TicWatch E2 This Wear OS smartwatch does enough for its price

Mobvoi, the company behind the TicWatch smartwatch, made its debut in India in September. The company is trying to compete with Fossil, the most prominent company with the Ware OS smartwatch. Both Fossil and MobiOV are helping Ware OS to remain relevant in the market.

Even Google is making little effort to make its wearable OS competitive, but these companies are not offering it yet. In India, Mobvoi has launched five different smartwatches running Wear OS, and the TicWatch E2 is a mid-range model.

Why do you need a smartwatch? This is an important question to ask before purchasing a new smartwatch. You may need one to mirror your smartphone notifications or to act as your fitness partner. You may also be looking for a smartwatch that allows you to leave the smartphone behind.

The TicWatch E2 is a smartwatch that is a companion to your smartphone and not a replacement. Available at a price of Rs 13,999, it makes for a smartwatch that is not half as baked as the Amazfit GTR. So, is it to buy a smartwatch if your budget is around 15,000 rupees. let’s find out.

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Design and performance

Mobvoi is one of those wearers who still stick to the traditional design of smartwatches. The TicWatch E2, like other TicWatch models, has a round watch face. While Fossil opts for a subtler look, the teakwatch looks rugged. It uses a polycarbonate watch case, which makes them safe against drop.

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They are also not prone to scratches against rough surfaces. The display is recreated inside the case, which is more secure than the Dome-shaped display on other spherical smartwatches. They come in black and feature a 22mm interchangeable silicone strap.

The TicWatch E2 offers a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 400 × 400 pixels. It is not as vibrant or color-correct as the Amazfit GTR, which also features a 1.39-inch spherical AMOLED display. For me, the biggest problem was the lack of a light sensor, meaning that this smartwatch does not automatically change the display brightness.

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It has a standard brightness setting from 1 to 5, and I’ve mostly found 2 or 3 as the optimal brightness setting. It is important to note that high brightness can severely affect battery life. However, the display works well and the touch response is really fast.

Unlike the Fossil Gen 5, which has a round crown, the TicWatch via the touchscreen is the primary way to interact with the E2. The fact that it is not the fastest seems a disappointment, but it is the worst in this segment. I switched from Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle HR to TicWatch E2 and I immediately started missing the crown.

Yes, the TicWatch E2 has a crown but you can’t rotate it. So, if I’m playing music on Spotify on Fossil, I can rotate the crown to increase or decrease the volume. The same is not possible on the TicWatch E2. Wearables from Mobvoi also miss out on pushers, meaning I can’t quickly reach for an app or activity tracker.

Based on its price, the TicWatch E2 is designed to be the best bang for the buck. It has a design that will make the Casio G-Shock owners feel at home. Design also provides an assurance that is not possible in this era where equipment is becoming thin and complex with the choice of material.

The performance is not fast but it is also not garbage. Most importantly, we are looking at a functional design that works and does not force you to remember things or know the boundaries in advance.

Hardware and software

The TicWatch E2 is powered by the Snapdragon Ware 2100, an older platform built by Qualcomm. The wearable is equipped with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB storage. When I compare with the Fossil Gen 5, which has Snapdragon Wear 3100, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage, the TicWatch E2 definitely seems slow.

There is more delay in moving through screens or tiles. When you open the app, there is a significant amount of waiting time. Like other Ware OS devices, the TicWatch E2 also suffers from standard problems. Hardware is only part of an experience and software is the real linchpin.

In the case of ware OS, the software is a clear second-class citizen. So, for starters, Wear OS is designed to be all about swipes. You swipe right or left to navigate between tiles. You swipe up or down to scroll through applications or notifications. These gestures are not as intuitive as one would expect from any mainstream wearable platform.

Poor user interface also reaches the app ecosystem. Some of Google’s core applications do not work on Google’s mobile operating system. Google Assistant works but it is very slow and you’d be better off doing those tasks on your smartphone.

One of the major problems is the Play Store, which takes longer to load and has a poor selection of apps. From the selection of Watch Face to first party apps, the experience is certainly not the same as the flagship platform.

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