The debate over wearables is real with some writing them off completely and others absolutely in love with them. The Wear OS space is crowded with many contenders but the Ticwatch S is a standout. It’s comparatively low cost but high-quality build and materials makes it a perfect choice for just about anyone. It’s not all a bed of roses though, there are a few things some might find annoying. So read on for the full review of the Mobvoi Ticwatch S.
The Ticwatch S has the following features and specifications:
- Size: 45mm diameter, 13mm thick.
- Battery life: 300mAh.
- Charging: Magnetic connecting pin charging.
- Sensors: Heart-rate monitor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, e-Compass
- Water and dust resistant (IP67)
- Watch Straps: unchangeable watch strap
- OS: Wear OS
- Watch faces: Rich watch face selection, exclusively designed for Ticwatch.
- Compatible with both IOS and Android phones
- Built-in GPS
- Heart rate monitor
- Google Assistant
What’s In The Box
- Ticwatch S
- Charging cable
- Documentation and Manuals
The Ticwatch S design is truly a sport-inspired look, but it does work for casual dress attire as well. While the watchband is not changeable, I love how it seamlessly molds into the body of the watch making it seem more like a bracelet. Our version came in the “Knight” color. Other colors include the “Aurora” and the “Glacier.”
The bezel around our watch is adorned with bright yellow numbers indicating the minutes. That’s super helpful when using watch faces with only hands and no numbers. The multifunction button is placed on the left side of the watch, which I found inconvenient as I am used to it being on the right. I wear my watches on my left hand and just prefer that button on the right.
The materials and build quality are pretty good. They’re not on par with higher priced watches but also not horrible. The watch band buckle is made of plastic and it has held up during my use, but I fear it could break at some point. On the back of the watch housing, you’ll find the heart rate monitor and the charging connector.
Having read other reviews about the charging connector, I was prepared for the worst. Honestly, it’s better than many others. I felt the connection was pretty solid and I never woke up to a dead watch because the connector slipped off.
Overall, this is a nice design. No, it’s not made of super high-end materials but it’s also not chintzy cheap. There is a good balance here of affordability and quality.
The company that makes the Ticwatch S started their wearable line with their own OS. With their new watches, they decided to move to Wear OS from Google. Having never used their older version and older software, I can’t compare them one to another. I will say that Wear OS is getting better every time I use it.
The addition of complications to the OS is a huge plus. Being able to add the data you want to see at a glance to your watch faces is a huge convenience. You’ll get the most out of the watch and Wear OS if you use it with an Android device. For this review, I used it with my iPhone X.
Wear OS has improved on iPhone with the ability to access the Play Store directly on the watch. This is helpful to get watch faces from the store and install them directly on the watch. Before, on iOS, you were stuck using what was on the Android Wear app. Now, there is so much more choice.
There are some things you need to be aware of if you plan on using this with an iPhone. You can get your notifications here. iMessage and phone calls all show up on the watch face. The one caveat is you cannot interact with those notifications, so you can’t reply to them directly from the watchface. That functionality DOES work when using the watch with an Android device. This isn’t Mobvoi’s fault, this is something Apple hasn’t opened up.
Mobvoi includes a small app with the watch that shows you your steps and heart rate. But the watch is also compatible with Google Fit and other fit trackers which I think more people will use. The app is nice but given that most people are already invested in other fitness apps, it’s likely you won’t use it very often.
Overall, Wear OS has gotten miles better and seems to be getting better every day. It works perfectly well on the Ticwatch S and just about any other wearable it’s installed on.
Ease of Use
Pairing the watch with your Android device is fairly simple using the Wear app. You also get a decent walkthrough when you initially set up the watch. It’s basically a step by step tutorial and, if followed, will be super easy. If you’ve never used a Wear OS watch, before you’ll have a slight learning curve. Everything is nicely laid out, though, and you should have an easy time of it.
Setting up the included app is also simple. Once you have the watch all setup, the app will recognize the watch and connect, just like that. The Wear app has far more functionality on the Android platform than iOS, but you will need to have it for the watch to work with either phone.
Overall, it’s super simple to use and set up, thanks to the Wear OS app.
The Ticwatch S muscles through basic needs just fine. The display is probably the best display I’ve seen on any Wear OS watch that I’ve personally used. I’ve seen reviews that complain that the display is hard to see in bright sunlight. I had no issues at all seeing this display in bright sunlight, but I do have my brightness setting at 5 all of the time. I never use the auto function on any wearable.
I didn’t use Google Assistant as my iPhone is set up with Siri, but I’m sure it’s not unlike any other Android wearable with the feature. I did feel this watch had a nice snappy performance. I’ve reviewed other brands in the past that had some stuttering and lag, but I never got that with the Ticwatch S. The Ticwatch S is a workhorse, though I felt like it never missed a beat.
Speaking of the beat, the Ticwatch S is sporting a heart rate monitor. It seems fairly accurate, and I compared it side by side with my Apple Watch. While I never got the same identical reading, they were within one to two beats of each other. You can also track your steps or a workout through Google Fit with this watch and it does a fantastic job of tracking steps. I compared my Apple Health app to the Mobvoi app and the steps were very near the same.
Overall, the Ticwatch S is a strong performer, and that display is one of the best I’ve ever seen on a watch of this price point.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the 300mAh battery hold up to my entire day. Even with full brightness, GPS on, Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi on, and notifications on, I was able to get through a whole day (5am-9pm) with 30-40% left in the tank. I tried to get through two whole days without charging, but I only got half way through my 2nd day. For a wearable, I found this to be very acceptable.
One other thing I noticed is that some reviewers complain about the battery cable. I actually like this cable more than some other brands’ magnetic charging pucks. I never had an issue with the cable coming loose only to find a dead watch in the morning. It’s not the best charging solution, and it would be nice to maybe see Mobvoi make a dock, but it’s better than other solutions out there.
Overall, the battery life is pretty great on the Ticwatch S. It’s probably one of the better battery life performers out there coming very close to my Apple Watch performance.
Clocking in at $199.99USD the Ticwatch S is priced right. For the number of features you get, especially that display, I think there is tremendous value in this watch. My only concern would be how well the strap (especially the buckle) will hold up after a few years of use.
I don’t think you could go wrong with the Ticwatch S. It’s a full-featured Wear OS watch that’s comfortable, has a great screen, nearly all the features you’d want in a fitness tracker/smartwatch, and has a very nice price. This is, by far, my favorite Wear OS watch yet!
*We received a sample of the Ticwatch S for the purposes of this review.
Ease of Use10.0/10
- I rather enjoyed the fit and comfort
- The display is one of the best I've seen
- Wear OS gives you many watch face options
- Price point is fairly low comparatively
- Watch band cannot be changed
- GPS built into the watch band
- Hopefully the watch buckle will hold up over time