pixel
Connect with us

Gadgets

Review: TicWatch Pro 5 – an almost perfect smartwatch

If you’ve decided to buy a smartwatch and aren’t an Apple Watch fan, the TicWatch Pro 5 is definitely one to consider.

A person is wearing an analog watch with a fashionable strap, displaying the time 11:49 AM, the date May 25, the barometer reading 96%, and the pressure 1006 hPa.
TicWatch Pro 5 TicWatch Pro 5
4.0
$349.99
Quick Verdict: The TicWatch 5 Pro is one of the best smartwatches you can buy right now, and features a snappy Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chipset and Google's Wear OS 3. It offers great performance, and outstanding battery life thanks to the innovative dual displays, making for a sensible smartwatch purchase.
Pros:
  • Excellent multi-day battery life
  • Solid selection of apps
  • Powerful hardware
  • Classy design
Cons:
  • No Google Assistant
  • Bottom shell scratches easily
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

The Apple Watch has a stronghold over the smartwatch market.

On the Android side of things, several manufacturers make some really nice smartwatches too, and Mobvoi’s TicWatch lineup is among them. The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 is the latest in the lineup and makes an exciting proposition.

At $349, it sits alongside the Google Pixel Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series, and the Apple Watch Series 8. I tested a review unit sent by Mobvoi over a period of six weeks and am genuinely impressed with this watch.

However, in a saturated market, the TicWatch Pro 5 finds itself in a tough spot. The watch itself is excellent. However, a few concerns make me wonder about its place in the market.

The TicWatch Pro 5 is the first smartwatch I’ve worn after I stopped wearing automatic watches, and I was primarily impressed. In this review, we’ll go over some of the things I liked and some of the things I didn’t. Ready to dive in?

TicWatch Pro 5 Specifications

Short on time? Jump ahead

PlatformSnapdragon® W5+ Gen 1 Wearable Platform
MemoryRAM: 2GB / ROM: 32GB
Display1.43“ 466*466 326ppi
Full Color Always On Display AMOLED + Ultra-low-power Display
Corning Gorilla Anti-fingerprint Cover Glass
Operating SystemWear OS 3
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz, NFC
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, HD PPG Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, Skin Temperature Sensor, Low Latency Off-Body Sensor, Barometer, Compass
GPS + Beidou + Glonass + Galileo + QZSS
Battery Capacity628mAh (typical)
Watch CaseMetal, 7000-serie aluminum and high-strength nylon with fiberglass
Watch StrapSolid silicone (interchangeable), 24mm
ColorObsidian
Durability5ATM, Open Water Swim/MIL-STD-810H
Dimensions (mm)50.1(H) x 48.0(L) x 12.2(D)
Weight44.3g

TicWatch Pro 5 Design: Simple yet effective

A person holds a black watch.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

When it comes to smartwatch design, it isn’t easy to do something revolutionary. These watches don’t have the longevity or the price range of luxury watches, nor is there much room to deviate from the standard form factor and design.

The form is limiting, and improvements are mostly related to newer and shinier hardware rather than the housing itself.

That being said, the TicWatch Pro 5 isn’t exactly lacking in the design department. It has a typical design, with Mobvoi opting for a sportier feel.

The watch’s body is made up of 7000-series aluminum, which is strong and light. You get it in a single Obsidian colorway. The body’s finish is matte, while the bezel gets a gloss finish with a textured feel on the top. The buttons are firm and reflect the overall excellent build quality.

My only issue with the build was the base of the watch. The transparent panel sits over the heart rate sensors and is highly prone to scratches.

During my use, I found it gathered a whole lot of scratches, which isn’t great because it’s likely to affect the heart rate monitor over time. I recommend you hold on to the pre-installed protective film as long as possible or install a new one.

The watch comes with a bundled silicone strap, which is pretty minimalist. However, there are a ton of straps to choose from, with some bright-colored options for those that like it.

Additionally, you can use it with standard 24mm straps, which means there are many strap options. The black color of the watch body will go well with a ton of different colors, so customization isn’t going to be an issue.

The watch also sits comfortably on the wrist, which isn’t always a given with smartwatches. It’s light, and the overall size should look fine on most wrists.

TicWatch Pro 5 display: A standout dual display setup

The person is wearing a watch.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

The displays are the most interesting part of this watch. I say displays because while you see just one facade, there are two displays.

Underneath, you get a nice and vibrant AMOLED, the kind you can expect to see on the best smartwatches. Over that, you have an ultra-low-power display, a good old LCD like the ones found on older digital watches.

READ MORE: What’s the difference between an LCD and AMOLED mobile display?

So, you can use this like a normal smartwatch or one of those connected Casio G-Shocks. The advantage is two-fold: you get a solid battery life boost when using the low-power display and fewer distractions!

The low-power display also gets multiple color options for backlight, which really nails the experience.

My only issue with the displays is that adding a layer of LCD over the AMOLED has made the main display a bit hazy, removing some of that contrast and clarity.

It’s well within the acceptable limits, though, and I’m sure most users won’t even notice it. The trade-off is totally worth it, especially given the advantages.

TicWatch Pro 5 software: Wear OS 3 and Mobvoi’s apps work well together

The person is wearing a watch.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

The watch runs on Wear OS 3, which is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because Wear OS is the closest we have to a standard operating system for smartwatches that Apple doesn’t make.

It’s a bad thing because Wear OS still isn’t all that great, especially on watches not made by Samsung or Google.

For example, the TicWatch Pro 5 doesn’t get Google Assistant. Mobvoi is working with Google to bring it to the Pro 5, but there’s really not much hope. You get a great selection of apps, which is often the advantage of all things Android.

The user interacts with the graphical interface.
Source: KnowTechie

TicWatch’s suite of apps is also incredibly useful, almost making up for Google’s woes. There’s an app for every feature you could use on this watch, and TicWatch has done them very well.

Mobvoi has its fair share of issues as well, though. Delivering Wear OS 3 to its older watches has taken a long time, only opening up the beta last month.

That means the Pro 5 may not get an update to Wear OS 4 soon, either. It’s a toss-up, and even though I like this watch, if you want the latest software all the time, this may be a tough buy for you.

TicWatch Pro 5 performance: No stone left unturned

This image is showing two different salads with their ingredients and prices. Full Text: served t recipe) tany. K erved with garden bimbli butter & mash potato prawns mart of fish tossed in a tangy with a litte heat indulge in os bath Wear OS by Google pear cashew spinach salad 320/- baby spinach, pears, apple with toasted cashew, dried cranberry & gorgonzola cheese dressed with honey basil vinaigrette mediterranean chickpea salad 320/- flavorful & healthy dish made with chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, parsley, mint, a lemon-olive oil dressing.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

WearOS isn’t all that bad regarding performance, and the TicWatch Pro 5 has sufficient hardware power.

The Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 is one of the best wearable processors, and the watch has some of the best hardware you can get right now. That means the watch runs smoothly, and you won’t feel like it’s running out of steam at any given time.

Notifications are quick to arrive, apps open up speedily, and I didn’t see any lags during my usage. The highlight is the selection of fitness features you get, all tuned rather well.

I tried the heart rate and SpO2 measurements on this watch alongside an Apple Watch SE, and the results were pretty similar. Sleep tracking was also pretty accurate when I tried it, with only a few minutes of error.

If you want to get this fitness watch, it will serve you well. With the best hardware and acceptable software combined with a solid suite of apps from Mobvoi, the TicWatch Pro 5 performs as well as you expect.

TicWatch Pro 5 battery life: Truly multi-day battery

The person is wearing a watch.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

The battery life is a massive barrier for folks looking to get a smartwatch because it adds to the inconvenience of charging an additional device daily. That was one of the reasons I stopped wearing smartwatches, too.

However, the TicWatch Pro 5 makes some big strides in the right direction with battery life.

I’m a very light smartwatch user, but I put the TicWatch Pro 5 through its paces. With semi-regular use, including using the tracking features, reading notifications, and responding every now and then, the TicWatch Pro 5 lasted between three to four days consistently.

The real showstopper here is the Essential Mode.

This super-low-power mode will turn your watch into a regular digital watch when below a set battery percentage or by schedule. It increases the battery life significantly, and you get to have the watch stay on and useful while sipping power.

With my light usage, I’m sure I could push this watch to a week without a charge if I weren’t exerting it for this review. That’s a testament to how practical the Pro 5 is, which isn’t always guaranteed with smartwatches.

It feels like the first chapter of a new generation of smartwatches — one that won’t have a smartwatch be just another device you have to plug in daily.

Alternative options to consider

Product Image Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button
Primary Rating:
4.0
$279.99$242.00
Primary Rating:
4.2
$399.99
03/07/2024 04:01 pm GMT

Should you buy the TicWatch Pro 5?

The watch sits on the table.
Image: Palash Volvoikar / KnowTechie

While I’ve been on the smartwatch fence for a while, the TicWatch Pro 5 has me considering daily driving one again. It’s a great smartwatch with a solid build, great hardware, solid performance, and extraordinary battery life.

It feels like a turning point for TicWatch as a brand, and I hope the company can follow through with Google Assistant support and timely software updates.

For now, Mobvoi hasn’t done enough to make me trust they will handle those two issues well, so I cannot give my full vote of confidence to this watch, despite liking it a lot.

However, if you’ve decided to buy a smartwatch and aren’t an Apple Watch fan, the TicWatch Pro 5 is definitely one to consider.

I wish there were more size and color options, and an LTE option would’ve been great. However, at $350, the TicWatch Pro 5 is a pretty great value.

As previously mentioned, the TicWatch Pro 5 starts at $350, and you can find it on the company’s website and various other retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Adorama, and more.

TicWatch Pro 5 TicWatch Pro 5
4.0
$349.99

The TicWatch 5 Pro is a reliable and feature-rich smartwatch with exceptional performance and long battery life, thanks to its Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chipset and Google's Wear OS 3.

Quick Verdict: The TicWatch 5 Pro is one of the best smartwatches you can buy right now, and features a snappy Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chipset and Google's Wear OS 3. It offers great performance, and outstanding battery life thanks to the innovative dual displays, making for a sensible smartwatch purchase.
Pros:
  • Excellent multi-day battery life
  • Solid selection of apps
  • Powerful hardware
  • Classy design
Cons:
  • No Google Assistant
  • Bottom shell scratches easily
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more. A review unit was provided for this review.

Follow us on Flipboard, Google News, or Apple News

Palash is a journalist, writer, and reviewer at KnowTechie. He has been in the industry since 2013. Starting with Android news and features, he has also worked as a freelance writer for Windows Central, Observer, MakeUseOf, MySmartPrice, ThinkComputers, and others. He also worked as a writer and journalist for Android Authority, covering computing. Currently he serves as the editor-in-chief of Wiki of Thrones, and freelances for a variety of publications including SlashGear, iMore, and XDA Developers.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Gadgets