The Mobvoi TicWatch Professional needs to unravel the one drawback Put on OS doesn’t actually have: battery life. Whereas some older LTE-enabled Wear OS watches would possibly battle to get by way of a day of regular use, most of them are loads able to dealing with a full day of step monitoring, Lyft hailing, and message sending. The TicWatch Professional is not any totally different in that regard. Use it as a smartwatch and also you’ll most likely must plug it in earlier than hitting the sack.
Somewhat, Mobvoi’s battery innovation is the addition of a second, low-power show on prime of the usual 1.Four-inch OLED. Activate it, and it shuts down most capabilities and lets the watch eke out each final drop of energy earlier than shutting down.
The outcomes are spectacular. Even with lower than 10 p.c of its battery remaining, the TicWatch Professional will simply final for a number of extra days—however there’s a catch: It’s essential sacrifice a lot of the watch’s smarts to reap the advantages.
So in a nutshell, the TicWatch Professional is a smartwatch that’s at its smartest when most of its smarts are switched off.
Small wrists could have a giant drawback
I’ve seen Mobvoi’s different Put on OS watches—notably the the TicWatch Express, with its smooth, Swatch-like retro really feel—however the TicWatch Professional falls into a well-recognized lure. As is the pattern with Android Put on 2.zero/Put on OS watches, it’s a thick, hulking affair, with a carbon fiber physique and a silver or black wannabe directional bezel (it doesn’t rotate) and a pair of bulbous buttons. The AMOLED display is a fairly commonplace 1.Four-inch (45mm) 400×400 affair, although the aggressive lugs and bezel make the entire bundle seem a lot larger than it ought to.
Heft apart, the TicWatch Professional is definitely Mobvoi’s thinnest watch, and at 12.6mm it’s solely a few millimeter thicker than the Apple Watch. However whereas the Apple Watch’s curved edges and sq. form will contour all however the smallest of wrists, Mobvoi’s aggressive design and large display requires a hefty quantity of arm area. The hybrid leather-based band has a rubber underside that may get uncomfortable after a pair days’ put on, however it could simply be swapped with any 20mm Fast Launch strap.
However irrespective of which band you select, the TicWatch Professional received’t shake its decidedly macho aesthetic. Just like the LG Watch Sport and Huawei Watch 2, the TicWatch Professional is one other Put on OS watch seemingly made for tall males, and I fail to spot the technique of shutting out greater than half of the market. Put on OS has firmly established itself because the round different to Apple Watch, which ought to deliver an array of traditional watch types, however there isn’t a Put on OS watch obtainable that compares to the 38mm Apple Watch. Backside line: The TicWatch Professional is simply too rattling large.
Superior battery at a worth
The TicWatch Professional’s premier characteristic is its battery life, however you will not see a lot of a distinction below regular circumstances. Its 415mAh capability is common for a watch of this dimension, however I didn’t have any issues plowing by way of a day of heavy use and far of a second, with a hearty dose of train, notifications, calls, and app downloads. Almost each Put on OS watch can get by way of a day now, and for many customers that’s ok.
However the TicWatch Professional has a secret battery innovation hiding in plain sight. With a singular layered show know-how, the TicWatch Professional combines an invisible LCD display with the primary AMOLED one to allow you to nonetheless put on the watch lengthy after the primary display would have died. Dubbed “Important” mode, it turns your fashionable smartwatch into one thing akin to an old-school Casio watch, displaying the time, date, and steps in traditional seven-segment digital characters. (It is supposed to trace coronary heart charge as effectively, however I could not get that to work on my watch.)
You possibly can see Important Mode in considered one of a number of methods. It activates routinely when the watch drops to a selected battery capability. You possibly can allow it manually by long-pressing the underside button and switching the toggle in settings, or you’ll be able to set it to switch the always-on show. I notably loved the latter use. My solely criticism is that there’s no backlight, so it may be robust to learn in sure lighting and angles. But when battery life is your chief concern when shopping for a smartwatch, the TicWatch Professional is certainly an intriguing possibility. On the very least, it received’t flip right into a brick should you neglect your charger on an extended journey.
Meaning you will not want to hold the cumbersome charging cradle as a lot as you’d with different watches. Whenever you do must plug it on, the watch costs shortly, although Mobvoi needed to despatched me a second charger after my first one didn’t make the correct connection.
Put on OS doesn’t do TicWatch any favors
So far as sensors and chips go, the TicWatch Professional is loaded with them: coronary heart charge, GPS, and NFC. It additionally has IP68 water resistance. Meaning you get the complete, all-season Put on OS expertise, corresponding to it’s. Regardless of the brand new title, Google hasn’t finished a lot to advance its wearable OS since model 2 launched in February 2017. In mid-2018, it reveals its age.
That’s not Mobvoi’s fault per se, however the TicWatch Professional suffers for it nonetheless. Put on OS isn’t all unhealthy, with broad system compatibility and good app help, however in comparison with Apple’s watchOS, it looks like an outdated, underpowered platform. It’s not simply the dearth of distinctive options and apps—Put on OS nonetheless hasn’t absolutely embraced its round countenance, so that you get a mixture of curved menus and straight ones, and screens that require far an excessive amount of scrolling. Even the on-watch Play Retailer is a mixture of confusion and frustrations. Now that it has a brand new title, Put on OS is in determined want of a top-to-bottom redesign, and till it will get one, the wearables that run it are routinely at a drawback. And it does not assist that the TicWatch Professional is powered by the two-year-old Snapdragon Put on 2100, the ageing platform from Qualcomm.
The bundled apps are the identical rudimentary set with the identical shortcomings—for instance, you’ll be able to’t edit or add contacts or add a location in Climate—and those Mobvoi has added do not improve the expertise a lot. (Although scrolling by way of all the privateness coverage on the Mobvoi Privateness app is nice for fun.) There are few TicWatch-specific bundled watch faces, however they lean closely towards cluttered skeuomorphs with primary customization. There’s nothing right here that’s on the extent of watchOS’s Siri face, which supplies a gentle stream of customized data, and even the LG Watch Sport’s Slices face. And even Google Match, which is able to routinely document a exercise in case your neglect to begin it, doesn’t fairly have the polish and instinct of Apple’s Exercise app.
Do you have to purchase a Mobvoi TicWatch Professional?
Mobvoi won’t be as widespread of a model as LG or Fossil, however its backed by two big-name firms: Google and Volkswagen. In nearly a 12 months, Mobvoi has launched three Put on OS watches, and whereas the TicWatch Professional is the costliest of the lot, at $250 it simply gives one of the best worth, with each bell and whistle you possibly can need in a smartwatch (besides a mobile chip).
The TicWatch Professional’s second-screen characteristic is a advantageous emergency fallback, however you’ll wish to carry round a charger anyway. It’s comforting to know that it’ll nonetheless inform you the time lengthy after it ought to have died, however stretching the “sensible” battery would require some severe psychological gymnastics. Most individuals aren’t going to recollect to change between the 2 modes to increase their battery life, so the advantages will largely come on the finish of an extended stretch with out charging. I query the deserves of sporting a smartwatch should you can’t use any of the sensible options, however it’s nonetheless a neat trick.
However the second display could be a a lot better promoting level if the remainder of the TicWatch Professional weren’t so just like the opposite Put on OS watches available on the market. Its hulking body instantly shuts out half of the market, and there aren’t sufficient compelling apps or watch faces to set it other than its opponents. I’m hopeful somebody will create the proper Put on OS smartwatch sooner or later—possibly even Mobvoi—however sadly the TicWatch Professional isn’t it.