The Amazfit smartwatch lineup is growing fast and getting better all the time. Amazfit smartwatches are no longer the cheap and cheerful Chinese bargain watches, but offer great features and low prices. It’s one of the cheapest watches on the market – but with a huge amount of built-in intelligence. But Amazfit now offers more than that. The Amazfit GTS will always be compared to the Apple Watch – and not in a good way.
There are elements that are clearly derived from the market leader, from the design to the user interface. Yes, it’s an inferior alternative, and while no one has complimented us on wearing the Amazfit GTS, many have mistaken it for an Apple Watch, which is something after all. It’s a square design with a 1.65-inch AMOLED display with an impressive 341 PPI and 348 x 442 resolution – a great display that’s among the brightest and best.
The GTS comes with an interchangeable 20mm silicone strap, which is comfortable but pretty uninspired. However, you can easily swap it out for another one, which we’d recommend since the strap had a habit of flapping around after coming off the loop. At 14mm thick, the Amazfit GTS is extremely light, but this is due to the plastic-like construction. It is an “aluminum alloy, polymer material”, but it does not feel premium in any way. However, it does have the advantage of being barely noticeable on the wrist.
In terms of features, the Amazfit is almost as comprehensive as its specifications. We will go into more detail about some of them later in the review, but the most important points are the following. The Amazfit offers notifications from your smartphone, of course, and that was one of the weakest areas of the experience. When we first paired the watch, our notifications weren’t delivered at all – and it took a re-pairing for them to arrive. After we turned the watch off, they disappeared again, which was getting annoying.
However, we preferred not to receive notifications. WhatsApp messages were difficult to read due to the formatting of the text, and although you can edit the apps that can send notifications, the list is not complete. Soon enough, we were bombarded with notifications from our Arlo home cameras. Oddly enough, there are only two watch faces that offer a few options for complications that can be set through the watch. You can add hundreds more via the Amazfit app, but they tend to be static and fairly mundane.
Amazfit’s strong specs are no secret, but its fitness tracking performance surprised us a bit. In the Amazfit app, health monitoring is the main focus. Step tracking was accurate and could keep up with the Fitbit and Garmin devices we used for comparison. There’s no real use of active minutes like most fitness trackers, but this has been replaced with PAI, a single score that measures your activity over the past week. But PAI is different. PAI was developed by Mio Global, the company that invented the optical heart rate monitor, and is based on a 25-year study of 45,000 people. In other words, PAI is not a cheap Amazfit invention – and it works.