Ameya DalviJuly 23, 2021 14:25:58 IST
Amazfit has been steadily launching affordable fitness watches below 15,000 that are quite reliable and versatile. It was only natural that the company released the Followers of its GTR and GTS models, namely GTR 2 and GTS 2. But soon after its release, Amazfit launched two more models with a ‘2e’ suffix that looks quite similar, with comparable features but with better battery backup and are less expensive. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? We got the GTS 2e for review, and here we think about it.
Stylish design and comfortable to wear
While the Amazfit GTS 2e retains the rectangular shape of its predecessor, the design has sophistication. There is smoothness in the design and this watch has no rough edges. The way the right edge curves a little extra to accommodate the only button on this watch is pretty cool. 2.5D tempered glass blends seamlessly into a rectangular aluminum alloy frame.
The company has managed to keep the weight of the watch at 25 grams (without strap) despite additional sensors; impressive feat. The Amazfit GTS 2e is very comfortable to wear for long hours. The silicone strap does not cause sweating or skin irritation and can be replaced with a standard 20 mm strap if you do not like the ones included. I am always happy to see a regular belt buckle. It has one physical button that allows you to scroll through the menus and use the various functions of the clock on the touch screen.
Sharp display with better dials
Just like the GTS, the Amazfit GTS 2e has a sharp 1.65-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 348 x 442 pixels, which means 341 ppi pixel density, which is impressive. The touch screen is protected from scratches with a tempered glass layer and has a fingerprint-preventing coating that works very well. The display has automatic and manual brightness adjustment and is fully readable outdoors even in bright sunlight. Swipe your wrist to turn on the screen. If that doesn’t work, you can always press a physical button. Oddly, double-tapping doesn’t wake up the screen.
Normal sensitivity mode is not as sensitive here as other Amazfit watches, and it is better to select the “Sensitive” option to wake up the screen every time you swing your wrist. You can also schedule this option to be disabled from the app during sleep. Unlike its predecessor, you get a good selection of dials for the Amazfit GTS 2e in a partner app, and the transfer process is pretty fast. A few preloaded dials can be customized to display a variety of information about the number of steps you select, calories burned, heart rate, battery, and more. Quite a few faces can be recorded on the watch itself, which is good.
Simple interface and versatile application
As with all Amazfit watches, you need to download Zepp application, add your device there, and synchronize it with Bluetooth. The installation takes a little time at first, but after that things go smoothly. You can control several parts of the clock, such as screen brightness and action selection, from the device screen itself, but certain clock settings can only be accessed and configured from an application. Excessive confidence in the application has decreased significantly compared to the first GTS. After the initial configuration, you mainly need it to add timelines, set your fitness goals, receive daily / weekly / monthly fitness reports, and manage alerts and notifications.
There hasn’t been much change in the app’s interface over the last few years, and it’s starting to feel a little outdated. It also needs to be a little more intuitive, and the settings associated with it are grouped instead of scattered across multiple tabs. But it offers plenty of detail on different aspects of your fitness. The interface of the watch is easy to use. All you have to do is swipe down on the screen to see quick settings, swipe up to access notifications, and swipe left or right to scroll through certain functions like heart rate, PAI, daily goal progress, etc. You can select the options to display and in what order from the app. The physical button acts as a shortcut to all clock functions and also acts as a home button.
The performance is usually good, but the oximeter is temperamental
The Amazfit GTS 2e is basically a fitness monitor with a few smart watch functions. You can mute or reject calls from the clock display and read your messages, but you cannot answer the clock. You can choose to receive notifications from almost all applications in your phone, as well as event reminders and weather updates. Like most fitness watches that are not based on platforms like Wear OS or Tizen, there is no application ecosystem. You have to go pre-installed, and there are plenty of them.
The Amazfit GTS 2e has 90 different sports modes derived from 12 main types – indoor and outdoor – including walking, running, cycling, swimming and more. It also automatically detects six workouts – running outdoors, treadmill, walking, outdoor bike, pool swimming and elliptical. Indoor tracking is a bit inaccurate, although it tracks your outdoor life perfectly thanks to the built-in GPS. The phase counter often reports fewer steps when a GPS connection is not available, but it does not report incorrect steps. Also, the distance recorded with GPS tracking and displayed in the application is not synchronized, and the application reports smaller numbers.
The GTS 2e is 5ATM waterproof, so you can use it in the pool when they are reopened. The watch supports continuous heart rate measurement, and you can select the tracking frequency up to 1 minute. Ideally, keep the “Function Detection” setting on. When the watch detects some physical activity, it increases the tracking frequency for more accurate readings and analyzes. When you are ready to train, the frequency drops again to save battery power. All fitness data is available in the app and presents you with a daily, weekly and monthly breakdown of the various fitness activities performed during that period.
The sleep tracking feature works well. It gets the total duration of sleep on site from the moment you actually sleep until you wake up. It follows the quantum of light sleep, deep sleep, and awake time. REM sleep information is disabled by default and must be enabled from the application. You can also measure blood oxygen levels during sleep; This feature is in beta and seems to be a bit overcooked so far. Best to avoid it and save battery. The watch can also measure your stress level; You can review them manually or set it to track throughout the day. Stress is calculated based on the user’s heart rate variability.
The Amazfit GTS 2e has a couple of new features compared to the first GTS. It supports offline voice commands and also Alexa support that is neat but can do with polish. The GTS 2e also has a temperature sensor and can act as a basic thermometer. This watch also has an SpO2 sensor (oximeter) to measure oxygen saturation in the blood, but it is a bit temperamental. It takes about 40 seconds to get a measurement, and it often goes wrong if your hand is not sturdy enough with the dial facing up. I often had to repeat the process twice or thrice to get the correct reading, which makes it far from reliable.
Good battery life
There’s one thing we’ve been waiting for from Amazfit watches, and that’s good battery life. Amazfit GTS 2e will be delivered by that department. The company claims 14 days of battery life on a single charge under typical operating situations. In actual testing with sleep monitoring on for a week, heart rate measurement (HRM) set to 1 minute, cumulative GPS use for nearly 3 hours during testing, and five SpO2 readings per day, the battery lasted less than 10 days on a single charge.
These are pretty good figures, though not the best. With an HRM frequency of 5 minutes, fewer oxygen readings per day, and less GPS, it can take closer to two weeks. The built-in 246 mAh battery is fully charged in less than 2 hours with the supplied magnetic pin.
Price and judgment
The Huami Amazfit GTS 2e sells in India for Rs 9,999 with a one year warranty. This is the same price at which the first GTS was launched and is quite reasonable. For this price, you get a versatile, GPS-compatible fitness watch with a sharp AMOLED display, 5ATM water resistance, a variety of fitness modes and sensors, and a good battery backup. The only problem here is competition and even more so internal competition. Amazfit offers a handful of options that currently sell at the same or lower prices.
Typically, Amazfit GTS series watches are in a smaller and more rectangular shape than similar GTR series models. I prefer the bigger, round dial you get for the GTR, but if you want the latter with a bit of similarity to the Apple Watch, the GTS is the kit for you. The price of the first GTS is Rs 5999, which makes it an attractive deal if you can live without an SpO2 sensor and voice commands. The oximeter is not exactly the strength of the GTS 2e, which makes the GTS stronger given its lower price.
If you can’t live without an SpO2 sensor, you have the Amazfit GTR 2e at an exact price than the GTS 2e with a larger screen and an even better battery backup. If you want to stay in the same format, there is also the GTS 2 Mini which is good for Rs 3000 less. So while the Amazfit GTS 2e may not be a bad fitness watch, it is not a straightforward recommendation due to the factors mentioned above, and there is every chance that it will drown the home team.