Display: 1.45-inch AMOLED
Sensors: Heart rate, SpO2, Sleep
Battery: 450 mAh
The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is an ambitious smartwatch. Priced at $229, it transcends the company’s established reputation for affordable wearables. So is it actually “Pro” enough to keep up with the best smartwatches on the market?
With a BioMetric 3.0 health sensor that promises improved accuracy compared to the previous-generation Amazfit GTR 2, the GTR 3 Pro offers one-stop measurement for your heart rate, blood oxygen, stress levels and more. When you’re not checking on your body or working out with the 150+ exercise types, the watch’s built-in apps, hands-free voice controls and menu layouts can be tailored to suit your needs.
But the customization is heavily reliant on the Zepp smartphone app. The extended wearable app selection is also limited compared to other devices in its price range. Plus the few odd trade-offs noted in this Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review (like the fact you can answer calls on your wrist, but can’t respond to messages) could trip you up, depending on what you’re looking for out of a smartwatch.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Price and availability
The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is available now and costs $229. It’s the most expensive smartwatch sold by the Amazfit brand, though there are premium devices under the Zepp Health (formerly Huami) umbrella.
There’s also a non-Pro version of this smartwatch simply called the Amazfit GTR 3. We haven’t tested it, so we can’t speak to its performance, but we know it has a smaller display and lacks a built-in speaker. The standard GTR 3 doesn’t offer leather straps, either. The GTR 3 vs. GTR 3 Pro differences almost remind me of that between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Design and display
Amazfit’s GTR series is the brand’s lifestyle product line, striking a balance between sensible and sophisticated. The round face and simple, curved chassis reminds me of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (the newer Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has sharper details.)
One side features a pair of crown buttons, with the top one acting like the digital crown you find all the best Apple Watch models and the bottom one a dedicated launcher for an app of your choosing. It came pre-assigned to the Workout app, though you can change it to Alexa, music, stopwatch or practically any other program.
I like the elevated look and soft feel of the brown leather straps that came with my review unit, but they’re impractical for exercise. Luckily, the straps can be swapped out with silicone ones.
The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro’s 1.45-inch AMOLED display is large, bright and customizable with an always-on mode and a library of watch faces, though you’ll need to install most new faces through the Zepp app on your smartphone. In my experience the screen was responsive to scrolls and taps, except when checking notifications. There’s an obvious hesitation in this part of the interface, but since I can’t respond to messages from the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro, I didn’t land here often — more on that in the smartwatch features section.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Fitness tracking features
With more than 150 workout types, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro is prepared for practically any kind of exercise. It supports presets ranging from traditional cardio machines and pool swimming to esports and foosball (serious.) I stuck to my regular walking, running, indoor cycling and yoga routine, but unique Zepp Health features helped me switch up my incentives.
For one, the GTR 3 Pro has Zepp’s native Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) score, which reminds me of the Activity Zone Minutes tool found on the best Fitbits like the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5. The goal is to earn and maintain at least 100 PAI points over a 7-day period, which isn’t difficult as long as you workout regularly. Even my morning 1-mile dog walk helped me bank 15 points.
Then, when it came to running (which I begrudgingly picked up thanks to testing some of the best running headphones) I wound up using the watch’s virtual pacer feature. After establishing a goal pace, the workout interface animates a competitor to run against, letting me know if they’re behind or ahead of me. It was usually the latter, but I liked the gamification. It helped that I didn’t run into any issues with the built-in GPS, which picked up a signal in about 10 seconds.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Additional health features
Beyond physical activity metrics, the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro offers sleep, stress and temperature tracking. I found the sleep tracking fell within a 15-minute window of the sleep time totals gathered by my Apple Watch 7 and the Oura smart ring I’m simultaneously testing. Perhaps it overestimated my time in deep sleep, though.
I prefer not to read my stress levels, because it usually makes me more anxious, so instead of taking standalone stress tests I used Amazfit’s One-Tap Measurement tool. In a 45-second reading, the GTR 3 Pro will tell you stress score, heart rate, SpO2 level and respiration rate. I think more of the best fitness trackers should offer this all-in-one option for gathering health data.
Most of these metrics can be measured individually, too. You can have your stress monitored every 5 minutes, and receive alerts when your stress score is high for an extended period of time. Similarly, with automatic blood oxygen monitoring, you can get notification if your SpO2 levels fall low. Just note these features will cut into your battery life big-time.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Smartwatch features
The Amazfit’s GTR 3 Pro’s smartwatch features are a mixed bag. One highlight is offline voice controls, which activates your watch’s microphones for the 5 seconds after you raise your wrist and lets you ask for a certain app or workout type to launch. This watch also has Alexa, so you can control any of the best Alexa compatible devices in your home or ask questions through your phone’s Wi-Fi connection. But Alexa can’t dictate answers back to you.
Another odd trade-off is how Bluetooth connectivity lets you answer calls on your watch, but messages and other notifications are read-only. I like to text from my smartwatches, rather than carry on an entire phone conversation on my wrist. At least the speaker quality is solid enough for when I did answer the occasional call.
The speaker on the watch can be used to play music, which is something the Apple Watch doesn’t offer. Not that I really want to use my smartwatch as a speaker. Luckily, you can pair Bluetooth headphones for playback. You can store just over 2GB of music downloaded in the companion Zepp app, too.
Speaking of, you need the Zepp app quite a bit when customizing your experience with the GTR 3. Several apps will prompt you to initiate setting changes or see further health info on your smartphone. You’ll also need to add new smartwatch apps from your smartphone, not that there are many apps to choose from. Currently, Zepp’s “app store” only provides in-brand programs. There’s no NFC chip for mobile payments, so no leaving your wallet at home, either.
Still, Amazfit’s watches are convenient for iOS as well as some of the best smartwatches for Android. Even Fitbit smartwatches can only transfer calls to Android phones, but the GTR 3 Pro easily pulled incoming calls from my iPhone 13 Pro Max. You don’t see many smartwatches that play nice equally with both major smartphone softwares.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Battery life
Amazfit says the GTR 3 Pro offers up to 12 days of battery life. I assume that’s with light use, though. When I enabled a few of the automatic health-tracking features and the always-on display, my smartwatch was due for a recharge after four days. Still, that’s a lot better than every Apple and Samsung smartwatch, which at the most will last around 20 hours.
I juiced the GTR 3 back up in about two hours using the included magnetic charger.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro review: Verdict
The Amazfit GTR 3 Pro’s most obvious setback is price. At $229, it wants to keep up with the likes of the midrange Apple Watch SE and Fitbit Versa 3, but it doesn’t have the watchOS app library or effortless Fitbit interface to match. Plus the GTR 3 Pro experience relies heavily on having your phone nearby. Perhaps if it fell under $200, we could call it one of the best cheap smartwatches you can buy. It’s more versatile than plenty of affordable wearables currently available.
Still, impressive fitness tracking features and a few neat health-monitoring tricks (like the One-Tap Measurement app) make it easy to recommend to anyone willing to stray from the familiar brands. It’s also a good choice for those who like a modern timepiece design and large watch face, because who says your smartwatch can’t make a fashion statement?