Mobvoi has announced that starting 8th of August, consumers can activate cellular connectivity on their Ticwatch Pro 4G from either My Verizon app or from the Verizon offline service store. The smartwatch was launched about a month ago but without this key feature. We’ve been testing it over the past 10 days so look out for our full review in the next week or so.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Watches will cellular functionality are few and far between. Mobvoi has joined the club with its latest device. From August 8th TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE users will be able to share their existing phone number on Verizon and conduct VoLTE voice calls without a smartphone. This also extends to SMS and use of messaging apps.
The timepiece comes with some other updates over its predecessor. For example, there are SOS alerts that tap into the cellular connectivity. Similar to the Apple Watch, when there’s an emergency, the device dials 911 and sends your location to your pre-selected contacts.
Not much has changed, though, in terms of the unique 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 was retained for 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. Mind you, the full colour screen is quick to react at a flick of the wrist, and this provides you with a much more detailed view of things.
Interestingly, the transparent screen is the more readable of the two in outside, sunny conditions. Indoors, it’s the other way around. The addition of the FSTN always-on display is a huge improvement over watches that have screens that are off by default.
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. Despite the added functionality, 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 unchanged. The full list includes a PPG heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass, ambient light sensor and low latency off-body sensor. There’s also GPS + GLONASS + Beidou which works as it should and is pretty quick to connect, as well as 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, including swimming.
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.
All of this works pretty well. You are presented with the option of using the Google Fit app or Mobvoi’s proprietary software. I actually prefer the latter as the presentation is more nicely done and you have access to more detailed stats.
Battery life is still decent thanks to the unique design, particularly when compared to other WearOS devices. 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 everything running for up to a month with limited functionality.
The TicWatch Pro 4G/LTE can be picked up on Amazon (check price) and Mobvoi’s website for $299. Those quick to react can take advantage of the $20 off discount on Mobvoi’s website which runs until August 8th.
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