Mobvoi TicWatch E2: makes the best of Google’s WearOS platform and offers good value for money
Smartwatches can broadly be classified into two categories: one that mirrors your smartphone and allows you to leave the phone behind at times, and one that acts as a fitness companion more than anything else.
The TicWatch E2 from Mobvoi sits in the former camp. It is one of the few smartwatches that is keeping Google’s Wear OS platform alive.
In fact, it is one of the five smartwatches that Mobvoi has launched in India since September 2019, and occupies the middle-of-the-price bracket.
Here are our impressions:
Design and display
Mobvoi, unlike Fossil and other watch manufacturers, is keeping things traditional and plain vanilla when it comes to design.
The TicWatch E2 sports a rugged look, and has a circular watch face. There’s a polycarbonate case that makes it immune to drops and scratches. The display is recessed inside the case, and prevents it from coming in contact with foreign objects.
While the TicWatch E came without waterproofing, the TicWatch E2 remedies that. It is water-resistant up to 50 metres, which means it can accompany you during a swim.
The E2 also comes with a 2mm interchangeable silicone strap. The watch weighs 53.2 grams (including the strap) but doesn’t feel bulky.
The only downside is that the polycarbonate rear has a central bump. This is because it houses the heart rate monitor. In doing so, the sensor is closely pressed against your wrist. Whilst there is a bump, it isn’t very uncomfortable.
On the rear are the charging pins. These go inside the charging dock bundled with the watch. It uses magnets to cling to the wearable, and charging is hassle-free.
The TicWatch E2 has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display and a resolution of 400X400 pixels. It does lack a light sensor, which means that there is no ‘auto brightness’ feature. This could have been upgraded from the predecessor.
The manual brightness meter goes from 1-5, with about 2 or 3 being ideal in most situations. It’s a colourful screen and the text on it is crisp, albeit small.
Performance and storage
The TicWatch E2’s main upgrade from its predecessor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chipset. This means that the watch has more power and higher battery efficiency. On a day-to-day basis, this is quite prominent.
Switching between apps is a breeze (with the 512MB RAM). The 4GB storage also allows you to download a bunch of apps and even stock music for offline listening.
Mobvoi has also included a GPS, which means that you can track your runs location-wise, even if you choose not to carry your smartphone along with you.
But, there is a slight lag when you launch an app. Even just returning to the home screen takes a little longer than it should.
The TicWatch E2 is a great fitness companion. It tracks your walks and runs smoothly, even though the accuracy may not match up to that of Garmin or Fitbit smartwatches. But, compared to other budget fitness trackers like the Mi Band 4, the TicWatch does a pretty good job.
Since the TicWatch E2 runs on Google’s WearOS, Google Fit is the default primary application that records all your fitness data. Still, Mobvoi has built its own suite - TicExercise, TicHealth and TicPulse - of apps. TicExercise is for tracking exercises, TicHealth is for health data, and TicPulse is for heart-rate measurements.
The only downside is that if you use all the in-built apps from Mobvoi, then you can’t transfer and sync your data when you switch to another smartwatch.
The best feature on TicWatch is ‘Active Hours’ where you’re reminded by your watch to walk 250 steps every hour to stay active. This feature is, of course, not unique to the TicWatch, but works flawlessly on it.
We’ve lamented about WearOS in the past.
But, it must be noted that with every update, the WearOS platform gets closer to Samsung and Apple in terms of software optimisation on a smartwatch. This particularly helps if the watch is using an older chipset.
What Mobvoi has managed to do with the TicWatch E2 is make the best of a half-baked platform that is slowly getting better day by day.
Our only gripe is there is no support for NFC or Google Pay in the TicWatch E2. This means that you have to keep taking the phone out of your pocket for payments.
The other big upgrade in the TicWatch is in the battery department.
It is 30 percent larger than that of its predecessor, and that increases the longevity of a single charge. It can last for three days (without always-on display) and about two days (with the always-on display enabled).
If you’re using the various fitness features to track your workouts and activities, then expect the battery life to take a hit. If you have the 24-hour heart rate monitor feature turned on, then you’ll be getting about a day and a half worth of battery.
And, if the GPS is on for an extended period of time, then you’ll be getting just a day’s worth. But, this is still better than most competition in this segment.
The TicWatch E2 charges pretty fast. It can go from 0 percent to 100 percent in an hour. A quick 10-minute charge can give the watch about half a day's battery life.
Verdict: Is it worthy of your money?
For a price label of Rs 13,999, the TicWatch E2 is better placed than, say, the Huami Amazfit GTS. The biggest benefit is that the former displays all your notifications and allows you to respond to them, unlike the latter.
Additionally, the features it packs in and the presence of a much-improved WearOS makes the TicWatch a better buy. If you’re sold on the WearOS platform then the TicWatch E2 is one of the best value-for-money options out there.
You can’t go wrong with this. But, if you can spend a tad more, then consider other options like the Galaxy Watch or the Galaxy Active 2.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)