The Amazfit GTS 3 is a good-looking smartwatch at an attractive price. It offers a decent mix of smartwatch and fitness features that, on the whole, work really well.
- Great screen
- Good features for the price
- Sleek design
- Heart rate performance
- Zepp OS lacks big-name apps
- Poor battery life when all features are in use
- UKRRP: £149
- USARRP: $149
- iOS and AndroidSupport for both iPhones and Android phones
- AffordableConsidering the price, there are a lot of fitness features here
The Amazfit GTS 3 is the update to the Amazfit GTS 2, a square smartwatch that sits in the brand’s fashion watch range. It promises to deliver smartwatch and fitness features in a stylish package for less than £150/$150.
Like the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro and the GTR 3 that were launched alongside it, the GTS 3 runs on Amazfit’s new Zepp OS operating system. This seeks to bring Amazfit watches closer in line with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Fitbit smartwatches, by providing access to apps both of the native and third-party variety, along with improvements to the overall software experience.
That price tag puts the Amazfit GTS 3 up against smartwatches such as the Fitbit Versa 2, and comes in cheaper than an Apple Watch Series 3. Amazfit has made great progress with its smartwatches in recent years, so is Zepp OS the missing ingredient to complete that puzzle of creating a great smartwatch?
Design and Screen
- Slim, square aluminium design
- Crisp AMOLED screen
- Available in three colours
- Waterproof up to 50 metres
Amazfit continues where it left off with the GTS 2, sticking with a square design that doesn’t sit hulking on the wrist, nor does it feel it either.
Here, you get a 42mm watch case with curved corners, made from an aluminium alloy and available in your choice of Graphite Black, Ivory White or Terra Rosa colours. I had the black version in for review, paired with a 20mm-sized silicone strap that uses a quick-release set up to make it easy to switch out other straps.
It’s a lovely looking watch overall, which displays a svelte, minimalist feel that almost belies the fact it costs less than £150/$150. It doesn’t feel cheap, the weight is nice and at 8.8mm thick, it’s by no means a chunky beast, which is welcome.
To take control, there’s just a solitary physical button compared to the two you get on the GTR 3 and GTR 3 Pro. It looks like a traditional watch crown and can be pushed to wake up the screen, plus you can twist to rotate and scroll through menu screens too. However, most of your interactions will be through taps and swipes of the 1.75-inch, 390 x 450 Ultra HD AMOLED screen, which delivers a bump up in screen size and resolution on the GTS 2.
Amazfit has done a sterling job of putting high-grade displays on its affordable smartwatches and this carries through to the GTS 3. It displays the lovely deep blacks you’d associate with a good-quality AMOLED. Colours are accurate, too, and it’s sharp and adequately bright to view indoors and outdoors. The screen is also nicely responsive to taps and swipes, and there are no worrying signs of lag when you’re booting up features and modes such as workout tracking.
You can use it in an always-on mode, or even schedule when that always-on mode is in use, to ensure it’s engaged when you most need it.
On the durability front, the GTS 3 is waterproof up to 50 metres, which makes it suitable for use in a pool and in the shower. I’ve taken the GTS 3 for a swim and can confirm that it’s comfortable to wear in the water; it doesn’t weigh heavy while swimming at all.
The GTS 3’s design is definitely a huge plus point in my eyes. It’s a smart-looking smartwatch that keeps things simple in the nicest way. It comes packing a great screen, too, and you even have the option to switch out the straps.
Features and Performance
- Zepp OS
- Two smart assistants
- Misses Wi-Fi and speaker from Pro model
Like the GTS 2, the GTS 3 is a smartwatch that you can use with both Android handsets and iPhones – mine was paired with the former. Overall, the GTS 3 has been stress-free to use, with no major issues to report.
To get things set up, you need the Zepp companion app – which, thankfully, has received a bit of a spit and polish. It features a homepage to view your health and fitness stats and an area from which you can adjust watch settings such as enabling notifications, advanced health monitoring and accessing watch and app stores.
That brings me nicely to Zepp OS, which is Amazfit’s move to offer a more fully fledged smartwatch experience. The company is promising a slick UI experience, with the addition of an app store from which you can download mini apps, with a third-party app for adding smart home controls. Amazfit is also working on a web-based app developer kit to bring more apps and watch faces into the fold.
The app store lives only in the companion app, and it’s perhaps generous to call it a store since it doesn’t come anywhere close to rivalling the Apple App Store or Google Play Store in terms of what you can download. I downloaded mini apps such as a toothbrush timer and a calculator, but there are no big-name apps to be found, which I was hoping to see.
The Zepp OS experience on the watch at least is a positive one. It remains heavily gesture-based, having you swipe from all directions of the main watch face screen to navigate, and using the physical button to access the apps list. It won’t take you too long to familiarise yourself with the GTS 3.
You get a fair number of key smartwatch staples here. You can view notifications, but you can’t respond to them. Amazfit offers its offline voice assistant using a built-in microphone to deliver hands-free control of features such as launching music playback controls, and Amazon Alexa to ask queries once your account is linked in the Zepp app.
You are lacking some features included with Amazfit’s GTR 3 Pro, however. There’s no speaker, which means you won’t be able to take calls over Bluetooth. There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, which is tied to the fact that there’s no built-in music player here. There’s no support for payments or LTE cellular connectivity here, either.
At least the features that do make the cut work well. Notifications appear promptly and are nicely optimised for the GTS 3’s square display. Music playback controls worked effortlessly when I played Spotify playlists on my phone, and the offline voice assistant and Amazon Alexa assistant are surprisingly responsive to commands. There’s even a useful list of things you can ask the offline version hidden in the watch settings.
The app store element that Amazfit offers via Zepp OS is clearly still very much in its early stages– and I’d hope that things will quickly improve on that front. Although like Samsung, Huawei and Fitbit have found, this is no mean feat. Thankfully, Amazfit has a smartwatch that’s easy to use, shows no real signs of performance issues, and has the potential to grow as a smartwatch platform.
- Over 150 sports tracking modes
- Supports five satellite systems for outdoor tracking
- Automatic exercise recognition for eight activities
- VO2 Max and additional training insights
From a software point of view, Amazfit has always been seen as prioritising its health and fitness tracking features. While it doesn’t include serious health monitoring tools such as an ECG sensor or the ability to monitor blood pressure, its offering will allow you to track runs, metrics such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels, plus daily stress levels.
On the sensor front, there are the typical motion sensors to track movement indoors and for activities such as pool swims. There’s a barometric altimeter to measure elevation and a temperature sensor to detect skin temperature changes, although the data generated didn’t feel hugely reliable.
Amazfit uses a BioTracker 3.0 biometric sensor to monitor heart rate 24/7 and through exercise, along with unlocking 24/7 blood oxygen monitoring. Doing the latter will have an adverse impact on battery life, though, so keep that in mind.
The GTS 3 also includes the one-tap measurement feature included on the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro, letting you monitor heart rate, stress, breathing rate and blood oxygen with a single 45-second measurement.
You also get the same 24/7 fitness tracking and sleep monitoring support as the GTS 2, and that means PAI Health Assessment scores are available to ensure you regularly raise your heart rate through exercise.
When it comes to sports tracking, there are more than 150 modes at your disposal – but only a portion of those will offer metrics beyond tracking workout duration and heart rate. There’s automatic exercise recognition for eight activities including running and walking, plus support for the five key satellite systems to offer accurate outdoor tracking for activities such as runs and outdoor cycling sessions.
Amazfit is now looking beyond tracking exercise, delivering the kind of insights you’d usually associate with Garmin and Polar sports watches. Its new PeakBeats training insights will analyse your workout data and key metrics to inform recommended recovery time, providing an indication of just how fit you are.
As a smartwatch for monitoring health, fitness and tracking exercise, I’d definitely say that the GTS 3 does a solid job overall – but there’s room for improvement on the accuracy front.
It’s fine for counting steps, for example, and you have a dedicated watch widget to follow progress. For sleep tracking, the GTS 3 is a comfortable watch to sleep with and it delivers a good array of sleep metrics. However, note that I found it tended to record a longer sleep duration by 1-2 hours compared to a Fitbit Charge 5, Oura Ring and Whoop 4.0.
There’s good and bad news with continuous heart rate monitoring, too. Resting heart rate data largely matched up to those three devices mentioned above, although average heart rate recorded by the GTS 3 was usually 20bpm higher in comparison.
It’s a similar story for sports tracking. I used it for HIIT workouts and indoor rowing sessions, finding that average and maximum heart rate data was significantly higher than a Wahoo Tickr X chest strap monitor. For outdoor runs, it came up a little short on distance tracking, but average heart rate and maximum heart rate data seemed a little more reliable for steady-paced runs. Throw in some high-intensity time and the sensor started to show signs of a struggle, however.
That inconsistency with heart rate monitoring during exercise throws some doubt over the reliability of the new PeakBeats training insights, which I definitely think you should use as loose guidance – whether you’re new to tracking exercise or a seasoned tracker.
- 6 days of heavy use is accurate
- 12 days in typical use seems optimistic
- Good 20 hours of GPS battery life
The GTS 3 essentially promises anything from a week to over a couple of weeks of battery life, depending on the features you use and how regularly you use them.
Amazfit breaks down battery life as 12 days with typical use, up from 7 days on the GTS 2. It’s 6 days with heavy use (up from 3.5), offering the same 20 days when using the more restrictive battery saver mode. If you’re using GPS tracking on a regular basis, Amazfit claims you can get 20 hours of GPS battery life, which puts it in good company with pricier sports watches.
My time with the GTS 3 definitely saw it veer into heavy use, using the display in a mix of always-on and standard modes, enabling notifications, monitoring heart rate and blood oxygen continuously, and using the GPS to track outdoor workouts. This saw the GTS 3 run for around 4-5 days. For an hour of running, the battery drop off was around 8-9%.
It’s clearly a smartwatch that has the capability to last a week without charging. Steer clear of the more power intensive features – such as the always-on display mode and continuous blood oxygen – and you’ll comfortably see the GTS 3 last over a week, maybe longer.
Amazfit uses the same-style charging cable as the GTS 2 to power up, which takes around 2-2.5 hours to get from 0-100%. Unfortunately, there’s no fast-charging support for quick top-ups here.
Should you buy it?
If you want an affordable, square smartwatch There are plenty of square-faced smartwatches available in at the GTS 3’s price, but this one definitely stands out for the right reasons.
If you care about heart rate data Unfortunately, while the GTS 3’s biometric sensor is capable of delivering reliable heart data, it struggles where it really matters. For more accurate monitoring, look elsewhere.
The Amazfit GTS 3 is a good-looking smartwatch at a very good price. It offers a decent mix of smartwatch and fitness features that, on the whole, work really well. If you want the best you can get in those departments, you’ll need to spend more, however; Zepp’s OS and app store is far from fully formed compared to other smartwatch platforms. That being said, if you around the £150/$150 mark to spend and would like an attractive option that’s easy to use and offers a nice, slick performance, there’s still plenty to like here.
How we test
We thoroughly test every smartwatch 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.
Worn as our main wearable during the testing period
Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices
Side-by-side comparison with our best scoring smartwatches
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