Mobvoi TicWatch E3 review: A worthy Wear OS competitor

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It’s been a few years since I’ve had my hands on a Mobvoi watch or even a Wear OS watch, now that I think of it. Android watches have come a long way, and Wear OS has matured and grown into a usable and enjoyable interface. The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is another Wear OS device that stands tall among many.

It’s not perfect, but it does what it needs to do well enough at a price point accessible enough for most. Other choices are better, but they will cost you more money. For what you pay, the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is a worthy competitor and worth considering. Check out our full review.

Specifications

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 has the following features and specifications:

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  • Dimensions: (mm)44 x 47 x 12.6
  • Weight: About 32g
  • Color: Panther Black
  • Watch case: Polycarbonate and glass fiber
  • Screen: 2.5D glass
  • Watch strap: Silicone rubber (interchangeable), 20mm, Black
  • Operating System: Wear OS by Google
  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system
  • Memory: RAM: 1GB / ROM: 8GB
  • Display:1.3″ High Density Display (360 x 360 px)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi:802.11b/g/n
  • GNSS: GPS + GLONASS + Beidou
  • NFC Payments: Google Pay
  • Speaker: Yes
  • Mic: Yes
  • Vibration: Yes
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
  • Battery capacity: 380mAh
  • Waterproof rating: IP68, Pool Swimming

What’s In The Box

  • Mobvoi TicWatch E3
  • USB Charging Cable with proprietary charging end
  • Manuals and Documentation

Design

Mobvoi TicWatch E3
Good looking watch

I don’t usually start with the bad in the design section, but I will address the elephant in the room, the charging cable, and the placement of the pogo pin charging element. This is by far the worst part of the entire design of the Mobvoi TicWatch E3.

Mobvoi has used this type of charging method in different forms for many of its smartwatches. I have found that these pogo pin chargers tend to fall off easily and are often hard to get into place. It would be nice to see a magnetic puck charger like Samsung and Apple use. I believe Mobvoi has implemented them in the past.

Let’s move on to the band. It’s nothing special and very basic, although comfortable. The nice thing is that you can use your bands with the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. Just be sure you get the correct size. While the band feels cheap, the clasp is made of metal and feels well made.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3
Always on display

The housing of the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is made of plastic. It’s a decent plastic and feels OK, though not premium. The back of the E3 houses all of the sensors, and the front display has substantial bezels. It is more noticeable because the display is LCD and not OLED like the Galaxy Watch4.

While the display is LCD, an OLED would have been better; it’s not all that bad. It gets reasonably bright but struggles in natural or very bright sunlit conditions. Indoors it is just fine, even in well-lit rooms.

Your power and function buttons are on the right side of the Mobvoi TicWatch E3. A microphone on the right side allows you to take calls on the watch.

Overall, the design is pretty pedestrian but not irrelevant. It looks nice enough but does not exude any premium vibes. The charging method leaves much to be desired, and the bezels are chunky. But it’s not awful; it’s just simple.

Software/Ecosystem

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is sporting Wear OS version 2.37, with no word on when or if the watch will receive Wear OS 3. Wear OS hasn’t changed significantly over the past year or two. The E3 can be worn and operated using the Wear OS app; more on that later, but Mobvoi also provides an app you can use.

The Mobvoi app is where you can track all of your health data, such as heart rate, activity, sleep, exercise, stress, etc. This can also be done with the Google Fit app if you’re already used to it. The Mobvoi app offers a few more health features you might like.

Both apps are straightforward, and there’s not much new here. They are easy to navigate and provide everything you would expect from a health tracking device. All of the functions seem to work well. I compared some of the results to my Apple Watch results, which were nearly identical. I didn’t test the sleep tracking as I don’t particularly appreciate wearing devices while in bed.

Overall, the Mobvoi app is probably a better bet than Google Fit for all the bells and whistles. It offers you much more information than any other app, and if you’re looking for detailed health stats, it is your best bet. But if you do not want to share data with anyone else and are already in Google’s mitts, then Google Fit will be OK.

Ease of Use

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is a straightforward smartwatch. Nothing is complicated here, and Wear OS makes the ease of use that much better.

Overall, the two side buttons and touch interface are simple to use and navigate with. We will touch on performance next.

Performance

Mobvoi TicWatch E3
The charging cable is not the best at staying in place.

Performance on the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is solid. Boot-up time takes a few seconds longer than I would like, but it’s not often the watch will be off. Initial power up and updates are about the only time you should need to boot up, so it’s not a huge concern.

Scrolling and touch both worked excellently. The display’s brightness was excellent, there were a few direct sunlight moments where it was hard to see, but overall it worked well.

I did have some issues with raise to wake. The display didn’t always turn on when I lifted my wrist to view the time or interact with the watch. Those moments meant I had to tap the screen to wake it. It wasn’t all of the time, but I’d say 15% of the time, the display would not turn on.

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, so it has a solid engine under the hood. I’d say the performance was excellent, especially given the price point of this watch.

Battery Life

I would consider the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 battery life to be excellent, lasting almost two full days with most health tracking on. I did not use sleep tracking, so I expect that adding sleep tracking will impact your battery life if you opt for it.

You could get more if you opt not to use some health tracking features and turn off the always-on display. While I was not too fond of the charging cable, the charger itself zips the watch from 0-100 within a few hours. If your TicWatch gets down to around 5% of charge, it will go into Essential Mode, which keeps the watch on but stops all other features leaving only the date, time, and steps.

Overall, excellent battery life. I mean, it gets more battery life than my Apple Watch Series 7.

Price/Value

The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is priced at US$199.99, and currently, you can get US$40 off on Amazon. The E3 is one of the best values in Android Wear at the moment, and I think worth your investment.

Wrap Up

The TicWatch series has been one of the better Android Wear smartwatches, and the E3 continues that streak. But don’t expect luxury or premium looks here. This is a pedestrian design with inexpensive materials used. But that doesn’t make it bad; it just makes it attainable, and for the price, you get a lot of excellent and helpful features.

Last Updated on August 19, 2022.

Mobvoi TicWatch E3

US$199.99

Design

9.0/10

Software/Ecosystem

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Battery Life

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Affordable Wear OS option
  • Wear OS has been refined and continues to be improved
  • Performance and speed is great with the Snapdragon 4100
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Sleep tracking and many health options, for those who like that

Needs work

  • Bezel is thicker than I'd like
  • The charging solution is clunky and needs to be rethought
  • LCD display instead of an OLED display
  • Build quality feels cheap
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