But I have to admit that I don’t really use my SE to its full potential. I don’t work out as much as I should, and I’ve never really utilised too many of its other features.
So, when Anep of SoyaCincau BM asked if I was curious to try out the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini, I said that I wouldn’t mind taking it on. The Amazfit GTS Mini looked remarkably like the Apple Watch, and it’s at a much cheaper price of RM399.
Since I don’t really use much of what the more expensive Apple Watch SE has to offer, could I be content with a cheaper fitness watch? And what does it have that the Apple Watch doesn’t?
Uncanny to the untrained eye
If you saw me wearing the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini from afar, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference between it and the Apple Watch. It looks remarkably uncanny, from the silicone strap to its square shape with rounded edges.
But once you get a lot closer, Apple Watch users would totally be able to tell the difference. Even though it’s roughly the same size as the 40mm Apple Watch, it looks wider and flatter. Its side button also sticks out a little more than the Apple Watch’s crown.
My Apple Watch SE weighs 27.8g, whereas the Amazfit model weighs 19g. That slight difference makes the Apple Watch feel just a little more premium than the cheaper counterpart. But I can’t just judge a book by its cover.
The features aren’t bad at all
The first thing I wanted to do when I had my hands on the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini was to personalise its watch face to match what I already had on my Apple Watch. I figured I could at least decorate my fitness watch with my favourite Kpop star if I wanted to enjoy wearing it around.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have many different watch faces to choose from. The Zepp app (iOS, Android), which I needed to download to access features like choosing a watch face, offers a pretty good variety of faces that can provide you with the information you want at a glance. It includes a collection of “Sports Health” faces that show your rings, tracks, and heart rate, as well as a “Classic” collection if you want to go old school.
Amongst the many choices, you can also opt for a totally custom background. This means that you can select an image from your photo gallery as your watch face, which you can add other basic information like the time, date, and number of steps you’ve taken today.
Unlike the Apple Watch, you can’t select a collection of photos—which means you will only get to see one photo at a time with the Amazfit. But that’s not a particularly huge issue.
I was also surprised to find out that the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini is able to measure my blood oxygen levels as my Apple Watch SE isn’t able to do so. Granted, my colleagues noted that the measurements might not be as accurate as with an actual blood oxygen monitor or even with an Apple Watch Series 5—but I would still be able to use the watch to monitor my levels and contact a healthcare professional if the numbers look a little too crazy.
Additionally, the Amazfit has an option called “One Tap Measuring” which measures the big three at once—your heart rate, your blood oxygen levels, and your stress levels. It only takes 30 seconds for it to measure, and it would be extremely useful to someone more active.
As for its other features, the watch can do almost everything the Apple Watch can do. This includes the small stuff like weather, alarms, cycle tracking, compass, stopwatch, and timer—but it also notably includes a “Find My Phone” button that works like a charm, and a camera remote button that can help you take pictures on your phone.
But while these features are extremely useful, it just doesn’t beat what the Apple Watch can provide in terms of convenience. I can select the “Find My iPhone” feature with just a swish and a flick on my SE, while I had to wade through the many options on the Amazfit watch to find the “Find My Phone” feature. As for the camera remote button feature, the Amazfit doesn’t give you a view of what the photo or video would look like—it just gives me a humble button to press and take the picture.
I also noticed a few other differences in the GTS 4 Mini that made me miss using the Apple Watch.
A humble reminder that this isn’t an Apple Watch
Pressing onto the Apple Watch’s crown feels really satisfying, and it brings me to the watch’s app page which lets me view a whole lot of the apps through small circular icons. I can also use the crown to scroll up and down options on the screen.
For the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini, pressing the side button also takes me to its app page. But I’m not able to use the button to scroll up and down—I can only scroll with my finger on the screen. It also takes ages (it feels like it anyway) to find the app I want, likely due to its low refresh rate.
And even though the Zepp app is easy to use, it doesn’t properly connect to Apple’s Health app like it said it could. So, any workout details or steps taken with the GTS 4 Mini seem like a waste. Because it isn’t properly connected, notifications don’t pop up on the watch either.
I also have to remember to keep the Zepp app running if I want the watch to automatically sync with my phone. If I accidentally close the app, I wouldn’t be able to do things like “Find My Phone”—which is pretty inconvenient. However, Anep found it pretty easy to connect to his Samsung S22 Ultra, so I’m guessing that it could be an issue when the watch is paired to an iPhone.
Overall, trying out the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini humbly reminds me that I had to keep my Apple Watch SE idle at home for the review. But as I lived with it for a couple of weeks, I have to say that it’s a decent fitness watch—for a cheap Apple Watch knock-off.
Living with the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini
My Apple Watch SE has a measly battery life that barely lasts more than one and a half days. So, I was over the moon to find out that the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini can last for up to 15 days. In fact, its battery life went from 70% to 34% in 14 days—meaning that it can last a whole lot longer than 15.
It also took me about an hour to charge the watch from 34% to 100%. It could be because I wasn’t able to get notifications to work on the watch—as notifications drain my own Apple Watch’s battery pretty quickly. I also never really did much with the GTS 4 Mini besides using it for a couple of exercises, but it’s such a relief for me not needing to charge my watch every night.
When I did need to charge the GTS 4 Mini, I had to use the charger that came with it in the box. It’s a small magnetic charger that snaps into place pretty easily—just like the Apple Watch’s circular charger. The only difference is that the Apple charger looks a lot sleeker.
But of course, the battery life won’t matter if I don’t actually use the Amazfit for what it is—a fitness watch. Sure, I should be taking at least 3,000 steps a day and I should follow my ideal plan of a 30-minute workout daily, but I’ve barely passed my minimum daily step count and I’ve only worked out twice in two weeks… Honestly, that’s pretty good in my books.
Like the Apple Watch, the GTS 4 Mini tells me to stand up and walk around if I’ve been sitting for too long— something I should be following through more. It also has a neat feature that tells me that I have a few seconds to take a few steps to reach a certain goal, which could feed into a person’s desire to win something every once in a while.
For workouts, I usually go on the treadmill and follow that up with some simple strength training—so I tested it out with the Amazfit. It was pretty easy to select “Workout” and then choose the kind of workout I wanted to do. If I couldn’t find the type of workout I wanted to do, I selected “Free Training” and it worked just as well.
It’s not to say that there aren’t many options for the types of workouts. There are actually a lot more options (more than 120!) than with something like an Apple Watch. But it’s a lot harder to find something specific in a short amount of time—and I don’t usually want to wait around and scroll on my watch at the gym, it just seems like a waste of time.
The results of a workout synced up pretty easily with the Zepp app. I just wished that it could easily also sync up with Apple’s Health app. I know Zepp claims that they have that option, but I couldn’t get it to work at all. So, if my Health app didn’t register my workout—why do I even bother?
And because I’ve been so spoilt by what the Apple Watch SE has to offer, I missed out on things like paying for things with Apple Pay through my watch. I was basically wearing something that looks remarkably like an Apple Watch, only to use my iPhone to pay for things at the supermarket instead—like a barbarian!
Is the Amazfit GTS 4 Mini for you?
On their website, Amazfit has a huge collection of wearables. They include the Amazfit GTS, a version with a bigger watch face and more features. The GTS 4 Mini is basically the light version—with a smaller 1.65-inch screen and not as many features. Still, I think that it’s a pretty decent fitness watch for its price.
The watch looks great on smaller wrists, and you can select really nice colours for its strap—like pink (my personal favourite), blue, red, grey, and black. It’s a bit more difficult for you to change straps for the GTS 4 Mini, though, but there are tutorials for it online.
Basically, if you want a simple smartwatch to monitor your fitness and health goals, but you don’t want to spend RM1,199 on an Apple Watch, then this watch could be great for you. Keep in mind that it will work a lot better with Android devices, so if you have an iPhone, I would suggest that you suck it up and get yourself an Apple Watch SE.