Amazfit GTR 2e review: new features struggle to make the grade

A cheaper version of GTR 2 and not much more than that
Amazfit GTR 2e
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Amazfit GTR 2e is another smartwatch from Huami that arrives just months after the GTR 2 and the GTS 2 were launched.

It arrives alongside the GTS 2e as a cheaper alternative to the Amazfit GTR 2, offering largely the same features in a near identical round watch design. While some features have been cut, improvements have also been promised with a boost in battery life and the addition of an intriguing new sensor.

That drop in features set does mean the price has dropped too, with the GTR 2e coming in at £119.99. That makes it $40 cheaper than the GTR 2 and puts it in and around the Huawei Watch GT 2e and the Fitbit Versa 2.

It’s another move by Huami to dominate the affordable end of the smartwatch market and on paper, a watch like the GTR 2e does promise a lot for the money. But it still costs more than the excellent square-faced Amazfit GTS 2 Mini and Amazfit Bip U Pro, which offer astonishing value.

It's also here to rival the likes of the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Huawei Watch GT 2.

Does it impress in testing and could you save yourself some money by going for the GTR 2e over the GTR 2? We've been living with its cheaper smartwatch sibling to see what it was made of. Here’s our comprehensive verdict on the Amazfit GTR 2e.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Design

Amazfit GTR 2e shown front on with 2.5D screen

Out of the box, the GTR 2e looks identical to the GTR 2. You’ve got the same 46mm watch case with two physical buttons and the same resolution 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen. That’s paired up with a 22mm removable silicone band that uses a traditional pin buckle keeping it secured on your wrist.

It’s technically a slightly larger and thicker watch case, but in reality it's not the kind of difference that you’re really going to notice or be disappointed by either.

Huami only offers the GTR 2e in one version, ditching the Classic option you get with the GTR 2 and opting for just the Sport version. That means it’s only available with a titanium alloy case and you miss out on the stainless steel look.

Amazfit GTR 2e and GTR 2 side by side comparison

Amazfit GTR 2e (left) and Amazfit GTR 2 (right)

It’s changed to a 2.5D curved screen as opposed to a 3D kind, offering a slight curvature in look and raised slightly above the bezel. It’s ditched the ODLC coating which means you lose some of the extra protection in the display department as well.

Again though, these changes don’t feel like they make a world of difference. You are losing some of that extra durability, but it's still an attractive, sleek smartwatch that doesn’t feel too thick to wear and overall is nice to live with.

The screen is still high quality, offering great colors and plenty in the way of vibrancy and brightness. Viewing angles out in bright outdoor light are strong and it retains the always-on display mode that when enabled will invariably have an impact on battery life.

Nothing has changed on the waterproof front here either as Huami offers the same 5ATM waterproof rating to let you take it for a swim once it's easier to do that.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Smartwatch features

Amazfit GTR 2e showing notificaiton

The GTR 2 and GTS 2 saw Huami ramp up the smartwatch features and while the core of those features remain here, there are some that have been cut clearly to help drop the price and offer that battery boost.

The first is the missing speaker, which means you miss out on the ability to make calls over Bluetooth. You're also losing the built-in music player, which explains the missing Wi-Fi connectivity support here too.

We imagine that won't be a crushing blow for most people to see those features left out. If you don't want to make calls from your wrist, then you'll live without that speaker. While it was nice to see Huami introduce a music player, it currently only works with your own MP3s and not with streaming music services, which gives it limited appeal. We also found the upload process fiddly to say the least.

Everything else is in play that was previously offered. So that's notification support for Android and iPhones, a vast collection of watch faces to choose from, music playback controls and Huami's own offline voice assistant.

They haven't changed as far as how they perform either. Notifications are still not actionable and you can't expand notifications like emails. The music controls work well and can be accessed during exercise. Interestingly, there's no mention of Amazon Alexa support here, which we were unable to access on the GTR 2.

Those features didn't feel hugely missed in our testing time. Had the music player been backed up with richer, more desirable streaming support, it might have been a slightly different story. Ultimately though, you're getting largely a similar smartwatch experience. It does a good job overall, but there's clearly room for some features to improve and evolve.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Fitness tracking

Amazfit GTR 2e showing previous workouts including running

Unlike its smartwatch features, the GTR 2e manages to retain pretty much everything found on the GTR 2 when it comes to tracking your fitness and sporting pursuits, and there's not much different to report on the performance front.

There's the same motion sensors to enable daily activity tracking and sleep monitoring. Huami includes the same BioTracker 2 optical sensor that delivers heart rate monitoring and SpO2 measurements.

There's GPS and GLONASS to track outdoor activities like running and cycling and it's equipped to track both pool and open water swimming. You also have its heart-rate based PAI assessment system, which really does need to be brought more into play on Huami's watches.

We'll start with daily activity tracking, which works in an identical fashion to the GTR 2, letting you track steps, distance covered and time spent on your feet. That data can be viewed from dedicated watch faces, the Activity goals widget and in the Zepp companion app. There's no altimeter present, so you cannot capture elevation data.

Amazfit GTR 2e activity data

Step tracking compared: Amazfit GTR 2e (left) and Apple Watch Series 6 (right)

We put it up against a Fitbit Sense, Apple Watch Series 6 and the Garmin Fenix 6 and found it was generally 1,000 steps off the Sense and Series 6 and 500 steps within the Fenix. There's not a huge deal happening from a motivation point of view beyond inactivity alerts, but you can adjust your move, fat burning and stand goals directly from the watch.

Amazfit GTR 2e sleep data

Sleep tracking compared: Amazfit GTR 2e (left) and Fitbit Sense (right)

When you move to sleep tracking, again, it's more of the same in terms of the breakdown, giving you Sleep Scores along with some useful insights into sleep and how to improve your sleep time. You can also record your naps as well.

Up against the Fitbit Sense, it actually performed really well as far as capturing sleep duration was concerned, and was usually only a few minutes out from the Fitbit smartwatch. Delve deeper into the breakdown and aspects like deep sleep, REM and time spent awake were very similar. Fitbit's watch tended to offer a higher Sleep Score, but the raw numbers seemed to hold up well for us. So that's a big plus here.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Sports tracking

Amazfit GTR 2e sports tracking

For sports tracking, there's nothing new to report. You get a sizeable collection of workout modes including running, climbing, skiing and a free training mode. It's a watch that's comfortable to wear for exercise and it doesn't feel bulky or obtrusive to use.

In outdoor running mode it came up a little short on distance tracking and had us at a slightly quicker pace compared to run tracking on a Garmin Fenix 6. Running metrics like cadence were also just slightly off, though calorie burned data was not far out from what the Fenix 6 captured.

Amazfit GTR 2e run data

Run tracking compared: Amazfit GTR 2e (left) and Garmin Fenix 6 with HRM Pro chest strap (centre and right)

Heart rate data during those runs tended to be 1-2bpm out from a Garmin HRM-Pro chest strap for average readings with maximum readings more than 10bpm out. It definitely felt like some of that data was smoothed out as the data shown in real time compared to what was generated by the chest strap didn't really match.

Amazfit GTR 2e heart rate data

Heart rate tracking compared: Amazfit GTR 2e (left and centre) and Apple Watch Series 6 (right)

It was a similar story in free training mode where we put it to the test for some fat blasting HIIT session on the Fiit home workout app. Average heart rate readings and maximum heart readings were generally lower compared to the Apple Watch Series 6's heart-rate monitor, which is one of the most reliable at tracking heart rate from the wrist for high intensity workouts.

There are certainly good points and not so good points when turning to this watch to track your fitness and health. It performs well enough as a fitness tracker and a sports watch, but serious trainers will feel let down when you up the intensity and the workout time.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Temperature monitoring

Amazfit GTR 2e temperature monitor

One big feature you don't get on the GTR 2 or the GTS 2 is a temperature sensor, which is something that we've already seen crop up on Fitbit's Sense smartwatch in a really compelling way.

On the GTR 2e, that sensor is represented by a dedicated screen where you can see a graph of your temperature along with the current temperature reading.

Unlike taking an on-the-spot measurement of heart rate or SpO2, there's no countdown or need to rest your wrist on a flat surface. Unfortunately, unlike the Fitbit, the use of that temperature sensor doesn't feel all that useful right now – or that reliable.

Amazfit GTR 2e temperature sensor

When you launch the temperature app, you'll see a graph plotting out your daily readings. As far as we can see, those readings aren't recorded in the Zepp companion app as is the case for things like continuous heart rate or all-day stress tracking. There's room to manually add data, but it's bizarre to see that this data isn't captured.

As for the data itself, our temperature seemed to either be anywhere from 32-34 degrees Celsius.

The temperature sensor is reading skin temperature rather than your core temperature, which is usually around 36-37 degrees Celsius. However, skin temperature will rise if you have a fever, for example. However, the lack of automated tracking over time and an established normal baseline means that we're unsure how useful the skin temperature feature is.

It'a a little surprising to find this potentially very handy feature a bit half-baked in its current state.

We'd like to think that Huami has plans to bolster this feature to make it more useful. Right now though, it's not a feature for GTR 2 owners to cast an envious eye over.

Amazfit GTR 2e: Battery life

The GTR 2e packs the same capacity 471mAh battery, but with the loss of features like the speaker and richer music features, Huami has revised the kind of battery performance you can expect here.

It suggests you can get 24 days in typical use, which is up from the 14 days promised on the GTR 2. There's a jump to 45 days up from 38 days in basic mode and 12 days compared to 6.5 days in heavy usage compared to the GTR 2. You can expect the same 2.5 hours to charge from 0-100%.

We found that touted 14 days in typical use was once again very ambitious, and feels like a very familiar story to the GTR 2. This is a smartwatch that is good for a week, but you need to scale back some features to get into double digit days' worth of battery.

We had the screen brightness set to auto mode and opted against the always-on display mode. We also had continuous heart-rate monitoring turned on along with notifications and 30 minutes to an hour of workout tracking. We still found daily battery drop-off to be around 15-20%.


Amazfit GTR 2e
By Huami
The Amazfit GTR 2e offers most of what you get from the solid GTR 2 for less money – so it's a winner in that respect. But the promise of bigger battery life didn't really ring true and the added temperature sensor feels half-baked. If you're wedded to the GTR 2's design then it gets our blessing, but otherwise the GTS 2 Mini or even Amazfit Bip U Pro feel like much better value.

Hit
  • Same sleek design and great screen
  • Decent sleep tracking
  • Lots of sports modes and GPS
Miss
  • Battery claims didn't stack up
  • Temperature sensor not useful (yet)
  • Heart rate accuracy