TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review: more than an ace up Mobvoi's sleeve

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review: more than an ace up Mobvoi's sleeve

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS review

In the field of smartwatches, it is not only the large manufacturers that are the masters: the devices of the Chinese company Mobvoi with the Wear OS operating system on board have for years been a valid alternative to the models of Samsung and Fossil, and the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is no exception.

The latest addition to Mobvoi, who arrived on the Italian market a few months ago, perfects the technical characteristics of the model from which it derives thanks to a more powerful processor and new possibilities for monitoring vital parameters and enriches Wear OS "basic" with a feature much loved by users.

We are talking about the double display, flagship of Mobvoi smartwatches since the first model of TicWatch, which on board the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS can be further customized with 16 backlight colors, to save battery in Essential Mode without giving up a nice touch of style.

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Look and feel and design

The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is certainly not a smartwatch that goes unnoticed thanks to its "rugged" appearance and very important proportions: I was worried that its 47mm overall diameter would have made it impossible to use it on my wrist, but I admit that I have at least partially changed my mind.

Surely this smartwatch is not the most suitable device for small people or those looking for a watch that can "disappear" in everyday use. Its fluorinated rubber strap, with a solid appearance and a very pleasant texture, allows it to be tightened enough to make it comfortable despite the proportions and the weight of 41 grams.

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From the design point of view there is instead a frame with numerical indications, useful if you set a dial with hands but much less with the Mode essential by Mobvoi, which features only a non-customizable digital dial. Equally disappointing are the two crowns, which give the user the illusion of being able to be used in scrolling content but actually run empty.

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS: technical specifications

The new Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is equipped with the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip and a dual processor system and can count on 1GB RAM as well as 8GB of internal storage. Obviously, the display is the main feature, the 1.4-inch two-layer panel that makes Mobvoi smartwatches famous.

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The second layer, on the other hand, is a monochrome display with low energy consumption backlight that can be activated as always-on to reduce battery consumption, which is the sore point of every smartwatch, Wear OS and not.

Specifically, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is equipped with a 577mAh battery, which on paper should be able to guarantee an autonomy of 45 days in Essential mode, i.e. keeping only the monochrome display and the activities active of basic fitness tracking. Using the device in a "smart" way, as we will see in the test of use, these numbers tend to drop dramatically.

In addition to the device, the package includes the magnetic charging cable with proprietary connector: unfortunately the magnets that join the two parts are quite weak and leave the device hovering when you place it on a surface to recharge it.

It would have been desirable to see compatibility with Qi wireless charging on board this TicWatch, such as in the case of the latest Apple Watches, but it is a technology that is still gradually gaining ground in this field, to the point that even the Galaxy Watch 4 is not equipped with it.

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS is equipped with five positioning systems (GPS, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo, QZSS) Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, WiFi and NFC chip for payments with Google Pay. There is an LTE version of the smartwatch, but a model without this feature was used for this review.

Health always on your wrist

The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS perfects over its predecessor the monitoring of vital parameters, adding new algorithms dedicated to the detection of heart rhythm and levels of physical and mental fatigue.

The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS, therefore, can detect:

Frequency cardiac, with the possibility of monitoring 24/7; Blood oxygen saturation, with the possibility of 24/7 monitoring; Irregular heartbeats (IHB / AFib); Fatigue and stress; Ambient noise (only when the TicNoise app is activated); Quality of sleep. From the tests I performed during these days, the vital parameters measured with the TicWatch were generally accurate with respect to the conditions in which I was, but it must still be remembered that they are not to be considered a medical device, especially in the detection of anomalies. in blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.

These data are returned to the user by two sets of applications, which basically meet the same need with very similar results: these are the pre-installed Google applications on all Wear OS smartwatches and Mobvoi apps.

The latter, in particular, are very pleasant in their interface, net of translation errors in Italian (which I will return to in the next paragraphs), even if I would have preferred a less dispersion of the different functionalities on more applications.

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS: field test

Once the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS was configured at the first start, the pairing with my Samsung smartphone was practically immediate, as was the configuration of the Wear OS app.

Less intuitive is the need to download the Mobvoi app in order to view the details of the parameters detected by the smartwatch, which also has many translation errors in the interface as well as some lag in the passage from one section to another. The updating of the data is instead relatively quick, with only a few seconds to waste when you decide to synchronize.

When you use the smartwatch for the first time, you must also manually grant permissions to the individual applications, an operation that combined with the download of any new content from the Play Store lowers the battery a lot but is limited to this specific occasion.

In general, setting the lock screen with monochrome display after only 5 seconds of inactivity but keeping in the background the activities of constant heart rate detection, the battery has stabilized on about two days of autonomy: a result just below my expectations for this type of product, but all in all commensurate with the amount of information processed in real time by the TicWatch.

The Mobvoi and Google applications provide training modes dedicated to most sports, but also to tranqui he walks and jogging sessions.

In everyday life the GPS has behaved fairly well, detecting the path of the walks and the distance traveled in a precise way. I noticed a delay of a few minutes in the detection of the position, but moving in an urban area with a high density of buildings this is a problem that I am now used to encounter in various products.

After a short run I was able instead, to find with pleasure the precision of the smartwatch when setting the workouts before leaving instead of letting them detect them independently: the TicEs Exercise app has returned satisfying and precise parameters, which both occasional runners and long-time athletes can take advantage of course.

Wear OS 2 between promises and uncertainties

On board the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS there is still the second version of the Wear OS smartwatch operating system, with the much sought-after Wear OS 3 only coming this year. The experience of using this operating system reminded me of that of Android smartphones of a few years ago, with all the lights and shadows of the case.

On the one hand, in fact, I appreciated the integration with the services Google, the clean and intuitive interface and access to the Play Store; on the other hand I was brought back in time by the lag in some menus and by the difficulty in synchronizing apps such as Spotify with the smartphone.

Speaking of Google services, I found the presence of the Assistant to be truly providential. of the smartwatch: net of some difficulties in viewing more complex tasks and answers, it is always nice to have the answer to most of the questions at your wrist.

So I am confident that Wear OS 3 will also bring you on board the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS a greater fluidity and stability of the system, able to make this smartwatch already more than good an excellent product for the public it is intended for.

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