Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Review
Pros: Easy to use, good display
Cons: Mediocre fitness tracking, so-so battery life
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This watch runs on Wear OS by Google and is one of our all-time favorite products that run on this operating system. This means that it has the Google Assistant built right in and offers an enormous number of options when it comes to customizing the watch face.
Ease of Use
First and foremost, we began by scoring the overall user-friendliness and ease of operating the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3. We based scores on our assessment of the touchscreen and user interface, on the ease of swapping out watch bands and recharging each wearable, and their water-resistance. The TicWatch Pro 3 did quite well in this series of tests, earning it a score in the upper portion of the group.
This smartwatch is water-resistant enough to meet the IP68 standard — making it swimming pool and shower suitable. This watch has a magnetic charging cable that firmly attaches to the back of the watch, holding on with enough force that you can lightly swing the watch by the charging cable and it won't come off.
The touch screen is very responsive and makes up the bulk of the user interface, along with two buttons on the side. We like the screen quite a lot, finding it easy to use and it hardly ever misread a swipe or tap. The screen also wakes up very quickly when you raise your wrist to look at it, with no noticeable delay at all.
We did notice that it can be a little more trying to change out wristbands on this watch. They don't slide in quite as easily as some of the other wearables and the locking mechanism definitely takes some dexterity to unlatch. All in all, we would recommend just picking a few wrist bands and sticking with them, rather than changing them out to match every occasion as you might with some of the other watches.
Our next set of tests for the TicWatch Pro 3 focused on the various features and capabilities that make this wearable a smartwatch. We looked at the library of compatible apps, if the watch has a standalone GPS, if it can be used as a payment method, control your music, and if you can make or answer phone calls on the watch itself. This product did decently well, earning it an above-average score.
The TicWatch Pro 3 will have the same app functionality as any other Wear OS smartwatch. At the time of our review, this watch was compatible with Facebook Messenger, Spotify, Strava, IFTTT, and Shazam out of our test set of third-party apps. Notably, Uber and Twitter did not have a compatible app.
This watch does have an integrated microphone and speaker for using the Google Assistant and you do have the option to take voice calls on the watch in the settings page. The TicWatch Pro 3 gives you basic control over your music when using Spotify or Pandora and is compatible with Google Pay, meaning you can use it to complete transactions at NFC payment terminals once you have saved a credit or debit card to it.
This smartwatch also has an integrated GPS unit that can pick up signals from not only the standard GPS constellation of satellites but also the Beidou, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS clusters, giving you quite accurate and widespread location data.
Next, we scored the screen and image quality of the TicWatch Pro 3 against the other smartwatches in the group. We looked at the display resolution and ease of reading for the bulk of the score, along with the different backlight settings each watch has. This product delivered a decent result, earning it a score well above average, but definitely is far from the spectacular screens present on the top watches.
The TicWatch Pro 3 has a 1.4" AMOLED+FSTN display with a pixel density of 454x454. We found the screen to be easy enough to read in dark conditions but it can be quite hard to read in bright light. The FSTN — shown when in low-power mode — is much easier to read in bright light but only shows the time and date.
The TicWatch Pro 3 doesn't give you the option to set the backlight to automatically adjust but you can configure it to always be on.
The TicWatch Pro 3's performance dropped a bit in our fitness tracking metric, earning a below-average score compared to the rest of the watches. We based the results on the accuracy of the step counter and the HR monitor in our test, as well as the different workout tracking abilities and if the watch can count the number of stairs climbed throughout the day.
To compare and score the step count accuracy of the TicWatch Pro 3, we took it on three separate one-mile walks where we counted our steps with a mechanical tally counter and then compared the results. This smartwatch was an average of 44 steps off of the true count after the three trials — considerably more than the top trackers, which managed to keep their average error in single digits.
We think this watch did even worse when it came to measuring heart rate. We used a chest strap heart rate monitor as our baseline and compared its reading to the TicWatch Pro 3's for both an elevated and resting heart rate. Both were very close for the resting heart rate but the TicWatch Pro 3 differed from the chest strap by around 30 bpm when measuring elevated heart rate during exercise.
This watch can track an array of different activities, such as outdoor run, outdoor walk, indoor run, cycling, indoor cycling, freestyle, pool swimming, rowing machine, elliptical machine, body mechanics, trail running, mountaineering, or yoga. Data collected is dependent on the activity but we noticed the data collected isn't quite as comprehensive as what is collected by some of the top-tier products. We also didn't see that this watch will count the number of flights of stairs that you climb during the day.
Our final set of tests for the TicWatch Pro 3 rated and ranked its battery life compared to the rest of the watches. Its performance improved considerably, earning it a score well above average. This was based on how long the watch lasted with normal use, as well as the time it took to recharge.
This watch is claimed to last for up to three days, though we found it to be closer to two with what we considered to be normal use. However, the manufacturer states that it can last for up to 45 days in essential mode, where it is basically limited to just being a watch.
We did find that the TicWatch Pro 3 charges quite quickly, hitting the 50% mark after only 45 minutes on the charger and 100% after 106 minutes.
This watch is a decent value if you are comparing it to the premium options, costing a bit less, but there are much less expensive options if you are shopping with limited funds.
If you have an Android phone and are looking for a top-tier Wear OS smartwatch, then we highly recommend the TicWatch Pro 3. It has all the basic features you could want at what we think is a fairly reasonable price. While we didn't think it had the most comprehensive fitness or health tracking, it still did alright and is more than enough for basic workout tracking.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise