Chinese electronics maker Mobvoi recently launched in India the upgraded version of its TicWatch Pro smartwatch (review). Named TicWatch Pro 2020, the smartwatch brings some incremental upgrades with regard to design, performance and user experience. Though it looks similar to the predecessor, it has got a rugged design as part of the upgrade and that makes it look a little bit more on your wrist. The flip side is that the rugged design also adds some unnecessary bulk without adding any significant value or utility.
The watch sports a 45mm case with a circular dial and 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen of 400 x 400 resolution. It is a dual-layer display, which gets you extra on-battery time but at the cost of sunlight legibility. The screen is reflective in nature that makes it impossible to read under direct sunlight. Moreover, the colours look washed out which makes on-screen content, including watch faces, look dull and boring. Speaking of watch faces, the watch supports limited home-screen themes with basic personalisation features.
Like other WearOS smartwatches, the TicWatch Pro 2020 supports gesture-based navigation; swipe-down for quick settings, swipe-up for notifications, swipe inwards from the left for Google Assistant, and swipe inward from right for the app’s quick view information screen. Though powered by a dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, the watch does not suffer from any performance issues. Instead, it works better than some premium smartwatches based on the Snapdragon 3100 processor, such as the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle (review).
For sports and fitness tracking, the watch has built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor. On the software side, there is a Google Fit app suite complemented by several others from Mobvoi.
In terms of performance, the tracking is on point and accurate for most jobs. For outdoor activities, the built-in GPS chip allows the watch to fix location coordinates and record data. It, however, takes some time to connect with the satellite service to fix the location. Heart rate monitor seems to work well, but it is not properly calibrated and shows deviation in data if you move from high-intensity workout to resting (or vice versa).
The TicWatch Pro 2020 might not have an impressive design, but it delivers on performance and on-battery time. The watch goes on for around three days on a single charge. It has couple of battery profiles (smart mode and essential mode) to extend on-battery time by limiting some of the watch features. In the essential mode, the watch restricts to basic functionality but extends on-battery time to three weeks.
Overall, the TicWatch Pro 2020 has only incremental upgrade over the TicWatch Pro with changes mostly on the design front. The watch lacks LTE connectivity, so it cannot be used as a standalone device. This is more of a downgrade from the original TicWatch Pro in that regard. Therefore, the predecessor still makes a good WearOS smartwatch and it is Rs 4,000 cheaper than the TicWatch Pro 2020, which costs Rs 23,999. In this segment, however, OPPO Watch reigns supreme with its all-round package, including an inspiring design, dazzling display, sleek performance and intuitive WearOS platform-based user interface.