Amazfit GTS 4 Mini review: A compact, feature-rich fitness watch – NewsBytes

Amazfit has been raising the bar in the affordable fitness watches category in India over the past few years. Their detailed companion app and battery life figures are still hard to beat in the category. We have closely analyzed three generations of their GTR and GTS series watches over the years, and while not perfect to begin with, the progress has been noticeable with every new release. Their fourth generation is upon us, and the teaser campaigns have already started. Interestingly, the company has rung in the new-generation with one of their more affordable offerings this time, rather than their flagship products. After having used the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini for a few weeks, I can tell you that this little one is not meant to be taken lightly. It packs a lot of features we liked on the more expensive GTR 3 in a compact body and with a more affordable price tag. Time to take it for a run.
Just like all GTS series watches, the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini has a rectangular body and display. There is nothing unique about the design but the finish and build quality are quite good, making it look premium. The aluminium alloy frame lends it some sturdiness and at the same time helps in keeping the weight down. Speaking of which, this watch is extremely light and weighs just 31.2 grams with straps. You barely feel its presence when you wear it. Oh, and it’s quite slim too with just a shade over 9mm in thickness. The bundled silicone straps feel comfortable around the wrist and don’t cause sweating or skin irritation even after wearing the watch all day. The company has deviated a bit from the standard buckle and hoop locking mechanism with the strap going under rather than over the other strap. It may take a few attempts getting used to but it isn’t complex. One suggestion is to wear the watch slightly loose to allow some space underneath to slide the strap. Post that it fits perfectly. The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini uses standard 20mm straps and one can replace them with any third party strap of the same width. The watch is available in multiple color shades to appeal to all genders and different age groups. We got the Midnight Black variant for review with its frame sporting a metallic gray matte finish and a shiny line running along the edges of the display to lend it that extra bit of elegance. You get a physical button on the right edge that lets you access different functions of this watch.
Despite its compact footprint, the screen size of the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini is slightly larger than that of its predecessor, the GTS 2 Mini, and in fact the same as the GTS 2e. It sports a 1.65-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 336×384 pixels. The resolution is a little lower than the standard GTS models, but the display is sharp enough with 308PPI pixel density. The color reproduction is pretty good too. The screen is protected against scratches and smudges by a layer of tempered glass and an anti-fingerprint coating, respectively. The screen is fairly bright, and you can choose between auto and manual brightness controls. It is perfectly legible outdoors under bright sunlight at about 75% brightness, and 50% is good enough when indoors. You can flick your wrist to turn the screen on or simply press the physical button. Flick gesture works well most of the time, and it can be turned off or scheduled to stay off when you go to bed. Though not a vast collection yet, you do get over four dozen watch faces for this watch in the companion app. You get the usual digital, analogue and fitness data heavy options to choose from. They get transferred to the watch briskly from the app, and even better, and you get a lot of additional slots on the watch to store the chosen watch faces, over and above the pre-installed ones. Some preloaded faces offer you a choice to display your preferred information like steps count, calories, heart rate and more.
Like all other Amazfit watches, you need to install the Zepp app, and sync the GTS 4 Mini with it over Bluetooth; it’s a straightforward process. Though the app is necessary to set up the watch, you don’t need to go back to it for every little thing. Several features and settings of this watch can be accessed directly from the watch itself. And that’s not all, you can even see more details of certain workouts as well as sleep data on the watch screen. The app is mainly needed to set your fitness goals, see detailed weekly or monthly reports and download newer watch faces. The user interface of the Zepp app underwent a change last year around the launch of GTR 3 and GTS 3 watches, and it still feels fresh and clean. The watch platform or Zepp OS as it’s called was also tweaked then and you get the new peppy interface on the GTS 4 Mini too. It is quite user-friendly, and won’t take long for anyone to get a hang of. Swiping down on the home screen gives you access to quick settings, swiping up opens notifications from various apps, and swiping left or right lets you cycle through various widgets like daily activity progress, heart rate, sleep/stress data etc. The physical button serves as a shortcut for all the watch functions and acts as a home button from any other screen. The app interface is simple and clean. The home screen shows all the fitness cards that display information about your heart rate throughout the day, stress and blood oxygen levels, sleep synopsis and daily activity progress among other things. The Health tab has the breakdown of your workouts, and you can set or reset your fitness goals there. The Profile tab lets you tweak the watch settings and personal information.
At the back of the watch, you have the BioTracker PPG 3.0 biometric sensor found in Amazfit’s series 3 watches. It can monitor heart rate, blood oxygen and stress levels all day. The SpO2 measurements are fairly brisk with the newer sensor. With a steady hand, you get a reading in 15 to 30 seconds, that is at par with a clinical oximeter. The one tap measurement that was present in GTR 3 is available here too. It measures four health parameters – heart rate, oxygen level, stress level and breath rate at a go in 45 seconds. The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini claims to track 126 different activities and sports which are essentially variations of walking, running, cycling, swimming, free style training and some more. It has a built-in GPS to track your runs. But at times, it takes quite a while to get a GPS lock; as long as five minutes even when outdoors. Post that the distance is tracked fine. This watch is supposed to auto-detect seven workouts, but that didn’t seem to work with the review unit. The indoor steps count is slightly on the lower side, but the pedometer doesn’t report false steps. The watch is 5ATM water resistant making it swim-proof. A PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) score sheds light on your overall activities during the week. The watch supports menstrual tracking and can assist you with certain breathing exercises too. You also get periodic sedentary reminders when you are stationary for long. Sleep tracking is fairly accurate here. It tracks the overall sleep duration and breaks it down into quantum of light sleep, deep sleep, REM periods and awake time. You get a sleep score and reference data on the quality and quantity of sleep. All day stress monitoring is also available on this watch, which is calculated on the basis of your heart rate variability. It shows how you tend to handle stress.
Though the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini is more of a fitness tracker, it does pack a few smartwatch functions. You can mute or reject calls from the watch screen, but placing or receiving calls from the watch is not an option here, something that’s getting popular these days even in entry-level watches. Similarly, you can read your messages, but cannot reply back from the watch. Notifications from chosen apps, along with event reminders and weather updates are pushed to the watch screen. Alexa support is present too, but it’s very basic. Zepp OS now has a handful of apps for you to install. You just have 10 basic apps to show for now, but this might be a start of something big; something worth tracking. Amazfit watches are known for their excellent battery backup, and the GTS 4 Mini doesn’t disappoint at all in this department. The company claims a battery life of 15 days on the watch’s 270mAh battery under typical usage scenario, and it does get close. In our test scenario with heart rate monitoring set to one minute, all-day stress monitoring on, three hours of total GPS usage per week, two SpO2 readings daily, sleep monitoring turned on for a week, notifications limited to SMS and email, the watch stayed up for close to two weeks. This feat is even more impressive given its compact size. If you do not use GPS much, it can even go on for 21 days. GPS usage for half an hour tends to drop the battery by about 4%, which is acceptable. It takes less than two hours to charge the watch fully with the bundled proprietary magnetic pin charger.
The Amazfit GTS 4 Mini is available for purchase in India for Rs. 7,999 with a one year warranty on the company’s website and popular e-commerce platforms. That is not a bad price at all for what it offers. It is packed with most of the features that the GTS 3 flaunts and is more affordable than even a two years old GTS 2e. Sounds like a great deal. There are a couple of minor shortcomings but we would term neither of them as a deal-breaker. It doesn’t let you place calls from the watch and auto-detection of workouts did not work for me, but I can live with that given what’s on offer for well under Rs. 10,000. You get a compact, stylish and swim-proof fitness watch with a sharp AMOLED display, built-in GPS, newer sensors, reliable fitness tracking, competent companion app and very good battery backup, making it a straightforward recommendation for those looking for a sleek fitness watch. If you prefer larger or circular dials, you should consider the Amazfit GTR series watches instead.
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