Mobvoi Ticwatch Express

The Ticwatch E is a smartwatch developed by the Chinese AI company, Mobvoi. It is said to be the best value for money smartwatch by many, costing 135.43 EUR if bought from Mobvoi’s official website. It runs on Wear OS (previously known as Android Wear 2.0), Google’s second attempt at making an operating system for watches. Having said all that, the question still remains: is the Ticwatch E really worth it? Read on to ascertain the answer.

Specs

The Ticwatch E has almost everything you need from a smartwatch, although it is lacking NFC and Google Pay (previously known as Android Pay). This might bother some and lead them to not buy the Ticwatch E, but before you decide not to buy it due to this slight flaw, consider whether you really need Google Pay on your watch. Below are the watch’s specs as listed on the official Mobvoi website (words written in blue text are the specs for the Ticwatch E’s sportier counterpart, the Ticwatch S):

  • Size – 44mm diameter, 13.55mm thick (45mm diameter, 13mm thick for the Ticwatch S)
  • Weight – 41.5g (45.5g for the Ticwatch S)
  • GPS integrated watch band – No (Yes for the Ticwatch S)
  • Watch bezel for superior display – No (Yes for the Ticwatch S)
  • OS – Wear OS by Google
  • Compatibility – IOS 8.0+ and Android 4.3+
  • Chipset – MTK MT2601, 1.2GHz dual-core
  • RAM/ROM – 512M/4G
  • Glass – Anti-scratch glass
  • Touch – Capacitive Multi-touch
  • Display – 1.4 inch OLED display, 400×400, 287dpi
  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth v4.1/BLE
  • Wifi – 802.11 b/g/n
  • GPS – Glonass+GPS+Beidou, Agps supported
  • Sensor – Heart-rate monitor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, e-Compass
  • Mic/Speaker – Yes/Yes
  • Battery life – 48Hrs+ (depending on the usage)
  • Charging – Magnetic connecting pin charging
  • Waterproof – IP67
  • Others – Vibrator, Fuel gauge

Design and Comfort

Although the Ticwatch E seems to be quite big and thick, the watch has actually won a Good Design Award in 2017. If you believe the thickness will be annoying and will get in the way, you might be pleased to find that it barely bothers me, an average daily user of the watch, at all. The only problems I ever encounter with the thickness are when I’m wearing my winter jacket; the jacket has finger-less gloves attached to it and I often have trouble tucking the gloves under the jacket sleeve due to my Ticwatch.

As for the comfort the watch provides, I am, once again, pleased. Although this might be because I am used to the watch’s weight, I don’t actually really feel any additional weight on my arm at all. Weight aside, the default Ticwatch E watch strap also feels comfortable and doesn’t bother me at all. When I don’t leave the watch to charge during the night, I sleep with it on my wrist and don’t encounter any comfort issues.

Battery Life

The Ticwatch E’s battery life is an abomination unless you complete multiple charge cycles on the watch (a charge cycle is when a rechargeable battery is completely drained and then is charged to 100%). First of all, I was really worried about my Ticwatch’s battery life and thought I might have to return the watch, but 3 charge cycles later, the battery life vastly improved and could easily last me a day with WiFi and Bluetooth on. With airplane mode on (and me only using my watch to find out the time), my Ticwatch E can last more than three days on one charge. Additionally, if the battery ever gets low, the battery saver is automatically enabled in order to, as the name suggests, save battery life, although it can be manually disabled.

Speaker and Microphone

I’ll begin by talking about the Ticwatch E’s speakers. Obviously, it can be quite difficult to insert a decent speaker in a device as small as the Ticwatch E (or any other smartwatch, really). However, I think that Mobvoi has done a great job with this task! I sometimes listen to music on my Ticwatch and find that the speakers are actually quite decent. Obviously, you won’t be able to hear much in a crowded area, but if it’s somewhat quiet around you, you’ll be able to hear music and sounds from the Ticwatch E’s speakers.

One problem I have with my Ticwatch E’s speakers is that certain parts of songs become louder or quieter than the rest of the song without me touching a thing. This only happens with certain songs and can be easily fixed by changing the volume on the watch. This might not happen with all Ticwatch E watches and might just mean that my watch is slightly defective, but this problem isn’t very major and I can deal with it (as long as it doesn’t get worse).

Next up, we have the microphone. Once again, I think Mobvoi has done a great job. When I’m in a phone call and I’m using my watch microphone to communicate with someone, they can hear me well and I can have a conversation with that person without problems.

Operating System and Apps

As I have already mentioned, the Ticwatch E runs on the Wear OS (previously known as Android Wear 2.0) operating system. This means that it has Google Assistant, ready to effectuate any tasks you throw at it (so long as it can actually understand and perform them), as well as a wide variety of third party apps you can download on it. These apps include note-taking apps, music-playing apps, timetable apps, calculators, browsers, games, even more games, and even an app that can play YouTube videos (although the experience isn’t that great on a watch). Furthermore, the amount of watchfaces available is incredible, too. I like one that goes by the name of A/D Watchface.

Wear OS watches like the Ticwatch E work with Android devices that have Android 4.3 or newer, and iOS devices that run iOS 8.2 or newer (although iOS devices have limited support from the Wear OS app you have to install on your phone in order to pair the phone to your Wear OS smartwatch).

The Wear OS menus (and, as a result, the Ticwatch E menus) are pretty basic. There’s a list of apps you can scroll through, and you can move your favorite apps to the top of the list by long pressing them. If you don’t like the sound of scrolling through a big list of apps, then don’t worry as Google Assistant is ready to open apps for you.

To conclude, the Ticwatch E is a capable, cheap smartwatch that, in my opinion, deserves its title as the best value for money smartwatch despite its lack of NFC and Google Pay. If you happen to be a user of a Pebble smartwatch looking for a replacement (like I was before I bought my Ticwatch E), than the Ticwatch E is definitely worth your money and will serve you well, and the same thing applies if you’re simply just looking for an upgrade from your regular old watch that you’ve most likely grown bored of by now.

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