Mobvoi has a handful of smartwatches in their portfolio, including the original TicWatch, the TicWatch II, as well as the S and E models, none of which have been a disappointment. Now, Mobvoi has released the TicWatch Pro, and we’ll take a look at what features Mobvoi built into the TicWatch Pro to deem it worthy of the Pro moniker.
We recently covered the TicWatch E which is a budget spin on the TicWatch II, a product already known for its budget-friendliness. My only complaint with the TicWatch E was that the general construction of the device left something to be wanted with its rather cheap and hollow feeling, but with that said, it was very light and unobtrusive on the wrist.
TicWatch Pro Review
The TicWatch Pro, coming in at 250USD, and being on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, is Mobvoi’s premium smartwatch product and you can immediately feel the difference in the build quality, the weight being one of the more noticeable aspects.
The price is actually around the same as the TicWatch II, now known as the TicWatch Classic (The TicWatch II was just the international version of the original, albeit with more international-friendly services baked into the ROM). This just goes to show how much better Mobvoi has gotten at producing premium products without a premium price-tag.
The apparent bulkiness of the Pro gives the device an inherent masculineness that I, personally, think results in only half the prospective customers. Mobvoi’s previously released models had a much more unisexual appeal that could be flaunted in a more gender fluid fashion, whereas the Pro was clearly designed without the same goals.
That said, I really do hope that Mobvoi releases a comparable product for those that aren’t a fan of the bulkier look, and possibly something more akin to the plainer TicWatch II.
Gendered aesthetics aside, the TicWatch Pro is inarguably a nice device. It emulates the design of many higher-end mechanical watches with its large protruding buttons and dial wrapping around its large face. The frame of the face and the bottom are made of what appears to be aluminum and sandwiched between is a plastic middle piece. Unlike previous iterations of the TicWatch, the Pro has four (Torx) screws that can be removed (presumably voiding the warranty, and probably destroying the IP68 sealing) to easily access the internals. The provided wristband/straps are also of much higher quality than previous iterations. The topside is made of leather, but ever-so-cleverly, the bottom-side is of silicone with a V pattering running the length, coming together to create a wrist strap that looks and feels of quality and manages to allow your skin to breath easily.
The specifications of the TicWatch Pro are much like that of the past TicWatches, but with a few added features that are bound to appeal to most people. The TicWatch Pro contains a couple standout features we’ll go over in-depth including the dual layer display and excellent battery life.
TicWatch Pro Specifications
|Display||1.4″ Dual Layered Display|
Screen 1: AMOLED Display, 400×400 pixels, 287 PPI
Screen 2: Monochrome LCD screen
|CPU||Snapdragon Wear 2100|
|Memory||512MB RAM, 4GB ROM|
|Bluetooth||2.4GHz Bluetooth V4.2 / BLE|
|WLAN||2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n|
|NFC Payment||Google Play|
|Sensors||Dynamic Optical Heart-Rate Monitor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, e-Compass, Ambient Light Sensor|
The two specifications that should leap off the page are dual-layered display and the NFC payment, and if you’re familiar with the previous TicWatch specifications, you will have noticed that the battery was also bumped up from 300mAh to 415mAh, which accounts for about a 40% increase over previous models.
You might be thinking why a display requires two layers and why you might pair a monochromatic LCD with an AMOLED. To be fair, the monochromatic LCD doesn’t look all that great, but that wasn’t the intention. When Mobvoi set out to develop this unique display, aesthetic was secondary. The display was designed for increasing battery life. Instead of using the AMOLED for the passively displaying time, date, battery life, and a couple of health stats such as the pedometer, the monochromatic LCD kicks in when in the standby mode.
Older digital watches could easily run for well over a year on a simple coin battery, so that seems to be what Mobvoi took inspiration from because it certainly works. In addition to relying on the monochromatic display when you aren’t actively using the watch, you can actually go into the Essential Mode where battery life is conserved by shutting down the vast majority of the features. It makes the TicWatch Pro a smartwatch, leaving only essential watch functionality, the pedometer, and the heart-rate sensor (when you so choose to activate it).
Battery life is where the TicWatch Pro shines. For those, like me, who often forget to charge their smartwatch after they take it off at the end of the day, the TicWatch Pro is amazing.
The TicWatch Pro is advertised to get up to five days of battery life when used lightly for two days and then in Essential Mode for another three days. That is a very conservative estimate in my opinion, though, I was worried at first because the battery was down to 80% after only three hours of use during my first day with it.
That said, the second day had me a pleasantly surprised and every day after that reaffirmed my position. As of writing this, the device has not been charged in over 54 hours and still has 46% of the battery life remaining. Seeing as how the device automatically goes into Essential Mode once the battery gets into the last few percentage points of life, I could easily get another day and a half before then and still get another three days before the end of the Essential Mode.
Mobvoi’s work with respect to the battery life on this device is absolutely astounding. I recommend it to anyone that requires excellent battery life in a smartwatch.
Unfortunately, I can’t make much of a comment on the NFC payment feature because the support here in Canada just isn’t quite there yet. In addition to the debit and credit terminals lacking the trendy tech that allows for NFC payments, my bank actually hasn’t provided integration into Google Pay yet.
Overall, I have yet to come across any particular flaw during this TicWatch Pro review. My only negative thoughts were with respect to the heavily onesided aesthetic of the design. Unless you prefer a lighter device or something a little more on the elegant side, I would suggest that you seriously consider the TicWatch Pro as a premium contender at a midrange price.