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If you’re a bit of a smartwatch cynic who’s coming round to the idea of having something that’ll make your life that little bit easier, more organised, more tracked, the Ticwatch E might be for you. While it’s not a perfect performer, its minimalist design, ease of use and attractive price tag make it a solid first smartwatch for Android or iOS fans. It doesn’t particularly excel at one thing and is no match for an Apple Watch or Fitbit Ionic for sports tracking. But as an affordable compromise between a smartwatch and fitness motivator.
User Review( votes)
Ticwatch E most comfortable Smartwatch-Shadow,1.4 inch OLED Display, Android Wear 2.0, Compatible with iOS and Android, Google Assistant
This smartwatch is aimed squarely at casual users with equally casual budgets. Unlike the sport-focused Ticwatch S, this model is unassuming and simple in design, providing little more flourish than a Swatch analogue timepiece in its IP67 water-resistant package.
There’s something nostalgic about wearing the Ticwatch E. It kind of feels like a Swatch, utilising a simple design made splashy by a clear plastic coating that gives it a nice sheen. It’s also a good size with its 44mm watch case. One odd design decision here was to put the single button on the device on the left of the case, rather than the right. This feels a little strange at first, and like us, you might be wondering if you’ve accidentally activated “lefty” mode. On the plus side, it keeps the back of your palm from accidentally hitting buttons when you fold your wrist back for any number of reasons. In that way, it’s actually nicely convenient once you’re used to it.
That clear plastic covers a white bezel around a 1.4-inch OLED display that sports a 400 x 400 resolution. It’s a good, bright screen that’s easily viewable in the glaring outdoor sunlight. On the underside, you’ve got a heart rate sensor, and inside there’s GPS, which differs from that on the Ticwatch S, which has the GPS chip built into the strap in an effort to provide better performance. You’ve also got IP67 water resistance here, so don’t you worry your brow over getting caught in the rain. It’s not made for swimming, though.
The straps on the Ticwatch are comfortable and light, but you can also easily swap them out for other 20mm bands, giving you some nice potential customisation. Like I said, the E isn’t an ugly watch, but it doesn’t scream premium design either, so being able to swap in your own bands is a major plus here. The basic lining of the Ticwatch E is Android Wear 2.0, and that means everything you know, love and hate about Google’s smartwatch OS. You don’t have Android Pay (due to no NFC), but you do have music, notifications for every app on your phone and the Google Play Store, where you can download a host of apps for your watch.
There are 21 watch faces you can choose from by default on the Ticwatch E and S. None of them do anything too special, but they are nicely customisable, with a good number of them including complications that you can swap out for practically any app on your device. Others are built for fitness, like the Sport face, which has a little ring around the watch face to help count your activity. The Sport Heartbeat takes this a step further by, you guessed it, giving you a real-time look at your heartbeat. Our favourite faces, however, are the ones bent more toward fashion. These faces give you a lot of options, and there are also plenty of them.
Android Pay is a big exclusion here, which is a disappointment because the Ticwatch E has everything you want from an Android Wear smartwatch save for standalone capabilities. On the other hand, Mobvoi has done a good job complementing Android Wear 2.0 with some of its own apps. It promises around a day and a half to two days of battery life with the Ticwatch E, and in our tests, we’ve found that to be plenty accurate. For the most part, we hit a day and a half, which can turn into a scary bit of battery anxiety on that second day. Depending on your use, for example not tapping too much into the GPS support, you should be able to get to two days pretty easily.
The Ticwatch E isn’t being heavily aimed at the fitness enthusiasts; for that, there’s the Ticwatch S. But health and fitness do make up the most interesting additions to the watch, the main one being the Tic Health app, which lets you keep track of your activity and exercise in a style that Apple Watch fans will be familiar with, rings. In fact, they’re pretty much copy and pasted. The three rings are exercise minutes, steps and active hours. You can adjust these in the settings, and you can customise your goals and set reminders for activities and goals. Swiping down from the rings will give you a visual overview of your day. This utilises the round display of your watch to present your information in an intuitive way. Just as an example, when I look at my day I can see that most of my steps occur in the morning and evening, with small bursts throughout the day.
The great thing about these apps is that they’re incredibly pleasing to use. You will probably find yourself picking Tic Fitness over the Google apps unless there are third-party options you prefer. You’ve got five workouts to choose from here: Outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor walk, cycling and freestyle, which lets you break up reps for gym workouts but won’t auto-detect reps like some other watches (try to) do. The Tic Fitness workout screens are good too, presenting metrics like pace and heart rate in real-time. Swipe the entire screen over and you’ll see your GPS map. Easy, simple, clean. That said, the heart rate sensor was about what we were expecting: fine for moderate activity, but not good at high-intensity workouts. It’s a problem we come up against time and time again, the Ticwatch E struggling a lot more to keep up with the chest strap. Because Mobvoi is pushing the S as the fitness watch, we’re more willing to let some of these gripes slide. However, despite Mobvoi building the GPS into the case and not the strap on the Ticwatch E (and therefore setting out expectation a little low), we found it performed admirably.
There are a couple of other apps to be aware of too, including Step Ranking, which will take how many steps you’ve stepped during a day and compare you with nearby Ticwatch users on a leaderboard. If you’re impressed with someone else’s stepping, you can throw them a big like. It’s also another incentive to keep moving each day.
There’s also Mobvoi’s music player, which will let you sync over music from your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth, and Mobvoi’s heart rate app, which will allow you to get a quick read on your heart rate. If you swipe up, you’ll also be able to see where your heart rate has been charted throughout the day. The Ticwatch E doesn’t have features to set your world on fire, however, what it does do it does well. Tic Health and Fit are more user-friendly than Google Fit and Health on the device, and overall it feels like Mobvoi has put more of its own stamp on Android Wear than we’ve seen from other OEMs.
Mobvoi also has its own smartphone app for the Ticwatches, and we are big fans. Again, the rings you’ll see when you open the app are very reminiscent of Apple’s, giving you an overview of your day, but you can also really dig down into your workouts. We also like how once my watch was paired with Android Wear, the Ticwatch app automatically synced it. There are nice colourful graphs breaking down heart rate, pace, step frequency, step length and distance, along with a map showing your running or cycling route. It feels like a proper fitness suite, and while the more granular data may be more popular with Ticwatch S buyers, the day-to-day fitness stuff is there too, all of it presented in a nice, easy-to-read way.
The Ticwatch E is a budget-friendly Wear OS smartwatch that still packs in both GPS and heart-rate monitoring. With solid performance and a cute (if chunky) design, this is one of the best value smartwatches around. This is a really good entry-line smartwatch, ideally for people who like to get an overall view of their fitness but in no way are a serious or hard-core “athlete”. If your understanding of fitness involves brisk walks, short runs and/ or casual bursts of energy, this watch will be a great companion, you won’t feel overwhelmed plus it is really simple and easy to use.