The smartwatch segment for Android users is crowded and the search for one can be pretty frustrating. While iPhone users have the straightforward option of picking up the Apple Watch, many Android users still look for the perfect WearOS watch. I think that’s where TicWatch Pro 3 GPS from Mobvoi steps in. The flagship watch has evolved in the past couple of years. When I got the package first, I was curious to know what else is there in the new version since it does not come with cellular capabilities in India. I used the watch for a few weeks and here’s what I feel about it.
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS review
At first look, the round dial does not look fancy but feels immensely sturdy. There are two buttons on the side, one to pull out the app drawer, the other for a fitness menu. The back is stainless steel plus plastic, which is different from the stainless steel back used in the previous two versions. Also, the leather-rubber strap has been replaced with a solid silicone strap with orange stitching. I liked the previous one better in terms of looks but in practicality, it makes the smartwatch lighter and at no point, I even felt slight discomfort wearing the watch.
TicWatch Pro 3 default watch face (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
The display has been a major improvement. TicWatch Pro 3 GPS has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with 454×454 resolution. The display is sharp, offers vivid colours and was visible in all light conditions. Being a fan of chronograph watches, I kept the always-on display at all times even if it meant draining more battery.
TicWatch Pro 3 has a silicone strap (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
The user interface is definitely a big leap forward. It is as snappy as it could be, never lags, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip coupled with 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM. By swiping down, you can access the settings, swiping up you can check notification, swiping left you can see Google Assistant, with top news, show reminders etc and swiping left you can track your fitness throughout the day, check the weather. You can also add/remove tiles from it.
It offers most of the features you required from a smartwatch. TicOxgen monitors blood oxygen saturation, which is a must in smartwatches due to the Covid-19 pandemic. TicZen keeps a track of your stress levels and alerts you when it goes high. Other major features include heart-rate monitor, sleep monitor etc.
TicWatch Pro 3 heart rate monitor (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
TicExercise offers up to 13 modes including Outdoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling, Pool Swimming, Rowing, Elliptical, Mountain Climbing, Body Mechanics etc. The watch also offers an IP68 rating which is expected from a fitness-oriented watch like this. The step count was accurate on the watch whether I went for a walk outside or walked up and down the stairs.
It can track your routes via GPS. However, sleep monitoring was not always accurate as at times it included the duration when I lay in bed after waking up in the morning.
TicWatch Pro 3 blood oxygen monitor (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
I tried downloading more apps on the device including Spotify, Adidas Running and they worked effortlessly on it. I was able to access my Spotify playlist, podcast, other playlists and songs offered by the app by just using the watch. This feature can come in handy while working out or when it is on charging.
Spotify app on TicWatch Pro 3 (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
The Google Assistant works fine on the device and can be connected to smart home devices as well. I could reply to WhatsApp messages using my watch’s microphone, not just the default replies it shows. AI could make calls with the smartwatch and talk through it. However, I would not recommend doing it in public as the speaker volume is not on the higher side.
It lasted almost two days of use, though the company claims it can go up to 72 hours. But, I had turned on maximum brightness, notifications for most apps, always-on chronograph display and most of the sensors were running in the background. Charging is easy with the magnetic charger which snaps onto its back. It takes more than an hour to charge the watch from zero per cent to full.
TicWatch Pro 3 has IP68 rating (Express Photo: Arun Rawal)
Should you buy TicWatch Pro 3 GPS?
TicWatch Pro 3 makes a lot of sense for Android users. At just 42 grams, it is not heavy to wear all day either. This watch makes optimal use of Google’s WearOS setting a standard. However, at a price point of Rs 29,999, it lacks wireless charging and cellular capabilities, which might be a deal breaker for some. After all, it does command a hefty price.
This article originally appeared on https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/ticwatch-pro-3-gps-review-7211852/