Amazfit GTS subjective review

I was eyeing the beautifull Amazfit GTS since it’s release and finally decided to get one. So here is my absolutely subjective review. 

Please keep in mind that I’m not a sport person and so, a watch mainly designed for sport may not fit my needs. This is my opinion about the Amazfit GTS as a SMARTWATCH.


A GOOD AND SIMPLE, CLASSY DESIGN

I like the overall shape of the watch and its no nonsense design. The grey model is more of a gunmetal tint and I really enjoy it a lot. 

The back is full plastic, not really good looking, but it's quite common even on more expensive watches like Fossil’s or Samsung devices. 

The armband is a standard 20mm quick release band, quite good quality and comfortable to wear. I find 20mm a bit too thin, but it matches the rather petite size of the Amazfit GTS and feels more unisex.

If the GTS is not as beautifull as a Huawei GT2, it feels more modern and is much better than the Fitbit Versa 2 with its rather inaesthetic squarish form factor.


OLED SCREEN IS A BIT DISAPPOINTING

The screen is an OLED panel, whaoo, for this price, that's great ! But as soon as I started using the watch I noticed a strange and ugly dirty pink hue on white and light colors.

In fact the viewing angles are extremely bad for an OLED panel. When you look at it straight above the screen, whites are quite pure and colors are good. But as soon as you tilt a bit your wrist the color shifts to this pinkish hue. This is quite annoying because you always look at it at an angle ... so you always get this dirty pinkish color. I suppose that, for the price, I should'nt have expected a good OLED screen. I’m not sure this is a serious issue for everyone, I’m rather picky about screen quality, you simply may don’t care at all.


A FAILED ALWAYS ON

Always On is nice to have ... if it is usefull and quite good looking. Here we have the choice between two AOD styles : digital and analog. Both show some data like the number of steps and the day ... but in so small letters it is impossible to see anything most of the time. 

Even the time is quite small. This leaves the screen largely empty and doesn't look good at all. This AOD is neither functionnal nor aesthetically satisfying.


In comparison, the Fitbit Versa 2 has a very good AOD, with 2 included and readable AOD faces ... and you can download many different ones, (some are free many will cost you a small price).


NOTIFICATIONS ARE BAD BUT CAN BE OK ... IF YOU TINKER A BIT

You won't get much out of notifications without tinkering a bit. By default the watch doesn't support emoji but you can flash a font file with emoji using the very good (but a bit overwhelming) Notify & Fitness app. It will give you emoji support, even recent ones, but only in grey levels. 
Unfortunately I still got some problems with notifications. My watch refused to show me all the recent notifications, only keeping the last one for each app. Bummer. So I uninstalled Notify & Fitness and installed Alert Bridge. Et voilĂ  ! Notifications are working like they should, each message making 1 notification in the list.

You cannot answer, not even using canned messages. In comparison a simple smartwatch like the MyKronoz ZeTime show color emojis (but not the new ones) and propose canned answer. To be fair, the Huawei GT2 doesn’t have emojis at all, no way to add it and doesn’t allow you to answer either. Garmin’s watches have canned answers too and Fitbit Versa 2 let you answer with emojis, canned messages or voice recognition using the excellent Alexa engine.


SOME GOOD APPS, BUT NOT MUCH.

- Weather app is usefull and shows quite a lot of details and 6 days forecast.
- Music remote is simple and efficient, but doesn't show the album art.
- You can set alarms directly on the watch but not reminders.
- Heart rate measure seems accurate, is simple to use and show a graphic, you can get basic explanations too.
- The Compas app will give you air pressure, altitude and ... compas.
- Chrono has 2 displays, analog and digital.
- Timer app is easy to use and can be configured from the watch.



THIS WATCH IS MADE FOR SPORT

There are 12 activities in the watch and sport analysis seems to be quite thorough, but this is definitively not my field so I cannot judge. There is no SPO2 measure, Garmin and Huawei watches have it and seems to offer more if you are serious about sport.


A VERY GOOD BATTERY LIFE

I didn’t use the watch long enough to check the battery life. It is rated for about 2 weeks without AOD and should work something like a bit less than 1 week with AOD. 


This is very good, in track with Huawei GT2. In comparison, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 can work for 1 week on a single charge with a rather dull always on reflective screen. The Fitbit Versa 2 is good for 6 to 7 days only without AOD and 3 to 4 days with AOD.


A VERY SWEET PRICE 

At around 130€ you won't get a better smartwatch for the price. The question is to know if it really is a smartwatch or just a good looking activity tracker... And if this is worth for you to spare about 70€ on the price of the overall incredibly better Fitbit Versa 2.


MY CONCLUSION

This is not a full smartwatch but a good looking activity tracker with quite good notifications (if you tinker a little) unlike the Huawei Watch GT and GT2 and their derivative Honor watches that are very disappointing on this side.

For the price it's quite good, the Huawei watch has a way better screen, a slightly better AOD, seems to have more sports functions and SPO2 ... but fails completely about notifications, weather and emoji support ... and is more expensive. 

Garmin watches do more about sports, let you answer to texts by canned messages, but are not as good for notifications, doesn’t have a nice screen and cost a lot more.

The most interesting device to compare with is undoubtly the excellent Fitbit Versa 2. It’s even better at sports and health and perfect about notifications, it has Alexa and let you answer to texts by voice. It even has a quite good appstore, many watchfaces and a very good Always On Display... And a way better app on the phone too.

If you are on a budget and ready to tinker a bit and if you are a sport person more in search of a good activity tracker with some notifications, you should consider the Amazfit GTS. If you can spend a little more, the Fitbit Versa 2 may make you happier.

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