Mobvoi TicWatch GTX Review
Pros: Inexpensive, good battery life
Cons: Sparse set of features, no GPS unit, limited fitness tracking options
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Our Analysis and Test Results
In our minds, we think this smartwatch only offers just a bit more functionality than a fitness tracker and we would suggest you also consider those products if you are shopping for a wearable in this price range.
Ease of Use
Our initial series of evaluations and assessments rated and ranked how convenient and easy to use each of these smartwatches is. We awarded points to the TicWatch GTX based on the quality of its touchscreen and user interface, its charging method, level of water-resistance, and ease of swapping out the wristband. Overall, we think this wearable is fairly average in this regard, earning it a middle-of-the-road score.
Starting off, we weren't particularly impressed with the performance of the GTX's touchscreen. It scrolls decently well if you are very deliberate in flicking your finger across the screen but it can be a little laggy and far from fluid if your swipes are on the slow side. It can also be a little hit or miss when it comes to waking up when you raise your wrist, usually showing a noticeable delay. However, it typically illuminates within a second.
This watch is rated for IP68 when it comes to water-resistance, making it suitable for swimming, as it should be good to a max depth of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The charging setup for this watch is fine in our opinion, staying in place quite well. It can take a tiny bit more effort to get set up, as the magnetic coupling is polarized and can only be attached one way.
We did like that it is very easy to swap out wristbands on this watch.
The bands are fairly slim, so it doesn't get in the way if you are trying to slide the lever to unlock the band or slip the new one into the notches.
Our next set of tests scored and compared the TicWatch GTX's smart features and capabilities. We based our results on the selection of third-party apps each watch is compatible with, if there is a built-in GPS unit, if the watch is NFC-capable, and what music and voice control options each one has. Unfortunately, we didn't find the performance of the TicWatch GTX to be all that impressive, meriting it one of the lower scores of the group.
This smartwatch got off to a rocky start in this test, as it doesn't appear that you have the option to add any third-party apps and are limited to the features that the device ships with. This watch also doesn't have a speaker or microphone, so you aren't able to take phone calls from your wrist.
This watch also doesn't have a GPS unit or NFC capabilities for payment terminals. On top of that, you also don't really have any music controls, putting this watch severely behind the other models when it comes to smart abilities.
All in all, we think the TicWatch GTX did improve a small amount in this set of tests but not by that much. For our display metric, we scored and compared the image quality and how easy it is to read the information on each display.
The TicWatch GTX has a 1.28" diameter circular screen with a resolution of 240x240 pixels. Overall, we weren't super impressed with the image quality on this screen compared to the other watches. We also found it to be very difficult to read in direct sunlight, though it does have a backlight for viewing in the dark.
You have limited customization options with the backlight as well, as the TicWatch GTX lacks the capability to have the backlight set to be always-on or to automatically adjust its brightness.
Next, we moved on to rating and scoring the different fitness and health tracking abilities of each smartwatch. We awarded points based on the step counting accuracy, heart rate monitor abilities, and workout tracking abilities, as well as if the watch can count the stairs climbed. Again, the TicWatch GTX didn't do all that well, earning one of the lowest scores of the group.
We scored the step count based on how closely the TicWatch GTX step counts compared with a mechanical step counter for each of our three mile-long walks. This watch didn't do all that well, having an average error of 40 steps after our three trials.
This watch did even worse in our heart rate monitor test, differing wildly from our chest strap monitor in our tests whenever it was measuring an elevated heart rate. We found discrepancies as large as 60 bpm to be common but they did align fairly well when measuring a sedentary heart rate.
We also weren't overly impressed with this watch's workout tracking features. Its data collection was fairly spotty in our experience and when it does work, it will only give you the distance, duration, estimated calories burned, heart rate data, and a few other things. It does have activity profiles for outdoor run, outdoor cycling, jump rope, swimming, indoor walking, rowing, free style, mountain climbing, indoor run, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, indoor cycling, and yoga but most of the data collected for the different profiles will be the same. The TicWatch GTX also does not count the number of stairs climbed throughout the day.
Our last set of tests compared the battery life of the GTX to its competitors. This smartwatch actually did decently well in this metric, earning an above average score. We based this on how long the GTX lasted on a single charge and how long it took to recharge this watch once the battery was depleted.
The manufacturer for this watch claims that you can get up to 7 days with typical use or up to 10 days when using the power save feature. This matched up well with our testing, with the very limited features of this watch aiding its longer battery life. It also is about average when it comes to recharging, taking about 2 hours to completely refill the battery.
If you are shopping on the smallest of budgets, then this watch is a good low-cost option.
While the TicWatch GTX is clearly not our favorite smartwatch, it does get the job done if you only look at the most basic functions. We would recommend that almost anyone spend a bit more on a smartwatch with a more comprehensive set of features but this can be a good bargain option if you are hoping to spend as little as possible.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise