- Heart rate sensor
- Full Android Wear features
- Chunky and cheap-looking
- Fast-draining battery
The Ticwatch E is one of the more affordable Android Wear smartwatches, yet packs just as many features as its more expensive brethren. So is this the chunky chappy really the ultimate Android wearable?
Ticwatch E review: Design
Now, most smartwatches struggle a little when it comes to the general aesthetics. With a few exceptions such as the Nokia Steel HR and Apple’s own-brand wearable, they pretty much all look like something you’d get out of a box of cereal.
The Ticwatch E doesn’t buck that trend in the slightest, which isn’t too shocking given the low asking price. You get a very straightforward plastic build, complete with a transparent housing which surrounds a black, white or lemony coloured body. You won’t find any interesting flourishes or design details like you do on more expensive devices.
As a man with dainty wee wrists, this thing already looks excessively chunky. So as you might expect, the Ticwatch looks frankly ridiculous on women.
That said, the plastic frame is at least light at just 40g, which makes it comfortable to wear. Strap it to your wrist and you’ll forget it’s even there, until you get a buzz from a notification or accidentally smack it off something. You can also remove the silicon straps and replace with any other standard bands, to at least change up the look and feel.
An important factor for smartwatches is their water resistance, especially if you need something to track your swimming sessions - or you’re simply too lazy to take it off when you’re doing the dishes. Thankfully the Ticwatch is IP67 rated, so you can fully submerge it with no consequences.
Ticwatch E review: Setup and features
To setup the Ticwatch you’ll need to download the Android Wear app on your smartphone. Pairing is quick and painless, and then you’re good to strap on the watch and get started.
Through Android Wear itself you can change the Ticwatch E’s clock face, set which notifications are relayed to the device and generally get it setup just how you like. To keep tabs on your fitness stats, you’ll want to also download Ticwatch’s own app. This shows your daily efforts at a glance, as well as recording all of your previous sweat sessions so you can see how much ‘progress’ you’ve made.
This app is pretty simple as far as fitness tracking goes; there’s not even a record of your pulse changes throughout the day, despite the fact that the Ticwatch has a heart rate sensor built in. Still, you can check your pulse manually at any time through the watch itself, while exercise sessions are automatically tracked.
Notifications pop through straight away and you can browse the likes of emails and texts in full, before responding directly through your wearable. You can also control your media, make and receive any calls, use voice control via Google Assistant and all of the usual smartwatch shenanigans.
Sadly there’s no NFC support however, so forget about Android Pay.
Ticwatch E review: Display
That 1.4-inch OLED screen is definitely a highlight of the Ticwatch E. It’s stunningly sharp thanks to the 400x400 pixel resolution, while colours are pleasingly punchy. Contrast levels are decent too, even if whites aren’t quite as crisp as we’d like.
Visibility is also strong on top brightness, so you’ll have no trouble seeing it in harsh daylight, even from an angle. We couldn’t find any auto brightness settings however, so you’ll need to manually tweak it when needed.
There’s an always-on option which can be used to permanently display the time, just like a normal watch. This uses a black and white screen to keep the battery drain to a minimum. Alternatively, the Ticwatch E can use its built-in accelerometer
Ticwatch E review: Battery life
Ticwatch reckons you’ll get two days of battery life per charge, although that’s a little generous in our experience. You might just about get 36 hours if you don’t use the watch too much, besides checking the time and notifications, plus the usual health tracking. That’s a little worse than the Huawei Watch 2 (with cellular disabled) and the Apple Watch 2, although not by much.
When it’s time to charge up again, you can use the bundled magnetic dock and USB cable. You’ll get enough charge in an hour when connected to a computer to see you through a full day, while a complete charge takes roughly 90 minutes.
Ticwatch E review: Verdict
At 139 Euros, the Ticwatch E comes in cheaper than many of its rivals, although some Android Wear devices are now dropping in price; the Huawei Watch 2 is under £200 in places, while the Fossil Q Marshall can be snaffled for almost the same price as the Ticwatch.
You get a full Android Wear experience for that cash, with only more premium features such as NFC and cellular connectivity understandably missing in action. Battery life is less than impressive and the design is seriously chunky of course - but look past those shortcomings and you’ll find an affordable and enjoyable smartwatch.