Former Googler’s Mobvoi, maker of affordable smartwatches, has announced a new update to its TicWatch Pro smartwatch. The Pro is now being offered with 4G/LTE connectivity to enable a so-called phone-free smartwatch use, aptly refer to as TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE. The announcement was made following the reveal of Samsung Galaxy Active2 smartwatch which also touts a LTE variant, making it one of the first Wear OS by Google 4G/LTE smartwatches to land in the stateside.
Key mentions include a “jaw-dropping” 30-day battery in Essential Modes (basically, watch mode with a little bit of extra data) and 2-5 days in Smart Mode. TBH, I find it hard to believe it can make 2-3 days on Smart Mode, but Mobvoi assures that its proprietary layered display technology will allow watch to sustain 2-3 days use. At least, in theory it is. I am using the E2 now which boasts 2-day battery, but I am not getting it even with GPS turned off. The most I get out of it is 1.5 days, tops.
Anyways, the “layered display technology” uses a low power consuming LCD display on top of the AMOLED display that enables the TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE to achieved the claimed 2-3 days Smart Mode use and even longer in Essential Mode. In addition, the new TicPro 4G/LTE boasts a thinner and lighter premium design by the way of knurled stainless bezel and a MIL-STD-810G durability. The latter means it should be able to without some form of shock, operates in relatively extreme temperatures and pressure, plus it should be able to withstand solar radiation, humidity, salt fog, sand and dust.
In addition, it is IP68 rated, making it resistant to water and dust. In other words, it is not quite submersible. However, Mobvoi said the watch can support swimming in shallow waters.
Other essential specs and features include phone-free cloud sync notifications, SOS feature with 911 auto-dial and location sharing, standalone calls and texts, number sharing with main cellular device, 1.39-inch AMOLED (400 x 400 pixels) + FSTN LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, built-in GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, preloaded SIM, NFC payment (Google Pay), TicMotion proactive motion tracking (automatic tracking without user intervention), WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and quite a number of sensor including PPG rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass, ambient light sensor as well as low latency off-body sensor.
While the smartwatch gets a rather beefy 1 GB RAM and a reasonable 4 GB storage, it is still powered by the older Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, not the new 3000 series. So, it may be a deal breaker for some – more so the there’s a direct competition by the way of Samsung Galaxy Active2 LTE coming onto the market. Granted, we do not know the price of Samsung’s offering.
Still, even if it is 100 bucks more than Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE Smartwatch’s $299 asking price, some may find Galaxy Active2 to be a little more “future proof.” The only advantage I see here is, Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE Smartwatch is available now, not in near future or months later.