Amazfit GTR 4
By Zepp Health
With its sleek design, great screen and excellent GPS and workout features, there are plenty of things to like about Amazfit GTR 4. The dual-frequency GPS, GPX route tracking and workout analytics also come recommended. We’re slightly irked by the discrepancies in heart rate data, however. It seems like something that Amazfit should be able to fix with an update, but it does undermine the rest of its excellent workout features – so, buyer beware. In a crowded field, the GTR 4 compares favorably to near rivals such as Huawei and even Samsung, even if it’s not quite an Apple Watch or Garmin killer yet.
- Lovely build and screen
- Accurate GPS
- Great workout features
- Workout HR issue
- No payments or music streaming
- Spotty sleep tracking
The Amazfit GTR 4 is, in many ways, the flagship Amazfit smartwatch. Zepp Health offers plenty of watches with extremely similar and confusing names, but this is the pick of the bunch – and it’s been given serious love both in terms of materials and features.
There are no hard and fast rules around genders for Amazfit’s smartwatches, but the round-faced GTR 4 (‘R’ for round) is undoubtedly more masculine. The Amazfit GTS 4 (‘S’ for square) on the other hand, is certainly geared toward women.
The GTR 4 gets better case materials and a more adventurous design – but is it worth the outlay? We’ve used it for a few weeks to find out.
Price and alternatives
The Amazfit GTR 4 costs $199 / £199 – and you can find the latest deals for the round-faced smartwatch above.
And despite the friendly price tag, it has plenty of natural competitors. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 comes in a bit more expensive and brings features such as apps and wrist payments, though it does also possess vastly inferior battery life.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 also competes – and is an excellent smartwatch. There’s not much to pick between the two, but we do prefer the Zepp Health app for tracking data.
The Apple Watch SE comes in slightly more expensive, as well, but would be our recommended choice for iOS users.
Design, build and screen
While previous GTRs have been perfectly decent-looking smartwatches, the GTR 4 is a step up.
The circular design is most people’s preferred smartwatch shape, but there’s more going on here than just a round screen.
The GTR 4 looks seriously thin. The official depth of 10.6mm isn’t world-beating, but the aluminum case gives it the appearance of being thinner. Regardless, we found it comfortable to wear.
Again, that aluminum alloy also gives a premium feel, and there’s a weight to the metal and glass ensemble that exudes a quality we don’t usually associate with Amazfit. You’d have to look at the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro, with its titanium build, to find a comparison.
The display is a 1.43-inch, 466 x 466 pixel AMOLED, covered in tempered glass, and there are no complaints about the visuals. It’s a lovely, large display for your workout data or notifications.
The black rubber strap also does the job of staying put, and warding off sweat, and it’s easy to swap in and out. There’s a leather option, too.
One complaint would be the selection of watch faces, and we’d like to see Amazfit find a way to up the quality here. It’s a pretty bang-average section of semi-identical-looking dials.
Sports features and running
Amazfit’s focus is always on health and fitness, so there’s no surprise to see a strong showing here.
The fitness tracking experience is solid, with steps tracked with all the usual metrics. It’s underpinned by the PAI score, a metric that’s been used on wearables since 2016 (yes, we were there at the start) that’s designed to be more useful than the standard step tracking.
Just do enough activity to keep the score at 100, and you’ll live a long and happy life. And it won’t tell you off for a rest/sofa day.
But, as we’ve said for the last 10 years, it’s great on paper, yet has never stuck for us as a motivator on any device, and falls down by being – in our opinion – abstract, obscure and hard to explain.
Every manufacturer packs in a silly amount of semi-meaningless workout profiles, and things are no different here – there are over 150 here to choose from. Most offer just time, calories, and heart rate data. It’s nice to tag workouts properly, but don’t expect bespoke metrics for every sport.
Not only is GPS on board, but it’s also been upgraded to dual-frequency GPS, with a newly designed antenna. And it seems to work. We tracked a host of runs, and each was bang on in terms of distance, both against the Apple Watch Ultra (which has a multi-band GPS antenna that has separately passed accuracy tests with flying colors) and also on known routes.
When you get back from your run, Zepp Health has also added some improved performance analytics. VO2 Max, Training Effect, and Training Load have all been added. All were generally in line with Garmin devices aside from our VO2 Max, which seemed a tad low but was still certainly in the ballpark.
The Amazfit GTR 4 also gets the ability to follow routes, which also works well. Get a GPX file on your phone and you can quickly share it with the Zepp app. When you start a run/walk, you can then swipe down to Routes and have the breadcrumb load for navigation.
There are some other features, too, such as a new interval timer and GPS smoothing so you get accurate track running sessions.
We did run into some heart rate accuracy issues – usually when starting or resuming runs. We found the GTR 4 tended to underestimate segments of runs, which skewed the average of the session.
Second and third test runs also produced a 10bpm lower average heart rate for the session than a comparison device – so there does seem to be a trend here. Still, a lot of the data did seem to align in real time.
It’s a shame, because the new metrics, VO2 Max, and other workout features do combine for an excellent fitness experience – and the Zepp Health app is up there with one of the better smartwatch brands.
If heart rate data going in isn’t up to scratch, it undermines the whole show. It’s not a huge issue – but buyer beware.
Sleep tracking also left us a little cold. First, you’ll need to head into the app to turn on the juiciest sleep-tracking data, which is left off by default.
We compared it against the Whoop 4.0, which is one of the best sleep trackers out there, but we found the data from the GTR 4 to be short of what we were expecting.
Sleep duration was sometimes more than an hour longer on the GTR 4 than on Whoop – and it seems less sensitive in general. That said, we did get some low sleep scores with long sleep durations, so, on the whole, it is useful for getting an overview of sleep quality.
Conversely, some nights recorded 7-8 hours of sleep, yet only 15 minutes of deep sleep. The same night would see Whoop score us with 1.5-2 hours of deep sleep.
Without a sleep lab, it’s almost impossible to verify this data either way, but some elements of the GTR 4’s sleep tracking didn’t pass the smell test.
Again, the big picture is fine, and large amounts of sleep data do correlate to Whoop.
Outside of that, things are pretty good.
The Zepp Health app is a great place to browse data, and the graphs are easy to understand.
Resting heart rate data was in-line with our established baselines.
And if you turn on the breathing quality data, you’ll see some excellent insights around nightly disturbances – and it will implicitly warn you of suspected sleep apnea issues.
Rivals devices don’t spell this out so clearly for users, so it’s great to see the way this is implemented.
Stress tracking, though, like other wearables, is a little abstract for our liking. There are both on-the-spot and continuous measurements that rank your stress levels out of 100. The historic measurements for us seemed to be the same daily (between 1 – 50). That’s low, but it was quite difficult to make any sense of the numbers.
There’s also guided breathing on board if you like that sort of thing.
As usual, if you have an eye on stress levels this could be a useful tool. But we’re not sure how – and the Fitbit Sense 2 seems to offer a better implementation.
As a smartwatch, the basics are handled with aplomb, but the GTR 4 misses out on the bells and whistles that make the Apple Watch and Wear OS smartwatches so powerful.
There are no wrist-based payments, so you can’t pay for a drink when you’re on a run, or coming back from the gym.
There is an app store, but you won’t find the kind of offerings of Apple or Google. It doesn’t elevate the experience at all.
And there’s no support for music streaming services, although you can add MP3s to the watch if you live in 1998.
These are the (sizeable) sacrifices you make by opting for a $199 smartwatch over a $299 one. And it’s one reason we have often pointed to the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini and brand-new Amazfit GTR Mini as alternatives to the full-fat Amazfit options.
Back to those basics, we found notifications to be delivered reliably, and there’s some decent granular control over which apps can buzz your wrist.
The weather widget works well, too, with some nice on-screen animations.
And there’s also Amazon Alexa on board if you want to control the voice assistant from the wrist. Alexa will offer voice feedback from the internal speaker, and on-screen data too – such as weather forecasts or the answers to simple questions.
It’s a very complete Alexa experience, although not something I enjoy using or derive that much value from – even though my house is totally Alexa’d up.
If there’s one area that the Amazfit GTR 4 excels, it’s battery life.
Amazfit promises 14 days of battery life as a standard, but this is with all of the bells and whistles – including always-on display, SpO2, stress and advanced sleep monitoring – turned off.
Still, even after turning all of that on, we were still impressed with the GTR 4’s staying power.
We found a drop-off of about 10-15% per day, including a GPS-tracked workout. So, around a week can be expected with reasonably heavy use.
An hour’s GPS running workout, as a reference, depleted the battery around 7%.
So if you’re smashing the training, you should still be good for a week – and that’s impressive.