Ticwatch Sport

£179 inc VAT from fave.co/2Ix1KiG

Android Advisor - - Contents -

The Ticwatch Sport, also known as the Ticwatch S, is the lat­est of­fer­ing from the Chinese com­pany Mob­voi. As the name sug­gests it’s a fit­ness-fo­cused smart­watch, and a fairly high-end one at that: it fea­tures GPS, im­pres­sive wa­ter re­sis­tance and an al­ways-on dis­play. Yet the price is a lot more man­age­able than even the en­try-level Ap­ple Watch.

In this ar­ti­cle we dis­cuss the Ticwatch Sport’s de­sign, build qual­ity, fea­tures and specs, and out­line its

per­for­mance in test­ing. We’ll help you de­cide if this is the fit­ness watch for you.

De­sign

The watch is made of matt-fin­ish poly­car­bon­ate and feels pleas­ant on the wrist, as well as ca­pa­ble of ab­sorb­ing plenty of pun­ish­ment. It’s rated IP67 wa­ter- and dust-re­sis­tant, which trans­lates to dust-tight and pro­tected against liq­uid im­mer­sion up to 1m, although the man­u­fac­turer does not rec­om­mend swim­ming with it. Weight-wise it would sit some­where to­wards the up­per end of the Ap­ple Watch range (45.5g; only the larger stain­less steel and ceramic edi­tions of the Se­ries 3 weigh more) but that still leaves it in the ‘com­fort­ably light­weight’ zone; in­deed for part of the test­ing pe­riod we wore the Ticwatch and the Ap­ple Watch at the same time on the same wrist with­out be­ing es­pe­cially in­con­ve­nienced, even though in fash­ion terms we don’t rec­om­mend this look. Note that the rub­bery polyurethane strap (which has in­te­grated GPS) can­not be re­moved or re­placed, so you’ll need to make sure you pick the right colour ini­tially. If you’d pre­fer a re­mov­able strap, go for the Ticwatch Ex­press vari­ant, which has GPS in the watch body.

Colour op­tions

The Ticwatch S comes in three colours: black (‘Knight’), neon yel­low (‘Aurora’) and white (‘Glacier’). Black is prob­a­bly the safest choice but you can get away with gaudier colours in gym/sporty set­tings and we’re rather fond of the yel­low. We sus­pect, how­ever – based on sim­i­lar ma­te­ri­als and colours on other man­u­fac­tur­ers’ watches – that this and the white op­tion will both start to look grubby af­ter a few months of use.

In­ter­face

When you jog, tap or ro­tate the Ticwatch it wakes up and dis­plays the full watch face, but by de­fault – this fea­ture can be dis­abled to pre­serve bat­tery – a sim­pler al­ways-on ver­sion is shown at other times.

The watch is based on Google’s Wear OS and pairs most nat­u­rally with an An­droid phone (An­droid 4.3 or later is re­quired.) It’s pos­si­ble to use it, how­ever – al­beit with a less op­ti­mized ex­pe­ri­ence – with an iPhone run­ning iOS 8 or later.

Hav­ing only one but­ton (and no dial) might seem lim­it­ing, but the in­ter­face man­ages for the most part to make life sim­ple. The but­ton tog­gles be­tween the list of apps and the watch face, and you can eas­ily swipe up and down to browse op­tions, tap to se­lect one or swipe left to right to go back one menu tier.

Oc­ca­sion­ally the in­ter­face is less user-friendly than we’d like – when se­lect­ing a new watch face, for ex­am­ple, we paused for just a mo­ment on one par­tic­u­lar face and the watch uni­lat­er­ally de­cided that this was what we were get­ting – but it’s gen­er­ally

sim­ple and in­tu­itive. We do like the way re­cent apps au­to­mat­i­cally appear at the top of the list for ease of re­peat ac­cess, although it seems counter-in­tu­itive that they appear be­low as well; in the photo above you can see the Alarm app twice within the space of four slots.

Speak­ing of faces, the way watch face cus­tomiza­tion is han­dled is odd (al­beit stan­dard fare for a Wear OS de­vice). Open­ing the relevant sec­tion of the set­tings shows only three; if you tap through to add more, you find there are re­ally 19, all ac­ces­si­ble with­out down­load, hid­den in the sub­menu. You have to se­lect one of these to add it to the higher-tier menu – the ‘favourites’ – and then se­lect again to make it the se­lec­tion.

You can ac­cess even more faces than this, but you have to down­load them from the Play Store.

Per­for­mance

You get the usual range of Wear OS smart­watch fea­tures – mu­sic, email and text no­ti­fi­ca­tions, Shazam, Google As­sis­tant – but this is pri­mar­ily a fit­ness de­vice. (To be fair the com­pany’s web­site also boasts that the Ticwatch fea­tures a vi­bra­tor, but we as­sume this is a trans­la­tion is­sue be­cause we couldn’t find one in the box.)

With on-board GPS, which the mak­ers boast is par­tic­u­larly ac­cu­rate be­cause of its in­te­gra­tion into the strap, our ex­pec­ta­tions were high. But we found the de­vice mildly prone to un­der­es­ti­ma­tion: a route that a trusted Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 2 pegged at 3.8km (backed up by Google Maps) was es­ti­mated at 3.69km by the Ticwatch. That’s not a bad mar­gin for er­ror, mind you.

Smart­watches and tread­mills are not happy bed­fel­lows – they can­not use their GPS and don’t know how fast the ma­chine is run­ning – but we gave it a try just to see how it would cope. As ex­pected, the Ticwatch strug­gled, be­liev­ing a 5km run was only 3.7km. But you can’t ex­pect much bet­ter than that with­out sync­ing with the ma­chine, or train­ing a smart­watch with your stride length (which takes time and will only im­prove, not fix, the prob­lem).

For com­par­i­son, our well-trained Ap­ple Watch still un­der­es­ti­mated the tread­mill run but less egre­giously: it reck­oned we’d done 4.3km.

Ver­dict

The Ticwatch Sport has a clean, sim­ple look and feels good, ro­bust and light­weight on the wrist, and the price is de­cent for a watch with GPS and IP67 wa­ter re­sis­tance (even if Mob­voi doesn’t rec­om­mend swim­ming). How­ever, we’re not huge fans of Wear OS in gen­eral and its usual in­ter­face issues are present here, such as the awk­ward method of chang­ing faces. And we’re not en­tirely con­vinced by the ac­cu­racy of the track­ing, de­spite the vaunted ben­e­fits of in­te­grat­ing GPS into the strap – which can’t be changed. A de­cent fit­ness watch, but not an out­stand­ing one. David Price

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• 1.4in (400x400, 287ppi) OLED multi-touch screen • 1.2GHz dual-core MT2601 pro­ces­sor • 512MB RAM • GPS (in­te­grated into watch band) • Heart-rate mon­i­tor • Prox­im­ity sen­sor • Ac­celerom­e­ter • Gy­ro­scope • E-compass • Mi­cro­phone • Speaker • 300mAh recharge­able bat­tery – claimed bat­tery life 48 hours • Blue­tooth 4.1 • 802.11 b/g/n • IP67 wa­ter re­sis­tance • 45mm di­am­e­ter, 13mm thick • 45.5g

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