Amazfit GTS 2 Review
Huami launched two smartwatches under Amazfit's GT series last year - GTR 2 and GTS 2. We already reviewed the GTR 2 and were impressed with its design, OLED screen, smooth UI, and battery life that's longer than any smartwatch with a real OS.
Today we have the GTS 2 with us, which is largely identical to the GTR 2 in terms of internals, but comes with a different design. So which one should you get? I used the Amazfit GTS 2 for a few weeks to find that out.
Amazfit GTS 2 specifications
- Display: 1.65", 348x442 pixel AMOLED color screen, 341 ppi pixel density, 3D Glass
- Straps: Detachable silicone straps, 20mm width
- Operating System: RTOS
- Features: Real-time heart rate monitor, Blood oxygen level measurement, Stress Monitor, 5ATM water resistance, Sleep Tracking, Sports Tracking, Step Counter, Call and App Notification alerts, Standing Reminder, Phone Finder, Weather Forecast, Music Control, Offline Voice Control, Calling
- Sports Modes: More than 90 sports modes, including Walking, Outdoor Cycling, Yoga, and Pool Swimming
- Sensors: BioTracker 2 PPG Biological Optical Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Air Pressure Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, WLAN 2.4GHz, Compatible with Android 5.0+ and iOS 10.0+
- Positioning: GPS + GLONASS
- Misc: Linear Motor, Microphone, Speaker
- Battery: 246mAh
- Battery Life (advertised): 7 days
- Colors: Midnight Black, Desert Gold, and Urban Grey
- Dimensions: 42.8 x 35.6 x 9.7 mm
- Weight: 24.7 grams
At 24.7 grams, the Amazfit GTS 2 is very lightweight and comfortable to wear during a workout and at night. Its main module is made of aluminum alloy, and the screen is covered with 3D glass, which blends in nicely with the sides, offering a seamless scrolling experience. The 20mm detachable silicone straps of the GTS 2 are smooth, and I don't have any complaints about them.
On the left side of the GTS 2 is the speaker, and on the right is a physical button. It offers decent feedback and is used to unlock the smartwatch, return to a previous menu, and wake the screen. And like a few other Amazfit smartwatches, it's also the only way on the GTS 2 to access all the features. Although you can customize its double-press gesture to quickly launch an app. By default, it opens the Workout app.
Speaker on the left side • Physical button on the right side
The glossy back panel of the Amazfit GTS 2 is made of plastic and is home to charging connectors, an SpO2 sensor, and a BioTracker 2 PPG Biological Optical Sensor. These are placed on an elevated plate, which helps prevent the accumulation of grime over time and ensures proper contact with the skin for accurate measurements.Charging pins with BioTracker 2 PPG Biological Optical Sensor and SpO2 Sensor
The Amazfit GTS 2 also comes with 5ATM water resistance, meaning you don't have to take it off your wrist when going for a swim or a shower. However, I don't like the overall design of the GTS 2. The smartwatch looks elegant and has a small footprint which may appeal to people with smaller wrists, but it feels delicate, and a few people even asked me if it's a kids’/women’s smartwatch. And if that's something you want to avoid, you are better off looking elsewhere.
The Amazfit GTS 2 sports a 1.65" Always-On AMOLED display of 348x442-pixel resolution, which comes with the protection of the so called diamond-like carbon coating (oDLC), making it scratch and wear-resistant.
The panel's quite vibrant, and at 100% brightness, I was able to see the on-screen content under strong sunlight without much hassle. It's not the brightest around, but it gets the job done.
The display has a nice touch response and supports over 60 watch faces through the Zepp app at the time of writing this review, which are grouped in six categories - Artistic & Creative, Exercise & Health, Traditional & Classic, Digital Dashboard, Multiple Features, and Fashion Pioneer. I like most of them, but if you don't like what's on offer, you have the option to create your own watch face by uploading a photo from the paired smartphone through the Zepp app.
Watch faces available on Amazfit's official app
That said, some of the available watch faces are customizable, allowing you to select what information you want to see on the watch face. Moreover, most watch faces support a matching Always-On Display (AOD), meaning the watch face on the homescreen and on AOD look similar.
You can create a custom watch face for GTS 2 using the Zepp app
The Always-On Display can also be turned on/off automatically at a given time daily. The timing can be customized from the Zepp app as well as the GTS 2. You also get three watch face styles for AOD - Follow Watch Face, Digital Watch Face, and Pointer Watch Face.Always-On Display on Amazfit GTS 2
The Amazfit GTS 2 is compatible with Android and iOS devices, and you need to download the Zepp app on your smartphone to set up the smartwatch, sync data, and tinker with its settings.
Amazfit GTS 2's data and settings in Amazfit's Android app
The Zepp app was called Amazfit until last year, but not much has changed on the inside even after the rebranding. The app continues to have shortcuts for some settings at multiple locations, and the ones not supported by the wearable are grayed out instead of being hidden.
It's been several months since the rebranding, and Amazfit should've tweaked the app's design by now to offer a better user experience, but the fact that they haven’t yet could send a wrong message to their current and potential customers.
Amazfit's Android app needs a design overhaul
However, the custom OS running on the GTS 2 is responsive, has a simple UI, and it works the same way as on GTR 2: a swipe up on the homescreen brings up the Notification Center, and a swipe down gives you quick access to a few settings while also showing the battery percentage, weather, and connection status. These settings span across a couple of pages that you can scroll horizontally, and it would've been nice to allow users to customize these shortcuts in a way similar to what we see on Android devices. But I think that's a bit too much to expect from an RTOS-running smartwatch.
That said, a left swipe on the homescreen lets you access PAI, Activity Goal, Heart Rate, Weather, and Music Control pages. You can customize these Quick Access Apps and rearrange their order by heading to the Settings > User preferences > Quick access app menu on the GTS 2.Quick settings on Amazfit GTS 2
Swiping right presents Shortcut Cards, including Music Control, Alarm, Weather, PAI, Heart Rate, Activity Goal, and SpO2 by default. You can change this to your liking by navigating to the Profile tab > Amazfit GTS 2 > Shortcut Cards menu in the Zepp app.
To access all the features and settings and start a workout, you have to rely on the physical button, which can also be used to go directly to the homescreen if you don't want to hop through multiple right swipes in the UI to go back to a previous screen.
Making the app list accessible only through a button press is wasteful and leads to a not-so-pleasant experience. Amazfit could've done away with the Quick Access Apps or Shortcut Cards since both serve a similar purpose and would've instead allotted a left/right swipe gesture for the app list.
Features and Performance
The GTS 2 is one of the most feature-rich smartwatches from Amazfit. It comes with real-time heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level measurement, sleep tracking, stress monitoring, sedentary reminder, and 90+ sports modes.
Additionally, the GTS 2 comes with music control, weather forecast, phone finder, barometer, compass, GPS, stopwatch, countdown timer, screen lock, and app notifications. Besides, you get 3GB of internal storage and music control, but oddly enough, there's no camera control - something we've seen even on budget wearables.
The GTS 2 has a microphone and a speaker as well onboard, which allows you to answer phone calls when connected to the smartphone through Bluetooth. You can also operate the wearable through voice commands.
For heart rate monitoring, the Amazfit GTS 2 uses a BioTracker 2 PPG Biological Optical Sensor, which can measure your pulse automatically at an interval of 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 30 minutes. The heart rate can also be measured manually from the smartwatch whenever you want, which on average took 15-20 seconds in my testing. You get an overview of your daily heart rate data in a graphical form on the GTS 2, but you need the Zepp app for a detailed analysis.BioTracker 2 PPG Biological Optical Sensor
However, it's worth mentioning that the GTS 2 recorded inaccurate pulse at times during the workout, so it's best to not use the heart rate data from sports modes as a basis for diagnosis and treatment. But when I compared the manual measurement's values with the T-Rex Pro's, they were mostly the same.
Heart rate monitoring on Amazfit GTS 2
Another problem I had was with the SpO2 sensor on my unit, which refused to work most of the time and didn't measure the blood oxygen level. This could be specific to my unit, so if the sensor works normally on your smartwatch, you'll find all the data about your blood oxygen saturation on the Zepp app.
Blood oxygen level measurement with SpO2 sensor on Amazfit GTS 2
Next up, we have sleep tracking, which is accurate. Well, at least the fall asleep, wake up, and awake times were recorded accurately by the GTS 2, but we can't say the same for the Light Sleep, Deep Sleep, and REM Sleep since we had no way to determine the accuracy of those numbers.
That said, the Amazfit GTS 2 also records afternoon naps and monitors your sleep breathing quality. However, it doesn't give you a glimpse of your last night's sleep like the Stratos 3 does, so you have to rely on the Zepp app to check the total number of hours you slept while also taking a look at the other data.
Amazfit GTS 2 also records afternoon naps
The GTS 2 can also measure your stress levels. It's done automatically every five minutes, and the daily stress data is accessible on the smartwatch, with the detailed information provided in the Zepp app.
Like I already said, the Amazfit GTS 2 supports over 90 sports modes, which are grouped into 12 categories - Running & Walking, Cycling, Swimming, Outdoor Sports, Indoor Sports, Dance, Combat Sports, Ball Sports, Water Sports, Winter Sports, Leisure Sports, and Others.
Some of the outdoor sports, including Open Water Swimming, support GPS route tracking, but due to the COVID-19 situation in India, I couldn't test the accuracy of the smartwatch's built-in GPS, which eliminates the need to carry a smartphone to track your workout route. It's also worth mentioning that you can control music with a left swipe on the screen during a workout, and navigate the GTS 2's UI, and check notifications, which is appreciated.
You can head to the Activities section on the GTS 2 to access all the exercise data collected by sports modes, which is better presented in the Exercise record section in the Zepp app.
In addition to the Sports Modes, the GTS 2 also features an automatic step counter. It isn't entirely accurate like many other smartwatches and fitness bands, but you still get a fair idea of how much you walked. Like some other health data, you can check your daily step count on the GTS 2 and head to the Zepp app for your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly performance.
The last health and fitness feature in the list is the sedentary reminder, also called Standing Reminder, which triggers a vibration reminder if no activity is detected in the first 50 minutes of an hour when you are wearing the watch.
As has been the case with most Amazfit smartwatches for a while now, the notification management on the GTS 2 isn't perfect and needs improvements because the smartwatch doesn't let you delete the notifications when they first pop up on the screen. You also can't delete them individually from the Notification Center, and you have to clear them all together using the delete button located at the bottom.
Besides, the GTS 2 doesn't show the corresponding icons of all the apps in the notifications, making it difficult to determine which app sent the notification. More so because the smartwatch doesn't display the app name either. Not just that, the right swipe gesture to go to the previous screen doesn't work in the Notification Center, meaning you have to scroll all the way up top to go back to the homescreen or press the physical button.
Music Control on the Amazfit GTS 2 worked as advertised, and since the smartwatch has 3GB of storage on board, you can load your favorite playlists and play them directly through the wireless earphones/speakers without requiring a smartphone. Of course, you can also listen to the songs through the wearable's speaker if you prefer, but don't expect anything extraordinary.
Offline voice control worked fine, although there were times the GTS 2 didn't respond to the voice commands. At the time of writing this, the GTS 2 lets you play/pause music, start/stop a workout, open an app, or adjust some settings. Amazfit also rolled out Alexa support, but it hasn't arrived on my unit yet.
Other nifty features of the GTS 2 include lockscreen password, screen rotation, and alert vibration customizations, making it easier to identify different alerts without reaching for your smartphone.
The Amazfit GTS 2 packs a 246 mAh battery, which is claimed to offer up to seven days of autonomy with the following settings and usage:
- Heart rate monitoring always on
- Sleep tracking enabled
- 150 notifications a day which light up the screen
- Display turned on 30 times per day by raising your wrist
- Operating the smartwatch at the highest screen brightness for 5 minutes each day
- Exercising three times a week
- Running for 30 minutes with GPS enabled
During my testing, the battery lasted no more than three days on average with the following usage and settings:
- Default watchface
- Lift-to-wake screen enabled
- Display brightness at auto
- Always-on display enabled for 17 hours
- Notification and alarm volume set to 50%
- Automatic heart rate monitoring interval set to one minute
- Sleep tracking enabled
- Receiving more than 100 notifications throughout the day which light up the screen and vibrate the smartwatch, consuming additional power
- Around 20 minutes of indoor walking daily
Once the battery is completely drained, you can use the charger bundled with the GTS 2 to charge the smartwatch. Amazfit says it can fully charge the GTS 2 from flat to 100% in around 2 hours, but in my testing, it went from flat to 100% in 1 hour 30 minutes on an average.
The Amazfit GTS 2 is a really nice smartwatch. It's lightweight and comfortable to wear, has a vibrant AMOLED display with good touch response, and the UI is smooth, too. Its 5ATM water resistance allows you to track your swimming performance, while accurate day and nighttime sleep tracking keeps you informed of your sleeping habits. The smartwatch also has 3GB of storage onboard, which means you can play music directly on Bluetooth earphones without requiring a smartphone.
Additionally, you also get a speaker and a microphone allowing you to take phone calls directly from the smartwatch when connected to the smartphone, and offline voice controls that let you operate the GTS 2 hands-free.
But, the GTS 2 isn't perfect. Its notification management needs improvement, and battery life is less than the GTR 2, which is expected since the cell itself is smaller (246 mAh vs. 471 mAh). Besides, the smartwatch doesn't respond to voice commands at times, but that's something Amazfit could hopefully improve with a software update. Additionally, redesigning the companion Zepp app would also be a wise decision since it's quite a mess.
Answering the question asked at the beginning: the GTS 2 does come close to offering an experience similar to GTR 2's, but its lesser battery endurance could be a deal-breaker for some. And then there's the GTS 2's design. The smartwatch looks nice and elegant, but its relatively smaller footprint might deter some from buying it over the GTR 2, which comes with similar features and can be used for formal occasions as well. It comes in Sports and Classic editions. The former is priced the same as the GTS 2 in India right now, which is INR12,999 ($175/€145), while the latter costs INR13,499 ($180/€150).
And if you want something more sporty, rugged, and durable, then you also have the option to go for Amazfit's T-Rex Pro, which too costs the same as the GTS 2 in India at the time of writing. However, it doesn't come with the speaker, microphone, offline voice controls, and internal storage for music playback. You can read our Amazfit T-Rex Pro review here to learn more about it, and the GTR 2 review over here.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Vibrant screen
- 5ATM water resistance
- Offline voice commands
- 3GB internal storage
- Accurate sleep tracking with REM sleep and afternoon nap monitoring
- Lets you create custom watchfaces and vibration alerts
- Notification management needs improvement
- Official app needs a design overhaul
- No camera control
- Unreliable SpO2 sensor
- Battery life
- 26 Mar 2023
Fabulous review. Thank you so much. Great job. Loved the photos of watch faces. All so good.
- 26 Nov 2022
I swim with it a lot for more then year and they are fine, so you should be able.
- 07 Oct 2022
This is not perfect for ios phone .