If you haven’t heard of a smartwatch, where have you been?! They have been taking the world by storm over the past couple of years, with more manufacturers than ever joining the band wagon. Once such company is Mobvoi, a company specialising in smart watches, with a small collection in their arsenal, including the Ticwatch E, which is the one I’m looking at today. How smart is the watch? Is it focused on a health aspect like so many others? How well will the battery perform? Let’s find out.
Features & Spec
– 44mm diameter face
– Operating system: Wear OS by Google
– Compatible with iOS 8+ & Android 4.3+
– 1.2GHZ dual core processor, 512mb ram, 4g rom
– 1.4″ OLED touch screen
– Bluetooth, GPS & WiFi
– Sensors: Heart rate, Proximity, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass
– IP 67 rated, mic/speaker, 48hr battery (average)
In the Box & Design
The watch arrives in a tin box, a colourful, quirky tin box. Inside the box is the watch itself, the USB charging cable and some instructions. The USB charging cable needs to be plugged into your existing USB plug adapter or USB socket. The watch comes in three colours, black, white & lemon. The case/bezel is your chosen colour, covered and protected by a clear acrylic, add that extra level of protection, but it does make the watch chunkier. The strap is rubber, with your traditional pin and latch lock. There is a single button on the left-hand side, with the sensor & charging section, located on the underside. The watch is light and comfortable to wear.
Set Up & Use
Set up is quite straight forward, a you are guided throughout via the watch. In essence, you need to download the Wear OS app on your smartphone (free on iOS & Android), pair the two together and activate. By following the on-screen instructions, it took a matter of minutes to set up. Once it’s set up, you can start to explore the features!
There is just a single button on the watch, as well as the touch screen. You can control everything with these two methods. Hitting the button takes you to the options, which you can then scroll through. If you’re on the home screen or watch face screen, scrolling down brings up a mini menu, with options such as flight mode, volume, brightness & battery level indicator. Swipe up and it will list any notifications you have from the apps on your phone, such as Whatsapp or text messages, meeting reminders etc. If you swipe left or right, it takes you to the watch face option, where you can pick your favourite look. There’s about 20 default options, with more available on the Google store.
There are several options & settings within the watch, including system settings such as display, gestures, sound etc, which allow you to customise the watch to suit your needs. You can select different watch faces, the information on the watch face, brightness, when the display is shown, there really is lots of options to dig your teeth into.
There are several apps the watch works with, including Spotify, Lifesum, Google Fit, Strava, Uber, Facebook messenger and Whatsapp. The app needs to be on your smartphone, for the watch to function with it. When you get a notification or message through the app, it’s displayed on your watch.
As a time telling device, the watch performs as it should, it accurately displays the time and date for you, whenever you need it. As for the ‘smart’ part of the watch, it’s jam packed with features and they all work well(ish). As this is based on Android/Google interface, you get more features if your smartphone is Android BUT via my iPhone, I got everything I needed. Messages on Whatsapp or Facebook messenger would appear on the watch, calendar reminder from my work email account would appear, as well as game notifications telling me I had to go back and play.
This watch is focused heavily around the sport and fitness features, which when tested, work well, though I’m unsure on its accuracy. Other than the standard step counter with the 10000-step daily challenge, you can also set your own goals, select workouts, monitor your heart rate and utilise that GPS feature during your run or cycle. Running & cycling are the key exercises used throughout but even though the watch is waterproof, there is a lack of swimming presence.
My concerns with the watch include the battery life, the first day I used it, with the screen was on all the time, which drained the battery, not even lasting a day. I then set up the screen saver, so the time is only displayed when you touch the screen, button or lift your wrist up, as if you were looking at the screen. Battery life did improve, lasting about 72 hours, but could be better, considering some other smart watches last weeks before requiring a charge. Also, there is a very distinct delay when lifting your wrist up to tell the time, before the screen comes on. I could lift my wrist and then put it down, before the screen even came on.
The accuracy of the sport monitoring is an issue too. I noticed on the first day, I’d done 15,000+ steps, as if I was walking around a theme park! Yet I wasn’t, I was just lazing around my house. The reason the step counter was so high, is that the watch increases it’s steps, when you swing your arm. Therefore, you can stand still, swing your arm for a couple of minutes and you would have recorded 200 odd steps. Cheating.
Don’t get me wrong, I very much liked the watch, par a couple of issues. It’s packed full of features and with a retail price of £145.99, it’s on par, if not cheaper than many of its competitors, including the Nokia Steel HR we recently tried. For more info, visit the official Mobvoi Ticwatch website.