If you’re looking for an easy way to keep an eye on your overall health and quantify your everyday activity, metrics, and sleep, the Amazfit GTR 3 is a phenomenal device. It blends in on the wrist but can jump into tracking physical activity at a moment’s notice, and for $179.99, if you don’t want or need a full smartwatch the GTR3 is an outstanding option.
- Stylish design
- Can change out the wristbands
- Heart rate monitor seems fairly accurate
- Many tracking options
- Syncs with Apple Health
- Provides all sorts of health metrics
- Zepp app is limited in its notifications
- Alexa is nice to have but seems redundant when you need a phone for the internet connection
We’ve been big fans of various Amazfit/Zepp smartwatches in the past. They’ve recently debuted their new Amazfit GTR 3 smartwatch, and we’ve had the chance to put it through the smartwatch ringer. The GTR 3 isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely hands-down my favorite smartwatch that I’ve tested in a very long time. What makes it so great? Read on to find out!
The first reason I fell in love with the Amazfit GTR 3 was purely aesthetic. It’s a black casing with two buttons and an otherwise plain style. There are hourly hash marks around the face, but this isn’t like the T-Rex line that looks like it would win against a tank; it’s a much simpler and more refined style.
The Amazfit GTR 3 is nice enough that I’ve worn it with a dress shirt and tie to the office, and none of my coworkers realized it was a smartwatch until they looked more closely. They just saw a sleek, simple black watch.
The band is rubber but with a nice texture to it. The material itself doesn’t make my skin feel extra sweaty even while working out, and it appears to be a regular watch band connector, so you could swap it out for a different band of your choice if you prefer.
Navigating the s interAmazfit GTR 3’s face is very simple. There are two buttons on one side-the top button brings up a menu of options ranging from the heart rate monitor to the alarms to the settings, while the bottom button brings you to the extensive list of exercises that can be tracked.
All the usual suspects are there like outdoor run/walk/bike, indoor workouts, even jump rope. And, apparently, esports. I thought that was a bit of strange inclusion, but the internet tells me that apparently, elite esports players do work out to get themselves ready for their long competitions.
In any case, you just scroll to the sport of your choice, tap it, and off you go. GPS lock for outdoor activity is very swift, and I’ve had zero issues with getting up and running nearly immediately. The interface on the Amazfit GTR 3 is great for a quick check-in glance, showing you the time, distance, speed, and heart rate. The GTR3 is also rated for 5 ATMs, meaning you can take it for a swim but not necessarily go scuba diving.
In addition to tracking everyday activity, the Amazfit GTR 3 can also monitor your heart rate as well as stress levels. I found the heart rate monitor to be fairly accurate, or at least in line with the same results I’ve received from other Amazfit devices as well as my Apple Watch.
I’m not sure how accurate the stress measurement is, mostly because it apparently works off of heart rate variability (as in, if your heart jumps, the watch reads it as stress). My heart rate tends to remain low and relatively steady, so it seems convinced I’m never really stressed. This is a lie, as I am a neurotic Jew, and I am always low-level stressed. Still, it’s an interesting concept to try to measure, and I am sure Zepp will continue to refine the feature.
I will say that I love the Amazfit GTR 3’s sleep tracking feature. I’ve had some issues with sleeping well the last few weeks, and I had a few times where I was pretty sure I woke up in the middle of the night but couldn’t confirm if it was real or a dream. Since the Zepp app shows light sleep, heavy sleep, and when you were awake, I could pinpoint when I was waking up from a deep sleep.
The Amazfit GTR 3 is rated for up to 21 days of battery life, and I’ve found that even with all the sensors turned on, the battery lasts well over a week. It also charges up relatively fast, though it does use a magnetic proprietary charger, so you’ll want to keep that somewhere easy to access so you can keep the watch topped off whenever you want.
There are a few other tricks the Amazfit GTR 3 can pull out as well. It has Alexa built-in, so if your phone isn’t cutting it, you can get a second opinion from a different AI. You can track all the usual metrics like steps and how often you stand (and, for some reason, the watch orders you to stand and “relax yourself” if you don’t stand for a period of time).
It also measures your blood oxygen, though note that this obviously is not a replacement for a true blood oxygen measurement if you’re concerned. It falls under the same heading as sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring —it doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate, but if it’s consistent over time, it gives you an idea of your overall health picture.
While I really love the Amazfit GTR 3, I have a few minor nitpicks. One is more related to the Zepp app itself, which is that notifications are rather lean. You can pull notifications from a handful of apps, and while there’s an option to opt-in for notifications via text, they don’t pop up from my iPhone (this is almost definitely an iOS/Apple issue, but it’s worth noting).
Zepp does sync with Apple Health, and I’ve found that it seems to be communicating smoothly, and without any sync issues, so while it’s unfortunate that the notifications are lacking, as a fitness device, it works quite smoothly.
It’s also been a while since I used the Zepp app, and I found the information it provides to be detailed and easy to access, so, again, as a fitness tracker, this is a home run. As a smartwatch for iOS, it’s not as great, but that’s the case for any device that’s not an Apple Watch.
Overall, I think the Amazfit GTR 3 is a great fit for a specific type of user. If you’re looking for a full-blown smartwatch experience, you might find the limitations that Apple places on 3rd parties to be too restrictive.
But if you’re looking for an easy way to keep an eye on your overall health and quantify your everyday activity, metrics, and sleep, this is a phenomenal device. It blends in on the wrist but can jump into tracking physical activity at a moment’s notice, and for $179.99, if you don’t want or need a full smartwatch, the GTR3 is an outstanding option.
The Amazfit GTR 3 retails for $179.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer and Amazon.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Stylish design; Can change out the wristbands; Heart rate monitor seems fairly accurate; Many tracking options; Syncs with Apple Health; Provides all sorts of health metrics
What Needs Improvement: Zepp app is limited in its notifications; Alexa is nice to have but seems redundant when you need a phone for the internet connection