The TicWatch Pro 3 is a full featured smartwatch released in September 2020 by the Chinese manufacturer Mobvoi. Mobvoi is one of the few manufacturers left that make Wear OS smartwatches. Wear OS has a history of being buggy with poor performance and short battery life. While Samsung and HUAWEI both launched Wear OS devices previously, they gave up on the platform and they each built their own smartwatch operating systems.
The Pro 3 is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 processor. This is a new processor released in 2020 is a big upgrade in smartwatch processors. Note this is not using the 4100+ which comes with a low energy co-processor. That being said performance is much better than previous Wear OS watches and battery life, while not great, is better than most other Wear OS watches.
The operating system for the TicWatch Pro 3 is Wear OS (Google’s Android operating system designed for smartwatches). While Wear OS does not have the best history it does have access to Google Play Store to install 3rd party apps. This is a great feature when compared to smartwatches with proprietary operating systems that have no access to 3rd party apps.
The Pro 3 has a circular watch face design with a stainless steel case. The watch is only available in black and while it won’t win any design competitions, it has an attractive overall look and feel. This smartwatch is medium sized at 47 x 48 x 12.2 mm and weighs 41.9g. The 12.2 mm thickness is on the larger size and could be uncomfortable for some to wear while sleeping.
The Pro 3 comes with a 22 mm silicone interchangeable strap. The strap is comfortable but quality is not the best especially considering the $300 price tag of this watch.
You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen and 2 physical buttons. The touchscreen works very well with no lag. Fonts, menus and icons can easily be read and navigation is not too complex. In fact it is one of the best user experiences for a Wear OS watch currently available, most likely attributable to the 4100 processor.
The Pro 3 has a IP68 water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. This rating should be taken with a grain of salt. The manual specifically advises against contact with soapy water when washing hands or showers. Also chlorine and salt water should be avoided.
When owners with problematic watches contact Mobvoi support, one of the first questions asked is whether the watch was used in the shower.
The dual screen of the Pro 3 is one of the highlights of this smartwatch. The 1.4″ AMOLED Touchscreen & Low Power FSTN Screen, has 454 x 454 pixels. When AMOLED screen looks very good while the low power screen reduces battery usage when you are not actively interacting with the watch.
Mobvoi does not indicate what screen protection is provided which is disappointing. Since this is a newer watch it is too early to tell long term durability and how well this screen will stand up to day to day use.
The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.
The Pro 3 comes with a 577 mAh battery. Mobvoi claims that typical usage battery life is 3 days and watch mode battery life using the low power display is 45 days. Real world battery life matches this claim and is quite good when compared to other Wear OS smartwatches. That being said, it is poor when compared to some of the simpler smartwatches that have battery life measured in weeks not days.
From a connectivity perspective, the Pro 3 has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can receive and respond to notifications from the watch.
One of the biggest advantages of Wear OS is the connectivity with your smartphone. The watch complements the phone well, unlike the more fitness or health focused smartwatches.
The Pro 3 has both a speaker and a microphone and has the ability to both answer and place calls via Bluetooth.
The speaker and microphone work well for both incoming and outgoing calls. The speaker can be used to play music stored on the 8GB internal memory. The Pro 3 does not have a camera and does not have cellular connectivity.
On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. Unfortunately, GPS connectivity is not the fastest and accuracy is not the best.
The inclusion of Google Pay on Wear OS watches is another big benefit for this smartwatch. Many competitors cannot boast a payment option with their smartwatches.
Health and Fitness Features
The Pro 3 comes with 7 sensors: Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient light, Barometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 9 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming.
Also included are 13 different sports modes. When compared to more fitness or health focused watches, the Prime 2 is average. Heart rate monitoring is only somewhat accurate but he SpO2 continuous monitoring only reads once per hour. The bigger problem is the Movoi app which we discuss next.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 uses the Mobvoi app, which is very low quality. The app presents the same rudimentary data as the watch and has limited functionality. You could also use Google Fit, but that app has limited functionality as well.
There have been a large number of owners who have reported touchscreen glitches with the TicWatch Pro 3. They include:
- Ghost touches or phantom touches – where the watch shows a touch occurring but the screen is not being touched. This appears to happen more frequently when charging
- Not smooth or slow scrolling – when flicking through a large list, need to do multiple flicks while other smartwatches require only 1 flick
- Large dead zones in the 4 corners of the watch where touch is not sensed
There are no known resolutions for these problems.
Another common problem is a blinking battery indicator on the FSTN display. This usually corresponds with the sensors not working. We suspect this is due to the water getting into the watch as Mobvoi support asks if you have showered with the watch and users have indicated this sometimes happens after showering.
On potential fix is to drain the speaker:
- With the LED display on, keep the bottom button pushed
- Choose “Speaker Draining” from menu
- Repeat 2-3 times, you may see some water droplets come out of the speaker holes I did it 2-3 times and I saw a little droplet right out of the speaker holes
Sometimes rebooting the watch into “Shipping Mode” resolves the problem (see Sensors Not Working below). Note that these 2 fixes do not work in all cases and you may need to return your watch if it is still under warranty.
Sensors Not Working
In many cases the sensors will stop working on the Pro 3. One potential fix is to enter Shipping Mode, as per the following instructions:
- Hold the lower button while rebooting to get to Bootloader Mode
- In Bootloader Mode select “Shipping Mode”.
- If “Shipping Mode” is not available, select “Recovery Mode” and reboot. When you get to the Bootloader again, “Shipping Mode” should be available.
- Reboot the watch. You should shut it down one more time and when you turn it back on, the sensors should be working
Another potential solution is to drain the battery fully, then recharge. This may get the sensors to start working again.
Another common problem is the watch stops charging. Mobvoi is actually sending out replacement chargers to owners experiencing this issue so it appears to be a known problem. While the charger is usually the culprit some owners still experience the problem with a new charger. In this case there is a problem with the charging circuitry in the watch.
A number of owners have indicated there screens have some damage that looks like it has burned out or a water spot. You can see this in the pictures below. Note that there is no fix for this and you will need to ask for a replacement.
The TicWatch 3 Pro has improved performance and battery life for a Wear OS smartwatch due to the Snapdragon 4100. Google Pay and Google Play Store access are great. Connectivity is very good but the health and fitness features are average at best.
However the biggest concern is the high number of reliability issues in the short time since this watch has been launched. Coupled with a $300 price tag and a mediocre app makes the TicWatch Pro 3 a poor choice.
|Watch Type||Full Featured Smartwatch|
|Release Date||September 2020|
|Operating System||Wear OS|
|Supported Devices||Android 6.0+, iOS 10.0+|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100|
|Case Size||47 x 48 x 12.2 mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Strap Width||22 mm|
|Input||Touchscreen, 2 Buttons|
|Screen Type||AMOLED Touchscreen & Low Power FSTN Screen|
|Resolution||454 x 454|
|Pixels per Inch||Not disclosed|
|Typical Usage Battery Life (Days)||3|
|Watch Mode Battery Life (Days)||45|
|GPS Mode Battery Life (Days)||Not disclosed|
|Notifications||Recieve Notifications and Respond|
|Bluetooth Calling||Receive and Place Calls|
|Cellular||4G LTE Version Available|
|GPS||GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), BeiDou (China), Galileo (EU), QZSS (Japan)|
|Near Field Communication (NFC)||Yes|
|Voice Command||Google Assistant|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Barometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)|
|Tracking||Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming|
|Unique Features||Dual Screen - AMOLED and Low Power FSTN|
NFC with Google Pay
Can install apps from Google Play
8GB storage capacity
Short battery life
Poor GPS accuracy
|Verdict||Improved performance and battery life for a Wear OS smartwatch due to the Snapdragon 4100. Google Pay and Google Play Store access are great. However the amount of reliability issues in the short time since it has been launched is a major concern. Coupled with a $300 price tag and a mediocre app makes the Ticwatch Pro 3 a poor choice.|
Published: December 07, 2020
TicWatch Pro 3 - WatchSmarty
The TicWatch Pro 3 has improved performance and battery life for a Wear OS smartwatch. However reliability issues are a major concern given the $300 price tag.
Product SKU: TicWatch Pro 3
Product Brand: TicWatch
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 300
Price Valid Until: 2021-01-01
Product In-Stock: SoldOut