Let’s be honest, Android Wear wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire. Like iPads in the tablet world, the Apple Watch rules the smartwatch world. But, with WearOS, Google is making a strong push to try to save the struggling brand.
Unfortunately, newer features and better performance requires better hardware, and many of the original Android Wear watches are being left behind – even the venerable Moto 360.
And replacing them is pricy! Most WearOS-compatible watches are $200 or more, which is no joke considering you’ve likely already dropped $500+ on a phone it connects. MobVoi, though looks to make that hit a little more bearable with the Ticwatch E, a water-resistant WearOS smartwatch with modern features but a manageable pricetag.
Ticwatch E Features
The E – which stands for Express – comes with a number of modern smartwatch features, including WearOS (of course), a lightweight polycarbonate design, heart-rate monitor, GPS, Google Assistant, and a 48-hour battery.
It also features an IP67 rating – which means it’s waterproof up to 1m. MobVoi warns that it’s not “suitable for shower or swimming,” but that rating wouldn’t be given if it wasn’t certified. I even put it to the test by taking it to the lake, and it performed admirably.
Hardware-wise, the Ticwatch E is about on par with the rest of the smartwatch world. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT2601 1.2GHZ processor and 512MB RAM, with 4GB onboard storage.
It has a 1.4″, 400x400p OLED display, with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 for connectivity. There’s only so much oomph you can cram into a 45mm frame, and MobVoi has done about as well as can be expected here.
Ticwatch E Daily Use
From the first time I powered it on, the Ticwatch E performed better than my trusty second generation Moto 360. It’s snappier, smoother, and its battery lasts longer. The watch faces it comes pre-loaded with are…interesting, to say the least. Some of them are wildly garish, with very few of them anything resembling what you could call “understated.”
Luckily, the WearOS Play Store is packed tight with hundreds of apps to change your watch face, many of them with their own built-in marketplace. It was easy to find the one I wanted.
Unlike the Moto 360, which comes with a metal band and a charging dock in the box, the Ticwatch E includes a silicon band and a magnetic charging cable. And while both of those pieces are perfectly serviceable, it really reveals where MobVoi had to cut costs in order to provide the same specs as the Moto 360 for significantly less.
I personally bought a Myriann Charging Stand for my Ticwatch E, and it works great. It’s also easy to grab yourself a nicer band for the Ticwatch E, as it accepts standard 20mm bands. The included silicon band even includes quick-change pins, which are fantastically convenient.
In practice, that supposed 48-hour battery life is closer to about a day of heavy use. You can, perhaps squeeze two days by turning off ambient display and most notifications. The OLED screen definitely helps though, as it allows the screen to turn off pixels rather than dim them for the ambient display. It’ll always get you through a day of use, though – which should be comforting to most.
When compared to most WearOs smartwatches (which routinely hit $250 or more) the Ticwatch E is an utter bargain. It features the same or comparable specifications as many of the top smartwatches on the market, without sacrificing too much in the looks department.
At $159.99, the Ticwatch E is a good $40 cheaper than most, though some lower-end attempts by Fossil and ASUS also hit that price point. Among the WearOS watches that come in under $200, I’d say the Ticwatch E is the best value.