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This $250 smartwatch destroys the Apple Watch in 4 ways

Amazfit recently announced the Amazfit GTR 4 Limited Edition, and I used it to replace my similarly priced Apple Watch SE. It’s a $250 health/fitness-orientated smartwatch, and upon first glance, it’d be easy to overlook it.

In my 10 days of usage, however, I came across a few things that the Apple Watch SE either doesn’t have — or offers on the more expensive Apple Watch Series 8. While the software experience on my Apple Watch SE remains unparalleled, there are four ways in which the new Amazfit GTR 4 LE is outright better.

The build quality is out of this world

The Amazfit GTR 4 features an aluminum alloy middle frame and high-gloss sprayed PC bottom shell. Both of these have been upgraded to a stainless steel frame and a one-piece glass ceramic back on the Limited Edition model. For reference, the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $699. You are getting the same premium build for a fraction of the price.

The Amazfit GTR 4 Limited Edition is a gorgeous smartwatch. I’ve been asked multiple times at press events about the watch I’m wearing because it looks appealing and classy. Not only that, but I no longer get rashes under the watch because the material used feels a lot smoother on the skin than my Apple Watch, which gives me rashes if I wear it all day.

Unparalleled battery life

I charged my Amazfit GTR 4 LE to 100% when I took it out of the box 10 days ago. I’ve been using it for sleep tracking, step tracking, and walking with notifications on. It has been connected to my phone through the 10 days of use. Now that I’m writing about it, I realize that I only take it off while showering. And guess what? I haven’t charged it again.

I still have 30% battery remaining. This is simply amazing. One of the reasons I stopped wearing smartwatches is because I don’t want another gadget to charge every day. My Apple Watch SE charges during the night whenever I wear it throughout the day. I can last for 1.5 days at best. I haven’t gotten through two days without it dying on me. I can travel with the Amazfit GTR 4 Limited Edition without carrying the charger, which is a big deal for a person like me who likes to travel light.

Wireless charging

Amazfit GTR 4 LE wireless charging with iPhone MagSafe charger
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

I’ve always been bothered by the charging situation of my Apple Watch SE. If I’m carrying my iPhone MagSafe charging puck, I want it to charge my watch, which is made by the same company. It’s a pity that Apple, which values sustainability, doesn’t let you charge two products with the same wireless charger. This is also the case for other smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Google Pixel Watch, and more.

The Amazfit GTR 4 LE solves this. It features Qi wireless charging and charges with Apple’s iPhone MagSafe wireless charger. I don’t need to carry two separate wireless charging pucks for my iPhone and smartwatch if I’m using the new Amazfit smartwatch.

Select other smartwatches (like the Garmin Vivomove Trend) also support wireless charging, and it’s an incredible feature Apple is really slacking on.

Sleep/nap tracking

Amazfit GTR 4 LE in leaves.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

I’ve written in the past about how the sleep tracking on Apple Watch needs to be improved. There are multiple limitations in sleep tracking on the Watch SE.

First, if I wake up in the middle of the night and go to sleep again, it won’t track the latter half of my sleep. It stops abruptly if you wake up at odd times. Second, the battery isn’t good enough to let me track my sleep for two continuous days. I need to charge it to use it the next day, so the only time left to charge it is during the night as I sleep. Third, there is no nap tracking, which bugs me a lot. As a freelancer, I have no fixed working hours, and I’m mostly working through the night, so nap tracking is an essential feature for me.

The Amazfit GTR 4 Limited Edition solves all of this. It tracks my sleep no matter how many times I abruptly wake up and fall sleep again. It lasts at least two weeks on a single charge, so I can wear it through the night without worrying about the charging situation. And it tracks my naps, through which I complete my quota of at least six hours of sleep.

The Apple Watch still has one big advantage

Amazfit GTR 4 LE tacking data.

If there’s one area where Amazfit still trails behind Apple, it’s with the software.

I’ve been complaining about a few things since 2020 when I reviewed the Amazfit GTR 2. For instance, if you receive an emoji as a message, the GTR 4 LE shows you a rectangle as a message from the contact. And, of course, you can’t reply to the messages. What I love about my Apple Watch SE is if I’m away from my phone and need to reply to a text urgently, I can tap on the Reply option and use Siri to write my reply. It’s disappointing that Amazfit isn’t working to fix these things on its software — and I hope that changes soon.

But I can live with these limitations because I don’t need to charge my smartwatch every day. The GTR 4 Limited Edition offers a robust set of workout features (150 sports modes), and I’ve always found Amazfit’s tracking to be accurate. It’s the best alternative to an Apple Watch if you want a long-lasting and classy-looking smartwatch.

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