HomeTechNewsOn the right track, but not quite there yet

On the right track, but not quite there yet


Huami’s Amazfit fitness wearables have been making inroads on the back of their value-oriented positioning. The company introduced the GTR 2 earlier this year with a significantly improved feature set, including Alexa compatibility, stress detection, and a new BioTracker 2 sensor. Unfortunately, the implementation was a bit lacking, as we discovered in our Amazfit GTR 2 review. Amazfit aims to fix those misses with an all-new BioTracker 3 sensor in the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.

Our Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review aims to see if Huami’s premium option has made sufficient improvements to go up against similarly premium competitors that have finessed fitness tracking to a tee.

About this Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: I tested the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro for six days. The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review unit was provided to Android Authority by Amazfit.

What you need to know about the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review side profile with display on

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

  • Amazfit GTR 3 Pro: $229.99 / £179 / €199.90

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is a new premium smartwatch that sits above the refreshed GTR 3. Compared to the GTR 2, last year’s top-end offering, the GTR 3 Pro is packing an upgraded display, a button that doubles as a crown for navigation, as well as new sensors that promise better accuracy and the ability to track heart rate while swimming.

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is available in two colorways: Brown Leather (aluminum alloy watch body, leather strap) and Infinite Black (aluminum alloy watch body, fluoroelastromer strap). We tested the former. The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is available to buy from Amazon and other select retailers in the US and Europe.

Is the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro a good looking watch?

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review digital crown

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro maintains the classic styling of the GTR 2. The front is all about the large display, which is now even bigger at 1.45 inches over the 1.39 inches of last year’s model.

The large display is encased in an aluminum shell that helps maintain its light 32g weight. You’ll find two pushers set at the two o’clock and four o’clock positions, both of which can be reprogrammed as a shortcut key for any of the apps on the watch.

The rotating crown can be used to quickly navigate the interface while also acting as a shortcut key.

The digital crown on the side of the watch is new. The first pusher can be rotated to easily scroll through UI elements like the app drawer and even through long lists within specific apps like browsing your workout history. I found the rotating pusher to be a convenient addition and quickly became accustomed to using it. The physical action doesn’t quite scream premium, and the lack of any resistance in the crown adds to the cheap feeling.

Related: The best smartwatch deals

Elsewhere, the bottom of the watch is made out of plastic. Set against the lighter aluminum finish, this plastic back can be seen when looking at the watch from the side. I observed that it was prone to catching scuffs and sweat marks after a workout session. Amazfit would have done well to construct the entire shell out of aluminum for a premium watch option.

The plastic back and low-quality leather strap don’t quite scream premium.

The 22mm watch straps on the watch are attached using a quick release assembly, making it a cinch to swap them out for any third-party band. Our Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review device shipped with leather bands, though Amazfit will offer fluoroelastomer options for fitness enthusiasts. The leather strap in question isn’t particularly premium, and I’d recommend swapping it out for higher quality third-party options if that’s the styling you want to go for.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review workout switched onjpg

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The display is bigger and has smaller bezels than before, but more importantly, it’s brighter and has a faster refresh rate. That last bit is particularly noticeable where there’s an extra sense of fluidity in everyday interactions.

While brightness levels haven’t been an issue with previous Amazfit watches either, the 1,000 nits of peak brightness levels should come in handy if you’re out for an activity under direct, bright sunlight. I preferred to use the automatic brightness option that worked well enough in my testing.

I wore the watch for the entire duration of testing, both during workouts and while sleeping, and found it very comfortable for all-day use. No complaints.

Is the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro a good fitness watch?

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review workout history

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro introduces an upgraded BioTracker 3 sensor for improved heart rate tracking and blood oxygen measurements. A significant step forward is the ability to track heart rate levels while swimming. The company also claims better accuracy and faster GPS locks, something we found somewhat lacking on the GTR 2.

Step tracking and activity monitoring

Step tracking on the GTR 3 Pro is on par with other fitness watches in that it is reasonably accurate. I don’t find it to be a particularly accurate metric for managing fitness levels, but more of a daily goal to ensure you get up and get moving. Compared to my Fitbit Ionic, the step count here was generous by a few hundred steps.

The included PAI fitness tracking metric is a convenient way to gauge weekly fitness efforts.

Instead, the included Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) feature is a more helpful way to gauge fitness levels. The metric uses a weekly rolling score out of one hundred based on elevated heart activity levels. It’s an interesting way to gamify fitness and requires you have to push yourself harder. On days that I got a run or home workout in, my PAI score went up by 15 points. Moreover, PAI isn’t just a flat activity-based score and gets progressively harder to gain based on your heart rate levels. As you get fitter, you’ll have to push yourself harder to get those points.

While I prefer to stick to standard measurements like pace and timing myself while running, PAI works well and could be a helpful addition for people who want a little extra motivation.

The watch supports around 150 workout modes, including hiking, yoga, and a rather curious e-sports mode that keeps a tab on your heart rate and stress levels. It’s a cute addition, even if it is unlikely to make a dent in your daily activity score.

I did, however, appreciate the virtual pacer function that Amazfit has cribbed from Garmin watches. The feature lets you set a pace for a virtual runner that you can race against. Unlike some competitors that let you race against your previously recorded runs, the pacing here only works against a preset pace. Still, it’s a convenient add-on to help you get faster and hit your goals.

Heart rate sensor

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review heart rate monitoring

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Amazfit is touting significantly improved accuracy with the heart rate sensor on the GTR 3 Pro. While I don’t have a chest-mounted heart rate strap with which to compare the readings, the GTR 3 Pro compared well against my Fitbit Ionic — for the most part. The problem here is consistency. I observed a few dips in heart rate data in areas where I’d expect it to climb. For example, while running up a steep incline, the watch registered a slight drop in heart rate levels which did not correspond to my out-of-shape self huffing and puffing up the hill.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro heart rate 1

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

All this to say, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is still a decidedly consumer-oriented device, and accuracy should be taken as a ballpark estimate. Serious athletes should look into higher-end options which can be paired with a much more accurate chest strap, a feature that is not supported by the GTR 3 Pro due to its lack of ANT+ sensors.

SpO2 tracking

Blood oxygen tracking has become a standard feature in fitness watches over the last year. While wrist-based measurements aren’t quite as accurate as dedicated pulse oximeters, I’ve previously found the feature handy for spot measurements.

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro’s blood oxygen saturation measurements are generous next to a dedicated pulse oximeter.

I found Amazfit’s measurements to be a bit generous compared to a dedicated oximeter. While my blood oxygen saturation levels average at about 96% when measured with a pulse oximeter, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro usually hovered at 98%. The watch presents the automatic measurements with a graph that can be split by days, weeks, months, or even years but doesn’t offer much information about what it means for the end-user.

Read more: What is a pulse oximeter, and why is it so important?

Blood oxygen measurements while sleeping can indicate sleep apnea. Once activated, periodic blood oxygen measurements are captured while sleeping that can be easily reviewed the next day when you wake up. I would’ve liked to see this metric show directly on the watch when it detects you waking up. It’s also worth noting that Amazfit lacks FDA/CE clearance, so I’d steer clear of using the oxygen saturation monitoring as medical advice.

GPS

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro GPS Track

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

In our review of the Amazfit GTR 2, we observed that GPS performance was lackluster, with the watch losing accuracy under challenging conditions like tall buildings and densely forested areas. Amazfit claims that the GTR 3 Pro is 20% faster and 40% more accurate thanks to its support for Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS satellite constellations in addition to GPS and GLONASS.

I took the watch for a couple of training sessions to a nearby track, and the watch was able to hold on to the position despite dense foliage. The wooded track has tall trees all around with no clear line of sight to the sky. Despite that, the Amazfit GTR 2 stuck to the path with a few micro jitters that didn’t impact the measured length making it a good fit for outdoor workouts.

Sleep monitoring

The GTR 3 Pro captures all the sleep monitoring metrics you’d expect, though not all of these can be viewed on the watch itself. Pop open the Zepp app, and you’ll find details about sleep stages like light, deep, and REM sleep. The sleep tracking integrates with the watch’s sleep breathing functionality to try and detect sleep apnea. Unlike the GTR 2, where my colleague Jimmy experienced perfect sleep breathing scores, the watch reported mild cases of discomfort on a couple of occasions. So, I suppose it works though I have no way to gauge accuracy. What kind of action I should take also remains a question for another day.

How is the smartwatch functionality?

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review smart phone integration

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

To put it plainly, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro isn’t really a smartwatch. The pre-loaded applets for fitness tracking, alarms, calendars, and basics like the compass are all you get. The watch is running Amazfit’s new Zepp OS. Built on top of FreeRTOS, the operating system is touted to be less resource-intensive and more battery efficient, even if the changes aren’t entirely visible at first glance. Amazfit is also talking about opening up the developer ecosystem with Zepp OS and supporting internet-connected third-party applets. However, these aren’t available at launch, and we’ll just have to wait and see if the ecosystem flourishes or flounders.

A majority of the built-in apps are centered around health monitoring as well as basics like alarms, calendars, and timers, in addition to controls for music playback. The watch has a built-in 2.3GB of storage for keeping music offline if you want to go out for a workout without your phone.

The GTR 3 Pro can receive smartphone notifications. Though, like many other fitness watches, the notifications aren’t actionable. Other than a few select apps where you can reply with canned responses, you can’t even expand on subject lines with most messaging apps. It leaves much to be desired.

While the Alexa support is not too useful, the offline voice assistant comes in handy to activate workouts.

The watch does, however, have Alexa support as long as you are connected to the internet. Tapping a button on the watch or setting up one of the pushers as a shortcut for Amazon’s smart assistant lets you relay instructions to Amazon’s servers via your phone. I found it to be functional but not very responsive in practice. Considering you’ll still need your phone nearby to use the Alexa functionality, most users will find it faster just to pick up the phone itself.

Additionally, the watch has an offline voice assistant that can activate workout activities or pull up the weather applet by turning your wrist. It works as expected and can be pretty useful when out and about.

How long does the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro’s battery last?

Amazfit claims two weeks of battery life from the 450mAh cell on the GTR 3 Pro, and I’m inclined to believe the watch will hit the mark. I haven’t had the watch for two weeks just yet, but with the always-on display switched on, a couple of workouts, and all the health-tracking settings activated, I’m on track to achieve a week of use from the GTR 3 Pro. This is half of what Amazfit claims, but the company’s estimates are with the always-on display turned off — a feature that consumes an astonishing amount of battery life.

Charging is done using a standard magnetic charger with pogo pins. It takes about two and a half hours to go from zero to one hundred.

Anything else?

  • Zepp app: The Zepp app has a pretty enough homepage to identify key metrics, but the feature overload isn’t laid out particularly neatly. Missing translations aside, statistics can often be hidden away in places you wouldn’t expect or might require multiple taps to open up. Don’t get me wrong; it is clear that Amazfit is making optimal use of those sensors by capturing a significant amount of data down to cadence, altitude fluctuation, slope gradients, and oxygen uptake. However, for the average user, all of that data is lost if not presented in a form that is easy to understand.
  • Export options: For all the data captured by the GTR 3 Pro, there’s no easy way to get that data out of the Amazfit ecosystem. Sure, the watch integrates with Strava and Google Fit, but those services don’t display nearly close to the metrics accessible here. I’d love to see an option that goes beyond the basic GPX file and lets me grab a full CSV of my workout data.
  • Female health tracking: Like the GTR 2, the GTR 3 Pro supports basic female health tracking. You can enter relevant details, including the last day of your cycle and the number of days. Based on this data, the watch will try to predict the specifics of your cycle, including your fertile window, as well as when to expect your next period.
  • One-tap measuring: A new one-tap measuring mode can capture vital metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, and breathing rate in one go. The feature is essentially a one-step shortcut for all the other tests done by the watch and takes about 45-seconds to capture all the metrics. While the watch itself doesn’t maintain a log of the data, it will update all the metrics back in the app for later reference.
  • Stress monitoring: The watch can capture stress levels by measuring variations in your heart rate. I’m a bit skeptical of this feature since it never really inched beyond “relaxed” despite having a somewhat stressful week. There’s no real way to view barebones heart rate variability data either, though I suppose you could always dive into the heart rate section to do a spot check on heart rate measurements over the course of the day. Regardless, I wouldn’t put too much weight behind Amazfit’s stress measurements.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro specs

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro
Display 1.45-inch AMOLED
480 x 480 resolution
331ppi
1000 nits (peak)
Dimensions and weight 46 x 46 x 10.7mm
32g (without strap)
22mm strap
Materials Aluminum
Strap: Fluoroelastomer or leather
Colors Silver
IP rating 5ATM
Storage ~3GB
Battery 450mAh
Magnetic charger
~2.5-hour charging time
Typical battery life: ~12 days
Sensors BioTracker 3 PPG biological data sensor
Air pressure sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic
Ambient light
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
WLAN 2.4GHz
Compatibility Android 5.0 and above
iOS 10.0 and above

Value and competition

Product image of the new Amazfit GTR Pro 3 in Infinite Black.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is Huami’s top-of-the-line fitness watch that features a bigger and brighter screen as well as an upgraded BioTracker 3.0 sensor.

With a more premium price tag, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is veering into premium fitness tracker territory, and there’s ample competition there. Priced at $230 in the US with a more widespread release to follow shortly, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro needs to match effective fitness tracking with premium looks and a robust app.

The Fitbit Versa 3 ($230) is one such option that combines quality fitness tracking with a week-long battery and robust ecosystem integration. The Garmin Venu Sq ($200) is another alternative that combines Garmin’s excellent fitness tracking capabilities with basic smartwatch functionality.

For a more full-featured smartwatch, you could consider the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 ($249) that combines Wear OS 3 with all the fitness tracking capabilities you could want. It’s even got a nifty dial that makes navigating the interface supremely enjoyable.

If you sit in the iOS camp, there’s no denying the sheer value of the Apple Watch SE ($279) that brings true smartwatch capabilities and pairs it with fitness features.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: The verdict

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Review side profile with display off

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is a decent fitness watch that balances the scales between fitness features and design. However, the watch lacks that all-around polish you’d expect from a product that costs $230. The cheap-feeling digital crown, plastic case back, and the lackluster Zepp app ensure that the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro falls short of true excellence.

The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is a good fitness watch amidst great competition.

The improved GPS accuracy, better-than-before heart rate tracking is a definite step up for the brand, and there is still some value to be found here from all the fitness capabilities. However, that accompanying price bump is a tough pill to swallow in the face of top-tier competition. You won’t go wrong with the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro, but the alternatives might make you second guess your decision.



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