We already have some potentially fantastic smartwatches to look forward to between now and the end of the year – including the Google Pixel Watch – and it seems we can add another to the list courtesy of Mobvoi and its TicWatch brand.
Mobvoi has apparently been emailing certain customers about a new device, as spotted by 9to5Google, and all the indications are that a flagship Wear OS smartwatch is on the way. No name is mentioned, but it's likely to be the TicWatch Pro 4.
We were quite taken by the TicWatch Pro 3 that launched in 2020, and the Ultra version that followed in 2021. We've also seen more affordable TicWatch wearables appear, but the next one is likely to be positioned towards the more expensive end of the spectrum.
In its email, Mobvoi mentions a "flagship" watch with a "premium design". There are also references to long battery life, support for NFC payments and GPS, and IP68 waterproof protection. That sounds like a fairly high-end smartwatch to us.
The communication also talks about being able to monitor for an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and stress levels – those features are also on the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, but Mobvoi hints that the new model will offer further improvements.
As we heard at Google IO 2022, there's a renewed momentum behind the Wear OS platform, and devices that support it. It would seem Mobvoi wants to be a part of that, with the email saying the product in question is "about to be released".
Analysis: a fresh start for Wear OS
Wear OS, previously known as Android Wear, is the smartwatch operating system that Google has built to take on the mighty Apple Watch – and it's fair to say that devices running the software have had mixed fortunes in recent years.
It's really only been Mobvoi with the TicWatch brand, and Fossil with its impressive series of smartwatches, that have been keeping the Wear OS flag flying. Meanwhile the Apple Watch has continued to go from strength to strength with each passing year.
The signs for the future are promising though. Google has been investing more time and effort into Wear OS recently, while Samsung has switched its own watches over to the platform – with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro now just around the corner.
Then there's the Google Pixel Watch coming later this year. Add in whatever the new TicWatch model is, and we're talking about a serious amount of competition for the Apple Watch by the time that 2022 draws to a close.