Mobvoi TicWatch E2 assessment: The usual for Put on OS is quick sufficient, low cost sufficient, and does sufficient

In a nutshell, there’s nothing in regards to the Mobvoi TicWatch E2 that you simply haven’t seen earlier than. It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED show and a cumbersome 13mm case. It’s water resistant as much as 50 meters so you may take it swimming, and it has a heart-rate sensor. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 2100. It has a decent 415mAh battery, and it runs the newest model of Put on OS.

What’s spectacular in regards to the TicWatch E2 isn’t its specs or options. It’s not even something it does. It’s that for $160, you will get a Put on OS gadget that has the entire newest software program options, dutifully tracks your steps and train, lasts all day, and appears like a watch that prices 100 {dollars} extra. Whereas we’ve been ready for a Pixel Watch or another high-end Put on OS gadget to problem Apple Watch on the excessive finish, Mobvoi has accomplished one thing Fossil, Huawei, and Samsung haven’t: Made a full-featured Android smartwatch that’s virtually an impulse purchase.

Easy seems to be get it accomplished

Not like the playful translucent mannequin it replaces, the Mobvoi TicWatch E2 is totally bizarre. The gadget is wearing all-black, with no out there colour choices. Whereas the darkness provides the E2’s bezels a considerably slimming aesthetic, like almost each different Put on OS watch, it’s a bit on the massive measurement. At 13mm it’s a contact thinner than its predecessor however nonetheless chunky total.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

The E2 is fairly thick, however we’re used to that.

The E2’s plastic physique, whereas extraordinarily gentle, has a sheen that’s considerably paying homage to the end on costlier metallic watches. The silicone band has a tender, virtually leather-like really feel, and it’s snug to put on all day, even throughout lengthy stretches of train. In comparison with different sport straps, the TicWatch E2’s band is extra breathable and didn’t depart any sweat rashes on my wrist when carrying it tightly, as I are inclined to do.

The 1.4-inch AMOLED display is vibrant and crisp, and appears notably good with Put on OS’s new system-wide darkish UI. An embossed bezel across the display provides a contact of favor, whereas a chamfered edge makes the entire package deal appear slimmer than it’s. Rounding out the comparatively minimal design is a solitary button that both launches the app display or returns to the watch face, relying on the place you might be.

Previous chip gums up the works

The TicWatch E2 runs the newest model of Put on OS, so that you get the brand new Assistant feed display, Google Match face, and basic UI enhancements. It’s not an enormous revamp, nevertheless it makes a giant distinction over the TicWatch Professional I examined final yr, although each watches use the identical long-in-the-tooth processor.

mobvoi ticwatch e2 compare Christopher Hebert/IDG

The E2, proper, is newer than the TicWatch Professional nevertheless it has the identical getting older processor.

Google’s transition to Put on OS has made some extent of enhancing the viability of older {hardware}, particularly gadgets powered by the Snapdragon 2100 chip. Consequently, swiping and scrolling on the E2 really feel extra pure than they did below Android Put on. Moreover, the brand new Assistant-powered feed and Google Match shortcut to the left and proper of the face, respectively, reduce down on the necessity to launch apps continuously, however Put on OS remains to be very a lot in want of a top-to-bottom overhaul.

It’s when it’s essential to launch an app that the TicWatch E2’s processor exhibits its age. The up to date platform can compensate for less than a lot; tapping an app to open it constantly took at the least a second or two and exhibited clear lag even after a reset. Screenshots took ceaselessly, and easy duties like returning to the watch face have been simply as painfully gradual. After a number of days, I discovered myself avoiding apps altogether because of this.

Precise all-day battery

However whereas the TicWatch E2 would absolutely profit from the newer 3100 processor, slow app launching is hardly a deal-breaker for the E2. Unless you buy an ultra-discounted Moto 360 on eBay or a sensor-challenged hybrid, you’re unlikely to find a $160 smartwatch that does as much as the E2 or lasts as long.

mobvoi ticwatch e2 settings Christopher Hebert/IDG

The E2 doesn’t have Mobvoi’s “Essential” battery-saving mode, but it will last a full 24 hours.

Nearly every Wear OS smartwatch promises “all-day” battery life with everything active (continuous heart-rate tracking, always-on display, etc.), but the E2 is one of the few that consistently delivers true 24-hour battery life without sacrificing features. Actual all-day battery life might not seem all that necessary when you’re only awake for 16-18 hours a day, but it will matter once Mobvoi pushes sleep tracking on the E2, a rarity among Wear OS watches. The company says the feature will include automatic sleep detection once the over-the-air update arrives, so that extra battery life will certainly make a difference.

Unfortunately, however, you’re not going to be able to push the E2 too much longer than a day or so, as it doesn’t include the same impressive battery enhancements found on the TicWatch Pro. On that model, there is a unique second screen that lets it literally last for a week, but the E2 only has a standard Battery Saver toggle that sacrifices the always-on display, haptic feedback, Wi-Fi, and other features for a couple hours of battery life. Mobvoi could squeeze out a little more time by implementing a night mode that shuts down raise-to-wake and notifications overnight, but as it stands, my watch consistently bothered me in bed.

Water resistance, but no NFC

For swimmers, the TicWatch E2 is also rated for 5 ATM water resistance, meaning you can dunk it in 50 meters (165 feet) of water. Mobvoi has also built in automatic detection for swim style, laps, and running, but it doesn’t extend beyond those two activities. A lengthy spin class went completely unnoticed by both Fit Workout and TicExercise, though the watch did a fine job of tracking my motion and steps throughout the day, thanks to its continuous heart-rate monitoring and on-board GPS.

mobvoi ticwatch e2 wrist Christopher Hebert/IDG

The Mobvoi TicWatch E2, far left, is one of the few Wear OS watches that doesn’t have an NFC chip.

For my money, I’d rather have NFC than GPS, especially because there’s a Sport variant with a count-up bezel for $20 more. GPS might make sense on that model, but it’s a little unnecessary here—the lack of LTE means you’re probably going to have your phone around anyway. As it stands, you can’t use Google Pay with the E2, which will likely keep some people from buying one.

Mobvoi warned me of “inconsistencies” with its heart-rate, and a promised update to fix it didn’t arrive before I finished reviewing it. When I manually checked my pulse, it seemed pretty accurate. What wasn’t, however, was Movbvoi’s TicMotion tech. Whether it’s the result of the wonky heart-rate monitor or the misreading of other sensors, my numbers were all over the place, with steps occasionally not getting counted at all, exercise sessions not registering at all, and calories burned showing wildly inaccurate estimates. So you’ll probably want to stick to Google Fit for fitness tracking.

Should you buy a Mobvoi TicWatch E2?

If you want to make payments with your watch, then you should spend your money elsewhere. There are loads of Wear OS watches with NFC chips on board, including the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro, which has all of the same features as the E2.

mobvoi ticwatch e2 face Christopher Hebert/IDG

The Mobvoi TicWatch E2 cuts a giant profile on your wrist.

But if you don’t mind taking your phone out of your pocket to use Google Pay, it’s easy to recommend the TicWatch E2. There’s nothing wrong with it that doesn’t also afflict every other Wear OS watch. And once it gets native sleep tracking, it’ll have a feature nearly every other Wear OS watch lacks.

So while you probably won’t love the E2, you’ll definitely like it. And when it comes to Wear OS devices, that’s good enough.

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