the Mi Band 4 the Mi Fit app is used, for the Smartwatches the Amazfit app is used, which is available for download for iOS and Android. The range of functions is almost identical in both apps, the GTS can only be used via the Amazfit app.
The app is roughly divided into three tabs: Training, Friends and Profile. Under Training you can, for example, set your weight, view your sleep analysis and see your last activities. From here you can also start activities such as walking, running and cycling. However, this is done via the smartphone and not the clock. In my opinion, you can safely ignore the “Friends” tab.
Under the badly chosen name “Profile” you can mainly make settings on the clock. For example you can choose from which app you get notifications from, which wrist you wear your watch on or how the apps should be displayed on the clock. This is not new territory for connoisseurs of Amazfit watches.
Setting up the app
The connection between the clock and the mobile phone goes smoothly as usual. In the Amazfit app, click on the “Plus” symbol in the upper right corner, then select “Clock”, select the Amazfit GTS, scan the QR code on the clock with your mobile phone, confirm the pairing request on the clock and then wait for the updates. Don’t get impatient here, it will actually take a few minutes.
On the positive side, I noticed that the synchronization between Smartphone and Smartwatch is much faster than with my Bip, which is why I often avoided the app. Now it actually only takes five seconds and changes are applied. Once you have set up the clock, you almost only need the app to update the weather data.
Features of the Amazfit GTS
Due to the somewhat restrictive hardware, this does not result in such a large range of functions. As you can see, the operating system of the clock is already completely multilingual, in some places the translation is a bit bumpy, but still easy to understand. All in all, the user interface and the range of functions are actually similar to those of the Amazfit GTR.
Sports Modes & Activities
The watch is especially interesting for athletes. In total you get 12 sports modes, but some of them differ only minimally. These include of course a jogging mode (indoor, outdoor), a walking mode, cycling (indoor, outdoor), swimming, stepping, skiing or free training.
So far I could only “walk” or jog lightly due to knee problems. The GPS fix needed about 20 seconds to determine the position before the start of the running session, but the reception was good and the track section was not interrupted. When running you will of course be shown the time, distance and real time pulse. In addition there are cadence, step size and calorie consumption as well as altitude. For almost all modes there are settings before the start, such as setting an activity target for the distance, time or consumption. It is also possible to be informed by vibration about every kilometer driven or about a certain pulse value – very practical.
These collected data can be displayed afterwards on the clock as well as in the app. The data can now be found under “Activity” and not under Sports Modes, as is the case with the Amazfit Bip, for example. While the app display there is already quite detailed with run distance, heart rate and heart rate graph, you get much more data in the app.
We haven’t been able to try all sports modes yet. The collected data also differ slightly depending on the selected mode. In the swim mode you can set the track length in advance, this is of course not necessary when jogging. I also find it practical that the “Sport” menu item displays the remaining battery life, which allows you to estimate whether the watch needs to be recharged before the planned activity.
Status & heart rate
The two menu items Status & Heart Rate are the two “Apps” to which you have access by swiping to the left and right. At first glance, the status informs you about steps taken, distance covered and calories consumed. A further tip then shows the history of the steps and the number of “movement reminders”. The heart rate monitor directly measures the pulse as soon as it is selected and then classifies it as “relaxed”, for example.
Already during the test of the Huami Amazfit Verge Lite we noticed that the weather display is much more detailed than in the previous generation. This includes the course of the sun, including sunrise and sunset. In addition there are UV index, humidity and wind strength. The forecast now includes seven days instead of the usual five. Unfortunately, this is only visible on the clock if the clock is regularly synchronised with the Amazfit app. Fortunately, the data can also be displayed as a “widget” on one of the two watchfaces.
Also not new, at most for Bip users, is the music control. The application is very nicely designed and reminiscent of an MP3 player interface, but really only serves to control media players on your smartphone. This works with Spotify as well as with the integrated music player. You can play and pause a song, skip to the next or previous track and increase or decrease the volume. Unfortunately, you can’t use the slider for this, only the buttons. You also have to expect a delay of about 0.5 seconds.
The notification function is very popular and makes a lot more sense on a square display than on a long one like the Mi Band 4. Unfortunately Amazfit hasn’t yet managed to present Emojis in a reasonable way. These are simply ignored by Amazfit and not displayed at all. In the menu item Messages you can display all notifications.
If you use this function a lot, I think it makes sense to put it on the function key. Otherwise the “way” in the OS is too far for me. I find that better solved with the Amazfit Bip, because you only need a wipe to the top. In the settings simply press and hold the button and then select Messages, then the function button on the right is enough to hold for two seconds to get to the messages.
I also think the reminder function, which can also be placed on the start screen, is generally practical.
The only problem is that the reminders can only be created via the app and that you cannot import them. It would be nice if you could import your reminders from your calendar, Google Tasks or iOS reminders. Unfortunately, having two memory apps is a bit unnecessary. Amazfit may be able to add this via app.
Time functions: Timer, countdown & alarm clock
The perhaps most underestimated functions of Amazfit Smartwatches are, at least for me personally, the time functions. I use the countdown almost every day, for example when cooking. That’s why I put it on my watchface, for example. I find it advantageous that you have a lot of useful preset countdowns there, but you can also create your own. For the timer there is now even an “analog” and a digital display and you can run two times at the same time.
The alarm clock also has its fans, to be woken up by a gentle vibration is much more pleasant than by a shrill mobile phone sound. A big advantage is that you can set the alarm directly on the clock and you don’t need the app. In addition, the alarm clock automatically switches to the snooze function if you don’t turn it off.
But I have my problems with the vibration. I find it too lax and too short. The watch only vibrates five times before switching to snooze mode and then again after 10 minutes. These 10 minutes can sometimes be decisive in the morning. After all, in a good 50% of cases I don’t even notice the vibration when I’m still sleeping pretty hard. Too bad – I liked the Bip better.
Conclusion: the best Amazfit Smartwatch
The Huami Amazfit GTS is my personal favourite smartwatch so far, even if it is certainly not perfect. Nevertheless, the watch has the wow factor, at least for me. The manufacturer places a “Lifestyle Smartwatch” on the market here, the GTS is also promoted offensively as such. The ultra-sharp display, which has adjustable watchfaces, is the unique selling point. In addition, there is the, albeit stolen, very chic design, Amazfit’s excellent workmanship and a meaningful range of functions, which one almost also gets with the Amazfit GTR – hence the similar name.
You have to criticise the battery life, I cannot reproduce the advertised 14 days even with moderate settings. Seven to ten days is the more realistic scenario, with heavy use of the Always On Display, notifications and GPS it’s probably more like three to five days. Nevertheless, I still get along well with it and find a charging rhythm of one week more than appropriate, if you look at it in relation to one hour of charging.
You also need to know what you’re getting into and what your own definition of a Smartwatch looks like. With the Amazfit GTS you can’t make phone calls, write, surf the Internet or listen to music without a smartphone. But since I prefer to do that with my smartphone anyway, that’s no problem for me. If you want a kind of Smartwatch, you can take a look at the Huawei Watch GT 2.
Even if I have a hard time with it, the Amazfit GTS stays on my arm and (finally) displaces my Amazfit Bip, which I would like to recommend to everyone without any restrictions. I now want something “more” and need the music control and the customizable Watchface. You almost have to “praise” that the GTS, in contrast to the GTR and Verge Lite, is finally “ready” on the market and without big bugs. It’ s about time.
As always: the review here is never finished and probably never will be. So if you have any questions, just add them to the comments and I’ll try to answer them as good as I can and maybe include them in the review.To the gadget