Amazfit GTR Mini smartwatch review: A sleek package with big features
This new fitness-focused watch punches far above its $120 price
5/5 Medals of Yavin: Exceeded all expectations, especially at the low $120 price point
Vibrant, large display with thin form factor
Limited smartwatch functionality, no mic or speaker
Long battery life
Powerful smartphone application
It’s been decades since I started wearing smartwatches on my wrist and we’ve seen an explosion in the options available from Apple, Samsung, Google, Garmin, COROS, Polar, Suunto, Casio, and more over the past couple of years. I have at least 25 wearables available to wear and it gets tougher and tougher to figure out which two to wear each day.
Since I spent nearly two decades covering mobile and wearable technology at ZDNET, I tend to focus on the high end watches that are priced from $400 to $1000 since they tend to offer more and be constructed of the finest materials.
For the last few weeks I have been testing a new smartwatch that is priced at just $119.99 and unlike a few others I have tested priced below $200, this one punches up at the competition in the $350 to $450 price range.
I’ve tested a few Amazfit (previously Zepp) watches over the past few years and I found most of them quite impressive for the retail price. The new Amazfit GTR Mini is a slim, sleek, and stunning watch that will appeal to many people.
As explained in my palmsolo’s Refresh Rating Scale post, I’m awarding the Amazfit GTR Mini five (5) Medals of Yavin. If it was priced at $300 or more, then I would likely knock it down to four Medals of Yavin, but that $120 price helps get it a perfect score. However, it is not just the price that makes this a compelling watch.
The Good and the Bad
Despite all of the internal testing and trials, it’s rare to find a perfect product. Reviewers tend to push things to the limits and find unique situations where things may not perform perfectly.
Lovely high-resolution 1.28-inch AMOLED touchscreen display
Thin with stainless steel frame
Comfortable silicone band and magnetic charger
Couple week battery life
Full-featured smartphone app
Smartphone app may be overwhelming
No mic or speaker for calls or voice assistant
Limited app selection and communication functions
Hardware and Zepp OS 2.0 watch UI
When I unbox a product for review, I always think about what strikes me first and with the GTR Mini it was clearly the large size of the display combined with the thin form factor and light weight. At just $120, I expected it to be smaller and have a pixelated display with large bezels. I was completely wrong.
The AMOLED tempered glass display is gorgeous with crisp, clear fonts and an extremely responsive touchscreen. I’ve test inexpensive watches before that had unreliable swipes, laggy response, and other lackluster performance. The Amazfit GTR Mini has NONE of that and performs flawlessly.
The stainless steel frame is a nice touch with a plastic back and heart rate sensor area. There is a single button that toggles between the app launcher and watch face with most interactions taking place with swipes or taps on the display. A press and hold of the button takes you to the workout selection screen so you can quickly get started with your activity.
The included silicone band is supple and comfortable for 24/7 wear.
There are 126 sports/activities available to track with the Amazfit GTR Mini. These include running, walking, cycling, rowing machine, yoga, pilates, dancing, soccer, sailing, jumping rope, dodgeball, rugby, and many more.
In regards to health tracking, the GTR Mini can track heart rate, blood oxygen, and stress 24 hours a day. Other health measures include sleep stages, daytime naps, sleep breathing, PAI health assessment score, menstrual cycle tracking, and more.
Similar to a Garmin watch, there you can swipe from left to right off of the watch face to view cards (small widgets) that show the latest information for each card. Swipe up and down to scroll through them and tap on them to dive into more details. The cards are well developed with attractive design and lots of data.
You can connect the Amazfit GTR Mini to an iPhone or Android smartphone with a very similar experience. The primary difference is that you can use the quick reply function on the watch with a connected Android device.
As a data hound, I like the exhaustive Zepp smartphone application and the company has improved on it over the years. However, I imagine many people paying $120 for a wearable may not have an interest in spending hours exploring the smartphone application. You certainly don’t have to spend time figuring out all of the options available on the Home, Health, and Profile tabs, but it sure is fun to dive in.
If you do end up exploring the app, you can find features like beta sleep breathing quality, detailed content settings for the Morning Updates, shortcut card selection, and much more. Settings and options selected on the smartphone app are synced to your watch for a superb smartphone and watch experience.
More than 100 watch faces and 11 animated watch faces available through the Watch Faces option on the Profile tab. There is also now an App Store in the Zepp app that contains health and fitness, lifestyle, utility, productivity apps, and games.
It is common today for watch makers to support syncing the data collected by the watch to external services. Through the Zepp app you can sync workout data to services like Strava, Adidas Running, Apple Health, and Google Fit.
GPS, heart rate, and fitness performance
I wore a Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap with a Garmin Enduro 2 in hand, an Apple Watch Ultra on my right wrist, and the GTR Mini on my left wrist for a few runs and walks. The Amazfit GTR Mini matches all of the Garmin and Apple stats almost exactly with incremental differences across the board. One of my one hour runs even had a calorie burn difference of just 50 calories (960 vs 910 burned) between the Garmin and GTR Mini.
There were some minor heart rate differences when you break things down per minute on plots, but given I was using the most accurate chest strap to compare I was frankly stunned that the average and maximum measurements were within 2 bpm.
The sleep data from the GTR Mini also compared well to a WHOOP 4.0 device with the REM, awake, and deep sleep figures much closer than I anticipated.
Overall, I found the Amazfit GTR Mini to provide fairly accurate and reliable activity tracking, fitness, and health results.
I was also pretty stunned to see that you can customize the data screens for activities, arranging the data you want to see on multiple screens for an optimal training experience.
Specifications alone don’t mean much, but they are useful for comparing similar devices and checking that you are getting value for your money.
Display: 1.28-inch, 416 x 416 pixels, 326 ppi, AMOLED
Materials: Stainless steel, glass, plastic
Durability: 5 ATM
GNSS: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
Sensors: BioTracker PPG biometric sensor, accelerometer, geomagnetic, ambient light
Battery: 280 mAh for up to 14 days typical usage. 25 hours with continuous GPS tracking
Dimensions: 42.83 mm diameter x 9.25 mm thickness and 34.2 grams
Colors: Midnight Black, Misty Pink, Ocean Blue
If you do not have an activity/fitness tracker or a smartwatch and you are not sure if you need one or not, then the $119.99 Amazfit GTR Mini is a great entry level low-risk wearable to try out. It punches far above that $120 price point with onboard GNSS provided through five satellite systems, advanced heart rate monitor, and powerful smartphone application.
The watch itself is very well constructed, attractive, slim, and lasts for weeks. It’s been a joy to wear something so thin and not even think about charging it up for a couple of weeks. It’s easy to use and built for everyone so take advantage of the Amazon store and give the Amazfit GTR Mini a no-risk try.
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