IFA 2019: Amazfit's new smartwatch is the best Apple Watch clone I've ever seen

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Amazfit brought their new GTS smartwatch to this year's IFA in Berlin - and we came away impressed.

Announced only a few weeks ago, we had the chance to go hands-on with the new Amazfit GTS on the show floor. The previously Amazfit Bip didn't shy away from its inspirations but the GTS could easily be mistaken for the most successful smartwatch in the world.

It's got a polished metal design that isn't quite as luxe as the Apple Watch but, in the broadest of strokes, it feels more than premium enough. It's far from cheap plastic and, as far as look go, this thing is a dead-ringer. It's got a square design with curved glass edges and thin bezels. It's got a small dial on the side. And if you're talking pixels-per-inch, the 1.65-inch AMOLED screen on the GTS actually beats out the Apple Watch with 341 PPI.

Of course, the one thing that the Amazfit GTS can't quite replicate is the software. During our hands-on the software interface seemed intuitive to learn but a little more sluggish than I'd like. It's about on par with something like the Fitbit Versa. You get a set of pre-installed apps (like alarms etc) and support for notifications. Since the GTS boasts a bevy of sensors, it also boasts plenty of fitness tracking and workout features. 

The Chinese version of the watch can even support contactless payments via NFC.

As with the Bip, battery life is a key advantage. Far beyond pretty much every other modern smartwatch out there, the GTS boasts 14 days of battery life. That can be bumped up to 48 days by using the more limited basic mode or trimmed down to 25 hours by turning GPS on. 

Our take? Honestly, if you're keen on the look & feel of the Apple Watch but averse to the lock-in, this might be a good fix. It doesn't hurt that, like most of Amazfit's wearables, the GTS is surprisingly cheap. In China, it's priced at 899 yuan - approximately AU$180.

The Amazfit GTS isn't yet confirmed for the Australian market but it should be easy enough to import through the usual suspects (GearBest, Amazon, etc) in the near future.

Disclosure - PC World Australia's coverage of this year's IFA in Berlin was sponsored by Lenovo who covered the costs of our flights and accommodation.

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Fergus Halliday
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