Keeping up with all the latest smartwatch releases can be overwhelming. CES 2020 turned into a smartwatch show pretty quickly, but we’re honestly still trying to make our way through the wave of new devices that hit the market in the summer and fall of 2019.
The TicWatch Pro 4G from Mobvoi can be classified as one of the newest Wear OS smartwatches to hit the market. That being said, it’s not that much different than the original TicWatch Pro, a device that made its debut back in 2018. Now that may seem like an eternity in the tech world, but the similarities shared between the Pro and the Pro 4G are actually a good thing.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 4G specifications
- Build: Polyamide with a matte black finish, stainless steel bezel, aluminum back cover
- Display: Layered AMOLED + FSTN LCD 1.39-inch displays with Gorilla Glass 3
- Battery: 415 mAh with magnetic charger
- Dimensions/weight: 45.15mm x 52.8mm x 12.6mm, 47.4g
- Strap: Interchangeable 22mm silicone strap
- Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100
- Storage: 4GB ROM
- RAM: 1GB RAM
- Connectivity: 4G/LTE FDD; Bluetooth v4.2 + LE; Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; NFC
- Sensors: PPG heart rate sensor; accelerometer; gyroscope; e-compass; ambient light; GPS
- Water resistance: IP68 (tested for pool swimming);
- Durability: MIL-STD-810G compliant
Unlike the average smartwatch, the TicWatch Pro series features an AMOLED and an FSTN LCD stacked on top of it. This unique combination allows the watch to show the time, date, your step count and battery life with the LCD panel at all times without having any real impact on the battery life.
The main 1.39-inch AMOLED display looks really good with its 400 x 400 resolution, but you can spot individual pixels from time to time. The ambient light sensor used on the watch allows the display to adjust automatically so that you don’t need to change the brightness on your own. The only downside here is that it never seems to bump the screen up to its maximum brightness setting while outdoors, making it hard to see what’s on the screen on a sunny day.
Fortunately, this is where the LCD panel comes in handy. As with most FSTN LCD panels, the screen becomes more legible in a bright light without the need for a backlight. This makes the TicWatch Pro 4G one of the best options for runners or those who prefer exercising outdoors.
The majority of Wear OS smartwatches advertise 2 days of battery life on a single charge. The TicWatch Pro 4G doesn’t differ from the pack in that respect, but the inclusion of the secondary LCD panel gives it a unique advantage. While the watch’s 415 mAh battery makes it nearly impossible to go more than 2 full days on a single charge, I found that getting to the end of the second day was a lot more achievable than it typically is with other smartwatches.
The phone’s Snapdragon 2100 chip is quite a bit older than the 3100 most new smartwatches are using, but we didn’t notice any issues with performance and it doesn’t seem to have any negative impact on the watch’s battery life.
When using the watch’s “Essential Mode” Mobvoi claims that the TicWatch Pro 4G is able to last 30 days on a single charge. While we didn’t have enough time to put that claim to the test, the watch does turn on the same feature when its battery reaches 5%. This happened to me while at CES last month. Rather than charging the watch back up, I used it in Essential Mode for two and a half days before it finally turned off.
To be clear, Essential Mode only uses the FSTN LCD screen to display the time, date and keep track of your steps. That being said, a smartwatch that can still show the time for more than two days after the battery has essentially died is a lot more useful than a blank screen.
For the most part, any smartwatch that’s powered by Wear OS delivers the same user experience. From the watch face home screen, users can swipe in from different directions to pull up different panels. A swipe from the left opens the Google Assistant panel with relevant information about your day that the Google Assistant might know. Swiping down from the top opens the quick settings panel while a swipe up from the bottom shows you all your notifications. Finally, a swipe from the right opens the Tiles panel. Think of Tiles like Android widgets. You can select which tiles to show based on the applications you have installed on the watch, allowing you to quickly see the weather forecast, set a timer, check your heart rate or start a workout.
The only way manufacturers like Mobvoi are truly able to add their own unique touches in the software is with their custom watch faces and a handful of bundles apps. With the TicWatch Pro 4G, Mobvoi has included an assortment of a dozen or so watch faces. I’m not a fan of all of them, but there are a handful of customizable dials that I truly enjoy. Of course, you can also download additional watch faces form the Play Store or use apps like.
Mobvoi’s bundled watch apps include TicExercise, TicHealth and TicPulse, but you can also download TicSleep from the Play Store which allows the watch to track your sleep patterns.
TicExercise allows you to track six different types of workouts while keeping track of the distance you’ve traveled with GPS, the steps you’ve taken and your heart rate throughout the workout. TicHealth is Mobvoi’s take on Google Fit, keeping track of your regular activity throughout the day.
Combined, the apps deliver a great experience for tracking your fitness and health. However, if you’re already using services like Google Fit, My Fitness Pal, Runkeeper or others, you’re probably better off sticking with those if you want to make sure your workout history stays with you even if you choose to switch smartwatches somewhere down the line.
While there are a lot of fitness trackers out there that include sleep tracking, the feature is still surprisingly uncommon when it comes to Wear OS smartwatches since Google doesn’t include at the operating system level. Fortunately, Mobvoi has released its TicSleep app which enables the functionality on the original TicWatch Pro and the newer TicWatch Pro 4G. The app isn’t pre-installed since it was released after the watch went on sale, but once you download and install it, you’ll be able to track your sleep patterns if you choose to wear the watch at night.
Unlike some fitness trackers, TicSleep doesn’t need to be turned on manually to start tracking your sleep. Once you’ve set a few different parameters, the application will measure how fast you fall asleep each night, analyze your light, deep and REM sleep cycles and record your heart rate throughout the night. Once you’re used it for several days, you’ll be able to view your sleep averages and get a better sense for what your sleep patterns are which is helpful if you don’t get good sleep at night.
Always connected with 4G/LTE
Having a smartwatch that doesn’t need to be constantly connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone can be liberating. While most people strap their smartphone to their arm while going on a bike ride or on a run, the TicWatch Pro 4G allows you to leave your phone at home. The watch will allow you to make or receive calls, send or receive messages, stream your music and keep track of your workout, all on its own. But not everyone needs a smartwatch with built-in LTE connectivity.
If you’re not someone who works out of a regular basis, there’s really no need for it, especially since you’ll need to pay an extra $10 a month to your service provider for that connection. On top of that, the 4G variant of the TicWatch Pro costs roughly $50 more than the base model.
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 4G is a great Wear OS smartwatch thanks to its extra durability, dual-display, sleep tracking and 4G connectivity. Mobvoi does have a few competitors in the space that also offer dual-displays which also deliver impressive battery life, but most of those devices cost $100 more than what Mobvoi is charging.
If you need a smartwatch that does it all and allows you to ditch your phone for a few hours while you’re working out, the TcWatch Pro 4G offers the best and most affordable experience. But if all you need is a smartwatch and basic fitness tracking, there are quite a few cheaper options that look better which will do the trick.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_75star_empty (3.9/5)
- Dual display
- Good battery life
- Sleep tracking
- Bulky design
- Outdated processor
- Not exactly cheap