Image source: Amazfit

Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: here’s how to choose

The just released Amazfit GTS 3 improves on GTS 2 in a multitude of ways. This is Zepp Health’s popular smarwatch line along with its circular brother, the GTR.

The timepiece is up to generation three but the range actually consists of five watches as we’ve also seen an interim GTS 2 Mini. That one arrived in December 2020. It skims slightly on some of the functionality but this helps to cut its cost quite a bit. As you’ve probably guessed, it is also smaller in size. Finally, there’s a GTS 2e. It again, has some design tweaks.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

You might not be entirely clear as to where these devices differ. We’re here to help. Read on to find out which is right for you.


Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: Technical specs

Design

In terms of design all devices in the GTS range are similar. They have a squarish look that reminds slightly (but not too much) of the Apple Watch. They are all made of aluminium alloy, a polymer material and there’s a silicone strap to go along with everything.

Interestingly, the original Amazfit GTS and GTS 2 Mini look almost identical. Apart from the size, that is. GTS 2, on the other hand, has a slightly more stylish design. You can see a comparison below. This shows that GTR 3 also has some styling nuances. Mostly around the physical button.

Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS vs GTS 2 Mini
Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS vs GTS 2 Mini

The physical size of the watch has changed slightly between the first and second generation. GTS 2 comes in at 42.8 x 35.6 x 9.7mm so is a fraction smaller but also slightly thicker than the original. Not that you’re going to notice. But you will notice that GTS 2 Mini comes in at only 40.5 x 35.8 x 8.95mm.

Measuring only 8.8mm, GTS 3 is the thinnest of the lot. Its hight and width come in at 42.4 x 36mm. So apart from the Mini, there is very little difference in the size of the watch across generations.

The same applies to weight. The regular variants measure around 25 grams while the Mini manages to shave 5 grams off of this.

As far as display, all of these watches pack an AMOLED. The screen is well protected against scratches and drops. The latest version uses Tempered Glass, GTS 2 a diamond-like carbon coating and the original Gorilla Glass 3. All of these should suffice and you will not be able to tell the difference.

What is more important is the display size. GTS 3 almost gets rid of the bezel entirely in order to squeeze a 1.75 inch display in the case. This is up on 1.65 inches on generation two and one. As its name implies, Mini has the smallest display of the lot – 1.55 inches. It is meant for those with slender wrists.

Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS vs GTS 2 Mini
Rotating crown on GTS 3

Another thing in GTS 3’s favor is the rotating crown. You can use this in addition to the touch-display to navigate your way around the menus. The other watches have a classic physical button that you can press to wake up the display and perform a few other functions.

All the watches have a 5 ATM rating for water-resistance. This makes them well suited for swimming and other water and under-water adventures.

Under the hood

The internal specs are not that different between the three. GTS comes with a BioTracker PPG , 6-axis accelerometer, 3-axis geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, ambient light brightness sensor. GTS 2 and GTS 2 Mini upgrade this with a BioTracker PPG (capable of measuring SpO2, 9-axis accelerometer. Satellite connectivity and NFC (for Chinese version) can be found on all of these timepieces. The latest generation adopts the BioTracker PPG 3 engine. It also slaps on a skin temperature sensor.

As far as battery life, Huami has done well. The latest generation can go a full 12 days between charges, which is 5 days more than before. With some power saving options this can be extended to nearly three weeks. Switch GPS on and this falls to about 20 hours.

Here’s a detailed look at the specs.

GTS 3
GTS 2
GTS 2 Mini
GTS
Case material
Aluminium alloy, polymer material, soft silicone strap
Aluminium alloy, polymer material, soft silicone strap
Aluminium alloy, polymer material, soft silicone strap
Aluminium alloy, polymer material, soft silicone strap
Physical size
42.4 x 36.0 x 8.8 mm
42.8 x 35.6 x 9.7mm
40.5 x 35.8 x 8.95mm
43.25 x 36.25 x 9.4mm
Weight
24.4 grams
24.7 grams
19.5 grams
25.0 grams
Display size
1.75 inch
1.65 inch
1.55 inch
1.65 inch
Display resolution
390 x 450 pixels
348 x 442 pixels
306 x 354 pixels
348 x 442 pixels
Display type
AMOLED
AMOLED
AMOLED
AMOLED
Rotateable crown
Yes
No
No
No
Water-resistance
5 ATM
5 ATM
5 ATM
5 ATM
Sensors
BioTracker PPG 3.0 (supports SpO2, 6PD + 2LED), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, barometric altimeter, ambient light sensor, temperature sensor
BioTracker PPG (capable of measuring SpO2, 9-axis accelerometer, 3-axis geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, capacitive sensor, ambient light brightness sensor
BioTracker PPG (capable of measuring SpO2, 9-axis accelerometer, 3-axis geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, capacitive sensor, ambient light brightness sensor
BioTracker PPG , 6-axis accelerometer, 3-axis geomagnetic sensor, air pressure sensor, ambient light brightness sensor.
Sattelite connectivity
GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BDS, QZSS
GPS, Glonass
GPS, Glonass
GPS, Glonass
Battery
250mAh lithium ion
246mAh lithium ion
220mAh lithium ion
220mAh lithium ion
Battery life
12 days typical usage, 20 days basic usage and 20 hours with GPS switched on.
7 days typical usage, 20 days basic usage and 25 hours with GPS switched on.
7 days typical usage, 20 days basic usage and 25 hours with GPS switched on. 
7 days typical usage, 20 days basic usage and 20 hours with GPS switched on. 
NFC
Yes (Chinese version only)
Yes (Chinese version only)
Yes (Chinese version only)
Yes (Chinese version only)
Microphone
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Speaker
No
Yes
No
No
Music storage
No
3 GB
No
No
RRP
$179.99
$179.99
$99.99
$149.99

Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: Activity tracking

As far as fitness and health tracking ability, GTS watches have all the usual fitness and sleep tracking stats. This includes steps, distance, activity, stress, sleep, menstrual cycle monitoring and stress monitoring. You also get a PAI score to make sure you keep your heart pumping regularly.

Let’s jump right to the differences. We’re mostly focusing here on what is new with GTS 3.

  • Sattelite connectivity: There’s a plethora of sports modes available and Zepp Health has said it will keep adding new ones. Out of the 150+ available on GTS 3, eight are with auto-recognition. Built-in GPS/GLONASS also comes on all GPS watches for phone free training. The latest generation has the ability to tap into 5 different sattelite systems. So in addition to GPS/GLONASS you can also connect to Galileo, BDS and QZSS. Zepp Health says establishing a connection should be faster and the sattelite tracking accuracy has been improved. This has been a sore point of some of the earlier watches.
  • Heart rate accuracy: Each subsequent generation has brought improvements in heart rate accuracy. The latest generation watches come with the new BioTracker PPG 3.0. As before it allows for high and low heart rate alerts.
  • Heart rate while swimming: GTS 3 has the ability to monitor your heart rate under water. The other watches don’t.
  • Respiration rate: GTS 3 has the ability to take four measurements on-demand in as little as 45 seconds. This includes heart rate, blood oxygen, stress level and breathing rate. The last of these is something that you don’t get on earlier generation devices.
  • SpO2: Apart from the first generation, all Amazfit GTS watches track blood oxygen. But there’s an important difference. Only the latest generation does this automatically in the background in addition to on-demand. You can even set it to send you an alert if your blood oxygen drops below a certain level.
  • Temperature sensor: GTS 3 adds a skin temperature sensor. It is the only GTS watch with the ability to track this metric.
  • Performance metrics: GTS 3 adds a proprietary algorithm for calculating VO2Max, recovery time, training load and training effect. There’s also something called Virtual Pacer. This allows you to set a desired running pace, and have the watch guide you so that you achieve the desired time.
  • Blood pressure measurements: This one is a big question mark. Zepp Health has said its new watches will have the ability to track blood pressure. However, the company is currently waiting for regulatory approval of the function. The bad news is that this is a strict and complicated process. We are told there are currently no clear plans as to when (or if) this might happen.
Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2
Image source: Amazfit

Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: Smart features

Moving quickly on to smart functionality. Users can use all GTS watches to view (but not reply to) messages and app notifications and find my phone. You also get call & message alerts, although the GTS 2 Mini doesn’t have a speaker so you cannot accept calls on it. This is also the case with GTS and GTS 3.

GTS 2 needs a speaker as it has 3GB of memory to store your own music. This is an important difference between it and the other GTS watches. They have no built in storage for music, and only allow for smartphone music control. GTS 2 is therefore the only one of the lot with the ability to connect to WiFI. It needs this as it is used for transferring songs to the device.

Other than that, there’s a clock, alarm, stopwatch, weather and camera shutter function. The watches have NFC but this has not been enabled for the international version – only the Chinese one.

Amazfit GTS 2 review:

Amazfit GTS 2
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Fitbit Ionic or Garmin Vivoactive 3: which to get?

So while the lack of built-in storage for music is a GTS 3 downgrade, there is one big upgrade. The device is the only one capable of running the new Zepp OS. The software is much more lightweight than before – hence the excellent battery life of the watch as compared to its predecessors. Questions have been asked to Zepp Health support staff whether the new Zepp OS will be coming to older watches. At the moment it is looking like it won’t.

Apart from the fact that it is more lightweight, the new operating system comes with support for third-party apps. This taps into something called Mini App Framework. This is a system that allows anyone with java script knowledge to design their own lightweight apps. It also allows them to create watch faces. Support for third-party apps is a big improvement as it will in time develop a rich framework of software that you can install your your watch.

In order to prevent information overload, we’ve not included in this article info on the interim GTS 2e. But you can check it out on this link. Basically that watch drops local storage for music and adds a temperature sensor. In a sense it paves the way for GTS 3. But we can’t really see the point of this watch as it has now been superseeded by GTS 3.


Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: Verdict

Amazfit has been quite busy churning out smartwatches on a regular basis in the past few years. 2021 has been a bit quieter than usual but the GTS 3 along with GTR 3 and 3 Pro have dropped a few days ago. Just in time for the holidays.

GTS 3 is a healthy upgrade over GTS 2. It comes with a larger display thanks to smaller bezels, rotating crown, longer battery life, support for more sattelite systems, all-day blood oxygen tracking (versus only on-demand), respiration metrics, better heart rate accuracy (plus under-water heart rate), a skin temperature sensor and additional performance metrics. Blood pressure tracking might be added to this list in the future, but only if Zepp Health secures the necessary regulatory approval. And let’s not forget the all-new Zepp OS. It currently only runs on GTS 3, GTR 3 and GTR 3 Pro.

Amazfit GTS 2 review:

Amazfit GTS 3
Gadgets & Wearables may get a commission

Fitbit Ionic or Garmin Vivoactive 3: which to get?

The one important caveat is that built-in storage for music has been dropped. This might make a difference to some, it might not make the least bit of difference to others. It is for this reason that GTS 3 and GTS 2 both retail for $179.99 (check price on Amazon). Although don’t be surprised if the latter drops in price in the weeks and months ahead.

Having said that, in terms of value for money GTS 2 Mini (view on Amazon) is still a bargain. It comes with the same functionality as the GTS 2 but costs much less. Pretty much the only difference between those two is the smaller size and lack of storage for music. You can also check them out on Amazfit’s website.

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One thought on “Amazfit GTS 3 vs GTS 2 vs GTS 2 Mini: here’s how to choose

  • Are golf apps available on the gts 2/mini

    Reply

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