Both watches boast crystal-clear displays
GPS loads quickly and reliably
Slightly clunky partner app and questionable aesthetics=
Both watches provide compelling propositions for a wallet-friendly price, but the compromise is some slightly cheap hardware
Watches designed to be both fitness devices and everyday timepieces can often fall victim to ‘shampoo-and-conditioner’ syndrome. That is, in attempting to do two things at once, they simply end up doing neither thing very well.
Too often, the result is a watch that is neither techy enough to provide you with the requisite running info, nor stylish enough to proudly wear down the pub.
So, it’s a tricky balancing act that the Amazfit GTR 2 and GTS 2 has to strike. In fairness, both watches – created by Amazon – come with a load of runner-friendly tech. There are 12 built-in sports modes, including outdoor running and treadmill running; quick-loading and accurate GPS; 24/7 heart-rate tracking; cadence tracking; onboard storage for music; blood oxygen tracking; sleep monitoring, and much, much more.
The GTR 2 has a traditional, circular face, while the GTS 2 has a more sporty, rectangular look. The GTR 2 has a longer battery life – 14 days on a single charge to the GTS 2’s 7 days – but, that aside, they’re essentially the same watch at the same price (£159).
The displays on both watches are excellent. They boast an AMOLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass (seriously durable) and anti-fingerprint coatings. What this all means is that, on the run, we found both displays offered the kind of at-a-glance clarity runners require.
For accurate heart-rate reading, you have to pull the plastic straps tight to your wrist, which may irritate some users. However, the watches gain points for having Amazon Alexa baked into their hardware, offering you voice controls on the fly. RW’s request to ‘Please, make this run feel easier’ was, however, cruelly ignored.
Affordability comes at a price
By running-watch standards, GTR 2 and GTS 2 – both priced £159 – are at the more affordable end of the spectrum. Given the amount of tech they pack in, that represents a good deal. However, there are some caveats. Neither watch scores particularly highly in the fashion stakes: the plasticky wrist bands on both feel a bit cheap, while the GTS 2 looks like the Apple Watch’s slightly less stylish cousin. In addition, the Zepp app you have to connect with is a bit clunky.
The running watch market is an increasingly packed one, but the GTR 2 and GTS 2 deserve a closer look if you’re after a well-priced watch that packs in the features. They don’t look as good or perform as well as some of their pricier peers, but both watches do the important stuff well: they track accurately, offer good battery life and have excellent screens. Alexa, what more do you want?
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