TicWatch Pro 5
Display: AMOLED + FSTN
Display diagonal: 1.43 inches
Display resolution: 466 x 466 pixels (326 PPI)
Display brightness: Unknown
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor and memory
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1
Memory extension: no
skin temperature sensor
HD PPG heart rate sensor
WiFi: 2.4GHz (802.11b/g/n)
GPS: Yes (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS, QZSS)
OS: WearOS 3
Battery: 628 mAh
Runtime: up to 6 days (up to 45 days standby)
Charging time: 70 minutes
Waterproof: up to 5 ATM (MIL-STD-810H)
Size: 50,1 48 x x 12,2 mm
Review: TicWatch Pro 5
Offer (September 13, 2023)
Bargain alert on Amazon! For the first time, the TicWatch Pro 5 is available there for under 300 euros. You can currently get hold of the smartwatch for just 294 euros, sales and shipping take place directly via Amazon.
The TicWatch Pro 5 now presents itself in a fresh “Sandstone” look. As the name suggests, the stainless steel case and bracelet come in a color reminiscent of sandstone.
We already saw the fresh coat of paint live at the IFA. Anyone who finds the black “Obsidian” model too inconspicuous now has a stylish alternative.
When looking for a top-of-the-line smartwatch, brands like Apple, Samsung or Google quickly come to mind. In contrast, the Chinese company Mobvoi is less well known, at least in Europe, although it has been on the market since 2015 and most recently with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra had a powerful smartwatch in its range.
After a somewhat longer break, Mobvoi is now back with the TicWatch Pro 5. As the successor to the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, it takes over proven functions, such as the dual-screen system, but also presents some long-awaited innovations.
Among other things, it is Mobvoi's first smartwatch with Wear OS 3 operating system and even the world's first smartwatch to be launched with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip. It works significantly faster and more energy-efficiently than its predecessors, which makes the TicWatch Pro 5 an extremely sophisticated smartwatch.
TicWatch Pro 5: design and finish
The TicWatch Pro 5 presents itself in a Mobvoi design, which has been refined in a few points compared to the previous model. The scale on the bezel has completely disappeared, giving the smartwatch a simpler appearance. The two control buttons on the side have been exchanged for a single, centrally placed crown, which can now also be used to scroll through the menu. A feature that the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra lacked and caused criticism. There is an inconspicuous power button above the crown.
The case is made from a combination of aluminium, a nylon fiberglass mix and glass. The materials are combined in such a way that the impression is created that the case is made of one piece. Without any unsightly gaps or the like. On narrow wrists, the 5,01 x 4,8 x 1,22 centimeter smartwatch looks a bit disproportionate.
You have to emphasize the high durability of the smartwatch. After two months of constant wear, the case still looks as good as new. And that although I wasn't exactly squeamish with the smartwatch. The same picture with the display glass (Corning Gorilla Glass), which does not have a single scratch.
In addition, the smartwatch is MIL-STD-810H certified and withstands a water column of 50 meters (5 ATM). In practice, this corresponds to the pressure of a flowing jet of water when washing hands, showering or bathing. Swimming also works with it, which she proved several times in the test. However, one should note that when swimming and diving, pressure peaks that exceed 5 ATM can occur.
Like the previous models, this model is only available in one color (Obsidian) and with a silicone strap. However, the 24 millimeter wide bracelet with quick-change mechanism is interchangeable, so that at least some variety and individuality can be introduced into the watch design. With its aesthetics, the smartwatch can score both as a sports watch, but is also suitable for more formal occasions.
TicWatch Pro 5: Display
One of the most notable features of this smartwatch and also of the past TicWatch generations is Mobvoi's dual-screen system. What can that mean?
Well, the smartwatch uses two displays that are invisibly placed on top of each other. The primary display is a 1,43-inch, full-color AMOLED panel with a resolution of 466 x 466 pixels, as is familiar from many other smartwatches. The Wear OS user interface is shown on this display. The display can be customized with more than 42 pre-installed watch faces.
Just above that is the secondary display, which Mobvoi calls an "ultra-low-power display." This is a monochrome FTSN display, as is often found in older clock radios. The big advantage of such a display is its low energy consumption, which significantly extends the battery life of the TicWatch Pro 5. The FTSN display is "always-on" by default, unless the AMOLED display is selected as the preferred always-on display in the display settings, which in turn would reduce battery life.
In a direct comparison with the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, Mobvoi has significantly expanded the functions of the FTSN display. In addition to the date and time, it now also shows the number of steps, heart rate and connectivity. Also, the crown can toggle between five different tiles, one for notifications, calories burned, heart rate, blood oxygen, and compass. To make the FTSN display readable in the dark, Mobvoi uses a multicolored backlight. Depending on your needs, you can choose from 18 different background colors.
After two months of testing, I can say with a clear conscience that the dual-screen system is doing extremely well. During sports, the FTSN display provides all the essential information without even having to switch on the AMOLED display. The AMOLED panel impresses with its sharp resolution and good readability outdoors, especially in sunshine. The automatic brightness adjustment and tilt activation both work reliably, so there is nothing to complain about here either.
TicWatch Pro 5: Performance and Hardware
Mobvoi has said goodbye to the three-year-old Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform and instead relies on the current Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip from Qualcomm.
The new chip outshines its predecessor in every respect. It offers twice the performance and is manufactured in the smaller 4 nanometer process, which improves efficiency and thus reduces power consumption. More on power consumption and battery later.
In daily use, I could clearly notice the increased performance. Scrolling through the menu with the crown and typing on the tiny touchscreen feels faster and more precise, making the smartwatch much smoother to use.
The TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra only had 1GB of RAM and 8GB of data storage, which quickly filled up, especially when loading music. With the TicWatch Pro 5, Mobvoi has increased the memory to 2GB of RAM and 32GB of data storage, so there is enough space for apps and music. Connectively, the smartwatch supports Bluetooth 5.2 and 2,4 GHz WLAN. NFC for mobile payment with Google Pay is available and the watch uses GPS, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo and QZSS navigation satellite systems to determine its position.
The TicWatch Pro 5 is also well positioned in terms of sensors. It includes an accelerometer, gyro sensor, HD PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, skin temperature sensor, low latency off-body sensor, low latency body sensor, barometer, and compass.
What the smartwatch lacks is cellular capability. There is neither a SIM nor an eSIM, which is why there must always be a Bluetooth connection to the smartphone or a WLAN connection to exchange data with the Internet.
TicWatch Pro 5: features and software
The user interface of the TicWatch Pro 5 is based on Google's Wear OS 3.5. The switch from a Google Pixel Watch was very easy for me because Mobvoi made almost no changes to the user interface.
Anyone who has never come into contact with a Wear OS Smartwatch will also find their way around quickly. The operating system is basically structured like Android OS, which makes it easier to get started.
operation and apps
A swipe from top to bottom opens the quick settings, swiping from the bottom up takes you to the notifications and swiping left or right from the home screen switches between the tiles, which represent widgets of individual apps.
Various apps are preinstalled, including Google applications such as Google Maps for navigation or Google Wallet for mobile payments. Additional apps can be easily downloaded from the Google Play Store.
In addition, Mobvoi offers a variety of its own tic apps, including TicÜbungen, which covers more than 100 sports exercises, TicPuls for heart rate measurement, or TicGesundheit to help you achieve daily fitness goals.
sport and health
Speaking of sports: With Tic exercises, the TicWatch Pro 5 is well positioned as a sports watch. The sports programs are varied and, depending on the program, track parameters such as distance, heart rate and VO2 max. It uses GPS for precise route data outdoors.
She doesn't allow herself serious mistakes. The GPS signal is found after about 15 seconds and the route accuracy is identical to that of a Garmin eTrex hiking navigation system, apart from a few meters. Positioning only gets a bit tricky in the curves. By the way: If you want to navigate with Google Maps, you need to be connected to your smartphone. Loading offline maps to the smartwatch does not work.
The smartwatch measures heart rate and blood oxygen via its PPG sensors on the underside. The smartwatch also delivers plausible measured values at this point. At rest, the values are almost identical to a Polar H9. Under load, the difference becomes slightly larger, with a heart rate that is 5-10 beats lower on the TicWatch Pro 5.
Particularly practical: when the sports program is running, the FTSN display provides all relevant information about the current program. The heart rate is indicated by the background lighting in the colors blue, green, yellow, orange or red.
Sleep tracking is also supported if you want to go to bed with the watch. Personally, I found the watch case to be a bit too big and uncomfortable for sleeping. I tested the function anyway and the sleep-wake detection works well and the sleeping behavior is tracked in a comprehensible manner.
In order to get a more detailed overview of the collected sports and fitness data, the data can be transferred to the Mobvoi Health App, where they are processed and presented in statistics. If you prefer to manage your data in another application, you can set up automatic data synchronization with Google Fit and Strava in the Mobvoi Health app.
In addition to sports and health functions, the TicWatch Pro 5 has a lot more to offer. Although the smartwatch does not support mobile communications, telephony is possible. But only if the smartphone is connected. Calls are then received by the smartphone and transmitted to the smartwatch. The watch itself is equipped with a microphone and a speaker for making calls. The voice quality is okay, but does not come close to the voice quality of a smartphone.
WhatsApp is still brand new as its own Wear OS app. This gives you pretty much every function you know from the WhatsApp smartphone app on the smartwatch. Writing messages, making calls and listening to voice messages is no problem.
As far as software updates are concerned, Mobvoi has not made a positive impression on TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra users. The update to Wear OS 3 was promised, but ultimately postponed again and again. Whether the TicWatch Pro 5 will meet the same fate is currently not foreseeable. Wear OS 4 is supposed to be released this year, but Mobvoi has not yet revealed whether and when the update for the TicWatch Pro 5 will be rolled out.
TicWatch Pro 5: Battery
A huge plus of the TicWatch Pro 5 is the battery life. My Google Pixel Watch had to be plugged in every night. The TicWatch Pro 5 is much more frugal when it comes to power consumption. Depending on how you use the smartwatch, it has to be charged every 3-6 days.
Anyone who is sporty and goes jogging for 90 minutes every day with active GPS, receives notifications and listens to music via Spotify, will get a runtime of 3-4 days. If you switch the always-on display from FTSN to AMOLED, the runtime is reduced by around 1 ½ days. If you only receive notifications and don't have an intensive power guzzler like GPS running, you can usually use the full 6 days.
The smartwatch saves a lot of power thanks to the "essential mode". In this mode, the smartwatch switches off all Wear OS functions so that only the FTSN display is active. Date, time, steps, heart rate and sleep are still displayed and tracked.
The mode is time-controlled or active at the touch of a button. The time is adjustable. By default, the smartwatch automatically switches to mode from 22 p.m. to save energy overnight. Switching to normal mode is also timed or by pressing the power button.
Charging the battery takes just 70 minutes. The charging cable is identical to the predecessor. This is a magnetic 2-pin USB cable that plugs into the watch. There is no wireless charging function, but it would have been desirable given the equipment.