We have been spending a good amount of time with Mobvoi’s new TicWatch Pro 2020 Edition, which is an improvement on the original Pro model by increasing it to 1GB of RAM, some better materials, Corning Gorilla 3 glass and an IP68 rating. The final result is quite beautiful.
We have had experience with a number of their models in the past both here as we benchmark them over time and in person as we discuss them with Mobvoi directly. They definitely have come a long way since the first time we spoke with them. There have been some bumps in the road, including their original TicWatch E, and some breakthroughs like their TicWatch C2.
Now, they might truly have a flagship that can create some scare in companies like Samsung. Not only coming with a nice design but a stable performance, a fitting price, and great battery life. That is their new TicWatch Pro 2020 Edition.
It features a sport-style design that is balanced with elegance, allowing it to play well with any occasion or style of attire. The band, a leather/silicone mashup looks great on the wrist, and the durable materials of the body feel as though it can last quite a while through normal wear.
You have two physical buttons on the right side. The top is your trigger for the app list and the bottom one is customizable within settings to pull anything you want up with. Trigger a fitness app, or a TicPulse to measure your heart rate or a stopwatch app. Whatever you want to assign to it.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 should help protect it from everyday scratches and an endless amount of abuse by your finger. The 1.39″ AMOLED screen doesn’t really seem to feature anything new (400 x 400 + FSTN display), but it also doesn’t have to. The original Pro looked nice already and this has carried on to the new 2020 Edition. Brightness, as usual, comes set to auto in order to help balance the battery life. It spends most of its time at a lower to mid setting we’ve noticed, while it is in auto. Which seems to work great for both indoors and out. You have the choice to up the brightness in the settings, which results in a massively bright display, which likely won’t do well with the battery lie, but if brightness is what you’re looking for, this watch can deliver. If balanced battery life is what you are looking for, it delivers well there as well.
One of the first things you come across with this new model is a thin insert that practically falls right into your hands as you first open the box. A disclaimer to let you know to charge it first and to give it up to a week before judging its performance. They say battery life can be a little short due to an update, but this disclaimer is also likely there to ward you away from leaving a review of the battery life after you just spent the initial time setting it up and customizing it. All of which would be above “normal” activity, therefore the battery is going to deplete quicker. If you wait till it gets close to dying and put it on the charger. Your next experience will be far better when it comes to battery life. This is with any device, and it is with this one as well.
They claim you can get up to 5 days of battery life in normal settings, and additional time if you make use of things like essential mode (which dials everything back into an extreme battery-saving mode). Claims like these is where things get dangerous for models like the TicWatch E, which failed terribly when it came to battery life, forcing you to skeletonize the watch in order to get a day’s use out of it. With the TicWatch Pro 2020, this isn’t the case. Sure, the initial use lasted just less than two days due to the amount of time we spent customizing the watch and playing around with it. However, at this point, it had already done better than the TicWatch E with average use. Upon charging it again, it lasted about 3 days with a decent amount of use as we continued to customize things in patches. It’s also fair to point out the phone we paired it to gets a lot of traffic when it comes to notifications and various types of communication. So this watch has been pretty busy.
Because of this, we can easily see it lasting up to 5 days depending on usage and what settings you choose, and much longer if you turn on essential mode (not that anyone is going to ever keep it in essential mode all the time). Certain things can dial this battery performance back, like installing the Facer app so that you can get your hands on all sorts of fun watch faces. This is an app that we can’t use on models like the E because it would simply suck the battery dry within half a day or less. Thanks to the battery performance of this watch, it compares equally to some of our favorite Samsung Galaxy models (see? Samsung might have a lot to worry about this one).
The only caveat was that we installed Facer (of course) on this watch and put a fun face on that has a lot going for it. It seems it still cuts the battery life down by a lot. Although it isn’t nearly as bad as the TicWatch E with Facer installed, the difference is still quite noticeable (about a day and a half) compared to using the faces designed for the watch by Mobvoi (2-5 days). Sadly, we have yet to really find a watch that can take the abuse that Facer dishes out. Facer as it has a lot of things going on at the same time and Facer has to run in the background since the watch faces aren’t native. So there will always be a compromise it seems.
At first, we disabled TicWatch’s TicExercise and TicHealth apps within system app settings. We thought it wasn’t necessary since we were already using Google Fit features on the phone and other devices. There is nothing like gaining even more battery life. However, we found Tic’s apps to do better and offer more since they were designed for the watch. That, and they can sync the data to Google Fit. So you can still use Google Fit as the final interface to observe everything from. This is also important because Google Fit still doesn’t have any direct support for sleep tracking without getting the data from 3rd party apps like Sleep as Android, or Tic’s latest TicSleep app, which can also now sync its data with Google Fit. So we felt it was best to let Tic’s setup do all the tracking and feed it all to Google Fit so that it can be viewed from Google Fit on the phone later.
The built-in speaker is crisp and clear, allowing you to easily take phone calls from the watch. Both parties can hear each other just fine as long as you aren’t in an incredibly noisy environment (hopefully, you wouldn’t be that kind of person trying to take a call on your watch in such an environment, to begin with). This also means that using your voice to search is pretty accurate most of the time (about as accurate as using it on your phone). This also means responding to text messages from the watch won’t drive you insane.
When dialing from the watch, it seems to get every press accurately despite the numbers being so tiny on the screen. Everything seems to process quickly and efficiently. Which is another thing that makes searching with your voice or responding to messages so refreshing. When you hit the microphone icon to use your voice for something, you aren’t confused about when it is officially listening or if it is still thinking. Instead, it seems to work naturally.
The vibrator inside isn’t annoying yet it is strong enough to get your attention every time and it doesn’t feel like it is driving the battery down any. Of course, it is, but you won’t be tempted to ever disable it to gain a little extra juice. Unless you are running dry and have no way of charging the watch. By then, you would just enable essential mode anyway (which would disable the vibration) until you do get it on a charger.
As mentioned, It is IP68 rated, so it will survive any typical day of weather. Not something to go swimming with and we wouldn’t take it into the shower. However, we can’t see it having any issues outside unless a levy breaks nearby.
There isn’t much for accessories, like most watches. You have your instructions and the magnetic charging dock and that’s it. Well, that and the little insert that talks about battery life.
Finally, as time goes by, we will make sure to update our information here if we find anything new that we feel is important or causes any significant change to the experience we have had thus far.
So did Mobvoi surprise us? I’d say they sure have. We didn’t know what to think going into this. We expected it to be better, for sure. However, we didn’t think it was going to be “this” better. As in one of our favorite Android Wear OS watches on the market, better. It offers wonderful performance and great battery life. You aren’t losing hair over latency within apps, voice to text, or switching between screens. The speaker is incredibly clear and so is the microphone for phone calls. It really has a lot going for it. Sure, there are watches with better battery life than this–but they don’t offer the same performance and features either.
This watch works great for your normal everyday smartwatch when it comes to basic functionality, as well as a fitness tracker, sleep tracker, and everything else you’d expect from a watch of its price and caliber. It competes toe to toe with some of Samsung’s best and looks good doing it. It isn’t a HUGe difference when placed next to the original Pro, but the increase in RAM is always welcome, and well, we like it.
Update: We did find that its capacity fills up quickly with little effort. Most of it comes from app store data, contacts, and third-party messengers (ie, Facebook’s Messenger). Since it takes little effort for this to happen, there is a strong chance you won’t be able to download OS updates for the watch. If this happens, we recommend clearing the data for contacts. It is easy to sync this data back to the watch afterward. If that isn’t enough, delete one or more third-party messengers and install them back. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is something Mobvoi should consider in future models (more capacity).
|Buy from Amazon | Buy from Mobvoi|
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Operating System: Wear OS 2.0 by Google
- Dimensions: D45mm x 12.6mm
- Display: 1.39” AMOLED 400 x 400 + FSTN display
- Chipset: Qualcomm SnapDragon 2100
- Memory: RAM: 1GB / Storage: 4GB
- GPS: GPS + GLONASS + Beidou + Galileo
- Connectivity: Bluetooth: 4.2 / Wi-Fi: 802.11bgn 2.4GHz
- NFC payments: Google Pay
- Water and Dust Resistance: IP68
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Magnetic Sensor, PPG Heart Rate Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
- Battery and Charging
- Capacity: 415mAH
- Charging method: Dock with USB cable
- Battery Life
- Smart mode: 2-5 days
- Essential mode: 30 days
- Mixed usage: between 2-30 days
- Speaker: Yes
- Military Standard 810G: Withstands temperature shock of between -30C to 70, operational between -20C to 55, 57kpa pressure, 44C solar radiation, 95% humidity, salt fog, sand and dust, shock
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