Amazfit GTS 2 Mini Review
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is the ideal wearable for beginners who are seeking a comprehensive fitness tracker in the style of a traditional smartwatch. It’s comfortable to wear, sports an excellent 1.55-inch OLED display, and will track all your key metrics with an optical heart rate monitor and built-in GPS. Battery life could be better, and it isn’t quite as smart as it looks – but other than that, there’s little to complain about here.
- Keenly priced
- Built-in GPS
- Comfortable to wear
- Disappointing battery life
- Not as smart as it looks
- No automatic fitness tracking
- UKRRP: £79
- USARRP: $99
- WaterproofThe GTS 2 Mini has a 5-ATM rating and can be submerged in 50m of water
- Always-on displayCertain clock faces will stay visible all the time
- SensorsHRM and GPS both included
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is a smaller, slightly less well-equipped take on the Amazfit GTS 2 and Amazfit GTS 2e fitness trackers. The key outcome of this slimming-down process, however, is a significantly lower price tag.
At £79 / $99.99, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini undercuts the likes of the Fitbit Inspire 2, while packing a larger AMOLED display than the cheaper Xiaomi Mi Band 6. It outdoes both in certain key health and fitness-tracking areas.
Make no mistake, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini really does give those more established fitness tracker brands something to worry about. Comfortable, intuitive, and full of features, it’s a beautifully rounded way for beginners and those on a budget to monitor their health.
Design and Screen
- Comfortable, slim fit
- Titanium alloy and plastic body
- 1.55-inch 354 x 306 AMOLED
In the world of sub-premium fitness tracker design, you have compact wristbands such as the Fitbit Inspire 2, and chunky sports-watch-a-likes such as the Polar Vantage M2. The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini’s design hits a sweet spot somewhere in between those two extremes.
As someone with fairly skinny, even dainty wrists, I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and unobtrusive the GTS 2 Mini was to wear around the clock. Despite its Apple Watch-aping squircle form factor, this 40mm watch weighs just 19.5g, and measures a mere 8.95mm thick (not including the sensor base on its underside).
While it doesn’t pack as premium a design as the GTS 2 or the GTS 2e, a titanium alloy rim stops it from feeling like a cheap Casio watch. The rear half of the watch is plastic, but that’s obviously the part that’s hidden away against your wrist most of the time.
The display is covered by 2.5D glass, which adds an extra dash of that premium sensation. However, it isn’t the diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating of the Amazfit GTS 2, which makes it less wear- and scratch-resistant.
My test model was finished in stealthy Midnight Black, but you can also specify it in Flamingo Pink or Sage Green colours. These colours aren’t just reflected in the silicone strap either, but also bleed into the rear plastic cover. In the case of the pink model, you also get a pink tint to the titanium alloy frame.
This is a solidly built unit, too, with a 5-ATM rating ensuring water-resistance up to 50m. All the better to track your swims with, of course.
Perhaps it’s a result of that familiar Apple Watch SE design, but I find it ever so slightly disappointing – and somewhat counter-intuitive – that the side button doesn’t work as a rotating crown. It’s a simple multi-functional button, albeit a satisfyingly tactile one.
Along with a smaller body, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini presents a smaller display. However, at 1.55 inches, it’s still comfortably big enough for the job. With a 354 x 306 resolution, AMOLED panel technology, and a maximum brightness of 450 nits, this screen outputs a bright, sharp and vibrant picture.
In combination with that square form factor, it’s actually useful for reading notifications – certainly more so than the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. It also enables the implementation of more densely detailed watch faces, of which there are more than 80.
Touch response is decent, too, although there’s a slight sense of lag and stutter to the scrolling animations. This is likely more of a performance thing than a display issue, however.
All in all, this is the kind of appealing display that you’ll want to be in constant use. It’s a good job there’s a wide selection of more than 60 always-on display clock faces to accompany those regular watch faces.
Once activated, this presents a very simple, monochrome watch display right up until you tilt your wrist, tap the display, or press the multi-function button to power on the screen. However, this will take its toll on battery life, since there’s no variable refresh rate function.
- Competitive step and heart rate tracking
- On-device GPS included
- Basic smartwatch functions, but Alexa included
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini packs an impressively comprehensive array of tracking features. You really aren’t missing out on much on what the expensive GTS 2 and GTS 2e offer, which makes this the best-value pick of the bunch.
Included are heart rate monitoring, blood-oxygen saturation measurement, sleep monitoring, stress-level monitoring, as well as menstrual cycle tracking. There’s also a built-in PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) health assessment system, which effectively amalgamates multiple points of health data via an advanced algorithm to present you with a single-value score that represents your health.
Despite its arbitrary appearance, PAI is an authentic beginner-friendly system based on research from the HUNT scientific body. Xiaomi also adopts this metric into its health and fitness trackers, and just like the Mi Band series, it would have been nice to have seen this metric more deeply integrated into the package, rather than left as an optional reading lurking on the periphery.
Many of these measurements are driven by Zepp Health’s (formerly Huami) BioTracker 2.0 PPG – the brand’s second-generation bio-tracking optical sensor. I found the readings to be solidly on point, and pretty closely comparable to the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. That also applies to the GTS 2 Mini’s accelerometer-driven step-count system.
If you’re someone who does a lot of high-intensity exercise, this still won’t be a suitable replacement for a dedicated HRM strap. But at this casual-pitched price tag, it works very well indeed.
After completing workouts, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini’s linked Zepp app will break down your performance into easy-to-parse graphs. Beside a map of your run or walk, you’ll get a representation of your heart rate over time, as well as a handy breakdown of heart rate zones. The latter tells you how long your heart rate was operating at light, intensive and aerobic levels, to name just three of the six categories.
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini can also track a vast number of sports and fitness activities. So vast, in fact, that when you dive into the Workout section of the App menu (just press that button) and tap the More Sports options, you’ll be presented with various sub-categories such as Indoor Sports, Ball Sports, and even Winter Sports.
Like Xiaomi’s similar UI, there’s still no place for tennis here – which, as a racquet sports enthusiast, I continue to find slightly mystifying. Especially when the likes of baseball, cricket and gateball are included. Still, at least squash has made the cut.
It’s also a shame to find that there’s no auto-workout tracking here. You’ll have to start every workout manually, or else the GTS 2 Mini will just sit there on your wrist as a glorified step and heart rate counter.
Perhaps the most notable technical inclusion here is GPS. Most trackers of around this price and cheaper will require you to piggyback on your smartphone for location data, but not the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini.
This could have been the perfect entry-level smartphone-free fitness tracker, but the lack of an on-device music playing facility scuppers any such ambitions. The internal storage of the more expensive models has been cut out entirely in order to bring that price down.
You can use the GTS 2 Mini to control music playback on your phone with a couple of lateral swipes, however. I tested both YouTube Music and Tidal, and both worked seamlessly.
Sleep tracking seems to be on point, too, with the free Zepp app providing an intuitive daily breakdown of your sleeping patterns. The timeline outlining how much of your night was spent in deep sleep, light sleep, REM and awake time, seems particularly sharp, with an overall sleep score letting you know how good a sleeper you are.
You’ll also be shown any variances over time, and whether you’re getting to sleep too late. It will track those brief 20-minute naps we all fantasise about having, too.
Like previous Amazfit wearables, the GTS 2 Mini isn’t particularly great as a smartwatch, despite its Apple Watch good-looks. Notifications are supported, and the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini’s crisp display makes reading messages quite pleasant, but I found that they didn’t always come across reliably. There’s no real interactivity to them when they do arrive, either.
On the plus side Amazon’s Alexa assistant is included, and is a lateral swipe away from the main clock face, which works well some of the time. At other times it takes an age to return with information (it has to piggy-back off your smartphone), or simply fails with a ‘network busy’ message.
Mobile payments aren’t supported on the GTS 2 Mini either, with NFC another costly component that’s been left on the cutting-room floor in the name of watching that bottom line. Basic functions such as weather updates and alarms are present and accounted for, though, so it isn’t a total write-off. But health and fitness really is the entire focus here.
- 220mAh battery
- Zepp estimates 7 to 14 days, depending on use
- Less than a week in practice with always-on display active
Zepp reckons you’ll be able to get between seven and 14 days of constant use out of a single charge of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini’s 220mAh battery, depending on the type of usage.
That may be so if you don’t go all-out in exploiting this wearable’s various functions. However, with the always-on display activated and several workouts in the bag, I found that the battery life tended to fall shy of that seven-day mark by a day or two.
Five or six days is still far from poor, but it does fall well short of other affordable fitness wearables such as the Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. And those who go for more frequent and/or intensive runs are likely to see that figure dropping further, suggesting that Zepp Health’s estimate was a little ambitious to say the least.
Of course, this is the price you pay for having on-device GPS tracking, not to mention a large, bright AMOLED display. I’d rather have these things and have to recharge a couple more times each month than not have them at all.
If you really do want to extend that battery life further, then turning off the always-on component will get you closer to Zepp Health’s estimates.
Should you buy it?
You want a fitness tracker that looks smart There’s no denying it – the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini looks a lot like an Apple Watch. That makes it perfect if you want the style of a smartwatch, but with the emphasis of a fitness tracker.
You want to minimise charging With all the features on and in full use, the GTS 2 Mini’s battery life falls short of a week.
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is an excellent-value fitness tracker with a stylish, comfortable design and an impressively vibrant AMOLED display. Its health-tracking provisions are on point, and the rare addition of GPS is more than welcome.
There’s a price to be paid in terms of battery life, and this isn’t a comprehensive package by any means. For just £80, however, you’ll struggle to find a more complete wearable.
How we test
We thoroughly test every fitness band we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Yes, it works fine with an iPhone.
With all the features active, the GTS 2 Mini will last less than a week.
No, there are no mobile payments here.