The new Ticwatch E2 poses a question that keeps coming back to life: is a bird in the hand is really worth two in the bush? There are beautiful smartwatches, some with more features, and some that are probably also more technically modern - but the Ticwatch E2 is cheap, functional and does what it says on the tin.
- Good battery life
- Rugged housing
- Stylish display
- No NFC
- No automatic brightness
- Clumsy and not particularly elegant
Really cheap for a smartwatch
Smartwatches are an expensive hobby, sometimes. Well, they don't have to be, at least not with Mobvoi and the Ticwatch E2. It should only cost around $159 / £140, which is quite a bargain if you compare it with the LG Watch W7, which will set you back $449.99. There is no choice in terms of design, the Ticwatch E2 is only available in black.
It's no beauty, but its sturdy
I'll tell you right now: design is a matter of taste, yes. But, I showed the Ticwatch E2 to a lot of people and nobody really liked it. The case is made of shabby plastic and is quite thick. The silicone bracelet is soft and pleasant to the touch, but does not necessarily make a long-lasting impression. The fitting is at least a standard one so the Ticwatch E2 is compatible with countless watch straps. There's a button on the right side, that's all. Which is too bad, because Wear OS allows you to assign your own functions to additional buttons. That's not gonna happen here.
The sister model of the E2 is the Ticwatch S2, which looks similar, but justifies its surcharge of $20 or so with a military certification for a specially protected case. The E2 lacks that, but the watch is still water resistant to 5 ATM and can survive sinking up to 50 meters - not bad for the price range.
Good display, but no auto brightness
The savings Mobvoi has made in the design and materials benefit the display of the Ticwatch E2. The 1.39-inch round AMOLED panel offers better resolution than the first generation and now displays 400 x 400 pixels. The display is sharp and very high-contrast, everything is easy to read even in bright sunlight - as long as you have set the correct brightness. There is no automatic system for this, you have to set one of the five levels yourself. This is annoying every now and then, as is the fact that the lowest level is far too bright when you are in dark rooms, such as a bedroom or cinema. With an automatic adjustment feature and lower brightness options, the display would be almost perfect.
Wear OS with an extra slice of sport
Wear OS doesn't give the manufacturers too much leeway to adapt the system, and the Ticwatch E2 is no exception. The watch faces, which the manufacturer supplies, fit well with the sporty approach of the smartwatch and look modern and tidy. If you don't like them, you'll find plenty of alternatives to try out and you can even build them yourself in the Play Store. Users can choose between Google Fit and the Mobvoi counterpart for the fitness display on the right of the Home screen.
In addition, there is a series of fitness apps from Mobvoi that are designed to motivate people to take part in sports. The Ticwatch E2 is waterproof, so it has its own swimming function. That's nice, and even if the sports functions don't contain enough detailed information for professionals, they're nice to have.
The chip in the Ticwatch E2 is the Snapdragon Wear 2100 from Qualcomm, which is no longer as fresh as a new one, but guarantees solid performance. It delivered the same performance as the Ticwatch E2 in our tests. The Mobvoi-Smartwatch doesn't run like Speedy Gonzalez, but is not too slow either and reacts quickly most of the time. It's doubtful whether a Snapdragon Wear 3100 would have performed much better, because it didn't always run perfectly when we tested it in other smartwatches. The swiping gestures on the touch screen weren't always recognized on my first try, especially with cold or wet fingers.
It's a pity that Mobvoi didn't give the Ticwatch E2 an NFC chip, because that means that you can't pay with the smartwatch via Google Pay or similar services. It is not yet possible to conclusively evaluate the heart rate monitor, as the manufacturer has promised to update it soon in order to improve both the speed and the accuracy of the measurement.
The battery is decent
The Ticwatch E2 is charged with its own charging cradle, to which the watch docks magnetically. One annoying detail is that the USB cable and charger are firmly connected. In case of a cable break or a defective USB plug, a completely new charger is needed, the cable alone cannot be replaced.
But only good things can be reported about the battery life of the Ticwatch E2. The capacity is 415 mAh. The smartwatch usually lasts two days, which is more than most Wear-OS smartwatches. Even if you use GPS tracking for a long period of time, you don't have to be afraid that it won't hold out. Overall, the battery offers really good performance that many more expensive smartwatches can't achieve.
Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 technical specifications
For the price, it's rather good
For almost $159 you can't go wrong with the Ticwatch E2. The watch is not the prettiest, but it is useful and performs well. The battery is quite powerful for an Android smartwatch with Wear OS and the display is great. I find it a bit annoying that NFC is missing, and I have also gotten quite used to the two additional buttons on my other smartwatch. Nevertheless, the bottom line that the Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 is a very decent overall package.