The battle of the budget smartwatches is heating up, and if you're looking for a sport focused device, the Xiaomi Mi Watch and Amazfit GTR 2e are big contenders.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch and Amazfit GTR 2e both feature top health and fitness features, with heaps of sports modes, GPS and advanced monitoring like SpO2, stress and other wellness markers.
Both devices are also one of a number in their ranges. The Amazfit GTR 2e is a stripped back version of the GTR 2 ‚Äď but we think the GTR 2e offers better value. Likewise, the Mi Watch sits above the Mi Watch Lite, but packs way more features and a much better screen.
Both fared well in our own testing, but which one is the better smartwatch fit? We've pulled together our experiences and compared specs sheets to tell you which one we think is the budget smartwatch to grab.
While the Amazfit GTR 2e is available to buy globally, currently the Xiaomi Watch is up for grabs in UK and Europe only. When it comes to pricing, it's clear these two match up closely on that front. You should be able to find them for the following:
Xiaomi Mi Watch price: ¬£119.99
Amazfit GTR 2e price: $139.99
Both are available at the same price, at least if you're picking them up in the UK. Now let's see what you can expect when you get them all set up.
Xiaomi Mi Watch vs Amazfit GTR 2e: Design
What we have are two round watches that take different approaches as far as how those round watches sit on your wrist.
The Mi Watch features a 45mm case made from plastic that's pretty light at 32g and measures in at 11.8mm thick. The Amazfit GTR 2e features a slightly larger 46mm case that weighs 32g (without the strap) and measures 10.8mm thick. Xiaomi's watch is undeniably more sporty looking, but still an attractive, nicely weighted smartwatch. The GTR 2e is slimmer, sleeker and has an aluminium alloy body that overall gives it the feeling of a more expensive smartwatch.
When it comes to the bands they're partnered up with, the Mi Watch is equipped with a removable 22mm TPU band while the GTR 2e has a 22mm silicone one. Both are designed for being a good fit for exercise and are comfortable to wear 24/7 too.
Xiaomi Mi Watch
For touchscreen display quality, they're pretty evenly matched. The Mi Watch has a 1.39-inch, 454 x 454 AMOLED display and so does the GTR 2e. They're both have always-on display modes and are high quality screens to find at this price.
Where they differ is the way they're built into the case. The one on the Mi Watch shows off a lot more bezel while the GTR 2e curved surface design that meets the case in a much more attractive way.
Both have two physical buttons and optical sensors on the back of the case and come with the same 5ATM water resistance rating, so you can take them in the shower or go swimming with it up to 50 metres depth.
Both are well-built, attractive smartwatches in very different ways. The GTR 2e certainly has a more sophisticated feel to it, while the Mi Watch is a good looking in more of a understated and sporty way.
Xiaomi Mi Watch vs Amazfit GTR 2e: Health and fitness tracking
Previous logged workouts on Amazfit GTR2e
While one gives off the look of being better suited to partnering up with smarter attire, both have sensors and features aplenty that make them well suited for keeping tabs on your health and your exercise time.
The Mi Watch includes an optical heart rate monitor, GPS, Glonass, Gallileo and BDS satellite coverage for mapping outdoor activities. It has accelerometer and gyroscope motion sensors to track indoor activities and even finds room for a compass and air pressure sensor. It'll count steps, monitor sleep, monitor heart rate and stress 24/7 and it's capable of taking blood oxygen measurements too.
It also uses those sensors and tracking features to offer insights powered by analytics company Firstbeat that looks at the effects of your tracked exercise on your body and its recovery from exercise. It also features an Energy mode that looks at sleep, activity and heart rate variability measurements to tell you how equipped you are for taking on your day.
The GTR 2e also includes an optical health sensor that delivers heart rate monitoring for exercise, continuous monitoring and stress tracking. That also takes care of SpO2 measurements too. There's built-in GPS and support for Glonass satellite systems for outdoor mapping.
Xiaomi Mi Watch showing workout modes
You're getting the same motion sensors and environmental sensors as the Xiaomi with the promise of fitness tracking and sleep monitoring here too. It's also the first Amazfit watch to include a temperature sensor, though based on our experience, it wasn't very accurate or useful at all.
For sports tracking, the Xiaomi promises 117 workout modes and 17 core workout modes to that offer richer, more activity-specific metrics. The GTR 2e includes 90 sports modes with automatic exercise recognition for six of those modes.
In terms of performance, we'd say it's quite similar across both watches. Both are strong fitness trackers with the Amazfit for us, offering richer sleep insights than Xiaomi. Health monitoring features still feel a little half baked across both while sports tracking on the Xiaomi and the Amazfit feel best suited to casual fitness folk.
The Mi Watch does offer Garmin-style features with its Training Effect, VO2 Max and recovery insights, though ultimately those insights are reliant on a reliable heart monitor, which wasn't quite up to the task in our testing.
Crucially, data can be shared with Google Fit, Apple Health and Strava on the GTR 2e, which isn't the case with the Xiaomi.
They're level pegged as a fitness and health trackers, but the Xiaomi just slightly has the edge for sports tracking with its greater satellite coverage and Firstbeat-powered insights that might not be 100% on the money, but offer some loosely reliable guidance on how to train smarter.
Xiaomi Mi Watch vs Amazfit GTR 2e: Smartwatch features
Xiaomi Mi Watch notification
When it comes to behaving like smartwatches, both work with Android and iOS devices and quite evenly matched in this department.
The GTR 2e offers notifications, a rich collection of watch faces, music playback controls and its own offline voice assistant. The Mi Watch doesn't have an offline voice assistant but does have Amazon's Alexa instead, which worked well in our time with it. It also matches the Amazfit in all of the other departments including those music controls.
As far as how these features perform, they're very similar. Notification support on both will only let you view notifications with no option to act on them. Music controls feel identical, though you can access them during exercise on the Amazfit. Both offer a nice collection of watch faces too that can be quickly downloaded and synced from the companion phone apps.
Amazfit GTR 2e notification
Speaking of those companion apps, the Zepp app for Amazfit watches and the Xiaomi Wear one for the Xiaomi Mi Watch also feel very similar. It's a little clunky in places, but you can comfortably review your health and fitness stats and delve into the settings to adjust elements like notification support and enabling or disabling features you might not be using that much.
Xiaomi Mi Watch vs Amazfit GTR 2e: Battery life
While pricier smartwatches struggle to go for a few days, that's simply not the case for these two smartwatches.
With the Xiaomi Mi Watch, you have a 420mAh battery that promises 16 days in typical usage mode, 22 days in long battery mode and 50 hours of GPS battery life. These modes are all based on very specific scenarios and features being put to use.
The Amazfit GTR 2e features a larger 471mAh battery that is designed to deliver 24 days in typical use, 45 days in basic watch mode and 12 days with heavy usage.
Based on our testing, which may veer more on the heavy usage side, the Mi Watch and the GTR 2e are good for a solid week and have the capacity to go longer.
You'll need to sacrifice features like continuous heart rate and stress monitoring, using the always-on display mode and putting GPS to use, those numbers will drop. Though we'd say that the Xiaomi holds up better with those more battery draining features in play.
So, do you go Xiaomi Mi Watch or Amazfit GTR 2e? Both scored 3.5 out of 5 scores in our reviews and offer largely a very good experience and performance. The GTR 2e arguably has a more appealing look and some desirable third party app support.
The Xiaomi Mi Watch on the other hand feels better suited to sports tracking, which is clearly what it's designed to do best. It's not perfect, but it does a lot well on this front. It offers similar smartwatch features, does have Amazon Alexa and the sporty look isn't too bad either.
It really boils down to us on what looks appeals more and whether you desire more sports smarts like you get on the Xiaomi or a little more in the smartwatch department and that ability to share data with other apps like you get on the GTR 2e.