Zepp Health (also known as Huami) has officially launched the next devices in their Amazfit smartwatch series. This includes the GTR 3 and GTS 3, along with the high-end GTR 3 Pro model. All come with the new version of the lightweight Zepp OS, and various design and health upgrades.
This was an on-line event that was streamed in real-time on various social media platforms. The Amazfit 2021 Global Annual Launch Conference very much reminded of Apple press conferences. You can view the full nearly one hour presentation on Youtube. The video link can be found at the end of this article.
New Zepp operating system and logo
Recently the Zepp app had received a visual overhaul with data cards and a health page. But that is only one of many changes to come. The trio of new watches work on the next iteration of the Zepp operating system. It is one tenth the size of the current software, and is open to third party developers to create their own apps.
The software has been designed with 24/7 health tracking in mind. And this is what separates it from Wear OS and watchOS – which have a wider framework so are more resource intensive.
The new operating system contains something Zepp Health refers to as a Mini App Framework. Essentially these are specially designed lightweight apps that seamlessly run on the new platform. The beauty is that anyone with web design experience can design their own apps. The company has created an web based development kit based on java script that will allow you to do this. You can also create watch faces using this to add to the more than one hundred that are already available.
At the start there will be a number of native apps that you can install. This for example includes a mini app that reminds users to drink 1200 ml of water per day. Other apps made by Zepp Health include a calculator, reminders and tips when washing teeth and more. All of these can be installed and uninstalled – as per your preference. Some third party apps are also already available. The ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem that numbers thousands of apps. Not quite up there with Apple but an excellent start, nevertheless.
The company has also announced a new logo. It is not all too different from the previous one. Along with this there’s a brand new slogan – “Up Your Game”. The idea here is that the slogan should reflect the goal so many of us that are into health and fitness have – to push ourselves to the next level.
The presenters at the launch quoted some impressive sales stats. Amazfit smartwatch shipments ranked number 1 in Spain, Russia and Brazil in Q1 2021 (source: 2021 Q1 Global Adult Smartwatch Market Tracking Report). Overall Amazfit smartwatches were ranked number 4 as far as worldwide shipments during this period. Not bad.
But let’s get to the more interesting bit. The new watches!
Third generation Amazfit range has three iterations
To remind, Amazfit GTR 2 was released in 2020. GTS 2 was also released around this time. In our review we found GTR 2 to be a decent upgrade over the original. The budget-friendly timepiece has an attractive, very thin and lightweight design. This houses a beautiful AMOLED display and lots of health and fitness tech under the hood. Earlier this year we also saw an eSIM variant.
But now we have the third generation product. And this is quite a sizable update. The biggest in years for the company. It consists of Amazfit GTR 3, Amazfit GTS 3 and Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
Amazfit GTR 3
Starting off with Amazfit GTR 3, it comes in a couple of color options including Thunder Black and Moonlight Grey. The light aluminum alloy watch body (32 grams) has matt coloring and a silicone strap. The undersides of the band contain a ridge pattern – this is meant to reduce sweating and make the band easier to maintain.
The top of the device comes with a curved glass design which integrates into the watch body for an elegant look. Zepp says a 3D tool path process was used to manufacture the thing. This includes 0.03 mm feeding distance, high precision and four fine manual polishing processes. Sounds impressive.
The case houses a 1.39 inch ultra-clear AMOLED display. This comes with 100+ watch faces, 15 of which are animated. You are certainly to find something to your liking there. If not design your own – you can even upload your picture and use it as a watch face. Like before, you can also choose from a bunch of always-on display watch faces. These are more simplified and can reduce battery life quite a bit. Zepp says the watch has twice as smooth visuals as the last generation.
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A classic navigation crown can be found on the right. It allows you to move through the watch menus without your finger blocking the view of the screen. The vibration feedback is said to be 60% stronger than before, and there are 16 intensities so you can customize the vibration.
As far as sensors, GTR 3 comes with the new BioTracker 3.0 engine which monitors faster, more accurately, and more comprehensively than before. The Oxygen Beats is also better for SpO2. Time needed to take measurement is halved to only 15 seconds. Plus you can tap into 24/7 blood oxygen measurements so it is not just on-demand. The watch can also spit out reminders if your blood oxygen readings are low.
There’s a barometric altimeter (pressure sensor) on-board. In theory this should allow it to track floors climbed. We’re not sure, though, if this functionality has been added.
The SomnusCare sleep engine is the same as the last generation. In addition to your overnight stats, it monitors naps over 20 minutes in length and sleep breathing quality. RealBeats 2 monitors heart rate with 98% accuracyy. It also dishes out high and low heart rate alerts.
Something that is new is the one tap measurement. In just 45 seconds the watch can read your heart rate, SpO2, stress, breathing rate – all at the same time. This is for on-demand readings.
The presentation also makes mention of the ability to measure blood pressure continuously. Zepp Health is currently waiting for regulatory approval for its PumpBeats blood pressure engine. Once CE and FCC certification is secured the functionality will be switched on via a firmware update. But we are told this is a very strict and complicated process so there are currently no clear plans as to when (or if) this might happen.
The number of sports modes has been increased to 150+ (70 more than before). Eight of these are with auto-recognition. This should work better than before thanks to the high-end GPS chip (positioning speed up by 20%, accuracy up by 40%), which can tap into 5 satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and QZSS). Zepp Health’s PeakBeats algorithm tracks Vo2Max, your recovery stats and training effect – similar to FirstBeat metrics.
At 5 ATM, water-resistance remains the same. But now the heart rate monitor will work under water. This means more stats for your swim sessions.
Finally, the watch supports Alexa in 15 countries and a bunch of different languages. There’s also an offline voice assistant for Alexa when you don’t have an internet connection.
Despite the boost in specs, battery life remains impressive. This is no doubt due to the lightweight operating system. The 450mAh lithium-ion battery keeps going for up to 21 days. You can even extend this by tapping into the GTR 3’s Battery Saver Mode.
Amazfit GTS 3
GTS 3 comes with pretty much the same sensors and functionality as the GTR 3. The one addition is a temperature sensor which can also be found on Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
Square in design, GTS 3 is for those that are after something on their wrist that is more discreet. You get 3 color choices based on the colors of earth and nature (Graphite Black, Ivory White, Terra Rosa). The watch is only 8.8mm thick and is super lightweight (24.4 grams).
The size of the display is up to 1.75 inches (341ppi, 390 x 450 pixels), from 1.65 inches on generation 2. This was achieved by shrinking the bezel around the screen.
Apart from the design, an important difference between GTR 3 and GTS 3 is battery life. The latter keeps going only for 12 days on a single charge. Once again there are battery extending options.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is the high-end model of GTR 3. This one has aluminium alloy body coupled with a better quality strap. There’s an Infinite Black option with a fluoroelastomer strap and one with a brown leather strap.
The Pro version boasts the largest round display on the market. It measures 1.45 inches thanks to a narrower bezel. The resolution comes in at 480 x 480, with 331 PPI high-pixel density and up to 1000 nits of maximum brightness.
Other additions over the non-pro variant include a built-in speaker and microphone, the ability to to make and receive calls when connected to a smartphone and the ability to use WiFi to transfer and store songs for local playback of music. At 12 days between charges battery life is lower, though, than for the regular variant.
Availability, release date, price
Amazfit GTS 3 and GTR 3 cost exactly the same – $179.99 (check price on Amazon). The extra features on GTR 3 Pro will set you back an $40 more. The release date and availability of the three timepieces depends on the country that you are in.
The first batch of countries include the Chinese Mainland, US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan Region, Hong Kong SAR, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, UAE and India. But even within this batch the release date differs. All three products are available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain from today. In the US you can pick up GTR 3 Pro and GTR 3 today, with GTS 3 to be available soon.
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