The smartwatch market has seen another addition with today’s launch of the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5. As a successor to the popular TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, it has generated lots of interest.
You might be wondering why there isn’t a TicWatch Pro 4. This is because of a longstanding superstition in Chinese culture that associates the number four with bad luck. Hence, instead of introducing a TicWatch Pro 4, the company is skipping directly to version 5.
Mobvoi had actually teased the device late last year. But it is only now that it is seeing the light of day. Pro 5 comes with some notable updates. It is actually the first smartwatch with the Snapdragon W5+ chip that runs on the latest version of Google’s operating system. It is also Mobvoi’s first watch that runs on WearOS 3.
We have been testing the new device for a couple of days now so keep an eye out for our full hands-on review in the near future. In this article, we compare the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 and TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, focusing on their features and capabilities. What exactly is the difference? Read on to find out.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 vs TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra: Design and hardware
Look & feel
In terms of build, the TicWatch Pro 5 is made from aerospace-grade aluminum and high-strength nylon with glass fiber, which is similar to the material of its predecessor. Both smartwatches are equipped with chip and scratch resistant Corning Gorilla anti-fingerprint cover glass.
Although the watches are designed with durability in mind, the TicWatch Pro 5 has an upgraded military standard certification of MIL-STD-810H, whereas the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra has MIL-STD-810G. This should make it a bit more resistant to damage from drops and shocks.
The TicWatch Pro 5 is also water-resistant up to 5 ATM, while the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra has an IP68 rating. So an improvement there, as well. The new device supports underwater heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking.
It is worth noting the difference in physical buttons between the two watches. The older model has two physical buttons, whereas the newer model features a flat physical button on the top right-hand side and a fully functional rotating crown in the center. The later is complete with satisfying haptic feedback.
With the crown, users can easily scroll to switch tiles (horizontally or vertically), adjust music volume, and even zoom in and out on maps with just one finger, or while wearing gloves. It enables a touch-free experience and a quicker way to navigate and launch apps.
On the wrist the TicWatch Pro 5 feels very comfortable. Lightweight in design it reminds a bit of the Garmin Forerunner range. However, the screen technology is very different.
Mobvoi is the only smartwatch brand that integrates a highly efficient ultra-low-power display on top of an OLED display. By default the watches show the always-on FSTN display. But you flip that over to an OLED for a more colourful, high-res experience. This combination works well.
Here is a comparison. As can be seen from the images, the FSTN display shown in the second and third pic is clearly visible even in strong direct sunlight.
TicWatch Pro 5 comes with something Mobvoi calls an “Evolved Ultra Low Power (ULP) Display”. Use the rotating crown and you can scroll between ULP tiles to show always-on biological data and ambient information. This includes heart rate, blood oxygen, calories, compass and other essential data.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
This innovative display design allows users to access critical information for days without a charge. The ultra-low-power tech is particularly useful in extreme scenarios, enabling users to stay on top of their game. So you get the benefits of an always-on display for critical information and a longer-lasting battery life.
There is another difference between the two generations, though. The TicWatch Pro 5 has a slightly larger 1.43-inch screen with a higher resolution of 466 x 466 pixels, compared to the 1.40-inch display and 454 x 454-pixel resolution on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra.
Finally, the TicWatch Pro 5 comes paired with a silicone 24mm strap, while the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra has a silicone 22mm strap. The larger strap size of the first provides a more comfortable fit for individuals with larger wrists. That’s just as well as this is a sizeable watch.
Under the hood
Both versions of the TicWatch feature a range of sensors, including PPG heart rate sensors, SpO2, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer and skin temperature. So quite a comprehensive list. On the newer watch some of these have been upgraded. The heart rate monitor is one example. It now offers more accuracy.
Additionally, the TicWatch Pro 5 packs a compass, while the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra does not. This allows you to stay oriented, find your way back to camp or guide you to discover new places.
Next up, the TicWatch Pro 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear W5+ Gen 1 processor, while the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor. The newer W5+ Gen 1 processor in the TicWatch Pro 5 coupled with more memory (2GB of RAM and 32GB of ROM) provides a better responsive user experience than the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra’s processor.
As far as sattelite connectivity, both watches suffice. They offer GNSS (GPS+Beidou+Glonass+Galileo+QZSS). There’s also a built-in microphone and speaker functionality, along with NFC support.
Moving on to battery life and TicWatch Pro 5 comes with a larger battery capacity of 628mAh, compared to the 577mAh battery of the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra. This upgrade, coupled with new fast-charge technology, allows the TicWatch Pro 5 to charge up to 65% in just 30 minutes. If you’re short on time, even a quick 15 minute charge will get your timepiece through the day.
In Smart Mode, the TicWatch Pro 5 has a battery life of up to 80 hours, while the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra lasts up to 72 hours. In Essential Mode, both smartwatches have an impressive battery life of around a month and a half.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 vs TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra: Technical specs
Here’s a table illustrating all differences in design and hardware between the TicWatch Pro 5 and TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra.
TicWatch Pro 5
TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra
Stainless steel 7000 series aluminium and high strength nylon with glass fiber, Corning Gorilla anti-fingerprint cover glass
Stainless steel and high strength nylon with glass fiber, Corning Gorilla anti-fingerprint cover glass.
50.15 mm x 48mm x 12.2 mm
47mm x 48mm x 12.3mm
1 + rotating crown
466 x 466 pixels
454 x 454 pixels
OLED + ultra low power backlight FSTN display
OLED + ultra low power backlight FSTN display
PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, skin temperature, compass, off-body sensor
PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, skin temperature, off-body sensor
Microphone & speaker
Battery capacity and charging
628 mAh. Wireless charging – fast charge technology (30 mins for 65% battery).
577 mAh. Wireless charging.
Smart Mode: up to 80 hours. Essential Mode: up to 45 days
Smart Mode: up to 72 hours. Essential Mode: up to 45 days
Bluetooth: 5.2 / Wi-Fi: 802.11bgn 2.4GHz
Bluetooth: 5.0 / Wi-Fi: 802.11bgn 2.4GHz
2GB RAM; 32GB ROM
1GB RAM; 8GB ROM
Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ W5+ Gen 1
Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 vs TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra: Functionality
The inclusion of multiple sensors in both watches provides users with comprehensive health tracking capabilities. The timepieces will monitor your activity and sleep 24/7 and come with some advanced features such as blood oxygen and stress tracking. They also pack excellent satellite connectivity for more detailed tracking of outdoor exercise.
So lets jump right to the differences.
Wear OS 3
At the time of writing this article, one significant distinction between the TicWatch Pro 5 and its predecessor is the support for Wear OS 3 on the new watch. This is Google’s latest operating system for smartwatches.
The lack of Wear OS 3 on older Mobvoi devices has left their owners feeling frustrated, as they eagerly await the release of Wear OS 3 without any concrete timeline from the company. The most recent information suggests that a select few older Mobvoi watches will receive Wear OS 3 support in Q3 2023. TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra should be one of them.
The latest version of Google’s operating system brings numerous improvements, including enhanced performance and a more streamlined user interface. Additionally, it offers access to an expanding ecosystem of apps and new features.
Recovery time & VO2Max
The inclusion of VO2Max and Recovery Time tracking on the TicWatch Pro 5 is an important addition for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. VO2Max is an essential metric that reflects the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can utilize during intense exercise, offering insights into their cardiovascular fitness and aerobic performance capabilities.
You only need to complete one long run with GPS switched on to get an initial reading. By monitoring Vo2Max, users can better understand their fitness levels, track progress, and set appropriate training goals. Recovery Time, on the other hand, is crucial for optimizing workout routines and preventing overtraining.
As mentioned above, Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 also gets a compass, enhancing its functionality as an outdoor companion. This addition provides users with accurate directional information, making it easier to navigate unfamiliar environments or during activities like hiking and trail running. The feature, combined with the smartwatch’s robust build and water resistance, further solidifies the TicWatch Pro 5 as a versatile wearable device catering to a variety of outdoor adventures and fitness pursuits.
In addition to the above mentioned heart rate accuracy improvements there is enhanced sleep tracking. The newly introduced features encompass monitoring of respiratory rate, the ability to customize blood oxygen tracking, skin temperature assessment, and sleep reports produced daily, weekly, or monthly by AI-enhanced algorithms.
TicHealth fatigue assessment and TicZen energy level and stress level monitoring are there to keep you chill.
Finally, there is support for more than 100 professional workout modes. This includes newly integrated open water swim and altitude calibration for climbing or trail running. Some sports modes come with auto-recognition.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 vs TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra: Verdict
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 offers a multitude of improvements and new features compared to its predecessor, the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra. With a larger innovative dual display, upgraded durability, a rotating crown and better waterproofing, the TicWatch Pro 5 stands as a strong contender in the smartwatch market.
Furthermore, the enhanced fitness tracking capabilities, such as VO2Max and Recovery Time monitoring, along with more accurate heart rate tracking and excellent GNSS satellite sensor make it an attractive option for fitness enthusiasts. Other than that you now also get access to a compass.
And let’s not forget the Snapdragon W5+ chipset and the addition of Wear OS 3 on TicWatch Pro 5. But hopefully, the latter should also come to TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra in the coming months.
Overall, the TicWatch Pro 5 stands out as a high-quality, feature-packed smartwatch that offers excellent value for its $350 price-tag, taking its place as a worthy successor in the TicWatch line. There really is a lot to like about the TicWatch Pro 5. Right now, it is one of the best Wear OS timepieces out there.
If you already own the $300 TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra and are considering an upgrade, the TicWatch Pro 5’s updated features may justify the investment. However, if you’re satisfied with your current smartwatch’s performance, the differences might not be significant enough to warrant an immediate switch. If you’re in the market for a new watch, it’s a no brainer, go for the Pro 5.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!