The Amazfit GTR is a highly competitive smartwatch in the sub 200 USD price range. It has all the design elements and the hardware to pull off its features. Unfortunately, its software experience and companion app will make you think twice about picking this one up.
|✅ 2-Week Battery Life||❌ Poor Notification Implementation|
|✅ Clear and vibrant display||❌ Slow Watch Face Syncing|
|✅ Lightweight||❌ Not the best button implementation|
|✅ Elegant Design||❌ Unoptimized Software Experience|
|✅ Premium Build Quality|
It has the looks and features that can match any smartwatch in this price range. Plus, it has a form factor that is well suited for daily use. On the outside, it may just be the perfect smartwatch for casual users.
However, the Amazfit GTS, which we have previously checked out, has its fair share of issues in the software. And the Amazfit App wasn’t too enticing the last time that we tried it.
Given these reasons, will the Amazfit GTR be different from the GTS? Or will it leave us wanting more just like the GTS? Keep on scrolling to find out.
You can head over to our Amazfit GTR vs. Amazfit GTS comparison for a more detailed look at the difference between these two smartwatches. You can also check out our full review of the Amazfit GTS. And if you are interested in seeing how well the Amazfit GTR fares against the rest of the competition, you can check out our Amazfit GTR vs. Huawei Watch GT 2 Comparison.
I personally purchased the Amazfit GTR for $173.28 USD.
Amazfit Brand Overview
Amazfit is a newcomer to the smartwatch industry. They are a US-based company that was only established in 2016. However, they have mostly been getting more attention due to the number of products that they produce each year.
Amazfit is currently the exclusive partner of Xiaomi. Together, they have become the second-largest wearable manufacturer. This is an impressive feat, given their relatively young age in the industry.
Their current lineup is more diverse and targets a wide range of audiences. They have budget offerings such as the Pace series as well as more high-end watches such as the Stratos Series. The Amazfit GTS is, of course, part of their midrange series aimed at casual users.
Packaging & Accessories
Before we get to the watch, let us briefly tackle the unboxing experience. Of course, the packaging does not affect the performance of a smartwatch. However, we still put a fair amount of emphasis here since this is our way of gauging how much effort a company has put in designing a product.
In our review of the Amazfit GTS, we mentioned that we were not impressed by its packaging. The GTR goes for the same style but makes the necessary improvements to make it match its price point.
The most noticeable changes are the all-black color scheme and the new holographic box art that will produce different colors depending on the lighting. These are the extra touches that we expect from a higher-priced product.
The unboxing itself is similar, and you will get the same content as the GTS. You get the watch, the proprietary charging cable, and some paperwork to help you get started. Overall, it still feels like a piece of tech rather than a luxury watch, but it is enough to get us excited to use the smartwatch.
Design & Build Quality
The Amazfit GTR is a well-built smartwatch with looks that can compete with any of the sub 200 USD models.
The GTR is a more traditional looking smartwatch with a round display. It is going for that premium wristwatch look, which is immediately evident with the aesthetics and the choices of materials used on the watch. Our unit is the aluminum version, but it is also available in stainless steel and titanium.
The GTR features two buttons on the side and has a noticeably large bezel with markings that mimic the ones found on analog watches. We’ll be talking more about it in the display section.
The GTR is available in two sizes. There is the 47 mm version that we have here, as well as a smaller 42 mm that is roughly the same size as the Amazfit GTS. That is always highly appreciated as it lets users decide which version fits them best.
Overall, the Amazfit GTR has all the design elements that make it a competitive smartwatch in this price segment. It is, of course, the software that will ultimately decide its fate.
Weight and Dimensions
Here are the dimensions of the Amazfit GTR: 47.2 x 47.2 x 10.75 mm. The 47 mm version is quite big, which I think is good since it can support a larger display that makes the whole experience better.
In terms of its weight, the Amazfit GTR is surprisingly light. You’d think that it would be a heavy watch based on the looks and the size of the watch, but this isn’t the case as it only weighs at around 36 grams. In comparison, the Huawei GT 2 that’s roughly the same size, weighs 41 grams.
And despite its lightweight design, it is worth noting that the GTR did not compromise on the feel and the build quality. This is a huge upgrade over the Amazfit GTS that had a build quality that unfortunately matches its lightweight design.
The GTR is a well-built smartwatch that has no noticeable weak points. Even after a few weeks of daily use, we still haven’t noticed any wear and tear on the device. The screen is well protected, and you shouldn’t be afraid if you ever accidentally bump into different objects.
The buttons also feel great. Button presses are tactile and are expected to last long. Everything about the build quality just inspires confidence, and the watch just feels like it truly belongs in the more premium price segment.
However, we will have to point out that the back portion of the watch does not feel as great as the rest of the body. The whole heart rate scanner area has a plasticky feel. It doesn’t feel as cheap as the Amazfit GTS, though, and thankfully, it is not noticeable while wearing the watch.
Overall, the GTR has a great build quality and is worthy of being a daily driver.
The GTR comes with various strap options such as silicone and leather. Our unit came with a faux leather strap that perfectly matches its premium looks. But if you aren’t a fan of the stock options that come with the GTR, then you can easily replace it with offerings from third-party manufacturers.
The stock leather strap did feel a bit stiff at first, which made it challenging to put on. But in the long run, there were no noticeable problems.
In terms of comfort, when combined with the lightweight design of the watch, I could wear the GTR all day long. I had no problem fitting it on my wrist (6.5 inches), so I imagine it will also fit almost anyone.
The Amazfit GTR has an excellent OLED display. It is capable of producing sharp images thanks to its 454×454 resolution. The text can also be easily seen regardless of the lighting conditions. The colors are vibrant, which makes looking at the different watch face designs a treat.
The GTR’s screen can get bright. The auto-brightness does a good job, but you can set it to manual brightness and max out the display if you prefer to do so.
The GTR has a significantly large bezel. It tries to hide it by integrating the bezel to the overall design of the smartwatch. It works well, especially when paired with the analog watch face designs. The touch screen is also very responsive to touches, which made the overall experience great.
The GTR is utilizing a Bluetooth 5.0 chip that offers a solid Bluetooth connection. It also offers a weather app, compass, timer, stopwatch, and “find my phone.” Interestingly enough, the GTR also has a “find my watch” feature, but this functionality is quite limited since the GTR does not feature a speaker.
An area where the GTR was noticeably lacking was in phone calls. It didn’t feature a microphone or speaker, so it is expected that it will have little to no functionality for phone calls. However, the way you can interact with incoming phone calls is also quite limited.
You can only mute or cancel incoming phone calls. There is no option to answer them or even make phone calls. This can be a deal-breaker for those who heavily rely on their smartwatch for managing important alerts such as phone calls.
The Amazfit GTR did not have an internal memory meaning it could not store or playback songs. It does have media controls for your smartphone. However, I did not find myself using it too much because of the noticeable lag. It does work, but if you are easily annoyed by a one to two-second delay after hitting the buttons, then you won’t enjoy this feature.
Health and Fitness Tracking
The Amazfit GTR has a complete set of fitness and health tracking features that are expected on a watch at this price range.
The Amazfit GTR nails the basic health monitoring features that any smartwatch should have. It has a heart rate sensor, sleep tracker, step tracker, and various workout modes.
The heart rate tracking supports a 24/7 monitoring mode, and the results were fairly accurate. However, it occasionally made some mistakes and showed unrealistic results. This was evident when the heart rate monitoring was still working and kept showing results even if I wasn’t wearing the watch.
The Amazfit GTR also offers sleep tracking. However, this is arguably its weakest feature. The GTR cannot show your sleep stats on the watch. It isn’t even mentioned in the UI.
To learn about your sleep stats, you’d have to access the Amazfit App. This has been frustrating during my use case because I often get up earlier than expected. And when this happens, I want to quickly check if I have already gotten enough sleep.
I never want to open my phone during these instances because I might get distracted by notifications, and I might not be able to get back to sleep. This is an issue shared by both the Amazfit GTR and GTS.
The Amazfit GTR also does a good job of tracking daily activities. It also reminds you to stand up if you have been sitting for too long. It did make mistakes from time to time and reminded me to stand up even if I haven’t even sat down yet. But this has also happened in my other smartwatches, so it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
The Amazfit GTR performs well when it comes to fitness tracking. It covers all of the basics, such as Outdoor Running, Walking, Outdoor Cycling, Treadmill, Indoor Cycling, Open Water Swimming, Pool Swimming, Elliptical Trainer, Climbing, Trail Running, Skiing, and Freestyle.
I was quite satisfied with the results, and they were consistent with other smartwatches in the same price range, such as the Huawei GT 2. It is worth noting that it doesn’t have too many sports modes available, so sports enthusiasts may not be satisfied with the GTR.
They GTR did make some occasional mistakes when counting steps. I often notice that it was registering steps, even if I wasn’t walking. But it is an issue that smartwatches in any price range suffer from, so it isn’t entirely Amazfit’s fault.
Amazfit GTR Software Experience
The Amazfit GTR’s Software Experience is its biggest downfall.
In terms of the aesthetics of the icons and the overall UI, the Amazfit GTR keeps it simple. It does leave some hints of its Eastern DNA as it shares some design elements from Chinese smartphones, mainly Xiaomi. But overall, the icons are well designed, and the GTR should sit well regardless of what smartphone you are using.
The Amazfit GTR has a simple and easy to understand UI. It is quite similar to other smartwatches. But in my opinion, the GTR’s UI is not well optimized as a lot of essential shortcuts are missing.
The GTR’s main screen contains the main watch face as well as several fitness apps such as the heart rate scanner and activity tracker. Swiping up lets you access the main menu. This feels very convenient and natural until you realize that the GTR no longer has a gesture for notifications.
Also, the GTR has no quick access to the settings menu. It has a shortcut for some quick settings such as the screen’s brightness (swipe down), but it would have been better if you had more options.
You can reprogram the GTR’s menu layout to put the notifications and the settings at the top, or you can opt to reprogram the second button to quickly access those. However, I think those are still slower than simply having to swipe up for notifications.
Now in terms of the performance, it encountered some slight frame drops in the home screen. But overall, the performance was smooth, and the OS did not experience crashes or freezes.
The GTR’s processor or RAM was not disclosed by Amazfit. However, it seems to be able to keep up just fine with all its features.
It is worth noting that the scrolling through the GTR’s main menu seems to be smoother. This is a minor point but still worth mentioning since it seems to be smoother than the lower-priced Amazfit GTS.
Watch Face Designs
The Amazfit GTR has a good library with lots of great looking watch face designs. There are classic analog watch faces, digital watch faces, and also futuristic/modern looking designs.
However, there are repetitive designs and some that don’t even fit the overall classy aesthetics of the watch. Choosing one that fits your style could sometimes feel like a chore since you have to dig through the App.
But the designs aren’t the real issue here. It is the way these watch faces are installed.
The GTR can only hold up to one watch face at a time. On top of its limited capacity, the installation process is also a pain on the GTR.
Installing watch faces takes around a minute. This entire process is discouraging, especially if you wish to cycle through different watch faces.
The GTR does not officially support third-party watch faces. Amazfit does give you some the ability to customize some watch faces, but the background image is the only thing that you can change.
Additionally, the Amazfit GTR also supports Always On Display (AOD). However, its implementation seems to be just an afterthought. There are two watch faces available on the GTR.
And it is also odd that the raise to wake functionality cannot be disabled when AOD is turned on. I think that defeats the purpose since slightly tilting the screen will unlock the watch and default to its home screen.
The biggest misstep that Amazfit took with the GTR (and the GTS) is the button implementation. The buttons are highly inefficient due to how Amazfit chose to utilize them.
The second button gives access to various workout modes. It can also be reprogrammed to quickly access most apps on the GTR. However, it is the first button that is the real issue.
The first button wakes up the screen on both watches. It also acts as a home button if you are anywhere outside the home screen. However, its primary function only controls the screen on and off.
I think that’s pretty much useless since you never need to turn the screen off. Just put your wrist down, and the watches should automatically turn off the screen.
Despite the large display, the presentation of notifications is still hit or miss on the Amazfit GTR.
I am not a big fan of how notifications are handled by the Amazfit GTR. Like most smartwatches, your notifications pop up as soon as you receive them. However, if you miss your notifications, then you will have to navigate to the notifications tab (which is buried under the main menu). It would have been nice to have a shortcut to quickly get to your notifications.
There are several ways to get around this. You can change the order of the GTR’s menu via the smartphone app, or you can reprogram the second button to quickly access the notifications. However, I still think it would have been easier, faster, and more natural to have a smartphone-like gesture instead.
Another gripe I have with the GTR’s notifications is that you do not have a quick way of clearing all your notifications unless you reach a certain number. You have to delete them one by one by swiping and pressing the delete prompt. The ‘clear all’ option will only be available once you have more than five notifications.
I also do not like how notifications are presented on the Amazfit GTR. Long texts are broken into two lines. This can be confusing, especially when reading usernames on your social media alerts.
This was the same problem that the Amazfit GTS had, and it is quite odd why Amazfit has not addressed this on the GTR’s larger display.
Amazfit Smartphone App
The Amazfit App has a lot of features but unfortunately has a clunky and unoptimized presentation.
Unfortunately, Amazfit’s smartphone application is just as cluttered as the watch’s user interface. There are a lot of settings that you can modify on the smartphone app. However, I think it would have been better to have these options on the watch instead.
Setting up the Amazift app is also not a great experience. It offers you the option to log in with your social media accounts. But this option ironically doesn’t work. Tapping on the various social media icons results in an error, regardless of which device I used.
This then leads us to the incredibly tedious account creation process. Instead of being a quick one minute process, the app continues to ask lots of information even if they are not related or directly usable by the smartwatch.
But the biggest issue that I have with the Amazfit smartphone app is that it constantly needs to sync with the smartwatch. Every time you open the app, it takes a few seconds to update various data such as sleep tracking and steps. Again, this is incredibly annoying when you are half asleep in the morning, and you just want to have a quick look at your sleep stats.
Amazfit needs to rethink their approach to its smartphone app if they want to be competitive in this price range.
At the time of writing this article, Amazfit has rebranded their smartphone app to Zepp. Amazfit promises to bring many changes and improvements to the app, so we will have to wait and see if they will be able to fix the issues mentioned in this review.
The Amazfit GTR has excellent battery life. It has a 410 mAH battery that can last up to two weeks of regular use. Of course, features like Always On Display and GPS will drain its battery faster. But you will still be enjoying at least one week of use before needing a recharge. The Amazfit GTR also has a battery saver mode that can help it last up to 24 days.
In terms of its charger, the Amazfit GTR uses a proprietary magnetic charger that has a fixed cable. This, unfortunately, means you have to carry the whole thing with you. And if the cable breaks, you will need to purchase the whole charger Amazfit. But then again, this shouldn’t be too much of a deal-breaker since you probably won’t need to charge your smartwatch often due to its superb battery life.
The Amazfit GTR is a well-designed smartwatch that should be an easy recommendation based on the looks alone. However, the lackluster software experience and smartphone app bring the whole experience down. And that is a shame, considering there are other smartwatches that are just as well built as the GTR but have a better software experience.
If you love the Amazfit GTR’s form factor, or if you are upgrading from the Amazfit GTS, then the Amazfit GTR is a great option. But if you are looking for a smartwatch that performs just as well as it looks, then the Huawei Watch GT 2 and GT 2e are better options.