The Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) landscape has been pretty quiet but Mobvoi keeps producing quality wearables at prices that turn heads. In this video, I take a look at the TicWatch Pro to determine if it lives up to the standard of a Pro Level Wearable.

Check out the TicWatch Pro:
Milanese Loop Watch Band:
Leather Watch Band:

Video Transcription

Hey, what’s up? It’s Jerad with State of Tech, and today we’re going to take a look at the TicWatch Pro. This is the latest TicWatch that’s available, and it’s their premium model. So I wanted to talk about some of the features. It’s got a couple of really neat things, and it’s got a couple of big misses that I think are bummers. But it’s really up to you, as to whether or not you think it is a good buy or not. So I’m going to talk about all these things and let you decide. Make sure to click on that subscribe button on our channel here, to be notified when we put out new videos. And then, of course, comment down below, to join in on the conversation.

So I’ve got links to this watch in the description, including a couple of different bands that I chose for it so that I can change those out. Make sure to click on those links, that help support our channel here. So the packaging is really nice on the watch, but what’s really cool is the watch itself. So here’s the watch on my wrist, and it’s a pretty good size watch. I have a pretty decent size wrist, and so I like a watch that fills it up. But what’s unique about this watch is not necessarily the fact that it’s a pretty decent size body. It does have just shy of 1.4 inch, 400 x 400 display.

But it also has a secondary display that you’re looking at right now, which is a little challenging to see, but there it is. It looks really good, and especially out in the sunlight, where a lot of watches fail at being able to be read. This display, which they’re calling The Essential Display, is another layer of a display over the top that has a transparency. And when it shuts off, so when I rotate the watch and the rest of the watch comes on, that goes away and you can see right through it. And then when the watch goes into essential mode again, you’re able to see that overlay display. And what that does is it saves your battery life big time. This watch in and of itself can get more than two days of use in Full Mode, without having to shut anything down. But it also has what’s called Essential Mode, which shuts down a lot of the basic Wear OS or Android features, and gives you this just this essential overlay display that we’re looking at right now. And you can get up to 30 days of battery life on that, which is actually pretty fantastic.

So with that said, I mean, these smart watches, they aren’t the latest technology. You’re not getting bleeding-edge technology and this watch. You aren’t really getting that in any of the watches that are out there right now. But what you’re getting is good optimized equipment for battery life. So the hardware is really well thought-out and put together in this watch. So as you can see here, it’s really responsive. So it goes into Essential Mode. When I rotate my wrist back or wait a couple of seconds, and then rotate my wrist, and you can see it comes on and off pretty quick. So that’s really not too bad.

A lot of people were reporting a lagginess with the watch. I haven’t really seen that. There have been a couple instances where maybe the first time I’ve loaded a heavier app, I’ve had that happen. this watch does have four gigabytes of storage and 512 megs of RAM. Which isn’t a whole lot, but it is enough to run some really basic apps, on the watch. And so, if I tap on the crown right here, I can get into … It’s not really a crown, it’s just a button. I can see all the different apps that I’ve installed. The heart rate monitor on the watch, and most of the main features of the watch, operate within the manufacturer’s app. And I’m not really a huge fan of the manufacturer’s app. So I typically install Cardiogram on most of my watches so that, that way I can sync over all of my data and have all of my heart rate data and everything like that, sync across regardless of what Android device or Wear OS device I’m using.

So, definitely pretty cool. You can even … I’m not going to make a review of this app, but it is one that lets you universally sync all of your stuff across. That’s an alternate to Google Fit themselves. So just to launch a couple of other apps, just so that you can see here, if we go into the heart rate, this is the standard heart rate app that came with it. I can tap to test, and it shows me my recent history. And of course I can swipe through and change my settings there. We also have, what else did I install on here? We’ve got Facebook, Messenger, and Nest, and Google Play music. What’s really cool about this watch is that it has a speaker built into it, and it’s actually a pretty loud speaker, so you can listen to music right from it. You can answer calls and all that good stuff. Of course, being that it’s Wear OS, you have your Google Assistant and everything, so that you can do all the typical things, responding to text messages, asking it questions and whatnot. All that stuff is, is boilerplate. You would expect that from an Android wear device these days.

So this watch is pretty responsive. I really have no complaints as far as that goes. It comes pre-loaded with some different watch faces for you to choose from. And then of course you can add in a multitude of watch faces. All the watch faces that come with it have the TicWatch branding on it. And they’re not really too bad, they’re nice-looking watch faces, they’re pretty minimal. So if you want something more custom, you’ll definitely have to download an app and customize the watch faces to your liking.

When the essential screen is on … so, when we’re in Essential Mode here … let me get it in there and not rotate my wrist. You get the time, you get the date, your steps, and then the battery life on the watch. So it is really just the essential stuff that you’re going to need to know, in order to keep your watch from dying. Or just the basic information, that’s why they call it Essential. But it’s not going to do a whole lot more, like check your heart rate. If you put the watch in Essential Mode … the mode that the watch is in right now is not Essential Mode. It simply just goes into that mode for the screen only.

So let’s talk about the watch itself. It does, like I said, have a little bit bigger of a body. I like that, I like a watch that, it’s a little beefy. I think as a pro version, you definitely would want that. The watch band is like a leather feel on the outer side, and on the inner sight it has a sport feel. Kind of with these little cutouts in here to, to help it breathe. The only problem is that these really catch your skin. Not skin as far as, they’re not pinching you or anything like that, but they get kind of gross. And so, it’s just typical wear. You know, our skin sheds a little bit slowly throughout the day, and this definitely does a good job of scraping that up and keeping it for you for later. So I highly recommend having a dedicated toothbrush or something like that for this watch band, so you can just get in there and clean that out from time to time.

The back of the watch is fairly large. I wish that it, being this large, maybe it was a little, had a little bit of a concave to it, a little bit of an angle for more comfort fit. The sensor here, the heart rate sensor and whatnot, does raise up a little bit. So, unlike some watches where you have to really wear it tight to get a good reading, this little raised area definitely makes enough contact with your wrist so that it will, it’ll get a good reading. So you don’t have to wear the watch super-tight. The watch is water resistant, it’s IP68. So you should be able to take it swimming with you, and all that good stuff. However, you do want to be careful diving in with the watch on, or something like that. It may be enough of a thrust of water. IP68 is a decent certification, but I’ve had other devices fail that are IP68 certified. So definitely be careful in using this watch in the water. It should be okay, but you’ll definitely want to make sure that they will support the TicWatch, should it get water damage from typical swimming usage and whatnot.

You can easily replace the band just by pressing the little lever here and snapping the band off, and replacing it with your favorite watch band. Maybe a metal one, something a little bit different, that’s more your style. They make it really easy for that to change. This watch itself just has Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. It doesn’t have an LTE chip in it, which is a little bit of a bummer. I would have liked to have seen something like that considering it’s a pro model. Most of these types of watches, these smart devices, don’t make sense for me unless they have an LTE chip, because otherwise I have my phone on me the whole time. If the watch can’t really operate on its own without the phone being within a reasonable distance to the watch, then it really doesn’t serve as much of a purpose for me as it would … I mean, you can definitely go on a run or something like this, and it has GPS built in. It’s going to track your run. You don’t have to have your phone on you.

You can download a little bit of music to it. It has that four gigabytes of storage, so you can go and do a workout or something like that alone without your phone on you. But you’re definitely going to want your phone on you if you want notifications, if you want to receive your phone calls or text messages. All of those things are going to require your phone being on you, because currently there is no LTE version of this watch.

So, those are some features that I think are great, but also are well-missed, on the watch. And, one thing that is kind of weird about this watch, is the vibrating motor. Now, when a watch vibrates on your wrist, I think that it should feel good in a sense where it shouldn’t feel like something is rattling and breaking on your wrist. Like the vibrating motor on this watch is just not really that smooth. I’ll compare it to, say the Fitbit Versa, has a decent vibrating motor in it. It feels more connected to the chassis of the watch. Of course the Apple watch has a whole different type of motor in it altogether, that gives a different type of feedback whenever it vibrates. But this watch, it just doesn’t feel that good. And remembering, having the TicWatch S, I feel like the TicWatch S vibrating motor actually felt a little bit better than the one in here.

This one just, it’s loud when you want your watch to vibrate and give you notifications, you don’t want everybody sitting within the small area. You don’t want everybody sitting around you to be able to hear your watch vibrating. It should be silent. You should be able to get that notification and be notified in a haptic type of matter, or some way that you can feel without actually having to hear it. And that’s the, you’re definitely going to hear those things with this watch.

So, $250 is as currently the price point on the watch. I think it’s a good price considering it does have some unique features, like the secondary screen here that makes it really easy to see in bright situations. I mean even right here, of course, if I rotate it a little too much and I’m getting a direct reflection from one of my lights in here … but this is very bright right here. And you can see the screen really well, pretty much regardless of what angle you rotate the watch to, you’re going to be able to see this nicely outdoors. I had no problem there.

So just to kind of round this video up, the top button here of course takes you into the apps. And you can view your apps, and then it takes you back. And then the bottom button here actually takes you into Workout Mode. Typically, it’s going to want you to have their own app installed. I think I mentioned it earlier, I’m not a huge fan of their app, because they try to really mimic the Apple watch ring style. And, of course the app doesn’t. It has some features, but it isn’t really like that great of an app. So I tend just not to use it.

But, you can track your workouts here, outdoor walk. All of these, of course that are outdoors, utilize the GPS. So when you tap on one of them, it’s going to lock that GPS here. So it wants you to stand still in an open area. And once it locks that GPS … which really, if I was outside and wasn’t surrounded by lights and equipment, would only take a few seconds. Then you’re ready to go. And, you can hear, that’s actually the beep coming from the watch. The speaker on it is relatively loud, just to give you an idea. And I can kind of toggle through here and see all of the different activity from my run. And then this would show the GPS. Of course, you’d see a better representation if you were outdoors, and it was able to connect properly.

It will auto-pause when you don’t move, and then you can long press to end, and it’s going to go ahead and end that, and then tap on the check mark to confirm it. But there’s lots of different workout types that you can choose in here, which is great. And I like how they’ve laid this out. It really does feel kind of like a Fitbit in that aspect. So you don’t have to go through and look for, your workout app or whatever, in the APP area of the watch. It’s just right there on a button. And I do believe you can re-map that button to something else if you would like.

So the buttons themself. They aren’t super-tight in the body, which makes me a little concerned that if I caught one of these on something, that it would really, it could damage it. But I have actually caught them on something a couple of times, mostly pulling my hand in and out of my, out of a pocket or something like that. It might catch on the edge of the fabric, and it hasn’t caused any problems yet. But the fact that they are not like super-tight, just cause for concern maybe. I don’t know, maybe I’m just worrying for no reason. It doesn’t have like a crown on it or anything that you can rotate, though the buttons rotate, they don’t do anything when you rotate them. So if I go into the app store and try to rotate a button, it doesn’t do anything. You have to do your swipe gestures from there.

So overall, I would say price for performance and value, I would give this watch like an eight and a half out of 10. I think that, for $250, it is a great watch. You’re getting a lot of value. TicWatch has been really kind of pushing the envelope when it comes to Wear OS watches, by putting a lot of great features in a watch and keeping the price down. They’ve had some, I think, Indiegogo campaigns in the past. Maybe it was Kickstarter, but I think it’s Indiegogo. And so far, they’ve been a pretty successful company. Like I said in the beginning of this video, you can get these watches on Amazon. I’m sure you can get them other places at this point. But on Amazon, they come very fast, Amazon Prime. I’ve got links down in the description below for you, including a couple of watch bands, and stuff like that. Overall, it’s a great watch. I mean, there’s really no complaints that I have other than the vibrating motor.

Sure, it could be a little bit more comfortable. And yes, I wish that there was an LTE chip. But I would expect to pay a good 50 to $100 more for a watch that had an LTE chip. I mean, compare it to the Samsung watches, or some of the LG watches of the past, you’re going to pay 350 bucks for a watch that has an LTE chip in it. And even $300 for the watch, whereas this one’s $250, and it has some unique things to it that I think make it stand out. Plus it’s going to get, they’re dedicated to giving you the software updates. It’s running the latest version of Wear OS, where a lot of other watches didn’t even get software updates to go from Android Wear to Wear OS. So, other than that, I think it’s a solid buy, a solid option for somebody who’s looking for an alternative smartwatch.

This does also work on the IOS platform. So if you’re on an iPhone, you don’t want an Apple watch, you want something that you can use … it’s going to work, and everything is going to work just fine on an iPhone, with the exception of not being able to reply to text messages using Voice. That’s a limitation of course, because Apple locks down their messaging platform. Hopefully, one day that will change.

So if you have any thoughts, any questions, ask them in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to answer them. I do think that this is an excellent smartwatch for the price, though it does lack, and have a couple of things that I wish that it did have. You really can’t complain at 250 bucks for a pro level watch. And make sure to check out their other versions, the TicWatch S, which is a fantastic watch for the money. Sub-$200 price point. Excellent watch, I did a review on it as well, so make sure to check out that other video on the YouTube Channel here. Click that subscribe button to be notified when we put out new videos. Subscribers help, so please click that subscribe button, and give the video a thumbs up if you liked it. And we hope to see you back here soon on State of Tech.