Feb 17th, 2022

Early last year, I had the opportunity to check out the TicWatch Pro 3. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to check out quite a few different smartwatches over the past year, all with different features and software versions.

After Google and Samsung debuted Wear OS 3 at I/O 2021, there was a lot to be excited about. Not only did it seem like Google was finally taking smartwatches seriously, but it was enlisting the help of Samsung to get it done. Unfortunately, that partnership came at a cost to everyone else, as we’re still awaiting the arrival of Wear OS 3 on non-Samsung smartwatches.

So when the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra showed up in my mailbox, I already had to temper my expectations. And somehow, Mobvoi still managed to exceed those.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra Review: Specs

  • Build: Stainless steel and plastic
  • Display: 1.4-inch Retina AMOLED FSTN display, 454 x 454 resolution
  • Battery: 577mAh with a magnetic charger
  • Dimensions/weight: 47 x 48 x 12.3 mm, 41g
  • Strap: 22mm
  • Processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100+
  • Storage: 8GB ROM
  • RAM: 1GB RAM
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi
    802.11b/g/n, NFC, LTE (optional)
  • Sensors: PPG heart rate sensor; blood oxygen; accelerometer; gyroscope; ambient light; barometer; GPS; GLONASS
  • Water resistance: IP68

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra Review: What We Like

When you put the Pro 3 and Pro 3 Ultra side-by-side, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tell the difference. That’s because Mobvoi primarily focused on internal upgrades instead of overhauling its best smartwatch from the ground up.

Unlike its predecessor, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra has never left me wishing for something else in terms of performance. It may not run Wear OS 3, but the move to the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ is a big step in the right direction. In fact, the only time that I experience lag or anything of the sort was during the initial setup process before the various software updates were installed.

The Pro 3 Ultra feels great on the wrist, at least for someone who has larger wrists. The dual-layered display is still an absolute dream, and you can squeeze multiple days of battery life with ease, provided that you are okay switching over to “Essential” mode when the battery gets low.

A strong argument can be made that the Pro 3 Ultra is an even better option compared to the Galaxy Watch 4 when it comes to health and fitness tracking. Instead of worrying about losing features when you aren’t using a Samsung phone, the Pro 3 Ultra provides all of the important metrics, regardless of what Android phone you are using.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra Review: What We Don’t

From my perspective, there really isn’t much to complain about here. However, when looking at the bigger picture, it’s obvious that the Pro 3 Ultra might be too large for many people. The watch frame is enormous and is even larger than the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic with its rotating bezel.

That brings me to my next gripe with the Pro 3 Ultra, as Mobvoi inexplicably continues to use the non-rotating bezel. It even goes so far as to put the little minute indicators around the bezel, and while that’s cool, it’s a bit outdated at this point. I’m holding out hope that a TicWatch Pro 4 will change things, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The final problem that I have isn’t really Mobvoi’s fault at all and it has to do with the problem in the Wear OS space. Google and Samsung have not explicitly come out and said as much, but there’s definitely some type of exclusivity going on with the latest version of Google’s software. It’s extremely frustrating to see this happen, especially with a smartwatch like the Pro 3 Ultra that would benefit from the new software.

Conclusion

Putting things plain and simple, if you want a Wear OS smartwatch but don’t want to deal with Samsung, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is the way to go. It’s the same price as its predecessor, offers simply incredible battery life, and keeps track of all of the most important fitness metrics that you’ll care about.

Now, we just need to wait and see what’s to come when (or if) the Wear OS 3 update actually comes to the Pro 3 Ultra. Until then, you’ll still enjoy the experience overall and unless you have smaller wrists, this is the Wear OS smartwatch to get.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra at Amazon

 

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_25 (4.25/ 5)

The Good

  • The best non-Samsung Wear OS smartwatch
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Faster than its predecessor

The Bad

  • Wear OS 3 not available yet
  • Design is getting stale
  • Not great for those with smaller lists

The Bottom Line

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is an incredible smartwatch that is a perfect companion to your favorite Android smartphone. It offers long-lasting battery life, a unique display that stands out from the crowd, and fitness tracking that is top-notch.