Amazfit GTR4 review part 1 : HARDWARE
After 3 weeks of continuous use it is time to write a detailed review of the Amazfit GTR 4.
I bought it with my own money for 199,90€. This review is completely subjective but sincere and my opinions are not altered by any partnership.
As you will find many unboxing videos on the web, I won’t talk about it. There are sport oriented reviews too, which usually tend to neglect a bit the smartwatch functions. That’s why this review will do the opposite and consider the Amazfit GTR 4 from a smartwatch perspective much more than a sport focused device.
When I saw the official pictures on the web I discovered a good looking watch with a quite original design. But you know all these pics are 3D renders and seeing the devices in person can change everything.
Having it in my hands immediately confirmed the first impression : the watch is beautifull, with something of an unexpected mix between a classic and a quite bold design.
The GTR3 was rounded everywhere to the point of feeling bland and uninteresting, Its design was too disapointing for me and I didn’t buy it.
On the contrary, the GTR4 aesthetics offers angles and ridges where the light can play, some flat surfaces, a thin shiny touch on the metal border around the glass and a matte finish for the rest of the body. If there are angles there is no uncomfortable sharp edge and the watch built quality is perfectly fine and satisfying.
I got the « Vintage brown leather » version (what a name!). The body color is not just regular cold grey aluminum, it’s actually a bit darker and much warmer.
GALAXY watch 4 (top) & GTR4
I have no way to tell if it’s a coating or the actual color of the aluminium alloy used but I can tell you it looks very close to titanium color and gives a very nice rather « vintage » aspect to the watch.
Amazfit GTR4 and Samsung GW5 pro titanium
The glass design is one of the delicate and beautifull touches in the GTR4 aesthetics. It’s a one piece round gass with a bevelled bezel which extends to the border of the case.
What’s so nice here is that this glass « bezel » is actually matte black with only shiny marks around the bezel. There is no anti-glare treatment on the glass, except on this matte bevelled border. This design gives the border a kind of metallic look which is quite impressive, it feels like a metal bezel, seamlessly transforming into glass. If you have a sense of details, this truely is a joy to touch and look at.
As usual with most smartwatches, the back of the case is plastic. This is a common trick to make the device look thinner, about 1/3 of the watch thickness is hidden under the recessed plastic backplate. It’s a trick, yes but it works well to give the impression of a slick and thin watch.
Overall, the GTR4 doesn’t feel thicker than a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or 5.
There are 2 buttons, on the right side only. The lower one is a rectangular metallic dark grey pusher with a red stripe. The top one is a large rotating crown in the same metal with a bright red core probably made of plastic or ceramic. The crown is large and thick, so scrolling through messages or apps is extremely convenient and fast but still quite precise. Asthetically speaking, maybe some people will think it protrudes a bit too much, but I kinda like it this way. What I don’t like as much is that this crown can easilly be pressed against bed sheets at night and wake up the watch … waking me up too thanks to the minimal screen brighntess being a bit too high.
Nice move, there is a watch orientation setting which lets you turn the interface to be able to wear the watch with buttons on the left side. Perfect for left handed folks … or maybe to avoid accidental button pressing ...
The standard quick realease 22mm leather armband leaves a less impressive feeling. Its design is perfectly nice, with color sewings, a matching buckle with the same color and some of the angular style of the watch case. But the leather looks and feel like faux-leather and I wonder how well it will hold with time. Anyway as it’s perfectly standard it can easilly be replaced.
The display is H U G E and that’s amazing because the watch doesn’t feel too big. It’s a beautifull 1,43 » 466x466 pixels AMOLED panel. It’s not the brightest display I have seen on a watch, the Samsung GW5 seems able to get significantly brighter under full sun, for example. But it’s bright enough to use outdoors.
The lack of anti-glare treatment is not annoying either, if you compare, the sapphire crystal of the Samsung GW5 is even more reflective.
The only issue with this panel is the lack of color calibration, giving an overall cold blueish tint even more visible in the evening under electric light. It’s brightness could get lower in darkplaces too, but this is not really an issue. At the lowest setting you can notice a slight flickering of the AOD display in some situations. This is not an LTPO panel.
One small disapointment comes from the lack of auto brightness in AOD mode, probably to preserve the battery. As a result, if you wake your watch in a bright environment, the AOD will stay quite bright even if you go to a dark place. Then you will have to wake up the watch to let the brightness adjust and get a darker AOD. This is not a huge inconvenience but the Samsung GW4 & 5 does have adaptative AOD brightness.
Surprisingly, the tiny speaker is perfectly adequate for a phone call or even for some light music listening. Obviously you won’t get much bass, but it’s not as bad as you may think and even if this probably feels awkward, you can listen to some music on this speaker.
I won’t make a deep GPS comparison here. I think that if you need critically precise localization you should’t rely on a smartwatch but on dedicated devices. I just compared with my husband’s Samsung GW5 and my track during a 3h walk in a city with some large buildings and some narrow streets was significantly better on the GTR4 than on the Samsung GW5.
GPS tracking GTR4 (orange) VS Galaxy Watch 5 (green)
My GTR4 was set on balanced GPS precision as I don’t need a more precise tracking. The GW5 track often went impossibly deep into buildings blocks when my GTR4 track just hesitated between one side or the other of the street. So I’m more than perfectly happy with the GPS !
GPS tracking GTR4 (orange) VS Galaxy Watch 5 (green)
I get easilly more than one full week battery life WITH ALWAYS ON DISPLAY activated but without wearing it at night AND with some activity tracking like 6h walks with GPS on balanced setting. Raise to wake is deactivated too as I find it useless with AOD. On my third battery cycle I even reached 9 days, yes with AOD.
This is excellent. My Samsung GW4 is good for only 2 days, maybe a bit more. This watch runs for a full week which is the perfect battery life. I just have to charge it every sunday ! The most amazing is that I can even use complex AOD watchfaces without reducing this impressive mileage.
75% last charged 3 days ago ... with AOD
1 week battery life mean you will need to charge it about 50 times a year. 2 days on a usual smartwatch means 150 charges a year. As batteries does have a limited number of cycles they tend to show reduced capacities after something like 300 cycles. After 2 years a Samsung or a Fossil Wear OS watch will show a decreasing battery life. The Amazfit GTR4 should endure 5 to 6 years before showing a reduced battery capacity.
As always, your actual battery life will depend a lot on your settings. AOD, raise to wake, GPS, advanced health tracking and music playing from the watch use a lot of power. If you don’t need these functions you will get a much longer battery life. On the contrary activating every possible function will consume a lot of power. This is true for any smartwatch on the market.