Amazfit GTR 3 Pro Smartwatch
Garmin is the leading brand for GPS sports watches, followed by Suunto, Polar and Wahoo.
But what if you don’t have hundreds of pounds to spend on the latest big brand ‘wearable’, but you still like the idea of being able to monitor your health and fitness, receive phone notifications and more, on the go? Enter Amazfit.
The Hong Kong-based brand offers many of the same features at much lower prices. Is it too good to be true?
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro smartwatch details and specifications
Amazfit’s high-end watch technology comes in three forms: square-faced (GTS), “rugged” (T-Rex), and round-faced (GTR), all with slightly different feature sets.
Though tempted by the Casio G-SHOCK-style T-Rex 2 – with 24-day battery life – it would have eclipsed my skinny wrist. Instead, I opted for the smaller GTR, which is sleek enough to double as a “daily driver” for office use.
I tested the Model 3 Pro – Amazfit’s most expensive offering, but still very affordable compared to the Garmin Fenix 7 at over £700.
It looks smart, with a smooth finish on the case and minimal branding on the strap. Weighing just 58g, it’s lightweight and comfortable to wear. It’s waterproof to 50m, and I’ve worn it swimming with no problem.
You get a 1.45-inch, 480x480p color AMOLED display. Navigation is via a touch screen and two physical (programmable) buttons. It runs on the latest operating system from parent company Zepp Health (formerly Huami).
The software isn’t the most polished, but I was able to link it to my phone quite easily and slowly get used to the rather confusing multiple menus.
Amazfit’s “BioTracker PPG 3.0” optical biometric sensor monitors blood oxygen saturation (useful for people with respiratory problems or for riding at altitude) as well as common measurements, such as heart rate, respiration, stress and sleep quality.
Other built-in features include GPS (with support for all five major navigation systems), barometric altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass and temperature sensor, plus a music player.
Connect the watch to your phone via Bluetooth and you can make and receive calls, as well as monitor text messages and other notifications. This is useful when riding as it means you don’t have to rummage through your pocket for your mobile.
You can even view weather forecasts or activate Amazon Alexa voice activation offline. Via the Zepp phone app you can analyze your data, download watchfaces and much more.
Performance of the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro smartwatch
One of the biggest features of the GTR 3 Pro is its claimed battery life of 12 days with typical use; it depends on what features you have enabled, but I found its 450mAh battery to last well over a week on a single charge, with Bluetooth connected all day and GPS on for a few trips.
Operation is certainly not as smooth as with the best watches in its class.
The touch screen does not always respond on the first try. The display can be slow to “wake up” when you turn your wrist, and while the GTR 3 Pro should automatically recognize when you start cycling, I found I often had to manually activate workout mode in place.
You also don’t get any mapping or navigation. I found the sleep tracking often confused lack of movement with light sleep, but that’s an issue I’ve encountered with other smartwatches.
In terms of accuracy, I was reasonably impressed. Blood oxygen readings were consistently only one percent lower than an oximeter.
Resting heart rate also matched, but when riding, the GTR struggled to keep up with peaks and dips in effort.
There was a large variation between the data from the watch and that from a Garmin Edge 530 GPS cycling computer with chest strap (+/-15 bpm).
Again, this is a common problem with optical (wrist) rather than pulse-based (chest) heart rate monitoring.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro smartwatch result
If you’re looking for a dedicated sports watch for serious training, you better look elsewhere.
But if you’re smartwatch-curious and like the idea of on-the-go notifications and being able to track basic fitness data, the GTR 3 Pro is worth considering.