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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Bright display with customizable widgets
Lightweight and comfortable form factor
Solid GPS and workout tracking
Certain settings aren't straightforward
Battery life doesn't match 14-day claim
The Amazfit GTS is a stylish fitness tracker that logs workouts without breaking the bank, but the software lacks the intuitive and user-friendly design of competing models.
We purchased the Amazfit GTS so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Finding a stylish fitness tracker can be a challenge, but the Amazfit GTS obliges with a petite design and comfortable build for everyday wear. Available in six colorful silicone band options and a crisp AMOLED display, this fashionable wearable continuously monitors heart rate, sleep, and offers custom tracking for 12 different popular workouts.
I used this device for a little over a week while sleeping, hiking, and running to see how this stylish tracker delivered. Though tracking data was never an issue, the software and companion app fell short of delivering a truly intuitive, user-friendly experience.
The Amazfit GTS is a super-light device at approximately 24.8 grams but isn’t flimsy. The body is made with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, and the Corning 3 Gorilla glass covering the display is conveniently smudge-resistant. The back of the display is decidedly more plastic-looking, though the plate is covered in a matte finish with a pleasantly sturdy feel. The square watch face is slightly longer than it is wide, akin to the Apple Watch. In fact, if you don’t look too closely, this device is almost an exact copy of this outsize name in the wearable game.
Along with the crisp and easy-to-read display, the GTS's biggest asset is the flexible and durable silicone with a healthy selection of notches and two tabs to keep the band in place once you’ve latched it.
The always-on 348x 442 AMOLED display is very vibrant and easy to read with 1.65 inches of real estate. The main screen is also highly customizable. Two watch faces (one analog and one digital) come preloaded on the device (and more are available through the app), and most of the widgets on each option are editable to show the information that you want to view most frequently at a quick glance.
Along with the crisp and easy-to-read display, the GTS's biggest asset is the flexible and durable silicone with a healthy selection of notches and two tabs to keep the band in place once you’ve latched it. Though it comes in a single size, I was able to find a comfortably close fit on my small 5.5-inch wrist.
I was unable to test this device’s 50-meter water resistance for swimming or other aquatic workouts, but I did wear it in the shower without experiencing any issue. The manufacturer does note, however, that this wearable isn’t safe for hot showers or other water sports such as scuba diving, diving, and high-speed water sports, generally.
While the Amazfit GTS is stylish enough to wear all day and easily coordinate with your wardrobe and comfortable to sleep with, confusing interface issues impaired overall ease of use. Along with the modular watch faces, there are screens for nearly every data point measured, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the device.
Unlike most trackers, the top two data points on this tracker are Status (which is really steps logged) and PAI (personal physiological activity indicator, a number that’s calculated based on heart rate and activity). These aren’t common metrics most users are familiar with, and the way these widgets appear on the watch and in the app aren’t customizable.
It’s stylish enough to wear all day and comfortable enough to sleep with.
Swiping down from the top reveals other popular functions for adjusting brightness, locking the device, or entering sleep mode, but these seemingly simple options didn’t always perform as expected—and required the use of the side button, which serves as a back and multipurpose button, to exit out of.
One standout example is putting this device in sleep mode. Unlike most wearables that deactivate the display with a tap of a sleep icon, the Amazfit GTS presents several do-not-disturb options that aren’t clearly explained by the onboard descriptions. This felt like a severe limitation to the out-of-the-box comfort of this device, which extends to other areas such as viewing sleep and fitness data.
While the display looks great and is responsive, the lack of clarity about certain menu options, both the meaning and how to activate them, and the lack of control over data widget order, takes a few points away from the overall stylish look.
The Amazfit GTS supports 12 common workout profiles, including running and walking, which I used the most. While it wasn’t spot-on compared with my usual tracking device, the Garmin Venu, it wasn’t way off the mark. On one 3-mile run, the Amazfit GTS was less than 1 minute behind and the pace also followed suit at 9 seconds slower and 275 steps shorter, while heart rate was less accurate at about 15 beats faster than the Venu. Another pleasant consistency was the reliable onboard GPS and automatic stop/start feature that worked fairly well, though with some delay.
The Amazfit GTS supports 12 common workout profiles, including running and walking, which I used the most.
The overall scope of data captured is relatively detailed and includes information runners appreciate like cadence and lap pace, but the app limits detailed or easy insights from the data since it doesn’t break down workout data by type and lumps everything together in weekly, monthly, or yearly views.
This device is also capable of tracking sleep data in a relatively extensive way, complete with sleep phases, times awake when you fell asleep and woke up. The watch never failed to track data and as far as I could tell, sleep and wake times were accurate, but reading the data was a little less straightforward.
While sleep data is elaborate, it’s presented in a way that requires a lot of scrolling or tapping back and forth across screens. For that reason, I never felt like I received a concise tip for bettering or understanding my sleep habits, which made the data feel a little too overwhelming and repetitive to make it approachable. This is an issue I had with referring to the app for any supplementary information.
The best fitness trackers and smartwatches also have intuitive companion apps, but that’s not a great strength of the Amazfit GTS. Like most wearables, the Zepp app (formerly Amazfit) is required to initially set up the device and view tracked data in more detail.
Too often in the app and on the device itself, there seems to be a disconnect between the user and the data and how to get the information you’re looking for.
While the setup process was uncomplicated in terms of getting the watch to a usable state, I never felt at home in the app even after a week or so. I suspect that no amount of time would really change my experience with the placement and presentation of data points.
Too often in the app and on the device itself, there seems to be a disconnect between the user and the data and how to get the information you’re looking for. While there are many fields related to body measurements within the app that could offer a fuller wellness picture, they all seemingly require the extra step of manual input.
And besides the slew of features that are greyed out if not applicable to the device, there is too much ambiguity about coverage for other fields such as VO2 max and training load, which the Amazfit doesn’t seem to measure comprehensively—but which the app doesn’t make clear.
Also, the arrangement of data and explanations about how this data is sourced can feel like a bit of a maze to maneuver. There’s an icon in the upper-right corner of the app home screen that leads to all data, which is broken down into categories that aren’t wildly intuitive, such as Status data and Health sign.
Certain data points such as PAI, like other areas of the Zepp app, are backed by scientific citations and explanations of importance, but there’s just too much text to make any of it digestible or glanceable.
While I gathered that a PAI of 100 seemed to be ideal for cardiovascular health, the app further complicated things by suggesting, for example, a 120-minute indoor workout to gain 15 PAI. It was difficult to grasp why that would be worth it or realistic, and like many areas of the software, it felt more flashy and underdeveloped than insightful.
The manufacturer bills the battery longevity at an impressive 14 days with typical usage in smartwatch mode, which includes continuous heart rate and sleep monitoring and logging workouts three times a week.
That’s pretty much the way I used this device, though with maybe an extra workout or two and with the display in always-on mode, and the battery drained by day seven. On the bright side, it recharged quickly in less than the manufacturer’s 2-hour estimate. Amazfit also claims that the battery can last up to 46 days in basic mode without Bluetooth or heart-rate monitoring turned on.
The Amazfit GTS retails for about $120, though it’s possible to purchase it closer to $100. While it’s more on the budget-friendly end of the spectrum, its Apple Watch-adjacent design doesn’t extend to the benefit of the first-rate fitness technology you’ll find in its alter ego.
Spending between $100 to $130 for a style-conscious, band-style fitness tracker from heavy hitters such as Fitbit and Garmin could increase the tracking benefits considerably with extras like VO2 Max and SPO2 monitoring. For a little more (or less), gaining a user-friendly layout and companion app could be worth losing the Apple Watch aesthetic this device works hard to mirror.
While the Amazfit GTS sort of looks like an Apple Watch, it doesn’t really come close to performing like one. The Garmin vivosmart 4 is much more in line with what the GTS delivers. For $130, this band-style tracker offers a streamlined design with a few upscale touches like metal finishings and attractive band colors, but it also analyzes much more than the GTS does. It tracks stress, VO2 max, blood oxygen saturation, and measures what Garmin calls body battery, which keeps you attuned to energy levels throughout the day.
The vivosmart 4 is also safe for swimming and offers Android smartphone users the ability to respond directly to messages with canned replies, which the GTS lacks. Though the Amazfit GTS has a potential 2-week battery life in smart mode, the vivosmart 4 is good for a full week, which is on par with what I experienced from the GTS. And as a dedicated Garmin wearable user, I can attest to the generally more intuitive companion mobile app the vivosmart 4 and other models from this brand use over the Amazfit/Zepp app.
A stylish fitness tracker with more potential than polish.
The Amazfit GTS is comfortable and stylish and performs the basic fitness tracking tasks relatively well, but the confusing ecosystem diminishes the polish. If you love the look of the Apple Watch, this is a budget-friendly look-alike. But if you want a strong balance between performance and looks, the Amazfit GTS may not deliver.
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