Mobvoi TicWatch E2 Review

  • Battery: 415mAh
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
  • Screen: AMOLED 1.39in (400x400px, 407ppi)
  • RAM:  512Mb
  • ROM: 4Gb
  • Bluetooth: 4.1
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart-rate sensor, low latency off-body sensor
  • NFC Payments: No
  • Size: 46.9 x 52.2 wide, x 12.9mm thick
  • Weight: 53.2g
  • Waterpoofing: 5ATM (fine for swimming)

The TicWatch E2 was released in 2019 as an upgraded version of Mobvoi’s popular entry level smartwatch, the TicWatch E. Although similar in many respects, and still aimed at the budget-conscious end of the market, the E2 offers a number of technical improvements over its predecessor.

Design

The E2 looks very similar to the previous model, with a black polycarbonate case, featuring a single side-button, and a silicon wrist-strap. The case is a little larger on this model, to accommodate a bigger battery, but it doesn’t look too big.

The overall style is simple and functional, it’s not as impressive looking as more premium models, but it doesn’t look bad. This watch is about practicality and value for money, rather than making a fashion statement. 

Screen

One of the big improvements over the original version is the screen. Although it’s approximately the same size at 1.39in, the pixel density is increased to 407ppi, which offers a sharper and clearer display.

While this isn’t quite as good as newer, more high-end models, it’s still a pretty good screen and unless you’ve got the eyes of an eagle you’re very unlikely to notice much of a difference between the display on the E2 and those of more expensive smart-watches.

Battery

The battery capacity has been expanded by over 30% to 145mAh from 300mAh. In practical terms this means you can safely expect up to two full days of use between charges, but of course this depends on how you use the watch.

Factors such as what level of screen brightness you choose, whether you use the always-on mode for the screen, 24 hour heart monitoring, and how heavily you use the apps on your watch will all play a part in power consumption.

Nevertheless, it’s an improvement over the previous model and even heavy users should be able to get a way with a couple of days of use before they need to recharge.

Fitness Features

Like the earlier model, the E2 offers a built in heart rate monitor which can be used to take a single measurement, or switch on to constantly monitor your pulse. Also unchanged is the built-in GPS tracker, which as well as being useful for navigation is also handy for tracking the route of your runs, rides, or other outdoor activity.

The main improvement in terms of fitness is the upgraded waterproofing. The TicWatch E was only splash-proof, but the E2 has been designed with “5 ATM” waterproofing, which means it’s safe to go swimming up to a depth of 5 meters. But bear in mind that this is only really intended for fresh water, such as swimming pools and lakes – saltwater is much more damaging, so it’s not advisable to wear this watch in the sea.

The watch is compatible with most Wear OS fitness apps, but also comes with Mobvoi’s pro-active fitness tracking app, which automatically senses when the user is exercising and starts tracking the data by itself – this wasn’t available on the old model.

Connectivity

Nothing has changed in this respect – the TicWatch E2 uses BlueTooth v4.1 to connect to your phone (or headphones, if desired), as well as 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for connecting to the internet. It’s compatible with phones based on Android 4.3+ and IOS 8.0+

NFC payments are not available on this model.

Operating System and Software

The watch uses Wear OS 2.3, which isn’t the most recent version of the operating system, but is still relatively modern and will give you access to the full ecosystem of Wear OS apps, as well as a good general experience. It works with Google Voice Assistant, and the watch features a built in mic and speaker, so you’ll be able to issue commands and ask questions by speaking to it.

Due to the relatively old hardware platform it’s unlikely that the TicWatch E2 will receive any further Wear OS updates, but nevertheless in its current form it’s a perfectly functional system that can do almost everything that most users will want from a smartwatch.

Hardware

Although an upgrade from the previous version’s aging MediaTek processor, the E2’s Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip is a couple of generations out of date by today’s standards. So, compared with a the Snapdragon Wear 4100 used in the TicWatch Pro 3, it’s a little more power-hungry and offers lower performance, but that doesn’t really matter.

The kind of applications you’re likely to run on a smartwatch are not particularly dependent on super-fast performance – fitness tracking, messaging notifications, and maybe some media playing – the TicWatch E2 will manage all of this with absolutely no problems at all.

Memory is unchanged from the previous model. The watch comes with 512Mb of RAM for running applications, and there’s 4Gb of ROM, for storage, which means you’ll have enough space for most of the apps you’re likely to use, but you might need to be a little prudent with the amount of media such as music, podcasts, or audiobooks that you store on the device.

Is it Still Worth Buying a TicWatch E2?

The E2 is a clear upgrade over the original TicWatch E, with a faster processor, higher battery capacity, and full waterproofing. At the price, you’re unlikely to find a watch that offers you a better specification, and this is a great introduction into the smartwatch experience – it’s a good option for people who want to see how they get along with a smartwatch without spending a lot of money.

Even today the original TicWatch E stands up as a usable entry-level Wear OS device, but it’s becoming very difficult to find unused ones in the market, so the TicWatch E2 is a more than worthy successor.

If you’re happy to spend more money, the current TicWatch Pro 3 is one of the best Wear OS devices available, but considering it’s around half the price, the E2 has a lot to offer.  

The only alternative at this price point is the TicWatch S2 (also upgraded from the previous S model) which is almost identical to the E2 except for a sportier looking case design, and the addition of military grade durability, making it more likely to survive tough conditions.

What the Reviewers Said:

Tech Radar

Score: 4 out of 5

“The TicWatch E2 is a solid buy, with an affordable price tag getting you a solid, dependable smartwatch which can last multiple days on a single charge.”

Expert Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5

“Mobvoi has opted for refinement over revolution but there’s still nothing better than the E2 at its price.”

Android Central

Score: 4 out of 5

“The best cheap Android smartwatch for most people.”