Mobvoi, the Chinese AI (and now wearable tech) company part owned by Google, has been one to watch for a while. You might have seen its big ol’ Kickstarter last year for the Ticwatch 2 and now it’s back with the Ticwatch S and E smartwatches. The big difference? They’re running Android Wear.
Hands on: Ticwatch S and E review
We’ve already been hands on with the pair and spoken to Mobvoi about the development of the latest watches but we thought we’d run down the features and basics of the Ticwatch S, the sportier choice of the two, in this guide.
If you fancy pledging, the Ticwatch S is still available on Kickstarter for a few more weeks.
Ticwatch S: Design
Of the two new Mobvoi watches, the Ticwatch S is the slightly bigger of the two at 45mm. It’s 13mm thick and weighs 45.5g, both decent considering the specs.
It has a 1.6-inch, 400 x 400 OLED display under anti-scratch glass and surrounded by a sporty bezel and there’s a single physical button alongside the touchscreen and voice controls. The capacitive Tickle strip of its previous efforts has sadly been ditched.
We don’t know what the Ticwatch S watch body is made of yet but we’ll update this when we do – the bands are reportedly ‘breathable’ though which will please sweaty runners.
Ticwatch S: Smartwatch features
As expected, the big deal here is Android Wear 2.0 – gone is Ticwear, Mobvoi’s custom OS and in is Google Play apps, call, text and app alerts and Google Assistant voice controls for taking notes and controlling the watch.
The apps especially were an area of much comment from previous Ticwatch buyers so no doubt they will be happier if they’re looking to buy their next smartwatch.
The Ticwatch S has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi but no standalone connectivity, unsurprising given the price. It’s compatible with both Androids and iPhones too. Overall, there’s no exciting new features but the all-in-one package for the price could be pretty compelling.
Worth noting is that the features of the Ticwatch E are almost identical apart from the GPS being inside the watch body, the smaller 44mm diameter, lack of bezel detail and the slightly heavier 13.55m weight.
Ticwatch S: Sports watch features
Mobvoi looks to have done a good job of merging an affordable smartwatch and sports watch – though we’ll save judgement for the full review.
There’s built-in GPS, GLONASS, heart rate monitoring and the ability to store music. It’s waterproof to IP67 which means its water and dust resistant in terms of a spot of rain or a splash but no good for swimmers. The GPS antenna is actually housed in the watch band, not the body, which Mobvoi says gives superior accuracy.
As for the fitness software, you can choose between Google Fit and Tic Fit which are built in, the latter handling HR, steps, estimated calories and ‘nutrition intake’ or third party Android Wear sports apps – Strava, Runkeeper etc.
Ticwatch S: Battery life
The battery life section on the Ticwatch S and E page is a little confusing with one spec saying 48+ hours and another seeming to refer instead to the Ticpods in-ears (six hours of music, six hours of phone calls etc) that you can bundle with the watch.
Hugh spoke to Mobvoi, though, and it turns out the watch is good for between one and two days battery life. We don’t have anything more specific at this stage but we’ll update this when we do.
Ticwatch S: Price and release date
This is where it can get a little complicated with crowdfunding. First, the release date – the campaign page says estimated delivery is October or November 2017 (depending which pledge you choose) and Mobvoi told us that both watches will get a Q4 release this year. As it has previous form, unlike a lot of campaigns, this looks likely.
Now, to pricing. The Ticwatch S early bird offer is $139 and there are still some left at this price. After that it rises to $165 for the Kickstarter price, $199 RRP. Basically, it’s bargain prices at the moment – Mobvoi has raised $1.2 million and counting.
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