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TicWatch Pro 3 LTE: Mobvoi's smartwatch performs better than the Apple Watch and Samsung's Galaxy Watch in the speed test

High achiever. Mobvoi's TicWatch Pro 3 GPS and Pro 3 LTE (also with GPS) are still the only wearables with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 4100 that we know of during the test period. The SoC's strength is confirmed in the current test by how the benchmark results compare with those of other Wear OS smartwatches like the Oppo Watch and the current ones from Samsung and Apple.
Inge Schwabe (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
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Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 4 x - 1.7 GHz, ARM Cortex-A53
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
1.40 inch 1.4, 454 x 454 pixel 324 PPI, full touchscreen, AMOLED, FSTN display, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB SSD, 8 GB 
, 4.26 GB free
Connections
Audio Connections: ⊕, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, optical heart rate (PPG)
Networking
Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, WCDMA: Band 1, 8; LTE: Band 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 28, 40, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 12.2 x 47 x 48 ( = 0.48 x 1.85 x 1.89 in)
Battery
595 mAh
Operating System
Google WearOS 2
Additional features
Speakers: ⊕, Keyboard: 2 buttons, Keyboard Light: yes, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, USB charging adapter, user manual, Google WearOS, Mobvoi, 24 Months Warranty, GNSS: GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS; IP68, waterproof
Weight
42.3 g ( = 1.49 oz / 0.09 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
359.99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case and connectivity – Mobvoi smartwatch with dual display

The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE is a TicWatch Pro 3 GPS with integrated cellular communication. This makes the fitness tracker completely self-sufficient - during outdoor sports thanks to GPS and when making calls and retrieving data without a smartphone thanks to the cellular module. On the other hand, it consumes more energy because the battery's capacity of 595 mAh isn't higher than that of its sibling model.

The review of the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, which is identical except for the cellular module, already describes the case and hardware. Here is a summary of the essentials: Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 is at the core of the hardware, and it can operate with 1 GB of RAM. There's 8 GB at disposal for data in gross terms, but only a bit over 4 GB is available in net terms.

Both models communicate with all current satellite systems and measure heart rate as well as blood oxygen saturation, but they don't generate an ECG. Both download updates and additional apps directly via WLAN instead of via the smartphone.

With a speaker, microphone, and NFC for Google Assistant and Google Pay, they provide the essential functions of any Wear OS smartwatch. They are controlled via the touchscreen and the two buttons on the side.

A special feature is the dual-display design, where Mobvoi puts a low-power FSTN LCD over an AMOLED screen. The FSTN LCD updates the contents displayed only once per second and remains transparent when the AMOLED is active.

The TicWatch Pro 3 has an always-on display. If you deactivate it, the FSTN LCD continues to show the date, time, and step count, but it hardly consumes more energy than if the screen remained black.

The TicWatch Pro 3 can run for several days if the FSTN LCD is generally activated instead of the AMOLED. In this case, however, you also give up the essential smartwatch functions.

Setup and handling – Almost all settings are adjusted directly on the watch

To pair the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE with an Android smartphone or iPhone, you first download Google's Wear OS app from the respective store.

In addition, there's an app from Mobvoi in both stores. It comes with extensive instructions, synchronizes audio notes created with the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE, and downloads additional watch faces from the Internet. The Mobvoi app also includes a dashboard for the tracked data; you can read more on this under the section regarding health and fitness.

To make sure the dashboard can display all the data tracked during the whole day, you should open all health-related Mobvoi apps on the watch at least once after setup and allow access to the sensors. Nearly all options that are usually controlled by other manufacturers through the app, are controlled by Mobvoi on the watch itself. This includes, for example, whether it measures heart rate and blood oxygen saturation manually or automatically, and whether it warns the user when their heart rate lies outside of defined thresholds.

Like all Wear OS smartwatches, the TicWatch downloads additional apps from the Play Store as required. A short press on the upper button leads to the Play Store and the remaining apps that are installed. A long press launches Google Assistant. A double tap on the lower button launches Google Pay, and a short press launches an individually configurable function or app. A long press on the lower button opens a menu with special functions like making an emergency call, draining the speaker after swimming, or switching to the TicWatch Pro 3's power-saving mode.

As with all Wear OS smartwatches, you use horizontal gestures to swipe through the widgets, which are no longer limited to five on the TicWatch Pro 3 like they used to be. From the top, you bring up a quick panel to mute the smartwatch, put it into sleep or airplane mode, or make the connected smartphone ring when it can't be found. A vertical upward gesture opens the notifications panel.

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Mobvoi initially only launched the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE in Germany and the UK, where it only connects to the Vodafone network. The menu item for setting up the eSIM profile on the watch only appears in the Wear OS app when a SIM card with the Vodafone OneNumber service is inserted in the smartphone. After setting up the eSIM profile, you can limit the data volume and deactivate data roaming if necessary.

The watch displays notifications including emojis in a summarized overview. A double tap on a single notification enlarges the preview of the respective notification, but it doesn't open it, so it's never displayed completely. You can delete them individually or all at once.

Health and fitness

In addition to Google's health apps, Mobvoi installs its own apps that measure heart rate and blood oxygen saturation and display their daily and weekly trends. Furthermore, the fitness tracker shows you the number of steps, calories burned, and sleep quality; it also evaluates the current noise level and guides you through breathing exercises. As mentioned initially, you should open all the watch apps at least once at the beginning to allow access to the sensors and adjust further settings.

On the iPhone, the TicWatch syncs steps, heart rate, sleep data, calories burned, and the duration of workouts with Apple Health if desired.

Data and charts on health and fitness tracking can be viewed directly on the watch at any time and in parallel in the Mobvoi app on the smartphone. The following selection shows a small sample of the dashboard on the smartphone and a large part of the possible views on the watch.

Blood oxygen saturation and sleep tracking

The TicWatch Pro 3 LTE automatically measures oxygen saturation at night and several times a day if desired. We also compared additional individual manual measurements with a medically certified device; on average, the smartwatch was off by 1% compared with the certified measuring device.

Workout tracking

Even if it's not in the name, like with the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE also works independently of the smartphone during outdoor training thanks to a dedicated GPS. Like its counterpart, it supports all common satellite systems.

A training recognition feature automatically tracks walks, training runs, and bike rides - if activated, because permanent monitoring naturally shortens battery life. The fitness tracker only records the route when you confirm the detected activity. If you ignore the notification, you can still save the run or bike ride at the end; only the map is missing from the log in this case.

The 13 workout modes in the training app, including elliptical trainer, rowing machine, and swimming, are the same as in the GPS model. After specifying the pool length, the sports watch notifies you of an achieved distance or, alternatively, of a time goal that has been reached. Sports like aerobics alternatively report the achievement of the targeted calorie consumption.

The Free Style mode logs multiple sets if required. A HIIT workout mode, such as in the Huawei Watch Fit, or a separate time-controlled interval training mode, such as in the Garmin Lily, is missing. In particular, we miss the Fitify app on the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE, which was nice on the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS with its guided bodyweight workouts like Tabata.

Performance and battery life

Among the smartwatches that we could subject to a browser test, the superiority of the latest Qualcomm SoC, which is found in both TicWatch Pro 3 models, is impressive. Not only is the Snapdragon Wear 4100 faster than its predecessors, but the TicWatch Pro 3 also performs better than the Galaxy Watch 3 with Samsung's Exynos 9110 and the Apple Watch Series 6 with the Apple S6.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
3580 Points ∼100% +8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
  (3308 - 3580, n=2)
3444 Points ∼96% +4%
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
3308 Points ∼92%
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE R845
Samsung Exynos 9110, 1024 (Samsung Internet Browser 10.1.01.3)
2171 Points ∼61% -34%
Oppo Watch 46 mm LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
1730 Points ∼48% -48%
Motorola Moto 360 (2020)
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
1522 Points ∼43% -54%
Mobvoi TicWatch C2+
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
1374 Points ∼38% -58%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score
Oppo Watch 46 mm LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Web Browser for Wear OS 1.1.201123)
4138.5 ms * ∼100% -348%
Mobvoi TicWatch C2+
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
3743.8 ms * ∼90% -305%
Motorola Moto 360 (2020)
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
2997.2 ms * ∼72% -224%
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE R845
Samsung Exynos 9110, 1024 (Samsung Internet Browser 10.1.01.3)
2660.8 ms * ∼64% -188%
Apple Watch 5 44 mm Stainless Steel Cellular
Apple S5, 1024
2013.7 ms * ∼49% -118%
Apple Watch Series 6 44 mm
Apple S6, 1024
1807.1 ms * ∼44% -95%
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
1091.9 ms * ∼26% -18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
  (925 - 1092, n=2)
1008 ms * ∼24% -9%
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
924.8 ms * ∼22%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Mobvoi TicWatch C2+
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
23626.8 ms * ∼100% -171%
Motorola Moto 360 (2020)
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
21265.5 ms * ∼90% -144%
Oppo Watch 46 mm LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
17097.5 ms * ∼72% -96%
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
9666.8 ms * ∼41% -11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
  (8710 - 9667, n=2)
9189 ms * ∼39% -5%
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, 1024 (Free Browser for Wear OS 0.8.40)
8710.3 ms * ∼37%

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

Depending on the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE's many settings, the runtime varied between 20 and 42 hours in the test. Decisive factors are, for example, whether heart rate and blood oxygen saturation are measured throughout the day and whether motion detection is activated. You should also pay attention to the selected watch face: Some have a dark gray background instead of a black one as seen in the picture on the left. They spoil the energy-saving potential of the AMOLED display, at least when they brighten up in the sun.

During a 10-minute call using the embedded SIM, the battery dropped by 6% in the test. A full charge takes about 2 hours.

Verdict

Test device provided by Mobvoi
Test device provided by Mobvoi

The measurable battery life advantage of the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS compared with other watches with Google's Wear OS was not immediately noticeable in the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE. The difference only becomes apparent when you consider what the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE can do. All-day SpO2 monitoring, cellular connectivity, motion detection, and GPS tracking would not be possible in this way overall with the Wear OS competition.

Thanks to GPS, LTE, and its extensive health-tracking settings, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 LTE is currently one of the best-equipped Wear OS watches.

In practice, features like motion detection definitely motivate users to leave the car behind more often and do some physical activity instead, a side effect that many hope to get with a wearable. However, these features are hardly found in Wear OS watches because they reduce the already short battery life.

The complex watch software is admittedly not for people who like simplicity: Discovering an option and finding it again can be tricky at times due to the elaborate structure of the interface.

Price and availability

If you are in the United States, you can easily find the TicWatch Pro 3 GPS model on Amazon for $299.99. At the time of writing, the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE's cellular functionality can only be used in the UK, Germany, and Spain. You can find this model on Amazon UK for £329.99 (~$460).

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Inge Schwabe
Editor of the original article: Inge Schwabe - Senior Tech Writer - 102 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I initially earned my pocket money by filing paper records and earned my first salary by destroying them: For years I have supported digital transformation processes in both large and small IT projects. With two successfully completed degrees, in Computer Science and Technical Communications, I managed to combine my expertise with my passion for writing. I have written articles for connect, c’t, Mac & I, and the Microsoft and Samsung portals. With Notebookcheck, I sometimes move my workplace outdoors into nature so I can put fitness trackers and smartwatches to the test beyond the confines of my desk.
contact me via: @mobilewelten, Facebook, Xing
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 295 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > TicWatch Pro 3 LTE: Mobvoi's smartwatch performs better than the Apple Watch and Samsung's Galaxy Watch in the speed test
Inge Schwabe, 2021-02-27 (Update: 2021-02-27)