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Amazfit GTR 2 review

The Amazfit GTR 2 is a stylish smartwatch with solid fitness tracking skills

Amazfit GTR 2
(Image: © Michael Sawh)

Our Verdict

The Amazfit GTR 2 gives you a lot of smartwatch for your money. It looks good, offers decent fitness tracking and has now bolstered its abilities to perform outside of tracking steps or sleep with two smart assistants and a music player. It will also give you more battery life than its closely-priced rivals. It’s certainly not perfect, and its sports tracking is for casual workout folk only. If you like the idea of a good-looking smartwatch that does the basics right, it’s one to check out.

For

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Great quality display
  • Handy offline voice assistant

Against

  • Iffy sports tracking
  • Missing Amazon Alexa support

Two-minute review

The Amazfit GTR 2 is an Android and iOS-friendly smartwatch that costs significantly less than buying the newest Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

It offers many of the features you’d expect to spend more money for. That includes a design made from high grade materials, a high quality AMOLED touchscreen display and straps that you can remove to swap out and find new ones.

It comes in two design options with both offering the same features across both for fitness and non-fitness features. You’ll get built-in GPS and a sensor that will track heart rate 24/7 and during exercise. It can also take blood oxygen measurements for an additional hit of fitness data. It also works as a fitness tracker and ultimately that’s where one of its biggest strengths lies. It’s a good fit for step tracking and sleep monitoring than it is for serious sport tracking.

For smartwatch features, it does basic notification support well and it’s optimised for its great touchscreen AMOLED display. There’s two smart assistants in the form of Amazon Alexa and Huami’s own offline voice assistant. Though we only got the latter to work properly. You also get a built-in music player with 3GB of storage to transfer over your own music. It doesn’t however work with streaming services.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

To power all of those features it has the capability of going for 14 days and as long as 38 days in more basic use. You’re likely to get closer to seven days if you’re regularly using everything that’s available. Switch off things like the always-on display and heart rate monitoring and it will certainly go further.

It offers a good mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features wrapped up in a stylish round watch design with better battery life than its closest priced rivals. If you can live without it being the complete sports watch and like the idea of having voice smart assistants and a music player for a good price, there’s still a lot to like about the GTR 2.

Amazfit GTR 2: price and release date

  • Costs From $179 / £179 (about AU$250)

The Amazfit GTR 2 is available to buy now from Amazfit’s website with the GTR 2 Sport edition available for $179 / £179 (about AU$250) and the GTR 2 Classic edition is a little pricer, coming in at $199 / £199 (about AU$270).

That puts it in and around the price of the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Garmin Venu Sq edition without a music player. It also sits in the same price bracket as the Apple Watch Series 3.

Amazfit GTR 2: design and display

  • Comes in Sport and Classic versions
  • 1.3-inch AMOLED, always-on display
  • Water resistant up to 50 metres
  • Leather or silicone straps

For not a lot of money, you get a very attractive smartwatch in the GTR 2. It has a much cleaner feel to it than the first GTR and it sits much nicer on the wrist too.

There’s your choice of Sport and Classic options, which gives you either an aluminium (Sport) or stainless steel (Classic) case. Both offer 46mm cases with two physical buttons and a fully-round touchscreen display. The Sport, which we had to test, carries less grams in weight and in general didn’t feel uncomfortable or irritating to wear in any way.

That case is matched up with 22mm straps that come in either silicone (which we had) and leather options and feature a pretty standard watch buckle clasp to keep it in place. The good news is that it’s nice and easy to take them out if you’re not a fan, though we were pretty content with our silicone band. It’s always nice to know you can mix things up though.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The real star here though is the display as Huami continues to put the kind of screens on its wearables that you’d expect to find on more expensive watches and trackers. You’re getting a crisp, 1.3-inch, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED display with no sign of an ugly bezel as it stretches all the way to the watch case and it’s lovely to look at. The colours are great and there’s some really nice watch faces and widgets that show it off.

It’s bright too and you’ll likely not need it at full brightness either, which is a good thing as that will knock the battery life. You do also have an always-on display option too, but again, that will have a noticeable impact on how much battery time you get from it.

While it might not look like the kind of watch you’d want to jump in the pool with, Huami does make sure it’s safe to do that. It’s been slapped with a 5ATM rating, which means you can submerge it in water up to 50 metres depth. That also means this is one you can head into the shower with too.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Amazfit GTR 2: fitness

  • 24/7 activity tracking
  • SpO2 sensor
  • PAI Health scores
  • 12 sports modes

Hidden beneath that stylish exterior are the sensors and features to make the GTR 2 a pretty competent fitness tracker and sports watch.

You’re getting an accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to track motion and enable staples like 24/7 activity tracking and sleep monitoring. That’s joined by a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor and air pressure sensor to provide additional data when you head out for some trail running or climbing action.

There’s Huami’s BioTracker PPG sensor, which gives you continuous heart rate monitoring and the ability to better measure your effort levels during exercise. It’s also used to generate pretty reliable blood oxygen measurements, which are designed for fitness and wellness purposes as opposed to serious health ones.

For sports tracking, there’s 12 sports modes in total, which unsurprisingly includes running, cycling and swimming. It is surprising to find an open water swimming mode on a watch at this price and there’s even tracking support for skiing. You’ve also got built-in GPS to do a better job of mapping and tracking those outdoor activities.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

As a fitness tracker, it does a pretty good job on the accuracy front and presenting that data on and off the watch. It fell largely in line with the daily step counts we recorded on a Garmin watch, and it’ll let you view those step counts as they happened across your day to see when you were most active.

Huami also includes its PAI Health scores, which looks at heart rate instead of steps to get you thinking more about staying active on a regular basis. The problem is that it feels very separate from the tracking process as a whole.

For sleep monitoring, it did a solid enough job of recognizing sleep duration and when we fell asleep, which is something we can say pricier watches do struggle to do. One issue we did encounter is that heart-related REM sleep tracking data often didn’t get recorded at all.

That leads us into heart rate tracking in general, which is a better fit for continuous monitoring during the day and powering features like stress tracking as opposed to tracking exercise. Against a chest strap monitor, it just felt unreliable with its randomly high HR spikes even with the watch securely worn in the activities we put it to the test in.

That’s similarly how we feel about it on its performance as a sports watch. It came up a little short accuracy-wise for GPS-based distance tracking on most of our runs, while using the free training mode for our indoor workouts keeps things basic and also struggled to deliver reliable heart rate data.

Amazfit GTR 2: smartwatch features

  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Built-in music player
  • Amazon Alexa

For smartwatch features, you’re getting much more on the GTR 2 than you got on the GTR. It still works with Android and iOS devices and can handle notifications that aren’t actionable but are well optimised for the display. There’s music controls, the ability to take calls over Bluetooth, check weather forecasts and set up event reminders. You also have a nice array of watch faces to pick from as well to show off your fitness data or keep things simple and just display the time.

It’s now getting not one, but two smart assistants. The first is Amazon Alexa joining Fitbit in bringing the smart assistant to your wrist. While we were able to set up Amazon’s assistant in the companion app, we didn’t have much luck getting it to actually work on the watch itself. It may be a case that support hasn’t properly rolled out here yet.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

We did have more luck with the other smart assistant, which works without needing to be connected to the phone. This offline voice assistant does need to be set up in the app first and then when enabled will drop a small icon on your screen as you raise to wake it. Then you’ll be able to tell your watch to open music controls, get to the weather widget or start run tracking. It was responsive for us and once you familiarize yourself with the commands, it’s quite a handy addition.

The other big new feature is a built-in 3GB music player with enough room for anything from 300-600 songs in MP3 format. To get the music onto the watch, you’ll need to add them via the Zepp app and then sync them over. Once the music is uploaded, you can pair up some Bluetooth headphones and you’re good to go. It worked for us without any major issue when paired and tested with an Android phone. There’s no support here for any music streaming services, so it’s really only a useful feature if you own a lot of your own music. 

As a smartwatch it’s a competent performer. While it’s not the most complete experience, it does those basics well enough. Hopefully improvements can be made with the music features and Alexa is up and running properly and it will be an even better smartwatch companion.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Amazfit GTR 2: battery life

  • Up to 14 days battery life
  • 38 days in basic mode

One of the most appealing aspects of Amazfit smartwatches is that it won’t have you charging it everyday. That doesn’t change with the GTR 2.

There’s a 471mAh capacity battery that should deliver 14 days in typical use and 38 days in basic usage. That typical usage is based on using features like listening to music, using GPS, having the display in always-on mode and continuously monitoring your heart rate.

That basic mode involves ditching the Bluetooth connection used to pair it to your phone as well as things like heart rate monitoring and using other features like GPS more sparingly. 

In that typical scenario, we found this smartwatch is good for seven days and has the potential to go further. Features like heart rate monitoring, music streaming, turning on the sleep assistant and having that display always-on will noticeably have an impact on the battery performance.

Amazfit GTR 2

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

We also spent a few days in that basic mode as well and it’s a watch that retains its battery in a way that tells you it has the ability to go for weeks in much lighter use.

If you’re willing to juggle what you use and you don’t care as much about keeping tabs on your heart or richer sleep insights, then there’s every chance you can get those couple of weeks out of it.

When it does run out, you’ll need at least 2.5 hours to get from 0-100%. There’s no rapid charging support to get back to full battery any quicker than that.

Buy it if...

You want an attractive, affordable smartwatch
It might not cost a lot, but what you do get for your money is a stylish smartwatch with a great quality screen.

You want a music player
It’s hard to find a smartwatch this cheap that will give you a built-in music player to leave your phone behind.

You want a fitness tracker in a watch
The GTR 2 offers rich fitness tracking features including some insightful sleep that can be on whole reliable.

Don't buy it if...

You want a smartwatch that tracks your workouts
While all the features are on board to make it a good running or gym companion, it doesn’t quite deliver the accuracy to make it a good match.

You want a watch that works with Spotify
While the GTR 2 has a music player it has to be your own purchased music and audio to make the most of it.

Michael Sawh

Michael is a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specialises in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he has written for publications including Wired UK, GQ, Men's Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff. Michael is a keen runner and swimmer and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.