After the release and acceptance of the iOS watch, we have seen a lot of Android watches as well. We are not going to go on comparing about them today. But let’s be honest, nothing apart from the name change from Android Wear to Wear OS has changed. Android powered smartwatches have been the same for the past few years. There has been no noticeable change or update in that.
A second screen
But the announcement of an Android watch this has changed that. Most of the OS smartwatches are pretty similar in both design and work, but not the TicWatch Pro. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro is equipped with a second screen that actually sits on the top of the smartwatch’s main display. Also, both screens are not used at once. The main display on the TicWatch Pro will switch off in order to save power, while the low-power top display will be on and present the time. Mobvoi says that you can turn off most of the smart features on the watch and go on for days using just the second display.
FSTN LCD display
At the core of the TicWatch Pro is a standard Wear OS smartwatch. The watch is a bit chunky. Using the TicWatch Pro you can make NFC payments, monitor your heart rate and also track your steps. There is a twist to the TicWatch Pro. The TicWatch Pro has an FSTN LCD display on the OLED display. This LCD display is used to show Wear OS. This display is transparent like the one on clocks and old electronics. So it doesn’t really get in the way of the main smartwatch interface.
There’s one major feature of the TicWatch Pro that can be seen using this second screen. This feature is called the Essential Mode. When you activate this mode, the Wear OS part of the watch will entirely shut off. So you will only have the top display. But the watch can still do some smart tasks in that condition. But if you want to use functions that require Wear OS, you are going to have to fully boot up the OS again. This takes about a minute or so.
TicWatch Pro’s approach towards using the second screen and turning of the main screen is a good idea as it will help in saving a lot of battery. The watch will offer almost two days of battery life. This is definitely above the average for a smartwatch. It is good that Mobvoi has found ways to tackle the battery issues and try to save up energy for as long as possible. This approach might make the TicWatch Pro look like a more traditional digital watch.
Missing out on major functions
But we are still not sure if this approach of Mobvoi is that great. Almost all the smartwatches come with battery that can last for a day, but we look at it this way, we are still going to throw in the charger at night. Also, the Essential Mode is allows up to 30 days of usage, but it is not very easy to flip back and forth from one mode to another. This way you miss out on some of the major functions of the smartwatch.
Similar to Casio
The TicWatch Pro is not exactly the first smartwatch to experiment with a second display. Casio experimented on the same thing with its Smart Outdoor watch. It also took a different approach to it. It was more like an option. So one day you could use it as a regular watch and the next day you could use it as a smart watch. You were not allowed to run both displays at once and also not flip back and forth.
Releasing in summer
The Artificial Intelligence and voice company, Mobvoi is based in China. It has easily expanded into the consumer market in the past. It is now trying to break into the US market as well. Mobvoi is mostly focused on creating smartwatches, which are actually pretty cheap. But this new one is expected to be a bit expensive. It is expected to release sometime in Summer at a price somewhere under $300.