Amazfit popularized the idea of a smartwatch in India with its affordable Bip watches. Later, it aimed at the slightly premium segment of watches with its Amazfit GTR and GTS, both of which grab eyeballs even to this day. The GTR was the badass watch every guy wanted to flex, especially with its thick bezels and a chunky form factor. It was a sluggish performer and it was nothing like an Apple Watch in terms of functionality. Amazfit took notes and released the GTR 2, the annual upgrade to its GTR class of watches. Also Read - OnePlus Watch, Oppo Watch, Amazfit GTR 2: Best smartwatches under Rs 20,000 in April 2021
You can get the Amazfit GTR 2 in Sports and Classic versions, costing Rs 12,999 and Rs 13,499 respectively. On paper, there’s a lot of new stuff here and for suckers of smartwatches (like me), it is an exciting option. Hence, I strapped on the GTR 2 for a fortnight as my go-to watch. Is it good? Is it meh? After using it, I feel most of you will be happier spending similar money on the Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve and Realme Watch S Pro. Also Read - Amazfit Bip U Pro set to launch in India soon: Check out what’s new in this one
For this review, Amazfit sent me a Sports version of the GTR 2 with the standard silicon strap attached. If you are considering the Classic version, most of the aspects will remain similar, save for the design. Also Read - Amazfit T-Rex Pro with 18-day battery life announced, to launch in India soon
Last year, the Amazfit GTR grabbed attention with is bad-boy chunky design. Buyers got to choose from two sizes as well. That’s no more the case with the GTR 2. The new model has ditched all that fat and gone for a sleek design – one that feels like a deliberate attempt at making the design unisexual. Not bad, given that both male and female buyers may be interested in the GTR 2.
The display now curved to the edges, including its fat bezels. Similar to the Mi Watch Revolve and Realme Watch S Pro, Amazfit has masked the bezels with dial markings. Personally, I feel this design element doesn’t go well with the design ethos of the GTR 2. The markings look tacky at best and I wish Amazfit had kept the face all blank. There are two buttons jutting out of the side, both resembling minimalist crowns.
The one with the red ring opens the menu whereas the other one is a shortcut key to the fitness features. The standard silicone strap with the GTR 2 looks bland and I wish the company had offered a leather strap as standard, given the premium one has to pay for the GTR 2. While it looks bland, the strap is comfortable to wear and despite wearing it throughout a workday, it did not cause any irritation.
However, I found it troubling to wear while sleeping. The massive dimensions of a smartwatch often led me to open it in the midst of sleep, which corrupts the sleep data record eventually. The display is said to have fingerprint-resisting coating but I eventually had to keep wiping smudges at the end of the day.
On the whole, the design of the Amazfit GTR 2 has a universal appeal and that’s where it wins half of the game.
The GTR 2 has a 1.3-inch AMOLED display like most smartwatches at this price range. An AMOLED display makes for a natural integration of the black bezels and display. Moreover, if you go for the dark theme watch faces, they look beautiful. Paired with the auto-brightness function, the display of the GTR 2 is a delight to check out at almost all times of the day. The standard watch faces seem bland but the Online Store on the Zepp app offers some interesting watch faces every week. I stuck to a Thanksgiving-themed watch face that cheered me up every time I lifted my wrist.
There’s an Always On Display feature too that adapts the watch elements (arms for analog faces, numerical for digital faces) for its style. Amazfit says it sips battery faster and on the days I was outside, I preferred keeping it off to conserve battery.
The smart bits
The GTR 2 is a smartwatch first and takes on fitness functions as its secondary role. Hence, I was interested to see it holds up here, given that the Mi Watch Revolve and Realme Watch S Pro have set fairly high benchmarks this year. The improvements made by Amazfit are notable but I feel there’s still some catching up to do for the company.
The software is a drastic improvement over the original GTR watch. The lags and stutter in the UI have gone down drastically and so have the quality of the UI elements. That said, the animations are still not the smoothest and it feels there’s a lot of stuff that most users may not need. For example, all the health stats are just a right-swipe away with bold icons and large text. However, a left swipe opens up the Google Discover-like page where it shows all the data in a vertical compressed list. There could have just been one of the options available as standard on the home screen shortcuts.
I admire the quick toggle settings aping the Android system and quick access to smartphone notifications. The GTR 2 still can’t read the Hindi font and doesn’t let you reply to notifications, the latter defeating the purpose of a large display. I wish Amazfit bakes the ability to reply to messages in the future with an update.
Access to the menu requires a press of the button, which itself opens up some of the basic health tracking apps as well as settings. You still can’t download third-party apps here (not a smartwatch then, eh?). The gestures are fairly easy to use on the move but the lack of a home button is sorely missed.
The GTR 2 gains a dedicated speaker and mic but the functionality is limited. One can use voice commands to do basic tasks such as open a health mode, or some first-party Amazfit app. I tried the voice commands for the first few days and they rarely worked. Moreover, the commands are unlike Google Assistant or Siri on premium watches, hence they don’t make sense most of the time. I was able to perform the same task faster with manual controls.
You can also receive calls on the watch, like an Apple Watch. The call quality is average and it does come handy during those times when your hands are pre-occupied with something else. The call is transmitted via Bluetooth and hence, you need to stay in close proximity to your phone. Sadly, you can’t make a call from the watch and there’s no access to a recent call list or contact shortcuts.
The Zepp app itself is crucial to the smart functions, as you still must rely on it to stream smartphone notifications your way. The app works as advertised for Android devices without dropping connectivity, but it is a mess on iOS. Despite the GTR 2 staying connected to my iPhone, the watch didn’t update the notifications.
If you still listen to MP3 music files, you can transfer some of them to the watch’s 3GB storage. The watch can then play it directly via Bluetooth to your headphones. I mostly used the onboard player to control the playback from the streaming apps I use on my phone.
The health bits
Fitness enthusiasts have a lot to like about the Amazfit GTR 2, courtesy of an extensive list of fitness functions. There are 12 sports modes built-in to guide you through different kinds of workouts. There’s the usual heart rate monitoring as well as SpO2 monitoring on the GTR 2. You can also track stress and even utilize breathing exercises to bring those numbers down. The PAI assessment system is back on the GTR 2, awarding a score based on your total workouts throughout a day.
I am no athlete and in the troubling world we live, outdoor movement is pretty limited. However, I did try out the walking mode on my quick strolls around my residence. The GPS tracked my whereabouts on the map accurately while the step count and heart rate data were on par with what my Apple Watch SE recorded on the other wrist, (with minor variances). That said, the watch doesn’t differentiate between the total steps taken in a day and ones taken during the walk session.
The SpO2 measurement is still painful to record as you have to hold your arm on one position for a relatively long time. The GTR 2 is slow to take on the readings and even with the lightest of movements, it fails to record the data. With the lack of a medical-grade blood oxygen monitoring device, I could not verify the data accuracy.
There’s a sedentary reminder that asks to move around every few minutes. Additionally, the 24 x 7 heart rate monitoring notifies in the event of unusually high heart rate data. Sleep detection works as intended, registering light, deep, and REM sleep patterns. You can also record naps throughout the day, something I was unable to do during my time with it. Female users may miss the ability to keep track of the menstrual cycle on this watch.
With a 471mAh battery, Amazfit claims the GTR 2 can go all the way up to 14 days on a single charge. I was able to get up to 10 continuous days with no AOD and no workouts. However, as soon as I switched AOD on and used the walking mode with GPS tracking, I had to recharge the watch every 4-5 days. Amazfit bundles a magnetic charging dock in the box and it is a struggle to get the alignment right at times. Once you figure out how to stick it to the dock, you have to wait for close to 2.5 hours for a full battery top-up.
After spending two weeks with it, the Amazfit GTR 2 turns out to be a delightful smartwatch. It looks good and has lots of functions as well as features to keep most smartwatch enthusiasts contended. The fitness functions are recommended for enthusiasts while the smart functions make it worthy of its Rs 12,990 price tag. Even the battery life is decent when you turn on all the features.
However, I also reviewed the Mi Watch Revolve (review) and Realme Watch S Pro (review) recently. Both these watches do 90 percent of the same functions and cost Rs 9,999. The Mi Watch Revolve has an equally appealing, if not better, design and a reliable set of both smart as well as fitness features. The Realme Watch S Pro retains the chunky design of the old GTR and has better performance across the board. Apart from the Bluetooth calling functionality, I don’t see any specific reason as to why you should spend the extra Rs 3,000 on the Amazfit GTR 2.