Mobvoi TicWatch C2+ – A fine update for a lovely smartwatch
Specifications and setup
The TicWatch C2+ is a small update of the TicWatch C2. Visually, no differences are noticeable: Mobvoi combines this pretty watch in a conventionally round design with a leather strap - matching the respective case colour in black ("onyx"), rose gold or platinum. At 18 mm, the bracelet in rose gold is slightly narrower than the other two (20 mm).
Mobvoi uses plastic for the bottom of the casing and stainless steel for the top. It has a diameter of 42.8 mm, is certified to IP68 and, according to the manufacturer, it is suitable for swimming in shallow water. As the leather strap is obviously no good for this application, an additional black silicone strap is included with the new models. On top of that, the main memory has doubled to 1 GB. On the downside, the watch misses a potential processor update from the Snapdragon Wear 2100 to the current Wear 3100. Of the 4 GB memory, about 1.6 GB is available in the test device. A microphone allows instructions to the Google Assistant. Feedback messages appear as text on the display: The TicWatch C2 plus does not have a loudspeaker.
Nothing has changed in respect to the sensors: The TicWatch C2+ measures heart rate but still doesn't measure blood oxygen saturation. In practice, what we miss most is a light sensor: The fully illuminated AMOLED display is bright and easy to read in the sun. Indoors, however, a very low brightness setting is sufficient. The change between battery-saving settings for being indoors and the best possible brightness for being outdoors has to be regulated manually if necessary.
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Setup and handling
Mobvoi has a close cooperation with Google and supplies its watches with its operating system WearOS. Therefore, for the setup you need the App WearOS by Google, which is also available for iOS. In the app's settings, you can change the dial and select up to five widgets, which can be accessed via swipe gestures. In addition to those from Google, Mobvoi installs its own widgets with information on heart rate, workouts and fitness. By default, the lower of the two buttons opens the daily log. Via the settings, you can assign another function or an app to it. The upper button leads to further apps and the Play Store.
If you install a music player such as Google Play Music on the TicWatch and use it to download music to the watch, the watch can play music from the smartphone or from its own memory. Since the TicWatch C2+ does not have a loudspeaker, you have to connect a headset or another audio receiver.
A microphone is provided for instructions to the Google Assistant. You can access it by a long press on the upper button or a swipe gesture to the right. A further gesture opens the Quick Panel, through which you can activate the flight or power-saving mode as well as Google Pay.
Messages and phone calls
Phone calls are only possible via the connected smartphone or an additional headset connected to the mobile phone. The contacts app on the watch can be used to initiate an SMS as well as phone calls. When a call arrives, it is signalled by the watch; you can then either react with a message, reject the call or answer the call via the mobile phone. When connected through Wi-Fi, notifications reach the smartwatch even outside the Bluetooth range of the smartphone.
Health and fitness
By default, Google offers Google Fit and Fit Training to monitor fitness and record workouts. If you want to use them, you'll find more information in our Moto 360 review.
The watch comes with two separate Mobvoi apps preinstalled: TicHealth for fitness monitoring and TicExercise for workouts. In addition, the "Mobvoi" app can be installed on the smartphone. The app manages the manufacturer's own audio and IoT devices and, in conjunction with a TicWatch, offers analyses of workouts and general fitness. If the Google account was sufficient up to this point, an account on the manufacturer's server is required for the Mobvoi app.
Exercise and fitness
The App TicHealth logs the heartbeat and various values for achieving the desired movement goals throughout the day. However, the test device did not remember any user data and repeatedly asked for gender, date of birth and weight. Saving and re-linking the profile via a smartphone did not change this.
Using the smartphone app, you can connect your Mobvoi account to Runkeeper and Strava so that completed workouts are automatically sent there. Workouts can be started via the TicExercise app on the smartwatch. You can choose between running and cycling training, workouts with weights, on the exercise bike, treadmill or rowing machine, walking and swimming training.
The underlying certification to IP68 basically only states that the watch can withstand immersion for up to 30 minutes in clear water up to 1.5 metres deep. Other watches that are certified according to the ISO standard 22810:2010 can withstand water pressure of up to 5 ATM and thus are more reliable. The TicWatch can certainly be worn in shallow water. Mobvoi even installs a swimming program that automatically locks the screen and can be parameterized with information such as the length of the lane.
Mobvoi doesn't use the physical buttons to start and end a workout but utilizes virtual buttons on the display. This is generally less comfortable. During outdoor training, the TicWatch C2+ processes the signals of the satellite systems GPS, GLONASS and Beidou and automatically stops the running training when you stop. After training, it shows the heart rate during training and other values relevant for the respective sport.
If desired, the TicWatch C2+ automatically recognizes and logs running, brisk walking and cycling. This option increases the battery consumption and is therefore deactivated initially. It can be found in the TicExercise settings on the watch. Automatic recordings are made without GPS, but are included in the training overview and daily log.
Battery and runtime
At 400 mAh, the TicWatch's battery is stronger than that of the Moto 360 (355 mAh). Mobvoi claims a runtime of up to 48 hours. The test took place in a sunny period, the brightness wasn't always reduced promptly when switching from outdoors to indoors, and the battery was thus stressed a bit more than necessary. With a one-hour training outdoors, the C2+ wasn't empty in the evening, but at the latest by the next morning. Without any need to log the time, you're better off hooking it up to the power supply again in the evening of the same day. Without GPS-supported workouts, there are certainly up to 36 hours in it - that is, until the evening of the following day, when you disconnect the clock from the power in the morning.
The TicWatch C2+ is an attractive and intelligent smartwatch. However, the price is set rather high, at least in regards to the RRP of 210 Euros (~$248): In comparison to other current wearables, the processor is weaker and the number of sensors is lower.
The additional silicone strap transforms the smartwatch from an elegant timekeeper with a leather strap into a sporty watch that can also be worn when swimming.
The automatic motion detection function worked reliably in the test and also recorded shorter distances by bike without any further action. GPS and the possibility of connecting the TicWatch C2+ to a headset to listen to music offline makes them independent of the smartphone during sports. While we liked Mobvoi's training app, it is not very comfortable to use during sports. This concerns the non-automatic brightness control as well as starting and especially stopping workouts via the touchscreen instead of a button.
Numerous apps from Google's Play Store open up many more possibilities. Those who are bothered by the weak runtime of 1-2 days will generally have to decide against a watch with Google's WearOS, though.