The Amazfit GTS and Huawei GT are similarly priced smart watches costing around £100 or under $150. They both share a comprehensive list of features including AMOLED screens, built in heart rate monitoring and multi sport activity tracking with built in GPS.
Their price and 14-day battery life makes them a very tempting proposition compared to comparable options from bigger brands like Apple and Samsung.
I’ll compare 10 of the most important features to determine which is the right watch for you. If you want further information on the Amazfit GTS, I also have a full detailed review.
1. Build quality
I’m testing the Huawei with the silver bezel and hybrid leather strap, and the build quality is very impressive. It feels like a premium watch costing far more and makes my Apple Watch feel a little cheap. It has two buttons, the top button always returns to the watch screen, or lets you choose an app and the bottom button controls workouts.
The Amazfit GTS still feels well made with an aluminium surround, plastic back and a Gorilla Glass screen, something not specified on the Huawei. It’s also about a millimeter thinner than the Huawei and less bulky. And it weighs significantly less too at 36g versus the Huawei’s 64g. But it also doesn’t feel as premium and only has the one button.
You can easily swap the straps out on both the Amazfit and Huawei, which can significantly change their look. They take standard 20mm and 22mm straps respectively.
A lot will come down to personal taste and whether you prefer a round or rectangular watch face. If you like a smaller, lighter watch that closely resembles an Apple Watch, the Amazfit GTS might be perfect for you, but I do very slightly prefer the look and build, especially with the included strap, of the Huawei GT.
The most impressive feature of these watches are their screens. They both have high resolution AMO-LED displays and easily compete with watches costing over twice as much.
The rectangular Amazfit screen has a 348 x 442 1.65” pixel display, and the Huawei has a round 454 x 454 pixel 1.39” display. It’s hard to compare a rectangular and round screen, but the GT screen looks a little bigger and of course better suits round watch faces. But the rectangular display is ideal for reading text which I’ll come back to shortly.
They both have an automatic brightness setting which is generally the best option for battery life, but manually setting them at maximum brightness they both look very good even outdoors.
Both watches will show any notifications from your phone. This is one of the most useful features of a smartwatch, but there are some notable differences in how both watches handle them.
Overall the Amazift GTS does a better job. Notifications are displayed more prominently, immediately flashing up on the screen. With the Huawei GT you will get a light vibration, but you then need to tilt your wrist to see the notification. Fortunately even though tilt to wake doesn’t work if you have the Always-On display enabled, it will work with a notification. With raise-to-wake off, you’ll need to press either button to see a notification. Which is the same with the Amazfit GTS.
You also have more control on which apps’ notifications are passed through with the Amazfit. With the Huawei it’s all or nothing – on iOS at least.
The rectangular screen does lend itself better to showing text but both watches wrap around text in the middle of words.
You can’t reply to messages on either watch.
By default it’s easier to access notifications on the Huawei after the fact, by just swiping up from the bottom of the watch screen. With the GTS you need to swipe up and then choose notifications. You can configure a long press of the button to get to notifications, but with only one button you then lose the option to quickly start a workout.
Neither watch can handle phone calls, but both watches will display the incoming call and let you reject the call.
4. Activity tracking
The Amazfit has 12 activity types including pool and open swimming.
The Huawei has 11 activity types and also includes pool and outdoor swimming but includes an additional triathlon mode. Both watches are waterproof to 50m – although they warn against swimming with the leather rubber strap on this version of the Huawei GT.
By default to start a workout on the Amazfit, you long press the side button. On the Huawei you press the lower side button. Then on both watches you tap on the workout you want to start. For outside activities requiring GPS, you’ll want to wait for GPS acquisition – which takes around ten seconds on both watches.
I’ll cover heart rate shortly, but both watches will record your heart rate using the built in heart rate sensor during an activity.
Depending on the activity type there are various screens you can swipe between during a workout. Or you can use the side button on the Amazfit or bottom side button on the Huawei to move between screens. A long press of the Amazfit’s side button or a single press of the Huawei’s top side buttons ends a workout.
You can still see the time on both watches but you can’t access any other screen or app whilst in a workout on either watch.
I’ve mainly used the running and cycling workouts and couldn’t really say one watch is better than the other.
GPS accuracy is pretty good with both watches compared to a Garmin Edge 1000 and an Apple Watch Series 4, but heart rate accuracy is a mixed bag. You might get better results, but I wasn’t able to get reliable and consistent results with either watch and unfortunately neither watch lets you pair to an external heart rate sensor. I’ll come back to this shortly.
I did find the screen on the Huawei watch clearer, but the watch is also heavier on your wrist which is noticeable running.
5. Heart rate monitoring
As I’ve already alluded to, I didn’t get reliable and consistent results with either watch’s built-in heart rate sensor across trail and road runs and mountain bike, road and indoor bike rides, comparing them against a reliable Wahoo TickrX heart rate strap.
Even compared against an Apple Watch Series 4 – the results were often way off.
I was very particular about how I wore the strap, making sure it wasn’t too close to the carpal bone and doing it up nice and tightly.
You may get better results, and for casual use they’re both ok. But if you want to train using heart rate, I would look elsewhere, possibly a comparably priced Garmin watch like the Forerunner 45.
Both watches continuously track your heart rate if you have this setting enabled.
Swiping to the left on the Huawei and the right on the Amazfit takes you to the heart rate screen, which will measure your current heart rate. I slightly prefer how the historical heart rate graph is displayed on the Huawei but they both show similar information.
Having tested both these watches quite exhaustively, I can’t really say one watch is much better than the other with regards to heart rate accuracy, but I had a little more trust in the Amazfit.
Too often the Huawei would fix on a reading way too high, sometimes 30 bpm higher than the reading from my heart rate strap and Apple Watch.
6. Accompanying app & third party app integration
Both watches have apps for Android and iOS although the Huawei Health app on iOS is a little more limited than its Android version. The Amazfit app is more comprehensive overall, but the Huawei app looks more polished.
You can review workouts, steps, historical heart rate data and sleep on both apps. The Amazfit app lets you choose watch faces and configure which notifications are passed to the watch.
The major difference though is third party app support. With the Huawei app your workouts are completely locked in the app and can’t be exported to third party apps like Strava. This will severely limit its usefulness for many.
When I originally reviewed the Amazfit GTS, there was support for linking to Strava but it didn’t work. A few months on, and that seems to be fixed so any workouts are automatically synced to Strava.
If you’re not interested in sharing your workouts to platforms like Strava, or the finer customisation of the Amazfit watch, then the slightly slicker Huawei Health app may be perfect, otherwise the Amazfit app probably has the edge.
7. Sleep tracking
Both watches do a good job on sleep tracking, although the lighter Amazfit GTS is less noticeable at night. I also found the hybrid leather rubber strap a little uncomfortable after two weeks of wearing it every night.
Both watches automatically track your sleep without you having to do anything, and also monitor your heart rate through the night. I compared them to each other, and also to my Apple Watch with the AutoSleep app and an iPhone running the Sleep Cycle app on my bedside table. They all do a decent job of detecting when you’ve fallen asleep, and when you get up. They all vary considerably on their detection of awake time and less importantly to me, what they consider deep, light and REM sleep.
I like the way the Huawei Health app presents the data and it’s also one of the few apps that does a decent job of trying to explain what it all means. But unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to wear this watch to bed long term because of its size.
8. Watch faces
You can choose from a number of watch faces with a long press on the current watch face on both watches. The Amazfit GTS lets you install many more watch faces via the app.
You don’t have as much choice on the Huawei, and on iOS you can’t install watch faces from the app, but you do get 13 built into the watch itself, which are all nicely designed.
On the Amazfit you can tap on the edit icon to configure a watch face. You can customise the various modules by tapping on them and scrolling through the available options. These can display live info like heart rate or steps, or they can just be shortcuts to some of the watch functions like Music. Different watch faces have different widgets that can be customised but it is impressive the amount of customisation that’s available.
There aren’t any configuration options with the Huawei.
9. Battery life and performance
Both these watches have up to 14 days of battery life which is very impressive. This feature alone might be the most compelling reason to go for one of these watches even over offerings from Apple, Wear OS or Garmin.
I found them both very comparable, easily getting over a week of usage wearing them 24 hours a day with continuous heart rate and sleep tracking turned on, and at least one workout a day of at least 30 minutes using GPS.
The always-on display did reduce this for both watches, but not by a huge amount.
The performance of both watches was also very similar but I did find the raise-to-wake feature a little faster on the Amazfit GTS. Swiping between screens is quite smooth, and the various integrated apps load up quickly. It’s not buttery smooth like on an Apple Watch, but it’s similar to a decent Wear OS watch like the TicWatch Pro 4G I looked at recently.
10. Always-on display and additional features
Both watches let you configure an always-on display, at the slight expense of battery life. There’s not a huge amount of configuration.
On the Amazfit you can just choose between a digital and analogue display.
On the Huawei you can also change the colour.
I found the Huawei’s always-on display clearer, filling more of the screen but it’s frustrating that the raise to wake feature no longer works – you have to tap the screen or press a button to reactivate the full clock face.
Only the Amazfit GTS has a music app. You can’t actually store and play music on the device, but you can control playback and adjust volume which is really handy.
Neither watch let’s you install any third party apps like you can on Apple, Wear OS, Samsung and even Garmin watches.
The choice between these two watches will probably come down to a few factors. If you want to share your activities to Strava, or want to wear your watch to bed every night, the Amazfit GTS will probably be the better option.
Otherwise a lot will come down to personal preference. I personally slightly prefer the look and build of the Huawei and I’ve found the larger screen easier to see, but I like how notifications are displayed more prominently with the Amazfit GTS, without having to tilt your wrist to see them.
The Amazfit also lets you control music playback and volume which I use a lot, something currently lacking on the Huawei.
I do wish both watches had more accurate workout heart rate tracking, or at least let you pair an external strap.
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