TicWatch E2
Great Value
Image Credit: TechRadar

Specs and performance

A key upgrade for the TicWatch E2 over its predecessor is the inclusion of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 2100 chipset which provides the watch with more power and better battery efficiency.

The result is an interface which skips through menus and apps with ease, with little sign of slow-down or lag. There's 512MB of RAM inside the E2, which is the same as its predecessor, but not as much as you'll find in the Huawei Watch 2 (768MB) or Samsung Galaxy Watch (1.5GB). On screen though it's not noticeable, and considering the E2's lower price tag than its rivals it's no surprise.

Mobvoi has included 4GB of storage in the TicWatch E2, which is the default amount in many smartwatches, giving you enough space to download a host of apps and music tracks if you so wish.

You can connect a set of Bluetooth headphones to the watch, allowing you to listen to music stored on the TicWatch E2 without needing to have your smartphone connected as well.

The inclusion of GPS in the TicWatch E2 is welcome, allowing you to leave your smartphone at home and still geographically track you run, walk, cycle, swim or other outdoor activity.

However, there's still no NFC, which means contactless payments using the TicWatch E2 are sadly still out of the questions. There's also no 4G connectivity - allowing you to access the internet without go via your phone - but considering the E2's price tag it's a trade-off we can happily accept.

Software and app

The TicWatch E2 runs Google's Wear OS 2.0, which is the standard operating system found on all current Wear OS smartwatches. 

Unlike smartphones, this specially adapted version of Android for wearables can't be heavily customized by manufacturers, which means the on-screen experience is pretty much the same across all devices.

You get access to Google's Assistant on your wrist with the E2, allowing you to bark commands at the watch - although you'll need to be in range of your smartphone or connected to a Wi-Fi network so the wearable can access the internet.

To set up the TicWatch E2 you'll need to download the Wear OS app on your smartphone. It's available for both Android and iOS, but you'll enjoy greater functionality and notification interactions on the watch if you have an Android device. 

Functionality when used with iPhone is a little more locked down, but the E2 is considerably cheaper than the Apple Watch, so you'll need to decide what's more important - function or price.

What Mobvoi has been able to do is offer a couple of its own watch faces, but if none of these take your fancy there's a huge bank of options available to download via the store (just long press on the watch face and swipe all the way to the right to "see more faces").

Another addition is a trio of its own apps pre-installed on the watch, plus there's also the dedicated 'Mobvoi' app for your smartphone. Here you'll be able to get a more detailed breakdown of your workouts, activities and basics such as steps and calories burned.

Other than the fitness features, which we'll get into more detail about in a moment, it's a basic feature which we found the most useful on the TicWatch E2.

With the watch's vibration motor, missing calls becomes a thing of the past because even if your phone is on silent, the vibrating watch on your wrist alerts you to an incoming call, and shows you who it is.

If you've got your handset connected to headphones you can even pick up the call using the on-watch prompt, which means your smartphone can stay in your pocket or bag. This isn't a feature that's unique to the E2 - all smartwatches offer this - but we always find it handy.

Battery life

Mobvoi has crammed in a battery that is 30% bigger than the power pack found inside its predecessor, into the TicWatch E2 and the result is noticeable.

The E2 will comfortably last three days (and sometimes four) with the always-on screen disabled, but even with it enabled we tended to get two days from the watch before it needed to be returned to its charging pad.

However, when you start using the fitness features to track workouts and activities, the battery drains faster. If you opt to turn on the 24 hour heart rate monitoring you'll be lucky to get two full days from the E2.

Engaging GPS for an extended period of time during a workout will see battery life slide to around a day, but it all depends on your workout length and type.

On the plus side charging is fast, and you can go from 0% to 100% in under an hour, which means even a quick 10 minute charge can give you enough juice to easily see you through a night out.