The TicWatch Pro 3 has been loaded with great specs ever. It is now much more powerful & Fast. I mean, it’s thinner, but it’s still big and clunky and in a clumsy way, without the kind of intentional ostentation that some oversized watch has benefited from.
The new TicWatch pro 3 still lacks a rotating crown which I’ve long said is a necessity for Google’s Wearable Software. And speaking of, when’s the last time you saw a Wear OS watch review that didn’t have a big nasty asterisk in the software section with some variation of that’s a great watch, but you have to put up with Wear OS. Well, that all changes today.
It’s not that Wear OS is badly designed. In fact, ever since Google refined the interface a couple of years ago, it’s been intuitive. And in my opinion, more attractive than Apple and Samsung software efforts. The trouble has always been in the execution, Wear OS has historically been heavy, heavy on bugs and heavy in the sense that it takes a solid spec sheet to run well. Well, that’s where the TicWatch Pro 3 starts delivering.
TicWatch pro 3 is the first smartwatch to run Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chips set. And one of the few watches to pack the full gigabyte of RAM that Wear OS really seems to need. Over my two weeks of testing, that combination has been nothing short of transformative. Scrolling, tapping, flipping the wrist.
Finally, Wear OS is as responsive as I’ve always wanted it to be. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Google assistant, which has always been so laggy on other smartwatches that I’ve stopped using it. Here it finally works as intended.
Mobvoi brought over that speaker and microphone from previous models. But they stand alongside the one thing, no other smartwatch family offers right now is the dual-layer display. For your standard watch face, you’ve got a bright, nicely saturated high-density OLED. And when you’re not actively using the watch, this segmented LCD takes over. It burns much less power than a typical always-on display. And it is now more visible in bright sunlight. Even in sunlight, it is easy to perform any task.
Improvements with this year’s LCD include a sharper look, TicWatch pro 3 has got new battery meter, and second counter, and finally a backlight. I know it adds cost but I really wish more smartwatches would adopt this design because it just makes so much sense. Unfortunately, the only other company to do so was the legendary Casio on its Pro Track F-Series. I loved it so much But now that products are no longer available, it has been discontinued. That means for dual-layer display delights the TicWatch is now the only game in town.
Now the combination of that energy-efficient display with a large battery brings another win. TicWatch 3 pro has got a true three-day smartwatch, even with heavy use. Three days is kind of a magical number because it means if you go on a weekend trip and forget the tiny magnetic charger, it’s no big deal. And when I say heavy use, I mean the constant barrage of messages, mobile payments, and exercise tracking that come with my two connected always Mobvoi city life. with lighter use, during my vacation, I stretched it to five days on one occasion. That’s unheard of for Wear OS Watch. And it’s especially significant now that Samsung has apparently decided endurance is no longer an emphasis on it’s Galaxy Watch 3
That leaves custom software as the last point to cover. Mobvoi has bundled more apps out of the box than any other watchmaker with the possible exception of OPPO. Most of them focused on fitness, that makes sense. Since health tracking is something of a weak spot on the Google Fit Suite. And there are other useful apps too like a voice memo tool that syncs with your phone. The thing is though, the watch is so aggressive about getting you to sign up for a Mobvoi account to use any of it.
Now get it Mobvoi really wants to be seen as an AI company or whatever. But I feel like we’re all already dealing with account overload. And I just don’t see that Mobvoi is bringing that much more value with this stuff to justify trusting yet another company with all my personal data. If you exercise a lot more than I do, you’ll probably want to use this stuff. If you feel the same as me though, you can disable these apps just as easily as you can Mobvoi Custom Launcher.
I wear smartwatches every day, and over the past few years, I’ve used some that have made me willing to endure Wear OS, the New Moto 360, the Montblanc Summit Two, the Diesel on Fadelite, (mumbles). But the TicWatch Pro 3 is the first Wear OS Watch ever to pack enough speed and consistency that I actually want to use it. And that dual-screen display and solid battery life they’re just icing on the cake. It won’t be staying on my wrist following this review because it’s just too dull looking. I really wish Mobvoi would collaborate with a traditional watchmaker to inject any kind of personality into this design.
But, if aggressively minimal matte black is your kind of thing, I can’t believe I’m saying it but I am 299 is a fair price for this Wear OS TicWatch pro 3 Smartwatch. Mobvoi deserves a lot of credit for this and I can’t wait to see what Fossil and other competitors create with the same Snapdragon 4100 Core in the coming year.
Quick note folks, on one pre-production sample I used during this review period the TicWatch Pro 3 died immediately, upon immersion and seawater. I’m no stranger to saltwater’s harmful effects on electronics but a watch with an IP68 rating should not die right away after being submerged. Fortunately, the replacement device did better. You’re welcome to risking my health to put my arm in the East River. So I’m chucking this one up to the pre-production sample being defective but I want her to report it anyway.
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