Following the recent Wear OS update for the TicWatch Pro 3, which gave us some handy new features, Mobvoi has pushed out another firmware update for the watch, offering some additional improvements.

Our favourite of these new tweaks is the ability to turn off Tilt to Wake for the Essential Mode backlight. Having a backlights for Essential Mode is a great improvement over the previous versions of this watch, making the LCD screen much more readable in the dark.

The only problem was that before this update the backlight would automatically turn on every time the watch’s movement sensor thought you were lifting your wrist to your face – and this means it would switch on a lot during the night as you roll around in bed. Being quite bright, it’s very visible in a dark bedroom.

But now we can turn that feature off, and just tap the power button to turn on the backlight in Essential Mode. The option can be found in the Essential Mode app menu.

On top of this there are a few other welcome upgrades in the new firmware update:

  • You can now change the format of the date displayed in Essential Mode
  • The watch can now play a sound when you get a new notification
  • Tilt-to-Wake speed has been improved by about a quarter of a second
  • Scrolling smoothness and general interface responsiveness has been improved
  • Pairing speed has been improved for Android smartphones



After the recent update which introduced automatic Essential Mode scheduling, we decided to run a test to see how much battery life we could get from our TicWatch Pro 3 using the new feature.

We set the watch to enter Essential Mode at 10pm every night, and wake again at 7:30am. To further help reduce power consumption we turned off the following features:

  • WiFi (the watch is never out of Bluetooth range of a phone anyway)
  • OK Google Detection (it’s just as easy to hold down the power button to summon Google)
  • Tilt to Wake (just tap the screen to wake instead)

Our use of the watch was fairly light during the test period, we used it for message notifications throughout the day and exercise tracking each morning, as well as sleep tracking at night. 24 hour heart rate and blood-oxygen monitoring was enabled – you could probably get more battery life if you switched these off.

The test began at 12pm at noon on Saturday, with 100% charge, and by the same time the following Tuesday, the battery was at 21%. By 10pm on Tuesday evening it had fallen to 6%. So we got three and a half days life out of a full charge for the TicWatch Pro 3, after which there was still just enough juice to go into Essential Mode for maybe another day or two.

Mobvoi claims the watch can last 45 days in Essential Mode only and, if that’s accurate, 6% charge should be enough for a couple of days at least.

Obviously everybody’s useage patterns will be unique to their lifestyle but, if you use the new Essential Mode scheduling feature to automatically power the watch down overnight, we think most people could safely expect a minimum of three days on a full charge. If you’re a light user, it wouldn’t be too hard to push the watch to four days from a single charge. For comparison, the Apple Watch 6 only lasts 18 hours, according to Apple – you need to charge it every day.

In Essential Mode, you still get heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and step counting features, as well as time and date on the screen, so if there are periods when these are the only features you really care about, you can significantly extend your battery life by using the low-power mode for even longer than just night time. But most people will want to have the watch’s smart features enabled during the day time, so 3-4 days is a realistic expectation in this case.

EDIT: After a second attempt at the test, under the same conditions, the watch lasted just over 4 full days on a single charge before hitting 5% battery life and automatically switching into Essential Mode. The only real difference this time around is that we didn’t spend as much time poking around in the various settings menus to explore new features, which probably consumed a bit more battery life in the previous test.

We’re currently testing how long it can survive in Essential Mode using only that remaining 5%, and will report back.

If you’ve used any of the TicWatch Pro models, you’ll know that the Dual Screen technology is one of its strongest selling points. Using a low-power LCD screen (like those found on conventional digital watches) to display essential information, so the more power-hungry OLED screen can be switched off when not needed, helps to give the TicWatch Pro a longer battery life.

Furthermore, the watch features an Essential Mode, which turns off most of the smartwatch features except the basics (time, date, step-count, heart rate, and sleep tracking) keeping the power consumption to an absolute minimum so you can squeeze even more life out of a single battery charge.

Up until now you’ve only had two options for using Essential Mode. You can either enter/exit the mode manually by selecting the option from the settings menu, or you can set the watch to automatically enter the mode if the battery reaches a certain level (5% by default).

But following the April 2021 Wear OS H-MR2 update, we have a new option which makes Essential Mode far more useful than ever before. It sounds simple – you can now set the TicWatch Pro 3 to enter and exit Essential Mode at specific times during the day, but this seemingly small tweak means we can now significantly extend battery life without sacrificing any functionality.

If you set the watch to enter Essential Mode during times when you know you’re unlikely to need any smart capabilities, every day, that’s going to automatically reduce power use between those hours without really changing the way you use the device. For most of us that probably means when we’re sleeping at night, which is a good 6-9 hours of power saving – but some people might even want to engage the mode for even longer, depending on their personal lifestyle.

You can find the new feature simply by looking for Essential Mode in the apps menu, and you’ll see the settings in there.

We’ll forgive Mobvoi the small spelling error, for such a useful new feature.

Using the watch in this way should give us even longer life from a single battery charge than the current 2-3 days. Sure, you could always do this before by manually switching in and out of Essential Mode, but it’s a hassle and a lot of people simply wouldn’t bother to do it. This new feature means it can happen on auto-pilot without ever having to think about it. And since sleep-tracking still works in this mode, you’re not losing out on any important features during this time.

We’re currently in the middle of testing how much battery life we can get from our TicWatch Pro 3 with Essential Mode set to automatically engage between the hours of 10:30pm and 7:30am, and will report our findings here as soon as we have an answer. It’s also worth remembering that this H-MR2 Wear OS update also included optimizations for the Snapdragon 4100 processor used in this watch, which should make the device even more power-efficient in normal use, so it’s going to be interesting to find out what kind of battery life we can expect from both of these upgrades.

The Essential Mode Timer only has a single daily time-slot – we’d like to see the option to choose multiple time-slots.

While this is a welcome new feature, we think there’s room for improvement. At present the timer is fairly basic, since you can only choose a single time slot for entering and exiting Essential Mode, but it could be even more useful if you could choose multiple times to enter the power saving mode. For example, as well as using Essential Mode during sleeping hours, people might like to enable it at certain hours during the daytime when they know they won’t need smart-features.

It would also be nice to see this Essential Mode Timer added to previous TicWatch Pro Models, as it would certainly be a welcome new feature for owners who are still using those watches. While it’s understandable that those models probably won’t get the full Wear OS update, surely it’s possible to tweak the Essential Mode feature to include the timer option?

The original TicWatch E gave a lot of people an affordable route into owning a Wear OS smartwatch, enabling them to find out whether such a device would be useful without having to risk wasting a lot of money.

The original TicWatch E was pretty basic, based on the aging SnapDragon Wear 2100 processor, with a chunky, and not particularly stylish polycarbonate body, and it didn’t have GPS. But, it did provide a good Wear OS experience at a very low price and that made it stand out from the sea of cheap, poor quality Chinese smartwatches you can find on Amazon.

If you’re on a tight budget, or just didn’t want to blow a lot of money on an expensive smartwatch you might not even use all that much, the TicWatch E was a great option. Last year Mobvoi followed up with the TicWatch E2, which offered improved styling, a better screen, and better waterproofing to make the device suitable for swimming.

But the E2 was still based on the same old processor, which means it can’t really cope with the more recent versions of Wear OS, and being less power efficient than newer SnapDragon chips, its battery life is still limited to one day of use.

Mobvio is rumoured to be planning a TicWatch E3 release sometime soon, after sharp-eyed users spotted some information hidden in the latest version of the company’s smartwatch app. This included a product sketch, which gives us some clues about what to expect.

For a start, the case looks like it might be slimmer than previous versions, so hopefully it will look a little more stylish to appeal to more image-conscious buyers who were put off by the earlier model’s chunky design. The image also features two side-buttons while the older models only have one button. On the TicWatch Pro devices one button is used for navigation and the other is a quick-access button that can be used to launch whichever app you assign to it, so it’s a safe assumption the same functionality will apply to the E3.

Beyond this, no official information has been released by Mobvoi, so everything else is speculation.

However, it seems hard to believe that the company would release another SnapDragon 2100 device. That processor was the platform for all of the company’s Wear OS smartwatches (including the Pro and the Pro 2020) right up until the more recent Pro 3, which is based on the much more modern SnapDragon 4100.

Our guess is that the new E3 will also be based on the SnapDragon 4100, which will give it much better battery life and zippier performance, as well as enabling it to run more recent versions of Wear OS – including the major new update to the platform which is due any day now. Even with the newer processor, Mobvoi could keep the E3 firmly in the budget segment by leaving out premium features such as GPS and the blood-oxygen sensor found in the E3.

This is just a guess, and there are other possibilities. Maybe they’ll use the previous generation SnapDragon 3100, which would still be an upgrade over the E2 and would avoid conflicting with its premium Pro 3 model. But that seems unlikely, since it’s a processor the company hasn’t used before and it’s hard to believe they’d design a whole new platform for a budget device – it would be easier and more cost effective for them to build the E3 on a stripped down version of the Pro 3.

Alternatively, they might still have a large stock of SnapDragon 2100 chips sitting in a warehouse, and given that there’s a global semiconductor shortage, they could be having trouble sourcing enough new stock. If that were the case, then it would make sense to use them in an updated version of the TicWatch E, using a smarter design and a few new features (maybe the addition of GPS and NFC, or some more memory) to make it more attractive to consumers than previous versions despite being based on the same processor.

As we said earlier, this is all speculation, but as soon as we get any confirmed information from Mobvoi, we’ll let you know.

Since I’ve just bought a TicWatch Pro 3, to upgrade from my TicWatch Pro 2020, I thought you might appreciate some side-by-side comparison photos so you can see how the newer model looks against the older one. Note – I do not get freebies from Mobvoi, and all of the products featured on this website are paid for with my own money.

Overall the TicWatch Pro 3 feels noticably lighter and less bulky on the wrist. The new all-silicone strap feels a bit cheap compared to the leather and silicone hybrid of the Pro 2020, but the upside is that it’s better suited for swimming – the old strap wouldn’t cope well with being submerged in water for very long. The good news is that the straps are interchangeable – I’ve kept my old leather strap from the 2020, and whoever buys it will get the brand new strap off the Pro 3.

You can read the feature and spec comparison of TicWatch Pro 2020 vs Pro 3 here.

  • Low-cost fitness tracker (estimated $80)
  • 7 day battery life
  • Sensors: body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen, breathing rate
  • Based on Mobvoi’s proprietary platform, not WearOS
  • Launches: April 13th 2021
Mobvoi TicWatch GTH

April 13th Update: TicWatch GTH is now available at Amazon here.

Mobvoi is probably best known for its TicWatch Pro products based on the Wear OS platform, but the company also produces some great low-cost smartwatches that run on its own operating system, and the new TicWatch GTH falls into that category.

You might be aware of the existing TicWatch GTX (launched mid-2020) which costs just $59 and offers basic fitness tracking and notifications, along with a battery that lasts up to a week on a single charge. Although it lacks the power and flexibility of a full blown Wear OS device, it provides a good experience for people who just want the basics at a great price.

The TicWatch GTH is a new watch from Mobvoi in the same spirit as its predecessor – great features at a low price. Again, it’s not a Wear OS device, but uses Mobvoi’s proprietary software platform.

The physical design is very different from the GTX – instead of the traditional round face typical of Mobvoi watches the GTH is square, looking similar to an Apple Watch, even with a solitary control button in the same position.

The 1.55in screen uses nice curved glass, that has an anti-fingerprint coating to keep it looking clean. Resolution is 360 by 320px with a pixel density of 310ppi. The overall size of the metal case is 43.2 x 35.2 x 10.5mm, and it’s fully waterproof to a depth of 50meters, so it should be fine for swimming.

The GTH uses a 360mAh battery, which should get you 7-10 days of use between charges, although of course that will vary depending on your personal usage patterns.

Fitness Tracking Features

The fitness tracking features of the TicWatch GTH are the big story here. The watch can constantly monitor four important health signals, 24 hours a day using a built in PPG sensor:

  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Blood-oxygen level
  • Breathing rate

For such a low-cost watch, that’s an impressive feature set. Although there’s no GPS, the built-in accelerometer works alongside Mobvoi’s excellent TicHealth fitness tracking apps to help you measure your performance and progress in a wide range of fitness and sports activities. In addition, TicHealth also includes sleep tracking and stress-level monitoring.

For users who are primarily interested in a device for monitoring their health and fitness status, the GTH seems like it will be a great value option.

Although it’s lacking many of the features you’d expect from a full blown Wear OS device (such as GPS, or the ability to install custom apps) it does have Bluetooth 5.0 and can pair with your smartphone to provide messaging and call notifications.

The TicWatch GTH launches to Western markets on April 13th and is currently being teased on the Mobvoi website – we’ll keep you posted as more details become available.

When the new TicWatch Pro S launched earlier in the week, many tech websites reported that the new model featured twice as much ROM (the memory used to store apps and media) as the TicWatch Pro 2020, an upgrade to 8Gb.

We thought this was a little odd, as the Mobvoi website and Amazon product page both list the ROM as 4Gb, and furthermore the Pro S is based on the same processor and other hardware as the Pro 2020, so it didn’t seem likely that the memory would have recieved an upgrade.

The confusion appears to stem from a press release which was sent to the media – we have been told that this release listed the ROM as 8Gb. We contacted Mobvoi directly to ask for clarification, and the support team there confirmed that the TicWatch Pro S has 4Gb of ROM, the same as the Pro 2020:

Maggie (Mobvoi)

Mar 11, 2021, 11:42 GMT+8 Hello,

Thank you for reaching out to the Mobvoi support team!

We greatly appreciate your interest in our TicWatch Pro S. Please kindly noted that the Ticwatch Pro S has 1GB RAM and 4GB ROM.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

The Mobvoi support team

The current list price of the Pro S is only $40 less than the Pro 3, which is a much better watch – probably the best Wear OS device you can buy right now. While the Pro S is not a bad watch, it’s based on an aging platform, and we think it needs a considerably lower price to position it as a worthy mid-price alternative between the entry level TicWatch E2 (currently $159) and the Pro 3.

A day after the launch of the TicWatch Pro S, Mobvoi has pushed out a software update for the Pro 2020, which appears to offer many of the same features of the new model.

As well as a security patch, the update includes TicHealth 3.0 which brings improved health and fitness tracking capabilities. There’s also better sleep tracking, through TicSleep 2.0 and the new TicHearing app can monitor environmental noise to warn you if your hearing is at risk of damage.

Finally, a new voice-memo feature has been added, making it easy for you to record quick notes into your watch.

Somewhat confusingly, this update seems to give the TicWatch Pro 2020 access to most, if not all, of the features touted as new on the recently released TicWatch Pro S. We’re not yet sure whether the same updated has been pushed out to the original TicWatch Pro – since it’s based on the same hardware platform as the newer model (albeit with 512Mb of RAM instead of 1Gb) there’s no reason the update shouldn’t work for it.

If you’re already an owner of the TicWatch Pro 2020, this upgrade is a bonus. But if you’re currently deciding which TicWatch to buy, we recommend the Pro 3, as this is based on a much newer hardware platform.

Mobvoi today announced the launch of an upgraded version of the TicWatch Pro 2020 (which was itself a minor upgrade of the original TicWatch Pro).

This new variant improves on its predecessor by adding TicHealth 3.0 which offers a selection of sports and fitness oriented features including:

VO2 Max Measurement – to estimate the maximum consumption of oxygen while you’re exercising. It calculates this by tracking your heart rate against your pace, and it can be a useful metric for measuring your relative health.

Running Lap Counter – uses GPS to work out when you’re running around a park or track, and then automatically counts the laps for you.

Heart Range Indicator – gives you an easy to read measure of the range between your resting and max heart rate.

The new model also includes improved sleep tracking, stress level monitoring, and environmental noise measurement to warn when your hearing is at risk through prolonged exposure to loud noise.

While the physical design of the watch remains unchanged from the 2020 model, the user interface has been given a facelift. The underlying hardware remains unchanged, with processor, battery, and screen the same as its predecessor.

Some online sources are claiming this model features an upgrade from 4Gb to 8Gb of ROM (the memory used for storing apps and media), but at present the official product page and Amazon page both list it as 4Gb so we are waiting for clarification from Mobvoi.

The list price is approximately $40 less than the TicWatch Pro 3.

TicWatch Pro S at Mobvoi.com

The popular consumer tech website, Stuff.tv, has reviewed the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 and confirmed what we knew all along – it’s a fantastic smartwatch!

This review gives the Pro 3 a five star rating, and praises its strong performance, great screen, long battery life, and all round functionality, saying that it provides the complete Android smartwatch package.

“Ultimately, this is one of the best smartwatches money can buy right now, nailing the basics in every single way without relying on any crazy quirks or gimmicks to get the job done.”

This is probably the strongest review of the Pro 3 so far, and it certainly looks like Mobvoi is finally gaining some mainstream recognition for its smartwatches. Other Wear OS watch manufacturers are going to have to pull something very impressive out of the bag to beat this.