Mobvoi Ticwatch E3 Review
Pros: Supports mobile payments, good display, Android OS friendly
Cons: Finicky to setup on the charger, just okay at everything
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Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
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|Pros||Supports mobile payments, good display, Android OS friendly||Loaded with smart functions, beautiful display, intuitive||Loaded with smart functions, beautiful display, easy to use, great price||Good value, great fitness tracking ability, excellent battery life||Incredible battery life, great fitness tracking|
|Cons||Finicky to setup on the charger, just okay at everything||Poor battery life, expensive||Subpar battery life, fitness impact tracking could be better||Could be more convenient to use, doesn't have the most smart functions||Lack of smart features, could be easier to use|
|Bottom Line||A great value option for Android users that want to add a little convenience to their wrist||If you are looking for the absolute best wearable to pair with your iPhone, then look no further||An incredible smartwatch for Samsung phone users but a little underwhelming when it comes to battery life||The fitness features packed into this wearable make it an excellent choice for the price||Incredible battery life and great fitness tracking abilities make this watch a notable fitness wearable|
|Rating Categories||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3||Apple Watch Series 7||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4||Fitbit Versa 3||Huawei GT 2 Pro|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Smart Functions (20%)|
|Fitness Impact (15%)|
|Specs||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3||Apple Watch Series 7||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4||Fitbit Versa 3||Huawei GT 2 Pro|
|Water Resistance||IP68||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|NFC (contactless payment)||Yes, Google Pay||Yes, Apple Pay||Yes, Samsung Pay||Yes, Fitbit Pay||Yes, Google Pay|
|Display||1.3 inch AMOLED||41mm or 45mm Retina LTPO OLED||40mm or 44mm AMOLED||1.58 inch OLED||1.39 inch AMOLED|
|Resolution||360 x 360||420 x 352 (41mm),
484 x 396 (45mm)
|396 x 396,
450 x 450
|336 x 336||454 x 454|
Low Latency Off-Body
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor||Apple S7, Dual-core||Dual-core 1.18 GHz Cortex-A55||N/A||Kirin A1 + STL4R9|
|Available Sizes||One size||41mm, 45mm||40mm, 42mm, 44mm, 46mm||One size||One size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The TicWatch E3 is a great value, making improvements over the previous model, but its performance still wasn't exceptional compared to other smartwatches in our lineup.
Ease of Use
For this metric, we evaluated the process of capturing screenshots, water resistance, charging setup, screen responsiveness, crown or bezel scrolling abilities, and the ease of swapping wristbands. The TicWatch E3 was fine in these areas but never exhibited a performance that was more than ordinary.
We could never capture a screenshot on the E3, and the watch is not waterproof by technical standards. Unlike other more premium watches with a 50-meter water resistance rating, the E3 is only rated to survive depths of about 1.5 meters, per its IP68 rating. In more general terms, it's probably okay to use during a shallow lap pool workout, but you may be taking a risk by wearing it in the shower or the deep end of a pool.
Mobvoi has stayed with the charging setup used on previous models. Unlike circle chargers on other wearables, where you can simply toss your smartwatch onto a charger, the E3 requires users to align two crescent-shaped pins on the watch. While a bit cumbersome, we do like the security of this setup. The watch stays firmly attached to the charger and, as one of the lightest watches we tested, there is no real danger of it getting knocked off if set precariously on the edge of a desk or nightstand.
Sadly, the E3 lacks any crown or bezel scrolling capabilities, but it excels in regards to screen responsiveness. When turning up the wrist, it performed nearly as well as the top-scorers in our review. The same held true for touch screen and scrolling performance. The watch was again very responsive to touch and swiped screens quickly.
Here we tested the availability and support for popular apps, as well as the ability to take phone calls and control music. We also explored support for wireless payments and the existence (or not) of stand-alone GPS and cellular capabilities. The E3 did well across these tests, building on the smart functions and features of previous models.
The app selection on the E3 is smaller than what is supported by our top scorers but still on par with most others. It also makes strides over other wearable models because it isn't just capable of accepting calls — it can make them as well. It's possible to dial from the watch and look at call history. The sound quality is also pretty good, making this a great option for those who plan to use their wearable to handle phone calls.
Music control overall is on par with higher-end models, Google Pay is supported, and there's a built-in GPS. A minor drawback to the E3 is a lack of independent cellular capability, which would have made the watch a next-level option for handling calls on the move, without the need for a cellphone nearby. All smart functions and features considered, the E3 is a pretty capable watch that excels at phone calls.
The screen quality on the E3 is mostly great, but with stiff competition from premium manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, we can't say it's anywhere near the best. Reading text is easy to do in both bright and dark lighting situations, but there's no auto-brightness setting. However, there is an always-on setting available through either the app or the watch, which works well.
Here we tested the step counter, heart rate monitor, workout tracking, and stair tracking. In our step counting tests, the E3 performed with great accuracy, on par with the best of the best. Unfortunately, when it came to heart rate monitoring, it didn't continue the trend. While it did fine when the user was at rest, it did a poor job monitoring during exercises, often missing a significant number of heartbeats during jumping and high-intensity activities.
The E3 has a good array of default fitness tracking apps, but if you don't enjoy the TicExercise options or experience, you can always use GoogleFit instead. There are no apparent stair tracking features or abilities that we could find, so if stair tracking is important to your fitness tracking, then you'll want to look at other wearables.
Our last metric tested battery life and recharging performance. We tested the battery life on the E3 under normal use and recorded the time it took to recharge to a 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% charge level. Overall battery performance left a lot to be desired.
The E3 has an average to below-average battery life of about 21 hours under normal use. The watch's charging performance also proved less than exceptional in our tests. Recharging the device to a 50% charge level took 41 minutes, and a complete charge took 108 minutes. This slow recharge time put the E3 second to last in our tests.
Overall, the TicWatch E3 is a good value. It is a bare-bones smartwatch that builds on the feature set of the previous model, has the majority of the features you would want from a wearable, and it's also friendly to most budgets.
If you are currently an Android user looking for a simple smartwatch that can handle phone calls, support NFC payments, and do a decent job of fitness tracking, the Mobvoi TicWatch E3 is a decent choice. It may not be the best smartwatch ever, but it builds on the success of its predecessors, offers many popular smart features, and also retails for less than half the price of the top-tier offerings from Samsung and Apple. If you have reasonable expectations for the E3 and don't expect premium performance at a budget-friendly price, then we think you will be more than satisfied.
— Benjamin Hickok
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