Technophile

Amazfit GTS 2: Basic health metrics done smartly

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on March 25, 2021

Overall, the GTS 2 is a good ‘value for money’ watch

It’s that time of the year when every manufacturer looks at what they launched earlier and then come up with successors! The Amazfit GTS 2 is the next iteration of the popular GTS from previous years. Subtle and simple changes have improved this watch, making it worthy of considering for your wrist.

To an untrained eye, the GTS and the GTS 2 would look very similar but there are some key differences, the first being the material used on the GTS 2 is now aluminium rather than plastic and this gives the watch a more premium feel to it. The “S” I guess stands for square and let’s just say it is inspired by the Apple Watch. It even has a digital crown, though rotating it does nothing, it is merely a button. The screen is a brilliant AMOLED screen which is vibrant and since it supports always-on it is attractive to look at. The watch is quite light at just over 24 gms and worn all-day and all-night doesn’t seem to interfere in any way.

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An eye on your health

The watch is now managed with the new Zepp app, which has all the health data as well as controls for managing the watch settings. New watch faces, reverse directions for being worn on either hand, alarms, customisation off the display etc — everything can be managed via Zepp. The app is supported by both Android and iOS though some of the features tend to work better on Android. Notifications, messages and calls all work but just better on Android.

As a basic watch, it has all the options of time, watch faces, alarms and timers and minor improvement in the timer app, which now allows for hours, minutes and seconds. Watch faces have also seen an improvement with the introduction of “modular” watch faces. One can at least choose the most relevant metrics to be displayed on the watch face. Still no support for dual-time or timezones, but I guess another iteration may fix that.

Amazfit’s smartwatches GTR 2e and GTS 2e to be available in India at ₹9,999

Amazfit watches have always had a strong focus on health monitoring features. The GTS 2 now gets the new Huami BioTracker providing all-day heart monitoring, the various sensors for training and exercise modes and, of course, the sleep tracker with REM sleep and naps included. Blood oxygen saturation is the new feature that many of the watches are introducing this year and the GTS 2 is no exception.

A word of caution with all the health features, these are just indicators to provide some insights but are not a replacement for medical advice from a doctor. After using the watch for a while you have a good idea of the range of the readings and can seek a medical opinion based on that.

Voice assistant

New on the GTS 2 is now the ability to take calls on the watch itself. This uses both bluetooth and WiFi to keep the watch connected to the phone and once set up you can easily take calls on the watch. Of course, the phone is still needed since the watch is not cellular, at least not the one introduced in India.

The GTS 2 also introduces a voice assistant. While it is supposed to eventually get “Alexa” for now it has some basic commands that can be used for hands-free operation of the watch. Useful to turn on the heart-rate monitor or even a workout mode. This works offline as well and does not need the internet to function.

With all the things happening on the watch, one wonders about the battery life. Well, the GTS 2 does not disappoint in that area. On average, you could go through a working week with many of the functions turned on, including continuous heart-rate monitoring. GPS does tend to suck out the life of any battery and if used continuously the battery would potentially last only three days. For those not wanting all the fancy stuff, a power-saving mode can give you a whopping 21 days of battery life. But for an average user I would say a working week is best.

 

Support for ‘cards’

The GTS 2 uses the Huami watch operating system and there is still no app store or support for apps on the watch. But changes have been made there as well and the watch now supports “cards” — these are frequently used built-in-apps which can be easily accessed by a swipe. So a quick glance at the watch with a few swipes can give you everything you need to know for the day. Alarms, calendars, health information, weather, all just a simple swipe away.

The GTS 2 now also has 3 GB storage for music. While is this a great addition, using it for music playback is somewhat painful. You cannot stream music directly to it, you have to transfer the media via the phone. The process is handled through the Zepp app and while it claims to be using WiFi it is excruciatingly slow. The watch supports only MP3 files, I did try uploading a high-res FLAC but it did not even show up in the file manager for the watch. Once the music is on the watch you can pair the watch with any bluetooth headphones. The Music app also allows you to control music playing on the phone.

Overall, the GTS 2 is a good ‘value for money’ watch. For anyone interested in monitoring some basic health metrics to semi-smart features the watch would be an ideal choice. The fact that it now looks smart and feels premium is an added bonus and you can certainly wear it all day and all night with little to no fatigue or discomfort.

Price: ₹12,999

Pros: Smart-looking, light, bright and vibrant screen, good VFM

Cons: No apps or app store, limited smartwatch functions, read-only notifications

Published on March 25, 2021

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