The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini may seem like a niche spin-off, but it’s truly a great value smartwatch, and the device the full GTS 2 should have been.
It fixes most of our complaints about its bigger sibling, sacrificing only dubious features for a huge price cut that restores its status as a great value smartwatch.
It’s packed with sensors and offers impressive sports tracking features. While many will be drawn to tracking of stress, SpO2 and advanced sleep monitoring, the GTS 2 Mini doesn’t quite nail all of these. However, it makes for a rich experience within a slick app.
Read on for our full review of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini.
Price and competition
The budget smartwatch market is now absolutely rammed with quality options. At $99.99 the GTS Mini isn’t the cheapest, but does offer a full AMOLED display and GPS, and it’s possibly the sweet spot.
You could also look at the Amazfit GTS 2e that doubles battery life and retains the larger screen of the GTS 2.
For reference the Amazfit GTS 2 is $179.99, which is just too costly and the extra features don’t cut the mustard.
The Amazfit Bip U Pro is a steal at $69.99, but you do get an inferior screen.
Elsewhere, you’d do well to look at the Huawei Watch GT2e, which offers similar features in with a round design, although some of the sensors aren’t so well applied and there’s no Strava integration.
- Smaller 1.55-inch 354 x 306 AMOLED screen
- 450nit display
- 40mm case size
- 9.7mm thickness
To the untrained eye, the GTS 2 Mini looks identical to its bigger brethren – but it’s smaller, thinner, lighter.
The case has shrunk to 40mm, and while it’s hardly a great looking watch, it’s a unisex size – matching the case size of the smallest current Apple Watch. That’s not to say it’s ugly in any way, it’s smart, sleek, inoffensive and disappears on the wrist.
The screen quality belies its meagre price, and punches out with 450nits of brightness and sharp 301ppi. The 354 x 306 resolution is superb, and everything on screen is easy to read.
Case materials have been downgraded on the full Amazfit GTS 2, although you’d hardly notice. The screen is 2.5D curved glass over a 3D, and the bottom shell is now plastic.
The digital crown remains as a button, but the scroll doesn’t apply to the watch itself.
The silicon strap is comfortable enough for getting sweaty and working out – although it does have a tendency for the loose end to flap around.
- Sports modes
With a massive $80 saving on the cost of a fully-fledged Amazfit GTS 2, you’d expect more features to be lost. But in essence, it’s only the voice assistant and 3GB of music storage for MP3s that’s been cut from the spec sheet.
The features of the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini are largely health and fitness based, but it also has most basic smartwatch functionality too.
Notifications from a paired smartphone are a mainstay, and it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
However, aside from the lack of storage and virtual assistant, there’s no provision for contactless payments either, making it a less useful companion than the Apple Watch. There’s also no LTE version.
You do get standalone GPS and a heart rate monitor for tracking outdoor and indoor workouts, and that BioTracker 2.0 PPG sensor is at the heart of stress tracking, blood oxygen monitoring, high/low heart rate warnings, sleep tracking and the PAI score of personal activity.
Health and fitness
- Continuous heart rate
- Menstrual cycle tracking
- Heart rate warnings
- Sleep quality monitoring
Amazfit’s focus as a company is aimed at health and fitness, so there’s little surprise the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini puts most of its efforts here.
In fact, every single health feature makes it over from the fully-priced Amazfit GTS 2 – making it difficult to argue paying more than the GTS 2 Mini.
But in effect, no improvements are made, so the following is essentially a repeat of the Amazfit GTS 2 review.
The mainstay of the fitness tracking experience focuses on steps, sleep tracking and the PAI score.
Firstly, step tracking we found to generally be in line with that of Fitbit – possibly a little bit short over 10,000 steps. However, it’s pretty much impossible to distinguish accuracy, and none of its data seemed particularly anomalous.
Step tracking is old hat, so Amazfit attempts to put you in touch with your activity levels via the PAI score. PAI stands for Personal Activity Intelligence, and it’s a weekly score derived from your heart rate across the week. Getting your heart rate into higher zones gets you more PAI points. You just need to keep your score at 100 for the week to ensure you’re doing enough.
It’s a great system, but it’s not that intuitive for new users to understand, nor is it particularly motivating.
Sleep tracking is incredibly detailed, and on paper right up with Fitbit in terms of data and analysis. There’s sleep stage information, depth and it will tap into your night time oxygen levels if you turn that feature on. However, it always over-reported our sleep duration compared to Fitbit, Apple Watch and Withings Sleep Analyzer, with elevated sleep scores that undermine its ability to help you make meaningful change.
There’s an SpO2 sensor on board, and happily you can take spot readings and get continuous feedback as well as speed data too. This makes it much more useful than rivals like Huawei.
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini also retails stress-monitoring and this can be done continuously, if you’re willing to give up even more battery life.
Again, its usefulness feels limited to us, and even if you’re willing to focus on the numbers, there seems little actionable information to help you reduce stressful feelings. There is a Breathe app on the device, though the stress tracking and breathing tools don’t really seem to work in sync.
Amazfit has also added cycle tracking for women’s health, and there are alerts for high and low heart rate notifications. We actually received low heart rate warnings for a resting heart rate of 50bpm, which does seem a little over the top for a device that’s aimed at fitness, and thus, fit people.
There’s a lot to like about Amazfit as a fitness tracking and health monitor, but in a few key areas it lags the Apple Watch and Fitbit Versa/Sense. The accuracy issues in terms of sleep, a lack of actionable data – and possibly the biggest miss is that the app and watch just aren’t very motivating.
But its middling health and activity monitoring is bested by its sports modes – so we got sweaty to put it to the test.
- 70 sports modes
- Heart rate monitoring
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini comes with 70 sports profiles. Of course, very few of these provide specialist metrics beyond time, distance, calories burned and heart rate across the session – but it’s nice to have your chosen activity tagged correctly.
We have had GPS teething problems with new Amazfit devices in the past, but happily we found GPS accuracy to be spot on, straight out of the box.
Metrics are easy to read on screen, and all data is available to view in the Zepp app afterwards, which is the name for Amazfit’s ecosystem.
For runners in particular, there’s loads of data to look through and is more detailed than most sport focussed smartwatches.
Runners will see cadence, stride, elevation, laps and heart rate zones among more standard data on pace, average pace and distance. It’s all nicely presented and feels like a real feast of data to browse.
Crucially, it supports third party apps like Strava, so you can have workouts automatically synced, which makes for a much better experience.
For non-running activities you still get calorie and heart rate burn information ¬– and we’re big fans of the presentation of data.
Heart rate accuracy during exercise is fairly solid on steady runs, but will fall apart during HIIT and short bursts of lung-busting activity. That’s fairly standard for optical heart rate sensors, and Amazfit’s is neither notably good or poor – but if you’re really keen on accurate HR data from the wrist during workouts, you need to look at Garmin or Polar devices and get a heart rate strap.
In short, the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is a decent workout companion, with accurate GPS, lots of data, which hooks up to Strava. For its price there are few budget smartwatches that can match it as a sports watch alternative – and it does come recommended.
Smartwatch features and battery life
- 7 days heavy use battery life
- Notifications and basic apps
- No NFC or music storage
The Amazfit GTS 2 is quite a feature rich smartwatch – although in our review we seriously called into question the quality of the voice assistant raise to speak, the music storage which wouldn’t work, and lack of payment services.
None of those features are available on the Amazfit GTS 2 Mini, which just shows that the huge saving is absolutely worth it.
What do you get? Notifications work well and are easily customizable, although sometimes the text and content of messages breaks in a way that’s hard to read.
Notification customisation is quite granular, so common apps like Messages, WhatsApp and Instagram can be toggled on and off. Other apps are lumped in together and off by default, which meant we didn’t feel overwhelmed by wrist buzzes.
It’s nothing ground-breaking but does the job well. You can also get features such as weather, world clock, alarms, to-do lists all on the watch, once set up on the app. There are also apps for Pomodoro, stopwatch, and a remote camera shutter too.
There’s an impressive store of watch faces to choose from, and syncing is really easy and seamless. However, there’s no app store of third party extras to choose from.
Battery life is impressive, but again, it’s all about the features you turn on within the app. 14 days “normal” use seems a bit much to us, but we should see most users getting a week with a few workouts in the mix.
If you turn on everything, including continuous stress monitoring, advanced sleep, SpO2 and all the bells and whistles you’re looking at four or five days battery life.
While this might be shy of Amazfit’s quotes life, we’d still call this a success. The Apple Watch offers a single day, as do most Wear OS devices.
Amazfit GTS 2 Mini
The Amazfit GTS 2 Mini is not the perfect smartwatch, but it gets a lot right at a superb price. Its price tag fixes our main beef with the full GTS 2, and makes it easily recommendable to people looking for a cheap fitness smartwatch. It’s geared towards producing a lot of data, but Amazfit needs to get better at analysing that data and building in the motivation to act on it.
- Great price
- GPS and 70 workout modes
- Lovely screen
- Good battery
- Sleep tracking is over generous
- Strap is cheap
- Basic smartwatch functionality