MOBVOI TicWatch Pro Review: WearOS Smart Watch

Smart watches from Samsung, Fitbit, Huawei, etc. are good for many, but contactless payment in them in our country (or in general) is not

works.For those who are too lazy to take an Android smartphone out of their pocket for purchase over and over again, a smart watch on WearOS can be the solution. Google Pay not only exists in our country, but breaks all popularity records. To the editorggwere one of the few officially suppliedto Ukraine hours on the Google platform – MOBVOI TicWatch Pro, they have NFC for Google Pay. In this review, we find out whether the game is worth the candle, that is, the race for the Google clock for the coveted contactless payments.

What brand?

MOBVOI, as you might guess from the tooth-crushingname, – this is a Chinese brand. But not the brainchild of Uncle Liao from a creepy alley. The company was created by people from Google in 2012 in Beijing. In addition to them, people from Nokia and graduates of prestigious international universities are working on MOBVOI products. Initially, the founders’ goal was to develop in the field of artificial intelligence and Chinese speech recognition. But then MOBVOI got serious about smartwatches. The company was developing its own alternative to the operating system from Google services, which have been difficult in China since 2010.

On the natives of Google, the manufacturer’s connection withgood corporation does not end there. The company became Google’s first investment in China after the search engine left China in 2010. The investment took place in 2015, in 2016, MOBVOI rolled out the Android Wear app store in China. The company is also Google’s strategic partner in implementing Android Wear in its country, thanks to its development, Moto 360, for example, entered the market and remained full-fledged.

MOBVOI releases watches under the TicWatch brand onown Ticwear operating system since 2014, these are the most popular devices on the Google platform in China. In their home market, they received the Chinese application for searching Chumenwenwen, for communication WeChat and Dianping, etc. Design and premium materials at a fairly affordable price have always been the hallmark of the brand. Google highly appreciates the partner, and the partner, in turn, has set a course to make the SDK as close as possible to Google’s, and to make it easy for developers of foreign applications to port them to Android Wear (now – WearOS) in China.

The history of TicWatch until 2015 can be foundfrom this article on Wearable (in English). The watch even conquered crowdfunding platforms JD crowdfunding and Kickstarter. The brand went beyond the boundaries of the home market in 2016.

On the brand’s website, the company’s portfolio includes:in addition to smart watches, TWS headsets. The brand is officially sold in Ukraine and several models can be found in stores (oddly enough, they are even available on the website xiaomi.ua). We are reviewing – top – TicWatch Pro.

What is it?

Before sitting down to write this material,I came across a review of the Fossil Gen 5 WearOS smartwatch on The Guardian. And it was as if I plunged into a parallel universe, where Google managed to create a cool, convenient and, most importantly, energy-efficient platform, and its partner – elegant device. But no, the author of this review and I do not live in different universes. What he praises the platform for – This is something that turned out to be a big step for WearOS, but is already a distant memory for companies that produce smartwatches on their own platforms.

Even Huawei, introducing enoughexpensive watch GT 2 on LiteOS, Google has gone far ahead in terms of stability and reasonable interface. About Apple, Samsung and Fitbit what to say. Companies that remain faithful to Google are having a hard time. And there is nothing left for them but to bring to the ideal the appearance of the models and look for workarounds for the weak autonomy of the watch. How long will fashion houses agree to play this game? It is not clear, but at least they have the strength of the brand for sales and an understanding of how to make a thing truly luxurious. Random little brands in this market have nothing to do. On this, in fact, we could finish the review. But the situation obliges to go to the end.

TicWatch Pro – это смарт-часы на WearOS, compatible with iOS and Android. They have NFC for contactless payments using Google Pay and an additional LCD screen that continues to work when the main one has consumed its share of battery. Although Google’s operating system has its own platform for healthy lifestyles, Google Fit, the manufacturer has equipped the device with some software improvements, including for training. All this makes the watch stand out from what is currently on the Ukrainian market.

How do they look?

TicWatch Pro is made in classicform factor and are available in two strap colors – gray and black. Ours were black. The watch is massive (size 45x45 mm, thickness 13 mm), heavy (59 g) and looks more like a men's model. Although they also look interesting on a woman’s hand. The frames around the screen are massive, and the watch itself seems to rise on a pedestal. Material – metal. I think if you drop these, nothing will happen to them, the screen is structurally protected, the body is strong, and this is definitely a plus. Minus of the design around the screen – this is that when you need to click on the area near the edge, it is difficult to hit it. But these are questions for the interface.

The belt is also tempting to call it massive.Outside – leather, from the inside – silicone with a deep texture, where remnants of creams, lotions, etc. readily become clogged. So you need to keep an eye on the cleanliness of the strap. On the inside of the watch – heart rate monitor and contacts for the charger. The charger is attached securely, by the way.

There are two control buttons.Upper – to open the application menu, go back one step, long press – calling a voice assistant. Lower – partially customizable. By default, a single press launches a proprietary training application, but you can configure, for example, Google Fit, with a double – payments, long – enter the context menu. The buttons have a tight and deep travel, you get the feeling that you are using an old, old keyboard in which your fingers are drowning.

In general, the appearance is not bad, but for this money in the market there are more elegant solutions from Samsung and Huawei. The more affordable TicWatch C2 also looks more elegant.

How is the screen?

The peculiarity of this model – dual display(AMOLED and LCD), covered with protective glass. The diagonal is 1.39 inches, resolution 400x400 pixels. Pixel density – 287 dpi is small by the standards of modern smartwatches, but overall it is sufficient. An LCD display is needed to operate in economy mode. You can switch to it manually in the settings. Or wait until it is completely discharged (less than a day, if you actually use the watch), then it will turn on automatically. In this mode, the watch becomes not smart, but it shows the time.

Since the second display is located above the mainAMOLED, this affects color reproduction. With some dials, the display looks like what cheap IPS matrices on smartphones looked like 5 years ago – it is dim and looks out from under the glass. To avoid the effect of cheapness, it is better to choose the most minimalist dials (but there are few of them).

The Google platform has one very bigadvantage in working with the screen – notification text from applications rationally uses all the allocated space. Samsung and Huawei have a lot of “air” left – That's why, actually, I'm not a fan of round screens. But in WearOS this is implemented wisely.

On the other hand, it is in this model that the starsconverge in such a way that the screen is often inconvenient to work with. WearOS places text and other content as close to the edge as possible, and the watch has thick and tall frames around the screen. If you need to enter a PIN code or type text on the keyboard on the device screen, getting to the right buttons is not very easy anyway because of their size, and then the frames are pushing in. With some other controls – and even worse.


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How much battery does it hold?

The battery capacity of the model is 415 mAh. The manufacturer promises up to three days of work from the main screen or up to 24 hours in active mode, and up to 30 &#8211; from auxiliary.

I didn’t even try to check the second fact, butfirst things are like this. If you connected notifications from the main messenger, plus went to an hour-long training session, plus sometimes look at the time &#8211; workday at best. When I set up the watch and looked at what was interesting in the app store, the charge melted at a rate of 15% in half an hour (this is from 100%; the lower the charge, the worse it usually gets). Or, for example, I left for training with 55% charge, after four hours, an hour of which the training lasted, the device was already discharged. Even the Apple Watch is not so bad. There, for the promised 18 hours of work, the watch can almost be worn as slippers. Well, it’s definitely possible to listen to music in the player for several hours.

It takes about an hour and a half to charge.

What about performance and hardware?

Google wouldn't be Google if it weren't for Android WearOSI didn’t eat any resources myself. The watch is equipped with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon W2100 processor with a clock frequency of 1200 MHz (not the youngest model) and 512 MB of RAM. Out of the box, the interface runs relatively smoothly &#8211; not at the speed of watchOS, of course, but comfortable. But the adventure begins with installing third-party applications &#8211; When I set it to about 10, the clock started to slow down. Moreover, among these 10 &#8211; several very basic ones: for payment, calculator, voice recorder, notes, organizer, etc. That is, what each user is likely to install.

The watch is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC.Bluetooth&#8211; version 4.2. There are often problems with connection. The WearOS app shows that the watch is connected, the watch itself &#8211; that no. Then notifications from applications do not arrive, even if Wi-Fi is connected, and voice search works somehow and periodically produces errors. Trying to connect to the phone from the watch &#8211; Same. The problem occurs randomly, a reboot helps. Kamon, Google, this thing costs as much as the best devices on the market, but it works as if the code was written by punks in a back alley.

The presence of NFC also does not mean that the watch isBy default, they will be able to make contactless payments. Firstly, the dance around payments begins with setting a PIN code or pattern on the watch, without which you cannot add a card. It must be inserted each time the device is removed from the arm. Logical and should be thought out and convenient? Yes, but that was not the case. The PIN code entry must be confirmed, and the confirmation button is as close as possible to the thick frame around the screen; you have to reach it directly.

Secondly, after setting up Google Pay for the first timeThe application disappears from the watch. You can find it on Google Play and re-enable it. But it refuses, citing the fact that Google Pay does not work in my country. Colleagues familiar with setting up payments on WearOS suggested that installing the Pay Enabler application would help. But even after that, the watch was sent away, reminding me that Google Pay does not work in my country. In the forum thread on 4pda there are lucky people who write that everything worked for them. Later, also on the forums, the answer was found. The application does not work with the new OS version.

The watch also has an inexpensive but loud speaker and microphone.

What can they do?

In addition to standard Google features, there isimprovements from the manufacturer &#8211; these are three lifestyle apps in particular. For ease of perception, I propose to consider both separately.

WearOS

With a smartwatch on the Google operating system II first encountered it several years ago, when there was no alternative as such. Except that Samsung made its first attempts to develop Tizen. Google's operating system was attractive with its simplicity, convenient controls (the gestures are really super intuitive) and the fact that training data will be stored in Google Fit, and not with some manufacturer who can close the shop with smart watches at any time. But then I couldn’t decide on a specific watch. Some did not have GPS, others &#8211; heart rate monitor Probably, if they had both, the watch would work for half a day at best.

Actually, now there is, although autonomystill the worst on the market. But other manufacturers have not slept all these years, but have intensively developed the wearable electronics segment. So much so that it is this WearOS watch that I consider the worst solution I have ever used. More precisely, they share the last place with Amazfit GTS, but they are at least cheap.

Firstly, it is strange that some actualnative applications like the voice recorder and calendar twitched, twitched and did not start. Google Keep launched, but blinked and jerked at least four times before the latest notes loaded, and the interface jerked again as I scrolled down. And such dancing every time. You can do just about anything with notes &#8211; watch, pin, turn on reminders. Editing? No, we haven't heard.

Secondly, others run at speedturtles also respond to user actions with the same speed. For example, you can install Todoist, you can even log in, view tasks and mark completed ones. But I tried to add a new one &#8211; either by dictation or by text. The clock went to think for about a minute, then opened the keyboard. Voice dialing never started. Moreover, there was tactile feedback from clicking the “dictate” button. Many times. By the way, WearOS pulls up the daily to-do list (“Agenda”) from all calendars of Google accounts on the phone, as well as from Todoist. Moreover, the latter &#8211; Even with a timed reminder, there is no such thing in the free version of the application. So, at the very least, there is a benefit from the watch and it is not necessary to install Todoist on it, since there are already few resources.

However, some applications still work.fine. The Seven training app found on the Play Market just flies. Setting voice reminders in the corresponding application takes seconds. Timer and stopwatch work great. To work with it in hours organically. It is convenient to view alerts from messengers and you can even respond to them. In addition, I liked the work of a translator who perfectly recognizes by ear, as well as an Assistant who is best here for Android and native to the platform. If he had not fallen off from time to time, he would not have had a price.

There's a lot of cool stuff in the app store.These are some sports and healthy lifestyle features, as well as podcasts, games, applications for work, music. True, there are already three music applications (in the streaming music section). Shazam was unable to block any of the dozen songs with millions of views on Youtube (a colleague with a Huawei watch on WearOS did not have this problem). Play Music only accepts streaming music.

Google Fit has a huge amount of training. I didn’t run with this watch, but in general I’ve been familiar with the capabilities of the platform for running training for a long time. In power mode, they track the number of sets in sets, allow you to enter weight, and try to recognize exercises. It turns out with varying success, at least half the time past, but it happens that even within the framework of one set it is first correct, then not. They count a minute to rest, but you can reduce it if you want. In general, here Google really tries and it turns out well.

Google Fit still doesn't have a section fornutrition tracking, but can pull this data from third-party applications. If you use something like FatSecret, all the data will still be pulled into one place. Apple works on the same principle.

Branded applications

There are three of them, as I already mentioned.TicExercise &#8211; This is apparently one of the examples of copying Google applications for Chinese users. It is designed to track the user's physical activity. But everything is done a little in the Chinese way, in the bad sense of the word. Firstly, there are few sports. And if they can be added, then in some cunning way, because I did not find this option in obvious places. Secondly, the miracles of translation. I didn't find any strength in training. But there is a tricky mode called “crawl”. It is accompanied by photographs of strength training. It also involves dividing into sets and attempting to count down rest times (but no, it just doesn't count as time). It seems like it could pass for a regime for security forces. But in the end, the report contains a “distance” item. And, by the way, there is no number of calories burned during the workout.

The “indoor running” training mode (separatelythere is no orbital track) for some reason 20 minutes are counted as 16-17. It seems to me that the application only considers working the time when the heart rate is high enough. Although the clock is gradually falling behind.

On the plus side &#8211; The pulse is constantly counted, there is detailing of step frequency and step length.

Heart rate data is displayed in the TicPulse app. For some reason, calories burned are purely symbolic, many times less than on watches and smart bracelets of all other manufacturers.

In general, the idea was interesting, but the implementation &#8211; not even a deuce.

Calculation of calories burned per day &#8211; also strange. Less than could be for active and spent at rest, but more than just spent at rest.

Third application &#8211; TicHealth.It contains information from the above two. On the watch, activity looks like circles on the Apple Watch. The mobile app has a different design. It’s curious that when I tracked my workout using Google Fit, the watch didn’t notice the activity at all, only the number of steps for the day matched.

Below are some more screenshots with the capabilities of the watch.

What are the alternatives?

We have an article on choosing a smart watch, thereAll the current best offers on the market are collected. Unless there are other alternatives on WearOS. In fact, they can only be recommended if you want to pay for hours. But in this case, I would recommend choosing more affordable models or a different brand altogether, the second screen TicWatch Pro &#8211; rather pampering and so as not to look like a mug with the watch screen turned off in front of others. But in order not to look like a mug, the watch must simply be charged. Then they will also be useful. Western media highly praise what Fossil produces; from a design point of view, this brand really stands out, and its reputation is dear to it, so most likely there will not be such blunders as in this device. But there are suspicions that the new models of this brand will refuse to work with payments in the same way.

In the dry residue

In my opinion, MOBVOI TicWatch Pro is a complete andunqualified failure. Both the development company and Google, which praises the partner for the quality of the product, and itself releases such a WearOS curve. Google continues to measure the tolerance of users in Android smartphones, forgetting that Android has conquered the market with accessibility and now in the Asian and African markets its share is being nibbled away from the bottom by devices that are even more budget-friendly, but less buggy &#8211; on KaiOS. Smartwatches on WearOS cannot be called affordable; these are solutions that are close in price to Samsung and Apple, but are head and shoulders behind in terms of speed and ease of use. The device has crowds of fans on forums, but I don’t have any rational reasons for choosing this watch. Unfortunately, the barrel organ with contactless payments did not start on this model. The performance and stability of the device raises questions, especially for the $250 they cost in Ukraine. MOBVOI's own modifications are simply ridiculous. You can buy them only out of love for everything that Google does and in the hope that contactless payments in wearable devices Google will finally officially allow

2 reasons to buy MOBVOI TicWatch Pro:

  • Irrational love for everything Google does;
  • the timid hope that contactless payments will one day work in our country.

4 reasons not to buy MOBVOI TicWatch Pro:

  • autonomy to hell;
  • contactless payments still do not work;
  • faded screen due to the second layer for longer battery life;
  • WearOS with all the consequences in the form of low energy efficiency and buggy work.

Technical specifications of MOBVOI TicWatch Pro

Display
double: 1.39 inches, 400x400 pixels, AMOLED + LCD

Dimensions
45x45x13 mm

Weight
59g without strap, 77g with strap

operating system
WearOS

CPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon W2100

Compatibility
iOS 9.3 and above, Android 4.4 and above

RAM
512 MB

Internal memory
4 GB

Communications and sensors
Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, Baidu, NFC, accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor

Protection
IP68 (up to 1.5 meters up to 30 minutes)

Battery
up to 3 days of work from the main screen, up to 30 days of work from the auxiliary screen

Smart watch MOBVOI TicWatch Pro

WearOS dual-display smartwatch

Senior TicWatch smartwatch modelMOBVOI is interesting for WearOS, developed by Google, a dual display that allows you to increase battery life due to the second monochrome screen located below the main screen and NFC support for contactless payments. In practice, they can be of interest only to ardent fans of everything that Google does, who are ready to put up with their slowness compared to any other smart watch. And it will be possible to use contactless payments in Ukraine only after Google activates this opportunity for our country.

Buy

WearOS for Googleboy

Another reason to spend gg-koin

These watches can be purchased from the editorsggfor our gg-coins. Regular readersggthey know that we have “game currency” on our website,which is awarded for each visit to the site, each comment left. So far, ggc could be used to pay for a site without advertising (in this case, you will not see a single banner - this is even better than banner cutting, because all the banner spaces simply collapse and are not left with holes). But it’s time to open a new page in the site’s history - some gadgets can be picked up by spending gg coins. In this case, you need to go to your account settings, select the gg-coins tab and transfer 0.1 gg-coins to the user “Technoslav Bergamot” (this is not as little as it looks). We will send these watches to the person who makes the transfer first. For the rest, we'll simply send the transfer back and update this text to notify everyone that the device has been given away. If you don’t have enough gg-coins in your account, don’t be upset - this is a reason to start collecting them right now (read the instructions on how to do this and how to use them).

P.S. Pot, do not cook! The clock leaves pasha7, transaction time 10:34. Thank you all for participating, this is not the last time.