After weeks of leaks and teaser videos, Google-backed Mobvoi has made its new TicWatch Pro official. The headline news is that the second generation product features 4G/LTE wireless connectivity.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Smartwatches with LTE are few and far between, although it is only a matter of time before they become a standard offering of even the cheapest of fitness trackers. There’s only a handful of them right now, with the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 being perhaps the best known of the lot. We can now add Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro to this list.
The cellular functionality allows you to share your existing phone number with your TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE and conduct VoLTE voice calls without your smartphone. This also extends to SMS messages and use of your favourite messaging apps.
What’s more, Mobvoi has introduced SOS alerts that leverage the cellular connectivity. If there’s an emergency, SOS dials 911 and sends your location to your pre-selected contacts.
Not much has changed in terms of design which is a good thing. The current version’s main party trick is that it has a layered top which provides unique power-saving functionality. This has been retained in the 4G/LTE edition.
A transparent FSTN LCD screen sits above the TicWatch Pro’s main 1.39″ AMOLED (400 x 400 px) display and switches on when you’re not interacting with the main display. This helps to extend battery life.
The IP68, pool swimming suitable device measures 45.15 x 52.8 x 12.6mm and comes with a Polyamide and glass fiber case, a stainless steel bezel and an aluminium back cover. The thing is 11 grams lighter than its predecessor. Its 22mm strap is made of silicone, but this can be swapped around for other options.
Under the hood, the sensors are pretty much the same. They include PPG heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass, ambient light sensor, low latency off-body sensor. There’s also GPS + GLONASS + Beidou for more precise tracking of your runs, and NFC for contactless payments.
The sensors are better utilised now so allow for some additional functionality. Mobvoi has bumped TicMotion to version 2. This automatically recognises and logs a wide range of workouts. Swimming is not on this list currently, but will be added at a later stage.
Mobvoi has also introduced something it calls TicPulse. This allows for more detailed tracking of your heart rate, even in “Essential Mode” for up to 30 days. It also slaps on extreme heart rate alerts.
“The TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE has all the hallmarks of the original TicWatch Pro, including its trademark long battery life, but the Pro 4G combined with 4G/LTE connectivity and Mobvoi’s new TicPulse and TicMotion 2.0, truly takes advantage of Mobvoi’s artificial intelligence breakthroughs, while finally standing alone without an accompanying smartphone,” said Zhifei Li, CEO and Founder of Mobvoi in a press release.
“We’re also excited to be one of the only 4G smartwatches running Wear OS by Google available in the United States starting today with Verizon.”
All in all, this looks like a healthy boost in specs over the predecessor device. Battery life is still decent thanks to the unique design. In normal mode the watch will keep going for up to 2 days, but users can switch to a power saving mode (Essential Mode) that will keep the thing going for up to a month.
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